The Department of Energy snookered the media last week with a report that seems to show that its clean energy lending programs are profitable. “ Remember Solyndra? Those loans are making money ,” went a typical headline. Unfortunately, that’s not true. Taxpayers are losing money on DOE lending.
Lending programs create special challenges for federal budgeting. So special, in fact, that the Congressional Budget Office estimates their budget effects two different ways. According to official budget rules, taxpayers will earn more than $200 billion over the next decade from new student loans,