From Investors Business Daily:
In 2009, Obama dedicated $7.2 billion of stimulus funds to build "clean tech" jobs. He vowed to create 5 million jobs over the next decade.
So far, that effort has "created or retained" just 7,140 jobs, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. That's about $1 million per job. The number is actually down from last year, when the EPA claimed 16,605 green jobs….
Among the sticking points? Pro-union Davis-Bacon rules and "Buy American" provisions built into various stimulus regs.
Audit reports by the Energy Department's Inspector General Of fice offer some clues as to why: Trying to comply with federal reg ulations such as the Davis-Bacon Act, the National Environmental Policy Act and the Buy American Act has stalled many projects….
Davis-Bacon in particular is often cited. Big Labor lobbied to have it included in the stimulus bill. The Depression-era law requires any federally funded project to prove that it is paying the prevailing regional wage.
An IG report found that of the $226 million awarded to California under the program, just $68 million had been spent as of June. Jobs created? Just 210….
The basic problem, according to a DOE source, is that so much more money was available compared to previous grants that it triggered Davis-Bacon and a variety of other regulations that the states were not used to.
"It wasn't that these were new requirements, it was that the scope of the funding now fell under these requirements," the source said.
But waiving the rules was apparently never considered. Green and labor groups had clearly con ditioned their support of the stimulus bill on maintaining them.
Thankfully, a new stimulus-style jobs program will be released soon by the president. Which will doubtless fix all issues with the previous failed attempts.
Back in 2009, Reason.tv asked "Is Your iPod Unpatriotic?" and talked with a bunch of folks who were very into the "buy American" provisions of the stimulus that just didn't make a helluva lot sense. Watch now: