Well, we know one company that won’t be cited in the president’s jobs speech: a San Francisco Bay area solar energy company called Solyndra.
Solyndra was one of the president’s pets, the recipient of taxpayer-backed stimulus money. But now it is filing for Chapter 11.
An NBC affiliate in the Bay area reports:
President Obama faces political catastrophe in the form of Solyndra — a San Francisco Bay area solar company that he touted as a gleaming example of green technology. It has announced it will declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy. More than 1,100 people will lose their jobs.
During a visit to the Fremont facility in spring of 2010, the President said the factory “is just a testament to American ingenuity and dynamism and the fact that we continue to have the best universities in the world, the best technology in the world, and most importantly the best workers in the world. “
It’s not his statements the administration will regret; it’s the loan guarantees. The President was celebrating $535 million in federal promises from the Department of Energy to the solar startup. The administration didn’t do its due diligence, says the Government Accountability Office. “There’s a consequence if you don’t follow a rigorous process that’s transparent,” Franklin Rusco of GAO told the website iWatch News.
The President touted the federally back money as a way to create jobs. The President’s opponents immediately jumped on the deal as Solyndra made its first layoffs.
It is always sad when a company goes under, taking the jobs of its employees with it. It is sad for investors, too. But we generally assume that this is how capitalism works: investors take risks and sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t. In this case, however, the investors had no choice–we taxpayers were the investors. It is very unlikely we’ll get our loan money back. This is not the way capitalism is supposed to work.
When the president calls for “investments” in green jobs next week, remember Solyndra.
Thanks to Michael Warren on the Weekly Standard blog for spotting this.