The Government Job-Training Juggernaut

President Obama
campaigned this week for
"new and
innovative approaches"
to America`s economic crisis.
So naturally, the futurist-in-chief filched his fresh,
bold ideas straight from … the 1930s. The grand new
solution to the jobs deficit, according to the White
House, is more FDR-style federal job-training spending.

Sounding every
bit like the

whiteboard eggheads
who keep spinning around the Ivy
League-Washington revolving door, Obama

announced breathlessly
"If we could
match up schools and businesses, we could create
pipelines right from the classroom to the office or the
factory floor. This would help workers find better jobs,
and it would help companies find the highly educated and
highly trained people that they need in order to prosper
and to remain competitive."

In Obama World,
private businesses are just too darned dumb to figure
out how to connect the dots and create these pipelines
for themselves.

In the real
world, private businesses spend up to 12 times more on
job-training programs and trainee salaries than state
and federal governments combined, according to workforce
analysts. The American Society for Training and
Development reports that

U.S. private entities spent an estimated $125.9 billion

on employee learning and development in 2009 alone. And
you can bet in these financial hard times that
private-sector employers are making sure every
job-training penny is well spent.

As for your tax
dollars, rest assured they are being squandered the same
way public-sector job trainers have been squandering
such funding for the past eight decades. Earlier this
year, a General Accounting Office report found that no
one in the bowels of the Beltway really knows how
effective the feds` $18 billion a year spent on 47
separate job-training programs run by nine different
agencies really is. That`s because half of those
programs haven`t undergone a performance review since
2004, and only five have ever conducted research on
whether job seekers in the program do better than those
who weren`t enrolled.

Among those
five, the

GAO wrote,
the evaluators
"generally found
the effects of participation were not consistent across
programs, with only some demonstrating positive impacts
that tended to be small, inconclusive or restricted to
short-term impacts."

This much is
clear. The Obama stimulus has funded vital workforce
training expenses for a $100,000 nepotistic fraud ring
in Charleston, W. V., that splurged on pet care, bar
tabs and luxury hotel stays. A con-artist family
employed by the state siphoned off job-training money
that was supposed to subsidize technology education for
200 elderly West Virginians.

In Tampa Bay,
Fla., the local Workforce Alliance squandered tens of
thousands of tax dollars on lunches at Hooters, cupcake
delivery fees and VIP country music concert tickets.

In Iowa,
$730,000 in federal job-training cash from the stimulus
law was redistributed to well-off graduate students to
pay off their student loan debt — over and above the
more than $205 million in federal student financial aid
those students received.

In Washington,
Job Corps administrators helped themselves to untold
gobs of job-training cash by approving bogus invoices
and creating ghost employees.

And in Portage
County, Ohio, investigators found that government
employees had used an estimated $700,000 in federal
job-training money to pay the college tuition of certain
county officials and to purchase other items, such as an
"XBox 360,
laptops, promotion bags, golf shirts, messenger bags,
briefcases, Giant Eagle food cards, and golf tees—among
other things purchased as promotional items that are not
allowable expenses under federal law."

Tale as old as

Cato Institute
analyst James Bovard`s
work on the federal job-training juggernaut
says it
all: "Many, if
not most, of the participants in federal jobs and
job-training programs would be better off today if the
programs had never existed. Aside from wasting scores of
billions of dollars, government manpower programs
distorted people`s lives and careers by making false
promises, leading them to believe that a year or two in
this or that program was the key to the future. People
spent valuable time in positions that gave them nothing
more than a paycheck or a certificate, while they could
have been developing real skills in private jobs with a
future. The fallacy underlying all job-training programs
is that the private sector lacks the incentive to train
people for jobs."

Government job-training programs don`t create jobs. They
create bigger government payrolls, redistribute
unemployment and perpetuate the illusion of economic
recovery and prosperity. It`s a juggernaut too big to
fail and too entrenched to kill.


Michelle Malkin

is the author of

Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists,
Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our


for Peter Brimelow`s review. Click


for Michelle Malkin`s website. Michelle Malkin
is also author of

Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild

and the just-released

Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies.