From Marc Thiessen writing in yesterday's Washington Post:
"Since taking office, Obama has invested billions of taxpayer dollars in
private businesses, including as part of his stimulus spending bill.
Many of those investments have turned out to be unmitigated disasters —
leaving in their wake bankruptcies, layoffs, criminal investigations and
taxpayers on the hook for billions. Consider just a few examples of
Obama’s public equity failures:
● Raser Technologies. In 2010, the Obama administration gave Raser a
$33 million taxpayer-funded grant to build a power plant in Beaver
Creek, Utah. After burning through our tax dollars, the company filed for bankruptcy
protection in 2012. The plant now has fewer than 10 employees, and
Raser owes $1.5 million in back taxes.
● ECOtality. The Obama
administration gave ECOtality $126.2 million in taxpayer money in 2009
for, among other things, the installation of 14,000 electric car
chargers in five states. Obama even hosted the company’s president, Don
Karner, in the first lady’s box during the 2010 State of the Union address as an example of a stimulus success story. The company has since incurred more than $45 million in losses and has
told the federal government, “We may not achieve or sustain
profitability on a quarterly or annual basis in the future.” Worse, the company is now under investigation for insider trading.
● Nevada Geothermal Power (NGP). The Obama administration gave NGP a $98.5 million taxpayer loan guarantee in 2010. The New York Times reported
last October that the company is in “financial turmoil” and that
“[a]fter a series of technical missteps that are draining Nevada
Geothermal’s cash reserves, its own auditor concluded in a filing
released last week that there was ‘significant doubt about the company’s
ability to continue as a going concern.’ ”
● First Solar. The Obama administration provided First Solar with more than $3 billion in loan guarantees for power plants in Arizona and California. According to a Bloomberg Businessweek report
last week, the company “fell to a record low in Nasdaq Stock Market
trading May 4 after reporting $401 million in restructuring costs tied
to firing 30 percent of its workforce.”
● Abound Solar, Inc. The Obama administration gave Abound Solar a $400 million loan guarantee to build photovoltaic panel factories. In February the company halted production and laid off 180 employees.
● Beacon Power. The Obama administration gave Beacon — a green-energy storage company — a $43 million loan guarantee. At the time of the loan, “Standard and Poor’s had confidentially given
the project a dismal outlook of ‘CCC-plus.’ ” In the fall of 2011,
Beacon received a delisting notice from Nasdaq and filed for bankruptcy.
● This is just the tip of the iceberg. A company called SunPower got a $1.2 billion loan guarantee from the Obama administration, and as of January, the company owed more than it was worth. Brightsource got a $1.6 billion loan guarantee
and posted a string of net losses totaling $177 million.
● And, of
course, let’s not forget Solyndra — the solar panel manufacturer that
received $535 million in taxpayer-funded loan guarantees and went
bankrupt, leaving taxpayers on the hook.
If Obama wants to attack Romney’s alleged private equity failures as
chief executive of Bain, he’d better be ready to defend his own massive
public equity failures as chief executive of the United States."