Politics

Treasury official: Taxpayers on hook for Solyndra failure before commercial firms is a first

Matthew Boyle Investigative Reporter
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At Friday’s Solyndra hearing, an Obama administration Treasury Department official admitted that he’s never heard of taxpayer money being subordinate to outside commercial firms.

That means the Obama administration is admitting it’s awfully suspicious that investors like George Kaiser’s firms and others got their cash back when Solyndra failed, but the taxpayers ended up on the hook for the $535 million the Department of Energy promised it via a loan guarantee.

“So in your experience of 28 years, plus being the chief financial officer [five years], can — have you ever heard of taxpayer money being subordinate to outside commercial firms?,” House energy and commerce subcommittee on oversight and investigations chairman Rep. Cliff Stearns asked Obama’s Treasury Department Federal Financing Bank chief financial officer Gary Burner at the hearing.

“No sir, I have not,” Burner replied.

Stearns asked the question a couple more times, making sure he got the same answer – and he did.

The New York Times previously reported that the Obama administration waived the taxpayers’ privilege as “first creditor” in the case of bankruptcy – which means the administration decided that the American people would get paid back after all the other investors did if the company failed – which is what happened.

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