In an opinion piece for The Washington Post, Marc Thiessen raises an issue with President Barack Obama’s public equity record. By public equity, Mr. Thiessen is describing questionable loan guarantees and direct grants made to a number of private firms, mostly alternative energy firms. Mr. Thiessen’ primary issue is that with taxpayer dollars, Mr. Obama has invested in a crapshoot, with a number of these companies going bankrupt or otherwise failing to perform.
Are loan guarantees and direct grants by government poor uses of government funds? Has government stepped out of the “investing in infrastructure” box and given ammunition to detractors like the Tea Party who argue in essence that the Obama Administration is pursuing a command-and-control type of economy?
The Administration’s penchant for ownership in private going concerns has gone too far. Contracting out to private parties to build the conduits through which our goods and services travel is one thing. Playing private equity or venture capitalist is quite another.
What do you think?