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The federal job training maze

Home - by - May 22, 2012 - 20:30 America/New_York - 4 Comments

John Hayward- Human Events

Speaking at the NATO summit in Chicago on Monday, President Obama expressed his belief that the President’s job is to “figure out how everybody in the country has a fair shot,” and “think about those workers who get laid off, and how we’re paying for their retraining.”

As it happens, last year the Government Accountability Office completed a major study of federal job training programs, which Obama often touts as one of his great contributions to the cause of job creation, during his chronic but short-lived bouts of claiming that job creation is his top priority.

The study was commissioned by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) of “Wastebook” fame, who told Fox News, “The vast majority of money we spend in job training doesn’t go to job training.  It goes to employ people in those job training federal programs.”

The report studied data from fiscal year 2009, but the system it describes remains largely the same: an “overlapping and duplicative maze of 47 federal jobs programs run by nine agencies,” as the Fox News report describes it, adding that “some were rife with mismanagement, waste, fraud, abuse, and corruption.”  Taxpayers currently spend $18 billion on these programs every year.  That’s more than four times as much as Obama’s silly “Buffett Rule” tax would have brought in.

Among other marvels discovered by the GAO were people trained for jobs that didn’t exist, and trained for jobs they already held.  Of course, in keeping with the culture exposed by the outrageous GSA scandal, there were reports of job training administrators spending “federal funds on extravagant meals and bonuses for themselves.”

President Obama, naturally, wants to pour more taxpayer money into this system, rather than giving “tax breaks to every millionaire and billionaire in the country.”  His Republican rival, Mitt Romney, would rather block-grant the money back to state governments, which could run their own job training programs.

Romney’s approach would help to clean up the redundancy issues, and increase accountability by raising these programs from the murky depths of Washington to the relatively clear and shallow waters of state capitals.  However, the GAO report made it clear that measuring the effectiveness of any of job training program is extremely difficult… because very few of them keep track of their own performance.

“Little is known about the effectiveness of employment and training programs,” the report explains, “because, since 2004, only five reported conducting an impact study, and about half of all the remaining programs have not had a performance review of any kind.”


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  1. Diann

    May 22nd, 2012

    Look. The best job training program is to A) get hired in entry-level position B) train in your position and learn the company’s business C) improve your value in the company by taking advantage of training and education opportunities to better understand and contribute to the business D) you increase your value to the company and the company then promotes you, increases your rate of pay, and gives you more responsibilities.

    Honestly, do Liberals know nothi g about how the private sector works?

    Thumb up +4

  2. Kevin R.

    May 22nd, 2012

    President Obama expressed his belief that the President’s job is to “figure out how everybody in the country has a fair shot …

    Who the hell died and put the President in charge of making sure everyone has a fair shot? This is insanity!

    Thumb up +2

  3. gil b

    May 23rd, 2012

    NO. No, no. we. er he created millions of jobs (including the retraining jobs) when he hired all ‘those people’ to take attendance, i mean, the census…especially in all the congressional districts that never existed before uh, unless there was an accounting error or something the voting fools will believe

    Thumb up +1

  4. Mary Jane Anklestraps

    May 23rd, 2012

    Yep. What Diann said.

    Thumb up +1