I previously dubbed the manufactured political outrage about the Department of Energy’s clean energy loan guarantee program the “Solyndra Standard.” While legislators and candidates hammer away at supposed “taxpayer giveaways,” they completely ignore the billions of dollars in defense boondoggles, fossil fuel subsidies, and agricultural subsidies — all of which dwarf investments like those to Solyndra.
The graphic below illustrates this double standard quite well. Personally, I wouldn’t tell the House to “shut its face,” as Dave Llorens of Solar Power Rocks does. After all, I do believe strongly in Congress doing its job and looking into whether programs like this are working for taxpayers. The problem is that the Solyndra “investigation” has turned into a complete political circus with no proof of any wrongdoing. Rather than an actual investigation, it’s become a messaging platform against Obama during an election year — and even Republicans have admitted they’ll stop after the campaign season winds down.
And so, here’s how that $535 million stacks up with some other major expenditures:
Here’s some sources: