Most poker players know that before going all in on a hand, it’s best to check your hole cards first. Barack Obama went all in on Solyndra, a solar-power technology company that Obama himself visited and heralded as an example of how his green-jobs stimulus would create “countless jobs” in the US. Here he is in May 2010, justifying the $535 million bet he put on Solyndra:
As the clip notes, Solyndra went belly-up fifteen months later, and took Obama’s bet with it. Of course, Obama didn’t bet with his money; he used our money for that bet and bragged about what a great investment it was — even as Obama’s other policies may have undermined it:
Solyndra suspended operations Wednesday and will soon file for chapter 11 bankruptcy and lay off its 1,100 employees. The company cited “regulatory and policy uncertainties in recent months” as the cause of its financial hardships, which have “created significant near-term excess supply and price erosion,” according to the company’s CEO. Solyndra is the third solar company to file for bankruptcy this month.
Gee, what kind of “regulatory and policy uncertainties” might those have been? Perhaps the impact of ObamaCare on employment costs and the threat of escalating power costs thanks to Obama’s hostility towards domestic energy production?
But that’s not the best part of this OOTD, nor a lost bet for Obama at all. The Heritage Foundation blog The Foundry notes that Obama’s big bet on Solyndra paid off in other ways:
The economic conditions that have put Solyndra in such dire economic straits – the “regulatory and policy uncertainties” to which its CEO referred – may have been perceptible, even when the company received the loan guarantee. But the Department of Energy did not undergo its usual financial assessment when considering that guarantee.
“An independent federal auditor who has reviewed the energy loan program said moving so quickly without completing thorough reviews exposed the program to perceptions of political influence and put taxpayers at greater risk,” CPI’s iWatch News reported at the time.
Fueling that perception was the fact that George Kaiser, one of Solyndra’s top investors, raised about $50,000 for Obama’s presidential campaign.
What a coincidence!
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