David Harsanyi

One glorious day, all of us will awaken in our mixed-use neighborhoods, rustle up nutritious garden-grown breakfasts and pedal our bikes to "green-collar" jobs using paths generously provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

As of this moment, however, the "green energy economy" is incapable of spurring the taillights on a motor scooter (much less an economic recovery) without a backup gas-powered generator and government subsidy.

Why, then -- just as we learned that 85,000 Americans "unexpectedly," as news stories put it, had lost their jobs last month -- did the Obama administration pin recovery hopes on a colossally misguided social engineering project?

We're not talking about last year's colossally misguided stimulus plan, which "created" and/or "saved" an incalculable number of nonexistent jobs in various imaginary ZIP codes -- though we do continue to learn more about that slapdash experiment.

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At the time of the stimulus debate, President Barack Obama asserted that the "urgent need to accelerate job growth" would be tied to spending on (ethically approved) transportation projects. Yet The Associated Press reported this week that unemployment rates rose and fell regardless of how much money Washington doled out; the report was reviewed by independent economists at five universities.

No, this time the administration will renew its focus on stimulus through a new "green jobs" boondoggle. President Obama announced this week that Washington will offer $2.3 billion in tax credits for "clean energy" jobs. Using his very own pie-in-the-sky calculations, it puts the cost of every job at a tax-financed $135,000.

The uncalculated part of the above equation is this: Bogus jobs kill real jobs. At Madrid's King Juan Carlos University, for instance, a study found that in Spain -- the very country Obama has held out as the exemplar of greening (and with only a 19-plus percent unemployment rate!) -- every green job created had destroyed 2.2 jobs in other sectors of the economy.

The administration plans on spreading an additional $100 million of wealth on green job training and another $500 million on energy efficiency and renewable energy companies -- on top of the billions already subsidizing these sectors on the state and federal levels. It is a deeply unserious way to pretend to assist American recovery.


David Harsanyi

David Harsanyi is a senior editor at The Federalist and the author of "The People Have Spoken (and They Are Wrong): The Case Against Democracy." Follow him on Twitter @davidharsanyi.