"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Friday, September 16, 2011

Obama Administration Ignored Solyndra Warnings

That's the headline of an article today from the Associated Press (hardly a conservative outlet).   This story is metastasizing.   You know how I know?   Last night Jon Stewart ripped Obama about Solyndra.   It's getting out, and it's burning fast, like a Texas wildfire.  

Anyway, somewhat buried in the AP story is this nugget:
Here, the feds were selecting companies that the market had already decided were losers and pretending that, if Obama sprinkled his magic unicorn dust on them, they could somehow be transformed into winners.  

As Glenn Reynolds would say at Instapundit, we're in the very best of hands.  

A 2009 report by the Energy Department's inspector general warned that the DOE lacked the necessary quality control for the loan guarantee program, which was created in 2005 to support clean-energy projects that could not obtain conventional bank loans due to high risks.

Forget about the later warnings that the DoE ignored.   And forget even about about the 2009 inspector general's report and the lack of quality control.   The premise itself beginning in 2005 -- let's back companies that the market (the commercial banking industry) has already decided are not credit-worthy because their business plans are too risky -- is ridiculous.   It's one thing for the government to try to select winners to back financially with our money.   I think that's stupid too, and not what government ought to be doing, and not something that the government does well.   But at least you're starting off with a chance of picking a winner.

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