Publicado: 05-25-2012 03:44 PM
Despite a growing backlash from his fellow Democrats, President Obama has doubled down on his attacks on Mitt Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital. But the strategy could backfire in ways Obama did not anticipate. After all, 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.
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. According to WSJ, 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. According to ECOtality’s own SEC filings, 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, according to CBS News the company is “under investigation for insider trading,” and Karner has been subpoenaed “for any and all documentation surrounding the public announcement of the first Department of Energy grant to the company.”
● Nevada Geothermal Power (NGP). The Obama administration gave NGP a $98.s5 million taxpayer loan guarantee in 2010. NYT 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.”
Publicado: 05-25-2012 03:45 PM
● Abound Solar, Inc. The Obama administration gave Abound Solar a $400 million loan guarantee to build photovoltaic panel factories. According to Forbes, 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. According to CBS News, 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.
Amazingly, Obama has declared that all the projects received funding “based solely on their merits.” But as Hoover Institution scholar Peter Schweizer reported in his book, “Throw Them All Out,” fully 71 percent of the Obama Energy Department’s grants and loans went to “individuals who were bundlers, members of Obama’s National Finance Committee, or large donors to the Democratic Party.” Collectively, these Obama cronies raised $457,834 for his campaign, and they were in turn approved for grants or loans of nearly $11.35 billion. Obama said this week it’s not the president’s job “to make a lot of money for investors.” Well, he sure seems to have made a lot of (taxpayer) money for investors in his political machine.
All that cronyism and corruption is catching up with the administration. According to Politico, “The Energy Department’s inspector general has launched more than 100 criminal investigations” related to the department’s green-energy programs.
Now the man who made Solyndra a household name says Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital “is what this campaign is going to be about.” Good luck with that, Mr. President. 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.
Publicado: 05-28-2012 03:28 PM
May 28, 2012 | Reaganite Republican
CON 100 MILLONES DE DESEMPLEADOS (57% ENTRE LOS JOVENES DE D.C.) GRACIAS A OBAMA, EN LAS PRIMARIAS DEMOCRATAS MAS DEL 40% EN W. VIRGINIA, KANSAS Y KENCTUKY REPUDIARON OBAMA LLEGANDO A PREFERIR VOTAR HASTA POR UN DELINCUENTE PRESO EN TEXAS
Publicado: 05-28-2012 07:30 PM
Dearborn Press and Guide ^ | May 23, 2012 | Albert Foster
One year ago American forces killed Osama bin Laden the mastermind behind the 9/11 attack against the United States. Obama took a victory lap. It was a triumph of symbolism over substance. As George Bush said, “It was just a matter of time.”
It is widely believed that Osama’s aim was just terrorism, but terrorism is only a tactic. What was he really trying to do?
Michael Scheuer who was the head of the CIA get bin Laden team under Bill Clinton said bin Laden’s goal was to bankrupt America and thus destroy its influence in the world. With the help of Washington politicians he is well on the way to having met his goal.
The national debt was $5.8 trillion on 9/10/2001. Today it is $15.7+ trillion and rapidly rising…almost $10 trillion in just 10 1/2 years. Not a bad start toward bankruptcy if you ask me.
The escalation of our debt was totally irresponsible, is unsustainable, and will lead to the downfall of the United States if we do not get it under control very soon. It was not bin Laden who ran up this debt. He just accelerated the process.
Americans should be really agitated about this, but they are either ignorant or apathetic.
There are 83 million families in the United States and each family’s share of the total U.S. debt is about $700 thousand. The administration’s answer to this problem is smoke and mirrors. They want you to believe the upper 1 percent will pay it. Don’t be fooled.
Officially there are 113.5 million taxpayers in a workforce of 141.6 million. One percent of taxpayers would be 1.14 million, or they would each need to pay $51 million to eliminate the total debt. All we need to do is wipe out most of the upper 1 percent and their assets and only God knows how many jobs will also be wiped out.
Lord Kelvin, famous physicist and mathematician, said, “I often say . . . that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely, in your thoughts, advanced to the stage of science, whatever the matter may be.”
Lord Kelvin was right. Without reliable numbers we are all fooled by silver tongued devils. My hope is that looking at just a few numbers will help you understand why Osama bin Laden may have won even if we did kill him. In his view, he is now in paradise while we are headed for hell.
Publicado: 05-29-2012 09:53 AM
Our Nation’s Future
Walter Williams 5, 29, 2012
Our nation is rapidly approaching a point from which there’s little chance to avoid a financial collapse. The heart of our problem can be seen as a tragedy of the commons. That’s a set of circumstances when something is commonly owned and individuals acting rationally in their own self-interest produce a set of results that’s inimical to everyone’s long-term interest. Let’s look at an example of the tragedy of the commons phenomenon and then apply it to our national problem.
Imagine there are 100 cattlemen all having an equal right to graze their herds on 1,000 acres of commonly owned grassland. The rational self-interested response of each cattleman is to have the largest herd that he can afford. Each cattleman pursing similar self-interests will produce results not in any of the cattlemen’s long-term interest — overgrazing, soil erosion and destruction of the land’s usefulness. Even if they all recognize the dangers, does it pay for any one cattleman to cut the size of his herd? The short answer is no because he would bear the cost of having a smaller herd while the other cattlemen gain at his expense. In the long term, they all lose because the land will be overgrazed and made useless.
We can think of the federal budget as a commons to which each of our 535 congressmen and the president have access. Like the cattlemen, each congressman and the president want to get as much out of the federal budget as possible for their constituents. Political success depends upon “bringing home the bacon.” Spending is popular, but taxes to finance the spending are not. The tendency is for spending to rise and its financing to be concealed through borrowing and inflation.
Does it pay for an individual congressman to say, “This spending is unconstitutional and ruining our nation, and I’ll have no part of it; I will refuse a $500 million federal grant to my congressional district”? The answer is no because he would gain little or nothing, plus the federal budget wouldn’t be reduced by $500 million.
Other congressmen would benefit by having $500 million more for their districts.
What about the constituents of a principled congressman? If their congressman refuses unconstitutional spending, it doesn’t mean that they pay lower federal income taxes. All that it means is constituents of some other congressmen get the money while the nation spirals toward financial ruin, and they wouldn’t be spared from that ruin because their congressman refused to participate in unconstitutional spending.
What we’re witnessing in Greece, Italy, Ireland, Portugal and other parts of Europe is a direct result of their massive spending to accommodate the welfare state. A greater number of people are living off government welfare programs than are paying taxes. Government debt in Greece is 160 percent of gross domestic product. The other percentages of GDP are 120 in Italy,104 in Ireland and 106 in Portugal. As a result of this debt and the improbability of their ever paying it, their credit ratings either have reached or are close to reaching junk bond status.
Here’s the question for us: Is the U.S. moving in a direction toward or away from the troubled EU nations?
It turns out that our national debt, which was 35 percent of GDP during the 1970s, is now 106 percent of GDP, a level not seen since World War II’s 122 percent. That debt, plus our more than $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities, has led Standard & Poor’s to downgrade our credit rating from AAA to AA+, and the agency is keeping the outlook at “negative” as a result of its having little confidence that Congress will take on the politically sensitive job of tackling the same type of entitlement that has turned Europe into a basket case.
I am all too afraid that Benjamin Franklin correctly saw our nation’s destiny when he said, “When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”