November 26, 2022

"The Commerce Department, under Ms. Raimondo’s leadership, is now poised to begin distributing nearly $100 billion — roughly 10 times the department’s annual budget..."

"... to build up the U.S. chip industry and expand broadband access throughout the country.... Many view the effort as the best — and only — bet for the United States to position itself in industries of the future, like artificial intelligence and supercomputing, and ensure that the country has a secure supply of the chips necessary for national security. But the risks are similarly huge. Critics of the Biden administration’s plans have noted that the federal government may not be the best judge of which technologies to back.... The outcome could also have ramifications for Ms. Raimondo’s political ambitions.... Her supporters say she could ascend to another cabinet position, run for the Senate or perhaps mount a presidential bid. But she is under close watch by Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and some other left-wing Democrats, who have criticized her as being too solicitous of corporate interests...."

From "A Rising Star in the Biden Administration Faces a $100 Billion Test/Gina Raimondo, the commerce secretary, has made a career of tackling increasingly larger challenges. Could the next one be too big?" (NYT).

63 comments:

Big Mike said...

The money will be mostly wasted relative to its target, going to give graft to well-connected Democrats and to buy votes. (Hence not at all “wasted” by Joe Biden’s corrupt standards. Think 2,000 Solyndras.

Leland said...

I saw Democrats taking credit for chip manufacturing returning to the US because of this. However, the Commerce Department is just now getting ready to spend this money and chip manufacturers have already broken ground on new plants across the United States well over a year ago. It's not Biden that brought them. It was Trump. The $100 billion is just an ad campaign by Democrats to make people think they did the work.

I also noticed that the WH Thanksgiving talking points gave credit to Biden for OTC hearing aids, yet there was due to a law passed called the OTC Hearing Aid Act of 2017.

FleetUSA said...

Doubtful this will work. Will there be an actual post-op audit or will it be swept under FJB's rug?

FleetUSA said...

We'll read about how this didn't work very well in 2025.

Misinforminimalism said...

Raimondo was the least popular governor in America until we foisted her on the nation as a whole. Showed promise taking on the state pension system, but ghosted us on tougher issues like the municipal pensions, which are a far greater threat to the state due to their massive size and ridiculous levels of underfunding. Never met a lock down policy she didn't admire.

Having been a governor who grabbed power when given the Covid chance should be disqualifying for any future political bids, full stop.

PB said...

I suspect Democrats are counting on at least 10% getting kicked back to them in political contributions.

Jefferson's Revenge said...

A rising star in the Biden administration is a very low bar indeed.

Ann Althouse said...

The article is way more concerned with Raimondo as a rising political star than with the power she's been given to hand out $100 billion to private companies. I couldn't understand the program, and the article seems to say, oh, don't worry about the program, look, here's a woman who is on the rise in politics. It's quite disgusting.

DanTheMan said...

>> poised to begin distributing 100 billion

It's a good thing that there is an infinite amount of money.

Eleanor said...

The Democrats have a track record of finding the most vapid women they can to put into office to prove they are right about women. Then foolish women mistake it for support.

Howard said...

This is why Bid n took high end chips away from China. To make America Great Again via high ma gin manufacturing.

Gusty Winds said...

Can you imagine being under the close watch of Elizabeth Warren? I’d rather live with Nurse Ratched.

I smell another Solyndra coming. Ms. Riomondo will piss the money away. That will make her a rising political star.

The most successful gov’t subcontracting venture in the last 20 years has been SpaceX.

Let Elon Musk use the $100 Billion to lead computer chip infrastructure in the us and you might get something. He'd probably build more for half the cost.

Will said...

Joe Biden was intimately involved in the waste of $550 million in taxpayer dollars backing Solyndra during he Obama Admin. Not only did we as a country lose that money but then these Obama idiots sold the Intellectual Property (that taxpayers owned) for pennies on the dollar. To the Chinese!

This is just another cash grab by a completely corrupt politician.

it will fail, and as with Solyndra you can be sure Team Biden will collect a pound of flesh in the handouts and then double-dip another pound of flesh by sending $100B worth of research to their foreign donors.

Achilles said...

I couldn't understand the program, and the article seems to say, oh, don't worry about the program, look, here's a woman who is on the rise in politics. It's quite disgusting.

You mean they didn’t pick her for her past successes and consistently displayed competence?

donald said...

The “program” is a graft machine.

Rusty said...

Rest assured madam hostess. Those funds will be carefully distributed to only the most reliable democrat operatives and be returned as graft.

Big Mike said...

The article is way more concerned with Raimondo as a rising political star than with the power she's been given to hand out $100 billion to private companies.

@Althouse, I did not read the article because it is behind a paywall. But I note that Raimondo is a rising female Hispanic, at a time when the Hispanics have decided that they are not “people of color” but ordinary Americans with aspirations to create a better life for themselves and their children. When Hispanics are 60% Republican, Democrats will have a hard time in southwestern states. So highlighting Raimondo as a riding star is a step towards trying to keep Hispanics on the plantation.

Quayle said...

“… and the article seems to say, oh, don't worry about the program, look, here's a woman who is on the rise in politics.”

Anybody with $100 billion of other people’s money in their hand to spend is “on the rise” among these our upper class and so-called elites. Talk about sucking up to the rich. She faces no direct personal loss if she misspends, so the risk of it being misspent is consequently higher.

The praise “She’s on the rise” is pure butter intended to ingratiate. (And I’m old enough to remember when SBF was on the rise for the very same reason.)

hawkeyedjb said...

"...the article seems to say, oh, don't worry about the program..."

The reporter doesn't understand the program either, and certainly hasn't read any of the bill that created "the program." She wouldn't understand it if she did read it. Gender is the story here. It had to be either that or race. Actually understanding what the government hath wrought is far, far beyond the interest or understanding of the reporter.

hawkeyedjb said...

And by the way, I'm intrigued (as always) by the use of the phrase "rising star." I hear that Pete Buttigieg is also a rising star. On what basis are these two cabinet members considered "rising stars?" Can someone list their accomplishments? If they were ordinary white heterosexual men, would they be "rising stars?" If not, then it seems that their accomplishments consist solely of gender and sexual preference.

Quayle said...

And regarding the program, let me make it simple. It’s money plugged in at the right place to turn a losing business case to build chips in the US, into a winning business case. Nothing more, nothing less. I have no problem if for military, strategic reasons, or even national economic security reasons, we collectively prop up an industry we deem to be in our self interest. But let’s be clear, when it’s other peoples money being invested, as FTX has shown, it always gets invested poorly.

boatbuilder said...

This is the woman who had golfers from MA followed and arrested by RI state troopers when they drove to RI to play golf when the MA courses were closed during Covid.

I suppose she should get some credit for not closing the RI courses.

But sure, she's going to solve the chip shortage issue by handing out money.

Is there a DEI component to the handouts? Of course there is.

Iman said...

Soft-soap bullshit.

JAORE said...

Reason #3,457,982 why we will never balance the budget.

Kudos Big Mike. You beat me to my first thought and said it better than I could.

Give me $100 B to distribute and I, along with my new friends will be rising stars. And I don't even have a record as a failed Governor to brag about.

rehajm said...

Yes, It’s quite disgusting…

rehajm said...

How many government funded yachts can these people water ski behind? Guess we’re gonna find out…

Temujin said...

As Governor of Rhode Island, Gina Raimondo was known to 'extort' large political donations from corporations or special interest groups to get what they wanted in legislation passed. I would say that is known as 'business as usual' across the US. I don't love it, but it is how things are done. So she clearly knows how to play the game, and that makes her competition for others looking longingly at Joe Biden's desk.

As for the main point of the article, "Critics of the Biden administration’s plans have noted that the Federal Government may not be the best judge of which technologies to back...." The entire discussion is right here. No- our government is the last group that should be deciding how to approach this. Unless you think the California Bullet Train is still a good idea, you have to realize that anything the Government approves is corruptly decided, not on the facts, but on who benefits.

Mike of Snoqualmie said...

That $100B will go into the pockets of Democrat donors to be redistributed to Democrat candidates.

rehajm said...

I’ll disclose to you friends- we had to deal with the government vetting of a leader on Obama’s White House Council of Economic Advisors. A lofty position, no doubt. Then the same guy is up for a position with the Biden administration and the vetting begins anew. I’m thinking a promotion would be Treasury Secretary or something. Instead the job title is a bit…nebulous? Weird, as not the type of person what would accept a demotion. So we ask around a bit. Best we can figure the job is basically in charge of handing out the government trillions, internationally.

It’s kind of sickening…though not a demotion, I suppose…

Amadeus 48 said...

There are no opportunities for cronyism or graft here. None! Nada! Rien du tout! Not a thing!

Here's a chance to bail out Solyndra. Let's power this with solar!

Where's mine? (unofficial motto of the city of Chicago)

Danno said...

Ann Althouse said...The article is way more concerned with Raimondo as a rising political star than with the power she's been given to hand out $100 billion to private companies. I couldn't understand the program, and the article seems to say, oh, don't worry about the program, look, here's a woman who is on the rise in politics. It's quite disgusting.

The rising star pipeline in the Democrat Party is empty. Though I couldn't read the article, the NYT is likely hoping for a new rising political star. Raimondo may be their hoped-for savior as Bernie and Liz Warren are too old and too far left to be their future hope after Brandon. Kamala is clearly not up to it, Pete Buttplug is not either assuming he is back from maternity leave, and Beto has struck out on three strikes. Gavin Newsome is slowly but surely sinking as California becomes a deficit-plagued shithole as the fortunes of the mature high-tech industry crater. That's my take.

rehajm said...

But she is under close watch by Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and some other left-wing Democrats, who have criticized her as being too solicitous of corporate interests...."

Elizabeth Warren works on the Senate Finance Committee and has oversight of the IRS but she has no fucking idea what a tax loss carryforward is. Not that is matters, nobody will ever quiz her. If pressed I suspect she would tell us it’s a ‘loophole’ for corporate interests…

Yancey Ward said...

This is a 100 billion dollar grifting operation.

Mike Sylwester said...

This integration of the government and big business is FASCISM.

n.n said...

Environmental arbitrage (e.g. Green deals), labor arbitrage (e.g. immigration reform), and redistributive change schemes (e.g. progressive prices). That's not funny and we're not serious.

This integration of the government and big business is FASCISM.

Single/central/monopolistic solutions prosecuted through ethical ("religious") authority.

n.n said...

oh, don't worry about the program, look, here's a woman who is on the rise in politics. It's quite disgusting.

Em-pathetic appeal to a "sisterhood", one solid diversity bloc... until they turn women against women, against men, against child.

Michael K said...

Everett Dirkson used to say "A billion here and a billion there and soon you're talking about real money."

He had no idea.

Tommy Duncan said...

What's the issue here? The first rule of government is that results don't matter.

Enigma said...

Per the government's track record:

50% will be given to good businesses already doing the work and that don't need the money. This is to buy their loyalty moving forward, and to ensure that they know the gatekeepers for government contracts / avoiding regulatory torment.

40% will be given to ideologically-driven firms with pie-in-the-sky business models destined to fail (e.g., Obama -> Solyndra).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solyndra

10% will be outright gifts/bribes to enrich politicians and families and friends. Calling Hunter Biden.

Kevin said...

I'm so old I remember when the job of Congress was to write sensible laws and serve as a check on the Executive.

What has the Biden Administration done legislatively other than spread more of your money around?

Joe Smith said...

Pennies on the dollar will not be wasted.

A lot of people will be getting very rich...

Ukraine anyone?

rcocean said...

So where are all the Rightwingers, Globalists, and libertarians with their chatter about the "Free Market"? Or "Free Trade"?

Shouldn't the chip industry have to duke it out with foreign competitors and give us the benefit of cheaper semiconductors? Y'know like the steel and auto industries have to compete? And if they go under, well "The FRee Market" has spoken. Instead, we're giving the industry $100 billion. Gee, how fascinating. I wonder how many Pols got big donations from the " Chip Industry".

Just one more example of why all the talk of "Free Trade" and the "Free Market" is total bullshit.

Sebastian said...

"the federal government may not be the best judge of which technologies to back"

That's prog heresy. Surely "government" is a better judge than business or deplorable consumers.

"criticized her as being too solicitous of corporate interests"

But progs just handed out $100B to "corporate interests."

DanTheMan said...

>>Elizabeth Warren works on the Senate Finance Committee and has oversight of the IRS but she has no fucking idea what a tax loss carryforward is.

Carryforwards are racist and cause climate change. We have to eliminate them to save our democracy.

Sebastian said...

"look, here's a woman who is on the rise in politics. It's quite disgusting"

Why? It's ordinary feminism, as practiced in the real world by the MSM and the Dems for many years, not as imagined by the occasional 60s liberal. In fact, the template is pretty standard: Look, a woman! Doing x! Etc. etc.

Lem Former Twitter Aficionado said...

How do I go about setting up a chip manufacturing company?

A garage? What else?

effinayright said...

Mike Sylwester said...
This integration of the government and big business is FASCISM.
**********

No, no, no! FASCISM is Trump and his hundred million followers wanting the government and "woke" corporations to get off our backs!!!

Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi will tell you so themselves!!

typingtalker said...

... and ensure that the country has a secure supply of the chips necessary for national security ...

Is this something like the Strategic Petroleum Reserve?

By the way ...

Since 2015, Congress has been selling the oil in the reserve to fund the deficit, in unpublicized sales. The U.S. Department of Energy has run at least seven sales since 2017, selling 132 million barrels, or about 18.2% of what had been in the reserve.

On March 31, 2022, President Joe Biden announced that his administration would release 1 million barrels of oil per day from the reserve for the next 180 days.


Strategic Petroleum Reserve (United States)

Static Ping said...

The amount of graft and corruption will be enormous, and the outcome will be mediocre to poor. None of it will be reported, unless Gina proves to be inconvenient to someone else of greater importance, in which case she will be thrown under the bus.

The Biden administration has rising stars? What level of failure is necessary to tarnish?

Mike said...

I can just picture the Secretary of Commerce standing by a woodchipper named Solyndra throwing billions of dollars into the chute to be rendered into meaningless "chips" of paper.

They are good at that effort alongside the Potomac.

Freeman Hunt said...

$100 billion?!

Yancey Ward said...

Lem asked:

"How do I go about setting up a chip manufacturing company?

A garage? What else?"


First step is opening an account with the Democratic National Committee, and the second step is hiring some Pelosis, Bidens, and Schumers to do the lobbying.

Josephbleau said...

It’s about time the Democrats moved away from gerontocracy and allowed some younger folks to steal.

mikee said...

Meanwhile, Samsung is spending about $17 Billion of their own money to build a new plant just down the road from me, in Taylor, Texas. Why? Mostly because they want more plants far away from China. Their existing plant in Austin has been chugging away for years and years now. What does Samsung know that the administration should listen to?

Greg The Class Traitor said...

expand broadband access throughout the country

So they're going to start buying people Starlink terminals?

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Ann Althouse said...
The article is way more concerned with Raimondo as a rising political star than with the power she's been given to hand out $100 billion to private companies. I couldn't understand the program, and the article seems to say, oh, don't worry about the program, look, here's a woman who is on the rise in politics. It's quite disgusting.

The program is to give a bunch of grift to Democrats, who will then turn around a "donate" a percentage to Democrat candidates for office, while also hiring a bunch of Democrat politician family members, who will make sure that "the Big Guy" (or Gal") will get his / her cut

Actually giving anything of value to the American taxpayer for the money spent is, at best, entirely irrelevant

gpm said...

>>Everett Dirkson used to say

Everett McKinley Dirks[e]n had probably the greatest soothing voice of all time. Back when there was at least something in Illinois politics that wasn't outright corruption through and through and the state (and Chicago) weren't going completely down the drain.

--gpm

Rusty said...

Lem Former Twitter Aficionado said...
"How do I go about setting up a chip manufacturing company?"
That all depends. Do you have any highly placed Democrat friends in Washington?

Bunkypotatohead said...

"I couldn't understand the program..."

You get $50 billion worth of chips for a mere $100 billion.
For a gov't program that's a better than typical return on "investment".

Lurker21 said...

Raimondo is Italian, not Hispanic. Almost everybody in Rhode Island is Italian. Well, 18% according to Reddit, but that's larger than other ethnic groups. If Rick Caruso in LA couldn't get away with pretending to be "Latin," Gina Raimondo probably can't either.

What's more significant is that she isn't just any Rhode Island Italian-American. She has the Harvard-Oxford-Yale Law pedigree that is expected of Democrat politicians. I would feel better about her if she were just another used car dealer, like other Rhode Island politicians seem to be.

Big Mike said...

@Lurker21, I stand corrected. Consider my comment at 7:53 am to be deleted.

Bill R said...

She's wasting 100 billion on the entire semiconductor industry? What a lightweight! In California, they are wasting 100 billion on a single train that will never run.

The Democratic party isn't what it used to be.

PM said...

Bill R "In California, they are wasting 100 billion on a single train that will never run."

Oh, yeah? "Today, 119 miles of concrete, bridge-like viaducts and other structures on which electric trains will someday run at over 200 mph are being built."

And hold on, there's money funded for 52 more miles! That's 50 + 2, Bill.