A Costly Solar Flame-Out (IV)

The Solyndra story — a tale of a company that got more than half a billion in federal loan guarantees as a showcase for green energy jobs, then plunged into bankruptcy — continues to unfold.

Today there will be hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, at which certain Solyndra executives have said they will exercise their Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination.  In the meantime, Solyndra employees have told the Washington Post that, after the company got the federal support, executives started spending recklessly and exhausted funds, in part, on totally unneeded goods and technology.  No one should be surprised by that result, of course.  When people, or companies, are flush with cash, they are likely to liberalize their spending habits.  Ask any drunken sailor out on the town after getting paid.

The Solyndra hearings are a good test of whether Republicans and Democrats can find some kind of reasonable common ground on a significant issue.  Every American, regardless of their political views, should want to get to the bottom of a situation that likely will cost taxpayers half a billion dollars.  Those tax dollars weren’t stamped Republican or Democrat.  If our government was duped by Solyndra executives, or if federal funds were committed recklessly to serve a partisan political agenda, we should get to the bottom of it so it doesn’t happen again.

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