In a shrewd political move, GOP candidate Mitt Romney has called for an investigation into federal loans to luxury carmakers Fisker and Tesla. While the investigation is unlikely to turn up anything illegal, what Romney’s investigation will keep reminding Americans is that the scandal is legal.
For two years, the Obama administration has been in the Green Casino betting taxpayer billions on its millionaire pals’ pie-in-the-sky schemes. From Al Gore’s Fisker to Jeffrey Immelt’s GE to George Kaiser’s Solyndra to Russian Alexei Mordashov’s Severstal, Obama has used the public piggy bank to finance “the fun stuff,” as Veep Biden put it to Time magazine.
The Democratic party is lobbying its MSM allies that Solyndra’s bankruptcy is nothing to be concerned about because Obama’s “investments” in new green industries are necessarily risky.
But as Romney knows, running a gambling casino for multi-millionaires is not what taxpayers signed up for.
“The U.S. government shouldn’t be playing venture capitalist. It’s not merely that government bureaucrats are bad at picking winners. The very process invites cronyism and outright corruption,” Romney wrote in an Orange County Register op-ed. Sure enough, major Democratic donor Elon Musk received $465 million for Tesla Motors. Another $529 million loan went to Fisker Automotive where the Goracle himself is invested.
Quid pro quo or no, the sums the Obama administration’s players are wagering are breathtaking. Their swagger is personified by Energy Department Master of the Universe and press spokesman Dan Leistikow who claims prescience in picking market winners.
“America’s auto industry is being reinvented,” says Leistikow, “and the Department’s loan program is. . . helping America compete for and win the auto manufacturing jobs of the future.” How did the cell phone or PC computer industries get off the ground without Mr. Leistikow’s vision?
And given the green industry’s track record, where does Leistikow’s stock-picking prowess come from? Fisher Coachworks, Evergreen Solar, Solyndra, Enerdel, and others have lost millions of government dollars or gone bankrupt. Obama is shoveling chips onto the roulette table — not just for his rich American cronies, but foreign favorites as well. LGChem, a South Korean battery maker, has received $150 million and Russian steelmaker Severstal a whopping $730 million.
A Russian steelmaker?
Despite being one of the wealthiest men in the world with a net worth of $19 billion, Severstal owner Alexei Mordashov conned the Energy Department out of taxpayer funds claiming a need to retool its Dearborn, Michigan plant to make the lightweight steel necessary to gird Obama’s dream cars.
Recognizing a gambling addict when he sees one, Rep. Darrel Issa has opened another investigation into Obama’s Severstal giveaway. The Romney and Issa watchdogs have a lot to bark about.
editor’s note: This item has been amended since its initial publication.