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The Fisker Fiasco


In 2009 Vice President Joe Biden joined Henrik Fisker for a televised announcement that the Department of Energy would loan Fisker Automotive, Inc. $529 million to manufacture a new, energy efficient, plug-in hybrid car. Biden told a Delaware audience that the federal loan to Fisker Automotive was seed money that would return “billions and billions and billions of dollars in good, new jobs” to the American consumer. Fisker was supposed to manufacture its new cars at a closed GM plant in Delaware, but to date not a single car has been manufactured in the United States.

After receiving the loan, and with Obama Administration approval, Fisker began manufacturing its $100,000 luxury hybrid in Finland. In an interview with ABC News Henrik Fisker justified his decision to manufacture his company’s cars in Finland by explaining that no American facility could handle the work and that, “If you just start doing like what Solyndra did, making a factory in a place where it was too expensive to manufacture … [you] obviously fail.”

The loan to Fisker was made as a part of the Obama Administration’s now-infamous Clean Energy Push. One of the major financial backers of Fisker Automotive is a venture capital firm controlled by billionaire Obama supporter, John Doerr — a firm that also touts former Vice President Al Gore as a board member.

Consumer Reports recently bought and tested the only car model produced by Fisker to date called the “Karma.” After noting that the price that they paid for the vehicle was $107,850, they also reported that the Karma is the only car that they have ever tested that broke down in their driveway during the setup to perform the road test (see video below).

At a price of more than $100,000, and with a very negative review from Consumer Reports, the taxpayer investment in this Finnish luxury hybrid appears to be yet another example of Obama’s expertise at throwing away our money on ill-conceived, ideologically-inspired business ventures that are doomed to failure.

Not only are these government loan programs wrong because they are being used to funnel taxpayer money to Democrat Party supporters, they are also destined to fail because they are funding projects for political rather business reasons. No successful businessman invests his money in a venture to “create jobs” or “support green energy.” His primary aim is to make a profit. Any venture that will turn a profit does not need government support, and the involvement of the government almost always guarantees failure because “job creation,” helping supporters or some other political purpose, always supersedes the need to make money. Although the taxpayers lose when these ventures fail, the wealthy recipients of this corporate welfare generally keep the money and move on to the next risk-free, government project.

Yet every recent Obama campaign speech rails against the “Republican idea” that the market should be allowed to operate without direct government involvement and control; and he tries to convince the ignorant and naive that free markets have been tried and don’t work. However, Obama’s argument is understandable if you realize that his interest in business is limited to using taxpayer money for ventures that are designed to pay-off his supporters and build his political power. Every tax dollar paid to Solyndra, Fisker, ACORN, the unions and other Democrat allies buys votes and campaign contributions with other people’s money.

Since much of Obama’s political base is dependent on government grants and assistance, the message that he plans to keep it coming is received by his supporters with enthusiasm, even if it destroys the economy in the process. Unfortunately, Greece has proved that once a people become dependent on handouts they will destroy the nation rather than give up the free ride.

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