Green Energy ... in The Red


SLIGHTLY OFF THE MARK

                “Excuse me, President Obama? We have a problem.”
                There will be no problems in this administration, young man; only hope and change.
                “Yessir, but … it seems the Solyndra Company has filed for bankruptcy.”
                What? That’s impossible. They can’t fail – it’s green energy! Green energy is our future, plus it’s really cool. It’s green, darn it!
                “Apparently they couldn’t compete with Chinese manufacturers of more conventional solar modules.”
But didn’t we give them a few million dollars?
                “Um, half a billion. And the state of California gave them twenty-five million, give or take a hundred thousand.”
                Okay, well, just send them some more. What are printing presses for, if you can’t print money with them?
                “It’s too late, Mr. President. All the employees were laid off without accrued vacation pay or benefits, and all the Solyndra executives took off with their five figure quarterly bonuses.”
                Why, that’s horrible. Horrible, especially in these times of all-Bush’s-fault high unemployment. Those people involved should be punished severely, drawn and quartered, hung from the highest, thingamajig the Navy hangs people from – do we know their names?
                “Oh, yes sir. Well, there’s Executive V.P. of operations and engineering, Ben Bierman, V.P. of marketing Karen Alter, stakeholder George Kaiser –“
                Wait – aren’t those people who raised money for my election?
                “Yes, why?”
                Well, I’m sure they acted in good faith and did their very best … why don’t we cut them a break, and restructure the loan so that when the company is liquidated investors get paid before our loan is?
                “But, sir – that’s a half billion dollars in taxpayer money –!”
                Printing presses, my friend. Besides, poor George Kaiser is a billionaire, so isn’t he getting enough stress from our good Occupy friends without having to worry about where his next mansion comes from?
                “But what will the press say about this?”
                Tell them that if this blows up a Republican might get elected in 2012. That’ll quiet down everyone who isn’t Fox.
                “But didn’t you say transparency would be the hallmark of your administration?”
                That’s exactly right: I want everyone to be transparent.  Everyone else. That way I know what they’re up to. Let’s not get silly with it, though.
                “Mr. President, some people are already calling this crony capitalism –“
                Now, everybody knows I don’t like capitalism. Why risk the ups and downs of free enterprise when we can just let the government take care of anyone? Aren’t people in countries with complete social and economic equality much happier?
                “I’ll ask the communists and get back to you, sir. But I was referring to your cronies.”
                Oh. Well, again, let’s not get silly. Look, I don’t understand this. We supported Solyndra, so they can’t possibly fail. Just throw some more money at it. Couldn’t we refinance their loan?
                “We already did, sir, to the tune of an extra $67 million, but they still went bankrupt … even after spending a million of it lobbying in Washington.”
                That just doesn’t make any sense. The government’s never wrong. I mean, not since 2008. I don’t regret giving them the loan. It was a good bet, and they’re green energy, and how can green energy be in the red?
                “Can’t argue with that, sir, what with you paying me and all, but here’s a thought: What about trying true free enterprise?”
                I don’t understand.
                “You know: No crony capitalism or corporate welfare, no risking taxpayer money in private business, no special interest preferences or tax breaks, no taxpayer funded bailouts. Free enterprise.”
                I … you’re not making any sense. How would that work?
                “Well, the government would step out of the way of entrepreneurs and inventors, small business people and job creators. As long as they worked within the law and competed fairly with each other they’d be allowed to sink or swim according to the laws of supply and demand. You know – the way America became great to begin with.”
                Are you insane? How can we control that?
                “We’re not supposed to control the people, Mr. President; they’re supposed to control us.”
                Who came up with that idea? We made another billion dollars in loans to green companies; are you telling me we should just let the people choose what they do and don’t buy, and what companies they do and don’t support? Next thing you’ll be telling me is that we should tell everyone what we knew about Solyndra’s failure. What’s next? Writing laws the average person can understand? Making Congress and the President abide by the same rules as everyone else?
                “What was I thinking, sir?”
                Look, you let me think for the people. You just do what I pay you for: Go out and find out a way to show this is all Bush’s fault. And hurry, I’ve got a fund raiser tomorrow.