The Spectacle Blog

Solyndra, the ‘Face of the Stimulus’

By on 9.14.11 | 10:02AM

Countering WaPo's front page story showing deep and intense White House involvement in rushing through $535 million in taxpayer dollars to the brainchild of major Obama contributor George Kaiser, failed solar panel boondoggle Solyndra, today's E&E Daily has a story (subscription required) "Democrats launch counteroffensive on Solyndra."

The hand-waiving effort -- Schwarzenegger was a fan! A Solyndra exec is a registered Republican! The program Obama abused was originally created by Congress during George W. Bush's presidency! -- concludes with the following cry for help, or at least for a good fisking:

Other Democratic leaders were quick to pan the RNC's attempt to make Solyndra the face of the stimulus effort.

"Solyndra is unfortunate. Did it not work? It didn't work apparently. But that's not the face of the Recovery Act," said House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) in an interview.

I'm sorry...whose effort to make Solyndra the face of 'stimulus'?

Which other project received -- on top of the internal push to rush a half-billion dollars to this "not ready for prime time" (per an OMB email) project -- personal attention and public promotion by the Energy Secretary, Vice President, and President? But, no, it wasn't the face of 'stimulus.' 

But, what of that whole presidential address, including:

So that's why we've placed a big emphasis on clean energy.  It's the right thing to do for our environment, it's the right thing to do for our national security, but it's also the right thing to do for our economy. 

And we can see the positive impacts right here at Solyndra.  Less than a year ago, we were standing on what was an empty lot.  But through the Recovery Act, this company received a loan to expand its operations.  This new factory is the result of those loans. 

Since the project broke ground last fall, more than 3,000 construction workers have been employed building this plant.  Across the country, workers -- (applause) -- across the country, workers in 22 states are manufacturing the supplies for this project.  Workers in a dozen states are building the advanced manufacturing equipment that will power this new facility.  When it's completed in a few months, Solyndra expects to hire a thousand workers to manufacture solar panels and sell them across America and around the world.  (Applause.) 

And this in turn will generate business for companies throughout our country who will create jobs supplying this factory with parts and materials.  So there's a ripple effect.  It's not just localized to this area.

...The true engine of economic growth will always be companies like Solyndra, will always be America's businesses.  But that doesn't mean the government can just sit on the sidelines.  Government still has the responsibility to help create the conditions in which students can gain an education so they can work at Solyndra, and entrepreneurs can get financing so they can start a company, and new industries can take hold. 

So that's why, even as we cut taxes and provided emergency relief over the past year -- we also invested in basic research, in broadband networks, in rebuilding roads and bridges, in health information technology, and in clean energy.  Because not only would this spur hiring by businesses -- it would create jobs in sectors with incredible potential to propel our economy for years, for decades to come.  There is no better example than energy.

But, well, no, that's not to say Solyndra was the face of 'stimulus.'

Hoyer continued, with this gem:

The face of the stimulus is that the economy was growing during its duration. We created 2 million jobs over 20 months during its duration. The stock market had appreciated in value almost 100 percent during its duration. That's the face of the Recovery Act.

And, ah, the stimulus was not a stimulus, it was a WPA-type scheme. That's $393,500 per temporary job. Let's make it up in volume!

The spin begins. But to ice the cake of the recklessness and inexplicable waste of "Obama's Enron," Solyndra, don't miss this devastating timeline

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