Recently, President Obama went to Largo, Maryland, where he gave a speech about the importance of developing new sources of energy. In his speech, he ridiculed the 19th President of the United States, Rutherford B. Hayes as a person who was "backward," rather than a forward looking person. President Hayes reportedly said about the telephone: "It's a wonderful invention, but who would ever want to use one?"
Using that story, the President, who himself seems unusually sensitive to criticism, criticized Republican candidates for President as being opposed to alternative energy and therefore insinuating that they, like Rutherford B. Hayes, were backward looking and lacking in vision needed to lead America.
But, all of the Republican candidates for President support alternative energy, they simply disagree with the President on having taxpayers subsidize it and unlike the President, they understand you cannot replace fossil fuel overnight.
President Obama has clearly demonstrated that he does not believe individuals risking their private capital can develop alternative energy. He philosophically believes government should provide the capital through grants and subsidies and that is the only way alternative energy sources can successfully be developed. We all know too well about the millions of taxpayer dollars this Administration has given to politically supportive venture capitalists to experiment with unproven alternative energy concepts. I could provide a long list of recipients in addition to Solyndra, Beacon Power, Evergreen Solar, A123Systems, and Fisker automotive.
In Largo, President Obama failed to mention that the telephone was invented, manufactured and distributed with private capital. Government did not provide millions of dollars in grants, loans and incentives. Alexander Graham Bell was successful transmitting speech electronically with his device called "the telephone" because of his own initiative and ingenuity and with the help of capital provided by private individuals willing to risk their resources on a technology they believed in.
That is a concept President Obama either does not believe in, or at least he does not believe alternative energy sources can be developed without massive government intervention.
In its editorial, "Overcharged", the Washington Post specifically pointed out that electric car subsidies being pushed by the Obama Administration are a bad investment for taxpayers. For example, Fisker Automotive has been the recipient of more than half a billion dollars from the government to build an electric car called the Karma that is expected to cost over $100,000 per car. Why should the government spend millions of dollars to invest in an automobile that only the extremely wealthy can purchase? Despite all the taxpayer funds given to Fisker, the company has announced a recall of its cars because of a potential defect in its batteries, made by a company that was another large recipient of government funds.
Although I am sure the President received a warm welcome in Largo, he misled the audience when he said the Republican candidates for President oppose the development of alternative energy. They simply do not agree with the President that taxpayer dollars should be given to political allies to develop alternative energy.