Video: Obama stimulus flop paid workers for playing cards

posted at 1:21 pm on October 19, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Ten days ago, LG Chem subsidiary Compact Power began furloughing workers without ever having produced a single battery for Ford or GM electric vehicles.  So far, taxpayers have put $150 million into the Holland, Michigan operation via Barack Obama’s green-tech subsidy program without seeing any return at all on the investment; the only batteries that have been produced were built in South Korea.  So what has CP and LG Chem been doing for the last couple of years in the facility that taxpayer dollars built?  Mostly playing cards and reading magazines, as the NBC affiliate in Grand Rapids reports (via the Weekly Standard):

Workers at LG Chem, a $300 million lithium-ion battery plant heavily funded by taxpayers, tell Target 8 that they have so little work to do that they spend hours playing cards and board games, reading magazines or watching movies.

They say it’s been going on for months.

“There would be up to 40 of us that would just sit in there during the day,” said former LG Chem employee Nicole Merryman, who said she quit in May.

“We were given assignments to go outside and clean; if we weren’t cleaning outside, we were cleaning inside. If there was nothing for us to do, we would study in the cafeteria, or we would sit and play cards, sit and read magazines,” said Merryman. “It’s really sad that all these people are sitting there and doing nothing, and it’s basically on taxpayer money.”

Two current employees told Target 8 that the game-playing continues because, as much as they want to work, they still have nothing to do.

I’ve often written that government doesn’t pick winners and losers — they pick losers, because winners don’t need government intervention.  Investors will find winners and share in their success.  The reason LG Chem and Compact Power needed government subsidies is because private investors aren’t interested in sinking money into card-playing and magazine-reading facilities.

Let’s remind everyone what Obama said when he made an appearance at this plant over two years ago:

So for years, you’ve heard about manufacturing jobs disappearing overseas. You are leading the way and showing how manufacturing jobs are coming right back here to the United States of America.

For example, the workers at this plant, already slated to produce batteries for the new Chevy Volt, learned the other day that they’re also going to be supplying batteries for the new electric Ford Focus as soon as this operation gears up. And that means that by 2012, the batteries will be manufactured here in Holland, Michigan. So when you buy one of these vehicles, the battery could be stamped “made in America,” just like the car. …

The progress we’ve made so far is not nearly enough to do — undo the enormous damage that this recession caused. As I’ve said since the first day I took office, it’s going to take time to reverse the toll of the deepest downturn in a generation. And I won’t be satisfied as long as even one person who needs a job, and wants to work, can’t find one. But what I’m absolutely clear about, and what this plant will prove, is that we are headed in the right direction, and that the surest way out of the storms we’ve been in is to keep moving forward, and not go backwards.

There are some folks who want to go back, who think that we should return to the policies that helped to lead to this recession. Some of them made the political calculation that it’s better to obstruct than to lend a hand. They’ve said no to tax cuts; they’ve said no to small-business loans; they’ve said no to clean-energy projects.

So far, Obama’s doing a bang-up job of proving that saying “no” to “opportunities” like Solyndra, A123, Ener1, and Compact Power was the right policy all along.  Eliana Johnson has the video of Obama’s speech at NRO, so be sure to check that out, too.

Speaking of Obama, what about those “stimulus reports” that were supposed to demonstrate the brilliance of his economic strategy?  The Weekly Standard has an update on that, too:

 The $831,000,000,000 economic “stimulus” that President Obama spearheaded and signed into law requires his administration to release quarterly reports on its effects.  But “the most transparent administration in the history of our country” is now four reports behind schedule and has so far not released any reports whatsoever in 2012.  Its most recent quarterly report is for the quarter than ended on June 30, 2011. …

Section 1513 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the “stimulus”) explicitly states, “In consultation with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and the Secretary of the Treasury, the Chairperson of the Council of Economic Advisers shall submit quarterly reports to the Committees on Appropriations of the Senate and House of Representatives that detail the impact of programs funded through covered funds on employment, estimated economic growth, and other key economic indicators.”  (The head of the Council of Economic Advisors, currently Alan Krueger, is appointed by the president, confirmed by the Senate, and works within the Executive Office of the President.  He is the president’s chief economic adviser.)

Indeed, the old reports that the administration released begin, “As part of the unprecedented accountability and transparency provisions included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) was charged with providing to Congress quarterly reports on the effects of the Recovery Act on overall economic activity, and on employment in particular.”

Section 1513 of the ARRA further specifies, “The first report…shall be submitted not later than 45 days after the end of the first full quarter following the date of enactment of this Act….The last report required to be submitted…shall apply to the quarter in which the [Recovery Accountability and Transparency] Board terminates under section 1530.”  Section 1530 declares, “The Board shall terminate on September 30, 2013.”

Why has the White House broken its own law and refused to report on the stimulus package?  After watching the parade of failures it funded, can anyone truly wonder?

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Hey, you guys better stop mentioning this stuff or you might make him cry according to Bill Clinton.

DeathtotheSwiss on October 19, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Obama has dealt us a loosing hand.

Electrongod on October 19, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Hey, I’m posting on HotGas. Where’s my dolla’?

Paul-Cincy on October 19, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Barry’s stimulating workers at LG Chem to

spend hours playing cards and board games, reading magazines or watching movies.

Barry will be joining them with those heady activities after Nov 6th.

Slainte on October 19, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Why has the White House broken its own law and refused to report on the stimulus package?

This White House recognizes no law, not even their own.

Bitter Clinger on October 19, 2012 at 1:27 PM

Actually, playing cards and board games, reading magazines and watching movies has been Barry’s crack foreign policy strategy as well.

Slainte on October 19, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Actually, playing cards and board games, reading magazines and watching movies has been Barry’s crack foreign policy strategy as well.

Slainte on October 19, 2012 at 1:29 PM

“So, if I draw a face card, we’ll support the Arab Spring.”
/Barry

Bitter Clinger on October 19, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Why has the White House broken its own law and refused to report on the stimulus package? After watching the parade of failures it funded, can anyone truly wonder?

The reports are being filed. They are taking a slightly different route than originally thought…instead the Board submitting the reports to Congress, this requirement has been delegated to the Bankruptcy Courts.

BobMbx on October 19, 2012 at 1:33 PM

OT Obama’s word of the day

Romneysia

Boy is msdnc just tickled

Forget vision for 2nd term…..BASH. mitt

cmsinaz on October 19, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Obama stimulus flop paid workers for playing cards

Shovel Shuffle-ready jobs

ITguy on October 19, 2012 at 1:36 PM

This White House recognizes no law, not even their own.

Bitter Clinger on October 19, 2012 at 1:27 PM

Nope, just like they are ignoring the law that says employees must be given 90 days notice of layoffs because they don’t want the announcement of major layoffs in the defense industry coming just weeks before the election.

Jvette on October 19, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Whoops, time to double down on bad investments and make it all up on the kickbacks.

CitizenEgg on October 19, 2012 at 1:37 PM

People went to prison over ENRON. Anybody been locked up yet over these Obama green jobs scams?

/Rhetorical

Christien on October 19, 2012 at 1:38 PM

Probably the most shocking thing about this is that it is no longer shocking to see stories like this.

Red Cloud on October 19, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Laws??? Ha!

change is for suckers on October 19, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Ten days ago, LG Chem subsidiary Compact Power began furloughing workers without ever having produced a single battery for Ford or GM electric vehicles. So far, taxpayers have put $150 million into the Holland, Michigan operation via Barack Obama’s green-tech subsidy program without seeing any return at all on the investment

Utopia, thy name is Obamuh!

Forward, Comrades!

OhEssYouCowboys on October 19, 2012 at 1:41 PM

Probably the most shocking thing about this is that it is no longer shocking to see stories like this.

Red Cloud on October 19, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Isn’t that the truth. Our expectations of this administration are so low that we expect to see stories like this.

Bitter Clinger on October 19, 2012 at 1:42 PM

Welcome to Omerica

rjoco1 on October 19, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Welcome to Omerica

rjoco1 on October 19, 2012 at 1:44 PM

ObamaNation

ITguy on October 19, 2012 at 1:47 PM

OT Obama’s word of the day

Romneysia

Boy is msdnc just tickled

Forget vision for 2nd term…..BASH. mitt

cmsinaz on October 19, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Sorry, drive-bys. Nothing will ever top “Obamination”. And seriously, is this what his campaign has been reduced to? One-liners and binders?

Doughboy on October 19, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Look for the UNION LABEL.

FlaMurph on October 19, 2012 at 1:50 PM

Hey, you guys better stop mentioning this stuff or you might make him cry according to Bill Clinton.

DeathtotheSwiss on October 19, 2012 at 1:25 PM

.
And if its anyone who knows how to make GIRLS cry,
Its serial Adulterer, Bill Clinton.

So many wimens, so little time.

FlaMurph on October 19, 2012 at 1:52 PM

O’s speeches always reveal what a classless dolt he is.

J.H. on October 19, 2012 at 1:56 PM

May on Inauguration Day Mitt outline every key stat on the economy,comparing Jan 09 to Jan 13, to demonstrate truly what a mess he has inherited from this buffoon…and then conclude, unlike Obama, that he will stay true to his promises and get our house back in order WITH NO EXCUSES NOR BLAME…

hillsoftx on October 19, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Appears so doughboy

Pathetic

cmsinaz on October 19, 2012 at 2:10 PM

card games on stimulus tax payer dime

msm

nothing to see here, more along

hope the Grand Rapids news spreads this far and wide
we need Michigan

audiotom on October 19, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Probably the most shocking thing about this is that it is no longer shocking to see stories like this.

Red Cloud on October 19, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Yes.

dogsoldier on October 19, 2012 at 2:28 PM

In all seriousness, has any company Obama “invested” our tax money been even remotely successful?

And don’t cite me GM, which is headed toward bankruptcy again with the Volt.

Monkeytoe on October 19, 2012 at 2:36 PM

So far, taxpayers have put $150 million into the Holland, Michigan operation via Barack Obama’s green-tech subsidy program without seeing any return at all on the investment

Reminds me of the Ursus Tractor factory in communist Poland. They made lots of steering wheels but essentially no tractors. Their worker’s slogan “We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us.” We are much more civilized and solved both halves of this problem; we pay them and they do not even pretend to work.

KW64 on October 19, 2012 at 3:02 PM

That’s $637,472 per game of Yahtzee.

portlandon on October 19, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Where is “Sheriff Joe”? Wasn’t he supposed to look out for waste and fraud?

Bueller? Bueller?

GarandFan on October 19, 2012 at 3:44 PM

That’s $637,472 per game of Yahtzee.

portlandon on October 19, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Somewhere else I read that they played Monopoly. Makes sense, that’s usually all the education greedy union workers have in economics.

Community Chest: The federal government has awarded $7500 subsidies to all of your customers!

slickwillie2001 on October 19, 2012 at 3:50 PM