Another “green” energy flop using your tax dollars

Today, A123 Systems filed for bankruptcy, taking with it some $250 million of your money. Actually, now that I think of it, it was probably $250 million we borrowed from China, but you will have to pay it back.  This company, just like Solyndra, was one of President Obama’s green energy pet projects.

The company made batteries for those widely popular electric vehicles.

The Waltham [Massachusetts] company’s decline was a result of the slower-than-expected adoption of hybrid and electric vehicles …

Gee, there is a surprise.  You mean the federal government can’t simply throw money at an industry and somehow make it commercially viable?  Who would have ever guessed that?

Since I’m on the subject of government waste, there is some interesting news in the Solyndra bankruptcy case…that’s the one where you, via President Obama’s “stimulus”, squandered $539 million on solar panels for which there was also “slower than expected” demand.

Here’s how this “scam” works.  If a company has losses, it can carry those losses forward to another tax year where it can then off-set any profits with those “carried forward” losses, and thus reduce, or perhaps eliminate any profits, thus reducing or eliminating any federal tax liability.

Solyndra has not only tax loss carry forwards, but, $12 million in “solar tax credits” that could be used to offset profits…if it had any.

…Solyndra’s owners are asking the [bankruptcy] court to liquidate the rest of the business and contribute a net $6.7 million to pay off creditors for pennies on the dollar. A holding corporation will then emerge from Chapter 11 that won’t make products or employ workers, but it will get the Solyndra tax offsets.

This “emerging” holding company,

… is owned by Argonaut Ventures I LLC, Solyndra’s largest shareholder and the primary investment arm of the George Kaiser Family Foundation. Mr. Kaiser is a Tulsa oil billionaire who bundled campaign checks for Mr. Obama in 2008.  [emphasis supplied]

Should this be approved by the bankruptcy court, Mr. Kaiser’s “holding company” could then merge with another company that is actually making money and which would otherwise be paying federal income taxes, but can now eliminate that tax “burden” by using Solyndra’s tax loss carry forwards, and Solyndra’s solar tax credits.

Bottom line…you loan $539 million to a company that stiffs you.  Then, the owners of that company stiff you again by not paying federal income tax that they would otherwise owe on behalf of a profitable company, and that you would otherwise have used to make up for being stiffed in the first place.

Ain’t America great?


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The Sound Off Sister was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and special trial attorney for the Department of Justice, Criminal Division; a partner in the Florida law firm of Shutts & Bowen, and an adjunct professor at the University of Miami, School of Law. The Sound Off Sister offers frequent commentary concerning legislation making its way through Congress, including the health reform legislation passed in early 2010.


  1. sammy22 on October 16, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Good thing neither? DOD nor NASA funded projects, get this kind of scrutiny for projects going south.

    • JBS on October 17, 2012 at 8:22 am

      ???????????????????? Huh????? It is still borrowed money!
      Sammy22, you amaze me . . .

    • Dimsdale on October 17, 2012 at 9:32 am

      Then you must be pleased that ?bama gutted NASA and outsourced our space program to China….

    • PatRiot on October 17, 2012 at 6:34 pm

      The V-22 Osprey is?a legitimate example (one of the few) that sammy22 speaks to.
      Should have been scrapped long ago.??They just threw money at it until they said it worked.
      If NASA?had a decent marketing team, we would find out that the few money pits they had are? far outweighed by?the technological advances we enjoy in our everday lives.?

  2. JBS on October 17, 2012 at 8:43 am

    The point is: Where does the money go? With all of those millions, I am sure it is hard to keep track of every dollar (sarc/). But, that is just what the recipients of these government monies (and this Regime) are counting on. So, who’s going to miss a few million here or there? Money winds-up in the accounts of the companies executives, shell corporations, “vendors”, or is paid as salary, bonuses, incentives, (ha!, I love this one) annuity funding, etc.?
    As long as the DNC gets a hefty cut of the money, the “loan” gets written off, the company goes bankrupt and the “vulture capitalists” ( a meme of the Regime!) fight over the remains.
    So, where is the money?

  3. Dimsdale on October 17, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Don’t you know??? All those viciously expensive “loans” (I call it campaign money laundering) are just anecdotal!? Mere “bumps in the road” to a green future where the fields of green become fields of solar panels.

  4. sammy22 on October 17, 2012 at 11:35 am

    How different is this from cost overruns on DOD contracts? Where is that money coming from and going to. And, Dims, I presume you heard of SpaceX: the company that just sent a load of supplies to the International Space Station, with more launches to come?

    • PatRiot on October 17, 2012 at 7:04 pm

      Hmmm….. Space X.? Won a prize ( a contract funded with our tax?$$)?against competitors for being the best and proving they had a superior product.??Had to prove themselves before being trusted with hard earned taxpayers money.
      Not hand chosen.?
      Not a party (D or R)?contributor getting pay back.
      Not?part of a political money laundering scheme.
      Another “where did the money go?” question.??Once NASA is down sized, the money?from?their budget will go where?

    • PatRiot on October 17, 2012 at 7:32 pm

      Though I am curious to see how many politicians end up with SpaceX preferred stock.?

    • JBS on October 18, 2012 at 8:03 am

      Part of the “Space Dividend?”
      Downsizing NASA was/is a HUGE mistake IMHO. Bush’s doing, no?

    • Dimsdale on October 18, 2012 at 2:55 pm

      Tell it to the recently laid off/fired folks on the AIA…

    • Dimsdale on October 18, 2012 at 2:56 pm

      That’s A1A.? Sorry.

    • JBS on October 19, 2012 at 3:22 pm

      A123, just to be accurate.
      A1A is a road in Florida or a band, take your pick.

    • JBS on October 19, 2012 at 3:53 pm

      D’oh! Cape Canaveral — NASA is on A1A . . .
      Crummy editor . . . !


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