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.