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Monday, June 04, 2012

THE ECONOMIC PROBLEM

"I speak the language of business. I know how jobs are created."

I need to update something from the WATN wrap up last Friday. In it I noted Mitt Romney's speech at Solyndra in which he pointed this out:
Who wants to put money in a solar company when a government puts a half a billion into one of its choice? So instead of encouraging solar energy, he discouraged it. They don't understand how the free economy works.
That's a good point and it is an effective commentary on the Obama administration. The only problem is, as Frances Martel writes in Mediaite (courtesy Ace of Spades HQ), Mitt Romney did much the same thing almost a decade ago in Massachusetts. The company this time was called Konarka and it was funneled $1.5 million in loan guarantees from the state government.

There are some key differences, of course as DrewM writes:

First, $1.5 million is just a little less than $500+ million.

Second, unlike Obama and Solyndra, there's no accusation that Romney steered the money to donors.

Most importantly, the Romney administration gave the money NINE years ago. The company survived nearly a DECADE after getting the state subsidy.

Solyndra on the other hand went under less than 2 years after getting Obama's largess.

In fact, Obama was shoveling money to Solyndra as fast as possible even as auditors were saying the company was failing.

Konarka did do pretty well, surviving 11 years making flexible solar panels. So it and Solyndra aren't very equivalent in any way the left wants them to be. But the key similarity is this: Mitt Romney approved exactly the same kind of competition-destroying government preference for business he criticized rightly in the Obama administration.

Now, perhaps he can argue that after 9 years, he learned why this doesn't work from personal experience, but it does point out a basic flaw with Mitt Romney: in too many ways, he's really not all that different from President Obama.


And I'm just curious if Fox News will cover this, or will it only show up on CNN and the usual legacy media suspects? Because Fox has a great chance to prove they are the better news source here. ABC and so on mentioned Solyndra only between coughs as the picture fades away for a commercial, but they'll almost certainly cover this. If Fox gives good coverage to both, that's a feather in their cap.

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