Another Solyndra: “Green Jobs” Stimulus Project Costing $80 Million Per Job

It gets worse and worse:

With the Solyndra scandal still swirling, the Obama administration is under pressure to reveal the financial condition of the solar companies that received $4.75 billion in similar federal loan guarantees on the last day of the program.

Republican lawmakers on two House committees are seeking details about the loans given to First Solar, SunPower Corp. and ProLogis. Of those three companies, troubling financial revelations have emerged about SunPower, which received a $1.2 billion loan, more than twice the money approved for Solyndra, which filed for bankruptcy last month after receiving a $528 million loan.

The Energy Department says on its website that the $1.2 billion loan to help build the California Valley Solar Ranch in San Luis Obispo County, a project that will help create 15 permanent jobs, which adds up to the equivalent of $80 million in taxpayer money for each job. …

In April, the Energy Department gave SunPower a conditional loan guarantee, even though the company was receiving financing in the capital markets. Shortly after the conditional guarantee, French energy giant Total bought a majority ownership in SunPower and extended a $1 billion credit line to the company.

But SunPower posted $150 million in losses during the first half of this year and its debt is nearly 80 percent higher than the market value of all its outstanding shares. The company is also facing class action lawsuits for misstating its earnings.

This is why government shouldn’t “invest” in the private sector. Private sector investors put their money into companies based on their calculations of how likely that company is to succeed. Sometimes they’re right and sometimes they’re wrong, but if they invest wrong it’s only their own money voluntarily invested that they lose.

When the government invests its usually based less on a company’s viability but rather how politically popular that company is, like being a “green” company. And if the investment is lost, we all lose because it’s our tax dollars.

But hey, what do the politicians care? It’s only other people’s money.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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