No one even a little bit political in the early years of the Obama administration could forget the massive failure that was the federal government’s spending on green energy companies that later went bankrupt.
It should have been a cautionary tale for future administrations not to give hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to companies with unproven technology simply because they were in a favored industry. But this is Washington, where failure only means that not enough money was wasted.
Last week, as The Daily Wire reported, President Joe Biden revealed that he is following this model when he announced that he would be spending billions more on green energy companies, saying the lesson he learned from former President Obama wasn’t to be better stewards of taxpayer money, but that the Obama administration didn’t give companies like Solyndra and Abound Solar enough money to succeed.
It’s been 12 years since Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act spent $787 billion dollars, losing hundreds of millions on green energy boondoggles. Biden himself oversaw the failures while he was Obama’s vice president, personally announcing the money that would be given to future-failed companies.
“Two solar power companies, Solyndra and Abound Solar, both went bankrupt in 2011 after receiving loan guarantees under Obama’s stimulus worth $535 million and $400 million, respectively. The small automaker Fisker received a $529 million loan guarantee to manufacture hybrid and electric vehicles before going bankrupt in 2013,” The Daily Wire reported. “A123 Systems, which made batteries for Fisker, announced bankruptcy shortly after the car company and after receiving a $279 million loan guarantee.”
This wasn’t enough for Biden, who now wants to try again with green energy – this time with even more money.
“Now, 12 years later, President Biden is preparing the details of a new, vastly larger, economic stimulus plan that again would use government spending to unite the goals of fighting climate change and restoring the economy,” The New York Times reported. “While clean energy spending was just a fraction of the Obama stimulus, Mr. Biden wants to make it the centerpiece of his proposal for trillions of dollars, not billions, on government grants, loans, and tax incentives to spark renewable power, energy efficiency and electric car production.”
Biden and his allies intend to argue that more money is the answer to the failures of the past while also arguing there has been an increased demand for green energy in the past decade. The last part may be true, but it hasn’t made green energy affordable without government subsidies.
The idea of throwing more money at something is hardly new to the federal government. For decades, the federal government has given more and more money to America’s schools without anything to show for it, with test scores remaining stagnant and no evidence to suggest the additional funds have done anything to improve graduation rates – which have increased. During the coronavirus pandemic, Congress passed trillions of dollars in relief, with billions going to public schools. Most of that money won’t even be spent on COVID-related expenditures, nor will it be spent this year or next in order to get kids back into classrooms.
It’s simply Washington’s way of claiming it has “done something” – success of a program isn’t determined by measurable outcomes and data, but by how much money has been wasted in the name of change.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.