Weatherization FAIL – we need more

That the comrade leader’s $5B Weatherization Assistance Program “stimulus” is a FAIL is unquestionable (more here and here). How big of a FAIL is now coming to light. (story here from the AP)

After a year of crippling delays, President Barack Obama’s $5 billion program to install weather-tight windows and doors has retrofitted a fraction of homes and created far fewer construction jobs than expected.In Indiana, state-trained workers flubbed insulation jobs. In Alaska, Wyoming and the District of Columbia, the program has yet to produce a single job or retrofit one home. And in California, a state with nearly 37 million residents, the program at last count had created 84 jobs.

The program was a hallmark of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a way to shore up the economy while encouraging people to conserve energy at home. But government rules about how to run what was deemed to be a ”shovel-ready” project, including how much to pay contractors and how to protect historic homes during renovations, have thwarted chances at early success, according to an Associated Press review of the program.

This is what happens when you gather a bunch of “thinkers” together to throw money at a problem – hoping for change. They pick a budget number out of thin air, promise outlandish results, then allow the massive bureaucratic machine to grind everything into useless sludge. They wasted a whole year just trying to figure out what the “prevailing wage” should be in the various regions of the country. Poor planning, poor implementation, poor execution = FAIL.

But after a year, the stimulus program has retrofitted 30,250 homes — about 5 percent of the overall goal — and fallen well short of the 87,000 jobs that the department planned, according to the latest available figures.

As the Obama administration promotes a second home energy-savings program — a $6 billion rebate plan — some experts are asking whether that will pay off for homeowners or for the planet.

”A very rosy picture was painted that energy efficiency would be a great way to create jobs and save money,” said Michael Shellenberger, an energy expert who heads the Breakthrough Institute, an Oakland-based think tank that is financed by nonpartisan foundations and works on energy, climate change and health care issues. ”The Obama administration risks overpromising again.”

The obvious solution for these “geniuses” is to throw even more money at this black hole – as if we haven’t wasted enough already. And after a whole year, they can’t even quantify the energy savings – like, is it really all worth it? What are we getting for this $11B in taxpayer money?

Still, some government watchdog groups said taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook paying for home improvements if the government has yet to release figures showing how much weatherizing saves.

”The government should have stayed out of the weatherizing business in the first place,” said Leslie Paige of Washington-based Citizens Against Government Waste. ”This is a way to rapidly expand and entrench an existing program without ever going back and looking at the rationale or intent or effectiveness.”

I have asked this question of many people: Please name just one government department or program that isn’t an outright FAIL. I’m waiting…

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2 Responses to “Weatherization FAIL – we need more”

  1. I can’t argue with many of your points, as any honest critique of the governments use of money for the last 7 years everyone knows the mess politicians and politically motivated bureaucrats can make of a Noble cause. I.e. 911, Katrina, Wall Street, However, there are some good examples of where the weatherization services are working and have not only met their goals but have become models for training a quality work force to do it. Now, I must admit to a bias. I’m one of the military veterans who is getting the work done at http://www.veteransgreenjobs.org.

    • Thanks for the comment. I applaud your efforts and thank you for your service to our country. I have no doubt that some government programs begin with good intentions and have elements that actually work. By and large however, these programs as a whole are destined to fail because of mind-numbing bureaucracy, waste, fraud and abuse inherent in big government.
      Keep up the good work!

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