Rep. Stearns (R-FL): ‘When Somebody Is Successful Then You Give Them Subsidies’
And here I thought that the conventional wisdom in the Republican party was that government handouts were only for liberals and welfare queens who want to cheat the system and who don’t want to work for anything.
Instead, we now find out that those same handouts are the rewards for success. Who knew?
Speaking at a town hall meeting last weekend in his home state of Florida, Stearns displayed a very sketchy grasp on how subsidies should work, explaining to Climate Progress that incentives should be given to mature companies, not early-stage companies.
‘When somebody is successful, then you give them the subsidies and the tax credit,’ explained Stearns, talking to Climate Progress.
Eh? Isn’t that entirely backwards? You’d think that the subsidies and incentives would go to the start-up and smaller companies in order to compete, not to the major oil companies raking in billions in profits.
Of course, when those relevant start-ups are in renewable energy and alternative energy, we begin to see why Rep. Stearns might have an issue. Can’t have that green technology getting any subsidies. That might convince people to start seriously investing in it, or in looking for ways to break the stranglehold of the oil companies.
Rep. Stearns then continues in his economic brilliance, explaining loan guarantees to his constituents:
Er, no. Loan guarantees aren’t free money. They are, in fact, the opposite of what Stearns says they are. As Think Progress explains:
It is simply an agreement with private lenders that the government will back a loan in case of default. The government is not actually giving any money outright — it only provides federal funds through a loan guarantee in a worst-case scenario. In order to qualify for the program, recipients must prove that they’ve raised adequate private capital. And in the case of power-plant developments, companies must have a long-term agreement to sell the energy.
Thus far, there is no statement from Rep. Stearns or his office correcting his obvious errors and setting the record straight.
Then again, denial of reality and presenting contradictory information as the truth seems to be a hallmark of the GOP these days, so maybe Rep. Stearns should get a government subsidy for his efforts.