Monday, June 8, 2009

Obama short sighted on summer job program

According to the Washington Post, “President Barak Obama promised Monday to deliver more than 600,000 jobs through his $787B stimulus plan this summer.” The big picture question is how many of these jobs will be permanent versus temporary. Back in March of this year, President Obama attended the graduation of 25 police recruits in Columbus, Ohio. At that time the Administration herald the graduation as a success of the stimulus bill. The trouble is at year end, those 25 fresh graduates will be out of a job because the Columbus City Council budget will be $120M in the red and cuts will need to be made.

America needs sustained growth in the job force. As the $787 stimulus bill was being rammed through Congress, with not one person reading it, the President’s administration was claiming the unemployment rates would not rise higher “than 8 percent”. As of the last week, we are 9.4% with the expectation that we will top out around 11%. The Washington Post further reports that, “Obama has claimed as many as 150,000 jobs saved or created by his stimulus plan so far.” Never mind the fact the economy has lost 1.6M jobs in the meantime.

At least the percentage is better than the less than 1% trimming of his $1.2T budget touted two weeks ago by the President. The vast majority of the 600,000 new jobs are for temporary work. The tasks slotted to see the majority of the 600,000 jobs are improvements in the national parks, upgrades to Veterans Affairs medical centers, establishment of new rural waste and water systems, and the cleanup of Superfund sites. The one potential long lasting job creation will be the funding to the Justice department for an additional 5,000 law enforcement jobs.
Why are we not creating sustaining jobs that will contribute to our nation’s health and recovery? Instead of focusing the temporary projects, see above; let’s focus on something more permanent and benefitual. President Obama stated in his address in Cairo last week that he had no trouble with Iran power themselves with nuclear power. Over 80% of France’s energy comes from nuclear power. Why are we not moving forward with nuclear energy?

If we repeal the Carter law on re-using spent rods, we can recycle the rods and use them an additional time thus reducing the waste product by nearly 80%. Experts say that if this is done, it would take over 100 years to fill up the approved storage site in the Yucatan Mountains. Besides, if the unmanned military space craft, which was announce yesterday, is successful we can eventually launch our waste into space.

The experts say it takes 8-10 years to build a nuclear plant that is fully operational. That is sustaining growth in job creation. According to the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), a nuclear power plant generates “approximately $430 M in sales of goods and services in the local community and nearly $40M in total labor income.” Nuclear power plants employ between 400 to 700 permanent jobs while offering, according to NEI, “36 percent more than average salaries in the local area.” NEI estimates that during the construction phase a new nuclear power plant will create “1,400 to 1,800” jobs with a peak of 2,400.

So, why is nuclear energy not a top priority in the energy policy of President Obama? The numbers above are just for one nuclear site. Now if we start projects in every state we can increase the work force and establish roughly 35,000 permanent jobs and 900,000 jobs during the construction phase. Also, America would be creating a clean source of energy that will not increase our heating, cooling, and electric rates like the “cap and trade” energy policy of President Obama will do. Why stop at 1 new site per state? Nothing to stop us from expanding this policy to adding more and creating more jobs. California is looking at a huge budget deficit and already experiences rolling black outs, it would be two-fold for California. Let’s create jobs that have more bang for their buck.

Instead our President wants to start projects this summer that will create no revenue for the local communities and will only be a temporary job. I agree with the President that we need to secure our future on energy and become less dependent on coal. Then let’s get started. Lift the moratorium on nuclear power and repel Carters executive order on recycle spent rods so we can create sustaining jobs while creating an energy source that is “green”.