Scanning my newspaper over coffee this morning, an Associated Press story from the campaign trail leapt off the page:
SEMINOLE, Fla. -- Eager to change the subject after a dismal jobs report, President Barack Obama tried to rekindle some of the enthusiasm of his 2008 campaign Saturday with a bus tour through a must-win swath of Florida, urging supporters not to "buy into the cynicism that somehow the change we fought for isn't possible." Republican candidate Mitt Romney faulted both his own party in Congress and Obama for exposing the armed forces to huge spending cuts.
Obama, speaking to a crowd of 11,000 at the Seminole campus of St. Petersburg College, gave Floridians a populist plea not to "turn away now."
"If you give up the idea that your voice can make a difference," Obama said, "then other folks are going to fill the void: the lobbyists, the special interests, the people who are writing $10 million checks, the folks who are trying to keep people from voting" and more.
Solyndra disclosed in court papers filed this week that Argonaut Ventures I LLC and Madrone Partners LP could reap hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks after Solyndra emerges from bankruptcy. Those tax breaks would be based on Solyndra's net operating loss carry forwards, which are estimated at between $875 million to $975 million. If Argonaut and Madrone were to generate an equal amount of income from future business operations totally unrelated to Solyndra, they could use those operating losses to cut their federal income tax bill by up to $341 million, according to court papers.
Golly, I wonder who is behind Argonaut Ventures?
Argonaut, which holds a 39 percent stake in Solyndra's parent company and joined with Madrone to provide bankruptcy financing for Solyndra, is an investment vehicle of the George Kaiser Family Foundation of Tulsa, Okla. The foundation is headed by billionaire George Kaiser, a major Obama campaign contributor and a frequent visitor to the White House.
As part of a February 2011 loan restructuring by Solyndra, Argonaut and Madrone provided some $70 million in financing that stands ahead of the money owed to U.S. taxpayers in repayment priority.
Under Solyndra's reorganization plan, the federal government would recover a maximum of about $24 million, less than 5 percent of the half-billion-dollar Department of Energy loan to Solyndra.
Needless to say, net operating loss carry forwards are useless to proprietors of small businesses but a boon to those, like Mr. Kaiser, who have already made it--and could use some shelter from President Obama's plans to increase taxes on "millionaires and billionaires." Since Argonaut would not dispute that, with respect to this bankruptcy windfall, the firm "didn't build that," it's a safe bet that some significant percentage of the private profit cascading from the failed demi-billion-dollar federal loan to Solyndra will find its way back into Democratic party campaign coffers.
President Obama is running for president, challenging the cronyism of the corrupt incumbent--some fellow named Barack Obama (no relation). The question is: How can Obama-the-Challenger get away with his rhetoric given the immediate availability of contrary facts devastating to his argument?