Sunday, November 1, 2009

President Obama Knows What's Best for the U. S.

That title, "President Obama Knows What's Best for the U. S."  is a joke.  Mr. Obama has no clue.  He needs a quick history lessson in capital, capital markets, free markets, capitalism, innovation, entrepreneurship, the creation of jobs and wealth and the danger of over- and misguided regulations on business: the only -- ONLY -- source of lasting jobs and wealth.  The liberal-controlled U. S. education system teaches little of it, thus depriving Obama of valued knowledge.  China gets it.  While completely free markets are better than partial ones, there is no such thing as a true "free market" especially in countries.  Smart regulations are preferred, not irrational, knee-jerk monstrosities such as the U. S.' Sarbanes-Oxley [The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (Pub.L. 107-204, 116 Stat. 745, enacted July 30, 2002)] which was borne from the Internet meltdown of 1999 and major illegal activities and bankruptcies of WorldCom and Enron, among others.  Unaffectionately known to those impacted as "SOX", it piles on meaningless paperwork, forces engagements of lawyers, accountants and consultants and costs publicly-traded companies if not the $1.4 trillion of one pretty ridiculous study, but certainly hundreds of millions of dollars annually.  History shows morality can't be regulated, and as evidence, five years after SOX passage and signing by Republican President George Bush, there comes a major recession based in part on accounting and valuation issues.  But the law remains.  China, on the other hand, maintains a strong hand on capital flows into its borders, including maximum amounts foreign investors, who must be qualified, can invest and strict holding periods to obviate rapid trading.  It has been mentioned, but, of course, not by legislators and bureaucrats, that America's short-term focus on corporations' quarterly earnings achievement versus expectations leads to many problems, including making investments and performing activities with short payoffs instead of long-term benefits.  But President Obama seems to get none of this.  He actively encourages investigations of and crippling regulations on companies and unionization.  Extortionist trial/tort lawyers also are given vast freedom (in exchange for huge campaign contributions to Democrats.)  Also please see my post, "NO-JOBS-OBAMA'S (NJO) INITIATIVES TO HURT BUSINESS AND FREE ENTERPRISE".

When a country has concentrated power in its central government -- as the U. S. has done, the possibility of curtailed freedoms is high.  Especially with respect to money.  When it is gathered into one spot -- such as Washington DC, for example -- cronyism can take over and the deserving can go without while relationships with those in power essentially take the money.  With a one-party president and Congress as we have now, those in power think they know best...or at least have the pursestrings.  And the opening of those afore-mentioned strings comes from those individuals licensed or otherwise known to be "lobbyists".  And what is so twisted about the following information from the Washington Times is that states' citizens send massive amounts of tax money to Washington DC and then those states and cities have to hire lobbyists to get the money back.  And convince those in power that they (the states and cities whose citizens earned those taxes) know what to do with them.  Huh?  Yup, that's the truth.

Jim McElhatton writes October 8 in the  Washington Times: "Hard-hit cities, states hire near-record lobbyists.

"Cities and states are spending near-record amounts to retain their expensive cadres of Washington lobbyists, even as the worst economic recession in a generation prompts layoffs, mounting deficits and falling property-tax revenues. States and localities are on track to spend a combined $83.1 million in taxpayer money this year on Washington lobbyists, the second straight recession year to top the previously unbroached $80 million barrier, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.
"For the first six months of 2009, the center reports, local governments spent almost $41.6 million on such lobbying.  During the first half of 2009, Miami-Dade County spent $410,000 on Washington lobbyists at the same time it confronted a reported $444 million deficit. The Florida county is just one of 73 localities, states or territories to spend $100,000 or more on lobbyists so far this year to push their agendas in Washington, according to data from the watchdog group."  By "push their agendas" is meant get their money back by convincing those who think they know what's best will let some go by taking more.  Or something like that.(Copyright 2009 The Washington Times)

Yesterday's post was entitled: Hitler had his Volkswagen, President Barack Obama will have his Karma.  Today it is: President Obama Knows What's Best for the United States of America.  Subtitled: success by who you know, who you pay.  Free enterprise will be gone under Barack Obama.  He must be emasculated (in a political sense) or our country is doomed.   His mad, power-driven desire to centrally-control our vast, complex, formerly-successful (but far from perfect) economy has turned where it always does with so-called government-managed industrial policy:  success isn't measured in the marketplace, no, far from it.  It is based on who you know (AL GORE), who you pay (DEMOCRATS), and what you believe ("PROGRESSIVISM").  The power has shifted from the marketplace to ONE MAN who by himself, with his czars and Congressional cronies, want to unilaterally make the decisions of to whom and where our taxpayer money goes and remake America, perhaps the world.  President Obama Knows What's Best for the United States of America.

Yesterday's post:  "Hitler had his Volkswagen, President Barack Obama will have his Karma.  Obama will use $528,000,000 of taxpayer money to finance a California-based start-up.  Fisker Automotive will get the money to engineer the "Karma" a $87,900 plug-in electric luxury sports car.  Now: 1) Why are start-ups financed by government? 2) It is deemed a "loan", how will a start-up pay the money back to U. S. Taxpayers?  3) The car will be manufactured in Finland.  (Will the United Autoworkers union have a subsidiary there?) 4) The very self-same U. S. taxpayer will be hit up to bribe themselves to buy the OKarma, "saving" the middle class $8,000 per OKarma with the government subsidies; 5) Where is the "empathy" for the millions who can't afford a $87,900 car?  What is this man thinking?  And how much did the early investors into Fisker, if any, contribute to the re-election campaigns of Democrats?" (End of post)

That was yesterday (September 24, 2009)  today is today (September 25, 2009) and here is the answer:



SEPTEMBER 25, 2009 Gore-Backed Car Firm Gets Large U.S. Loan
Printed in The Wall Street Journal, page B6

WASHINGTON -- A tiny car company backed by former Vice President Al Gore has just gotten a $529 million U.S. government loan to help build a hybrid sports car in Finland that will sell for about $89,000.

The award this week to California startup Fisker Automotive Inc. follows a $465 million government loan to Tesla Motors Inc., purveyors of a $109,000 British-built electric Roadster. Tesla, like Fisker, is a California startup focusing on high-end hybrids, with a number of celebrity endorsements that is backed by investors that have contributed to Democratic campaigns.

Fisker's Karma hybrid sports car, above, will initially cost about $89,000.

The awards to Fisker and Tesla have prompted concern from companies that have had their bids for loans rejected, and criticism from groups that question why vehicles aimed at the wealthiest customers are getting loans subsidized by taxpayers.

"This is not for average Americans," said Leslie Paige, a spokeswoman for Citizens Against Government Waste, an anti-tax group in Washington. "This is for people to put something in their driveway that is a conversation piece. It's status symbol thing."

DOE officials spent months working with Fisker on its application, touring its Irvine, Calif., and Pontiac, Mich., facilities and test-driving prototypes.

Matt Rogers, who oversees the department's loan programs as a senior adviser to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, said Fisker was awarded the loan after a "detailed technical review" that concluded the company could eventually deliver a highly fuel-efficient hybrid car to a mass audience. Fisker said most of its DOE loan will be used to finance U.S. production of a $40,000 family sedan that has yet to be designed.

"It's the ability to drive significant change in fuel economy across a large market segment" that swayed the department to approve the Fisker loan, Mr. Rogers said. "We got quite excited."

Henrik Fisker, who designed cars for BMW, Aston Martin and Tesla before starting his Fisker Automotive in 2007, said his goal is to build the first plug-in electric hybrids that won't sacrifice the luxury, performance and looks of traditional gas-powered luxury cars.

The Karma will target an exclusive audience -- Gore was one of the first to sign up for one. Mr. Fisker says all new technology starts out being expensive. He pointed to flat-screen televisions that once started at $25,000 but are now affordable to the mass market.

The four-door Karma, powered by a lithium-ion battery, will be able to run solely on electric power for 50 miles, and will achieve an average fuel economy of 100 mpg over the span of a year, the company says. Production is scheduled to start in December, with about 15,000 vehicles a year expected to hit the U.S. market starting next June.

Many of the 1,500 people who have made deposits on the Karma are former BMW and Mercedes owners who want an environmentally friendly car without sacrificing luxury, Mr. Fisker said.

He said he pitched the Karma to Mr. Gore at an event hosted by KPCB last year, and that the former vice president almost immediately submitted a down payment for the car.

Kalee Kreider, a spokeswoman for Mr. Gore, confirmed that the former vice president backs Fisker and purchased a Karma. "He believes that a global shift of the automobile fleet toward electric vehicles, accompanying a shift toward renewable-energy generation, represents an important part of a sensible strategy for solving the climate crisis," she said in a statement.

Fisker's top investors include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a veteran Silicon Valley venture-capital firm of which Gore is a partner. Employees of KPCB have donated more than $2.2 million to political campaigns, mostly for Democrats, including President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that tracks campaign contributions.

Officials at Kleiner Perkins didn't return requests for comment.

Asked whether Mr. Gore had any influence on Fisker's application, the DOE's Rogers said, "None at all."

"This is a very attractive, very across-party-lines kind of vehicle," Mr. Rogers said. "All of the detailed due diligence [was] done by independent review teams."

Other Fisker investors include Eco-Drive (Capital) Partners LLC, an investment consortium, and Qatar Investment Authority, a state-run investor based in Qatar.

Fisker's government loans will come from a $25 billion program established by Congress in 2007 to help auto makers invest in the technology to meet a new congressional mandate to improve fuel efficiency. In June, the DOE awarded the first $8 billion from the program to Ford Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co., and Tesla, which are all developing electric cars.

Some companies that have been turned down for loans from DOE say they did not get much feedback from the department about their applications. O. John Coletti, president of EcoMotors International of Troy, Mich., said his company applied for a $20 million loan from the agency last December, and last month got a one-page rejection letter from the loan program's director, Lachlan Seward. EcoMotors' lead investor is Vinod Khosla, himself a former Kleiner Perkins partner and a longtime campaign contributor to Republicans and Democrats alike.

"I don't have an issue with the winners … it's possible somebody has better ideas than us," Mr. Coletti said. At the same time, he said, "More feedback from DOE on a timely basis would be wonderful. When you're running a business you'd like to know whether you're going to be able to take advantage of this opportunity."

Mr. Coletti's company -- which makes diesel engines and is still waiting to hear from the Department on a separate loan application to help it build a manufacturing facility -- isn't without politically well-connected patrons, either. Its major investor is Vinod Khosla, himself a former Kleiner Perkins partner who has donated to campaigns.

Scott Redmond, CEO of XP Vehicles Inc., said he met with DOE officials twice in Washington after applying for a $40 million loan to develop a $15,000 to $25,000 hybrid, and that both times he was told his application looked good. Since receiving a rejection letter from DOE in August, Redmond said, he has been unable to get a full explanation as to why his request was turned down.

Mr. Rogers said he was not at liberty to discuss individual applications that had been turned down, but said the process has been handled fairly and objectively.
So two "small" -- $20 million and $40 million -- requests were turned down.  AL GORE got one-half a billion dollars.  What's wrong with this picture?  1) two companies for $60,000,000 have twice the chance of success than one company.  And with the $528,000,000 total doled out to AL GORE at $30,000,000 average 16 other companies could have been backed.  Political cronyism aside, looks like Obama just wants to shovel our money out.

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