Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Fisker’s folly costs Delaware more than tax dollars

Brian Selander responded to harsh criticism from DelawareGOP chairman John Sigler about the Fisker layoffs.  He cited Congressman Castle and President Bush as Republicans who joined the Democrats in their scheme to pick winners and losers with taxpayer dollars.  Perhaps Mr. Selander wasn’t paying attention last year but Delaware replaced Congressman Castle BECAUSE of support for plans like this, Cap and Trade and universal healthcare (which Castle voted against after spending more than a year campaigning in FAVOR of it).  Perhaps Mr. Selander has been too busy holding on to Governor Markell’s coat tails to see that a majority of Delaware Republicans have rejected the big government/massive spending by the Bush Administration.    The bottom line is that there are always going to be the Olympia Snowe’s and the Mike Castle’s of the world who will side with bad ideas.  Picking a handful of people who don’t see the forest through the trees is laughably short cited and unfortunate to come from someone in the Governor’s office.

The reality is that Fisker, like Blue Water Wind before it and Bloom Energy in the future is another in a string of government green energy busts that will in the end cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars.  Fisker was touted to be one of the biggest and best opportunities that will revive our state’s economy.  It was supposed to be a success story in the American Green Energy plan but it’s been plagued with a series of failures.  Now, 26 employees in Delaware (40 more in California) and a number of subcontractors are being let go.  This after Fisker fell behind its production schedule and poor sales results, after experiencing exploding battery problems similar to that of the Volt, after being “unable to find a suitable contract manufacturer in America” and moving operations to Finland “temporarily” and all this AFTER receiving a promise of $529 million from the Department of Elections ($193 million paid out thus far).  Even industry experts and alternative energy supporters are pointing to Fisker as an example of what NOT to sink money into.  WDELnews reports that Chelsea Sexton, an alternative fuel advocate, has beencritical of the Fisker “investment”:
"We have yet to see enough substance from Fisker at any point to justify the investments that have been made. So as frustrating as it is to see people lose their jobs, I also can't condone the DOE revising their loan, when they haven't met what they're supposed to do,"
The Blaze news service sums it up quite well:
So, let’s see if we got this straight:
  1. Fisker Automotive is given $193 million of a $529 million DOE loan to produce two lines of plug-in hybrid cars and, presumably, create jobs
  2. The company is unable to find a contract manufacturer in the United States, so it outsources manufacturing jobs to Finland (the company vehemently denies charges that it has used any part of the federal loan to fund manufacturing operations in Finland)
  3. The automaker falls behind its production schedule and experiences“delays” in its sales (i.e. poor sales), depleting its capital
  4. But to qualify for the rest of the $529 million loan guarantee, the company has to maintain a certain amount of capital
  5. Therefore, in order to meet this DOE benchmark, Fisker Automotive decides it will save money by laying off an “undisclosed number” of employees
Considering that this is yet another government-sponsored clean energy investment that has experienced layoffs, and contrary to what Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s says, Fisker Automotive hardly seems like “proof positive” that the White House’s efforts to create new jobs are working.
In the end, who is hurt by this?  The Delaware (and American) taxpayers for one as hundreds of millions of dollars are once again squandered on yet another massive government failure.  Also beaten about the head and neck are the Delaware UAW members whose jobs were snatched from them by the failures of Chrysler and GM.  They were promised new opportunities with Fisker and that has been snatched from them.  Delawareans who are already facing a crisis of confidence have also been hurt.  Who are they to trust?  Our government has failed them time and again by simply overstretching their role and reaching into the private market.  It’s time we stopped that and focused government on what it should be focused on, which is creating a climate that promotes business expansion in the private market, encourages competition and ensure that the market customers have unfettered access to the products they want need and desire. 

Governor Markell and DEDO head Alan Levin have shown that good intentions alone will not fix our economic problems.  I have no doubt that they want to see jobs back in Delaware but there can be no doubt that they’ve failed to deliver them.  Why?  Because instead of allowing the customers and the citizens to decide what businesses come to Delaware and thrive and what businesses leave, they’ve taken to picking the winners and losers themselves.  The results?…Blue Water Wind and Fisker.  It’s about time we sent a message that what we need is a new direction.

1 comment:

  1. Tell me the reason of why government has failed simply overstretching their role and reaching into the private market. Cashflow Problems