Solar-power startup Solyndra — one of the flagships of President Obama's efforts to create green-energy jobs — has shut down, and plans to file for bankruptcy. Solyndra received $535 million in federally guaranteed loans to expand, and Obama once visited the company's Silicon Valley factory to congratulate its workers on their bright future. But Solyndra says it just can't compete with cheaper solar panels from China, and now its 1,100 employees are out of work. Is this a "political catastrophe" for Obama, or just a painful setback in the transition to clean energy?
Solyndra's collapse proves Obamanomics has failed: This company was supposed to be part of Obama's "green-jobs explosion," says Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. Now it's "a poster child for the failure of his stimulus, his green-jobs push, and social engineering in general." Obama said Solyndra would demonstrate the effectiveness of his economic policies, and it did — the company never made a profit, and instead of creating jobs, it sent 1,100 people into the unemployment line.
"Solyndra shuts its doors"
This is not Obama's fault: "The investment our government made in Solyndra wasn't a hand-out," says Green for All. It was an attempt to "level the playing field" so Solyndra could compete with Chinese companies that receive up to 20 times more help from the state than U.S. firms do. This setback proves we need to invest more in "the inevitable green economy" — not less — unless we want to import our solar panels, batteries, and everything else from overseas.
"Statement on the announced closure of Solyndra"
Clearly, there were better ways to spend the stimulus: If Obama really wanted to create jobs, says Logan Penza at The Moderate Voice, he should have targeted companies based on their "ability to compete." But he didn't want to anger Democrats, so he saddled taxpayers with debt to help green companies that liberals can love. Obviously, the economy would have been better off if he had spent the money in ways that were "cost-effective instead of merely politically convenient."
"The cost of politicized stimulus"