By Sean Higgins
Fri., Jan. 08, '10 5:03 PM ET
The White House announced Friday the awarding of $2.3 billion in tax credits — the money comes from last year’s stimulus bill — to companies to create “green jobs.”
The announcement was rather obviously timed to counter the news that the nation lost 85,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate stayed at 10% — bad news for an administration that once promised to hold unemployment to 8% by the end of 2009.
So the administration sought to change the tune by talking about all those green jobs in the pipeline.
“Building a robust clean-energy sector is how we will create the jobs of the future — jobs that pay well and can’t be outsourced,” President Obama said Friday.
Yes, but getting these jobs is burning a hole in the national wallet. The problem is that even advocates like Obama concede that these programs are not very cost-effective in creating jobs.
Obama says the grants will create 17,000 cleantech jobs. Well, get out your calculator. $2.3 billion for 17,000 jobs equals $135,294 per job. (And that’s not including the eventual interest on this deficit spending). Those green jobs had better pay well over six figures to justify that expense.
Not to worry, the administration has a plan to solve this, too. It wants Congress to approve another $5 billion for “tens of thousands” more green jobs.