Presidential Plunder

Throughout human history, people have had to worry about plunder. Foreign tribes might attack and plunder their villages, stealing their goods and perhaps even their women and children. Pirates might plunder their ships. Their own leaders might plunder them through excessive taxation or seizure of lands.

The Obama administration, bringing that old concept into the 21st century, has excelled at exactly one thing—plunder. Its signal achievement has been the plunder of the public treasury for private gain. The “stimulus” package spent more than $3,000 for each man, woman, and child in America, and what did we get? “Roads and bridges”? Dams? Canals? Power plants? Ships? Aircraft? We got nothing. The money went into the pockets of Obama’s supporters and contributors.

The plunder has been repeated with each subsequent year’s spending, which has increased over and above the extra trillion for the “stimulus.” More than $3,000 from each of us, each year, for absolutely nothing.

Solyndra is a case study in how Obama and his minions plunder the rest of us. More than $500 million went into that company, which famously went bankrupt. How much will the taxpayers get back from bankruptcy proceedings? About $24 million. Against every rule, policy, and precedent, the loan guarantees were structured so that the federal government was last in line to collect anything in case of bankruptcy. The White House was fully aware of that, of the associated risks, which set off alarm bells. So who is collecting?

The main private equity firm here is Argonaut Ventures. This company was put ahead of US taxpayers in recovering funds in the event of a bankruptcy in direct violation of standard Energy Department policy, a fact that administration officials subsequently scrambled to justify.

Argonaut is the investment arm of the George Kaiser Family Foundation. Despite being called a foundation, GKFF is not a nonprofit in the conventional understanding of the term, but an exotic variation that allows the wealthy to park their assets tax-free. The foundation’s namesake is a major fundraiser of President Obama’s. He was often a guest in the White House and even discussed Solyndra with officials there.

Argonaut Ventures? What was that story about the Golden Fleece?

Sadly, Solyndra is only one of many similar instances of plunder. That’s one reason why Obama’s “You didn’t build that” remark has had such power. It points directly at what might be the theme of the entire administration:


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