The American taxpayers bailed out private sector banks for conducting unscrupulous practices and nefarious actions — encouraged by government policies starting with the Carter administration’s Community Reinvestment Act. And the banks have gotten bigger under the faux fix called Dodd-Frank. The real losers have been small community banks.
Wall Street threw a tantrum, causing many to lose massive amounts of their 401K investment plans, because they wanted their crack cocaine — artificially low interest rates. Once the Federal Reserve consented, the stock market “bounced” back, and everybody is playing the song “Happy.” Such is America’s new normal: crony capitalism and corporate welfare — all at the sacrifice of the hard-working American taxpayer.
And now there’s this new revelation of how our government seeks to choose the private sector’s winners and losers — rewarding those aligned with its own ideological agenda.
As reported by Fox News:
“A four-year investigation has concluded that officials of the solar company Solyndra misrepresented facts and omitted key information in their efforts to get a $535 million loan guarantee from the federal government.The company’s collapse soon after getting federal backing provided ammunition to lawmakers and other critics who portrayed it as wasteful government spending. The company’s failure likely will cost taxpayers more than $500 million. The report by the Energy Department’s inspector general was released Wednesday. It’s designed to provide federal officials with lessons learned as it proceeds to grant billions of dollars in additional loan guarantees. The inspector general found fault with the Department of Energy, describing its due diligence work as “less than fully effective.” The report also said department employees felt tremendous pressure to process loan guarantee applications.
In the end, however, the inspector general said the actions of the Solyndra officials “were at the heart of this matter.”
“In our view, the investigative record suggests that the actions of certain Solyndra officials were, at best, reckless and irresponsible or, at worst, an orchestrated effort to knowingly and intentionally deceive and mislead the department,” the IG’s report said.”
In case you forgot, here’s the video of President Obama visiting Solyndra May 26, 2010:
Is this a case of Solyndra being fully responsible — or just another example of ideological crony capitalism and corporate welfare? If someone thinks they can convince any of us Solyndra was able to deceive the American people without assistance from the Obama administration, well, I have some beachfront property to sell you in Lubbock, Texas.
So, once again, who will go to jail over this? Who in the Obama administration will do the perp walk for the massive deception resulting in millions of taxpayer dollars wasted? Will the American taxpayer get a refund? Nah, just like Lois Lerner — off with a six-figure taxpayer-funded retirement.
Is it any wonder the American people are fuming, as illustrated by the Trump phenomenon we’re seeing in the early 2016 presidential race? No one’s held accountable and this stuff just keeps happening. Ever wonder why the Obama administration is cutting our military — but not cutting food stamps? Does it seem odd we can’t conduct a relief in place of the Persian Gulf carrier battle group (CVBG), but we can give Planned Parenthood half a billion taxpayer dollars?
And so we have Solyndra bilking the taxpayer for almost a billion dollars, and we hear we must “invest” more money in infrastructure. It appears the rate of return on a government investment truly sucks if you base it on the performance of Solyndra.
A federal loan guarantee program for energy projects was established in 2005 during President George W. Bush’s administration. Four years later, the Democratic-led Congress passed an economic stimulus bill that substantially expanded the program. In the ensuing two years, the department disbursed more than $500 million to Solyndra, but in September 2011, the company laid off 1,100 employees, ceased operations and filed for bankruptcy protection. Obama personally visited the plant in 2010 to cite it as an example of economic progress stemming from the Democratic-led stimulus bill.
So, just a little over a year after President Obama’s “triumphant” speech at Solyndra, they shut down. And what are the ramifications of such folly? Is the taxpayer the only one who feels the slap in the face, while others just say, “Oops” and walk away? Is it any wonder we have such a runaway, massive debt piling up on future generations of Americans?
We can’t afford any more of this inept practice of government acting as venture capitalist. The difference is that government just raises taxes in order to increase its largesse — and no one’s there to call foul. And even when the respective Inspector Generals do cry foul, no one goes to the penalty box; there are no consequences for this incredibly bad behavior.
In the private sector, capital is raised based upon an idea’s merit, and if the idea can’t stand up under scrutiny, it won’t be supported. With government, on the other hand, capital goes to the idea aligned with a particular ideology, and it’s all about following the money.
Solyndra’s failure was the subject of numerous congressional hearings and a report from Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The August 2012 report concluded that Solyndra was a cautionary tale on how political pressures and other factors can result in poor decision-making.
“The red flags about Solyndra’s financial condition and the turbulence in the solar market were there for DOE to see when it reviewed Solyndra’s application in 2009. DOE staff and (Office of Management and Budget) staff noted these concerns at the time the loan guarantee was under consideration,” the congressional report concluded.
Will anyone be charged? No; in early 2015, the Department of Justice informed the Inspector General’s office it would not pursue criminal prosecution of any Solyndra officials.
And if, by some hook or crook, the Export-Import Bank gets renewed, the message to the American taxpayer is simple — Washington, DC and their special interests and financiers run this country. And that, folks, resembles more of an oligarchy instead of a constitutional republic. It’s no wonder Americans are so angry.