Obama’s Green Job Plan x 10

Dear president-elect Obama...........let's go global warming by jimalonePresident-elect Barack Obama has promised $15 billion per year towards green infrastructure projects.  While seemingly a large figure, it is a drop in the bucket, that will have little economic impact on the $14 trillion U.S. economy.  And even though the Obama proposal will create 2.5 million green jobs within 5 years, that will do little to replace the 4 million lost manufacturing jobs since President Bush took office, or the 2 million jobs lost so far this year, or the who knows how many jobs that will be lost in 2009.

What is needed is a much larger investment in the Green economy, one that will create a new era of high paying middle class jobs, and an investment that strengthens the overall economy by reducing government budget deficits.  An investment sufficient in size that will do more than simply stimulate consumption, or keep Green hopes alive,  but an investment that will permanently transform the economy.  And help America regain it’s economic, competitive, and technological advantage once again.

The following plan will inject $150 billion per year, ten times the amount Obama proposes, into the Green economy creating 25 million net jobs over the next 3-5 years, and reduces annual government deficits by $100 billion.

1. Double the gas tax and generate an additional $38 billion per year in federal revenue.  The price of gas at the pump has dropped $1 per gallon over the last few weeks, and it appears it will continue to decline, consumers will not notice a 17.4 cent additional tax. $30 billion for Green and $8 billion toward budget reduction.  And compared to gasoline taxes in Europe and other parts of the world, even with the increase, Americans would still be paying less tax for gasoline.

2.  End the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. American taxpayers spent $188 billion in 2008 on two needless and unpopular wars.  $100 billion to Green and $88 billion to budget reduction. Give all veterans free Green Job training, to avoid repeating the mistake of Vietnam, and flooding our streets and prisons with homeless vets.

3. Cut the prison population in half. As one of the impacts of out-sourced manufacturing jobs, the prison population has nearly doubled during the Bush administration.  The nation spends $49 billion per year, to house and feed  2.3 million of our fellow citizens, up 76% from 1.3 million in 2000.  Provide Green Job training in prisons, and as a diversion program for non-violent offenders, giving graduates the opportunity to work for the state installing a green infrastructure.  $20 billion per year for Green and $4 billion in debt reduction.

Combined, this plan will generate $150 billion per year towards Green Jobs, and reduce budget deficits by $100 billion.  Economist Robert Pollin, writing in The Nation magazine, estimates that 18 jobs are produced for every $1 million invested in green infrastructure. On the other hand, the military and oil industries, only produce 7.5 jobs for every $1 million spent.

A very important point, and a major difference with the Obama plan, is that this $150 billion plan actually reduces budget deficits.  Obama’s Green Plan, and some say future trillion dollar stimulus package, are both paid for by increasing budget deficits.  This places the value of the dollar at risk, which could easily lead to hyper-inflation, and much higher interest rates.

The effect of a massive $150 billion per year investment into the Green economy would result in 25 million new Green jobs. Jobs that strengthen the economy, environment, and society.  Why settle for less?

Photo Credit:  jimalone via Flickr’s Media Commons

Written by Ramsay Mameesh

When Ramsay Mameesh is not writing for The Inspired Economist, he is trying to save the world, by getting people to retire. Ramsay Mameesh holds B.S., appropriately named, degrees in Business, Marketing and Economics. He has over ten years of corporate bank marketing experience, as well as start-up, and small business experience. Ramsay Mameesh lives in San Francisco, CA., with his wife and fish. Neither one is called Wanda. I knew you'd ask.


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  1. I liked all 3 points as mentioned in your article. It was really good and easy to understand. I always keep visiting on different sites based on CSR, Green Jobs, Social and Environmental so that i could select and collect some good information from all, though recent site i liked is JustMeans… JustMeans has really a different concept and it is well designed, informative and easy to use site.

  2. A new gas tax would be counter productive to the economy as prices rebound and start to rise. The catalyst for the down turn in the economy was the fast rise in energy prices and trickled though out the rest of the economy.
    Bring home the troops would not save the tax payer’s $188 billion dollars. The better part of that amount would still be needed to support those troops if they were here in the US. The obligations the country has to those troops and to a foreign policy would not just go away.
    Train the criminals for free and release them into the public sector while millions of law abiding citizens are unemployed and they would have to pay to be trained? Other than changing the prisons back to prisons and cutting cost there, this idea is too stupid to even comment on.

  3. Nice article, and plan. Simple but powerful in it’s potential.

    Although nobody “wants” to pay more for gas,I agree the gas tax is an important component of any strategic shift to an alternative energy society/economy.

    The fact that people don’t like it, is the reason why it’s so important.

    First the tax creates some of the money for investment, and simultaneously creates an incentive to adopt the output created by the investment. It is a self reinforcing mechanism, a positive feedback loop. This is necessary in a major transition and why you also need gov’t intervention.

    Just look at how the drop in oil prices has been devastating to the alt energy industry, because they can only be funded by the private sector if there is a “spread” or if there is value to the alternative. Just getting cleaner air and saving our planets finite resources for future generations is not enough for humans unfortunately.

    Also if folks knew that what they are paying is not going to fund terrorists but is the best investment we can make for our future, it could be spun to pass. Especially with Obama in office.

    The devil is in the details of course, but if we are serious about the shift… the tax idea should be debated and researched further.

    In regards the size of investment… If America or really the world wants to dig itself out of the hole that it’s currently in, and drive the world to the next level it needs to produce something extraordinary. Something that everyone wants and needs. A renewable source of energy would fit that description. If we want this to happen anytime soon it has to be funded, like we mean it and it has to be a worldwide initiative. We’re all in this together.

    The side benefit of a true shift to alt energy is that it should also unwind tensions with the middle east. While THEY have what WE need for survival(oil), there will never be peace, we will kill each other to control it. By shifting to alt energy, they lose leverage, we in turn don’t feel threatened and screw with them…tension should decrease. Diffusing the negative feedback loop.

    Anyway we need to save the oil, because we’ll still need it for some time even if we find solutions for basic electricity and personal transport. As there are some things that still would require fossil fuels and it’s not a finite resource.

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