Remember all of those “saved and created” jobs which were touted endlessly in the months following the stimulus bill?
Most are gone. Yup, gone.
Oh, there might be a “saved” teacher job here or there, but the temporary jobs installing energy efficient windows or fixing faulty furnaces are long over. The construction jobs–what few there were– have pretty much come and gone. The turtle crossing has been built, the skateboard park is up and running, and new doorknobs have been replaced on the aging buildings in Duluth.
Now we get news that 1100 employees of Solyndra, a solar company which was praised by the Obama administration as the poster child for green job creation, have been added to the long list of those collecting unemployment checks.
Were these jobs considered “saved” or “created”? It’s just so hard to know…
Doesn’t really matter. The jobs are dead and gone. Kaput.
Yes, folks, although Solyndra got a loan of over $500,000,000 — yes, that’s 500 Million dollars– from the Stimulus package, and although solar “is the technology of the future”, the company filed for Chapter 11 earlier this month and has laid off its employees. It seems that our government frivolously “bet the farm” with taxpayer dollars on Solyndra and the farm went under.
Was it a good “bet”? Was the government careful with the hard-earned cash of working Americans? Apparently not, according to all reports. You see, Solyndra had been trying unsuccessfully to get a loan from the government back in the days of the Bush administration. The CEO of Solyndra, Chris Gronet, sent an email to the Bush Energy Department on Jan. 12, 2009 expressing dissatisfaction because the government loan they requested was put on hold. Bush officials felt that the loan “had merit” but were not convinced the company could stay afloat even with the loan. A return email from the Bush administration to Solyndra was released last week which summed up their decision:
Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee released a Jan. 13, 2009 email in which Bush Energy official Lachlan Seward wrote, “After canvassing the [Energy Department's credit] committee it was the unanimous decision not to engage in further discussions with Solyndra at this time.”
So was Solyndra in solid financial straits? Were they an up and coming company? Let’s take a look: They incurred a net loss of $114.1 million in 2007 and $232.1 million in 2008. (They went on to incur $119.8 million in the first nine months of fiscal 2009. By Oct. 3, 2009, they had accumulated a deficit of $505 million).
Those numbers apparently didn’t matter when Obama took charge. This was, after all, a GREEN company.
Just a few weeks into his presidency, Obama and his administration passed the stimulus bill and within it, gave a half-billion dollar loan to Solyndra, touting them as a company of the future. Joe Biden spoke by satellite at the ground-breaking of the Silicon Valley plant, calling Solyndra a “model” for the green industry. President Obama repeated this claim when he visited Solyndra and spoke to their workers.
Even more disconcerting is the fact that the loan was restructured so that the private investors in Solyndra moved AHEAD of the taxpayers in the event that the company went belly-up. Knowing full-well that this company was anything but solvent, the Obama administration not only gave Solyndra a crazy amount of money, but they threw the taxpayers under the bus in favor of private investors.
So who were these private investors? Well, strangely enough, we now learn that a man by the name of George Kaiser, a billionaire AND a major fundraiser for President Obama, invested millions of dollars of capital into Solyndra through his private investment company, Argonaut Ventures I LLC— a subsidiary of the George Kaiser Family Foundation of Tulsa, OK. Kaiser raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for Obama’s election campaign and has made 16 visits to the Obama White House, many of which occurred right before the loan to Solyndra was secured.
Since Kaiser was heavily invested in Solyndra, under normal circumstances he would benefit if Solyndra prospered and lose if Solyndra went under, however, under the restructured loan, Kaiser would win either way.The Obama administration made the decision to put the taxpayers, not the investors, on the losing side if Solyndra failed. Which it did.
Jonathan Silver, executive director of Obama’s Energy Department’s loan program, said that giving the loan to Solyndra was a tough, but necessary call:
“Without DOE’s agreement to restructure Solyndra’s loan, the company likely would have faced bankruptcy much earlier — in December 2010″ or soon after, Silver said. “Restructuring gave them a fighting chance to compete and succeed, and kept approximately 1,000 workers from losing their jobs.”
Uh….Earth to Mr. Silver: 1100 workers lost their jobs anyway. All you did was to delay the inevitable to the tune of a half billion dollars. Americans should be outraged at this rationalization. Americans should be outraged that our government restructured a loan to protect an Obama fundraiser instead of protecting its citizens. Americans should be outraged that a company which was clearly NOT financially solvent was given this loan in the first place — especially after the Bush administration denied the loan.
Americans should be outraged that despite all the facts, our President stood in front of us and lied when he said that Solyndra was a shining example of a green energy company which works.
This isn’t over. The emails are still being scrutinized to find out the who, what, and where’s of what happened. The White House is doing its best to protect Obama, claiming he “knew nothing” about the financial state of Solyndra. He apparently “wasn’t briefed.”
Yes folks, the “smartest President in history” once again knew nothing.
Sadly, 50% of the American public will believe this and vote him back into office.
It’s criminal. Literally.