How do you know there is merit to claims this White House is congenitally anti-business? Because the evidence keeps mounting. One day after reports that AT&T Inc. planned to bring 5,000 call-center jobs back to the United States and invest $8 billion in its U.S. infrastructure as part of its planned acquisition of German-owned T-Mobile USA, the Obama Justice Department files suit to block the tie-up.
This comes the same day news outlets report that a solar-panel manufacturer touted by President Obama is filing for bankruptcy. Says the Associated Press: “Solyndra LLC of Fremont, Calif., had become the poster child for government investment in green technology. The president visited the company in May 2010 and noted that Solyndra expected to hire 1,000 workers to manufacture solar panels.”
Except it didn’t, a black eye for the administration’s controversial stimulus program. And, the AP continues, members of Congress — including Michigan’s own, Rep. Fred Upton — had been scrutinizing the federal loan granted to Solyndra under a program managed by the Department of Energy.
“As the highly celebrated first stimulus loan guarantee awarded by the DOE, the $535 million loan for Solyndra was suspect from day one,” Upton, chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-FL, said in a letter today. “It is clear that Solyndra was a dubious investment, but DOE doubled down in March of this year and restructured the loan, possibly further increasing taxpayers’ liability.”
What also should be clear by now is Team Obama’s abjectly poor judgment when it comes to business and how its positions can negatively impact investment and hiring. As part of its ballyhooed stimulus, the administration (and the president himself) touts the “green” jobs of Solyndra and Solyndra goes BK. It says it will “pivot” to jobs in a major address next week, but its Justice Department moves to block the AT&T-T-Mobile deal that would repatriate 5,000 jobs to the States and inject $8 billion in private capital into the nation’s infrastructure. It says it doesn’t shill for organized labor, but its National Labor Relations Board sues to block Boeing Co. from building airliners in non-union South Carolina for the alleged crime of punishing Boeing’s union members back in Washington state.
One of the few business successes Team Obama can claim is its controversial bailout of Detroit’s automakers. More than two years on, Chrysler Group LLC has repaid the U.S. taxpayers in full and General Motors Co. is well on its way to doing the same. But with each passing month, the administration chock full with smartest-people-in-the-room types keeps demonstrating that its people are anything but.