Imagine that you’re looking around for a stockbroker. Would you look for someone who understands markets before investing other people’s money into them and has a track record of solid success — or would batting .500 satisfy you? Reader Jay S points out this confidence builder from Barack Obama’s presser last week, emphasis mine:

Q There have been reports with Solyndra in particular that investors warned your administration that the government — that loan of $500 million in that company might not be a wise use of taxpayers’ money. In retrospect, do you think your administration was so eager for Solyndra to succeed that it missed some of the critical warnings?

THE PRESIDENT: I will tell you that even for those projects under this loan guarantee program that have ended up being successful, there are those in the marketplace who have been doubtful. So, I mean, there’s always going to be a debate about whether this particular approach to this particular technology is going to be successful or not.

And all I can say is that the Department of Energy made these decisions based on their best judgment about what would make sense. And the nature of these programs are going to be ones in which for every success there may be one that does not work out as well. But that’s exactly what the loan guarantee program was designed by Congress to do, was to take bets on these areas where we need to make sure that we’re maintaining our lead.

In other words, Obama wanted $38.6 billion to bet on green-tech solar … and we should be happy if we manage to lose only $19.8 billion of it.

I’ve got an idea — why don’t we let taxpayers keep their money to make their own investment decisions, and have the federal government stick to providing for the national defense and regulating interstate commerce?

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at [email protected] with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!