It’s The Jobs, Stupid

Let me start by presenting two facts:

1. President Obama showcased one of the federally funded job training programs that he supports.  The federal government funds these programs with $18B per year.  At Lorain County Community College in Ohio, the President said, “Ninety percent of people who graduate from this program have a job three months later — 90 percent.”

2. A 2011 GAO report found since 2004, only five of the 47 job training programs have bothered to find out if participants ever secured a job, leading the GAO to conclude, “Little is known about the effectiveness of most programs.”

Ponder those two facts for a moment.   Sure there is the possibility that President Obama touted one of the five – out of 47 – programs.  But there’s more issues under the surface here:

The study found a complicated system of overlapping federal programs complete with waste, fraud and excessive overhead including:

  • Some job training participants spent their days sitting on a bus.
  • Some were trained for jobs that didn’t exist.
  • Others were paid to sit through educational sessions about jobs they already had.
  • High school students were knowingly exposed to the cancer-causing agent asbestos as part of a job training program.
  • Funds were misspent to pay a contractor for ghost employees and to purchase video games.
  • Job training administrators spent federal funds on extravagant meals and bonuses for themselves.
  • In one state, workforce agency employees took more than 100 gambling trips to casinos mostly during work hours.

Between the waste that is the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act – also know as the giant pork-filled stimulus bill – and federal waste like this, the republicans should have some great fodder against Obama.

About GorT

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