Obama on Solyndra: 'Not our program, per se.'
On NPR's "Marketplace" radio program, President Obama said this:
"Obviously we wish Solyndra hadn't gone bankrupt. Part of the reason they did was the Chinese were subsidizing their solar industry and flooding the market in ways Solyndra couldn't compete. But understand, this was not our program per se."
That would come as a surprise - per se - to Solyndra who knew they were getting a loan guarantee from the Obama administration who was using monies appropriated in the stim bill.
How's that again, Mr. President?
"Congress, Democrats and Republicans, put together a loan guarantee program because they understood historically that when you get new industries, it's easy to get money for new startups," Obama said. "But if you want to take them to scale, often there is a lot of risk involved and what the loan guarantee program was designed to do was to help start-up companies get to scale."
The 2009 stimulus package that provided the funding for a loan of $527 million for Solyndra, which subsequently defaulted, got zero Republican votes in the House and three Republican votes in the Senate -- Maine Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins and former Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, who switched parties two months after the vote. There was no Republican input on the structuring of the energy loan program and the specific loan to Solyndra was a Democratic job from start to finish.
It's true that there has been bipartisan support for the Federal Financing Bank since before its founding in 1973. Republicans have increasingly come to dislike the idea of giving the government power to loan money to private enterprises -- "picking winners and losers" -- because of a growing opposition to crony capitalism and how it perverts politics and the marketplace. But crony capitalism was once very, very popular among who cherished "public-private partnerships" and other hidey-holes for public funds.
But to suggest that Solyndra, the pet project of a major Obama backer, George Kaiser, was somehow a bipartisan failure because Rockefeller Republicans like the idea of using other people's money to start businesses is a little far-fetched. That would be like the driver at fault in a car crash arguing that roads enjoy widespread public support and crashes are inevitable: "While my car may have collided with yours, surely we can all agree that infrastructure is vital to America."
So to sum up, a loan program created by Obama, funded by monies appropriated 99% by Democrats, boosted by a large donor to the president's campaign, is not the White House's responsibility?
Per se, I guess.