Human Events Blog

The Solyndra-Obama Connection Deepens

Barack Obama has several decades’ worth of questions to answer about what happened to the money he’s already taken, before anyone in their right minds would consider giving him more.  He likes to talk about compulsory taxation and regulation as a form of “investment,” so let’s act like “investors” and take a look at his portfolio.

Even before we start auditing the Obama books to find all the money that has just plain vanished, we might ask about half a billion dollars whose fate is a matter of record.  That would be the sweetheart taxpayer loan poured into Solyndra, formerly a “green jobs” showpiece, but now an amusement park for FBI accountants.

ABC News dispels any notion that the Administration was distracted with other pressing matters during the Solyndra disaster:

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.

To be precise, that’s $535 million in federal loan money.  I know it’s easy to lose chump change like $35 million between the couch cushions of the Obama White House, but this is an accounting story, and it behooves us to get the numbers right.

House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-FL) have indeed freshened their attention upon Solyndra.  In a statement, they said:

The FBI raid further underscores that Solyndra was a bad bet from the beginning and put taxpayers at unnecessary risk. President Obama’s signature green jobs program went from a darling of the administration, to bankruptcy, to now the subject of an FBI raid in a matter of days. As our investigation continues, we hope to hear directly from Solyndra’s executives next week – the same executives who visited Capitol Hill as part of a PR campaign in July and misrepresented the company’s financial situation.

Over the last six months, our investigation has encountered a number of needless partisan roadblocks and repeated pushback, protest, and even misleading claims on Solyndra’s viability by administration officials, company executives, and congressional Democrats. Irresponsibly choosing winners and losers on projects like Solyndra is a perilous and often doomed method to create jobs. There is much to learn as the investigation moves forward, and it is imperative that the American taxpayers are not paying the price for the sins of Solyndra.

Upton and Stearns will have to excuse those Solyndra executives if they show up for the hearings looking a bit disheveled, because they might be up late, entertaining some special house guests:

Federal agents have expanded their examination of the now-bankrupt California solar power company Solyndra, searching the homes of the company’s CEO and two of its executives, examining computer files and documents, iWatch News and ABC News have learned.

Agents visited the homes of CEO Brian Harrison and company founder Chris Gronet and a former executive, according to a source who agreed to speak only on the condition of anonymity because of the legal sensitivity of the situation.

ABC quotes an Energy Department spokesman defending the Solyndra “investment” by saying the department “conducted exhaustive reviews of Solyndra’s technology and business model prior to approving their loan guarantee application.” 

Well, that’s a relief!  I guess it would be safe to give this bunch another half-billion for “stimulus” and see what they can do with it.  No, no, guys, really, you don’t have to actually put legislation on the table or anything crass like that.  We’ll just pass the unwritten bill immediately, as the President demands.  Let us know if you run into any unexpected expenses!

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