Obama's tie to (bankrupt) Solyndra [Most commented]
You may not know about Solyndra, an industrial solar panel company based in Fremont, Calif., but that doesn't mean you shouldn't. It was the first company to receive federal stimulus funds, totaling $535 million.
Yet the company just filed for bankruptcy protection. And, it should be noted, House Republicans are investigating because one of Solyndra's main investors was a bundler for President Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. Here's what it means for all of us:
Taxpayers are likely to end up on the hook for much if not all of that amount, a highly embarrassing development for President Obama because he was among the company's biggest cheerleaders. He visited its Fremont plant in May 2010 even though PricewaterhouseCoopers had weeks earlier raised doubts about its plans for an initial public offering by questioning whether it could continue as a going concern.
That's especially troubling because Solyndra is backed by one of Obama's key fundraisers, George Kaiser of Tulsa. Congressional Republicans were raising alarms about Obama's connections to Solyndra well before Wednesday's announcement, with GOP members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee voting in July to subpoena documents from the Office of Management and Budget on the loan-guarantee decision.
Although the editorial board generally supports alternative energy, it also offered a word of caution for the president:
But if there's evidence that political rather than business considerations played a role in funding decisions, Obama will have much to answer for.
Many readers were outraged at the news, although the objects of their wrath varied. Here's a sampling from the discussion board:
"Clean energy" wastes green
Few things underscore the incompetence, lies and destructive influence of the left-wing's big government policies.
Aside from the labor-union corruption and horrendous waste of taxpayer money, the Solyndra debacle reveals what is wrong with the enviro-wackos. They saddle all Americans with new taxes and regulations under the guise of "clean energy" without regard for the simple fact that their grand schemes don't make economic sense.
We need to stop the idiotic social engineering through legislative fiat by the radical left wing idiots; if it's such a great idea, prove it at your expense first.
For this economy and country to recover, B.O. and the radical left-wing must go.
Strike a harder bargain with the Chinese
Solyndra went bankrupt because of competition from Chinese companies which receive far more generous government subsidies, enabling Chinese solar companies to undersell their American competitors. The Los Angeles Times fails to note that the Tea Party movement as well as the GOP is funded by oil companies; therefore, it is rather naïve to believe that a House investigation will be honest or straight-forward.
The lessons that should be learned are simple. We must re-examine our trade deals. We must penalize Chinese companies which use unfair marketing finances. In addition, global climate change is a scientifically-proven reality. We must break our addiction to fossil fuels. Rather than attacking Obama for advocating green tech, let's attack the GOP who want to keep us addicted to filthy and destructive fossil fuel.
China is the wrong example
Every time these liberal rags construct their argument for government funding of "clean energy" they cite the fact that China is outspending us in that area. This is comparing apples to oranges. Chinese leaders do not have voters and taxpayers to answer to regarding how they spend the state's money. Chinese leaders have unlimited and unchecked authority to do what they please.
Subsidies are not the solution
Allowing imported goods to undercut prices for stuff made closer to home has killed more jobs than subsidies have helped. All those 'free trade' agreements that Congress has bought into have helped only corporations, who send their plants to countries where the work is done by next-to-slave labor.
Kaiser's dabbling and Obama's coziness cost taxpayers
George Kaiser's net worth makes him the 100th wealthiest person in the world. He personally gave $100,000 to Obama and was responsible for bundling over $10,000,000 to Obama's 2008 campaign. Why does he need our money to open a manufacturing plant of any kind?
The real reason that Solyndra went out of business is because Kaiser had no previous experience in the solar industry. He backed an inefficient technology (solar tubes) that cost $6.29/watt to produce but could only sell them for $3.42/watt. Other solar panel firms like Solaria, First Solar, Nonosolar all currently operate profitably in USA without "stimulus" money.
Obama backed a friend's pet project. In the process Kaiser recouped his Obama contributions and now the taxpayer is left holding the bag. The government, and especially Obama, is not smart enough to be venture capitalists. A better policy would be to reduce inefficient regulations so that private enterprise can more easily open and operate their business.
*Spelling errors in the above comments have been corrected.
Photo: In this May 26, 2010 photo, President Obama is given a tour of Solyndra, a solar-panel manufacturer. The company, which received a $535 million loan from the U.S. government, has announced layoffs of 1,100 workers and filed for bankruptcy. Credit: Paul Chinn / Associated Press