Schumer Tries to ‘Legislate Back’ Our Lost Manufacturing Base

Four Democratic senators aim to halt stimulus wind project By Dan Eggen Washington Post Staff Writer Thursday, March 4, 2010; A06 A group of Democratic senators called Wednesday for the government to halt a federal stimulus program aimed at building wind farms and other clean-energy projects, arguing that too much of the money spent so far has gone to create jobs overseas. The Obama administration and wind-energy advocates strongly disputed the criticism by Sen. Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.) and three other Democrats, saying that most of the jobs under the Energy Department program have been created in the United States, despite the dominance of foreign manufacturers in the green-technology sector. Ah yes, Chuck, it seems all that off-shoring of the American industrial base has come back to bite you in the ankle.
Not a whimper about our disappeared manufacturing or heavy-industry sectors, nor a nod to the fact that Congress has waved goodbye to the American production of everything from toasters to bridge-steel. Yet wind-turbine engines are the straw that broke Chuck Schumer’s back. . . . The dispute marks a rare public split among Democrats over the $862 billion stimulus package, which the Obama administration and party leaders have defended as crucial to saving jobs and easing the recession’s impact. Republicans have spent the past year attacking the package as a wasteful boondoggle. I submit that ‘irony’ is a more accurate word that ‘boondoggle.’ “Useless, wasteful and trivial” are hardly an accurate description of an effort to bring America back to a reasonable level of employment. The irony is, that a co-conspiratorial Congress has suddenly awakened from their lobbyist-inspired stupor to find that, by way of manufacturing, there is no ‘there’ there. No American worker is left to stimulate, without most of the dough going offshore.

  • Infrastructure? The Minneapolis bridge reconstruction was held up waiting for Japanese steel. Ditto sewer-pipe, electrical cable and even most of the drill-bits and motors.
  • Housing? You mean all that Chinese sheet-rock that’s crumbling, or the imported formaldehyde-infested mobile home panels.
  • Retail? Hard to find a retail sector, from TVs and computers, to furniture and clothing that’s not designed here and built in Taiwan or Indonesia.
  • Medicines and pharmaceutical? 72% manufactured off-shore.
  • Heavy machinery? More than half gone now, so Caterpillar and their like only get fifty-cents of the stimulus dollar.
  • Road-building? Those huge asphalt-laying machines are made in Germany. The asphalt comes from BP (British) and Shell (Dutch) companies.

. . . Schumer and the other lawmakers focused particular criticism at Cielo Wind Power of Austin, which has said it may apply for up to $450 million in stimulus funding for a massive wind farm that would be powered by turbines built in China. “It is a no-brainer that stimulus funds should only go to projects that create jobs in the United States rather than overseas,” Schumer said. “These wind projects have a lot of merit, but the manufacturing should be happening here, not in China.” You’re a little late to the party, Chuck and for these past few decades you (along with your co-complainers) have been the smiling host. Now? Now you don’t care for the list of attendees?

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