Extreme Job Reclassification: How the Obama Admin Boosted Its Green Job Count
This illuminating exchange between Chairman Darrell Issa and John Galvin from President Obama’s Department of Labor Statistics took place in a committee hearing a couple of weeks ago but I didn’t become aware of it until John Gibson played the tape this week. (Youtube video of Chairman Issa’s exchange with the reluctant Mr. Galvin here.) Honest to pete, as Chairman Issa read down the list of jobs that the Obama administration has tagged as “green”, it sounded like an SNL skit:
– everyone who works at Salvation Army (and, presumably, Savers and all thrift stores);
– staff of a consignment shop;
– full time employees at used record shops;
– someone who sweeps the floor at a company that makes solar panels;
– a bike-repair shop clerk;
– a hybrid-bus driver;
– all school bus drivers;
– “the guy who puts gas in a school bus”;
– employees of train car manufacturers;
– employees of a trash disposal yard;
– college professors teaching classes about environmental studies;
– someone who works at an antique dealership;
– someone who sells rare manuscripts;
– an oil lobbyist, if his work is related to environmental issues.
Additionally, this excellent analysis by the Heritage Foundation’s David W. Kreutzer points out, inter alia, that over 80% of the “green” jobs that the Obama administration counts in electric power generation are in nuclear. Zero carbon emissions, yes; but is nuclear power green???
To reiterate, these are not jobs necessarily created during the Obama administration by the billions President Obama has spent on green jobs; in fact, it looks like most on the above list were not. They are jobs that the administration has simply placed in the “green” category.
Why would they finagle government labor stats that way? Two reasons come easily to mind. Firstly, Chairman Issa hypothesizes that
the administration is reclassifying such jobs to prove that billions of taxpayer dollars, through the federal stimulus program, have created green, or environmentally-focused jobs – a major initiative for President Obama.
I would add that it undoubtedly doesn’t hurt the campaign’s fund-raising efforts with eco groups. “Look at all of the green jobs I created! So make your checks out to …”