Walter Russell Mead nicely sums up how the Feeding the Mass on Unicorn Ribs green jobs strategy of the Obama administration has now boxed him in on job creation:
The cost is not simply the stimulus funds wasted on "investments" that don't produce any jobs. It's not just the opportunity cost as more practical and reasonable job creation agendas were shoved aside to make room for the unicorn hunt. It's the credibility cost. The President cannot successfully make the case for stimulus so many of his supporters would like him to make when the opposition can cite figures like $2 million a job, or point to jobs shipped overseas and companies shut down. Worse, the failed unicorn barbecue undermines the President's ability to convince the American people that he knows how to create jobs. Thirty months of poor job numbers while the White House was off chasing unicorns and hyping green jobs as a national strategy means that the administration has forfeited public confidence on the jobs issue.
Mead is still a true believer in any liberal causes so he doesn't openly consider the other option Obama has. Calling off the regulatory dogs might help the jobs picture some but it would cost Obama dearly among the left while doing very little at this late of a date to convince either business owners or the working class that he's at last headed in the right direction.
By the way, I love Mead's description of the only green jobs strategy that would have brought jobs to America.
Whether a product is an ordinary t-shirt or an admirable piece of world saving green technology like a wind turbine has zilch, zero, nada influence on the mind of the manufacturer trying to decide where it should be made.
There are perhaps some green jobs that would be exceptions; we could eliminate all forms of welfare and food stamps and offer the unemployed minimum wage jobs pedaling stationary bicycles hooked up to electric generators, solving our budget, poverty, obesity and energy independence problems all at once - but these are not the jobs either the President or his supporters have in mind.