Sen. Barrasso: Washington's Wasting Taxpayer Money

This is a rush transcript from "Your World", October 6, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

ERIC BOLLING, GUEST HOST: First, half-a-billion tax dollars wasted on Solyndra. Now this. The Labor Department has yet to return hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to the Treasury, despite a request from its inspector general to do so. At issue a $500 million greens job program that was supposed to create 80,000 jobs by the end of 2012. So far, it has only yielded 8,000. So the inspector general says the money should go back to the taxpayers.

Republican Senator John Barrasso agrees.

Senator, thanks for joining us.

First of all, to be clear, we called the Labor Department and they haven’t gotten back to us.

But at issue here, sir, is another half-a-billion-dollar green energy property seemingly not to be producing the jobs that it was touted to do.

SEN. JOHN BARRASSO, R-WYO.: And, Eric, this is part of the so-called stimulus program that the president promised the American people.

He said, if you pass this, unemployment will stay below 8 percent. Well, it was passed. I voted against it. But it passed. Unemployment still went above 10 percent and we still have 14 million Americans looking for jobs, 9.1 percent unemployment.

The president has been absolutely wrong on all of this. He promised the Americans 3.5 million new jobs under the stimulus and five million new green jobs. And these programs are failed programs. And he today in his press conference said, well, it was risky and you make bets on this.

Mr. President, this is not your money. If you want to bet your own money, that is fine. This money belongs to the taxpayers of this country. And they deserve better.

BOLLING: Senator, take a listen to this. This is a couple of sound bites from the president over the last couple of months talking about that $500 million Solyndra loan.


PRESIDENT OBAMA: The true engine of economic growth will always be companies like Solyndra.

There were going to be some companies that did not work out. Solyndra was one of them.


BOLLING: And, Senator, he -- Mr. Obama at one point said, look, we made a bet. In hindsight, it was a bad bet.

But there were smoking gun e-mails from the Office of Management and Budget basically telling the president, hold on a second and telling the Department of Energy hang on before these loans go out, maybe they are not the best bets we should be betting the taxpayer money on.

BARRASSO: Well, you’re absolutely right.

The vice president was very anxious to go out there and do an event, and the president was anxious to go there. The secretary of energy wanted to go to Solyndra and tout this as the centerpiece of the president`s green jobs and economic program. And even the Office of Management and Budget said, wait a second, this company, we are not sure it will work. We don`t think this is a good use of taxpayer money.

But for one reason or another they were rushed. The Department of Energy was rushed. They kept having the White House -- and it looks like the e-mails are showing that to the American people. There were cozy relationships between contributors; it looks like, as well as those in the White House.

And, then, the president has done this in spite of the warnings that said, slow down. Do not do this. This is not a wise use of taxpayer money. The American people believe that so much of the money they send to Washington is wasted. And they are right.

BOLLING: All right, Senator John Barrasso, appreciate your time.

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