Taxpayers Sunburned by Democrat Solar Stimulus

NRCC - The scandal surrounding Solyndra, President Obama’s now-bankrupt stimulus poster child, continues to develop after federal investigators raided the company’s headquarters. New reports suggest Obama administration officials willfully ignored red flags about Solyndra’s financial troubles prior to the company’s receipt of stimulus money:

“FBI RAIDS SOLAR PANEL COMPANY HAILED BY OBAMA” WHICH GOT MORE THAN $500 MILLION IN STIMULUS FUNDS. (Jim McElhatton and Jerry Seper, “FBI Raids Solar Panel Company Hailed by Obama,” The Washington Times, 9/8/2011)

“OBAMA OFFICIALS SAT IN ON SOLYNDRA MEETINGS”: “Officials from the Department of Energy have for months been sitting in on board meetings as ‘observers’ at Solyndra, getting an up-close view as the solar energy company careened towards bankruptcy after spending more than $500 million in federal loan money.

“Word of the Energy Department's unusual arrangement came as federal agents on Thursday converged on the California headquarters of the failed solar company, focusing fresh attention on the first corporate beneficiary of President Obama's stimulus program to create new clean energy jobs.” (Ronnie Greene and Matthew Mosk, “Obama Officials Sat In on Solyndra Meetings,” ABC News, 9/9/2011)

“OBAMA TEAM STOOD BY SOLYNDRA AS TROUBLES MOUNTED”: “Two months before Obama’s visit, accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP warned that Solyndra, the recipient of $535 million in federal loan guarantees, had financial troubles deep enough to ‘raise substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern.’

“The Obama administration stood by Solyndra through the auditor’s warning, the abandonment of a planned initial public offering and a last-ditch refinancing where taxpayers took a back seat to new investors. That unwavering commitment has come under increasing scrutiny since the company’s travails culminated in its filing for bankruptcy protection on Sept. 6 and a raid on its headquarters by the Federal Bureau of Investigation two days later.” (Jim Snyder and Christopher Martin, “Obama Team Stood by Solyndra as Troubles Mounted,” Bloomberg, 9/12/2011)

“MIND BOGGLING” THAT DEMOCRATS “PUT BLINDERS ON,” CHOSE SOLYNDRA AS “THEIR WHITE HORSE”: “ ‘People including our government put blinders on and did not want to believe in the obvious,’ Jonathan Dorsheimer, an analyst in Boston for Canaccord Genuity Inc. of Vancouver, said in an interview with Bloomberg Government. ‘The fact that the government chose Solyndra as their white horse is mind- boggling.’ ” (Jim Snyder and Christopher Martin, “Obama Team Stood by Solyndra as Troubles Mounted,” Bloomberg, 9/12/2011)

As taxpayers get sunburned by solar stimulus, Democrats are doubling down with more of the same stimulus spending that failed to live up to the promises of job creation promises:

PELOSI “STILL PUSHING AN ECONOMIC STIMULUS AGENDA”: “Though the House minority leader and her caucus are still pushing an economic stimulus agenda to save the economy, they’ve radically changed their rhetoric with the hope of winning over voters who saw ‘stimulus’ as close to a dirty word. Democrats are now being careful to frame their job-creation agenda in language excluding references to any stimulus, even though their favored policies for ending the deepest recession since the Great Depression are largely the same. … That’s a sharp shift from last year’s messaging strategy, when Pelosi issued hundreds of press releases touting the benefits of the 2009 stimulus bill in hopes of making believers of skeptical voters.” (Mike Lillis, “Pelosi Drops the Word ‘Stimulus’,” The Hill, 9/6/2011)

USA TODAY: IS THIS “JOBS PLAN DÉJÀ VU”? “SADLY YES”: “Americans who watched President Obama's call for a new jobs bill Thursday night might have wondered whether they were stuck in a time warp. A proposal to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to put people to work: Is this 2009 all over again? In some ways, sadly, yes.” (Editorial, “Jobs Plan Déjà Vu,” USA Today, 9/9/2011)

“OBAMA’S JOBS SPEECH: DÉJÀ VU ALL OVER AGAIN?”: “The speech mostly gave us a sense of déjà vu. From the president’s language, you would never know that Congress already has acted under his watch to save jobs — the $800 billion stimulus plan passed shortly after he took office.” (Glenn Kessler, “Obama’s jobs speech: deja vu all over again?” The Washington Post’s The Fact Checker Blog, 9/9/2011)

ABC NEWS’ JAKE TAPPER: “NEW, SECOND STIMULUS” BASICALLY “FOLLOWS THE SAME CONTOURS” OF THE FIRST ONE: “The president's plan, aimed at answering his critics' recent calls for boldness, follows the same contours of the $825 billion economic stimulus package he signed into law three years ago.

“This new, second stimulus of sorts features a mix of tax cuts for businesses and workers, billions in new infrastructure spending and aid to states, and an infusion of aid for the long-term unemployed.” (Jake Tapper, “President Obama Pushes $447 Billion Jobs Plan in Address to Congress,” ABC News, 9/8/2011)

DETROIT NEWS: “OBAMA OFFERS STIMULUS LITE.” (Editorial, “Obama Offers Stimulus Lite,” The Detroit News, 9/9/2011)

Worse yet, the Democrats’ new stimulus plan continues funneling money towards the same failed green schemes that characterized the first stimulus fiasco. Democrats are throwing good money after bad money to fulfill their green fantasy:

NEW “GREEN JOBS [EFFORTS ARE] IN OBAMA’S SPEECH IF YOU DIG FOR THEM”: “Green jobs, green jobs, green jobs - where were the green jobs in the Obama jobs plan speech delivered to Congress last night? A glance at the plethora of material put out by the White House doesn't immediately suggest green jobs, which the President glazed over last night, were on his agenda. If you look, and listen, closely though, you do see some green poking out of the $447 billion American Jobs Act. …

“So why didn't he call them green jobs specifically? Solyndra, wacky green jobs reporting in the mainstream media and other factors give that phrase a bit of a black eye at the moment to some. The green jobs are there in his jobs package, however, and now Congress takes up the larger mantle of whether it wants to pay the President's economic price for this jobs plan.” (Nino Marchetti, “Green Jobs in Obama’s Speech if You Dig for Them,” Reuters, 9/12/2011)

ENERGY SECRETARY STEPHEN CHU: LATEST OBAMA STIMULUS HAS “GREEN TINT”: “But Energy Secretary Steven Chu is emphasizing that the jobs proposal has a green tint. In a blog post, Chu is touting the green energy potential of the National Infrastructure Bank in Obama’s jobs plan.

“From Chu’s post Friday on the Energy Department blog:

‘This bank would issue loans to promising infrastructure projects -– including for important clean energy projects – providing them with the seed money necessary to help them secure essential private investment dollars that might otherwise sit on the sidelines.’” (Ben Geman, “Chu: Obama Jobs Plan Supports Green Energy,” The Hill, 9/12/2011)

BUT “NUMBER OF GREEN JOBS FAILS TO LIVE UP TO PROMISES,” EVEN IN PELOSI’S BACKYARD: “In the Bay Area as in much of the country, the green economy is not proving to be the job-creation engine that many politicians envisioned. President Obama once pledged to create five million green jobs over 10 years. Gov. Jerry Brown promised 500,000 clean-technology jobs statewide by the end of the decade. But the results so far suggest such numbers are a pipe dream.” (Aaron Glantz, “Number of Green Jobs Fails to Live Up to Promises,” The New York Times, 8/18/2011)

“EFFORTS TO STIMULATE CREATION OF GREEN JOBS HAVE LARGELY FAILED, GOVERNMENT RECORDS SHOW.” “Federal and state efforts to stimulate creation of green jobs have largely failed, government records show. Two years after it was awarded $186 million in federal stimulus money to weatherize drafty homes, California has spent only a little over half that sum and has so far created the equivalent of just 538 full-time jobs in the last quarter, according to the State Department of Community Services and Development.

“The weatherization program was initially delayed for seven months while the federal Department of Labor determined prevailing wage standards for the industry. Even after that issue was resolved, the program never really caught on.” (Aaron Glantz, “Number of Green Jobs Fails to Live Up to Promises,” The New York Times, 8/18/2011)

EPA’S ESTIMATE OF GREEN JOBS “CREATED OR RETAINED” BY STIMULUS SHRINKS TO JUST 7,140 JOBS. THE PRICETAG? $1 MILLION PER JOB AND $7.2 BILLION DOWN THE DRAIN. “President Obama's green jobs agenda has become a victim of its own red tape. Several internal reports show that state-level projects have stalled for years due to federal regulations favored by labor and green groups — big boosters of the green jobs push.

“The reports offer a peek into the dysfunction within the White House's green jobs initiative. In 2009, Obama dedicated $7.2 billion of stimulus funds to build "clean tech" jobs. He vowed to create 5 million jobs over the next decade.

“So far, that effort has ‘created or retained’ just 7,140 jobs, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. That's about $1 million per job. The number is actually down from last year, when the EPA claimed 16,605 green jobs.” (Sean Higgins, “Davis-Bacon Clogs Green Jobs,” Investor’s Business Daily, 8/30/2011)

STUDY BY LEFT-LEANING BROOKINGS INSTITUTION FOUND GREEN JOBS “ACCOUNTED FOR JUST 2 PERCENT OF EMPLOYMENT NATIONWIDE.” “A study released in July by the non-partisan Brookings Institution found clean-technology jobs accounted for just 2 percent of employment nationwide and only slightly more — 2.2 percent — in Silicon Valley. Rather than adding jobs, the study found, the sector actually lost 492 positions from 2003 to 2010 in the South Bay, where the unemployment rate in June was 10.5 percent.” (Aaron Glantz, “Number of Green Jobs Fails to Live Up to Promises,” The New York Times, 8/18/2011)


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