Posted by: Deborah D | September 5, 2011

Solyndra: Obama’s green jobs tax-money eater.

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Solyndra: Obama’s green jobs tax-money eater.

What happens when you’ve recently been elected president on hope and change, have a bunch of taxpayer money, say $787 billion in stimulus funds burning a hole in your pocket, and a campaign bundler whose investment in a solar power company isn’t looking too good? Well, my goodness, you throw some “stimulus” money at this friend so he can get a bailout from the American taxpayer, which in liberal speak is actually called an “investment.” Now, how has that “investment” in Solyndra worked out? Hmmm…not so good for us lowly taxpayers. The company is getting ready to go belly up. Oh, and even though the company was given hundreds of millions of dollars in loan guarantees from the U.S. government, a whole lot more than any of the other investors ponied up, we taxpayers will be last in line to get anything back – crony capitalism at work, better understood as companies take the profits while the taxpayers take the risks and get soaked. Does it sound like Fanny and Freddy in a different mode of operation? Here’s Ed Lasky of the American Thinker.

The skeletons are being dragged out of the closet in the Solyndra scandal, in the face of White House resistance. First came news that over $500 million dollars of loan guarantees were extended to the solar scheme despite outside auditors warning there was a huge risk that this company was gong to go bankrupt, and despite government auditors also agreeing this was a loser proposition. Then it comes out that the major private investor of this venture was a foundation set up by George Kaiser, a major Obama and Democratic Party bundler and donor.  The same George Kaiser has been a frequent visitor to the White House.

normal government protocols and filters meant to protect taxpayers were ignored when it came to pouring taxpayer dollars into Solyndra (one of only 5 companies, apparently, that received such special treatment.

The White House was steamrolling the granting of loan guarantees to Solyndra through what looks like badgering of the Department of Energy to get off their duffs and shovel the half a billion dollars out the door to keep Solyndra on life-support.

But the latest revelation is especially appalling. Instead of cutting our losses, the administration double-downed and willfully subordinated taxpayers’ claims to the money behind those of Solyndra’s private investors.

William McQuillen reports for Bloomberg News:

The Obama administration let $385 million in taxpayer support for Solyndra Inc. take a back seat to funds from new investors in an unsuccessful effort to keep the solar-panel manufacturer operating.

The Energy Department decided the January refinancing represented the “highest probable net benefit” for the government, according to a government document obtained by Bloomberg News. Investors provided the company $75 million that became senior debt, ahead of all but $150 million of the federal government’s stake.

Solyndra said on Aug. 31 that it will file for bankruptcy reorganization next week in Wilmington, Delaware. The administration’s agreement to subordinate the government aid to new investment may add fuel to criticism by Republicans who have said President Barack Obama spent too much money pushing a favored company in the name of green energy.

It was not as if the government did not have an inkling that this boondoggle was a big loser.  Late last year, the Obama team knew the company was on its last legs absent more money. The coffers barely had enough to meet the payroll. Team Obama agreed to place the interests of new private investors above ours. 

The document traces Solyndra’s mounting financial troubles and the Obama administration’s decision to maintain its bet on the future of the Fremont, California-based company.

By December 2010, “Solyndra had only about a month of cash on hand and faced bankruptcy absent continued funding” from the department, according to the papers.

After “a due-diligence effort” to “determine if the company still had a viable business,” the Energy Department concluded it “believes that the restructuring plan represents the best possible course of action to achieve the highest return on its invested capital.”

So far, the public awaits the identity of the new investors.

Read all of Ed Lasky here:

Read the very detailed Bloomberg article here:

Larry O’Connor of Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government website notes how crony capitalism and Keynesian economics is always a failure.  It’s basically a money laundering scheme.

As the nation tunes in to hear President Barack Obama’s “Jobs Speech” this Thursday, it would be instructive to learn how the last bundle of Keynesian billions were spent on those fabled “Green Jobs” that were supposed to save our economy in 2009.

Meet Solyndra, the latest Darwinian example of how not to run a capitalist economy.  The President’s magic bullet to save America’s job disaster and help “Win the Future” was to be a whole host of “Green” businesses designed to take advantage of the enormous market demand for solar energy, electric cars and high speed rail.  Of course, since that demand did not actually exist, Obama spent an additional bundle of billions to provide incentives for businesses and individuals to purchase the white elephant products he spent to build.

Solyndra was one of the crown jewels in the President’s plan.  He even made a high-profile appearance at the San Francisco factory complete with hard hat tour, and speech to adoring workers who were paid to sit and look thankful for their Green Jobs.  Those workers, 1,000 of them, are all part of the Obama Unemployed now as Solyndra shut its doors and declared bankruptcy.

The green workers got pink slips and no sign of a severance package.

Solyndra shut down because (here’s a big surprise) they couldn’t compete in the market with lower-priced Chinese versions of the same products.  If they had just asked any of their silicon Valley neighbors, they could have saved them a lot of effort.

But as the dust settles on the Solyndra disaster, the real scandal stretches far beyond the President’s failed economic schemes.  As is so often the case in big government, campaign funds and quid pro quo are festering right below the surface of the Solyndra fiasco.  ABC News reports that there is evidence that the White House was personally involved in ensuring that the solar panel start-up received a $535 million dollar loan guarantee from the Dept. of Energy.

Read all of O’Connor  here:

The editors at National Review take note that when venture capitalists don’t want to risk their own moolah, they are more than happy to risk yours.

…(Solyndra) was in Nancy Pelosi’s back yard, and it was looking to expand, with plans to build a factory for the mass production of its photovoltaic cells. But the firm was not thriving, and those venture capitalists were not eager to put their own money on the line for that new facility. So they put your money on the line, instead.

The Government Accountability Office would later single out the Solyndra deal as an example of the government’s failing to fully vet such arrangements before approving the loan guarantees. With all those stimulus dollars burning a hole in its pocket, the Obama administration was overeager to get them spent…In fact, the administration announced its commitment to the loan guarantees before the required outside reviews were even in hand.

And as those who have followed the machinations of T. Boone Pickens know, when there’s a green-energy plan looking for a federal backstop, there’s an Oklahoma oil man behind the curtain. In the case of Solyndra it was billionaire George Kaiser, a Democratic donation bundler and a major financial supporter of Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign. Mr. Kaiser was heavily invested in the firm. Other Democratic bundlers received similarly generous treatment under the guise of green jobs, stimulus, and other expressions of President Obama’s magical thinking. It’s easy to spend several hundred billion dollars of somebody else’s money in a hurry; it’s hard to spend it well or wisely.

Read it all here:

And, right on cue, as Sarah Palin always is, Palin blasts crony capitalism as a good reason our country is in dire straits and that we should vet the Republicans running for president who have been given big bucks and ask them what those donors expect in return. This is from Dan Balz in the Washington Post.

…the former Alaska governor used a tea party rally to chastise the president and a “permanent political class” that she said has protected their powers and enriched them, their friends and their contributors at the expense of ordinary Americans and the country’s well-being.

“There is a name for this,” Palin said. “It’s called corporate crony capitalism. It’s not the capitalism of free men and free markets, of innovation and hard work and ethics, of sacrifice and of risk. No, this is the capitalism of connections and government bailouts and handouts . . . and influence peddling and corporate welfare.”  Snip –

…Palin decried the policies Obama has put in place as she called for an American restoration that would return power to the people.

“Folks, the truth is Barack Obama is adrift with no plan because his fundamental transformation is at odds with everything that made this country great,” she said. “It doesn’t make sense. He doesn’t make sense.”

Crony capitalism, she said, represents “the collusion of big government and big business and big finance, to the detriment of all the rest.” She said she fought and defeated that kind of collusion as governor of Alaska. Snip –

Though Obama was the only person she criticized by name, she called for a thorough vetting of those seeking the White House to determine whether they are real reformers. She also said Republican candidates “who raise mammoth amounts of cash” should be asked what their donors “expect in return for their investments.”

We need Sarah Palin’s voice out there. She is always right on target. She aims, fires and hits it. No wonder the Dems hate her so much.

When Obama bailed out the auto companies, he made sure his supporters, the unions, got the spoils. Who lost? Private investors and the American taxpayers. This time around, once again, Obama’s supporters will get bailed out while the American taxpayers lose. So, what is crony capitalism in Obamaville? Just think of it as spreading your wealth around to buy votes for him. Got it?  The stimulus was, in part, a huge slush fund used to help cities and states pay their union employees and pay back private unions. It’s now coming to light that it was also an investment in companies whose dollars can be better spent buying a Democrat or two than risking it in green boondoggles. Read it all here:


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  1. While I doubt Sarah Palin will be the Republican nominee she certainly brings an element to the arena that has been missing for a long time. She has seen the enemy up close and has shown the willingness to stand up to them, no matter which party has to take the hit. She gives America the potential for hope and change that Obama could only talk about. Obama is a lot of hot air in an empty suit with strings attached to his handler. We need to give Obama the pink slip, he so richly deserves, in November 2012.

  2. What do you suppose the chances are that the money never made it into production of anything but instead was laundered and sent to the White House as a thanks.I think it is probably a high probability. Much of the stimulus went to unions to launder and sent back to the White House as thanks for their help with the union cause.
    Don Pettygrove

    • Don — Yeah, I’m sure the money helped them pay some bills and get out of their “investment” in this boondoggle company, whatever is left will be sent to the Obama campaign or the DNC.

  3. […] When you factor this scandal in with the Solyndra scandal and the LightSquared scandal, it becomes obvious that  Chicago-type corruption is pervasive in the Justice Department, the Energy Department and the White House. We can’t withstand another four years of this type of destructive government. We’ll be lucky to withstand it for the next year or so. You can read more about Solyndra here: […]

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