• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Morning Bell: Solyndra Scandal Ends Green Jobs Myth

    President Barack Obama’s solution for America’s unemployment woes has been a stubborn campaign to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on economic “stimulus”–much of it on so-called “green jobs.” Report after report has shown the approach to be a total failure. And now, a new scandal involving Solyndra, a bankrupt solar panel company in California, should be the final nail in the coffin for the government’s meddling in the free market.

    “[W]e can see the positive impacts [of the stimulus] right here at Solyndra,” Obama claimed when he spoke at the company’s newly unveiled factory in May of last year. He was correct that the results of his stimulus would be on display at that factory. But he was wrong that those results would be positive. Little more than a year later, the company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and plans to lay off more than 1,000 employees.

    The Solyndra factory where Obama spoke was built after the company received a $535 million loan guarantee from the Energy Department as part of the stimulus’s green jobs push. “Through the Recovery Act, this company received a loan to expand its operations,” Obama noted. “This new factory is the result of those loans.”

    But “everyone knew that the plant wouldn’t work,” according to a former Solyndra employee. So why was the President so sure of the plant’s success when he spoke there? What’s more, the company was built on “a model that says, well, I can build something for six dollars and sell it for three dollars,” according to an industry analyst. That would normally be a red flag for investors. So why did the President claim that “the true engine of economic growth will always be companies like Solyndra”?

    The answer to both of those questions: The government’s decisions are driven by politics and ideology and are divorced from economic reality. Want proof? Take a look at a January 31 e-mail between Office of Management and Budget staff regarding “Solyndra optics” — that is, how the issue looks in the public’s eyes. ”If Solyndra defaults down the road, the optics will arguably be worse later than they would be today,” they wrote, adding:

    In addition, the timing will likely coincide with the 2012 campaign season heating up, whereas a default today could be put in the context of (and perhaps even get some credit for) fiscal discipline / good government because the Administration would be limiting further taxpayer exposure letting bad projects go, and could make public steps it is taking to learn lessons and improve / limit future lending.

    In other words, in January the Administration was essentially letting the 2012 campaign dictate decisions on the federal government’s financial involvement with Solyndra. They were not responding to normal profit-and-loss signals, as they should. Had Energy Department bureaucrats been investing their own money, they might have been more careful. But it was others’ money — taxpayers’ money — at stake. Self-interested investors, who naturally weed out bad investments, were wholly absent. The result: Taxpayers are likely to lose up to $535 million, while the people who made the decision to throw money at Solyndra have, so far, been completely insulated from reprisal.

    Much attention has been paid to accusations of cronyism in the Energy Department, given that a major Solyndra investor is also a big Obama donor. But the fundamental lesson of the Solyndra scandal is not that money buys political favors. That now goes without saying. The real takeaway is that government intervention in the economy is a fool’s errand, as Heritage’s Nicolas Loris notes:

    Solyndra exemplifies the government’s abysmal track record of picking winners and losers in the marketplace, and the solar company is not the only example of energy stimulus struggles. With a number of targeted energy tax credits set to expire at the end of this year or next, industry groups are lobbying hard for extensions. Especially given the U.S. fiscal situation, this is a time to end all energy subsidies—not to extend wasteful, market-distorting policies. When the government decides to favor a technology with subsidies, it’s a good bet that subsidy ‘winner’ is a loser in the marketplace.

    Indeed, at least four other companies to receive money from Obama’s stimulus package have gone bankrupt, Fox News reports.

    Even where companies do create jobs, they do so at such exorbitant cost that the effort cannot reasonably be considered a success. To date, The Washington Post reports, the Energy Department loan guarantee program from which Solyndra benefitted has created one new permanent job for every $5.5 million spent. Lend that kind of money to a private business in an industry that doesn’t rely on taxpayer support, and it will put hundreds if not thousands to work.

    Government subsidies are invitations for political favoritism, of course. But more importantly, as engines of job creation, they simply don’t work (just ask Spain). Sure, the Administration’s “green jobs” program has led to allegations of corruption. But it has also failed even in its foremost task of creating jobs for an economy with a chronic unemployment problem. Columnist Jim Pethokoukis writes, “Solyndra is the logical endpoint of Obamanomics.” Unfortunately, the American people are paying the price for getting us there.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    102 Responses to Morning Bell: Solyndra Scandal Ends Green Jobs Myth

    1. @bwtecoohio says:

      One solar company goes bankrupt = solar is a failure. BP spills 4.9 million barrels of oil in the Gulf = "Drill Baby Drill!" Why are we forced to listen to Idiot Logic?

      • MB3 says:

        The reason is, oil is actually USED and the BP spill is the exception. Start naming successful solar companies that put tens or hundreds of thousands of people to work. Yeah, I thought so. Oil is used in in some form in just about every industry, yes, even in making solar panels and delivering them! Not to mention solar companies employees used gasoline to get to work! YOUR logic is what's idiotic.

      • Lloyd Scallan says:

        First, the BP spill was as severe as it was because the same predident that just wasted a half billion of our tax dollars, is the same president that deliberately allows that much oil to spill with regulations and manipulations to justify shutting down all drilling.

        Second, we need and use oil in ever aspect of our lives from gas/deisel for our vehicles to everyday
        products that make our lives easier.

        Third, at this point in time, solar companies and solar enerby are futuristic. Perhaps in the next 20 years in might be a viable energy source, but today we need oil companies one hell of a lot more than solar.

        And that does not include that political shenanigans Obama is engauging in to collapse our ecomony.

      • Rich says:

        The Green Energy movement is more of a political movement rather then a true environmental movement.

        When you consider energy density of the various green energy technologies and the total cost and energy involved in bringing some of these low density energy technologies on-line the new green technologies do not look so green after all.

        • TrueDat says:

          It's because the right sees green energy as a political movement that they have allowed this vital technology to be hijacked by China. In the decades ahead, because of the false notion espoused in your comment, America will once again find itself beholden to a belligerent foreign government for our energy needs. No doubt the right will find some way to blame the left for this theft when in fact it is your paranoia that will allow it to happen.

          • Rich says:

            Just because I favor fossil fuels and nuclear power over the so called green energies, in no way means that I am not into domestic energy production. I am in favor a major increase in domestic production with emphasis on conventional energy. We have great fossil fuels reserves with the infrastructure in place to distribute that energy.

            Solar and wind power will not go away and will be implemented as the market demands.

            Some subsidized green energies like ethonol are clear losers and should lose their subsidies immediately.

            Rich

      • ThomNJ says:

        I don't think that anyone said one solar company goes bankrupt is equivalent to solar energy is a failure.

        The point here is that the government HAS NO PLACE IN THE FREE MARKET. A couple of commenters rightly pointed out that we the people (as in we the government) didn't even get rights to this company or its technology. That is a poor investment and nothing a venture capitalist would endorse – nor would a company proceed this way if buying the technology and paying royalties (as in a license).

        Did the government establish a hurdle rate, a payback period or even a cash flow diagram to make an attempt to predict the likelihood of success? Did they vet the business model assumptions? It looks as though none of that was done by the government – and rather poorly done by Solyndra.

        The other thing to consider, referencing your comment, is that Solyndra's business model was faulty, and it may not necessarily have to do with the technology at all. Please think a bit more and not jump to the nearest emotional left-wing talking point before commenting.

      • @Truth247 says:

        Notice how many thumbs down you received? How could you possibly attack Big Oil on this site? (SNARK) Good for you but I had posted 3 responses, none have been printed.

      • Jeff Dover says:

        There's no linkage in your point. The discussion is economic. There's no debating the value of oil to the world nor of the markets for it. Solar isn't "failed" in the sense that it doesn't work. It doesn't work "economically", which is the only reason no one wants to buy the stuff. It costs too much relative to less expensive alternatives. You're unlikely to go bankrupt if you produce a profitable product everyone wants. Solyndra did not — in common with numerous others.

        You'd be better off using your time to find the "logic" rather than making yourself look silly publicly by calling those who understand "idiots".

      • acxxx says:

        Thats why nuclear energy is the failure

      • tymtrvlr says:

        As a matter of fact 3 of obama's solar companies have gone into the toilet, taking billions of dollars with them. Oil, well oil makes the machinery turn, the squeky gear gets the oil. Oil spills, your punk and thief polished his thumbnails with his backside while the ocean was needlessly contaminated.
        obama showed the world the extent of his leadership abilities with the BP debacle, his teleprompters didn.t know what to do or say either. The whole world wasn't smiling, they were laughing at him, and how the country actually elected him without any leadership abilities other than point the finger at G.W. Bush. A great leadership skill for marxists, point and blame, so much for hope and change. obama hopes to get around to changing something, but, it will have to be after vacation.

    2. Charles says:

      The next "green" scandal that should be ended is the one known as "ethanol".

    3. liz says:

      I find it unbelievable what this man has done to our country I sure hope the American people wake up before it is too late, and I hope I live long enough to see a positive change in our country including the fairtax implemented and the recinding of the 16th amendment

      • TrueDat says:

        Please tell me what he has done to our country? I can tell you he extended Bush tax cuts, extended Patriot Act, continued wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, kept Gitmo open and generally continued following Bush's "war on terror" campaign. He also continued the bailout of banks and insurers. Now, can you tell me what damage Obama did to America that wasn't a continuation of his predecessor?

        • Bobbie says:

          yeah, TrueDat. His predecessor was under democrat rule where obama sat in the senate. He sure hasn't done ANYTHING GOOD for this country as a whole. Even then. And if what Bush did was so awfully wrong, why would he continue? the only "change" this president wants are those "changes" that further HIS cause! No "change" for the better of America's freedom and independence!!!!!

    4. Lloyd Scallan says:

      To suggest this latest Obama controlled debacle is the "final nail in the coffin" is foolish. We all had better realize, real fast, Obama has an agenda to destroy our American way of life by collapsing our economical
      system. No one, let alone a president, can be that naive to not see what his policies are doing to
      this nation. It's calculated and deliberate.

      • Jefferson Smith says:

        So his administration takes our money to give to a 'green' company so that he can say that it will help grow jobs and re-build the economy. How is that policy intended to destroy the economy? He intended it to fail so he could look bad? Your paranoia is staggering and probably dangerous.

        • Bobbie says:

          Your ignorance is worse and more dangerous! the company needed a bailout which means it couldn't handle itself so deeper research should've been conducted especially when close to the end of Bush's term, he denied Solyndra their request to a bailout because obviously they didn't show any viable corrections in place enough for Bush to THINK they could recover or gain success. Obama ignored it all. so if it wasn't intentional then we don't have a very bright bulb in the white house that we should be forced to contend with. Paranoia? How about your failure to consider all or even just enough?

      • Bill says:

        There is no final nail in the coffin. The left are like vampires who can get out of a coffin even when nailed shut. They also suck our blood and have the compassion of the undead. The more I think about it, the more I like this analogy.

      • Doug Nicholson says:

        "It's not paranoia if they're really out to get you."

      • ProbSolv says:

        Just to set the mood here…This president has surrounded himself with nothing but socialists, everyone in his cabinet and his CZARS are socialist leaning. For the first 2 years of his presidency, he had a filibuster proof senate and a compliant rubbers stamp congress. No one can say this man did not get everything he wanted. And history and law will prove out that many laws have been broken and many including certain congress and senate individuals will be included. Everything done in the first 2 years of OBUMBERS dictator ship have designed to cause the financial collapse of our economy, our freedoms, and our political republic way of government.

        I only hope people do not get snowed again into voting this crooked administration in to finish the destruction they have so artfully begun!

    5. Wooly says:

      Back when Nixon placed price controls on business for his contorted reason(s) I was a steel fabrication contractor and responded to a request for proposal to build horse trailers for the US Forest Service. I looked over the monumental documents and went straight to the fine print where I found "Storage requirements for completed trailers", and it was a deal breaker. I would have had to provide indoor secure storage for all finished products "until the agency needed them for distribution", which upon further examination was unlimited. AND they had to be stored sans wheels and tires which would have to be procured no sooner than 30 days prior to delivery. I did respond, but submitted a no bid. The company in my area that was successful in the bidding process built 100 trailers and delivered none to the government. They were sold at a bankruptcy auction for pennies on the dollar largely because they had no wheels or tires. If you are a small business, you had best have more lawyers than factory workers and administration staff.

    6. bob bishop says:

      OK, so if lots of people agree (inside and out of government) that this decision was practically criminal; how do we stop it???? These people who throw away our money are appointed, not elected and not accountable; lets find a way to remove them.

      • leftshot says:

        Actually it WAS CRIMINAL. We already know, for example, that the DoE modified the loan early this year and subordinated the loan to the investors. This is in direct violation of statutory law. It's also dumb. No bank would ever do this and no bankruptcy court would ever put investors before creditors.

    7. Chuck says:

      The US Govt. should not be acting as a Venture Capitalist especially when it comes to using tax dollars.

      • leftshot says:

        I agree, but they weren't even smart enough to act like venture capitalists. The Government got no ownership in any of these companies as a VC does. No, they took the role of the pathetic parent who co-signs a loan for their irresponsible son. There never was a way for the Federal Government to come out ahead financially in these deals.

      • @Truth247 says:

        So why does the government provide BILLIONS ANNUALLY to the gas, oil and coal industries? The GOTparty rallying against green energy is rallying against America's future. This piece is a prime example of the hypocrisy found on the right. If America is going to have an independent energy future then that future will be in green energy. Fossil fuel is a finite resource and it will be exhausted in the near future. If the conservatives stopped supporting the largest donors to the Republican-Tea party and supported America then they would be rallying around green energy, not against it. To suggest this one failure is the death knell of green jobs is unAmerican and ignorant. America should be leading the world in the green energy industry but because liberals promote this industry the conservatives are against it. The right wing continues to be blinded by partisanship. As a result of this shortsightedness America will once again find themselves dependent on a belligerent provider for their future energy needs. This time it will be China and the GOTparty will have only themselves to blame.

        • Bill says:

          So who is stopping the domestic drilling in ANWR or the gulf? You think that throwing money at a yet to be effective technology is wise? You MUST be a lib! It doesn't matter if the money is wasted but you feel good about trying.

    8. MDB749 says:

      Uh-oh! I'm going to have to report you to attackwatch.com! It's against this administration's policies to speak the truth.

    9. Carol M Kite says:

      It is deplorable that this administration, already hurting terribly from a bad economy with so many thousands jobless for so long, is comfortable with playing fast & easy with the taxpayers' money. Apparently becoming obvious, green energy doesn't even work on such a huge scale but worse, it'll be a losing struggle for all to be warm with Winter fast approaching with the fossil fuel readily available. Yes, it's all expensive because Barack Hussein Obama refuses to make available all the rich resources in the ground right here in America. No one has extra money to invest in solar or wind energy. How dare he throw away taxpayer monies, just for show, in a failing trial!

    10. Curt Krehbiel says:

      Solyndra, green jobs, EPA denying refining and oil industry development, extending unemployment benefits again and again, another worthless "jobs bill", borrowing more money for federal expenditures, countless new regulations for business to contend with, etc., is all designed to kill the economy and destroy the productive capacity of this once great nation. The goal is to punish America for rising above the poverty that exists in other countries on the planet and bring us down to their level. This is the "Change" he promised during his campaign. Our only solution is to get rid of him and his ilk in November, 2012.

    11. Stephen says:

      The Dems have already doubled the amount we will have to pay to keep this going. They are saying that we haven't put enough in to get the result.

    12. The Farmer says:

      Its not about energy! Its not about jobs! The goal is to destroy the America we know, because Obama has nothing but distain for our Country!
      And those on both sides of the isle that are helping him love the their, position and profit, much more then our Country!
      THE ONLY WAY OUT OF THIS MESS IS ONE TERM LIMIT ALL OF THEM, INCLUDING THE COURT.

      • Wm. Tomlinson says:

        Dear Farmer, the founders thought of the term limit long before you or any did. It is all there in the Constitution. The problem lies not with our representatives length of term in office but with the people who continue to elect men of dubious character. It is with "we the people" wherein the problem lies. It is far easier to see the flaws in others than the flaws which exist within our own skin. If our elected officials are charlatans, are they not representative of we ourselves? If we wish to see representatives of good character than we must once again become a people of good character that we might choose such.

        There will be national repentance or there will be national death.

      • Vernita says:

        Term limits would get us back to truly representative government. These people are no longer us. They represent no one but themselves. Exploiting the poor & the rich….disgusting.

      • tionico says:

        NO TERM LIMITS.. we already HAVE them. It is called "WE THE PEOPLE". Why in the world so we keep returning the morons and thieves to office? No, we'd lose some of the few good ones we've got with mandatory term limits. VOTE IN good men, VOTE OUT bad men. That is term limits.
        Next, bust the pay for public office down to about double the poverty threshhold and remove all the perks, priviledges, penisons, special treatment. That way, there's be no financial carrot to goad crooked men into standing for office. Greed motivates far too many of them. Take the reward away, let those serve who are servants. But term limits? NO WAY

    13. Jim Patterson says:

      We need to be sure that ALL crony capitalism is out the door. Not just someone else's tax break or one company's tax break, but everyone's tax break. Not for the politicians to decide who can make it or break it, let the free market decide.

    14. Victor Barney says:

      As it's not over for Barak Obama until our Savior returns, it's also true of Solyndra Scandal Ending Green Jobs Myth! Watch! Yes, the "devil's" in the details and there IS NOT much time left, but it is his world still afterall! Watch!

    15. Ben C. says:

      Below is an email I sent to both of my US Senators this morning. Both are steadfast Democrats so I doubt it will have any impact. But I just can't stand by and not voice my opinion:
      It is clear to me as it should be to you given you have been in Congress ten (and thirty one) years that social engineering and government favoritism does not work. Massive government spending serves only one purpose: getting re –elected. To this end I respectfully request:
      1.Stop spending money we do not have – as President Obama (when a Senator) once said “mortgaging our children’s future is immoral.”
      2.Stop creating government dependence. Detroit is the poster city for this agenda.
      3.Reduce if not eliminate the plethora of government regulations. I am trying to move my business to a better location and government roadblocks are slowing the process. In addition, my suppliers are now required to get individual licenses for each state. This madness has to stop.
      4.Do the right thing and let small business thrive. Allow all the off-shore money to repatriate tax free and watch what happens.

      • Bobbie says:

        excellent email, Ben C. please share any response you may get that isn't formatted! Oh wait, that's the only letter democrats send! Thank you, Mr. C.!

    16. Robert, TX says:

      Obama could care less! He made the payoff – what happens afterward is nothing to him – he has plenty of cover from the MSM, and he has ZERO opposition in Congress. Republicans are content to wait another 14 months for the "mother of all landslides" (which is a pathetic lack of leadership) – and Obama can destroy whatever he wants from now to then. A lot of sheep will be slaughtered, but I am afraid some patriots will be hurt as well. But the democrats and republicans will call each other names, while our nation declines even further. If you are a republican, call your representative or senator and DEMAND action NOW. If you are a democrat – and your rep. or senator is not a complete communist – tell them you expect positive results.

    17. Carter Robertson says:

      I would be interested to see what kind of salary and bonus (if any :)) the company officers received.

    18. Jack says:

      I don't think 'Green Jobs' are a myth. But they must be based on viable 'business plans' that produce sales and profits on their own, just like any business.

      The fallacy was that 'government money' makes it a good business. IMHO, if an investor isn't willing to pony up the nickles after viewing a business plan and financials, then it isn't a good business plan, and just giving money to anyone without a reasonable expectation of return is just a course that leads to corruption at every level of the 'dole'.

    19. Jake Jackson says:

      In addition to the Dept of Education let's add the Dept of Energy to a list of cabinet posts that should be abolished!

    20. KC - NM says:

      Government must get out of the practice of determining winners and losers just to have a political photo opportunity. This is tragic for the employees, the tax payers who had their contributions wasted, and the country as a whole. This administration and the pitiful lack of leadership needed to re-build America must go in 2012.

    21. Threepwood says:

      It's no place to be learning on the job what people who have to balance their own budgets already know-
      although there doesn't even seem to be any learning going on?

      It should be a requirement of voters that a president should have greater prior knowledge of real life economics than this clown.

      Like say anyone who ever ran a lemonade stand?

      • Momster says:

        Well, Threepwood,

        When my kids were little they ran a lemonade stand… They used my sugar, my lemons, my water, my ice, my cups and set up their shop outside my house. So I believe the president does run the country like a lemonade stand–on the level of a 7 year ol–with no concept of reality.

        • Bobbie says:

          good one, you guys! I love that verizon commercial where the little girls lemonade stand turns into a successful private market business with the neighborhood kids!!!! I love inspiring commercials that reflect America's freedom!!!!!

    22. Frank says:

      End government meddling in the marketplace & end "crony capitalism". This is something BOTH major parties need to learn, as well as the voting American electorate who keep re-electing these big government politicians.

    23. Ed D says:

      I don't agree with your comment "the fundamental lesson of the Solyndera scandal is not that money buys political favors. That now goes without saying" It seems reasonable for some entity to investigate what George Kaiser received from Solyndra. You look at guys like this and Steve Westley and it is clear they now how to game the system to the tune of hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars. If the green energy spigot is turned off, what happens to these guys. I'm sure they have skimmed enough to not have to worry about themselves but at some point exposing this crap is important.

    24. Monica says:

      I have heard enough about Solyndra, but where is the ACTION to hold anyone accountable? The hearings being held allowed Solyndra executives to "opt out of testifying" on the first call, already giving the appearance of a circus. I am not at all confident that those responsible – starting at the White House – will answer for this obvious abuse of power.

    25. Clearhead says:

      AND — paying,…….and paying,…….and paying,…….and paying,…….ad infinitum. The payments are not just monetary. They include payments of money of course, but they also include payments of time, resources, pride in America, personal ambition, livelihood, confidence, ethics, morals, demeanor, safety , progress, consideration, independence, respect, freedom, abundance………….again, ad infinitum. All this for the adhesion to "principles" set up by our exalted group of "leaders" who know much better than we what's good for us — and, more important — FOR THEM.

      • Oscar says:

        agree, agree….all that is wanted of us is are money – not our way of life, values, discipline, morals, etc…. very sad

    26. emnusa says:

      Solyndra gave Obama money during campaign, and they got the money from the taxpayers. I wonder if the president knew they had to get the loan or he would not get the campaign contribution. I don't like my tax I pay to fed going into Obama's pocket and he should return the money to Solyndra. This is necessary and I think a criminal investigation should be made even after he returns the money. Do you think he should resign?

    27. Angela says:

      This only confirms the vast influence private money has on our policies and decision makers. No matter what party affiliation a candidate is, they will always put the needs of the american people second to the special interests that support their political career. The only power the American people have is the vote, but when we are reactionary and don't do our research, we hand over this power to the candidate with the greatest financial support. Support Buddy Roemer 2012 or candidates like him who keep their books open and refuse to be bought. Elected officials are in the service of the people, but only if we demand this.

    28. Fred S. says:

      I'm surprised and saddened that neither the Secretary of DoE or the Under Secretary of DoE, both of whom I've heretofore respected for their intelligence and integrity, appeared to acquiesce with respect to supporting Solyndra with public money.

    29. Wm. Tomlinson says:

      The myth of green jobs? That is not the myth. The myth is that any of the government's spending is for any other reason than the overburdening of the economy until it collapses under its own weight.

      The left desires a socialist society. That can not be achieved unless their is a collapse of the capitalist republic. They have been working on it for over a century and we are nearly there.

      If there is not an overwhelming influx of Constitution devotees elected in 2012, who will begin dismantling the bloated, hateful, crushing regulations which keep all but the very brightest and effervescent entrepreneurs pinned to the floor, the death throes in which America finds herself will be her last. There will be no rising from the ashes.

      The pressures America face come from to many directions and none are being addressed appropriately; rather more and more regulation bind an ever weakening public so that they believe there is no hope of escape.

      There will be national repentance or there will be national death.

      • Wm. Tomlinson says:

        "That can not be achieved unless their …" there, THERE! … sheesh.

      • @Truth247 says:

        Don't even try to blame this mess on socialist policies. The closest America has ever come to Socialism was Keynesian economics and that was abandoned by both parties during Reagan's administration. Ever since then America has been following a free-market economy based on the economic ideas of the Chicago School. This supply-side economic model, also called trickle down economics or "voodoo economics" or Reaganomics has been responsible for the demise of America's middle class. Through both Democratic and Republican administrations the American government has focused on promoting and protecting the assets of the financial elite. This experiment in wealth redistribution has resulted in the greatest wage and wealth gap in American history. It is this mistaken notion, that a rising tide lifts all ships, or if the richest are richer then the poor will be richer too, that has destroyed our nation and our economy. Humans are greedy animals and this greed results in the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Socialism has had nothing to do with this national failure. It is pure unadulterated capitalism that has destroyed America. As for regulations, you need to stop listening to the lapdogs of the corporations. America has been on a deregulation binge for the past 30 years and THIS is where it has gotten us. If you continue to trumpet the causes of the corporations then we will get more of what we have today. Record profits by corporations and record number of people living in poverty. Looking towards the corporations for free market relief from our economic misery will just mean more misery for the poor and middle class while the financial elite prosper.

        • Bill says:

          Your name is ironic. Your rendition of the talking points is OK but Obama and his gang have invoked Keynes since his inauguration. I realize it seems like he has been in office thirty years but that is not the case.

    30. toledofan says:

      This is going to turn into a huge scandal and may be just the tip of the iceberg, so, where is the mainstream media on this? Where are the demands for an independant prosecutor, for all the documents and anything related to this? This is exactly why, no matter the ideology, the media has to be unbiased, open, and honest about what is going on. Let's face it, they, the mainstream media, put their eggs in the wrong basket and Obama may end up taking everybody down with him, or maybe not. But I guess it's refreshing to know there are places like HF that continue do the right thing and at least tell the truth.

    31. leftshot says:

      Another example of the government doing something stupid that no one in the private sector would ever do.

      1. VCs invest in exchange for stock ownership, so they have a way to recoop, even make large sums of money if the company is successful. [It also balances out the inevitable failures, since start-ups are high risk.]

      2. Most of the DOE's efforts have been loan guarantees. There is no financial upside. This is like co-signing for a loan. The Federal Government [really taxpayers] have to pay back the loan if the company can't, but they do not participate in ownership or interest earned on the loans. IT'S ALL DOWNSIDE.

      3. In the case of Solyndra, it was even worse. Reports over the last two days say in this case it was NOT a loan guarantee. The government actually made the loan. So the $535 million is already gone. This also raises the question: How good were the prospects of this company if they couldn't find a bank to loan the money EVEN WITH the U.S. Government guaranteeing the loan?

    32. MFrank says:

      I demand to know what happened to that 1/2 billion dollars went. Some of that was MY MONEY that I earned. I want it back. I think this mess is far worse than Watergate or any other Presidential scandal because it involved MY MONEY.

      • leftshot says:

        I understand. I've followed this company pretty closely and it appears that most of the money went into building custom manufacturing equipment. As such, there is very little value in this equipment as it can only be used to make an economically failed product.

      • @Truth247 says:

        Do you really think this is the first time a government loan went bad? Did you ask the same question about the BILLIONS that have gone missing in Iraq? Did you demand to know what happened to the $12 billion in CASH that was flown into Iraq never to be seen again? This 1/2 billion dollar loan didn't vanish like that $12 billion did. It was a poor business plan and there should be an investigation. Right after the House investigates what happened to the $12 billion that disappeared in Iraq during Bush's terms. Please, the disingenuous right is nauseating.

    33. Whicket Williams says:

      Regulation is killing us faster than the spending. When will elected officials acknowledge this, and act?

      • @Truth247 says:

        America has been on a deregulation binge for the past 30 years. All I read here is written by puppets of the corporate right wing power elite. You don't even know you are being used.

        • Bobbie says:

          You must not know the truth, or are even privy to hearing it? Not a business owner! Ignorant and vulnerable people are the ones being used and manipulated. What gives, Truth247? Talk to business owners!!!

      • Robert, TX says:

        Acknowledge it? They are the ones doing it – and they are acting, in their own self interests.

    34. Leif says:

      How about in addition to taking the time to post today, you take the time to call your rep and urge them to support the audit the Fed bill. That will help bring transparency to the lunacy of our global banking ponzi scheme.

      On the topic of green jobs, If the government wants to stimulate "green jobs" they could begin by legalizing the production of industrial hemp.

      It is an extremely profitable crop and we would immediately put tens of thousands of small farmers to work producing textiles that could replace plastics, paper from trees, etc.

    35. Jeanne Stotler says:

      What has happened is a crime and I am sure it's not the only illegal act by this administration to get money for his campaign. We need a VERY GOOD investigative Reporter to dig out all the facts and the dirt hidden, THEN send all of them to jail.

    36. DonC says:

      If we lived in a nation that was totally run by the free market, we would have hand full of children who got quality education, a few good roads that ran through a few gated communities, a smattering of private colleges and tiny number of fabulously wealthy families. All of their tax dollars would be going into building prisons and arming the military to defend what they had accumulated.
      The free market is a good thing, but it is the public/private partnership that we have practiced over the past century that has given us the potential for greatness.
      It is unfortunate the Solyndra was a loser. And there may well have been political factors at play. But if this nation can't start making better decisions related to energy production and use, this nation is destine to fight one war after another over oil. As we will look on, conservatives are taking the opportunity to bury their heads ever deeper in the sand on the issue of climate change. Government HAS to take a role in this. Otherwise the free market will simply choke us with cheap coal, and lead us into the next oil related war. Is that what you wish for??

    37. Paul says:

      Its not whats said it whats not said.

      How much of that money was kicked back to the Democrat party directly or indirectly by the principal owner billionaire?

      This company is still operating as I understand it. Why? Whats left should be returned. End this farce!

    38. Stirling says:

      Bernie Madoff would be proud of this Administration.. How else can you spend Billions on "Green" projects, have no accountablilty, FAIL, and not go to jail for it.. Oh wait, become president… When America is officially bankrupt China will move in, undo all of the Green regulations, and setup their polution in our backyards…

      • TrueDat says:

        One failed loan and the right wing makes it into a scandal. This was a $534 million loan. When the Republicans in the House are done wasting tax payer money investigating why 1 loan out of thousands went bad can they investigate what happened to the $12 Billion in $100 bills that vanished in Iraq during the previous administration?

    39. adrianb says:

      LOL!!!
      failure my arse.

      if you make an investment in an industry and 1% of it fails, as in this case, that is an incredible success rate.
      the green economy is still moving faster than the overall economy. so calling the green economy a failure when all proof and logic says otherwise is just stupid.

    40. Glen says:

      Why is this country being run on one man's ideaolgy? Can't anyone with a half of a brain, see that his policies do not work? No matter how much complaining is done, nothing seems to stop this man's quest to destroy America. (PARK THE PLANE)

      • TrueDat says:

        Stop listening to faux noise. You need to get your information from more than one biased source. I have already asked another commenter to list exactly what Obama has done to "destroy America". I would really like to see what it is that you think he has done differently from Bush. My complaint about Obama is that he has continued too many policies that Bush started. I had voted for FDR II and got Bush III instead. What Obama policies are destroying America? What Obama policies don't work?

    41. ThomNJ says:

      "…should be the final nail in the coffin for the government’s meddling in the free market."

      I am a little surprised that this comment was included in the article. Surely, you don't believe that, because we are not talking rational people here! If the term groupthink were to be revived, this would be one administration that suffers greatly from it.

    42. Irma from MA says:

      What concerns me is that Obama and his administration grab taxpayers money, throw it to their friends allegedly in the green energy fields who end up apparently not knowing WTF they are doing in said field and probably just "launder" a good amount of said taxpayers money back into Obama et al for Democrat campaigns and then pocket the rest for themselves to have gone to all that trouble of "running a business" that is meant to bleed the rest of us to death! Obama has been known to have stated that he plans on "raising" a billion dollars for his 2012 campaign. But in actuality he is taking taxpayers money right out of our pockets – forced "donations" … and hidden as well! I suppose that is brilliant in an evil, twisted, sick, demonic way!

    43. TrueDat says:

      Five comments none displayed. I guess my opinion doesn't fit the narrative of the author. This isn't journalism, this is propaganda.

    44. zane says:

      Who authorizes the Energy Dept. to spend taxpayers money? and what over-sight group O.K.s their spending?

    45. allosaur says:

      Myth = Obama's "Hope And Change"

    46. Mary L Rose says:

      This should be the straw that broke the camel's back. Never should this type of lending occur. In the future ANY loan, grant, whatever from the government must be handled as follows: The commitment is made, this will allow the recipient to go to the bank and make a loan in his name with the government commitment as collateral, but the recipient becomes responsible for that loan until all facets of the project are refined and approved, then after construction of whatever is begun, advances are made for that portion of the work competed as per a formal schedule. This places the onus on the recipient of the commitment who will think twice before doing anything that would place him at risk for any investment made in his name. This places the burden where it belongs not on the taxpayer. We, as citizens must demand this of our representatives in the future. This will never place the burden on the taxpayers again.

    47. wayne says:

      I want to attend Harvard U. so that I can get smart.

    48. Patrick says:

      green: MONEY; esp; GREENBACKS
      job: a criminal enterprise;specif:ROBBERY
      Solyndra = greenjob….

    49. JMM says:

      The company failed but I'll bet Obama got a huge campaign contribution from several Solyndra 'executives! All it cost BO was someone else's hard earned wages in the form of IRS TAXES poured into a losing 'Green' machine! Means nothing to the Demagogue-in-Chief as long as the vote buying continues full scale!

    50. quotha raven says:

      I believe there is further scandal in a clause agreed to by the O admin: there is a clause in the loan agreement that sez the private investors will be paid FIRST, before the taxpayers, in the event of bankruptsy. Isn't that illegal for a Energy Dept loan under stimulus package? And couldn't that be the reason the Bush admin turned Solyndra down?

    51. Ray says:

      In 1947 Phil Harris recorded a song called "Smoke, Smoke Smoke". As I recall there is a line in that song that goes " smoke, smoke, smoke, until I smoke myself to death"… Why not replace those lines with "SPEND, SPEND, SPEND… UNTIL I SPEND MYSELF TO DEATH"?

      Unfortunately, Phil passed away many years ago… I believe he did smoke… maybe he did smoke himself to death…

      If there a message here someplace?

      Ray/Houston

    52. Yuan Yi Peng (???) says:

      Complaint with IBM China CSR on Centennial

      [ Review ] How Much IBM Can Get Away with is the Responsibility of the Media http://larkforsure.wordpress.com/2011/09/18/xinhu

      Tragedy of Labor Rights Repression in IBM China http://larkforsure.wordpress.com/2011/08/23/xinhu

      Scandal stricken IBM detained mother of ex-employee on the day of centennial http://larkforsure.wordpress.com/2011/07/28/tence

    53. Samuel Daner says:

      Solyndra is the tip of the iceberg. This is not a White House scandal, it is a DOE scandal. Steven Chu and his whole staff should be fired. The controversy here is that DOE lied about doing due diligence and passed Solyndra through while intentionally delaying others that competed with DOE's officers business interests. The DOE could have safely diversified its bets with 40 small america business applicants but they blew the money on a few inside special interest applicants who paid lobby money while freezing out those small American businesses and jobs. Subpeona's will show that Lachlan Seward & Steve Spinner of the DOE, ordered staff and consultant's to change their review criteria and findings in order to manipulate winners and losers.

      Look into the ones that didn't get in because they didn't bribe the right people.

      The site: http://corruptiondoe.weebly.com has the real truth about Solyndra and beyond…

      It shows that: – Only campaign contributors received funding from the DOE ATVM and Loan programs and competitors to those interests were frozen out. – Key White House staff were informed of the misdeeds but they covered them up. – A criminally illegal protection investor money racket was being run by individuals in, and around, the DOE funding programs, Detroit and Goldman Sachs. – Detroit ordered all competing efforts killed off or permanently delayed. – Tesla is involved in the same influence-buying scam and financials fudging here Everybody knows about the site, above. Hundreds of thousands of people have seen it. Nobody can ignore the facts here. This was all pay-to-play.

      (OK to copy-and-paste and forward this)

    54. 2Dokie says:

      It would sure be encouraging to see some aggressive action by some congressional commitee. this makes Watergate look like a sundayschool class. The Pres has been handing out our money left & right for his reelection. We all know it and those responsible have done nothing… like no laws have been broken!!!???

    55. Bobbie says:

      EXACT REASON the money of hard working Americans should never be taken and put in the hands of irresponsible people in high positions. We can invest our OWN MONEY!! take the fall personally if it comes to that. Government investments BRINGS THE WHOLE COUNTRY DOWN!!!! Use your own personal pocket change, Mr. President!!!! TAKE YOUR OWN FALL!!!!

    56. Ocsar says:

      Need to end LOBBYING. Why the double standard of Federal Employees not allowed to accept a $3 sandwich from a contractor, yet Congress Officials, ETC. can accept $10's of 1000's from special interest.
      Why hasn't this come up on the table? LOBBYING is ruining out free enterprise….. very sad that ending LOBBYING, or limiting the amounts, has not been made a law .

    57. guestpb says:

      Additional information can be found at http://betweenthenumbers.net/

    58. This is my first time pay a visit at here and i am in fact happy to

      read all at one place.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×