Quotes of the day
posted at 10:40 pm on September 16, 2011 by Allahpundit
“The Obama administration restructured a half-billion dollar federal loan to a troubled solar energy company in such a way that private investors — including a fundraiser for President Barack Obama — moved ahead of taxpayers for repayment in case of a default, government records show…
“An Associated Press review of regulatory filings shows that Solyndra was hemorrhaging hundreds of millions of dollars for years before the Obama administration signed off on the original $535 million loan guarantee in September 2009. The company eventually got $528 million…
“Under terms of the February loan restructuring, two private investors — Argonaut Ventures I LLC and Madrone Partners LP — stand to be repaid before the U.S. government if the solar company is liquidated. The two firms gave the company a total of $69 million in emergency loans. The loans are the only portion of their investments that have repayment priority above the U.S. government.
“Argonaut is an investment vehicle of the George Kaiser Family Foundation of Tulsa, Okla. The foundation is headed by billionaire George Kaiser, a major Obama campaign contributor and a frequent visitor to the White House.”
“Solyndra officials were intensely pressuring Bush administration officials in early January 2009 to approve a government loan for the solar company before the Obama administration took power, according to new emails obtained by Fox News on Friday.
“On Jan. 12, 2009, Solyndra CEO Chris Gronet sent an Energy Department official an email marked ‘urgent’ expressing outrage that Bush officials had decided a few days earlier that while the loan application had ‘merit’ it needed further study before officials could move forward with a taxpayer-financed loan…
“The next day, Jan. 13, 2009, [Bush energy official Lachlan] Seward sent his email to Energy Department colleagues saying it was time to stop engaging with Solyndra officials.
“Later that day, Seward received an email from a colleague who mentioned that a USA Today article noted there was a ‘glut of roof top solar systems,’ so perhaps Solyndra might not be able to carve out a market.”
“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…
“‘We are just days from the program expiring, yet more than half of the guarantees, over $10 billion worth, have yet to be awarded,’ [Rep. Cliff] Stearns said in a statement. ‘The last thing we can afford from the Obama administration are more of the same sloppy, poor investments in the final rush to get the cash out the door.'”
“No wonder many Democratic strategists predicted their party’s 2008 landslide win would usher in a generation of political dominance. Obamanomics, essentially, would divert taxpayer dollars to the Green Lobby – and then into the campaign coffers of the Democratic Party. This is what crony capitalism is really all about: politicians enriching favored businesses, who then return the favor. Or maybe it’s the other way around, Who cares, really. It’s an endless, profitable loop for both.
“And Obama almost pulled it off. The Great Recession conveniently allowed the president to start the spendathon under the guise of economic stimulus. (‘You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.’ – White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, 2009). As it turns out, the $38.6 billion loan program for clean energy firms that Solyndra benefited from has created just 3,545 permanent new jobs after parceling out half its dough. That works out to around $5 million a job…
“That’s not how the private sector makes investment decision. But it’s routine for government where the stakeholders are politicians, bureaucrats, lobbyists and favored constituencies. The takers, not the makers. That’s whose side Obamanomics is on.”