Michigan Capitol Confidential documents more waste from the federal “stimulus” package passed in 2009: “Federal ‘Stimulus’ Spent $34.5 Million In Michigan For Only 183 Total Jobs

The whole article is a good read, but one thing stands out specifically: The state and companies receiving these subsidies all defend the program by pointing out that they lay the groundwork for alternative energy and the “greening” of the energy sector.

Michigan Energy Office Manager Robert Jackson defends the program by saying it was not designed to create jobs but to help established manufacturers retool for the future economy, namely alternative energy.

Astraeus co-founder Roger Cope also defends the program, saying he believes the program gives the state it’s only opportunity for energy independence and that without government subsidies the alternative energy business has an extremely hard time getting off the ground.

“Banks these days are not loaning money and venture capitalists have no interest in manufacturing,” he said. He points out that some of the greatest technological advancements have come from the aerospace and medical industries, which were subsidized by the government for years. He said he believes the same could be true in alternative energy.

One problem: The “stimulus” was sold as a jobs program to help the economy recover from a recession.

That’s why the story quoted U.S. Rep. Sander Levin back in 2010 that this program “will create good jobs.” And it is why politicians and bureaucrats from the federal level to state representatives to MEDC officials always tout programs as “job creators” rather than as an attempt to remake the energy economy.

The federal government can never do a better job of picking economic winners and losers than the private sector. Until politicians figure this out, expect more stories like this.