It looks like American taxpayers get to sink even more money into the failed solar company Solyndra. This time it will be in the form of retraining and other benefits for the company’s former employees.
The Labor Department today announced that it had approved Trade Adjustment Assistance for the former employees of the bankrupt solar panel maker Solyndra.
That means all of the firm’s 1,100 ex-employees are eligible for federal aid packages, including job retraining and income assistance. The department has valued packages at about $13,000 a head.
Taxpayers will have to cough up yet another $14.3 million as a result of Solyndra’s bankruptcy. They are already on the hook for $528 million in federal loan guarantees to the company that are unlikely to ever be paid back.
Read the whole thing, oddly, the announcement was delayed until after Energy Secretary Steven Chu testified about his failed investment in this company.
As a side note, Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R-NY) took a little heat from the local press for voting against the TAA, but she did so with good reason.
Buerkle had a number of concerns about the program, which some conservative lobbying groups had called wasteful.
“I think there was some disagreement over the effectiveness of the program and whether it was duplicating existing programs,” said Liza Lowery, speaking for Buerkle. “And what about workers who lost their jobs due to reasons other than trade?”
It’s a shame lawmakers aren’t spending their time making the United States more competitive. Instead they’re busy trying to pick winner and losers, and even failing at that. What a mess.