In 2009, the Obama administration decided to repay Al Gore for his help in the campaign by loaning Fisker 529 million dollars to build cars in Finland. Al Gore owns a large stake in that company. It’s like playing poker with borrowed money. You don’t have to repay if you lose. Even after it became obvious that Fisker was a bust, the money kept flowing and their line of credit was continued after they had used up 192 million of it.
Now, the federal government is planning to auction or outright sell the 192 million debt to a private company for possibly 15 cents on the dollar, leaving taxpayers 163.2 million dollars poorer. Fisker built 239 cars, which sell for $109,000 dollars each. That’s only 26.05 million dollars worth of cars. And to add insult to injury, they had to recall all 239 of them because their A123 ion batteries created a fire hazard.
Coincidentally, A123 received 133 million of a 249 million dollar grant before they declared bankruptcy and were sold to a Chinese company, Wanxiang. And the best part (except for taxpayers of course) is that Wanxiang gets to keep the equipment purchased with the grant money, without returning one red cent. A123 also made the batteries for the Chevy Volt that had a tendency to burn.
And since the program was so successful, the Obama administration has decided to restart it. Sen Thune, R-SD has decided to fight the administration and keep the program closed. And although the program will do nothing for manufacturing or the economy, it could answer an age old question man has been curious for years about. Exactly how much money will a rat hole hold?
The beauty of the deal for Gore and his partners was, if Fisker became a huge success, they would only have to pay back what they borrowed and if it flopped the taxpayers would pick up the tab.
Steven Ahle is the Editor of Red Statements and a regular contributor to The D.C. Clothesline.