Saturday, November 12, 2011

More Crony Capitalism Practiced by Obama Administration

One of the outrages over the Department of Energy loan guarantee to the now failed solar energy firm, Solyndra, is over the decision made to reverse the original refusal of the loan request by DoE bureaucrats and grant the company $537 million of taxpayer funds.  This reversal was caused by the influence of members of the Obama White House on the DoE bureaucrats.  They asserted pressure on the DoE not only because of the President's policy direction to provide assistance to green energy company's over other areas of the private sector, but in response to requests being made by George Kaiser and his Foundation. Both Kaiser and his Foundation were significant political campaign contributors to Barack Obama and the Democrat Party.  Emails are now being released which show that a number of visits to the WH by Kaiser and other officals of his Foundation were on behalf of Solyndra.

Crony Capitalism can be described as...
“A description of capitalist society as being based on the close relationships between businessmen and the state. Instead of success being determined by a free market and the rule of law, the success of a business is dependent on the favoritism that is shown to it by the ruling government in the form of tax breaks, government grants and other incentives.”
Under this definition, the decision to provide Solyndra with $537 million of taxpayer funds based on favoritism that the company was shown by the Obama Administration is a perfect example of Crony Capitalism.
Today, the LA Times is highlighting another case of the Obama Administration embracing Crony Capitalism - a $433 million no-bid contract to provide smallpox vaccines at a per dose price higher than government specialists said was reasonable - all for a company controlled by a longtime Democrat political donor.
A company controlled by a longtime Democratic political donor gets a no-bid contract to supply an experimental remedy for a threat that may not exist.
When Siga complained that contracting specialists at the Department of Health and Human Services were resisting the company's financial demands, senior officials replaced the government's lead negotiator for the deal, interviews and documents show.

When Siga was in danger of losing its grip on the contract a year ago, the officials blocked other firms from competing.

Siga was awarded the final contract in May through a "sole-source" procurement in which it was the only company asked to submit a proposal. The contract calls for Siga to deliver 1.7 million doses of the drug for the nation's biodefense stockpile. The price of approximately $255 per dose is well above what the government's specialists had earlier said was reasonable, according to internal documents and interviews.
According to the Mayo Clinic,
Naturally occurring smallpox was eradicated worldwide by 1980 — the result of an unprecedented immunization campaign. However, interest in the disease remains high because stocks of smallpox virus, kept for research purposes, are stored in two high-security labs — one in the United States and one in Siberia. In addition, it's suspected that other governments or entities may hold stockpiles. This has lead to concerns that smallpox may be used as a biological warfare agent.
The risk that smallpox would be used as a biological warfare agent is one that the government does have to consider and take steps to protect its citizens from.  However, to do so in a manner where a company controlled by a longtime Democrat political donor is anointed as the only provider, ignoring any responsibility to get competitive bids, is just more of the crony capitalism and malfeasance of the Obama Administration. 

Do we need to be reminded how many times the President and other senior Democrat officials promised that this Administration would be the most open, transparent, and ethical of all time? 

Reality is showing us that this Administration is far from the most open, transparent, and ethical.  Furthermore, the outrage of the Occupy Wall Street movement against Crony Capitalism should have them starting to demonstrate at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC.

No comments:

Post a Comment