The demise of Solyndra, the bankrupt solar panel company showered with more than a half-billion dollars in stimulus loans, exposes the fatal flaw of President Obama’s jobs plans.
Government officials rushed $535 million to Solyndra because the Obama administration was determined to make the company the centerpiece of its green agenda regardless of the law of supply and demand. Billions more have been wasted by politicians betting on favored companies and making Washington bigger, using the brute force of government to force liberal preferences into the economy. Mr. Obama calls them “investments,” but this is really venture socialism.
The entire purpose of the $825 billion stimulus bill was to sink government money into politically advantageous projects. Once the federal coffers were opened, the venture vultures eagerly descended. Obama bundler and major Solyndra backer George Kaiser, who splits his time between Oklahoma and California, explained it this way in a July 2009 speech in Tulsa: “There has never been more money shoved out of the government’s door in world history and probably never will be again than in the last few months and the next 18 months. And our selfish, parochial goal is to get as much of it for Tulsa and Oklahoma as we possibly can.”
The Obama economy is littered with billion-dollar busts. Yet Mr. Obama is advocating massive tax increases that would, in part, pay for more of his “investments.” If his new jobs bill were made law, it would create a new, permanent National Infrastructure Bank to fund even more green energy projects – a permanent venture socialism fund.
The investment bank is a proposal that has received bipartisan support in the past, and Republicans who oppose it are accused of not being “pro-business” enough. But the critics, a powerful cabal of labor and commerce special interests, said the same thing when conservatives opposed the housing, bank and auto bailouts, too. Republicans shouldn’t be the party of big business, and Democrats shouldn’t be the party of big labor. We should all be working together to advocate for the free market, which allows the best, most innovative businesses to succeed instead of distorting the market by subsidizing failing companies.
Thus, there is a much-needed lesson to be learned from Solyndra for Republicans and Democrats alike. Playing investor on the taxpayers’ dime won’t rebuild the economy, it will destroy it.