October 11 2012

Another Taxpayer Dollar Supported Company Struggles

Emily Wismer

 

Yet another Administration funded clean energy is struggling to keep workers, despite receiving $150 million in taxpayer dollars.

Lack of demand for lithium-ion batteries means that workers at Compact Power, who provide batteries for the Chevy Volt, will be placed on rotating furlough and only allowed to work 3 weeks of the month.

The plant’s opening was attended by the President himself, and expected to produce 15,000 batteries per year and employ hundreds of clean energy workers. Instead, the facility has only hired 200 workers and is yet to produce a single battery. Upon the opening of the factory, President Obama told Compact Power they are leading manufacturing growth in America and that it is not a government program, but a way to unleash private sector growth.

However the program has received $150 million in taxpayer dollars, in addition to it’s parent company’s $50 million in property tax breaks and $2.5 million per year in business tax breaks.

How many examples of failure do we need before Americans give up on the idea of having government act as an investor in private companies? 

The President would do well to focus on promoting overall economy growth, instead of throwing taxpayers’ money into companies that too often prove to be bad bets. 

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