The Obama Administration’s Department of Energy put up $150 million to help fund a company that promised to produce batteries for the Chevy Volt car. You know: the hybrid car produced by the federally bailed-out General Motors company.
Problem: Nobody wants to buy Chevy Volts. So, Chevrolet is not ordering batteries.
So far, the plant has produced a grand total of zero batteries.
The workers have been placed on a rotating bases. They work three weeks per month.
The factory was opened in July 2010.
The batteries could also be used in Ford’s hybrid car, the Focus. Problem: nobody wants a Focus, either.
Call this a short circuit.
The federal government subsidizes duds. That’s because non-duds are funded by investors.
The factory is big: 300,000 square feet. It cost $300 million to build. It is designed to produce 15,000 batteries per year.
Hold it! It took a $300 million initial investment to build a facility that can produce a piddly 15,000 batteries a year. That’s under 300 per week.
Meanwhile, GM buys the few batteries it needs from the firm’s plant in South Korea.
The company also received subsidies of $50 million in property tax relief for 15 years, plus reductions in business taxes of $2.5 million a year.
Here were President Obvam’a stirring words when the factory was launched.
“You are leading the way in showing how manufacturing jobs are coming right back here to the United States of America. Our goal has never been to create a government program, but rather to unleash private-sector growth. And we’re seeing results.”
The workers who get laid off one week in four then collect unemployment insurance from the state.
Such a deal!
This is what the government-business partnership is all about: sticking it to taxpayers good and hard.