Marc Theissen’s op-ed in today’s Washington Post is a great addition to the growing response to President Obama’s attacks on Bain Capital. He makes the case in a clear, concise and factual manner.
The title of Marc’s op-ed is a perfect description of its contents: “Forget Bain — Obama’s public-equity record is the real scandal.” He describes outlandish examples of how the taxpayers’ money that has gone down the tubes at private firms, including Solyndra, of course. Others investment failures include Raser Technologies, which received a $33 million grant to build a power plant and filed for bankruptcy protection this year; ECOtality, which received $126.2 million to install electric car chargers in five states among other projects, has lost more than $45 million, and whose president, now under investigation for insider trading, was hosted in the First Lady’s box and singled out as a stimulus “success story” during the 2010 State of the Union address; and First Solar, which received more than $3 billion in loan guarantees, fell to a record low on the stock market this month, and fired 30 percent of its workforce.
I have long been talking about the poor “return on investment” for taxpayers, noting that far too much of the money that they involuntarily “send” to Washington goes to waste. This case was made again in my May 22 Washington Times op-ed, where I pointed out that “The result of the ‘investment’ made by ‘Obama Capital,’ which has used hundreds of billions of dollars of the taxpayers’ money to ‘create jobs,’ has been a persistent 8 percent unemployment rate and annual trillion dollar-plus deficits.”
While prominent Democrats such as Cory Booker, Steve Ratner, and Ed Rendell have made comments defending private equity (while criticizing Governor Romney’s claim that Bain helped create jobs), the question of who can do a better job of “investing” the taxpayers’ money will be raised constantly throughout the next five months. As Marc wrote, “…if Romney’s record in private equity is fair game, then so is Obama’s record in public equity — and that record is not pretty.”
CAGW has published a list of 21 companies (some of which are listed in Marc’s article) that have received $8.4 billion in green energy loans or loan guarantees and have either gone bankrupt or are close to declaring bankruptcy, or otherwise have completely failed to deliver anything of value in exchange for being given the taxpayers’ hard-earned money. That list is bound to grow larger over the next few months. CAGW’s 2011 Porker of the Year , Secretary of Energy Stephen Chu, told the House Energy and Commerce Committee on February 12, 2012, that ”it is very likely that there will be other companies in the portfolio that won’t succeed.”
There is more than enough documentation of the negative return to taxpayers from President Obama’s “investments” to keep up the drumbeat of evidence of wasteful spending from now until at least November 6. I encourage everyone to contribute to this worthy cause.