New Rule: If you are a pol that attends the ground-breaking of a business that recieved tax-payer money, your ass better be there as well when they start handing out the pink slips.
Another Department of Energy green loan failure and just the latest among those that are stacking up like cord wood.
President Obama touted it in 2010 as evidence "manufacturing jobs are coming back to the United States,” but two years later, a Michigan hybrid battery plant built with $150 million in taxpayer funds is putting workers on furlough before a single battery has been produced.
Workers at the Compact Power manufacturing facilities in Holland, Mich., run by LG Chem, have been placed on rotating furloughs, working only three weeks per month based on lack of demand for lithium-ion cells.
The facility, which was opened in July 2010 with a groundbreaking attended by Obama, has yet to produce a single battery for the Chevrolet Volt, the troubled electric car from General Motors. The plant's batteries also were intended to be used in Ford's electric Focus.
Production of the taxpayer-subsidized Volt has been plagued by work stoppages, and the effect has trickled down to companies and plants that build parts for it -- including the batteries.
“Considering the lack of demand for electric vehicles, despite billions of dollars from the Obama administration that were supposed to stimulate it, it’s not surprising what has happened with LG Chem. Just because a ton of money is poured into a product does not mean that people will buy it,” Paul Chesser, an associate fellow with the National Legal and Policy Center, told FoxNews.com.
On the campaign trail, the President has continually decried the "top-down economic policies that got us into this mess in the first place” which confuses us because he is a first-rate purveyor of this economic school of thought as evidenced his colossal failure that is the DOE’s green energy loan program.
With no real market analysis executed for electric car demand, they built a factory to make batteries for the number of cars they decided to build.
No amount of money they were going to throw at electric cars, which in the case of Government Motors' Chevy Volt included a $7,500 credit, was going to change the fact that, relatively speaking, no one wants the damn car.
And dig this from Chesser:
Chesser said no amount of government subsidies can counter the practical problems posed by plug-in cars.
“Electric car batteries do not perform much better than they did 100 years ago," he said. "Research has not conquered the battery storage issue, and therefore the electric transportation ‘stimulus’ did not boost the ‘technology of the future,’ but instead a century-old technology as far as performance and capability goes.”
Dude. Remind you of any other so-called high-tech green sector technology we are investing in that is more a throw-back to the 19th century? High-speed choo-choos, perhaps.
And Chesser, again, for the kill:
“Had it been private investors rather than government bureaucrats making the decision, there either would have been a reality check about the industry, or only those who made individual decisions to invest would have lost their money, not taxpayers.”
Tax-payer subsidies are all about quantity and brute force. Since there is no direct skin in the game for the investors, ostensibly, the U.S. taxpayers, there is really no accountability required of those people in the government administering those decisions. No skill, no forethought and certainly no prudent market analysis required - you are the U.S. government so, screw it, you just keep throwing money at it.