Solar Corporate Welfare Queens

It galls me that a corporation can make a product that's useful, but no wants (because it costs too much), but then force everyone to buy it (via direct and indirect subsidies like government grants, tax credits, RPS's, FITs, etc.), then cheerlead the result and get naive greenies to applaud. 

Take this boast from Sunpower's Facebook Page, spotted on Tax Day, 4/15/11: "SunPower received a loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy of $1.187 billion. With this funding, the California Solar Valley Ranch project will be able to power 100,000 homes and create 350 jobs. http://bit.ly/efqLHZ"  Faithful follower Heather A Baldry wrote: "Double like!" and Sunpower replied: "Thank you, Heather!"  Of course!  Sunpower won't find a free-market way to produce a product we all want to naturally buy (on the open market, because it makes economic sense to do so), so it dips into the federal taxpayers' pockets (did I mention that we're $14 Trillion in debt?) and touts the tired old bromide about how many jobs were created, and homes (variably) powered. 

By that logic, the Treasury should just print $10 Trillion in currency and hand it over to these Queens so we can have 100% employment, right?  Of course, that would lead to hyperinflation and currency collapse (because everyone would lose faith that such currency represents actual wealth behind it).  So, Sunpower and its fellow Queens want to just take "a little taste" -- a $1.187 loan guarantee (wanna bet it'll be consumed?), to which we add the $8 billion Obama recently signed away on a Georgia nuclear power plant, etc. -- Socialized market risk, folks.  That's what these Queens are engendering, and they know it.

Adding insult to injury, Sunpower also links to its own blog, where it goads Joe Six Pack to milk the Federal Investment Tax Credit that enables Joe to buy Sunpower's price-inflated (to cop the spread) products.

Here's a Solar Cheerleading Column on another Solar Corporate Welfare Queen, GE.  The "thin-film" efficiency claim is suspect, and note how neither GE nor any other private capitalist will risk their own money on the project, but GE's only too happy to risk ours, and on a product over-dependent on rare metal largely controlled by foreigners.  Again, if private venture capitalists have examined and declined to risk their money on a product, that usually tells you all you need to know.  What I find offensive is that GE (it's head is Obama's good friend, read about his tie-in to the Altas Shrugged Car here) then infected our government to force all of us to risk our capital (our tax-dollars), adding even further to our $14 Trillion National Credit Card Debt.

Speaking of government subsidies, here's the 8/9/11-distributed Georgia Environmental Finance Authority "study" on claimed dollar-multiplier and ecological spin-off benefits from Georgia's renewable energy tax credit program.  I'd love to see one of these proposals played out somewhere, successfully.  Please email me if you've got evidence on that.

Meanwhile, I've collected more Corporate Welfare Queen data here, and supply more research on Why Subsidies Suck here.
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James Christopher Desmond,
Aug 9, 2011, 6:46 PM