Fifteen Months From Zero To -$535,000,000: Part II

I already mentioned a solar panel company called Solyndra that crapped out.  I already mentioned that it burned $535,000,000 in other peoples money stimulus funds.  But hey, what’s a few hundred million here and there.  Right?  The President got to make a speech and photo ops don’t grow on trees.  Shouldn’t I lighten up?


It still annoyed me so I did something dangerous.  Math:

How much was I personally screwed on this particular boondoggle?

First, some numbers that I needed to make the calculation:  Lets pretend that the government actually has the money it spends (as opposed to borrowing it) and lets pretend it uses it’s main source of revenue (the income tax).  That simplifies the math.  Roughly speaking there are 114,825,425 households in America.  About 47% (or more!) don’t pay any income taxes.  (Which brings up a far more interesting issue…but today I’m not touching that one with a ten foot pole!)  The group that pays income taxes amounts to 60,857,475 of us.  Solynrda crapped out $535,000,000.  Assuming you and I are in the taxpaying group, we’re the ones that got hosed.  (The group that pays nothing got a free ride.)

Thus my household’s share is:

$535,000,000 / (114,825,425 households * 0.53 actual taxpayers)

Which comes out to:


You, me, and everyone I know got screwed for $8.79.  In a sane world I could have spent that money as I saw fit.  Instead someone who wasn’t me got a couple years of a floundering solar panel plant I never saw in a state I haven’t recently visited that pretended to manufacture a product nobody wants.

Suppose some schmuck showed up unannounced at all our houses and took a six pack of beer from the fridge.  Why?  Because we’re taxpaying dumbasses and they want the beer.  And green jobs or something…

I’d be mighty pissed.  I got hosed and I didn’t even get a thank you card.  Did you?

About Adaptive Curmudgeon

I will neither confirm nor deny that I actually exist.
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5 Responses to Fifteen Months From Zero To -$535,000,000: Part II

  1. Wayne Conrad says:

    It’s worse than $8.79, of course. The government took out a mortgage for it, which means they’ll have to either tax it or inflate it out of us later (where later is “very soon.”), with interest. And what most people don’t get is that the mortgage the government took out, our government debt, is in effect an adjustable rate mortgage. A fat wad of it is in fairly short term government bonds that need to be re-issued from time to time in order to continue floating that debt, at which time China (or whoever) can decide they’d rather not buy them at _this_ interest rate, but would rather it be higher, if you please.

    Although I’m not sure how much worse it will be to be taxed, spent, mortgaged and compounded *harder*. Either way I’m still financially and politically broke.

  2. A case of beer, hell, they took my food budget for an entire day of feeding this household. And they want interest, too. Yeah, I feel grumpy and hosed, too.

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