$816 Billion of Misguided Stimulus Spending

By: Richard H. Frank 

America has finally been awakened and told the truth by Barack Obama regarding “Shovel Ready Projects” as having been nonexistent. Nonetheless the Administration continues to claim up to 3 million jobs saved or created due to their spending initiatives to date of approximately $400 billion. In essence the American taxpayer has subsidized each alleged job created or saved by $133,000 dollars. The truth is that since 2009 unemployment has increased 2.8 million in spite of his misdirected stimulus spending spree. Those supporters of the progressive liberal agenda to spend our way to prosperity will contend that hindsight is 20/20 and had it not been for the stimulus the condition would have been much worse.

The facts are that the Obama administration and the 111th Congress ignored the proven initiatives of the past that have truly stimulated our economy and created jobs in America. The evidence is overwhelming with regard to the initiatives that are necessary to assure survival of our Republic. Achieving energy independence, lowering the corporate tax rate and removing restrictive regulations for economic growth are the initiatives that will quickly accelerate growth of our economy, and the return to prosperity for millions of Americans. 

The Obama administration has embarked upon a quest for clean energy and stands in opposition to any and all expansion of fossil fuel being used to bring independence from foreign sources for energy. The shameful truth is that government has stood in the way of our move toward energy independence for over 40 years. It has been over 35 years since the last refinery was built in the United States. Additionally, billions of dollars have been mandated on the oil industry to upgrade old refineries in order to meet new regulations for sulfur content in gasoline and diesel fuels. The last nuclear reactor licensed in the U.S. was in 1973 and did not come on line until 1996. Fifteen years have passed without investing in one of the most efficient and clean energy producing systems. The war against fossil fuels is further evidenced by the government moratorium against offshore drilling in the Golf of Mexico.

A study published in 2009 examined the repatriation of the nuclear manufacturing industry in the United States. The study examined deployment of up to 41 new Generation III units ranging in capacity from 1200 to 1500 megawatts (MWe) capable of meeting an estimated demand of 50,000 MW of new generating capacity by 2020 assuming initiating construction in 2009. The estimated costs to construct these 41 facilities would be $205 billion which is less than half of the stimulus dollars already spent.

Additionally, it is estimated that in addition to producing the lowest cost per kWh to consumers, up to 610,000 new jobs would be added to the U.S. economy. The repatriation program would add up to 38,000 nuclear manufacturing jobs, 79,000 plant construction jobs and another 250,000 jobs in the non-nuclear industries throughout America.

Instead of pursuing this proven technology as was done in European countries, such as Obama’s model France, our President is content to push wind and solar technology at a cost of 3 to 4 times that of nuclear plant production. Each Nuclear plant is estimated to produce $430 million in sales (value) and contribute to local and federal tax revenues.

Perhaps the administration should review the history of electrical production in the United States and make decisions based of experience and opposed to the special interest propaganda of the day. An example of this data is contained in the following chart:

Power Producing Sources Arranged by Efficiency/Unit in Operation 2006

Power                          Operating        Billion kWh/                % of Annual     Ratio to one

Source                         Units                Unit in operation         Production       Nuclear Plant

Nuclear Power             104                  7.57                             19.4                 1 to 1

Petroleum Coke           31                   1.48                               1.1                 5 to 1


Coal Fired                    1460                1.366                           49.1                 5.5 to  1


Hydroelectric               4138                0.681                           7                     11.1 to 1

Fuel Oil                           13                 0.654                           0.2                   11.5 to 1

Combined                    1686                0.299                           12.4                 25.3 to 1

Cycle Natural Gas

Natural Gas                   766                0.2                               3.9                   37.8 to 1

Fuel Boiler

Biomass                        270                270                              1.3                   38.3 to 1

Incinerators                    96                 0.128                           0.3                   59.1 to 1

Wind Power                 341                 0.088                           0.7                   86.1 to 1

Solar Energy                  31                  0.067                           0.1                   112.9 to 1

Geothermal                 215                 0.063                           0.3                   120 to 1

Combustion                 2882                0.051                           3.6                   148.4 to 1



Oil Fired Boilers          327                 0.02                             7.8                   378.5 to 1

Diesel Generators       4514                0.003                           0.3                   2523 to 1        

Two years have been lost in our effort to achieve energy independence along with over $200 billion spent on saving or creating jobs that cannot be confirmed. There remains approximately $200 billion in stimulus funding yet to be assigned for designated usage. These funds should either be returned to the treasury in order to offset a portion of the deficit or designated to projects such as achieving energy independence (e.g., nuclear restoration programs.) 

Instead the Obama 2012 budget of $3.7 trillion contains over $1.6 trillion in deficit spending for such costly, inefficient and unproven technologies as solar and wind energy production. The 112th Congress needs to stand strong against this budget and focus on spending that will increase economic activity while positioning the United States toward achieving energy independence. 

Contact your congressional representatives and demand a return to fiscally responsible spending and forcing legislation that encourages economic growth and allows the free market to create jobs.

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