Solyndra, General Motors, ‘Digital Promise,’…The Myth – and the Farce – of Government ‘Investment’

Editor’s Note: This first appeared in BigGovernment.com.

We have spoken often of this last four years being the Third Age of Bailout.

Where we have seen trillions of dollars of our coin shoveled out of D.C. in innumerable terrible directions.

  • $1.09 trillion, 29% increase in annual federal spending in just the last four years – from $2.73 trillion per annum to $3.82 trillion per annum – mostly directed in social justice, bailout fashion.
  • $700 billion in Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) coin.
  • $867 billion in alleged “stimulus” to create “or save” gigs.
  • Cash for Clunkers.
  • Cash for Caulkers.
  • ObamaCare, with its untold trillions in costs, is a bailout just as much as – and bigger than – all those listed above.
  • And on, and on, and….

Behold the Third Age of Bailout.  Where almost none of the things that were supposed to happen as a result of this cash avalanche – actually happened.

We were told the Age of Bailout would keep unemployment below 8%.  Instead, it soared above 10% – and has remained consistently ensconced around 9% ever since.

We are breaking records for the number of people on food stamps and living in poverty.

So have we learned anything with which to move forward?  The Barack Obama Administration obviously has not.

We have President Obama’s “jobs” bill and “deficit reduction” proposal, which are of the exact same sort of absurd, class warfare, social justice bailout pabulum to which we have been devastatingly subjected  these last four years.

Let us examine the myth – and the farce – of government “investment.”

Which is nothing more than more government spending.  Leftists call it “investment” because that is a free market word – so as to apply a false private sector veneer to this public sector mess.

Government “invests” all the time.  And it is – almost without exception – an unmitigated disaster.

We are now all learning of Solyndra’s $535 million taxpayer coin-fueled, Obama-fundraiser-bundler Crony Socialist, solar non-energy nightmare.

Which President ObamaVice President Joe Biden and a whole host of other Administration officialstold us was the future of energy and American jobs.

Given the Obama Economy, they were right – though unintentionally so, and not in the way they at least said they meant.

But we needn’t have wasted this half a billion dollars to find out green non-energy is nowhere near ready for prime time.

Because we spent more than $60 billion on green “jobs” in the 2009 “stimulus” bill.  About which Newsweek at the time said:

The working definition (of green “job”) paints a broad stroke: a job that’s good for the economy while simultaneously healing the earth. But that leaves lots open to interpretation-natural gas is technically a cleaner fuel than crude oil, but it’s still unsustainable – making it difficult, if not impossible, to measure whether eco-based jobs are being created and whether, as the administration has claimed, they’re the saviors of a sagging economy.

So Solyndra was bad money after really huge bad money.

But all of our green “jobs” “investment” folly was unnecessary.

Because Spain has spent the better part of the past decade dumping tons of… pesatas, Euros,…? into green non-energy – and have gotten nothing but broke in the process.

Those who don’t know idiocy are doomed to repeat it.

—–

Then there’s Government General Motors.  Another government “investment” that has been a huge, green energy-tinged disaster.

(GM,) whose stock price is lower now than it was at its post-bankruptcy Initial Public Offering (IPO).

A bankruptcy we were told the bailout would preclude.

GM stock is trading more than thirty points below the taxpayer break-even price.

The bailout, President Obama first told us, would make us money.  Seven months later, the Administration admitted we’d lose between $11 and $14 billion – and dishonestly claimed the loss they had said would be a profit was “less than the(y) originally expected.”

(E)x-Carlyle Group, DC-Wall Street nexus, Administration cardboard cut-out CEO Dan Akerson says the bailout “shouldn’t be measured on did it sell for $43 or $53 (a share) or did they lose a couple billion dollars.”

Who wants to “slap a 50-cent or a dollar tax on a gallon of gas.”…

(GM) last year received more clean (non-energy) energy patents than any other organization.

They are dramatically ramping up production of the unprofitable and unselling hybrid Chevy Volt.  And creating a like-model for Cadillac.

They have fitted an (again, unprofitable) Volt plant so as to be solar-powered.  Which cost $3 million – but only saves them $15,000 a year in electricity.

Those who don’t know idiocy are doomed to repeat it.

—–

Then there’s Obama’s “Digital Promise.”  Where the government plans to “invest” in technology for schools – largely to connect classrooms to the Internet.

(Wait…didn’t then-Vice President Al Gore – the inventor hereof – already promise we were to have done this by 2000?  Indeed he did.  We’re still paying phone taxes for that one.)

But is this “Digital Promise” inanity necessary?  No – we have 2009 “stimulus” evidence aplenty that the government is terrible at this, too.

Where the Leviathan spent $7 billion repeatedly creating/augmenting competitors to existing private sector Internet providers.  Who had invested their own money – and then had to compete against some more of their own money.

How’s that for creating uncertainty?

But the Federalies were even more – and more fundamentally – stupid.

98% of Americans have access to broadband Internet – solely via and thanks to the private sector.

(Which leads one to ponder – why is the government getting involved at all?  The free market seems to be working splendiferously well.)

The remaining 2% – for the most part – live remotely.  In the wilds of rural America.

There are two ways to connect to the Internet – wired-ly, and wirelessly.  Wired – with the digging and laying of cable and pipe – is obviously far more expensive than is wireless.  Especially so when trying to connect a single, rural abode.

So what format did the government time and again choose when engaged in their Internet “stimulus” folly?

Wired, of course.

Duh.

Those who don’t know idiocy are doomed to repeat it.

—–

Let us put aside for the moment the incredible invitation to Solyndra-esque, Crony Socialist corruption that government “investment” presents.

And its unconstitutionality – the Founding Fathers did not design the federal government to be a venture capital firm.

All of that aside, it has been proven time, and time, and time again that the government is terrible at allocating our money.

Simply, utterly atrocious at it.

Because no one spends other people’s money as wisely or as carefully as one spends his own.  It is basic, fundamental human nature.

It has been said that Socialism fails because it tries to root out human nature.  And Capitalism succeeds because it harnesses it.

The Third Age of Bailout – with its trillions of dollars in failed government “investment” – proves once again that these are immutable truths, which we continue to ignore at our great and growing peril.

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