In his State of the Union address, President Obama will call for even more spending on his cronies – what he euphemistically refers to as “targeted investments” in things like “green jobs.” Such spending benefits companies that donate millions to liberal politicians, like GE, which recently spent $65.7 million on lobbying to extract special favors from the government.
As the Washington Post notes, GE received massive taxpayer bailouts on special, preferential terms not available to other companies or banks:
“General Electric, the world's largest industrial company, has quietly become the biggest beneficiary of one of the government's key rescue programs for banks. At the same time, GE has avoided many of the restrictions facing other financial giants getting help from the government. The company did not initially qualify for the program. . .But regulators soon loosened the eligibility requirements, in part because of behind-the-scenes appeals from GE.”
GE’s CEO, Jeffrey Immelt, is the “Chairman of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.”
“The new spending” Obama will call for will likely “include initiatives aimed at building the renewable-energy sector—which received billions of dollars in stimulus funding.”
This is a bad sign for the American worker, because such green jobs programs have wiped out thousands of American jobs in the past. The $800 billion stimulus package used “green-jobs” subsidies to send American jobs overseas. 79 percent of those subsidies went to foreign firms, such as an Australian firm that imported Japanese wind turbines, effectively outsourcing American jobs. It also wiped out jobs in America’s export sector. Moreover, some “green jobs” funding actually damages the environment, like ethanol subsidies: ethanol mandates actually harm the environment, yet the Obama Administration apparently considers them to be a "green jobs" program.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the President will also call for “new government spending” on education. This is also a dubious idea, given that America already spends much more per capita on education than most other wealthy industrialized countries, with worse results. As spending has exploded, college students are spending much less time studying and reading than they used to.
Dumping more money on the educational system is unlikely to spur economic growth, since so many college students learn little in college, are not interested in learning, and only go to college in order to get paper credentials rather than an education.
Those paper credentials are increasingly useless to many who obtain them. Most people who went to college because of rising college-attendance rates in recent years wound up in unskilled jobs (including 5,057 janitors who have Ph.D’s or other advanced degrees), while tuition skyrockets. (100 colleges charge at least $50,000 a year, compared to five in 2008-09.) Bush increased federal education spending 58 percent faster than inflation, while Obama seeks to double it.
Colleges are so awash in money that many elite colleges are using it to rapidly expand educational bureaucracies. For example, Wake Forest University increased spending on administrators by 600 percent.
Unlike other countries, which focus on educating engineers and other economically-productive occupations, America focuses on superficial, ideologically-fashionable liberal-arts majors.