creators.com opinion web
Liberal Opinion General Opinion
Deb Saunders
Debra J. Saunders
30 Jul 2015
Flogging the Flag Where There Is None

When South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley signed a bill to boot the Confederate flag from State House grounds … Read More.

28 Jul 2015
Why Voters Don't Trust Hillary Clinton

Voters in Colorado, Iowa and Virginia think Hillary Clinton is not honest or trustworthy. According to the … Read More.

26 Jul 2015
Kevin Cooper Is Guilty; That's a 'Death Row' Story

Last year, CNN's "Death Row Stories" ran an episode about a California woman convicted of first-degree murder … Read More.

The Obama Mantra: Bill, Baby, Bill

Comment

President Obama spoke in the unfinished hull of a new factory built by solar-panel manufacturer Solyndra in Fremont, Calif., Wednesday to highlight his administration's focus on creating jobs. The new facility, Obama explained to a crowd of hard hats and suits, created 3,000 temporary construction jobs and was expected to provide 1,000 production jobs.

Problem: Solyndra has never turned a profit since it was founded in 2005. The company has an accumulated debt of $557 million. It paid for the new plant with a $535 million federal loan made possible by last year's $787 billion economic stimulus package. If Obama wants to make Americans feel good about the economy, couldn't he have found a business that doesn't rely on taxpayer money?

In March, a critical PricewaterhouseCoopers audit questioned Solyndra's "ability to continue as a going concern."

No worries, countered White House economic adviser Jared Bernstein on a conference call Tuesday. Such letters are written all the time for new companies. "The good news is when the federal government plays its role," Bernstein explained, enterprises like Solyndra can go out and raise funds in the capital markets.

This is probably a good place to mention that Solyndra, which uses thin solar technology to create cheaper-to-install tube-shaped panels, has attracted $800 million in smart venture capital. Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Green Fund has invested in Solyndra. In March, Solyndra made Technology Review's list of 50 most innovative companies.

When I asked Wade Randlett, a Silicon Valley and Obamaland insider who knows a lot more about venture capital than I ever will, why Obama didn't pick a venue that actually had made money, he answered, "The point is to talk about the future." Twelve years ago, Google hadn't made a profit.

Concerns like Solyndra could be the Googles of tomorrow — which would be great.

It was good to hear the president talk up manufacturing jobs, but some of us chickens won't feel good about the economy until the Obama administration walks away from its borrow-and-spend mentality. The president was making his case for Obamanomics in Silicon Valley, a virtual graveyard of local startups that shuttered before they hit the black — but at least most succeeded or failed with private money.

I believe I was supposed to be heartened when Obama said, "The true engine of economic growth will always be companies like Solyndra." But it didn't work for me. I could only think: Does that mean the true engine of economic growth in America is a company that can't grow without tax dollars?

Obama's other argument: America's dependence on foreign oil is bad for national security, bad for the economy, and the damage from the Gulf Coast oil spill is "just heartbreaking."

As Randlett put it, on the critics' side, all partisans can put forward is "Drill, baby, drill."

For my part, I arrived at Solyndra by car, so yes, I still support drilling. Besides, all I hear from the big-government side is "Bill, baby, bill."

E-mail Debra J. Saunders at dsaunders@sfchronicle.com. To find out more about Debra J. Saunders, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2010 CREATORS.COM



Comments

1 Comments | Post Comment
Tax the rich, feed the poor, 'til there are, no rich no more.
Comment: #1
Posted by: David Henricks
Thu May 27, 2010 3:08 AM
Already have an account? Log in.
New Account  
Your Name:
Your E-mail:
Your Password:
Confirm Your Password:

Please allow a few minutes for your comment to be posted.

Enter the numbers to the right:  
Creators.com comments policy
More
Debra J. Saunders
Jul. `15
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
28 29 30 1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31 1
About the author About the author
Write the author Write the author
Printer friendly format Printer friendly format
Email to friend Email to friend
View by Month
Authorís Podcast
Matt Towery
Matt ToweryUpdated 30 Jul 2015
Deb Saunders
Debra J. SaundersUpdated 30 Jul 2015
Jackie Gingrich Cushman
Jackie Gingrich CushmanUpdated 30 Jul 2015

7 Apr 2015 Apple, Rehabilitate Thyself

30 Nov 2014 Don't Shoot (Your Mouth Off) Before All the Facts Are Known

17 Jun 2008 The Russert Weekend RIP