Bet you didn't know that cement was really, really bad for you.
It's not actually bad for you, but that isn't stopping the EPA from imposing more ridiculous rules, known as MACT, that will require the cement industry to invest billions in new technology over the next two years in order to improve air quality.
Hey: We may not have jobs, but take a deep breath. Can't you breath easier knowing that you'll breath easier in the unemployment line now that Obama's extending the dole?
All this as Obama calls on Congress to give him more money to create more unionized government workers, more buildings to house them, more unionized workers to build bridges to ANYWHERE.
I don't know about you, but the streets in my town don't need another layer of asphalt. It didn't work out so great the last time we tried this.
What we need is for government to stop genuflecting to enviros and unions while kneeling on the backs of Main Street and industry.
The cement industry is just another victim in Obama's serial job-killing spree that includes banking, investment, construction, home building, energy, defense and autos. At least we still have a thriving green job industry that requires billions in federal subsidies.
Ok. Maybe not thriving, by they do require the subsidies. Hence Obama's brave call for more spending to support failing industries and government in the guise of job creation.
Obama's top job-assassins at the EPA plan on killing another 25,000 current jobs in the cement industry- you know, jobs employing real people who have kids and up-to-date mortgages and don't need food stamps or unemployment or subsidies- even while Obama is calling for $450 billion in new federal spending to create new government jobs to replace the old private sector jobs he killed.
With plans like this, we could be spending federal stimulus money f-o-r-e-v-e-r.
Get it? Or do I have to spell it out for you again?
Estimates for complying with the new cement mandates, according to the EPA and the House Energy Committee, are between $2.5 and $3.5 billion 2013 for an industry that generates $6.5 billion in sales annually.
Remember the last trillion dollar stimulus bill that failed?
It didn't work because the government really sucks at making investment choices for the rest of us- see Security, Social for an example. All governments suck at it- see Greece, France, Italy, Portugal, etc. Asking the government to make investment decisions for the economy is like asking an alcoholic to make up a wine menu at a rehab facility.
It's just something that common sense tells you shouldn't be done. Of course that presupposes one possesses common sense in the first place.
Maybe that's why Obama's so bad at investment choices. Obama's spending money on investments in more stuff that doesn't work with one hand- see energy, solar- while he's killing jobs with regulations that don't work in the other- see cement.
He should really just try stopping both. Or alternately someone could stop him.
In one of the signs that Obama may have more trouble inside his own party than with the loyal opposition heading in to the 'Ought-Twelve election cycle, Democrats and Republicans are teaming up for an 11th hour effort to stop the EPA from putting the sea-ment shoes on the cement industry.
The House Energy Panel is currently holding hearings on a bill designed to preserve jobs and manufacturing capacity for cement manufacturers impacted by new regulatory clutter imposed by Obama's EPA.
Known as the Sullivan bill after prime sponsor Rep John Sullivan (R-OK), the bill seeks to prevent more jobs from fleeing overseas. It's designed to rein in the regulatory and financial burdens that Obama has put on private industry as the economy teeters on the brink of a double-secret depression.
"The President is talking about jobs tonight and I want to be clear - this bill is jobs," said Sullivan yesterday in hearings on the bill. "If the EPA rules go into effect – nearly 20,000 jobs will be lost due to plant closures and inflated construction costs."
Sullivan says that the EPA's current rules threaten to shut down 20 percent of the nation's cement manufacturing plants in the next two years, sending thousands of jobs permanently overseas and driving up cement and construction costs across the country.
The bill is sponsored jointly by both Republicans and Democrats including Reps. John Sullivan(R-OK) and Mike Ross (D-AR), together with Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Bob Latta (R-Ohio), Greg Walden (R-OR), Joe Barton (R-TX), John Carter (R-TX), Charles Dent (R-PA), Dan Boren (D-OK), and Jason Altmire (D-PA).
After the president's speech last night Sullivan said "I am glad the President is bringing his ideas to the table, but American people are tired of speeches and costly stimulus bills that fail to create jobs...It is my hope the President will take a long hard look at our efforts to reign in job crushing federal regulations, maximize American energy production and to pay down our massive debt – if passed by the Senate and signed by the President, these simple actions will grow our economy and create American jobs right now."
But don't breathe easier quite yet.