CBS News ran a story on the job-creating effects of the Obama Administration’s $9 billion worth of stimulus money, 2009-11.
First, there were the new jobs created directly. There were 910 of these. These are jobs related to operations and maintenance. They are long-term jobs.
This assumes, however, that the companies do not go bankrupt, as Solyndra did. CBS News did not mention this possibility.
But wait. There’s more. The $9 billion also led to secondary jobs. These are indirect jobs, meaning support jobs. The new outfits do spend money. CBS News estimates 4,600 of these. That’s $1.9 million per job.
Combining these two numbers, we got 5,510 new jobs for $9 billion. That’s $1.63 million per job.
CBS News did not come up with these numbers. The U.S. government did. They appear in a report by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. It is part of the U.S. Department of Energy.
The money was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The money was part of Section 1603, a grant program run through the Treasury Department.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (EREL) tracked the grant program from its inception in 2009 through Nov. 10, 2011. Its report is entitled, Preliminary Analysis of the Jobs and Economic Impacts of Renewable Energy Projects Supported by the 1603 Treasury Grant Program.
The money went for 23,700 photovoltaic and wind power programs.
The report relied on computer models. Let’s hope these were more accurate than the global warming models.
There were as many as 66,000 temporary jobs created, or maybe as few as 43,000.
For the operation and maintenance (O&M) of the photovoltaic and large wind systems, however, the report states there are “between 5,100 and 5,500 direct and indirect jobs per year on an ongoing basis over the 20- to 30-year estimated life of the systems.”
This is the good news.
The bad news is that the government had to borrow the $9 billion. This will have to be funded by taxpayers. The interest payments will continue. The taxes collected to repay these loans will reduce jobs in the private sector.
The bad news is that the money borrowed did not go to create jobs in the strictly private sector.
Isn’t Keynesianism grand?