In September 2010, the White House released a list it called “The 100 Recovery Projects That Are Changing America.” It detailed “the most innovative and effective” stimulus-funded projects, touting them for creating jobs and “helping transform our economy for years to come.”
Biden was effusive.
“With Recovery Act projects like these, we’re starting to turn the page on a decade of failed economic policies and rebuild our economy on a new foundation that creates good, middle-class jobs for American families,” Biden promised.
Yet 18 months after Biden trumpeted the nation-changing projects, a Blaze investigation found the government’s “engineering” has tanked.
The results show why Obama falls short as venture capitalist-in-chief.
Federal grants to private projects exploded after Obama signed the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. So-called stimulus funds included tax credits, grants and loan guarantees to companies touting renewable energy ideas and promising green jobs. Billions of federal dollars were supplemented with millions more in state incentives.
Obama’s green stimulus was no accident.
Just a month after Obama’s 2008 election, economist Larry Summers, the president’s eventual National Economic Council chairman, suggested government spending could reward more than just green energy.
“The short-run economic imperative was to identify as many campaign promises or high priority items that would spend out quickly and be inherently temporary,” Summers said in an internal policy memo marked “Sensitive & Confidential.” “[T]he stimulus package is a key tool for advancing clean energy goals and fulfilling a number of campaign commitments.”
At best, the Obama administration’s use of taxpayers’ money represents an idealistic quest for the Holy Grail of alternative energy. At worst, it’s a political ploy that creates an artificial market where cronies and liberal-minded do-gooders can cash in at the taxpayers’ expense.