Tag Archives: Cronyism

How much did taxpayers lose in Obama’s GM bailout?

Investors Business Daily does the math on the GM bailout.

Excerpt:

Sale of the U.S. government’s stake in General Motors Corp. ends a sorry saga. Not only were Americans lied to about the costs, but the bailout underscores why replacing market forces with federal bailouts doesn’t work.

The Obama administration says it will unload 200 million shares — or about 40% of its holdings — back to GM right away. The rest, 300 million shares, are to be sold by March 2014.

[…]Well, GM on Wednesday said it will buy back the 200 million share government stake for $5.5 billion, or $27.50 a share.

The break-even point on the government’s total holdings was $53 a share. But now, with $20.9 billion in taxpayer funds left to pay off from 300 million shares, the break-even point has risen to $69.72 a share.

In other words, at current prices, taxpayers are sitting with a loss of 61%, or nearly $15 billion, on their investment.

So where did the money go, then?

According to a study last summer by the Heritage Foundation, the $80 billion auto bailout gave the UAW and its members nearly $27 billion due to the fact that GM couldn’t shed its outrageously expensive labor contracts, something it could have done in a normal bankruptcy.

As such, Obama didn’t bail out the auto industry; he bailed out the unions. Without the unions’ added costs, taxpayers would have owed nothing.

It’s not hard to see how this happened. The UAW and its affiliates give tens of millions of dollars each election cycle, almost entirely to Democrats.

This union influence explains why Obama’s auto czars, Steve Rattner and Ron Bloom, arranged a government bankruptcy for GM that flew in the face of hundreds of years of bankruptcy law and violated investor rights.

Bondholders took huge losses, while unions got a big chunk of ownership in GM stock that they weren’t legally entitled to.

In a shocking display of favoritism and blatant unfairness, GM’s union workers kept their pensions, while nonunion workers at GM spin-off Delphi lost theirs.

Those unions paid Obama back by working hard to get him re-elected. That’s how socialism works.

New e-mails reveal that White House pressured Department of Energy to make loans

From the Washington Examiner.

Excerpt:

Previously undisclosed emails made public today by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee describe multiple instances of White House pressure on career Department of Energy officials to speed up approval of government loans to clean energy firms like Solyndra and Abound Solar.

President Obama is described in one of the emails as having personally approved “moving it ahead,” thus reversing a prior decision by DOE career officials not to extend $2 billion in tax-funded help to AREVA, a French nuclear power company, on an Idaho project.

Vice-President Joe Biden is described in other emails as exerting heavy pressure to gain approval of a $1.3 billion wind farm project at Shepherd’s Flat, Oregon.

The new emails contradict claims by Obama and others in his administration that all decisions on the $20 billion DOE clean energy loans were made by career executives in the department.

[…][A]n Oct. 30, 2010, email from Jim McCrea, a credit advisor to the energy loan program, to Jonathan Silver, the program’s executive director, described his worries about pressure from the White House to use a “fast-track process” to approve loans.

“I am growing increasingly worried about a fast track process imposed on us at the POTUS [President of the United States] level based on this chaotic process that we are undergoing … by designing the fast track process and having it approved at the POTUS level (which is an absolute waste of his time!) it legitimizes every element and it becomes embedded like the 55% recovery rate which also was imposed by POTUS,” McCrea said.

In another email made public today by the House panel, Silver instructed McCrea to tell a Treasury Department official of White House support for DOE help to Abound Solar.

“You better let him know that WH wants to move Abound forward. Policy will have to wait unless they have a specific policy problem with abound,” Silver said in the June 25, 2010, email.

Abound Solar is a Colorado-based solar panel manufacturer that had used $68 million of a $400 million DOE loan guarantee before filing for bankruptcy earlier this year.

You can a list of most of the green energy failures and the details of their Department of Energy loans here from Heritage Action.

Here’s a snip:

Thanks to analysts at The Heritage Foundation, a list has been compiled of 12 “green” energy companies which received Department of Energy (DOE) loan guarantees but are now bankrupt:

  1. “Abound Solar (Loveland, Colorado), manufacturer of thin film photovoltaic modules.
  2. Beacon Power (Tyngsborough, Massachusetts), designed and developed advanced products and services to support stable, reliable and efficient electricity grid operation.
  3. Ener1 (Indianapolis, Indiana), built compact lithium-ion-powered battery solutions for hybrid and electric cars.
  4. Energy Conversion Devices (Rochester Hills, Michigan/Auburn Hills, Michigan), manufacturer of flexible thin film photovoltaic (PV) technology and a producer of batteries and other renewable energy-related products.
  5. Evergreen Solar, Inc. (Marlborough, Massachusetts), manufactured and installed solar panels.
  6. Mountain Plaza, Inc. (Dandridge, Tennessee), designed and implemented “truck-stop electrification” technology.
  7. Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsens Mills Acquisition Co. (Berlin, Wisconsin), a private company producing ethanol.
  8. Range Fuels (Soperton, Georgia), tried to develop a technology that converted biomass into ethanol without the use of enzymes.
  9. Raser Technologies (Provo, Utah), geothermal power plants and technology licensing.
  10. Solyndra (Fremont, California), manufacturer of cylindrical panels of thin-film solar cells.
  11. Spectrawatt (Hopewell, New York), solar cell manufacturer.
  12. Thompson River Power LLC (Wayzata, Minnesota), designed and developed advanced products and services to support stable, reliable and efficient electricity grid operation.”

This is what the Obama adminstration means by “stimulus” and “shovel-ready” projects. This was their strategy to create jobs by spending taxpayer money and borrowing money from your children.

A123: another green energy company goes bankrupt after getting stimulus money

Note: Don’t forget about the debate tonight at 9 Eastern/6 Pacific. Watch out for CNN moderator bias and planted questions though!

From the Wall Street Journal.

Excerpt:

Mitt Romney just got more fodder to attack Barack Obama’s green energy programs ahead of Tuesday night’s presidential debate.

A123 Systems Inc., which was awarded a federal grant of $249 million funded by the 2009 economic-stimulus law, filed for bankruptcy protection Tuesday morning.

The company, a maker of electric vehicle batteries, received accolades from the president in September 2010. “This is important not just because of what you guys are doing at your plant, but all across America,” Mr. Obama said in a phone call timed to the opening of a battery manufacturing facility. “Because this is about the birth of an entire new industry in America — an industry that’s going to be central to the next generation of cars.”

Energy Secretary Steven Chu in 2009 said the company was “one of the success stories of a high-technology company that was funded with government funds” and “the model of what we want to happen in the future on a bigger scale.”

The Romney campaign has attacked Mr. Obama for what it says is ill-advised government spending on risky clean-energy start-ups. In last week’s vice presidential debate, Paul Ryan called the stimulus program “green pork.”

Newsbusters adds this update:

From Bloomberg’s report today:

President Barack Obama called A123 Chief Executive Officer David Vieau and then-Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm during a September 2010 event celebrating the opening of the plant in Livonia, Michigan, that the company received the U.S. grant to help build.

“This is about the birth of an entire new industry in America — an industry that’s going to be central to the next generation of cars,” Obama said in the phone call, according to a transcript provided by the White House. “When folks lift up their hoods on the cars of the future, I want them to see engines and batteries that are stamped: Made in America.”

I’m hoping that in tonight’s debate Romney reasserts that line about the $90 billion wasted on green projects and a lot of it linked to Obama campaign fundraisers.

Related posts

Global warming: 2000 new record low temperatures in October

October 2012 temperature records: (click for larger image)
October 2012 temperature records: (click for larger image)

From Watt’s Up With That ? blog. (H/T Bad Blue)

Excerpt:

In the continental USA, there were 137 high temperature type records versus 857 low temperature type records this past week , a 6-1 difference. Last week there were 1154 low temperature type records putting the two week total for October at 2011. There were also 24 new snowfall records set this week in the upper plains.

Remember, the whole reason Obama was so keen to reward his campaign fundraisers who own green energy companies that are now bankrupt was because of the fear of global warming.

Remember Solyndra, the solar panel maker?

Look:

Eight months before solar panel maker Solyndra filed for bankruptcy, the company’s politically connected backer sought to hold on to lucrative tax breaks in the event the company went out of business, according to court documents.

The new information was revealed on Wednesday by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, which filed an official objection to Solyndra’s bankruptcy reorganization plan.

The failure of Solyndra, the company President Obama held up as an example of government backing for renewable energy jobs, is a political weapon for Republicans ahead of the November elections as they highlight energy policies more favorable to fossil fuels.

[…]Solyndra’s bankruptcy plan could prove a further embarrassment to the administration if it is seen rewarding risk-driven venture capitalists ahead of unsecured creditors such as suppliers and laid-off staff.

In its court filing on Wednesday, the IRS opposed Solyndra’s plan. If approved by creditors, a holding company would emerge from bankruptcy with no employees or business operations – but as much as $350 million in tax breaks that could be used by Solyndra’s investors, including Argonaut Ventures.

Argonaut is the investment arm of a foundation tied to the Democratic fundraiser, Oklahoma billionaire George Kaiser. Most of the tax breaks would come in the form of Net Operating Losses (NOLs) which could be used to offset future taxable income.

Meanwhile, under the bankruptcy plan Solyndra’s creditors would receive pennies on the dollar, the IRS said, adding that the principal purpose of the plan is “tax avoidance.”

[…]The IRS cited emails from Kaiser to one of the venture firm’s managing directors.

[…]Solyndra has said in recent court filings it may not be able to repay any of the $528 million that the U.S. government had lent in 2009 to promote clean energy businesses.

Republicans have seized on Solyndra’s failure to accuse the White House of rushing the $528 million loan in part to help the venture capital backers. The Obama administration has said the loan was based on the merits of Solyndra’s business prospects.

Global warming fraud, cronyism and corruption. And they did everything they could to block domestic energy production, like blocking the Keystone XL pipeline and all the thousands of jobs that would have created. Do we really need four more years of this?

9 reasons why the economy is not moving “forward” under Barack Obama

From the American Enterprise Institute.

Here’s the summary of the list of 9 items:

  1. Unemployment rate
  2. Declining U.S. labor force (structural unemployment/government dependency)
  3. Labor force participation rate
  4. Unemployment/population ratio
  5. Average hourly earnings of workers
  6. GDP growth
  7. Economic competitiveness
  8. Federal debt crisis
  9. Risk of renewed recession

And here’s the detail of one that I haven’t mentioned much before on this blog:

5. Average hourly earnings were unchanged in the August jobs report, and are up just 1.7% over the past year. Not only does that match the slowest pace on record, but one you account for inflation, wages are flat to down.

The graph:

Average hourly earnings for American workers down under Obama
Average hourly earnings for workers way down under Obama

According to Forbes magazine: (H/T Gateway Pundit)

New income data from the Census Bureau reveal what a great job Barack Obama has done for the middle class as President. During his entire tenure in the oval office, median household income has declined by 7.3%.

In January, 2009, the month he entered office, median household income was $54,983. By June, 2012, it had spiraled down to $50,964. That’s a loss of $4,019 per family, the equivalent of losing a little less than one month’s income a year, every year. And on our current course that is only going to get worse not better…

[…]Three years into the Obama recovery, median family income had declined nearly 5% by June, 2012 as compared to June, 2009. That is nearly twice the decline of 2.6% that occurred during the recession from December, 2007 until June, 2009. As the Wall Street Journal summarized in its August 25-26 weekend edition, “For household income, in other words, the Obama recovery has been worse than the Bush recession.”

[…]Obama has failed the poor as well as the middle class. Last year, the Census Bureau reported more Americans in poverty than ever before in the more than 50 years that Census has been tracking poverty. Now The Huffington Post reports that the poverty rate is on track to rise to the highest level since 1965, before the War on Poverty began. A July 22 story by Hope Yen reports that when the new poverty rates are released in September, “even a 0.1 percentage point increase would put poverty at the highest level since 1965.”

Gateway Pundit adds:

Barack Obama is not just the food stamp president.
A record one in seven Americans is on food stamps today thanks to Barack Obama.

Barack Obama is also the poverty and pain president.
Under Obama, 6.4 million Americans are living below the poverty line and there is a record number of Americans living in deep poverty.

Meanwhile, Moody’s is threatening a credit downgrade:

Moody’s Investors Service said Tuesday that it would probably cut its triple-A rating on U.S. government debt by a notch unless congressional leaders can strike a budget deal in the coming months to bring down the deficit.

“If those negotiations lead to specific policies that produce a stabilization and then downward trend in the ratio of federal debt to GDP over the medium term, the rating will likely be affirmed,” Moody’s said in a press release Tuesday. “If those negotiations fail to produce such policies, however, Moody’s would expect to lower the rating, probably to Aa1.”

The threat comes after one of the other big three ratings firms, Standard & Poor’s, downgraded the U.S. last year following the brawl in Washington over the debt ceiling.

This would be the second credit downgrade – both occurred because of Obama’s Marxist policies of “spreading the wealth around” to punish job creators and their employees.

Are you better off now than you were four years ago?