By Adam Bitely — Solyndra, the solar panel firm that recently filed for bankruptcy, and the firm that is quickly becoming the focal point of the Obama administration’s first scandal after accepting federal loans that were possibly based on bad data, is becoming an even bigger drain on taxpayers as the employees of the failed solar panel maker are applying for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) benefits according to a source within the federal government.
TAA benefits were established under the Trade Act of 1974. The TAA is meant to provide benefits to people who lose their jobs due to foreign trade. The TAA is a program that is overseen by the Department of Labor. Simply put, TAA benefits are just another type of welfare.
In the case of Solyndra, former employees are most likely applying for benefits based on the fact that China has a comparative advantage at producing solar panels thus leading to Solyndra’s ultimate failure.
Former Solyndra employees would be eligible for worker retraining (presumably away from ‘green jobs’ which are unrealistic), relocation assistance , job search help, income support, and unemployment services. This is a program that is above and beyond receiving the usual unemployment benefits.
The government involving itself in Solyndra’s business has now cost the taxpayers significant sums of money. Losing the money on the initial loan was quite expensive, but now having to bail out each individual who lost their job based on an extremely bad bet that would have never been made had the government not involved itself is another. This is the typical outcome when government tries to pick winners and losers.