America’s Great Recession officially ended a few months after Barack Obama was inaugurated President in 2009. With a Democrat majority in both houses of Congress, he had no problems getting approval for nearly $800 billion to “stimulate” the economy. More than four years later Americans are still waiting to see their economy stimulated. President Obama took the most pride in his “saving” of the auto industry and his investments in “green” technology. Let’s see how his entry into venture capitalism has worked out for those of us who footed the bill.
Saving the Auto Industry
Remember how President Obama, during the 2012 election campaign, bragged that he saved General Motors and Chrysler and said that Mitt Romney would have let them go bankrupt? THEY DID GO BANKRUPT! What Obama did was unilaterally break our nations bankruptcy laws and he personally decided who the winners and losers would be. The winners, of course were his crony union supporters. And, the big losers were the American taxpayers to the tune of several billion dollars. Since America came to the rescue of General Motors, General Motors has rewarded America by investing and sending jobs to China. And, Chrysler, after being saved by Obama with your money, was bought up cheap by Italian car maker Fiat. So Chrysler is no longer an “American” car maker. My good friend at the Spellchek blog did a post recently highlighting how this now foreign company is rewarding America for its largess. Here is a quote he used of Chrysler’s CEO, Sergio Marchionne:
All of this would not be possible without the extraordinary spirit of collaboration we have found in both the federal and state governments…
Does that make you feel all warm and fuzzy? Not so fast. Mr. Marchione’s gratitude was directed at the federal and state governments of Mexico; not the US. Why Mexico? Because that is where Chrysler is going to invest their money:
AUBURN HILLS, MI- Chrysler Group LLC is investing about $1.25 billion in two facilities in Mexico.
Chrysler CEO and chairman Sergio Marchionne confirmed the amount Thursday at the dedication of Chrysler’s new Van Assembly Plant in Saltillo.
About $1.1 billion of the total investment was to construct the new plant, which started producing the Ram ProMaster van in July. The additional $164 million will add a new production line to assemble Tigershark engines at the Saltillo North Engine Plant.
I don’t hear President Obama bragging about that. Which reminds me, how many times during Obama’s campaign did he brag about saving Detroit? Hows that working out for you, Mr. President?
Obama’s Green Technology Investments
I will not bore you with the long laundry list of Obama’s green energy and green technology flops. One would be hard pressed to find one that was successful. But, I do want to share with you the latest Obama investment to go south. I’ve only seen this reported in one place, the Inform The Pundits blog. This time it is a company by the name of ECOtality, which received DOE grants of $115 million to, among other things, produce electric car battery chargers and distribute them around the country. The company has gone bankrupt and has been liquidated. The CEO at the time the rants were made was another Obama crony, Johnathon Read. Mr. Read suddenly resigned last year and has disappeared. He is under investigation by the SEC for insider trading. Here is some of what AZ Leader at Inform The Pundits reported:
President Obama has a dream to transform the U.S. economy into a 21st century green energy bonanza. Barack Obama perceives himself as saving the Earth from the ravages of a looming global warming catastrophe.
He’s directed well over $100 billion to the cause. ECOtality got at least $135 million of it.
ECOtality was enlisted to help fulfill a 2008 presidential campaign promise to put a million plug-in hybrid electric cars on the road by 2015.
Jonathon Read, on the other hand, is a political opportunist; a scoundrel.
Read converted a tiny industrial cleaning fluids company into President Obama’s flagship of the electric car charger industry.
He did it through campaign donations to Democratic candidates, lobbying in Washington DC, and schmoozing politicians.
Read wanted to cash in on government green energy contracts. He snagged $143 million in government investments and put millions of those dollars into his own pocket.
Read absconded with $5 million or so for himself.
So, how much was recovered from the liquidation process?
ECOtality was sold in three chunks:
Asset Price Buyer Blink Network $3.335 million CarCharging Group eTec Labs $750 thousand Intertek Minit-Changer $250 thousand Access Control Group Total = $4.335 million
$4.335 million was salvaged on court filed estimated debt between $100 and $500 million!!!
All DOE taxpayer money given to ECOtality were grants that don’t have to paid back!!
And, for the 8000 or so owners of Chevy Volts and Nissan Leafs that bought these battery chargers, it appears they will be SOL.
To your humble observer of the asylum we all have to live in, the only thing to be stimulated by Obama’s stimulus spending are the bank accounts of his crony friends.
Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?