Obama's jobs plan all smoke and mirrors

The Madison County Record Sep. 14, 2012, 8:29am

To the Editor:

The President has offered a few tidbits to encourage hiring, but nothing more substantial than a handful of hay to entice a horse back into the stable.

He has offered, for example, a one-time tax credit for hiring a new employee or a veteran. It costs a lot of money to hire, train and retain a new employee - at least twice his annual salary. A businessman has to look ahead at least three years to see if he can make a profit from that investment. All we see in the next three years under the current administration are more taxes, more regulation, and more beatings.

While President Obama and his willing Democrat cohorts continue to criticize and malign Mitt Romney over his association with Bain Capital, let's contrast what Romney did for just one of the many companies he was able to save - Staples - to the thousands of jobs that were lost due to the president's foolish pie in the sky investment schemes to save the planet by pushing impractical Green Energy, projects financed by tax payers monies, such as the failed solar panel company, Solyndra.

Throughout Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign he promised to create five million "green" jobs to both mitigate employment and boost the clean energy sector.

During the fall of 2008 Obama said: "We'll invest $15 billion a year over the next decade in renewable energy, creating five million new green jobs that pay well, can't be outsourced and help end our dependence on foreign oil."

The bankruptcy of Solyndra, which was just one of many failing green energy companies, took with it $535 million in taxpayer-funded guarantees, while more than 1,000 people lost their jobs. Even while Solyndra was failing, the Obama administration considered giving the failed company another $469 million.

Then there is Mascoma Corp., an underachieving green bio-fuel company in New Hampshire, propped up by tax payers monies even though the company warned the federal government its 2008 filing with the SEC that it had to experiment in the bio-fuel market. This may be why in three years from 2008 to 2011, despite promises to create 70 jobs, only three jobs were created at Mascoma. Is $40 million spent to create three jobs at $13.3 million per job a good jobs record for you, Mr. President?

And what is even more incredulous, in December of 2011 Mascoma secured an additional $80 million form the Department of Energy.

In order to make these "green" projects seem more attractive, the Administration has taken steps to increase the cost of conventional energy. Licenses to drill for oil on public land have been denied, up to 20 percent of the coal fired electrical generation capacity is in danger of being shut down, and the extraction of natural gas is under attack as being environmentally unfriendly. Thus, the President is hurting the economy from both ends of the energy market.

We turn next to Mitt Romney. The following post at Godfather Politics on August 9, 2012, discredits the false accusation that Romney's association with Bain Capitol destroyed American companies and jobs.

"When you look at the facts, Romney was responsible for very few outsourced jobs and in fact was instrumental in saving American companies and creating hundreds of jobs," the post says. "Romney was instrumental in saving Staples from financial ruin and turned the company around which in turn created hundreds of new jobs.

Romney used private investors through Bain Capital to save companies and jobs, while Obama used and lost tax payers monies and jobs through his push to promote his green energy agenda.

What about Obama's track record on outsourcing jobs overseas? You will find that billions of bailout dollars went to jobs and companies overseas resulting in the outsourcing of American jobs to foregin countries. Panetta's Department of Defense awarded a $345 million contract for a light attack aircraft to a company in Brazil, rather than award the contract to a Kansas-based company that could have provided a better aircraft and put Americans to work building it.

More outsourcing to Brazil came with a decision made by President Obama to purchase more oil from Brazil, even as the Obama administration has imposed a virtual moratorium on domestic drilling. The U.S. Export-Import Bank has invested more than $1 billion with Brazil's state-owned oil company, Pterobras, to finance exploration.

What about Columbia, South America? That nation is also benefiting from Obama's largess with money and American jobs. We can't drill for offshore oil in the U.S., but we can give $84 billion to Brazil so they can build a refinery. A new refinery hasn't been built in the U.S. since 1976.

With approval from the Obama Administration, a start-up electric car company in California -- Fisker -- established in September 2007 was certified for a $529 million loan in September 2009 from the DOE, after the company's founder claimed the car couldn't find a manufacture in the U.S. The company subsequently went overseas to partner with Valmet Automotive in Finland to produce its first model, a flashy Fisker Karma sports car, along with 500 jobs.

To make matter even worse, when Consumer Reports bought the Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid in 2012 at its full cost of $107,000 with fewer than 200 miles on its odometer, during preliminary testing procedures the car stopped working altogether and had to be hauled away by the dealer on a flat bed truck.

The irony of promoting all-electric vehicles is that they place an increased burden on the electric power system, already under attack from other directions. The President would replace gasoline powered vehicles with all-electric vehicles effectively powered by coal.

There was also a broken promise by Obama on the NASA space program. When then-presidential candidate Barack Obhama came to the heart of the nation's space program in Brevard County, Fla., he promised that he'd protect space-industry jobs in the face of NASA budget cuts under President Bush.

With the demise of the proud Space Shuttle Program with the landing of space shuttle Atlantis at Cape Canaveral on July 20, 2011, besides the loss of jobs, businesses have been affected and good technical jobs lost. While this nation and its people have always been adventurous from sea to space, this nation has lost its edge as a world power.

July of 2011 marked the end of work for 7,000 people at the Kennedy Space Center in Brevard County, Florida, terminating a 30-year shuttle program.

Not exactly a broken promise but the type of infrastructure project that Obama supposedly favors, was Obama's veto of the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta, Canada, to Texas, and with it the potential for perhaps 20,000 jobs immediately and many more in future years. China must be wondering "how the crazy Americans" could repudiate such a huge supply of nearby energy should Canada instead decide to build a pipeline to the Pacific for Asian export with eventual shipment by tanker to China.

Really, is Obama's green energy push going anywhere (Already noted in the wasted heavy investment in Solyndra and general public disinterest in electric cars in that relatively few are being sold)? Wouldn't it be much better for our nation to have more trade in oil with Canada than to other nations, including unfriendly ones?

There is no downside to completing the Keystone XL pipeline project of 1,700 miles. Environmental studies have indicated that the pipeline would not impact the environment. There are jobs waiting, but President Obama is wedded to environmental groups and individuals who exhibit clout and influence as an important and financially powerful interest group for the Democratic Party.

Then there is Obama's "War on Coal." On the campaign trail, Barack Obama said that he would make sure the coal industry isn't a casualty of legislation to slow climate change. He vowed to promote the construction of new power plants that produce electricity by burning coal with lower carbon dioxide emissions than conventional plants.

Boone County is the gateway to the coal fields in West Virginia. For every one person in the field it takes six additional to support the industry. In Boone County alone 1,000 coal miners were laid off last month as the EPA continues to shut down mines. Unemployment in Boone County has gone from 4 percent to 12 percent.

Even U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) supported James Inhofe's (R-Oklahoma) resolution to stop using new, expensive rules for coal-fired power plants, voting in favor of a Congressional resolution that would have stopped the EPA from implementing the Utility MACT rule.

There are 600 coal plants in the U.S. Coal to America is like oil is to Saudi Arabia. Obama's EPA has gone totally over the top. Overall 20,000 jobs have been lost in W.V. affecting hotels, restaurants, and even the cost of electricity.

In 2008, President Obama said he measures progress by how many people can find a job. Today, the unemployment rate is still over eight percent and nearly 23 million Americans are unemployed, underemployed, or have stopped looking for work (The unemployed and those who have stopped looking for work are not counted in the monthly jobs reports).

On June 1, 2012, President Obama said, in a speech at Honeywell International in Minnesota: "Our businesses have created almost 4.3 million new jobs over the last 27 months." While 4.3 million jobs sounds good, it's still about 4.6 million below where it was in January 2008, the high point of private sector employment before the recession.

The monthly jobs claims by Obama are not even enough to keep up with population growth. Paul Dales, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics had this to say:

"The economy added 163,000 jobs in July, the biggest increase since February. From April through June, employers have created a lackluster 73,000 jobs a month, not enough to keep up with a rising population."

The 163,000 job uptick in July becomes a net gain of only 47,000 jobs once the population gain is accounted for. What we need to keep up with population growth is the creation of 125,000-150,000 jobs per month.

Don't allow this President to buffalo you into thinking that his policies are producing positive jobs results. When you're in a race and falling further behind, nobody cares if you are running in the right direction.

President Obama is very good at smooth talking positive job creation to the American people, but he has not walked the walk. It is disgraceful that Obama is being aided by a willing mainstream news media that idolizes him, accepting lock, stock and barrel all of Obama's faulty jobs claims while it viciously attacks Romney to save Obama's skin.

Nancy Thorner
Lake Bluff, Ill.

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