Republicans and Democrats to blame for “crony capitalism”

Recently, large numbers of Republicans in Congress have been criticizing the Obama Administration for its role in the Solyndra scandal. If you’ve been hiding under a rock, Solyndra was the Obama Administration’s prime example of its “green job agenda.” It received more than $500 million in federal loans and recently collapsed, going out of business.

It was a bad idea from the first place. Crony capitalism in which the government picks winners and losers is always a bad idea. The problem, as Dana Milbank of the Washington Post points out (at least for Republicans) is that many of them were four-square behind the loan program (which George W. Bush signed into law), before they were against it. While it is great that Republicans are now criticizing the “investment,” it doesn’t give me much confidence that they’ll take such a principled stand if they take Congress and/or the Presidency in 2012.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: the US federal government needs to stop picking winners and losers. See New Mexico’s experience with Eclipse Aviation as a cautionary tale.