Those were the halcyon days of yore when a "spirit of bipartisanship" prevailed on Capitol Hill!
During the first quarter following its privatization, USEC executives went back to the federal government asking for and receiving an "emergency supplemental" appropriation of $325M. That initial appropriation turned the federal spigot on, teaching those executives they could continue returning to the federal spigot. In the ensuing 15 years, they received virtually every form of government assistance available: loans, grants, and contracts as well as technology giveaways and obscure swaps. Filings made by the Securities and Exchange Commission indicate that USEC technological failings and losses totaled $491B in 2011 and $1.2B imn 2012.
An article published in the Washington Examiner describes how the privatized USEC became a revolving door for federal bureaucrats. They'd leave government jobs for jobs in the publicly-traded company that paid salaries in the millions of dollars. Then, they'd go back to the federal government, making deals for more government assistance.
Ever heard of "crony capitalism" which liberals continuously decry, suggesting that it's a cardinal sin of conservatives?
The Motley Monk calls the execution of this idea--spinning off a project housed in a federal agency, packing it with highly-paid former federal apparatchiks who keep coming back to the federal trough for more money, and then, not producing anything of economic value--"crony socialism." And it happens more than U.S. taxpayers would like to know. When powerful members of Congress retire, they receive important titles and lucrative salaries from DC firms to return to Capitol Hill and lobby their former colleagues for federal funds...in addition to the lucrative pensions and platinum heathcare coverage earned during their tenure on the Hill.
The conclusion to this story is always the same. In the case of the USEC, the company's securities now have a junk-bond rating. There's no viable source of private financing. And last fall, those highly-compensated company officials told shareholders and creditors that without additional government subsidies, they have no "viable" business plan. The spigot has been turned off and bankruptcy is just around the corner.
In a free market, government projects--even if they promise to provide an engine for economic growth and new sources of green energy--survive only as long as they produce something of value. There is no federal spigot to fuel those ideas. Turn off that spigot and those ideas end up in the landfill of economic failures.
Unfortunately, liberal's don't get that idea and apparently don't fear leaving U.S. taxpayers on the hook for their investments of billions of $$$s. All the while, they are on the hunt for new "investments" in pet projects.
Let the discussion begin...
To read the Washington Examiner article, click on the following link:
"Privatizing Energy Project Enriched Bureaucrats, Drained Federal Coffers."