Obamateurism of the Day

posted at 8:05 am on October 13, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

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 obamaisms@edmorrissey.com 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!

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He truly thinks the us monies are his to play with…his checkbook alone

Nice tagline Ed

cmsinaz on October 13, 2011 at 8:11 AM

If I received that sort of illogical and convoluted recommendation from my broker, I wouldn’t wait until 2012 to fire his sorry a$$.

Actually, I wouldn’t have hired him in the first place. (sigh)

Crusader Rabbit on October 13, 2011 at 8:11 AM

Don’t matter, he’ll just make it up on volume.

JimK on October 13, 2011 at 8:14 AM

it’s just money….we can make more steal more.

paradigms.

ted c on October 13, 2011 at 8:18 AM

He’s just not a very bright man. The MSM is even dimmer, which explains why they think he’s so smart.

Naturally Curly on October 13, 2011 at 8:19 AM

It’s “Obama money” so it’s OK.

missouriyankee on October 13, 2011 at 8:19 AM

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.

Barry’s going to Vegas with all our money. It’s just entertainment, after all, doncha know.

Yoop on October 13, 2011 at 8:21 AM

Lots of questions here. First off, as an investor in start up companies if I found someone who could hit the target fifty per cent of the time I would be happy. Ecstatic. That guy would quickly make us all rich. The venture industry is used is taking losses at a much greater rate than that, perhaps in as much as eighty percent of invested dollars. The ones that hit pay for all the losses. So, Ed, your criticism doesn’t make any sense.

The real criticism is not in the loser deals, I’m betting it’s in the winners. Show me one. Venture funds own equity and when a company succeeds that stock grows enough in value to generate a nice return (hopefully) on all the investments made. Portfolio effect. This is different, since the government owns debt. It doesn’t grow in value, only (if you are lucky) pays you back. Show me one of those. I’ll bet you there are zero.

The president would argue that he’s promoting new technology. That’s bullshit, since the technology underlying solar is well known. He would argue he’s promoting job growth. BS. Again. Show me the jobs. This is industrial policy, that’s all– it loses money, doesn’t create technology and the jobs are temporary at best.

MTF on October 13, 2011 at 8:22 AM

Maybe Columbia and Harvard should start letting their Poli Sci graduates start handling their endowment funds? Win win for all of society. One fewer Poli Sci retard loose, one fewer Ivy League school churning out all those useless Poli Sci degrees.

MNHawk on October 13, 2011 at 8:22 AM

Apparently the stack of papers that PBHO brings into his office during his nightly “Me Time” doesn’t include negative reports about his stupid schemes.

Bishop on October 13, 2011 at 8:22 AM

Might as well change his middle initial to S.

exdeadhead on October 13, 2011 at 8:23 AM

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?

Because not enough Americans would invest their money in this crap to keep his donors money flowing.

darwin-t on October 13, 2011 at 8:23 AM

Gee, they don’t seem to have such a laissez-faire attitude about private banks forced (by the gov.) into making bad loans.

Cindy Munford on October 13, 2011 at 8:28 AM

That’s what I shoot for in my 401(k) investing. 50%. Win some, lose some. Break even. Even-Steven. 50-50.

moron

DuctTapeMyBrain on October 13, 2011 at 8:31 AM

Nice tagline Ed

cmsinaz on October 13, 2011 at 8:11 AM

It did make me chuckle.

How many people caught it?

cozmo on October 13, 2011 at 8:32 AM

MTF on October 13, 2011 at 8:22 AM

Thank you, that is a very good explanation, very enlightening.

Cindy Munford on October 13, 2011 at 8:33 AM

Cozmo, :)

cmsinaz on October 13, 2011 at 8:35 AM

that loan of $500 million in that company might not be a wise use of taxpayers’ money

Paging Maxine Waters: Could someone tell me how wasting HUGE amounts of taxpayer $$ helps the Congressional Black Caucus JOBS Fair?? Time for them to put on their marchin shoes & start complainin, start grumblin…

TN Mom on October 13, 2011 at 8:35 AM

I think we should succumb to the demands of the Wall Street Protesters and give all the tax money to this guy and his friends.
It’s like the 2012 campaign ads are writing themselves.

http://themorningspew.com/2011/10/13/please-pass-the-drugs/

bloggless on October 13, 2011 at 8:39 AM

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.

President Brilliant does not only fail in the investment department strategy but also in the subject-verb agreement area…repeatedly. It drives me crazy.

onlineanalyst on October 13, 2011 at 8:41 AM

It’s “Obama money” so it’s OK.

missouriyankee on October 13, 2011 at 8:19 AM

That was a classic interview:

ROGULSKI: Why are you here?

WOMAN #1: To get some money.

ROGULSKI: What kind of money?

WOMAN #1: Obama money.

ROGULSKI: Where’s it coming from?

WOMAN #1: Obama.

ROGULSKI: And where did Obama get it?

WOMAN #1: I don’t know, his stash. I don’t know. (laughter) I don’t know where he got it from, but he givin’ it to us, to help us.

WOMAN #2: And we love him.

WOMAN #1: We love him. That’s why we voted for him!

WOMEN: (chanting) Obama! Obama! Obama! (laughing)

Just change Woman #1 to Solyndra and Woman #2 to any other pie-in-the-sky green energy business.

Fallon on October 13, 2011 at 8:42 AM

Why do they even call them loans? Why not just call them grants since no has any intention of paying the taxpayer back.

Cindy Munford on October 13, 2011 at 8:47 AM

MTF on October 13, 2011 at 8:22 AM

Nicely said. And I would add to your points that it is not the government’s job to predetermine who the winners and losers will be.

onlineanalyst on October 13, 2011 at 8:47 AM

onlineanalyst on October 13, 2011 at 8:47 AM

Thank goodness since I think you would be hard pressed to find someone worse at it.

Cindy Munford on October 13, 2011 at 8:54 AM

Firstly, the govt is not supposed to be in the venture capitalist business. Solar has been around for decades. I’m sure the solar people have made improvements to their product during this time, but if people wanted it, they would buy it themselves. The same goes for electric companies, if it made sense business wise for them, they would switch. Windmills have been around for centuries and make sense for ranchers needing to power a pump to fill a stock tank on the back 40. Which brings us back to problem #1, the govt is not a venture capitalist. Zero can’t dance around this and he should stop telling us that it’s raining.

Kissmygrits on October 13, 2011 at 9:01 AM

+1 fallon

cmsinaz on October 13, 2011 at 9:02 AM

Barack, we are going for that skydiving lesson today. Pick your chute. Oh, and by-the-way, for each chute that works there is one that might not work out as well. Have fun. See ya on the ground.

Yoop on October 13, 2011 at 9:09 AM

You know, Ed, I really enjoy the Obamateurism of the Day feature. But once, just once, I’d love it if the OOTD was something like “Obama farts loudly while talking to the ladies on ‘The View.’”

radjah shelduck on October 13, 2011 at 9:09 AM

Nicely said. And I would add to your points that it is not the government’s job to predetermine who the winners and losers will be.

onlineanalyst on October 13, 2011 at 8:47 AM

I would like to see the Republican candidates hammer on this point more forcefully, unless they actually believe it is government’s job to choose the winners and losers. Then we have a problem.

SKYFOX on October 13, 2011 at 9:11 AM

this is another BIG one that will get NO traction…

golfmann on October 13, 2011 at 9:15 AM

Incompetence is usually tolerable. But marry arrogance to it, and it’s insufferable.

petefrt on October 13, 2011 at 9:20 AM

The typical attitude of the community organizer. Recklessly spend others money and then attack those who refuse to give you their money.

csdeven on October 13, 2011 at 9:24 AM

MTF on October 13, 2011 at 8:22 AM

Beat me to it. And, in the case of Solyndra, it’s even worse than merely owning the debt and maybe getting paid back with interest. Here, the government subordinated its debt to another private entity controlled, coincidentally /, by a major bundler/contributor to Obama.

Few venture funds I know would subordinate or dilute their equity position in favor of another entity without extracting something substantial for it, which here was probably done in terms of a promise of major campaign contributions for 2012. Some might call this “money laundering.”

TXUS on October 13, 2011 at 9:38 AM

It’s not his money he’s wasting, so in his world, it doesn’t really matter now, does it!?!?

capejasmine on October 13, 2011 at 9:40 AM

A Fool is President, until 2017.

It’s a self-inflicted travesty on the part of lost land.

Schadenfreude on October 13, 2011 at 9:54 AM

radjah shelduck on October 13, 2011 at 9:09 AM

We live to dream.

Cindy Munford on October 13, 2011 at 9:56 AM

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?

While I understand the constitution allows them to regulate IC, I think we need an amendment that clearly defines IC so they can’t regulate things tangential to IC.

chemman on October 13, 2011 at 10:00 AM

One fewer Poli Sci retard loose, one fewer Ivy League school churning out all those useless Poli Sci degrees.

MNHawk on October 13, 2011 at 8:22 AM

I’m one of those Poli Sci retards. And yes. Without my military experience to add to my resume, it would have taken me longer than 6 months to find a real job.

I went to school for three years, dropped out after 9/11, swore in, served multiple tours, came home, went back to school and graduated (We Are Penn State!), then took a military contracting job in New York which I left after three years because it was New York, and spent six months looking for a real job in the DC area.

The difference between me and the protestors? I worked several menial jobs in the interim instead of demanding someone pay me for the hell of it.

Washington Nearsider on October 13, 2011 at 10:04 AM

Obama is throwing huge amounts of money away on purpose in order to hasten the collapse of Western civilization. Deals like Solyndra are all the sweeter because they also reward his campaign bundlers and keep the funds coming to subsidize his reign.

maryo on October 13, 2011 at 10:24 AM

Can Obama provide a complete list of companies who received tons of our money which turned out to be successful, produced the desired product and ended up with a healthy profit? If so, how many of these successful companies have repaid whatever funds they received from DoE?

Surely there had to be at least one company? Maybe?

Where’s the proof that these loans and loan guarantees (this government largesse with our money) have actually worked, other than to line the pockets of major Obama donors?

coldwarrior on October 13, 2011 at 10:31 AM

“…list of companies who received…”

s/b “…list of companies which received…”

[Sister Mary Angelica would not be pleased.]

coldwarrior on October 13, 2011 at 10:40 AM

So…. who are the successes?

ultracon on October 13, 2011 at 10:46 AM

it’s just money….we can make more steal more print more.

paradigms.

ted c on October 13, 2011 at 8:18 AM

FIFY.

Hootie on October 13, 2011 at 11:29 AM

Cognitive Dissonance:

Promoting Dodd/Frank in the name of protecting the people from financial risk
Promoting risky Federal “investments” with the people’s money

JM Hanes on October 13, 2011 at 3:23 PM

So, a new capex investment usually has a 15% ROI in the first five years if all goes well, often taking eight to ten years to completely repay the initial investments (with dividends and stock value incentives in the meantime). In Obama’s math (it’s math!), for every $200 thrown at this dart board, $15 of profit can be reasonably expected after five years, completely absent dividends and other returns, and that “is to be expected”?

Hello, police? I need to report a theft…

Freelancer on October 13, 2011 at 7:09 PM

Q There have been reports with Solyndra in particular that investors warned

Not only were you warned we find out today that one or more DOE representatives had attended all Solyndra board meetings since February, when officials agreed on a loan restructuring that resulted in private investors moving ahead of taxpayers for repayment in case of default.

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?

According to Solyndra attorney Bruce Grohsgal, you were fully aware of Solyndra’s impending bankruptcy when you restructured their loan.
According to The chairman and CEO of a California solar energy company that sought bankruptcy protection after receiving a half-billion-dollar loan guarantee from the Obama administration has resigned.

in fact the DOE had inside access to financial information and management plans and was fully aware of the impending bankruptcy,” Solyndra attorney Bruce Grohsgal wrote.

QWhy did you ignore implicit absolute critical warnings? As OJT goes what have you learned from you gross failure wasting the taxpayers money?

DSchoen on October 13, 2011 at 8:28 PM

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,

BULL $HIT! The 2005 energy act had NO MONEY for manufacturing it maxed out at 17 million for R&D, the Loan guarantee program did not exist until the Obama admin amended it with the 2009 Obama stim debacle
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Energy efficiency and renewable energy research and investment

Loans and investments into green energy technology are a significant part of the final bill
Total: $27.2 billion

DSchoen on October 13, 2011 at 8:31 PM

Think he and the Dems would be happy with Defense programs with a 50% success rate? Especially if those programs were cutting edge and offered significant breakthroughs in defense capability?

/yeah, me either

AZfederalist on October 13, 2011 at 9:12 PM