Matt Lewis

Obama visiting wind turbine factory where private equity blows gov’t financing away

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Matt K. Lewis
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      Matt K. Lewis

      Matt K. Lewis is a senior contributor to The Daily Caller, and a contributing editor for The Week. He is a respected commentator on politics and cultural issues, and has been cited by major publications such as The Washington Post and The New York Times. Matt is from Myersville, MD and currently resides in Alexandria, VA. Follow Matt K. Lewis on Twitter <a>@mattklewis</a>.

President Obama, Executive in Chief of criticizing the cruelties of private equity, is more than happy to plead for donations from people who make their money in the industry. During daylight hours, he’s America’s “Robin Hood.” By night, though, he can be found schmoozing people at firms such as Blackstone — a major player in private equity.

But here’s where it gets better. Obama is speaking at TPI Composites (a producer of blades for wind turbines) in Newton, Iowa later today. Expect to see him promote clean energy tax credits — and laud himself for pushing public funds to help get these companies get off the ground.

(After all, there’s no way they could possibly survive without the government helping them out, right?)

Except they can. And they did.

It turns out that the bulk of financing ($68 million) for TPI (like most non-Obama affiliated companies in America) has come from private equity. (Source, Source, Source.)

In comparison, the nine million in stimulus funds they received is just a small chunk of the pie.

Then again, this is exactly what we should expect from a President who provided the best investment we’ve seen in some time, according to the Washington Post’s Marc Thiessen:

[A]s Hoover Institution scholar Peter Schweizer reported in his book, “Throw Them All Out,” fully 71 percent of the Obama Energy Department’s grants and loans went to “individuals who were bundlers, members of Obama’s National Finance Committee, or large donors to the Democratic Party.” Collectively, these Obama cronies raised $457,834 for his campaign, and they were in turn approved for grants or loans of nearly $11.35 billion. Obama said this week it’s not the president’s job “to make a lot of money for investors.” Well, he sure seems to have made a lot of (taxpayer) money for investors in his political machine.

So, President Obama, we’re left scratching our heads and wondering: What’s the truth about your feelings? Is private equity the monster you’re making it out to be, or is it just another part of a healthy capitalist system.

UPDATE: In Obama’s prepared remarks at the wind factory, he says:

OBAMA: “First up on the list – It makes absolutely no sense that we actually give tax breaks to companies that ship jobs and factories overseas.  No sense at all.  It’s time for Congress to end the tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, and use that money to cover moving expenses for companies that bring jobs back to America.”

Of note: TPI Composites has factories in Mexico, China and Turkey.