President Obama’s cabinet made its way across the country today pushing his new economic plan.
That plan calls for billions more in stimulus dollars for green energy projects.
Some of those projects have been spectacular failures like Solyndra.
Republicans in Congress are still trying to get to the bottom of that mess.
The White House has been painfully slow to release information, and when it does, it's usually late on a Friday night.
So, we're expecting hundreds of pages to be dumped on us any minute now, and get this. The Solyndra factory in Freemont, California was just put up for sale.
In the promotional materials, the real estate broker says it's "a rare opportunity to acquire a world class manufacturing facility in the Silicon Valley."
Unfortunately, it's not that rare at all.
A new investigation by the Wall Street Journal today shows companies received over $10 billion in the past two years for alternative energy projects, but created far fewer than the 100,000 jobs promised.
In fact, many of those companies either laid off workers or closed altogether.
The Journal also reports the companies spent $14 million last year lobbying Washington for all that "green" stimulus money with many of them promoting overly optimistic job creation numbers just to get those dollars.
Here’s one we found. It was a virtually unknown window maker called Serious Energy.
It promised it would hire up to 600 workers in Chicago, but it never came close to that.
It came to national attention in April 2009 when Vice President Joe Biden visited the factory.
He held it up as an example of the success of the stimulus:
“Everywhere I go and everyone I see there are places and stories just like this. Stories of how the Recovery Act in record time has spurred economic growth in this country. Just seeing you here today makes me more confident about the certainty I have that we are going to succeed.”
Well, here's the real story of the Recovery Act. Serious energy announced today it's trying to sell the factory where Joe Biden made his grand proclamation, and the 50 or so jobs left there are now hanging in the balance.
You may be wondering how an unknown window maker in Chicago would be thrust onto the national stage like that.
It turns out, Serious Energy has some serious connections in the Obama Administration.
It was part of the White House's 'Better Buildings' challenge; a $4 billion spending plan the President said would save billions of dollars and create tens of thousands of jobs.
There's more. One of the company's top executives used to work at the Department of Energy and was an advisor to Energy Secretary Steven Chu (you know the guy who wants $10 dollar gas).
Her bio on her company's website states: "she guided deployment of $11 billion in stimulus funds for clean energy."
Another top executive at Serious Energy is married to a former Energy Department official who was in charge of billions of dollars of stimulus handouts herself.
She's now working on green projects.... for George Soros.
So what we've got here is a mix of crony capitalism combined with virtually unlimited taxpayer cash on demand.
The real lesson of the stimulus is it's time the government and its cronies stopped getting rich off the taxpayer subsidies they helped create.