While you watch the Solyndra scandal hearing featuring Energy Secretary Stephen Chu, you might savor this bit of hypocrisy reported in today's Washington Post. The Post notes that back in September, when the Solyndra scandal broke, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) declared:
“It is not the role of government to pick winners and losers,” Upton said in a statement in September regarding Solyndra. “Let’s learn the lessons of Solyndra before another dollar goes out the door.”
Absolutely right, of course. But here's the sad but not-at-all-surprising bit of hypocrisy:
Upton and 13 other Michigan lawmakers sent a letter to Energy Secretary Steven Chu in December 2009 recommending Auburn Hills-based United Solar Ovonics for a loan underPresident Obama’s economic stimulus bill.
The loan was never approved by the Energy Department, but Upton’s advocacy for United Solar stands in contrast to his recent skepticism about the government’s clean-energy loan guarantee program....
In 2009, Upton had also signed letters asking the Energy Department to provide financial assistance to automakers, a wind turbine maker, a biofuels refinery, a smart-grid project, a battery company and a water wave energy firm.
We really must come up with a better description than "crony capitalism" for this type of malfeasance -- after all capitalists make profits in competitive markets, not as a result of government handouts. Crony socialism?
*See Casablanca reference below: