Solyndra’s all-too-predictable collapse

On Tuesday evening, ABC News reported that in his upcoming “jobs speech,” President Obama will call for more “green jobs stimulus” — though this is now being called, in advance, “targeted infrastructure investment for clean energy projects.” It appears that he and his team have run out of ideas.

The next day, Wednesday, Obama’s “green jobs stimulus” baby, Solyndra, declared bankruptcy after taxpayers had spent $527 million propping up the company (or $479,000 per temporary job created).

I suppose it would be déclassé to note that I told you so.

Today, The Washington Post weighed in with a story on page A2: “Obama-backed green firm shuts down.” Although it was actually the taxpayer who bore the financial risk of Solyndra, The Post notes that it is Obama who bears the political exposure for this absurd boondoggle.

The best line in the story is this quote from Solyndra chief executive Brian Harrison: “This was an unexpected outcome and is most unfortunate.”

Unexpected? Really? Not only did I predict that this would happen in a book that was published in April 2010, red flags abounded soon thereafter about Solyndra, specifically, key among them that the company had to pull the plug on a comparatively modest $300 million equity IPO.

It seemed that, despite the enormous bag of other people’s money that our political class had handed it, the company’s prospects were dismal. This is, of course, common among companies that depend on politically arranged wealth transfers.

Around the same time, Solyndra’s auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers, revealed how Solyndra “has suffered recurring losses from operations, negative cash flows since inception and has a net stockholders’ deficit that, among other factors, raise substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern.”

As Peter Lynch, a solar industry analyst, told The Post, Solyndra had “an insane business model. The numbers just don’t work, and they never did.”

Prior to its collapse, Solyndra had lost $558 million in its five-year existence.

So how, precisely, is this “unexpected”?

Then there’s Energy Department spokesman Dan Leistikow’s statement downplaying the cost of Solyndra’s bankruptcy: “Congress recognized the risks inherent in [subsidizing companies like Solyndra] and wisely set aside funding to offset any potential defaults or losses.”

Don’t worry, the Department of Energy will be made whole. Congress has more money.

Those Taxed Enough Already people sure are nuts.

Then there’s the fishy odor emanating from this:

House Republicans and government auditors had questioned the wisdom of the administration’s loan guarantees to the company, backed by capital from billionaire Democratic fundraiser George Kaiser …

Some of the biggest investors in Solyndra … were venture capital funds associated with Kaiser, a key Obama fundraiser. The company, its connections to the administration and the imperiled federal loan guarantee were detailed in a Washington Post report in June.

On July 13, the Republican subcommittee majority voted to subpoena White House documents related to the loan guarantee, as it probed how Solyndra received the administration’s first loan guarantee under the federal stimulus plan. Material sought by the committee included e-mails and other documents that the lawmakers said officials at the Office of Management and Budget had failed to produce voluntarily …

Administration officials have said the loan guarantee was issued on its merits alone. Democrats said the White House had done its best to comply with congressional investigators, whose requests were what Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-CA) in July called a “fishing expedition.”

Well, I’d say the fish just jumped in the boat. And it’s likely that, given other recent taxpayer-funded “green jobs” collapses, critics of Obamanomics are going to need a bigger one.

All this makes Obama’s jobs speech gambit all the more bewildering. The Post continues:

Solyndra had repeatedly been highlighted as a model by the Obama administration … Obama visited Solyndra’s factory in May 2010. “The future is here,” Obama said in his appearance, praising plans “to hire a thousand workers.”

Yes, the future is here, on your dime, and it isn’t going away anytime soon as long as Obama keeps calling for more “green jobs stimulus.”

Sorry, that’s “targeted infrastructure investment in clean energy projects.” We can’t have people thinking Obama is out of ideas.

Chris Horner is a senior fellow at The Competitive Enterprise Institute.

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  • Anonymous

    The green “High Speed Rail” infrastucture B.S. we are going to hear about will be no different than Solyndra. My guess is that it cost between $300M and $400M to build Solyndras huge operation in Fremont, Ca.. I drove past the site while it was being built. 1,100 highly paid workers, $100K + for Equipment Engineers etc..The manufacturing equipment was all robotic. American techonology gone to waist.  All union construction 7 days per week, 24hrs per day, every day including holidays. Imagine union pay for graveyard weekends on holidays.  This was nothing but a sham. High Speed Rail in California will bankrupt what is left of California. High Speed Rail on the east coast will be a bust as well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Black/100001530915900 James Black

    Just another imam homobama orchestrated theft of taxpayer funds.  The muslim homo is redistributing the taxes to be extorted from your children and grandchildren to His donors, cronies, union thugs, and ‘wealthy benefactors.’  Hope the fag rots in GITMO for His treason against the citizens of the USA!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_L4ZET7H7KOG7RWYUF4NIAZYEMM Robert

    Stuff like this is indefensible. Barry’s become pretty much indefensible, for that matter. No job growth last month….once again.
    All that means is it’s time for his minions to start piling on Bush, Perry, Romney, Bachman, etc…
    Problem is old Barry’s got a track record he must defend this time around.
    Good Luck!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_64P7ACXX4ACN44ZZET3UI2CDKA Vincent

      Haven’t you noticed the rhetoric stepping up.  Now they imagine the Tea Party wants to see “blacks hanging from trees”.  That is so offensive an idea, only their moronic base would believe it.

  • spike1120

    barry-ites are going to call his 2012 butt whipping “unexpected”. harry and nancy will be playing pinochle and we will be getting America back in shape.

    Solyndra boss was a barry campaign bundler. That’s how you get to plunder the treasury.

  • RJ

    Flat out payback for campaign contributions, every frickin time…these bastards are destroying the USA…2012 elections can’t come fast enough.

    • Scrap Iron

       Not olny paybacks, but tax advantahes.
      If the investors LOST money, they can show that loss at tax time to offset other earnings.
      Ever hear the term “lose leader”?

    • baccus41

      don’t forget GM and Chysler and the UAW

  • Shooter

    Lifelong bureacrats that propose ideas such as this loan guaranty, as well as the tree-hugging progressives that support such ideas, will likely just shrug at this.  Not only do they not understand economics, but they probably won’t know or care how this failure completely validates the opposition’s argument.  It’s just on to the next money pit that they can label with a snappy title and recruit a few true-believer progressive tools to support and tout it to the masses.  Anyone out there drivin a Volt?  Yeah, me neither.  Get ready for another round of this crap next week as the much anticipated “jobs package” is unveiled.  This is completely unacceptable on the part of the President, yet he will expect us to allow him to do it again, lest the Tea Party be called out for obstructionism.

    • Scrap Iron

      And that next “money pit” is called the Ifrastructure Investment Bank.

      That is, if the republicans allow it to pass.