From Jim Pethokoukis this morning:
One of my favorite moments from the new book The Escape Artists: How Obama’s Team Fumbled the Recovery:
Energy was a particular obsession of the president-elect’s, and therefore a particular source of frustration. Week after week, [White House economic adviser Christina] Romer would march in with an estimate of the jobs all the investments in clean energy would produce; week after week, Obama would send her back to check the numbers. “I don’t get it,” he’d say. “We make these large-scale investments in infrastructure. What do you mean, there are no jobs?” But the numbers rarely budged.
Hubris, much? Obama is going to get his green jobs, no matter how much reality stands between him and his goal. And why not — it isn’t his money.
And it reminds me of a scene from… now I can’t remember which book on the banking crisis… but I think it was Ron Suskind’s Confidence Men. Anyway, Campaign Summer or Fall of 2008, Obama and his team are putting together their economic plan. It’s pretty much a bull session, but one with enormous consequences, and Obama gets it in his head to simply restructure the health industry to create the nice clean jobs he thinks men will need after the recession is over.
Hey, boom, no problemo, fellas — I got yer back. Medical jobs!
And green jobs! All we have to do is pass some great big laws fundamentally restructuring the country, and spend a bunch of money, and it’ll all work out.
Anyway, here we are five trillion dollars later — and that’s just the new debt, mind you, not all of DC’s spending — and where are the jobs?
Where are they?
They’re still locked up in the President’s giant ego.