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    Republicans dodge the real lesson of Solyndra
       Other Endorsed Independent Projects -> 'Say NO to Socialism!'

    Washington Examiner

    Sept. 19, 2011

    Timothy Carney

    In Republican-leaning circles in Washington, the question of the moment has been "Does this Solyndra thing have legs?" -- in other words, will the news media keep running stories on the subsidized, politically connected solar power company that just went bankrupt?

    When Republicans ask this question, they mean, "Will this significantly detract from [Alleged] President Obama's re-election chances?"

    The brief answer is: Probably not, because too many Republicans are asking the wrong questions and drawing the wrong conclusions.

    Solyndra's rise and fall are an important microcosm of Obamanomics. It's an instance of the influence peddling, incompetence and waste that are inevitable whenever government becomes deeply entangled in industry.

    But many Republicans are drawing narrower conclusions, making Solyndra about one loan, or trying to imply -- with insufficient evidence -- that it was a corrupt backroom deal. One reason they're not looking at the issue more broadly is that it would draw attention to the corporate subsidies Republicans love.

    The most telling moment of last week's House subcommittee hearing on Solyndra was a back-and-forth between Democrat Ed Markey and Republican Phil Gingrey.

    Markey pointed out that solar companies aren't the only energy companies getting federal loan guarantees. Power giant Southern Co. won a $3.4 billion loan guarantee from the Obama Energy Department last summer.

    Gingrey, of Georgia, didn't like Markey "comparing Solyndra, this bankrupt company, totally unproven technology, to the Southern Company." Gingrey pointed out that "Southern Company owns Mississippi Power, Alabama Power, Georgia Power, among others, and employs literally thousands of people."

    The implication was clear: Federal subsidies to big, established companies are fine. It's the handouts to these upstarts that are objectionable.


    In the House hearing on Solyndra, though, Republicans alternated between the typical congressman-bullying-a-witness schtick, and trying to paint Obama's DOE as unusually inept. The more accurate and politically relevant point is that government agencies simply aren't well-equipped to be economic players, and that political decisions will always drive government investments, whether the president is named Bush, Obama, Perry or Romney.

    Perry created his own government-run venture capital funds in Texas. Romney, too, used his state's Emerging Technology Fund to lure in big businesses. Republicans almost unanimously support Obama's expansion of the Export-Import Bank.

    Republicans could fairly use the Solyndra flap to highlight Obama's corporatism -- if only they weren't guilty of the same sort of thing.

    Timothy P. Carney, The Examiner's senior political columnist, can be contacted at His column appears Monday and Thursday, and his stories and blog posts appear on

    Posted 2011-09-19 4:06 AM (#57475) By: EternalVigilance

    Let us no laugh but look into these matters deeply;

    Congratulations and thank you to....

    Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

    Secretary of Energy Dr. Steven Chu (Two Billion dollars of orders?)

    Senator Feinstein

    Senator Boxer

    V-P (teleprompter) Joe Biden ($535 million and the other $30 billion loan guarantees)

    [Alleged] President Obama -- The Recovery Act

    Edited by gcsteven 2011-09-19 10:44 AM
    Posted 2011-09-19 10:43 AM (#57478 - in reply to #57475) By: gcsteven

    Let’s add a little perspective. By the end of 2009, Solyndra’s accumulated deficit was $500 million. It had lost $119 million alone in the first nine months of '09. And at the time the green market was in deep hibernation, showing little if any signs of profitability.

    Then we had Obama make his speech at Solyndra in May 2010. A company of the future, yada yada. One wonders what investment (and/or interest) in Solyndra followed Obama’s announcement? Anyway it could be just the thing a company would appreciate or hope for – sort of a free infomercial (regardless what effect it had).

    You can watch Obama’s full speech at Solyndra here on May 26, 2010, if you can stomach it.

    “…the true engine of economic growth will always be companies like Solyndra.”

     “This new factory is the result of those loans.”--[Recovery Act]

        You can also see his official press response about Solyndra now, here.

    And at the hearing, someone (I believe from OBM) said they knew then Solyndra would “need more funding” in the near future. I almost wonder if, at some point, government would have given more funding to it, had it not gone under? So I wonder about real 'future plans' of government not just Solyndra’s.

    Posted 2011-09-19 10:55 AM (#57479 - in reply to #57475) By: FreeByrd

    On one hand there is "Too Big To Fail".

    On the other is "Too Small to Succeed".

    Both want help from Federal government.
    Posted 2011-09-19 11:31 AM (#57481 - in reply to #57475) By: FreeByrd


    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."

    --Alexis de Tocqueville

    (The Recovery Act)

    Posted 2011-09-20 2:12 PM (#57526 - in reply to #57475) By: gcsteven

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