Friday, October 14, 2011

Bipartisan green elephants

The Solyndra debacle is only one part of the corrupt and shameful waste of money that is the Department of Energy's Loan Programs Office.  It turns out, however, that President Obama isn't the only one with a green-economy slush fun.  Many state governors around the country, including Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, have or had their own pile of discretionary funds to invest in green companies.  Kim Strassel has the lowdown in the WSJ:

The political merit of Solyndra is that it perfectly illustrates the failed Obama economic mentality—that politicians should allocate capital, that government creates industries. Nothing should be further from a free-market mentality, and Solyndra ought to be providing Republicans a potent contrast with the president. Instead, candidates like Mr. Perry and Mitt Romney are dragging green baggage. 
Perry has tried to make a federalism argument to defend his fund, but, as Strassel puts it:
The problem is that there are no apolitical subsidies. The economics of political venture capital are bad, but the politics are worse. For Republicans in particular, the green subsidy road leads only to scandals, job-number embarrassments, poor excuses, and a missed opportunity to draw distinctions with big-government liberals.