Insulated from reality.

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Click here to listen to the broadcast of You Tell Me on KTBB AM & FM, Friday, August 12, 2011.

Prior to leaving for ten days vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, the president announced that he will give a major policy address regarding jobs and the economy on Monday, September 5. This time it won’t be an Obama speech as usual, the president promises. This time it will be “very specific.” It won’t just “recycle old plans” (it being difficult indeed to recycle that which has never existed).

Already, Democrats are saying that some sort of stimulus will be necessary in order to “get the economy moving” and give employers confidence to begin hiring again. They won’t call it stimulus, of course. Stimulus is now a dirty word. But if a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, the Democrats will find a word less malodorous than stimulus.

So when the president makes his major policy address, and proposes yet more of the Keynesian programs that will cost billions of dollars today, and promises to “pay” for those plans with the unspecified expenditure reductions of tomorrow, let’s all make it a point to remember the following story.

Last year, on the eve of Earth Day, the mayor of Seattle and Vice President Joe Biden stood side by side at the White House to announce a home weatherization program for the city. The program was funded by a $20 million federal grant.

In a green-jobs-save-the-Earth-lift-up-the-downtrodden policy triumph, the program was to create work for Seattle’s unemployed while shrinking the city’s carbon footprint.

The mayor and the vice president were nearly beside themselves with self-satisfied excitement. The program called for the creation of 2,000 so-called “pathway” jobs for the benefit of the city’s unemployed and the retrofitting of upwards of 2,000 homes, mostly in poor neighborhoods, with attic and crawlspace insulation.

It all just glowed with eco-liberal promise. The chronically jobless would be given a much-needed leg up to “living wage” employment. Utility bills would come down. The Earth-killing greenhouse gas emissions from those heretofore leaky homes would be reduced. A “triple win” as Vice President Biden characterized it.

So, a year and three months later, how’s this eco-friendly $20 million government-funded jobs bonanza working out?

For the answer to that, we have the reporting of Seattle’s KOMO-TV. According to them, the program has so far retrofitted three entire homes and has hired all of fourteen workers, few of whom are employed in those once dreamed of entry-level “pathway” jobs. As of last week, only 337 homeowners had even bothered to apply for the program.

In other words, it’s exactly what we have come to expect from high-sounding, much-ballyhooed, taxpayer-funded liberal boondoggle programs. The intentions are noble. The results are embarrassing. It happens every time.

Yet liberals never learn. They live in an insulated parallel universe in which good intentions are never sullied by actual results. Thus insulated they are, in this example, not confronted by two painfully obvious truths that the rest of us can’t help but see.

First, to the extent that there is a need and a desire to retrofit homes in Seattle for better energy efficiency, an entrepreneur either has or will figure it out on his own and go buy the materials and hire the workers himself using his own money. No White House photo-op necessary.

Second, if your program requires people living in low-income households to do something in the name of thrift, weatherize a house for example, forget it. It’s the people who pay all of their own bills that weatherize. People who live largely on government assistance have no need, no desire and no perceived responsibility. Why be bothered if someone else is buying your food and giving you walking around money? Hassle with insulating the house? No way.  If the heating or cooling bill gets too high, you simply demand that government give you more money.

Which underscores the fact that no matter how much the government does to help the poor, as we now define the poor in America, it will never be enough.

And we wonder why the country’s broke.

Keep all of this in mind on September 5 as you listen to the president’s speech.

Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of Gleiser Communications, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The Team FM & KYZS in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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3 Responses

  1. katt says:

    i have to agree – you cannot re-cycle that which never existed just as in LAW you cannot “modify” an order that never existed but like most of the others in DC and politicians in general, they may listen but they do not hear what is being said/asked and yes it is time to re-vamp ALL entitlement programs (food stamps, ssi, ssd, rent/utility assistance, everything the government provides that is not and has not been contributed to by the person getting it (we who are over 65 and get SOCIAL SECURITY/MEDICARE actually WORKED and paid our TAXES for this benefit – usually 40 quarters to qualify ) the amount needs to be increased for all of us as we have had no raises in over 2 years but when we did get a raise it did not even cover the medicare premium increase while congress sets its own salary, perks, benefits, and gets automatic pay raises each january – courtesy of themselves – ALL of that needs to be eliminated and set by the people, and ALL incumbents need to be voted out in 2012 – no matter how good your congress person is, until there are all new people in congress to do the will of the people, there will be no change (and your congress person can run next time if that person is as good as you think)

    Thank you for the opportunity to express the opinions of several of us who want to make a difference but know we are too few in number to really matter, so YOU keep up the good work and keep us informed –
    have a blessed day
    katt and friends

  2. Linda E. Montrose says:

    Katt, you mentioned something that people need to be made aware of with the social security and medicare payments that, as you mentioned, all of us have had to pay in for in order to get. Since obama has allowed illegals to stay, there will be more on the ss and medicare rolls who have not contributed one thin dime in order to get. We wonder why ss and medicare is not going to be there for us who have not quite made the age requirement…OURS is being paid to illegals in order to secure votes!

    This so called plan obama will present September 5th, will be just another of his hair brained schemes to bilk us taxpayers out of our hard earned money in order to secure democrat votes.
    Tell me ONE of the many so called job creating ideas he has hatched that have actually done one iota of good? There hasn’t been, duped again and again into putting money into worthless programs that turn out to be “voter stimulus” plans for the democrats. This has to STOP…NOW! Until we can turn this disaster in America around, we need to elect new blood to restart the heartbeat of America in EVERY ELECTION. WE need to show our elected officials that we mean business and not just business as usual. It needs to start right now, today! THIS is our reality like it or not!

  3. JamesRiverson says:

    Linda, Bush allowed illegals to stay as well. We need to support real conservatives and criticize RINOs and other fakes.

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