March 9th, 2010
By Rich Lowry, Real Clear Politics
Obama’s Infomercial for weather stripping created no new jobs
A year ago, President Barack Obama peered into our economic future and saw foam sealant and weatherstripping.
In the midst of a punishing recession, Obama would wield that incomparable jobs-creating tool, the caulk gun. What the Works Progress Administration was to Franklin Roosevelt, the government-funded weatherization of homes would be to Obama.
“If you allocate money to weatherize homes,” Obama effused to an audience in Elkhart, Ind., “the homeowner gets the benefit of lower energy bills. You right away put people back to work, many of whom in the construction industry and in the housing industry are out of work right now.” And it’s a step to “a new energy future.”
Obama was hawking another one of his cost-free, best-of-all-worlds scenarios, one that has been exposed in all its self-deluding inanity in the space of a year. As a writer parodying such magical thinking long ago observed, “Sun-beams may be extracted from cucumbers, but the process is tedious.” A sun-beam extraction program might have been just as effective, and nearly as timely.
Obama poured $5 billion into weatherization as part of last year’s stimulus and wanted to spend billions more in a second stimulus. The Department of Energy managed to get the money to the states, where it has swelled the coffers for weatherization and done little else.