Another Democrat Candidate

Recently Tom Steyer announced that he was running for President as a Democrat. The millionaire is running on a ‘5 Rights’ agenda. According to The Washington Times, the ‘5 Rights’ are:  “unencumbered access to voting, clean air and water, education, a living wage and healthcare to be constitutionally protected for every American.”

Tom Steyer portrays himself as an environmentalist who opposes the use of coal for energy, but his history tells another story.

Yesterday Breitbart posted the following:

Despite marketing himself as an “environmental justice” advocate combating “climate change,” billionaire Democrat presidential candidate Tom Steyer oversaw the funding of coal plants in Australia, China, and Indonesia during his tenure as CEO of hedge fund Farallon Capital Management.

Steyer also bought and sold coal stocks during the Obama administration’s “war on coal,” explained Peter Schweizer, president of the Government Accountability Institute and senior contributor at Breitbart News, in episode four of the Drill Down.

There is nothing wrong with funding coal plants, but the hypocrisy is another example of the ‘rules for thee, but not for me’ attitude held by so many in the political class.

The article concludes:

Steyer also circumvented conflict-of-interest regulations prohibiting American advisers from investing in countries they were assisting following the collapse of the Soviet Union and subsequent privatization of Russian industries. Larry Summers, former president of Harvard University and economics adviser to the Obama administration, was tasked with overseeing Russian industries’ presumed shift towards free market operations. Steyer worked with Summers’ wife, possibly gleaning insider information upon which to make investment decisions.

“It’s a classic maneuver of crony capitalism,” said Schweizer of Steyer’s evasion of the aforementioned conflict-of-interest regulations.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. Tom Steyer is not someone we want in the White House.

Crony Capitalism Stopped In New York City

Heritage.org posted an article today about Amazon’s decision not to locate in New York City.

The article reports:

Based on Amazon’s public statement, it seems the company couldn’t rely on the deals it had cut or the political support it had received to last beyond the next election. And businesses can’t base long-term decisions like this on shifting political sand.

That’s part of the problem with crony capitalism. It may procure short-term wins for a select few politicians and for businesses that can afford to pay to play, but it’s not a strategy for long-term success.

Employers want to set up shop in places where they can grow and succeed. The best environment for that is a level playing field with minimal government interference and low, broad-based taxes—not picking winners and losers through special-interest subsidies

A favorable business environment is one where local leaders work to help all businesses equally, not a select few. Employers want leaders who can listen to their needs without telling them how to run their business, and they want communities and leaders that welcome the jobs and economic growth that employers bring, instead of protesting their presence. 

It turns out this is not what New York City had to offer. Amazon said that certain politicians “made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward.”

New York City is not a friendly business climate, and losing those special “relationships” would have left it exposed to the same burdens and barriers that other businesses face in New York. 

For most businesses, deciding where to locate really all comes down to the bottom line.

The article notes that businesses and people are leaving New York:

According to the ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index, “Rich States, Poor States,” New York ranks dead last in the overall economic outlook ranking, while Virginia ranks among the top 10. 

And Amazon isn’t the only company wary of locating in New York. Plenty of individuals, families, and businesses are fleeing the state, and they’re taking their income and tax revenues with them. 

In fact, between 1997 and 2016, every dollar of income that left New York was replaced by only 71 cents coming in. That deficit will only continue under New York’s current policies.

The article concludes:

States and cities should also take a lesson from this New York episode: Crony capitalism isn’t the way to win over more business. The key is to provide a level playing field that offers opportunity for all businesses to grow and thrive.

How Do You Acquire A Net Worth Of $80 Million While Making $174,000 A Year?

Although the information about to be shared deals with only one person, the story is not unique. I am posting this example because it was very easily researched. More diligent research could probably find at least fifty more examples of what I am about to illustrate.

The following was posted by a Facebook friend today:

THE TRUTH ABOUT FEINSTEIN
The US has entered into a contract with a real estate firm to sell 56 buildings that currently house U.S. Post Offices. All 56 were built, operated, and paid for by tax-paying American citizens. Now enjoy reading the rest: The government has decided it no longer needs these buildings, most of which are located on prime land in towns and cities across the country.

The sale of these properties will fetch about$19 billion!

A regular real estate commission will be paid to the company that was given the exclusive listing for handling the sales. That company is CRI and it belongs to a man named Richard Blum.

Richard Blum is the husband of Senator Dianne Feinstein!(Most voters and many of the government people who approved the deal have not made the connection between the two because they have different last names).

Senator Feinstein and her husband stand to make a fortune, estimated at between $950 million and $1.1 BILLION from these transactions!

His company is the sole real estate agent on the sale!

CRI will be making a minimum of 2% and as much as 6% commission on each and every sale. All of the properties that are being sold are all fully paid for. They were purchased with U.S. taxpayers’ dollars.

The U.S.P.S. is allowed free and clear, tax exempt use. The only cost to keep them open is the cost to actually keep the doors open and the heat and lights on. The United States Postal Service doesn’t even have to pay county property taxes on these subject properties. QUESTION? Would you put your house in foreclosure just because you couldn’t afford to pay the electric bill?

Well, the folks in Washington have given the Post Office the OK to do it! Worse yet, most of the net proceeds of the sales will go back to the U.S.P.S, an organization that is so poorly managed that they have lost $117 billion dollars in the past 10 years!

No one in the mainstream media is even raising an eyebrow over the conflict of interest and on the possibility of corruption on the sale of billions of dollars worth of public assets.

How does a U.S. Senator from San Francisco manage to get away with organizing and lobbying such a sweet deal ? Has our government become so elitist that they have no fear of oversight?

It’s no mere coincidence that these two public service crooks have different last names; a feeble attempt at avoiding transparency in these type of transactions.

Pass this info on before it’s pulled from the Internet. You can verify it on TruthorFiction and Snopes:

http://www.truthorfiction.com/…/Blum-Post-Office-Sale-06101…

http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/blum.asp

If this doesn’t upset you, don’t complain about the corruption and the ineptness in D.C.

It didn’t take a lot of research to verify most of this. I found a few interesting tidbits. Snopes describes the claims as ‘mixed.’ In case you are not aware, Snopes has a bit of a mixed record itself.

From a website called The New American:

It’s unfortunate that Snopes didn’t dig any further into the matter. It could have, for instance, sourced an 11-page exposé of Blum and Feinstein published by the online site FoundSF entitled “Richard C. Blum and Dianne Feinstein: The Power Couple of California.” There Snopes would have found how this couple, through a continuing series of events that could only be called crony capitalism on steroids, grew their wealth, starting in 1980 when they were married, from a modest sum to well over $100 million.

In that exposé they would have uncovered another source, this time from the Los Angeles Times, which noted the couple’s illicit activities from the beginning:

A review of the senator’s first two years in office found that Feinstein supported several positions that benefited Blum, his wealthy clients and their investments. She was a vocal proponent of increased trade with China while Blum’s firm was planning a major investment there. She also voted for appropriations bills that provided more than $100 million a year in federal funds to three companies in which her husband is a substantial investor.

Visiting the Times article would have led them to another source that explained in detail her votes as head of the Military Construction Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Subcommittee (MILCON), which funneled $1.5 billion worth of military construction contracts to URS Corporation, an engineering, design, and construction company located (where else?) in San Francisco — in which Blum had a significant financial interest. Her committee also funneled millions into Tutor Perini, one of the largest general contractors in the country, also located in California, and in which Blum also had a significant financial interest. When Blum sold his interests in URS and Tutor Perini, he booked profits estimated at between $5 and $10 million.

Another example from Breitbart:

On April 21, 2009, the Washington Times broke an exclusive story that Feinstein proposed legislation to direct $25 billion in taxpayer money to the Federal Depository Insurance Corporation

The alleged Blum connection was that the FDIC had just awarded Blum’s real estate firm a profitable contract to resell foreclosed properties at compensation rates higher than the industry norms. 

According to the Washington Times, “Mrs. Feinstein’s intervention on behalf of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was unusual: the California Democrat isn’t a member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs with jurisdiction over FDIC; and the agency is supposed to operate from money it raises from bank-paid insurance payments–not direct federal dollars.”

Documents obtained by the newspaper exposed that Feinstein had sent a letter to the FDIC on October 30, 2008 offering to help it secure funds to help them stave off ensuing foreclosures. 

That letter was sent only a few days before CB Richard Ellis Group (the commercial real estate firm that Blum serves as board chairman) had won a contract to sell foreclosed properties that FDIC was taking on from failed banks. 

According to Weiss, “this is an allegation that has totally been discredited.” 

Feinstein’s explanation was that the senator simply introduced legislation to allocate $25 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in 2009 because California had the third highest number of foreclosures in the nation.  

“Senator Feinstein learned of FDIC Chair Sheila Bair’s proposal for foreclosure relief from news reports, expressed her support in a letter, and introduced legislation to implement it,” Weiss wrote to Breitbart News. “She was unaware of CBRE’s bid for an FDIC contract so it clearly played no role in her decision to introduce legislation. The Inspector General at the FDIC reviewed this and concluded there was ‘no improper influence’ in the awarding of the contract.” 

LaJuan Williams-Young, a spokeswoman for the FDIC, declined to explain why CBRE was chosen and instead simply defended the agency: “There are four other contractors that perform similar work for the Corporation.”

According to Tom Fitton, President of Judicial Watch, a non-profit organization dedicated to monitoring Washington ethics, Feinstein’s explanation isn’t adequate. He says that neither the FDIC nor MILCON connections pass muster under the U.S. Senate Ethics Rules or the U.S. Criminal Code.

“In these cases, she was voting on bills that ultimately benefited her husband’s companies . . . she knew, everyone knew what would come out of those bills, and at the least she should have known where that money could have gone, and that simply doesn’t stand scrutiny.” 

When asked about Feinstein and her husband benefitting from all of these contracts as well as the FDIC legislation, Weiss simply responded, “All items referred to above are Richard Blum’s separate property relating to his business . . . Senator Feinstein is not involved with and does not discuss any of her husband’s business decisions.” 

Blicksilver mirrored Weiss’ response, saying that, “Blum Capital Partners has a strict confidentiality policy which Mr. Blum and other members of the firm adhere to. As such, he does not discuss the Firm’s investments with the Senator.” 

Not only does it pay to be a Senator, it pays to be married to one.

This is only one example of the swamp in Washington that needs to be cleared out.

If It Won’t Work, Why Is The Government Funding It?

One of the biggest problems in the American economy right now is crony capitalism. Rather than a free market system where innovation is rewarded, we have devolved into a system where the federal government picks which companies will receive money from the government to become successful and which companies will simply have to rely on their own abilities to become successful. One of the places where this has been the most obvious has been the ‘green energy‘ industry. On Thursday, The Daily Caller posted an article stating some basic facts about green energy.

The article reports:

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have confirmed what many in the energy world already knew: Without government support or high taxes, green energy will never be able to compete with conventional, more reliable power plants.

…The MIT study also noted that solar and wind power are more than twice as expensive as natural gas, and tax on carbon dioxide emissions could increase electricity prices enough for green sources to compete. Even environmental groups such as The Sierra Club worry increasingly cheap energy will make the case for green power weaker.

The article goes on to explain that fossil fuel is cheap and reliable. As of yet, green energy is neither. We would probably have a better chance of developing green energy if the government would get out of the way and let the inventors take over and be rewarded for their efforts. Until change becomes extremely profitable (outside government subsidies), it is unlikely to happen.

The Real Number In The Economic Recovery

Investor’s Business Daily posted an article today about the impact President Obama’s economic policies have had on middle-class Americans. The numbers are not good.

As you can see from the chart, there are more people in poverty, the median household income has dropped, and the average income for the bottom fifth of American households has gone done. That is not a recovery.

The article reports:

A couple of months ago, he (President Obama) was in Wisconsin, crediting his policies for “record” job growth, tumbling deficits and big gains in the stock market.

“Step by step, America is moving forward,” he said. “Middle-class economics works. It works. Yes!”

It’s hard to see any evidence of that in the Census numbers. Indeed, the latest report shows that, despite more than six years of economic “recovery,” the middle class is, incredibly, worse off than at the end of the Great Recession.

From 2009 to 2014, real median household income dropped by more than $1,000 — or 2.3% — to $53,657. (And that decline would likely have been steeper if not for a 2013 change in the way the Census does its annual survey.)

Obama’s economy has been particularly harsh on those already at the bottom. Census data show that the bottom fifth of households saw their average income fall by 8% from 2009 to 2014.

Looked at another way, the share of households with incomes below $25,000 climbed from 22.4% to 23.6% over those years.

Among blacks, it went from 35.5% to 36.8%.

President Obama has practiced policies of increased taxation, overregulation, and crony capitalism. All of these policies waste money and inhibit economic growth. Our debt is growing, and if we do not change course in the next election, we will probably not survive as a country.

Economic Policies Have Consequences

Today’s Washington Examiner posted a story about Congressional Budget Office (CBO) statements on the condition of the American economy. The CBO is not optimistic about the future.

The article reports:

The CBO updated its fiscal projections Wednesday, and they reflected its new gloomy view that the future of the U.S. economy is one of slower growth and lower productivity.

“They think that we will get back up to potential growth,” said Loren Adler, an analyst at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, “but they make it clear that they think potential growth is lower than it used to be in the ‘80s and ‘90s.”

The CBO first reached the conclusion that future growth will be slower when it released its long-term budget projections in July, but only incorporated it into its official 10-year budget projections Wednesday.

In its new projections, the CBO sees the economy suffering from a scenario in which its potential is slightly lower than before — 1 percent lower in 2024 than previously expected.

As a result of weak economic growth this year and slightly slower potential growth over the next 10 years, the CBO sees $514 billion in lost revenue.

…The CBO’s scenario — slower growth and permanently lower interest rates — is consistent with the “secular stagnation” scenario outlined by former Obama economic adviser and Harvard professor Larry Summers, who has argued that the U.S. economy may not be able to generate enough consumer demand for goods and services on its own without stimulus from the Federal Reserve or through federal spending.

The assumption that demand will return to normal “now seems problematic,” Stein (Center for American Progress’ Harry Stein) told the Washington Examiner, noting that he wasn’t sure whether the CBO assumed secular stagnation in its model.

So how do you grow an economy? Ronald Reagan seemed to have the answer–lower taxes. If you look at the deal that President Reagan made with Congress (a Democrat-controlled Congress), Congress was going to cut spending along with the tax cuts. Unfortunately, Congress chose to ignore their part of the bargain, and spending during the Reagan years increased greatly and deficits went up despite record tax revenues coming into the government. Even with the growing deficits, the economy grew rapidly once the tax burden was taken off of the people who create jobs and produce wealth. The Obama Administration has increased the income of the wealthy while leaving the middle and lower classes behind. This is the fruit of crony capitalism. The gap between rich and poor has increased during the Obama Administration–not decreased. If you want to see America prosper again, elect people to Congress who will cut taxes and cut spending.

Unions And Crony Capitalism

Townhall.com posted an article today about some of the scandals that have been occurring in America’s Public Sector Unions. Remember, the members of the Public Sector Unions are people whose benefits and salaries are paid by the taxpayer.

The article lists several recent scandals. Here are a few:

A Chicago union leader takes a leave of absence in 1989 from the city’s sanitation department, where he earned $40,000, to work for a union. He is then allowed to “retire” from the city at age 56 with $108,000 pension. (The rules say that the individual should waive a union pension to do this. In this case, the official reportedly does not waive the union pension. The city knows this, but grants the city pension anyway.)

16 psychiatrists working for California are paid $400,000 or more. One of them, with a degree from an Afghan medical school, takes home $822,302

More than half the lifeguards working for Newport Beach, CA earn more than $150,000 in 2010. One earns $203,481. A lifeguard labor union spokesman comments: “We have negotiated very fair and very reasonable salaries. . . . Lifeguard salaries here are well within the norm of other city employees.”

There are many more examples listed in the article. This might be the reason many of our towns, cities and states are on the verge of bankruptcy.

The article reminds us of the relationship between union dues and political contributions:

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) collects $211 million in dues in 2010; the National Education Association (NEA) $397 million. With state affiliates included, the total approaches $1 billion. The AFT president makes nearly half a million, and almost 600 officials at the two unions earn over $100,000. $297 million is donated to political campaigns over a decade—with total political spending much higher. It is hard to say how high the spending really is because members do not receive complete information.

…For the fifty states as a whole, unfunded public employee benefit liabilities are at least $1.26 trillion, according to the PEW Center on the states.

This information comes from a book entitled, Crony Capitalism in America 2008-2012, Chapter 19, Public Sector Union Scandals Begin to Leak by Hunter Lewis. The book is available at Amazon.com.

There might be a few clues in the above examples of union abuse of taxpayer money as to how America might begin to trim its state, local and federal budgets.

 

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Crony Capitalism At Work

It is not news that the Obama Administration practices Crony Capitalism, but sometimes it is news to see how far the Administration will go to destroy a business or industry they have decided they do not like.

Breitbart.com posted a story today about the Obama Administration’s war on the private lending industry: third party payment processors (“TPPPs”), payday lenders, and online lenders. The war, referred to in the Administration as ‘Operation Choke Point,’ is designed to destroy these three industries.

The article at Breitbart.com explains:

According to the Wall Street Journal, the federal initiative now known as ‘Operation Choke Point’ is an outgrowth of the President’s Financial Fraud Task Force, established by President Obama by Executive Order in 2009. It also appears to have been kicked off in secret by the Department of Justice, FDIC, and the CFPB in early 2013 without the requisite statutory authority. Officials at the Department of Justice have withheld information about the program from Congress, though they have eagerly shared details with federal financial institution examiners authorized to supervise and discipline the nation’s banks and related financial institutions.

…The members of Congress warned Holder and Gruenberg that these actions were undertaken by their respective agencies without statutory authority. “Your actions to ‘choke off’ short-term lenders by changing the structure of the financial system are outside your congressional mandate,” they wrote. “With the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act, Congress acknowledged the need for short-term credit products and did not try to limit online lender’s or storefront operators’ ability to offer such products.”

The article goes on to explain some of the efforts by Congress to obtain information on the program and to fulfill their constitutional responsibility of oversight. Generally speaking, they have been blocked at every turn.

The article concludes:

The Obama administration, by treating Congress with disdain and failing to provide evidence of the statutory authority for its actions, is signaling that it has no intention of stopping. Up next for the administration is the expansion of the tactics used in ‘Operation Choke Point’ to a whole host of industries the Obama administration does not like and has identified for targeting, including manufacturers of guns and ammunition.

When will we get our real constitutional government back?

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We’re Still Not Done With Solyndra

On Wednesday, the Washington Times posted an article about the bankruptcy of Solyndra.

The article states:

The Internal Revenue Service urged a bankruptcy judge to reject solar panel maker Solyndra LLC’s bankruptcy plan Wednesday, saying it amounts to little more than an avenue for owners of an empty corporate shell to avoid paying taxes.

“The undeniable conclusion is that tax benefits drive this plan,” attorneys for the IRS wrote in a bankruptcy pleading.

The attorneys for the IRS stated that that the tax breaks would be worth more money than funds set aside for creditors.

The article explained the bankruptcy plan:

Under Solyndra’s reorganization plan, two big investors in the company, Madrone Partners LP and Argonaut Ventures, together would own nearly all of a shell company formed in the wake of Solyndra’s bankruptcy reorganization.

But the IRS said in court papers that there was little reason for the shell company to exist other than to help the owners avoid taxes. Argonaut is the investment arm of a family foundation headed by Oklahoma businessman George Kaiser, a fundraiser for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. Madrone has ties to the family that owns Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

The article concludes:

The government attorneys said that while the reorganization plan had “some marginal benefits,” there was no doubt that the most important priority was to “preserve a shell corporation to be able to reduce future tax liabilities by hundreds of millions of dollars.”

This is what crony capitalism looks like.

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Where Did The Money Go ?

The Washington Free Beacon posted a story today about the connections between stimulus money given out and people who donated to the Obama presidential campaign in 2008. Solyndra is the poster child for this connection, but there is more to the Solyndra story.

The article reports:

Obama bundler George Kaiser was a major stakeholder in Solyndra through his Kaiser Family Foundation, and made several trips to the White House in March 2009 to meet with senior administration officials. In July 2009, Kaiser bragged about securing face time with “all the key players in the West Wing of the White House,” as well as his “almost unique advantage” when it came to steering taxpayer funds toward his pet causes.

“There’s never been more money shoved out of the government’s door in world history, and probably never will be again, than in the last few months and in the next 18 months,” Kaiser told members of the Tulsa Rotary Club. “And our selfish parochial goal is to get as much as it for Tulsa and Oklahoma as we possibly can.”

Although things did not pan out for Solyndra—the company filed for bankruptcy in September 2011—Kaiser can expect to see a better return on his investment than American taxpayers. As part of an agreement to restructure Solyndra’s loan agreement in 2010, Obama’s DOE granted priority status to private investors like Kaiser with respect to the first $75 million recovered in the event of the firm’s bankruptcy, a move that many suspect violated federal law.

Taxpayers, meanwhile, are unlikely to recover much of the money invested on their behalf.

Unfortunately, Solyndra was not the only total waste of stimulus money.

The article lists other examples of companies of campaign donors who received major cash investments or loan guarantees from the Obama Administration.

The article further reports:

The Securities and Exchange Commission is currently investigating whether DreamWorks made illegal payments to Chinese officials in order to secure exclusive film rights in the communist nation. The New York Times reported that Katzenberg, as well as Vice President Joe Biden, were intimately involved in negotiating an agreement under which China would up its annual quota of foreign-produced films from 20 to 34 and allow studios to keep a greater percentage of box-office revenue.

DreamWorks announced a $2 billion deal with the Chinese government in February to build a production studio in Shanghai just days after Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping held an extensive meeting with Barack Obama in Washington, D.C.

When Mitt Romney ran Bain capital, he helped companies succeed. It seems like our government has a definite ability to spend large amounts of taxpayer money helping companies fail.

Who Gets Rich In The Obama Economy

Today’s Daily Caller posted an article about President Obama’s speech in Las Vegas calling for a plan to boost the American use of natural gas. I’m sure it is only a coincidence that George Soros will benefit greatly if the plan is put into action.

The Daily Caller reports:

Westport Innovations, a recent purchase by Soros, would benefit from the windfall of policies that pursue the use of natural gas for transportation. The company, whose shares have been projected to explode if Congress were to approve the Natural Gas Act, makes natural gas engines for heavy-duty trucks.

“Soros’s investment funds have pumped about $122 million into WPST, and he’s added to his control as recently as December and March, when he picked up over a million shares, bringing his total to 5.5 million shares,” reported BigGovernment.

“If Westport reaps the predicted windfall, one of the chief beneficiaries will be George Soros, a major Obama donor and supporter. Soros’s hedge fund holds.

There have been a lot of investments in ‘green energy’ by political leaders who felt that they could put policies in place that would reward them rather than be in the best interests of America. We need to remember that specific legislation was passed before Solyndra declared bankruptcy that put the American taxpayer on the hook for the loss rather than the investors in the company. We also need to remember that in the bankruptcy of Chrysler, the interests of the unions were protected over the interests of the Preferred Stockholders, which is against bankruptcy law.

Crony capitalism seems to be one of the strongest traits of the Obama Administration. When November comes, we need to end both crony capitalism and the Obama Administration.

 

 
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Am I The Only One Wondering About This?

I reported in January at rightwinggranny.com that General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt was appointed lead the President’s new jobs council. In March I reported at rightwinggranny.com that General Electric had paid no corporate income taxes in 2009.

The Wall Street Journal reported:

“”We expect to have a positive tax liability for 2010 when we file our U.S. income taxes later this year,” the conglomerate said in a written response to questions from Dow Jones Newswires. But “we think it will be covered by overpayments.””

“…GE called the Times report “particularly distorted and misleading” on its website Friday. On Monday, GE noted on its website that it paid almost $2.7 billion in “cash income taxes” globally in 2010, “including significant U.S. federal income tax payments.”

“GE also has said that its tax rate has been abnormally low recently largely because of losses suffered by its financial arm, GE Capital, during the financial crisis. The company noted that GE Capital lost nearly $32 billion from 2008 to 2010.

“”Our 2011 tax rate is slated to return to more normal levels with GE Capital’s recovery,” the company said.”

Today the New York Times reported:

General Electric, the nation’s largest industrial company, on Friday reported net earnings for the third quarter of $3.2 billion, up 57 percent from the same period in 2010 despite what the chief executive called a “volatile” economic environment.

The article further reports:

G.E. has been expecting its business for power generation equipment, which involves gas, steam and wind turbines, to improve this year. Profits in that component of its business were down 19 percent in the second quarter. 

Does anyone doubt that if the Obama Administration continues to pursue green energy, General Electric will profit handsomely by being well placed in the industry? I seriously doubt that any of this activity is illegal, but it is a glaring example of crony capitalism. The people at Occupy Wall Street are definitely protesting the wrong people–they should be out in front of the White House.


 

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Solyndra Through The Eyes Of James Pethokoukis

Image representing Solyndra as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

On Friday, James Pethokoukis at Reuters posted an article about the scandal surrounding government loans to Solyndra. Mr. Pethokoukis reminds us that President Obama intended to reorganize the American economy around ‘green energy’ in view of the dangers of global warming (which is NOT settled science).

The article points out:

At its core, Obamanomics is about the top-down redistribution of wealth and income. Government spending on various “green” subsidies and programs, along with a cap-and-trade system to limit carbon emissions, would enrich key Democrat constituencies: lawyers, public sector unions, academia and non-profits.

Oh, and Wall Street, too. Who was the exclusive financial adviser to Solyndra when it was trying to secure the $535 million loan from Washington? Goldman Sachs. And had the cap-and-trade scheme been enacted, big banks stood ready to reap billions from the trading of carbon emission credits.

Thank God cap and trade did not pass. The entire ‘green energy’ plan was a scheme to put money into Democrat party supporters’ pockets so that they could in turn donate substantial amounts of that money to Democrat campaigns.

My understanding of the Solyndra business plan was that they would build a solar panel for six dollars and then sell it for three. Even under new math, that won’t work for very long. The good news here is that Americans are aware of what happened and the crony capitalism that was involved. We need to understand that there will always be some degree of crony capitalism. Think about it–if you hold office, wouldn’t you rather do business with someone you know than someone you don’t know? The challenge is to avoid using large amounts of taxpayer money to fund businesses that do not have a viable business plan.

Part of the problem with the Obama administration is that it exists in the first place. We as voters need to be more aware of the backgrounds of the people we nominate and the people we elect. I cannot guarantee that John McCain would have made a better President, but I can say that I did not feel that John McCain was the best candidate the Republicans had to offer. The challenge for all Americans in the coming year is to be involved in the primary election process and to do everything we can to make sure that the candidates chosen represent us–regardless of which side of the political spectrum we fall on.

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