In The RNC’s Latest “Solyndra” Ad, AiPolitics does a great job of explaining how the RNC is calling President Obama out for the $535 million government backed loan guarantees that Solyndra received. He points out that the ad suggest to viewers that the Solyndra mess was an avoidable folly, one that had many red flags. All of what AiPolitics and the ad says is true.
On May 31, 2012, Governor Mitt Romney paid a surprise visit to the shuttered headquarters of Solyndra. Romney said, “Two years ago President Obama was here to tout this building and this business as a symbol of the success of his stimulus. Well you can see that it’s a symbol of something very different today. It’s a symbol not of success but of failure. It’s also a symbol of a serious conflict of interest.”
Today (June 14, 2012) we learn that the Solyndra bankruptcy resulted in 1,861 people losing their jobs, over 700 more than the bankrupt solar company previously reported. What has not been counted are the jobs that could have been created with the money Solyndra received. So the job loss count is even higher than 1,861, not the 1,100 originally reported. For the Department of Energy to guarantee Solyndra’s loan, the government had to extract the money from US taxpayers, so there is the opportunity cost of what the private sector could have done with the labor and the money given to Solyndra.
Solyndra also had, at the time of its closing in August, 2011, an unsold inventory of more than 23 megawatts of solar panels, enough solar panels to power about 23,000 homes. Plus, in January, 2012, we learned that Solyndra employees destroyed millions of dollars worth of new glass tubes used in solar panels. The glass tubes were thrown into dumpsters. More taxpayer money down the drain.
Subsidizing inefficient technologies with government guaranteed loans is an economic drain. If an energy source, such as the one Solyndra produced, is not economically competitive, then the government should not artificially prop it up to create a market that would not exist without the subsidy.
But that’s just my opinion.
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