January 6, 2009
Brian Kennedy (202) 346-8826
Chris Tucker (202) 346-8825

Job Mirage: Obama “Green Jobs” Plan Requires Expanding Government Payroll with 600K Bureaucrats

Washington, DC
– Institute for Energy Research president Thomas J. Pyle released the following statement today in response to the president-elect’s announcement this past weekend that his plan to generate three million so-called “green jobs” includes expanding the government’s payroll to accommodate 600,000 new wage earners:

“The road back to economic recovery and long-term prosperity will be built by an active, job-creating private-sector, paved by reliable, affordable energy, and financed by the revenues and royalties generated as a result of it. Expanding the government’s payroll in times of unemployment is no different than printing out more money in times of recession – both may change the short-term perception of the economy, but neither will improve the actual performance of it.

“You can create all the new government jobs you want, but if those jobs can’t survive the night without the constant nourishment of subsidies, mandates and distorted tax treatment, you haven’t created any new wealth – only re-distributed it. A national policy that requires consumers to pay more for their energy will only price American goods above foreign ones, and contribute to economic decline.

“Activity is not the same thing as achievement, and to the extent we continue confusing the two, the more protracted and severe our current economic downturn will be.”

NOTE: On Saturday, President-elect Obama offered a revised assessment of how many new “green jobs” could be created by his administration, upping the number to three million – “more than eighty percent of them in the private sector.” The burden of supporting the remaining 20 percent would presumably fall to the public sector, which means that 600,000 new government jobs would need to be created to meet the president-elect’s goal.

Additional IER analysis on the folly of Obama’s “green jobs” plan:

The Institute for Energy Research (IER) is a not-for-profit public foundation that conducts intensive research and analysis on the functions, operations, and government regulation of global energy markets.  Founded in 1989, IER is funded entirely by tax deductible contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations. No financial support is sought or accepted from government (taxpayers).


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