Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney quipped during the first presidential debate on October 3 of President Obama’s much-touted $90 billion in “green jobs” subsidies: “I had a friend who said: you don’t just pick the winners and losers, you pick the losers.” Romney noted that many of the solar and renewable energy firms given big bucks by the Obama administration went bankrupt despite millions — or even billions — in federal loans, loan guarantees, or cash grants.
After the debate, establishment press organs charged to the defense of Obama’s Energy Department, claiming only a handful of firms funded by the government went bankrupt. CNN claimed it could find only five “green energy” subsidies where the recipient of federal largess went bankrupt. But the reality is that “green energy” subsidies not only have failed in almost every sense of the word, but have fueled corruption.
President Obama sold the nation on his $800 billion “stimulus” bill, the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, with the claim it would create or save some three million jobs. Nearly four years later, the best that the Obama administration’s Recovery.gov website can boast is a mere 135,000 jobs created from the “stimulus” bill — costing more than $5 million per job. In at least 19 instances, firms that promised creation of “green jobs” went bankrupt. Dozens of others cut back on jobs after receiving huge federal taxpayer subsidies — rather than increasing employment. Together, these troubled “green” companies account for nearly $6.4 billion in taxpayer subsidies on the line.
Yet the Obama administration touted the “stimulus” bill as a success. And in one sense, it was a huge success: The stimulus gave a huge injection of cash into private alternative energy companies, which in turn donated to liberal political causes — including Obama’s reelection effort — “green recycling,” Washington-style. Though not always an explicitly tit-for-tat deal for beltway liberals, the green recycling machine definitely improved liberal Democrats’ electoral funds by the millions — and their chances in the last election. And the green-energy taxpayer subsidies allowed billionaire Wall Street investment banks and trust-fund liberals to gamble with the tax dollars of cab drivers, waitresses, and other poor and middle-class Americans.
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Photo of President Obama at Solyndra: AP Images