See how close to catastrophe the taxpayers of Louisiana, Ouachita parish and the United States came with the V-Vehicle/Next Autoworks deal?
Crony capitalism. Well connected special interests getting lucrative breaks from government has become so commonplace that most Americans no longer pay much attention to them. But that does not make them right and it is not good for the country.
Many have heard about Solyndra, the California maker of solar panels that recently filed bankruptcy after getting millions from the Obama Stimulus program. What many do not realize is that Solyndra is but one of many such “deals” that have stuck the taxpayer and enriched the campaign coffers of politicians. Fox News is report on several more, and you have to know that if we know about these that there are more.
The Energy Department, under fire over its management of a program that offers loan guarantees to clean-technology companies, has been finalizing additional multimillion-dollar loan guarantees in the program at a rate of more than one a week since the beginning of August. It now has just two weeks left to commit the program’s remaining $9.3 billion.
The push to finalize deals for the lucrative federal financing before the program expires at the end of the fiscal year is drawing fire from Republicans and government watchdogs. They say haste led to costly mistakes in the decision to back Solyndra, a solar-panel maker that collapsed two weeks ago, leaving taxpayers liable for a half-billion-dollar federal loan.
Beware of a company that claims it can make widgets for $10 each, sell them for $8 apiece, and then “make up the losses on volume.” No banker or venture capitalist would invest in such a foolhardy scheme. But substitute “solar panels” for widgets and that is exactly what Washington’s professional politicians and career bureaucrats did with $535 million in loan guarantees for Solyndra LLC, the now-bankrupt California company that was the centerpiece of President Obama’s “clean energy future.” The funding came from Obama’s $859 billion economic stimulus program.
Ultimately, Solyndra may prove to be the only Energy Department loan guarantee that explodes into a scandal rivaling Teapot Dome or Credit Mobilier for venality and abuse of the public trust. However, there are at least 16 more such loan guarantees worth in excess of $10 billion, all approved by the same cast of characters at the White House and the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for the current mess. And many other federal departments and agencies have provided billions of dollars’ worth of loan guarantees, so nobody should be surprised if Solyndra is only the first of many similar outrages under the Obama economic stimulus regime.