Ben Johnson, The White House Watch
The Solyndra loan debacle has already cost American taxpayers more than half-a-billion dollars, but it is about to cost them millions more. Each of the company’s 1,100 former employees will receive a package of federally funded benefits worth approximately $13,000 in Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), increasing the Solyndra bill by $14.3 million.
TAA assists workers who have lost their jobs because of trade imbalances due to increased foreign imports or outsourcing.
The Labor Department announced the award on November 18, the day after Energy Secretary Steven Chu testified before Congress that the loan guarantee was apolitical and made entirely on the merits. Chu specifically declined to apologize for the growing scandal.
The newest payout some Republicans outraged. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-UT, said, “The failure was blamed on China, but if you cannot even out-compete U.S. companies, it wasn’t foreign competition that ruined your business; it was simply a failed business model.” Hatch’s spokeswoman Julia Lawless (whose surname best describes the Obama administration) added, “This is an embarrassment and shows that TAA is a program of questionable merit.”
Understandable as their pique is, GOP outrage should not be directed toward the little people receiving a pittance of $13,000 apiece….