Two days ago, the Department of the Interior (DOI) released a report on the "economic contributions" it supposedly made to the nation last year. In an accompanying press release, the department claims it "contributed $18.75 billion to California's economy in 2011 and supported 117,170 jobs."
Sadly, $19 billion apparently isn't enough money to secure a steady water supply for Central Valley farmers. Somehow, deliberately starving Californians of water didn't make it into the DOI's press release.
Mind you, the Department's magnanimous "contribution" to California is just a drop in its giant bucket of government benevolence. Nationwide, the DOI says it "contributed $385 billion to the U.S. economy and supported more than 2 million jobs in 2011."
Let's pretend for a minute that the DOI did indeed "support" -- whatever that means -- more than 2 million jobs last year. This needs to be balanced against all the jobs suppressed by the Obama administration's self-defeating energy policies. How many potential jobs were lost due to President Obama's rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline, his continued ban on energy drilling off the California coast and elsewhere, and his crusade to "bankrupt" -- in his words -- any company that builds a new coal plant?
This is not to mention the doomed jobs that won a last-minute reprieve when Congress rejected Obama's cap-and-trade scheme -- which may still be replaced by equally destructive EPA limits on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.
And don't forget about future job losses caused by Obama's tax policies, including the huge ObamaCare taxes as well as his current drive to raise taxes on Americans making over $200,000, which would crush many small businesses.
Ironically, the smiley-faced DOI report was published just after we learned that U.S. unemployment topped 8 percent for the 41st straight month. It's hard to believe the economy could be doing this badly when the DOI acts, in its own account, as a miraculous job-creating machine.