Even with a few points deducted for an expletive we won’t print on Inkwell, Matt Welch of Reason magazine deserves kudos for this headline:
This Is How Little The New Republic Thinks of P—— Away Your Tax Money
This is the quote from TNR that Welch highlights:
The apparent conflict of interest inside the administration is inexcusable, of course. And it’s obviously not a happy occasion when a company defaults on government-backed loans. But what’s most inexcusable here isn’t the failure of Solyndra. It’s the ideological use that Republicans are making of the entire episode.
No, what’s inexcusable is the loss of taxpayer money. Somebody somewhere was force to send that money to Washington to be thrown down a rat hole.
No, what's inexcusable is that taxpayers lost half billion dollars.
I can’t address the legislative niceties of the GOP members of a House panel voting to subpoena internal White House communications on the Solyndra loan. But I can tell you I want to know about every last penny.
But the discussion should go further that discovering whether seemingly hapless Nobel laureate and Energy Secretary Steven Chu made mistakes when he wandered in from his lab and found that he had billions to invest in pet projects.
The real question is whether government should be engaged in this kind of investing at all. As Judge Andrew Napolitano observes, the government doesn't mind throwing your money down a rat hole:
When you invest your own money, your biggest concern is that you'll lose the investment. To relieve you of that, you research a company before lending it your money or buying its stock. You make your decision on the likelihood and the amount of money you will earn from the investment, and whether or not you can afford the loss of your investment. This is your natural right to choose to do with your money as you wish.
But when the government invests money for you, its decision-making is not grounded in free choice or in sound business judgment. Its decision is grounded in power and politics. The power is its ability to extract tax dollars from you even if you profoundly disagree with the way it will spend what it has extracted. The power is the government's ability to borrow cash in your name, even if you disagree with the borrowing. Since the government isn't risking its own money, but yours, it needn't worry about affording a loss.
Stated differently, the government doesn't care if it loses your money.
You’ll be relieved to know that the execs at Solyndra got big bonuses. I am waiting for President Obama to denounce them.