Two car companies – Toyota and GM – some of whose vehicles are having engineering problems serious enough to be a safety risk and require massive recalls. One is investigated by Congress and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration while the other is not … until very recently, that is. Toyota, the company that did face government investigation and sanctions is, of course, not even an “American” corporation. GM is. And was, for a time, a ward of the state.
So, could one suspect that GM was given a pass? As Liz Peek of the Fiscal Times writes:
Why would the Obama administration sanction such a tough crackdown on Toyota, while leaving GM in peace? Certainly, the White House wanted GM to succeed. Having handed out $86 billion in bailouts to GM, Chrysler and GMAC, Cash for Clunkers, the Warranty Commitment program, the Supplier Support program, $41.5 billion in TALF loans for auto finance companies, loans from the DOE for electric car development, Recovery Act funding for battery makers and research monies funneled though the Advanced Research Projects agency, the White House had gone all-in on the success of Detroit.
Self interest is a powerful motivator and the political stakes must certainly have seemed high to the administration. And, as Ms. Peek notes, the record is not encouraging.
… after the IRS targeting of right-wing groups, the manipulation of jobs numbers by census workers, the misleading accounts of the Benghazi tragedy and the deceptive marketing of Obamacare ... Anything seems possible.
President Obama attended a Democratic fund raising event in Weston, Massachusetts Wednesday night at the home of Alan and Susan Solomont. Among the 60 attendees were a number of high-profile Democrats, according to the Boston Globe:
It seems that not all outsourcing is equal ... or something like that. Take, for instance, the building of an automobile known as the Fisker. This is the car that teen-throb Justin Bieber was driving when busted for speeding not so long ago. The Fisker is a set of wheels that appeals to socially conscious one-percenters. An electric sports car that tops out at well over 100 mph, the speed at which a cop said Bieber was traveling, even though the citation read a mere 80 mph. The car retails for over $100k but buyers get a $7,500 tax rebate, which certainly must have incentivized Bieber to buy his Fisker. Also Leonardo DiCaprio, another Fisker owner.
At a campaign event in Pennsylvania, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said that "Liberal policies don't make good jobs," before critiquing Obamacare, overbearing regulations, slow job growth, and a slew of other Obama policies. Romney also focused on crony capitalism in the Obama administration and said he's "ashamed" of this practice.
Mitt Romney's latest web ad targets President Obama's inability to create jobs, the failures of the Department of Energy's loan guarantee program, and "contracts steered to ‘friends & family.'" Watch here:
The crony capitalism represented by the failed “green energy” firm Solyndra has gotten a lot of media attention lately, but much lower on the public’s radar is a much bigger example of corporate pork over at the national space agency—and it’s bipartisan. Let’s call it Shuttlyndra.
Here’s how it works.
A little over a year ago, Congress approved a NASA authorization bill that mandated the agency to spend billions in taxpayer dollars over the next few years on a congressionally specified giant rocket with no defined mission and no budgets with which to build payloads for it.
Earlier this week it was reported that the White House considered a last-minute taxpayer bailout of Solyndra, the failed solar panel maker that received a $529 million loan guarantee. One of the more interesting aspects of that deal—which would have had taxpayers purchasing as much as 40 percent of the company—was that it was allegedly recommended by Wall Street firm Lazard Ltd. According to the Associated Press:
Well, now we know the reason for the Friday night news dump. When the Obama administration finally announced that they would be launching an independent review of Department of Energy loan guarantees, they were likely trying to get out ahead of this: