Saturday, February 16, 2008

Obama Would Like You to Work for $1000 A Year!

During his campaign this last year, Barack Obama said the following: "It's time to turn the page for all those Americans who want nothing more than to have a job that can pay the bills and raise a family. Let's finally make the minimum wage a living wage". Isn't that just so eloquent. Isn't it just so Obama!

So why, then, would he call for a new spending program that only allows a salary of "less" than $1000 a year for millions of new workers in America? Even the new Federally-mandated minimum wage assumes that a full-time, 40 hour-a-week worker would get an annual salary of $15,000; and, that's for an unskilled and entry-level position. Obama is talking about creating millions of technical and heavy construction jobs for "under" $1000 a year in wages.

On Wednesday, Barack Obama unveiled an economic stimulus plan that would inject $210 billion into our economy over 10 years (Click to see article). Under the first part of his new spending program, $150 billion over ten years or $15 billion a year would be spent to create "green-collar" jobs that would develop and install environmentally-friendly technologies such as solar and wind power. Obama claims that this program "could" create as many as "5 million new jobs" in America. The second part of Obama's plan is to spend $60 billion over ten years ($6 billion a year) on infrastructure projects to rebuild roads, bridges, etc. He claims that as many as "2 million jobs" could be created under this program. Combined, the two programs would spend $21 billion a year to create "7 million new jobs".

All that sounds so great! All those new jobs will be created to do things in America for Americans. And the money wouldn't be spent in Iraq doing things for Iraqis! What could be more apple pie and American? Well, I for one would prefer the "truth" rather than some really, really, fuzzy math behind this program. And, this well demonstrates how the National Press is willing to "hype" Obama's eloquence while giving him a "pass" and not challenging him on his facts.

To understand what is seriously wrong with the facts in this program, you need only focus on his "jobs creation" numbers. If you reference Wikipedia (Click to see article), you would know that a billion "anythings" is equal to "one thousand" million of those anythings.

So, let's assume we gave each one of those "new" 7 million, Obama-paid workers a salary of "only" a thousand dollars per year. Remembering that a billion dollars is one thousand million dollars, we can easily calculate that the total annual cost of salaries for all those new workers would amount to $7 billion a year. That would be a cost equal to one-third of Obama's total annual program cost of $21 billion. And, based on the normal labor component for any heavy construction project, these salary costs would be considered to be on the high side. Usually, the labor component is much lower. This means that Obama, even at a salary of $1000 a year, would be overpaying his workers. I might be wrong but I don't even think you could find an illegal alien to work for less than a $1000 a year! But, Obama, the "living wage" advocate, seems to think that he can get 7 million Americans to work for pennys on the dollar when it comes to "his" programs. Actually, the average heavy construction worker in America was paid $49,931 a year in 2006. Which, by the way, makes Obama's numbers even more ridiculous!

So, Obama's calculations have a serious error. This appears to be just another example of a program that, while stated with eloquence and a promise of hope, is lacking in both substance and reality. To me, publishing false hopes like this says a lot about the man who would be President. You've got to wonder... Is he intentionally "fudging" the numbers to win votes and your approval? Or, is he and his staff so weak in math that they actually think these numbers are correct? And, how many other programs are there like this one? Either way, you've got to question the man, his ability to put forth any programs to help this country, and the type of advisers that he hires! Is this the "change" that Obama is promising?

Barack Obama has a number of Bill Clinton's old staffers on his team. And, clearly, this is typical of the political, two-faced, smoke-and-mirrors programs that came out of the Clinton Administration. It is just so Clinton-esque! It brings to mind Bill Clinton's program to put 100,000 new policemen on the streets of this country. The National Press swooned and said it would be the first real Federal program to reduce crime in this country. Of course, Clinton only put one billion dollars in the budget for this program. If you did the math, you would realize that each new policeman would be hired at a salary of only $10,000 a year. Further, that funding would be a one-time event; leaving the communities to fend for themselves for the remainder of each new policeman's total career. The fact is, only 50,000 policeman or 1/2 of the goal of this program were actually hired. And, most of those new recruits would have been hired, anyway, as a part of normal growth and with or without Bill Clinton's program. Occasionally, a community, knowing that they had a retiree coming up, would hire a replacement cop "early" rather than wait until the time of retirement because they knew they could get an extra $10,000 in their coffers. Then, when the retiring cop left the force, he was never replaced. While legal under the program, it did nothing to add cops to the streets of America. In reality, this was just a "budgetary" welfare program for the police departments across America. It did nothing to actually put new cops on the streets to fight crime.

Obama claims that he wants "change" in the way government does business. He claims that he wants to get away from the "business as usual" ways of Washington. Of course, he just "neglected" to mention the fact that his concept of "change" was a return to the days of the "(Bill) Clinton as usual" ways of doing business in Washington! It has been obvious in all of his hollow speeches. That is...Give them what they want to hear...and...not...what he can actually deliver!

After reading the above, I would seriously recommend this commentary (Click to see article). While it doesn't actually address the questionable facts of Barack's stimulus plan, it does question whether or not he has "substantive policies that are different from the failed ideas that have cost Democrats presidential elections in the recent past?".

No comments: