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Spending Money Like It’s Water

June 18, 2012

When most people think of the United States Department of Labor, they think of those people trying to make President Obama look good by manipulating employment data to show less than 8% unemployment before Election Day. But what few people know is that the USDoL also has a fairly large slush fund to delve into and toss pennies from heaven upon people they deem as worthy.

In the last couple weeks, here is what the US Department of Labor has doled out:

  • 4/10/2012: USDOL announces $375,000 to North Carolina for 200 “temporary” jobs to continue cleanup efforts following Hurricane Irene. FYI, Irene hit NC last August. We’re not cleaned up from that yet? It’s been almost a year. Sounds like these “temporary” jobs are becoming a little more permanent.
  • 5/7/2012: USDOL announces $65.5 million to Puerto Rico and Washington DC to “implement and/or continue re-employment and eligibility assessments for Unemployment Insurance beneficiaries”. Wait a minute here! “Implement and/or continue?” “Implement?” Are you telling me that before now we possibly had no way of knowing whether someone was eligible for benefits? Holy crap! I ask again, “implement?”
  • 5/7/2012: USDOL announces $448,197 for 713 workers laid off by Electrolux for “provide re-employment services” because why? Are these workers so unskilled or unmotivated that without the government helping them they cannot find another job? Well, with the way the economy is after liberals got a hold of it …
  • 5/15/2012: USDOL announces $7,842,250 for 1,200 workers laid off when the Hovensa oil refinery on St. Croix closed. The funds will be used to give the workers skills “for employment in demand-driven occupations with portable and transferrable credential”. In other words, we are paying to train workers who have no marketable skills and are suffering because they never developed a marketable skill. So much for self-reliance.
  • 5/16/2012: USDOL announces $947,841 for 125 workers without jobs after the closure of Clearwater Paper Corp.’s sawmill in Lewiston, Idaho. Again, the money will go to “re-employment” services to help people who apparently have no skills or who don’t know how to find jobs. Of course, this would be easier if we weren’t some 10 million jobs behind the curve since Obama ascended to the Presidency.
  • 5/16/2012: USDOL announces that even though the Space Shuttle program has been canceled, ostensibly to save money, it would provide $7.2 million for 3,200 workers in Florida laid off by the program’s cancelation. In other words, we are going to keep giving these people money even though they are no longer provides a good or service that is in demand.
  • 5/23/2012: USDOL announces that it is giving $20,518,598 to 18 nonprofits for “employment-related services for formerly incarcerated adults who are returning to high-poverty, high-crime communities.” Excuse me? I am having trouble finding the clause in the Constitution that says the federal government will give money to former criminals after they are released to help them find jobs. Anyone else want to give it a shot?
  • 5/29/2012: USDOL announces $26 million for this, which sounds like the sort of gobbledygook which comes right from the Dilbert Mission Statement Generator: “The Obama administration today announced a $26 million multi-agency Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge to foster innovation-fueled job creation through public-private partnerships. These coordinated investments will help catalyze and leverage private capital, build an entrepreneurial ecosystem and promote cluster-based development in regions across the United States.” Yeah, try figuring that out!
  • 5/31/2012: USDOL announces $868,974 for 400 workers at Sonoco Packaging Products in Devens, Mass.

 We will never get government spending under control as long as just one agency can spend this kind of money on this sort of unconstitutional stuff and in just one month.

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Copyright ©2012 J.J. Jackson

J.J. Jackson is a libertarian conservative author from Pittsburgh, PA who has been writing and promoting individual liberty since 1993 and is President of Land of the Free Studios, Inc. He is the Pittsburgh Conservative Examiner for Examiner.com.  He is also the owner of The Right Things - Conservative T-shirts & Gifts. His weekly commentary along with exclusives not available anywhere else can be found at Liberty Reborn.