Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Obama is spending more on his campaign than he is collecting from donors

From the Wall Street Journal.

Excerpt:

Last July, President Obama’s campaign announced that it had raised an average of $29 million in each of the previous three months for itself and the Democratic National Committee (DNC)… well below the $50 million a month needed to reach the campaign’s goal of a $1 billion war chest for the 2012 race.

[…]Through January, the president has raised an average of $24 million a month for his campaign and the DNC. Next week, the Obama campaign will release its February numbers, but the president is on track to be hundreds of millions of dollars shy of his original goal.

It’s not for lack of trying. Mr. Obama has already attended 103 fund-raisers, roughly one every three days since he kicked off his campaign last April (twice his predecessor’s pace).

The president faces other fund-raising challenges. For one, there are only so many times any candidate can go to New York or Hollywood or San Francisco for a $1 million fund-raiser. Team Obama is running through its easy money venues quickly.

For another, many of Mr. Obama’s 2008 donors are reluctant to give again. The Obama campaign itself reported that fewer than 7% of 2008 donors renewed their support in the first quarter of his re-election campaign. That’s about one-quarter to one-third of a typical renewal rate: In the first quarter of the Bush re-election campaign, for example, about 20% of the donors renewed their support.

[…]The final financial challenge facing Mr. Obama’s campaign is how fast it is burning through the cash it is raising. Compare the 2012 Obama re-election campaign with the 2004 Bush re-election campaign. Mr. Obama’s campaign spent 25% of what it raised in the second quarter of 2011, while Mr. Bush’s campaign spent only 9% in the second quarter of 2003. In the third quarter it was 46% for Obama versus 26% for Bush; for the fourth quarter it was 57% versus 40%. In January 2012 the Obama campaign spent 158% of what it raised, while the Bush campaign spent 60% in January 2004.

At the end of January, Team Obama had $91.7 million in cash in its coffers and those of the DNC. At the same point in 2004, the Bush campaign and Republican National Committee had $122 million in cash combined.

Compare that with Rick Santorum who is running a very frugal campaign which spends less and focuses instead on meeting with voters face-to-face. I find it surprising that Obama is struggling to find donors, though, given the amount of taxpayer money and favors that he’s favored his campaign fundraisers and “bundlers” with – e.g. government grants, political appointments, Wall Street bailouts, Obamacare waivers for unions, etc. Maybe even Democrats realize that buying votes while running the country into debt is not sustainable.

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Electric car company that got $500 million in stimulus announces layoffs

From the left-wing Politico.

Excerpt:

In another setback for President Obama’s clean energy loan programs, the recipient of more than a half-billion dollars in federal loans is laying off workers at their Delaware and California operations.

Delaware’s News Journal reports that Fisker Automotive, a California-based electric car start-up company, is laying off an undisclosed number of staff to try to reserve enough capital in order to qualify for more federal help from the Department of Energy, according to a Delaware state development official.

“They’re trying to preserve the cash that they have,” said Alan Levin told the News Journal. “And unfortunately, until they meet the milestone that DOE continues to set … they’re not able to access the additional capital that they need.”

The company also came under fire last year for taking federal loans while producing cars in Finland. Company officials told ABC News at the time that “there was no contract manufacturer in the U.S. that could actually produce our vehicle.” The company was working on reopening a shuttered General Motors plant in Wilmington to produce vehicles — an effort that top Obama administration officials lauded.

[…]“This is proof positive that our efforts to create new jobs, invest in a clean energy economy and reduce carbon pollution are working,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “We are putting Americans back to work and reigniting a new Industrial Revolution that is paramount for the economic success of this country.”

The company received $529 million in loans to produce two lines of plug-in hybrid cars.

The Wall Street Journal explains who stands to gain from the loans that were given to Fisker.

Excerpt:

A tiny car company backed by former Vice President Al Gore has just gotten a $529 million U.S. government loan to help build a hybrid sports car in Finland that will sell for about $89,000.

The award this week to California startup Fisker Automotive Inc. follows a $465 million government loan to Tesla Motors Inc., purveyors of a $109,000 British-built electric Roadster. Tesla is a California startup focusing on all-electric vehicles, with a number of celebrity endorsements that is backed by investors that have contributed to Democratic campaigns.

[…]Kalee Kreider, a spokeswoman for Mr. Gore, confirmed that the former vice president backs Fisker and purchased a Karma. “He believes that a global shift of the automobile fleet toward electric vehicles, accompanying a shift toward renewable-energy generation, represents an important part of a sensible strategy for solving the climate crisis,” she said in a statement.

Fisker’s top investors include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a veteran Silicon Valley venture-capital firm of which Gore is a partner. Employees of KPCB have donated more than $2.2 million to political campaigns, mostly for Democrats, including President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that tracks campaign contributions.

Officials at Kleiner Perkins didn’t return requests for comment.

So let’s recap. A company connected to Democrats gets a $500 million pay-off, then lays off employees to qualify for more payoffs. And all of this money is coming f

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Navy buys fuel for $15 per gallon from Democrat-connected green energy firm

I found this Hot Air story on Right Wing News. Hot Air was at the top of John Hawkins’ list of the top 40 conservative blogs.

Excerpt: (with links removed)

This is going to help the Defense Department weather looming budget cuts, for sure.  Teaming up with the Department of Agriculture (which has a cheery Rotary Club ring to it), the Navy has purchased 450,000 gallons of biofuel for about $16 a gallon, or about 4 times the price of its standard marine fuel, JP-5, which has been going for under $4 a gallon.

You won’t be surprised to learn that a member of Obama’s presidential transition team, T. J. Glauthier, is a “strategic advisor” at Solazyme, the California company that is selling a portion of the biofuel to the Navy.  Glauthier worked – shock, shock – on the energy-sector portion of the 2009 stimulus bill.

The Navy sale isn’t Solazyme’s first trip to the public trough, of course.  The company got a $21.8 million grant from the 2009 stimulus package.

See, this is why we need to vote for lower and lower taxes. The more money that you give the government to spend, the more likely they are going to waste it buying votes and rewarding their supporters and fundraisers. Do you think that a private company could waste money like this, and stay afloat? No way – they have competitors to worry about. If they waste money, then they will go out of business. However, the government can just spend the money with abandon – it just gets added to the national debt. Eventually, the young people, who vote for for Obama in droves, will have to pay the money back. This will be hard for them to do given the fact that many of them are growing up without two parents supporting them, and often without a good education. What a mess. Leave the money in the hands of the private sector schools and private sector job creators – they actually have to care about pleasing customers and reducing wasteful spending.

Let’s do a quick review of more instances of stimulus spending.

What exactly was he trying to stimulate? His 2012 election campaign?

By the way, check out John’s list of the top 40 blogs – I am number 40.

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Obama-connected General Electric paid no taxes on $14 billion profit

From the Weekly Standard, a possible explanation of why GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt is tightly linked to Barack Obama.

Excerpt:

General Electric, one of the largest corporations in America, filed a whopping 57,000-page federal tax return earlier this year but didn’t pay taxes on $14 billion in profits. The return, which was filed electronically, would have been 19 feet high if printed out and stacked.

The fact that GE paid no taxes in 2010 was widely reported earlier this year, but the size of its tax return first came to light when House budget committee chairman Paul Ryan (R, Wisc.) made the case for corporate tax reform at a recent townhall meeting. “GE was able to utilize all of these various loopholes, all of these various deductions–it’s legal,” Ryan said. Nine billion dollars of GE’s profits came overseas, outside the jurisdiction of U.S. tax law. GE wasn’t taxed on $5 billion in U.S. profits because it utilized numerous deductions and tax credits, including tax breaks for investments in low-income housing, green energy, research and development, as well as depreciation of property.

“I asked the GE tax officer, ‘How long was your tax form?'” Ryan said. “He said, ‘Well, we file electronically, we don’t measure in pages.'” Ryan asked for an estimate, which came back at a stunning 57,000 pages. When Ryan relayed the story at the townhall meeting in Janesville, there were audible gasps from the crowd.

Meanwhile, Obama’s General Motors bailout is going to cost taxpayers at least $23.6 billion dollars.

Excerpt:

The Treasury Department dramatically boosted its estimate of losses from its $85 billion auto industry bailout by more than $9 billion in the face of General Motors Co.’s steep stock decline.

In its monthly report to Congress, the Treasury Department now says it expects to lose $23.6 billion, up from its previous estimate of $14.33 billion.

The Treasury now pegs the cost of the bailout of GM, Chrysler Group LLC and the auto finance companies at $79.6 billion. It no longer includes $5 billion it set aside to guarantee payments to auto suppliers in 2009.

Obama’s millionaires and billionaires get another bailout and taxpayers get the bill.

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$737 million green jobs loan given to Nancy Pelosi’s brother-in-law

Does Obama give taxpayer money millionaires and billionaires?

Does Obama give taxpayer money millionaires and billionaires?

As if Solyndra’s $535 million loan wasn’t enough, now we find out about where more of the stimulus spending went.

Story from the Daily Caller.

Excerpt:

Companies like First Solar, SolarReserve, SunPower Corporation and Abengoa SA have already, collectively, received billions in loans through Obama administration stimulus programs to build solar power plants in the southwestern United States.

Yet each, with the exception of the privately held SolarReserve, has seen its stock price hammered at the same time it was lobbying the Obama administration and Congress for billions in loan guarantees.

The Hill newspaper reported Wednesday that the Santa Monica, Calif.-based SolarReserve has secured a $737 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy for a Nevada solar project.

That company has ties to George Kaiser, the Oklahoma billionaire who raised $53,500 for President Obama’s campaign in 2008. Through his Argonaut Private Equity firm, Kaiser holds a majority stake in Solyndra.

Argonaut has a voting stake on SolarReserve’s board of directors in the person of Steve Mitchell, who also serves on Solyndra’s board of directors.

Additionally, Federal Election Commission records made available by the Center for Responsive Politics show that SolarReserve board member James McDermott has contributed $61,500 to various Democratic campaigns since 2008, including $30,800 to Obama’s presidential election campaign.

McDermott’s U.S. Renewable Energy Group has a significant financial stake in SolarReserve, and has drawn scrutiny for its ties with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid — and for reportedly driving green jobs to China.

And Lee Bailey, a fellow SolarReserve board member and U.S. Renewables Group investor, has donated $21,850 since 2008 to Democratic candidates including President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, California Sen. Barbara Boxer and then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

SolarReserve’s board of directors also includes Jasandra Nyker of Pacific Corporate Group Asset Management, where former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s brother-in-law, Ronald Pelosi, holds a leadership position.

Other data from the Center for Responsive Politics show that SolarReserve paid $100,000 in lobbying fees in 2009 to the Podesta Group. That firm’s principal, Tony Podesta, is the brother of John Podesta — who ran Barack Obama’s presidential transition team.

I hope everyone is now very clear on what we got for these three trillion-and-a-half trillion dollar deficits. And very clear on why unemployment went up and not down.

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