A PROGRESSIVE VOICE FROM THE LLANO ESTACADO

Monday, June 04, 2012

Blaming Obama After Doing The Same Thing

(The caricature above is by DonkeyHotey.)

Willard Mitt Romney (aka Wall Street Willie) has been repeatedly blaming President Obama for the failure of the solar-energy company Solyndra after they received federal funds to help them in research, development, and marketing of their renewable energy products. He calls it an example of "crony capitalism", even though no investigation has been able to find any wrongdoing in the Solyndra affair.

Romney is right about two things -- that Solyndra did get some federal funds, and that the company did go bankrupt. But he seems to have forgotten that, while governor of Massachusetts, he also handed out some government funds (state money) to some renewable energy companies for the same purpose -- for research and development and to create green jobs. And at least two of the companies that received the state money (also solar energy companies) have now gone bankrupt (just like Solyndra).

Does that make Romney guilty of the same economic sin he is accusing President Obama of? Not at all. In fact, both men did the right thing. We can't develop renewable energies without development money, and since not enough development money is coming from the private sector then government must step in to help out. That just makes sense.

Unfortunately, when investments are made in various companies trying to develop new technologies, some of those companies are going to fail. That is just the nature of a free market economy. But there will also be some successes, and those successes will bring us closer to moving to renewable energy (and away from fossil fuels) -- cleaning the environment and creating green jobs.

There may be areas in which Romney can legitimately criticize the president, but this is not one of them (especially since he has done the same thing). And to do so just makes him a hypocrite.

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