July 12, 2010

President Obama went on the campaign trail this week and accused the Republicans of "peddling the same old snake oil that they've been peddling now for years." Of course that didn't sit well with conservative curmudgeon George Will who insists that it is President Obama, not the GOP that's selling snake oil.

George Will doesn't seem to have much trouble stretching the truth himself since the two solar plants he's talking about here are going to do a great deal more than just create the 1600 short term construction jobs he mentions and that's not even considering the long term benefits of building these plants other than job creation.

Obama extends $2 billion for solar plants:

While one of the projects is to build one of the largest solar plants in the world in Arizona, that will create about 1,600 construction jobs, another project is to build two new plants, that will create more than 2,000 construction jobs, and over 1,500 permanent jobs, Obama said in his weekly address to the nation.

"These are just two of the many clean energy investments in the Recovery Act. Already, I've seen the payoff from these investments. I've seen once-shuttered factories humming with new workers who are building solar panels and wind turbines; rolling up their sleeves to help America win the race for the clean energy economy," Obama said.

Obama said Abengoa Solar company has agreed to build one of the largest solar plants in the world.

"After years of watching companies build things and create jobs overseas, it's good news that we've attracted a company to our shores to build a plant and create jobs right here in America.

In the short term, construction will create approximately 1,600 jobs in Arizona," he said.

"What's more, over 70 per cent of the components and products used in construction will be manufactured in the USA, boosting jobs and communities in states up and down the supply chain. Once completed, this plant will be the first large-scale solar plant in the US to actually store the energy it generates for later use - even at night.

And it will generate enough clean, renewable energy to power 70,000 homes," Obama said.

"The second company is Abound Solar Manufacturing, which will manufacture advanced solar panels at two new plants, creating more than 2,000 construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs.

A Colorado plant is already underway, and an Indiana plant will be built in what's now an empty Chrysler factory.

Here's George Will's interpretation. You tell me who's the snake oil salesman.

TAPPER: So the president, George, is trying to make this not a referendum on him, but rather a choice between him and Republicans. Is it going to work?

WILL: No, because he is an expert on snake oil. This is the man who said, if we pass the $767 billion stimulus bill, which it turns out costs $862 billion, a $95 million oops, we would have unemployment at 8 percent and no higher, and it went higher.

This is the man who, in another form of snake oil, said we have this wonderful idea of homeowner tax credits for buying first-time homeowners, which we now realize has largely subsidized home purchases that would have been made anyway.

This is the man who last week was out saying, "I'm going to give $2 billion, about $2 billion, to two companies to create about 1,600 jobs." That's $1.5 million per job. That is snake oil.

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