Great news: Green-jobs subsidies created 1 job for every $4.85 million spent

posted at 10:45 am on September 15, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Today’s Washington Post acknowledges what everyone already knows, and what Spain learned the hard way as well — green-jobs subsidies are sinkholes.  When Barack Obama loaded his 2009 Porkulus with nearly $40 billion in subsidies to the green-tech industry, he promised that it would produce an explosion of jobs in a new, green US economy, starting with 65,000 directly created from his largesse.  With half of the money gone, how many jobs has Obama’s investment created?

$38.6 billion loan guarantee program that the Obama administration promised would create or save 65,000 jobs has created just a few thousand jobs two years after it began, government records show.

The program — designed to jump-start the nation’s clean technology industry by giving energy companies access to low-cost, government-backed loans — has directly created 3,545 new, permanent jobs after giving out almost half the allocated amount, according to Energy Department tallies. …

Obama’s efforts to create green jobs are lagging behind expectations at a time of persistently high unemployment. Many economists say that because alternative-­energy projects are so expensive and slow to ramp up, they are not the most efficient way to stimulate the economy.

That may be the understatement of the year.  Even with Obama’s initial promise of 65,000 jobs created (or “saved,” which makes zero sense in this context), that would still come to $593,846 per job, which is hardly an efficient use of capital.  If a private-sector business had that kind of capital, it could easily create five jobs from that amount with $100,000 in compensation each, with enough left over for a substantial profit margin.

But the actual results in this case are much worse.  With $17.2 billion spent on these programs, the cost per actual job created comes to $4.853 million.  That kind of capital could launch entire new businesses, let alone multiple jobs.  Any company that ate through $4.853 million to create a job would shortly become a former company … kind of like Solyndra, where $535 million disappeared and took 1,000 jobs along with it.

Inefficiency isn’t the only problem with this model, either.  Taxpayers will have to pay off the bonds created to give away this cash, which means the cost won’t just be the $4.853 million, but also the interest we have to pay on each $4.853 million over the next ten years or so.  We also have to count the opportunity costs as well.  Had we not borrowed this money to feed Obama’s green-jobs-explosion delusions, taxpayers in the future would have that capital to invest, expand and create businesses, and create jobs that make far more efficient use of the capital than $4.853 million per worker.  We have not only failed in the present, we have set ourselves up for failure in the future as American capital has to get redirected into paying off the debt Obama hung on us for his green-jobs subsidy program.

That’s Obamanomics in a nutshell.  Which is, by the way, exactly where it belongs.

Update: The WaPo article didn’t have the exact amount of funding that had gone out the door, so I used their “almost half” and split the allocation down the middle.  Jim Hoft checked the DoE Loan Program website and found that the funding already spent amounted to $17.2 billion.  That puts the cost per job at $4.853 million.  I’ve changed the headline and the references in the post from $5.44 million.

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This post as been submitted to AttackWatch.

WashJeff on September 15, 2011 at 10:47 AM

Could have been worse.

We could have wasted $10 million per every one job created. Obama prevented that from happening.

I don’t care. Obama is awesome.

Good Lt on September 15, 2011 at 10:48 AM

I’m starting to think the Smartest President Ever may not be as smart as advertised.

Bishop on September 15, 2011 at 10:48 AM

237 years of extinct American businesses who threw money at the problem. This administration is just following in their footsteps.

Limerick on September 15, 2011 at 10:50 AM

government efficiency on display… remember, the adults are in charge

gatorboy on September 15, 2011 at 10:50 AM

Pass The Bill!

Pass The Bill!

Pass The Bill!

PASS THE BUCK…

Doesn’t pass the smell test!

singlemalt 18 on September 15, 2011 at 10:51 AM

Count It!

Del Dolemonte on September 15, 2011 at 10:51 AM

You know, I don’t think even the Soviet Union was as inefficient.

rbj on September 15, 2011 at 10:53 AM

I saw part of Special Ed’s show last night, from Toledo Ohio with a bunch of union workers telling “Queen for a Day” sob stories and with repeated showings of boarded up factories there. Telling them that Obama spent 5 million per “green job” would go in one ear and out the other, never meeting any resistance.

Marcus on September 15, 2011 at 10:53 AM

How do I get me one of them $5.44 million dollar jobs?

Laura in Maryland on September 15, 2011 at 10:54 AM

$40 billion is alot of cash to flush down the toilet. More than profitable evil corporations like Exxon and Apple profit in a year.

forest on September 15, 2011 at 10:54 AM

If “gubmint” merely cut a check in 2009 for each working, tax-paying citizen or legal resident head of household, for about $150,000, to spend as they wished on energy and other “earth-friendly” programs, or merely get groceries or upgrade their housing, we’d be a heck of a lot better off than we are now…after all the graft and corruption and Ponzi-schemes over “green” jobs the Administration and the Obamatrons have visited upon us.

coldwarrior on September 15, 2011 at 10:56 AM

O/T: U.S. Marine to be awarded the Medal of Honor today.

http://www2.tbo.com/news/nation-world/2011/sep/15/t2newso1-marine-lauded-for-saving-36-lives-ar-257819/

Tony737 on September 15, 2011 at 10:57 AM

Marcus on September 15, 2011 at 10:53 AM

One of the most unionized towns in America, Toledo, is reaping the harvest of what unions can do to any city in America if they are allowed to.

coldwarrior on September 15, 2011 at 10:57 AM

I’m starting to think the Smartest President Ever may not be as smart as advertised.

Bishop on September 15, 2011 at 10:48 AM

Wouldn’t His College transcripts would prove he’s not dumb?

Chip on September 15, 2011 at 10:57 AM

$40 billion is alot of cash to flush down the toilet. More than profitable evil corporations like Exxon and Apple profit in a year.

forest on September 15, 2011 at 10:54 AM

But it’s a high-efficiency low-flow toilet. That makes it different, that and what’s left floating in the bowl.

Drained Brain on September 15, 2011 at 10:58 AM

Hey Dems. I’m going to type this slowly so you can understand:

I’m not a friggin’ pinata. You can’t keep beating on me and expect goodies to just fly out of my backside.

Laura in Maryland on September 15, 2011 at 10:58 AM

How do I get me one of them $5.44 million dollar jobs?

Laura in Maryland on September 15, 2011 at 10:54 AM

Sign me up! Who are these lucky suckers?

betsyz on September 15, 2011 at 10:59 AM


Even with Obama’s initial promise of 65,000 jobs created (or “saved,” which makes zero sense in this context), that would still come to $593,846 per job, which is hardly an efficient use of capital.

Lefty response: “But it’s the thought that counts.”

Tony737 on September 15, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Green jobs are racist.

John the Libertarian on September 15, 2011 at 11:03 AM

From ACE:

http://minx.cc/?post=321385

Obama on the Ropes? Two GOP Polls Say He’s At His Lowest Point (So Far…)

But it is notable that “Blame Bush” is becoming “Blame Obama.”

The brilliant Rara Avis with the All-Ivy education seems to have never heard the first lesson of politics: Vox Populi, Vox Dei. For three miserable, arrogant years he has governed directly against the wishes of the public, gambling that he knew everything, and we knew nothing, and so, at the end of his three year Rogue Regime, the fruits of his wisdom would fatten on the tree, and we would see how wrong we were, and drink the nectar of his successes.

But that’s not what happened. He repeatedly ignored the wishes of the public and the loyal opposition in the GOP.

Therefore, he owns this situation. Him and the Democrats, entirely. They did not share decision-making, so they cannot now demand we all share in the blame.

He Boned it, He Owns it.

Chip on September 15, 2011 at 11:03 AM

One of the most unionized towns in America, Toledo, is reaping the harvest of what unions can do to any city in America if they are allowed to.

coldwarrior on September 15, 2011 at 10:57 AM

“No laws were broken!”
/crr6

Khun Joe on September 15, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Sign me up! Who are these lucky suckers?

betsyz on September 15, 2011 at 10:59 AM

Omama bundlers and cronies.

Laura in Maryland on September 15, 2011 at 11:05 AM

With $19.3 billion spent on these programs, the cost per actual job created comes to $5.44 million.

Is it that these boondoggles are merely a laundering mechanism through which federal dollars are funneled in order to get them into waiting hands at the back door? Where on earth does this money go? It doesn’t evaporate. If you have $19 billion, that has to go somewhere, into some account(s)….where are those people, that money, and those accounts?

ted c on September 15, 2011 at 11:06 AM

I’m starting to think the Smartest President Ever may not be as smart as advertised.

Bishop on September 15, 2011 at 10:48 AM
Wouldn’t His College transcripts would prove he’s not dumb?

Chip on September 15, 2011 at 10:57 AM

The second anyone in the LSM asks Perry about his college grades, he should immediately respond, “I’ll answer that question as soon as you produce President Obama’s transcripts so we can do a comparison. Until then, go out and do the job YOU should have done in 2008.”

And just let them chew on THAT!

Khun Joe on September 15, 2011 at 11:06 AM

Tony737 on September 15, 2011 at 10:57 AM

Dakota Meyer was ambling through the cafeteria of his Kentucky high school in 2006 when he came upon a recruiter for the Marines. Curious, the beefy senior struck up a conversation, but told the military man he was hoping to play college football after graduation. “Yeah that’s what I would do, because there’s no way you could be a Marine,” the recruiter told him.

Meyer walked away, the taunting words ringing in his ears. He returned five minutes later, ready to enlist.

Made me chuckle. God puts us where he needs us.

Thanks for posting that Tony.

hawkdriver on September 15, 2011 at 11:07 AM

It was incredibly painful to watch the DOE officials in front of the Congressional investigation into Solyndra.
It seems nobody knows who made the decision to give the $537 million loan guarantee, either they didn’t work there at the time, or they were just too stupid to know (or they were lying under oath).
What was obvious was that nobody is actually in control of our government. It’s running on auto-pilot. This may explain why Obama continues to blame Bush.

J_Crater on September 15, 2011 at 11:09 AM

If I start experimenting with Solar Cells in my garage, will the government automatically send me a grant, or do I have to sent the money to the re-elect Obama campaign first?

I don’t want it to look like a kick-back.

hawkdriver on September 15, 2011 at 11:09 AM

So it cost us $5.44 million to create each green job, and it cost us $535 million to destroy 1,000 jobs, or “only” $0.535 million per job.

Obama: Since it’s cheaper to destroy jobs than create them, let’s destroy more of them!

Steve Z on September 15, 2011 at 11:10 AM

O/T: U.S. Marine to be awarded the Medal of Honor today.

http://www2.tbo.com/news/nation-world/2011/sep/15/t2newso1-marine-lauded-for-saving-36-lives-ar-257819/

Tony737 on September 15, 2011 at 10:57 AM

Our bravest and best.

……….now when will we see this medal awarded to the American Soldiers that fought in Iraq.

The battle of Fallujah would be a great place to start.

Baxter Greene on September 15, 2011 at 11:11 AM

Hey… come on… what’s so crazy about investing $500,000 in a company that spends $6 a unit to create a product that sells for $3 a unit. You gotta take some risks you know.

iceman1960 on September 15, 2011 at 11:11 AM

Green jobs are racist.

John the Libertarian on September 15, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Kermit the Frog begs to disagree. But Solyndra is more like the Cookie Monster.

Steve Z on September 15, 2011 at 11:12 AM

Green-jobs subsidies created 1 job for every $5.44 million spent

Unexpectedly??????

marks on September 15, 2011 at 11:13 AM

It’s Bush’s fault because he rejected loans to these financial black holes///

Baxter Greene on September 15, 2011 at 11:15 AM

Great news: Green-jobs subsidies created 1 job for every $5.44 million spent

Great News: Obama campaign on pace to reach his billion dollars in funding—liberal media scratching their collective heads on how this could happen in such a poverty-stricken nation. Attack-Watch forced to shut down service with flooded e-mails about bundlers.

Rovin on September 15, 2011 at 11:15 AM

Green Tech Automotive is opening a plant in NW Mississippi. Its CEO is Terry McAuliffe. What could go wrong?///

kingsjester on September 15, 2011 at 11:17 AM

We know that no one was hired at that wage, or being paid that salary, and it doesn’t cost anywhere near that, to create a job. So where is this money???

Something tells me, that Obama wasn’t lying when he said he’d raise a billion for his campaign, and I think I know how he’s going to accomplish that. Or…have a very nice retirement.

capejasmine on September 15, 2011 at 11:18 AM

Rovin on September 15, 2011 at 11:15 AM

Great minds.

capejasmine on September 15, 2011 at 11:18 AM

Hey Everybody…

… I have a great idea!

Let’s elect Barack Hussein Obowma as President of the United States…

… Who’s with me?

Seven Percent Solution on September 15, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Kermit the Frog begs to disagree. But Solyndra is more like the Cookie Monster.

Steve Z on September 15, 2011 at 11:12 AM

New Obama photo-op: Solyndra—”Mission Accomplished”

Rovin on September 15, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Today is Thursday. I look forward to being a good and green citizen. I flush my toilet today. Save water and monie$

Now I see Obama is flushing money down the toilet by the fistfulls.

seven on September 15, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Good News if you are married to Pat Robertson

http://themorningspew.com/2011/09/15/being-married-to-pat-robertson-makes-divorce-ok/

bloggless on September 15, 2011 at 11:26 AM

New Obama photo-op: Solyndra—”Mission Accomplished”
Rovin on September 15, 2011 at 11:19 AM

http://img840.imageshack.us/img840/2962/14407023.jpg

William Amos on September 15, 2011 at 11:27 AM

capejasmine on September 15, 2011 at 11:18 AM

Here’s the thing…..every government sponsored green energy dollar passed out by this administration should be prefaced with a law that says no campaign donations can be made to any party until the loan is PAID IN FULL back to the taxpayers.

Rovin on September 15, 2011 at 11:29 AM

Sign me up! Who are these lucky suckers?

betsyz on September 15, 2011 at 10:59 AM

Unfortunately, you and I, the taxpayer are the only real suckers in this disaster. Or I should say, all those sheeple who voted for Obama are the suckers. Most of us here at Hot Air knew better but we’re being dragged along through the barbed wire fence too let alone the mud.

Yakko77 on September 15, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Wouldn’t His College transcripts would prove he’s not dumb?

Chip on September 15, 2011 at 10:57 AM

The second anyone in the LSM asks Perry about his college grades, he should immediately respond, “I’ll answer that question as soon as you produce President Obama’s transcripts so we can do a comparison. Until then, go out and do the job YOU should have done in 2008.”

And just let them chew on THAT!

Khun Joe on September 15, 2011 at 11:06 AM

Problem is they still are living in the year 2008 – hence they can blame each and every problem on Boosh.

To paraphrase a little bit of Faulkner – it’s like every journalist can stay back in that January day when Obama was immaculated and pretend the promise of an Obama worker’s paradise was still on the horizon.

Before the massive srcrew-up that is the Downgrade Administration, before the waste of trillions of dollars on the non-stimulus, before the bowing before all sorts so foreign leaders, before the presidential gaffes.

Hopefully the disaster that is Obama will force them to break the revelry of their dream of America under the yoke of National Socialism and wake up to it’s complete refutation.

Chip on September 15, 2011 at 11:35 AM

If Mr. Morrissy keeps his promise, I’m going to miss the OOTD’s

NOT!!!!

Rovin on September 15, 2011 at 11:41 AM

Why do people keep calling this “crony capitalism?” It’s already got a name: Corporatism.

Blacklake on September 15, 2011 at 11:43 AM

I could get by on $5.44m.

Ward Cleaver on September 15, 2011 at 11:49 AM

Incompetence, corruption and ruin. Attack watch? It’s pretty obvious who is being attacked.

Kenosha Kid on September 15, 2011 at 11:51 AM

Solyndra – 500M$/1000 jobs = 500K$/job

Only 1/10th the money needed to create a job!
No wonder they failed. Losers.
/

tomg51 on September 15, 2011 at 12:05 PM

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/09/15/truth-about-clean-energy-jobs

The Washington Post’s assertions today about the Department of Energy’s loan programs today are both incomplete and inaccurate.

Here are the facts:

William Amos on September 15, 2011 at 12:15 PM

Ed:

Please don’t ever write anything like this again:

“If a private-sector business had that kind of capital, it could easily create five jobs from that amount with $100,000 in compensation each, with enough left over for a substantial profit margin.”

First of all, there is no profit or gain on loaned funds unless the company defaults on that loan. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that you really meant that they would have money left over to buy inventory and then sell it at a profit or they would lend the funds make a profit on interest.

Secondly, when will we quit seeing the $$$=jobs meme? It doesn’t work that way in the real business world, only in government. I quivered when Lou Dobbs commented to his millionaire guest one night that the millionaires should step up to the plate and hire more people. It was a sure sign that either Lou doesn’t get it or he had some inside joke with the guest.

My point here is that we need to quit comparing government waste of job money with a private sector equivalent. There is none. An employer will hire more employees when it makes sense financially to do so in the long run. In China, you throw labor at a production problem because labor is cheap. In the USA, you try to implement technology solutions because there are so many expensive strings (and liabilities) attached to every single employee you hire. In the US, you better really, really need to hire someone before you do so (especially a union hire).

The solution to our economic situation is simple and it has nothing to do with making capital available to business. It has to do with stability, minimal regulations, a fair playing field. A government in a capitalist society should be like a good officiating crew calling a football game. When the game is over, you don’t remember seeing any of them during the game and they didn’t factor into any of the important plays of the game. They were just there to make sure the game didn’t get out of hand.

diogee on September 15, 2011 at 12:20 PM

A government in a capitalist society should be like a good officiating crew calling a football game.diogee on September 15, 2011 at 12:20 PM

The major problem is, (right now), that the Federal Government IS injecting itself into the game via tax-payer dollars, and the “referees”—the Obama administration—can’t/won’t get out of the game of free market capitalism. They are not only changing the rules by the seat of their pants, they’re literally changing how the game is played. There’s no doubt, (in most people’s minds), that Obama is purposely out to destroy the free market business model and replace it with his re-distribution of wealth policies fully designed to perpetuate generational dependency on a national government scale.

Samuel J. Wurzelbacher (Joe the Plumber) knew this when he asked Obama the simple question: “I’m getting ready to buy a company that makes 250 to 280 thousand dollars a year. Your new tax plan’s going to tax me more, isn’t it?”, and received this answer:

“I think that when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody,” Mr. Obama had said.

The liberal media went to great lengths to crucify Mr. Wurzelbacher while completely ignoring Obama‘s political and fiscal philosophy. And now, (three years later), Joe looks more like Nostradamus.

Rovin on September 15, 2011 at 1:21 PM

What I would like to know is if when they calculated the cost per job did they first subtract out the Solyndra employees who just lost their jobs

Stephen Macklin on September 15, 2011 at 1:24 PM

Of all the shameful policies and actions BO has pulled, this one is the worse. By having a narrow view regarding his agenda and soliciting other opinions, he has shamefully broken the trust between government and the American people.

He has got to go. The middle of the road, luke-warm independents and dems are beginning to understand this…

jbh45 on September 15, 2011 at 2:12 PM

The ‘green’ economy is not about jobs. It’s about laundering public funds through private sector donors, cronies, and bundlers to finance Dem candidates.

As Boss Emeritus points out, Solyndra and LightSquared are just the tip of a big green iceberg.

petefrt on September 15, 2011 at 2:47 PM

What I would like to know is if when they calculated the cost per job did they first subtract out the Solyndra employees who just lost their jobs

Stephen Macklin on September 15, 2011 at 1:24 PM

Imagine hitting the streets in this environment with a Solyndra resume.

slickwillie2001 on September 15, 2011 at 4:44 PM

Just write a check next time. Send it out and make a few people millionaires. The money would be better spent.

JellyToast on September 15, 2011 at 4:46 PM

Will work for $2 mil /year

name the job as long as it is moral I’ll do it.

clement on September 15, 2011 at 5:25 PM

Lets do the math on Obama’s “Jobs Bill”. $477 Billion/1.9 million McJobs = $251,052 and that is if the program worked perfectly. That is Obama’s best effort at a BigLie and it’s insultingly condescending. I’m also sure that the actual results will be worse then the “Green Jobs” fraud.

DANEgerus on September 16, 2011 at 7:32 PM