Killing jobs, Obama-style
The Obama administration used the jobs summit two weeks ago to promote policies the president admits will kill jobs. In case no one in the White House has noticed, unemployment has become a bit of a pressing issue. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs lost in 2009 far surpasses the number in any other year since World War II. More than 3 million jobs have evaporated into the ozone layer since President Obama took office.
Everything the administration is doing threatens to dig that hole deeper. Mr. Obama has never hidden his antibusiness agenda. When running for president last year, he told a group of journalists at the San Francisco Chronicle: “We would put a cap-and- trade system in place that is aggressive if not more aggressive than anybody else’s that is out there. I was the first to call for a 100 percent auction on the cap-and-trade system. [. . .] So if somebody wants to build a power plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all the greenhouse gas that is being emitted.”
At the jobs summit, the president promised to keep working on that plan to bankrupt the coal industry. He joined a clean-energy breakout session and emphasized that the capand-trade bill still needs to pass the Senate. In case you’re curious where this administration draws the line between style and substance on purported global warming, Mr. Obama made it clear: “The most important thing we talked about here is packaging and marketing.” He then went on to repeat the canard that the cap-andtrade bill was “not a jobs killer but a jobs grower.” Packaging and marketing, indeed.
As the recent scandal about fudged global-warming data has proved, it can be tricky trying to market baloney because facts have a way of bubbling to the surface. For example, Mr. Obama warned that “as you know the unit costs on a lot of these renewable energies, if you’re not factoring carbon in, you are not going to be able to catch up to coal. You just can’t. Coal is going to be substantially cheaper for the duration unless people take into account the externalities the industry produces.”
Translation of that wonkery is fairly simple. The price of coal needs to be jacked up so government-favored but wildly inefficient energy sources can compete. When the price of coal goes through the roof, the number of jobs related to coal will go through the floor. Every business in America will have to pay higher energy costs, making it harder for all employers — from the corner dry cleaners to automakers to international consultants — to hire new workers and retain current staff.
There’s no way Mr. Obama’s promised boom in green jobs can compensate for the unemployment that will result in traditional industries if his draconian energy policy becomes the law of the land. Contrary to some claims, Mr. Obama does have a jobs plan. The problem is it kills jobs rather than creates them.