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Attribute This To What?
Which Is It?
Sometimes when things just don't seem right I latch onto them like a pit bull onto someone's trouser leg, such was the case with Boeing and the NRLB and Operation Fast & Furious. I know stink when I smell stink. The case with Boeing ended with the NLRB dropping its suit and Fast & Furious is far from over. Ultimately, both of those incidents cost the tax payers money and in the last case it is also taking its toll in human life. Yesterday I caught the whiff of stink again when I ran across the fact that Solyndra, the bankrupt green energy company, was proposing to pay some of the hangers on bonuses for being incompetent. In this case, incompetence runs rampant since the federal government somehow ignored the fact that Solyndra was in deep, too deep. If you missed it, here's the link and please take a read and then come back because this seems to be just the tip of the iceberg.
Just The Tip Mind You...
As I proceed with this, bear in mind that many of these loan guarantees were included in the now "not so infamous" Stimulus bill Obama has touted as such a great job creator. I have a different term for it - "The Jobs For Friends" bill, and in some cases a matter of political pay back.
Solyndra is more than likely going to look like a small fish in the larger frying pan as this scandal fleshes out. After all, it only cost the US tax payer a measly $500 million of our hard earned cash. One of the pivotal figures in this ruse is a man named George Kaiser. He happens to be a top Obama contributor and was bank rolling a smoke and mirrors fantasy company we now know as Solyndra. But guess what appeared after I wrote that Hub about Solyndra? Yeppers! It seems that more Solyndras are hovering and appearing over the horizon. I used the word measly so lets up the ante in the game and raise the figure to $6.5 billion of our money, not Obama's but ours. If he wants to play craps he needs to go to Vegas with his own money, not ours.
It seems that CBS News has uncovered twelve (12) more of these "green energy" companies that pulled up to the stimulus tank for a fill up. So lets take a look at the facts. I know some people don't care to be bothered with facts but I happen to.
There is the case of Beacon Energy, which received $43 million of our money. What should the Department of Energy have known, if they didn't, before bankrolling a company that Standard and Poors had given a grade of CCC-plus at best? When Peter Morici, an economist, was asked if he'd put his money on Beacon, his reply was, "Not on purpose." He went on to add that Beacon is a junk bond and not even a good one. Something about "below investment grade." He gave it a 70% chance of failing over the long haul so why did the federal government decide to invest our money in junk bonds? Now for the bad news. Beacon Energy filed for bankruptcy a mere 2 months ago. Long haul? I don't think so.
Now for more bad from CBS news on the 12 they identified. Remember the $6.5 billion as we move along please. Five (5) of the twelve (12) who ate at the federal feed bag have already filed for bankruptcy. The remaining seven (7) appear to have one foot in the grave and the other on the proverbial banana peel. For the investors out there the other four (4) are Evergreen Solar, SpectraWatt, AES' subsidiary Eastern Energy and Solyndra. Stellar portfolio to hold huh? The problem is that they're in our portfolio.
Then there is the case of Nevada Geothermal (NG), the pet project of none other than Harry. (I got to get home to tend to my petunias) Reid. New SEC warnings project defaults over the horizon. In this case a shell game seemed to be in progress at the time the loan guarantee was slid into the stimulus bill. You see NG was having a bit of an issue with paying its bills - to the tune of about $80 million. Harry had to know this. So they got $98.5 million in tax payer largesse. They promptly caught up on the past due loans of $80 million using our money. Isn't that the way the free market system is supposed to work? Borrow from Peter to pay Paul never was a good idea and still isn't. Where's the tie in to Harry? He had received $43K in campaign contributions in 2009 from the Nevada geothermal industry. Coincidence in timing? $43K for $98.5 million in bailout money? What a horse trade that must have been. Of course again the US tax payer was the horse. On top of those loan guarantees, NG also received $66 million in grants according to the NY Times. Grants mind you, nothing to do with making a loan.
Lets review a company named Sun Power. Sun bellied up to the bar to the tune of $1.2 billion. So what happened next? A French oil company took Sun Power over. Is there something here I'm missing? A review of Sun's financials reveal that they owe more than they are worth. The significance of Sun Power is that they are design, build, operate and maintain the California Valley Solar Ranch Project. If you want to know how that's going just Google it. Another clunker that we bought into which I suppose the French find a bit amusing.
What bothers me about all of this, besides the fact that it is our money that is being bet at the craps table, is that none of this makes the least bit of sense in an economic or free market sense. Then I read where Bain Capital is a bad guy? It should be obvious even to a casual observer that in the free market place there aren't enough idiots to invest willingly by putting their skin in that game. What the federal government in essence is doing is to make it compulsory that the American tax payer cover the bet. Leave it up to our phony politicians and predatory lobbyists to pull out the smoke and mirrors for our viewing pleasure.
One writer termed it "polluting the market with false data." I have to agree with that assessment. In a free market system capital is injected into opportunities that appear both viable and useful. That's call "doing business" as it should be done. What our government is doing is diverting that capital from useful, viable businesses and playing craps with our money. That boils down to hostage taking to me and the tax payers are the ones being held hostage by this nonsense. The federal government, and in this case in the persona of Obama, has no business picking and choosing who it thinks need to be the winners and losers in the marketplace. I will continue to stand by that statement being the capitalist that I am.
The bottom line? You may have thought that Bush was bad. He wasn't exactly a saint because he got mixed up too often with this form of stinkin' thinkin' himself. What we seemed to have done rather than exorcise the disease here is to switch seats with a person who isn't exactly qualified to sit in the seat. Under new management isn't a good idea when the apple itself is rotten to the core. Think about four more years of economic insanity that Obama has vividly illustrated the last the last three (3) plus years with Harry Reid continuing to to pull his strings. How much pain do you care to inflict upon yourself and your fellow Americans? Solyndra will seem like child's play if you ask me.
I asked the question in the headline. What do you attribute this to? Is it stupidity, is it incompetence? Or is it a combination of both or maybe something else? Your turn...
I'm just askin...
The Frog Prince