Bad Karma: Obama admin kept funding Fisker while knowing it was failing

posted at 8:01 am on April 24, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Stop me if you’ve heard this before.  An administration walks into Congress and insists on billions of dollars to “invest” in green-tech startups, then loses its shirt on bad bets — even while knowing the bets were bad.  If that sounds like Solyndra, well, you’re right — but it’s also part of a pattern in which Barack Obama and the White House have treated taxpayer funds like Monopoly money.  CBS and the AP unveil the latest example of this pattern, Fisker Automotive, which continued to get millions in taxpayer funds even while failing to meet the conditions of its loan:

Newly obtained documents show the Obama administration was warned as early as 2010 that electric car maker Fisker Automotive Inc. was not meeting milestones set up for a half-billion dollar government loan, nearly a year before U.S. officials froze the loan after questions were raised about the company’s statements.

An Energy Department official said in a June 2010 email that Fisker’s bid to draw on the federal loan may be jeopardized for failure to meet goals established by the department.

Despite that warning, Fisker continued to receive money until June 2011, when the DOE halted further funding. The agency did so after Fisker presented new information that called into question whether key milestones — including the launch of the company’s signature, $100,000 Karma hybrid — had been achieved, according to a credit report prepared by the Energy Department.

Some may wonder what will happen to all of the American manufacturing jobs that the loans helped create.  On that score, we don’t need to worry … because all of that cash didn’t produce a single job anyway:

Vice President Joe Biden announced in late 2009 that Fisker would reopen a shuttered former General Motors factory in Wilmington, Del., to produce plug-in, electric hybrid vehicles. The plant was never completed and never produced any cars.

Now, some may also wonder whether we’re not seeing a replay of the Preston Tucker saga.  Tucker’s prescient design and skillful manufacturing built 50 of the most enduring post-WWII vehicles until a political fight ruined Tucker and his automobile company.  The Wall Street Journal gives a much different picture of the Fisker Karma:

Mr. Simon says his car broke down four times over the span of a few months. Each time, Fisker Automotive Inc. picked it up and sent it by trailer from his home in Omaha, Neb., to a dealer in Minneapolis.

The Karma was “so vulnerable to software errors, and the parts used were of such poor quality that eventually I insisted they take the car back and return my purchase price, which they did,” he says. “It’s a real shame, the car itself was beautiful.” …

Troubles with suppliers and regulatory requirements added months to the Karma’s release. Its engineers expressed concerns that the software that ran the Karma’s display screens and phone connections wasn’t ready, people familiar with the situation say. Still, the Karma went out to customers. The company said that its problems were expected of any new model. …

Fisker stopped production of the Karma at a factory in Finland in July 2012 in an attempt to negotiate a cost-saving contract. The following month, Fisker recalled its cars for a second time to fix a cooling system flaw that was linked to battery fires.

It hasn’t built a car since.

Once again, we see that “investing” only works when the investor is managing his own money, and not public funds.  How many millions of dollars have been lost because this administration couldn’t admit that it backed turkeys — and also admit that firms that can’t attract investors on its own are the worst possible bets in the first place? The biggest question that the White House should answer is the names of those who kept approving the cash disbursements to Fisker, Solyndra, and a host of others in its loser portfolio even after finding out that the companies were failing.


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Stop me if you’ve heard this before.

I haven’t
Continue on.
:)

Electrongod on April 24, 2013 at 8:02 AM

Once again, we see that “investing” only works when the investor is managing his own money, and not public funds.

Obama The Investor.

He is Awesome.
NOT

Electrongod on April 24, 2013 at 8:04 AM

Vice President Joe Biden announced in late 2009 that Fisker would reopen a shuttered former General Motors factory in Wilmington, Del., to produce plug-in, electric hybrid vehicles. The plant was never completed and never produced any cars.

Maybe they should have invested in firearm manufacturing.

Electrongod on April 24, 2013 at 8:05 AM

I can’t do this on my own HA..

Electrongod on April 24, 2013 at 8:06 AM

Loser picking losers.

Bitter Clinger on April 24, 2013 at 8:07 AM

The biggest question that the White House should answer is the names of those who kept approving the cash disbursements to Fisker, Solyndra, and a host of others in its loser portfolio even after finding out that the companies were failing.

Obama knows.
He dropped the names of Solyndra and even visited these places.
Well…

He should know.

Electrongod on April 24, 2013 at 8:08 AM

I think we all know that if Fisker just gets another 4 billion dollars they will be solvent a few months again.

Lets make it happen.

Gatsu on April 24, 2013 at 8:08 AM

Wow – a $171 million loss here, a $530 million loss on Solyndra…it would be nice to see these losses totaled up somewhere and a list compiled of wasted federal “green” loans.

jwehman on April 24, 2013 at 8:08 AM

Nice smiths tune to start the post

cmsinaz on April 24, 2013 at 8:11 AM

Wow – a $171 million loss here, a $530 million loss on Solyndra…it would be nice to see these losses totaled up somewhere and a list compiled of wasted federal “green” loans.

jwehman on April 24, 2013 at 8:08 AM

I’ll bet we’ve lost more on this “green” nonsense than we spent on the war in Iraq.

Bitter Clinger on April 24, 2013 at 8:13 AM

Yet another reason the Federal Govt has no business in business.
Why can’t I get a loan for my business from the Federal Govt so I can keep raising beef without struggling so hard?
My business is green. We grow grass.
Where’s my bailout?

Badger40 on April 24, 2013 at 8:13 AM

Did Fisker bundle money to the Obama campaign?

EnglishRogue on April 24, 2013 at 8:14 AM

No surprise here… Ambassadorship pending for someone in 5… 4… 3…

Khun Joe on April 24, 2013 at 8:15 AM

Nice factory, though.

Jabberwock on April 24, 2013 at 8:16 AM

They were only losing $500K on every car produced. In other words they were using the GM business model.

Happy Nomad on April 24, 2013 at 8:16 AM

I have a pic of a silver Karma on my phone and it is one gorgeous car in person. It was parked at an Applebees and while I was looking at it the owner came out; we chatted a bit and I asked him how he liked it, “It looks good but the maintenance…” and rolled his eyes.

I roared away in my ‘Stanger GT, old fashioned combustion engine burbling happily under the hood.

Bishop on April 24, 2013 at 8:17 AM

I say without sarcasm: Props to CBS for (what appears to be) unbiased reporting.

visions on April 24, 2013 at 8:18 AM

Did Fisker bundle money to the Obama campaign?

EnglishRogue on April 24, 2013 at 8:14 AM

Does Obama have rat ears? Of course they did. Why do you think they picked Biden’s home state for that factory that was never completed?

Happy Nomad on April 24, 2013 at 8:19 AM

Just throwing our money against the green wall and seeing what sticks.

Nothin’ yet, right?

ted c on April 24, 2013 at 8:20 AM

Bah! It’s only money!

What is really important is how the Republicans made this happen, and how many own stock in competitor companies that caused Fisker to fail. This couldn’t have happened without Republican sabotage, in a carefully crafted plan to harm Obama. I sure hope the Republicans don’t try to politicize this issue the way they did the Boston bombings.

/

Liam on April 24, 2013 at 8:20 AM

Why can’t I get a loan for my business from the Federal Govt

Badger40 on April 24, 2013 at 8:13 AM

Actually I just realized that if we wh0re ourselves out to FSA we probably could get some Federal wh0re $$.
And then the government workers would invade our ranch every year, several times a year counting our cows & telling us how to run things.
We have some ‘friends’ who should NOT be ranching & they are so wh0red up to FSA/Big Gov right now they can’t do anything without FSA approval.
Let me tell you THIS little story about the woman.
She’s a former Marine (I think they don’t like to claim her tho) & she came her from the East after 3 or 4 failed marriages (OK maybe I can’t talk). She isn’t divorced yet & she moves in with this guy (who’s the nephew of hubby’s HS best friend).
Now he’s in debt up to his freaking eyeballs. And he’s got hardly any pasture or hayground to feed his cows. You want to talk about PETA? Well they need to see this guy’s place. His cows are in HORRIBLE shape. It is HORRIBLE. I cannot stress how bad it is. But they aren’t yet starving to DEATH. Just starving. And he wonders WTH he’s got 25%+ death rates on his calves AND cows.
So this woman, who is only shacking up with him goes into the FSA office & she is approved for LOANS to buy cows. No ranch experience whatsoever. Doesn’t know a damned thing about it. And has no land, no collateral. NOTHING.
They give her $$ to buy 15 heifers. Heifer market’s high. She got them for around $1500 each. Maybe more.
A vet, neophyte rancher, & a woman? $$$$$$$$!
IT is seductive what the Fed does with these programs.
You the taxpayer are funding this operation that needs to fail.
How many other places is this $hit happening?

Badger40 on April 24, 2013 at 8:20 AM

The biggest question that the White House should answer is the names of those who kept approving the cash disbursements to Fisker, Solyndra, and a host of others in its loser portfolio even after finding out that the companies were failing.

.
If that’s the biggest question then the next question ought to be “Cui bono?” Campaign contributors, political supporters, bundlers, who were the investors and owners of these firms? Who received such lavish government support when the market said “No, not really…!”
.
Let’s answer that question, too.

ExpressoBold on April 24, 2013 at 8:20 AM

Why do you think they picked Biden’s home state for that factory that was never completed?

Happy Nomad on April 24, 2013 at 8:19 AM

Dirt and lead shot make for a firm building lot.

Electrongod on April 24, 2013 at 8:22 AM

I have a pic of a silver Karma on my phone and it is one gorgeous car in person.

Bishop on April 24, 2013 at 8:17 AM

$600K worth of gorgeous?

Happy Nomad on April 24, 2013 at 8:23 AM

I’m getting the impression this is just one more instance where the Agitator-in-Chief is pulling this crap just to keep everyone off kilter and majorly PO’d.

I know I get angry every time I read these things. Whaddyagonnado. Just adds one more log to the fire.

“I think he wants people to snap. I think Obama is challenging everybody’s sanity,” Limbaugh said on his show. “Obama [is] literally pushing people to snap, attacking the very sanity of the country.”

tru2tx on April 24, 2013 at 8:25 AM

Greatest theft scheme of tax dollars ever invented.Legal loans for green things all leftist love,build a few plastic models and the rest of the money disappears.Don Corleone is spinning in his grave.

docflash on April 24, 2013 at 8:27 AM

Wow, it’s almost like the regime of the Dear Liar wants to just waste money for no reason at all..

Galt2009 on April 24, 2013 at 8:27 AM

Let’s face it, that’s really easy to do when it’s someone elses money.

bflat879 on April 24, 2013 at 8:30 AM

The fisker-in-chief strikes again.

can_con on April 24, 2013 at 8:31 AM

Fisker stopped production of the Karma at a factory in Finland in July 2012

Why isn’t the regime being more patriotic about wasting our money here at home?

Galt2009 on April 24, 2013 at 8:31 AM

$600K worth of gorgeous?

Happy Nomad on April 24, 2013 at 8:23 AM

Hell no, I think my car is better looking and it didn’t cost $600k, but if someone wants to spend that kind of cabbage on a car then so be it.

Bishop on April 24, 2013 at 8:32 AM

Loser picking losers.

Bitter Clinger on April 24, 2013 at 8:07 AM

Repeated in 2008 and 2012…

hillsoftx on April 24, 2013 at 8:38 AM

On the other hand, it will be really cool to see the Fisker hit 88 mph and then vanish in a flash of light in the inevitable “Back to the Future” remake a few years from now…

jon1979 on April 24, 2013 at 8:39 AM

…but it’s also part of a pattern in which Barack Obama and the White House have treated taxpayer funds like Monopoly money.

That’s an insult to players of Monopoly. After all, when one busts out in Monopoly, one has lost. Teh SCOAMT just keeps on going.

Steve Eggleston on April 24, 2013 at 8:40 AM

On the other hand, it will be really cool to see the Fisker hit 88 mph and then vanish in a flash of light in the inevitable “Back to the Future” remake a few years from now…

jon1979 on April 24, 2013 at 8:39 AM

Nah; the Libyans Iranians North Koreans white South Africans will be the ones dared to hit 90 in the Fisker.

Steve Eggleston on April 24, 2013 at 8:41 AM

Hell no, I think my car is better looking and it didn’t cost $600k, but if someone wants to spend that kind of cabbage on a car then so be it.

Bishop on April 24, 2013 at 8:32 AM

Only if it’s their cabbage and not mine.

Steve Eggleston on April 24, 2013 at 8:41 AM

How many billions of dollars have been lost because this administration couldn’t admit that it backed turkeys

fify

Mr. Bingley on April 24, 2013 at 8:42 AM

Remember: It’s Romney with dual JD and MBA degrees at Harvard, who built several companies through Bain Capital, who is the business moron.

Ben Hur on April 24, 2013 at 8:42 AM

The fisker-in-chief strikes again.

can_con on April 24, 2013 at 8:31 AM

It’s early, but Comment of the Day™

Steve Eggleston on April 24, 2013 at 8:43 AM

Hell no, I think my car is better looking and it didn’t cost $600k, but if someone wants to spend that kind of cabbage on a car then so be it.

Bishop on April 24, 2013 at 8:32 AM

Well, the owner didn’t spend 600K, We The People spent that with our own hard-earned income that the Fed wasted giving to Fisker so *they* could waste it making a car that the owner only spent 100K to possess.

jwehman on April 24, 2013 at 8:43 AM

I can’t do this on my own HA..

Electrongod on April 24, 2013 at 8:06 AM

Sorry about the lateness – I was indisposed.

Steve Eggleston on April 24, 2013 at 8:44 AM

It’s early, but Comment of the Day™
Steve Eggleston on April 24, 2013 at 8:43 AM

Why thank you kind sir. Say it three times quickly for the full effect!

can_con on April 24, 2013 at 8:48 AM

This is just another story that will be ignored by the LSM and an indifferent population. I don’t know at what point the Obama lovers will say they have had enough, but I hit my saturation point with the joker-in-chief a long time ago. I hate saying it, but I have given up on my country and half of my fellow citizens. Then again, liberals aren’t my fellows. They’re the enemy.

Drudge linked the other day to a mass sickness now permeating America: Rampant depression. The only surprise to me is the scope of it.

I never thought that what destroyed the United States would be half of its own people, and they would do it by sheer stupidity, blind eyes, deaf ears, and abject indifference.

Liam on April 24, 2013 at 8:52 AM

Wait a minute. Has there been one single ‘green investment’ by the Obama administration that has not been a deep, dark, rat hole? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

BetseyRoss on April 24, 2013 at 8:52 AM

Badger40 on April 24, 2013 at 8:20 AM

Know the type. Unfortunate, sounds like she won’t last long regardless. Ticks me off too that the govt is subsidizing a competitor while my family uses its own money and credit lines to buy new stock.

You know, I bet if we get rid of these green boondoggles we wouldn’t have flight delays. Well, of course that is wrong on my part. FLight delays are our punishment for having the nerve to not give Obama everything he wants. How petulant of us, his humble subjects.

Zomcon JEM on April 24, 2013 at 9:01 AM

Come on — how do you expect him to bankrupt the nation if he can’t blow huge wads of cash on loser companies?

The Rogue Tomato on April 24, 2013 at 9:04 AM

These guys couldn’t hit a winner in a wh0rehouse.

RovesChins on April 24, 2013 at 9:05 AM

After all, when one busts out in Monopoly, one has lost.

Steve Eggleston on April 24, 2013 at 8:40 AM

That’s why it is always important to volunteer to be banker. ;0

Happy Nomad on April 24, 2013 at 9:12 AM

Tucker’s prescient design and skillful manufacturing built 50 of the most enduring post-WWII vehicles

Ed, “most enduring”? Or did you mean “endearing”?

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on April 24, 2013 at 9:13 AM

“It’s a real shame, the car itself was beautiful.”

Sounds like a libtard swooning over Obama.

fogw on April 24, 2013 at 9:17 AM

Triage needed, we’re bleeding out. The FAA has $454,000,000 to hand out to green communities, THE FAA, but have to cut back on controllers due to the sequester. Dear leader is doubling down and beating the drum even louder.

Kissmygrits on April 24, 2013 at 9:23 AM

We can only hope that one day, when Obama has left office, he uses the same judgment with his own personal investment portfolio. That would be…Karma!

moo on April 24, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Badger40, I’ve questioned my sanity sometimes in avoiding FSA loans myself. But I shudder at the thought of them coming out to look us over all the time and telling us how to run things. It’s only my hobby (albeit a big one) after all. I suppose I shouldn’t say that in case the IRS is looking…so,correction, it’s only my 2nd business…

moo on April 24, 2013 at 10:03 AM

Tucker’s prescient design and skillful manufacturing built 50 of the most enduring post-WWII vehicles

Ed, “most enduring”? Or did you mean “endearing”?

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on April 24, 2013 at 9:13 AM

Both, but especially the enduring part. Of 51 original Tucker 48s built, 47 are still around;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1948_Tucker_Sedan

The only casualties were two that were wrecked, one used in destruction tests, and a fourth that was beaten to death with sledgehammers for a publicity stunt (not by Pres Tucker, I might add).

Not bad for what was fundamentally an experimental vehicle. Personally, I’d have probably been more interested in the Back to the Future movies if Doc’s car had been a Tucker instead of a DeLorean.

cheers

eon

eon on April 24, 2013 at 10:05 AM

Once upon a time, racketeering was considered a criminal activity and prosecuted.

Under Obama…not so much.

coldwarrior on April 24, 2013 at 10:15 AM

The biggest question that the White House should answer is the names of those who kept approving the cash disbursements to Fisker, Solyndra, and a host of others in its loser portfolio even after finding out that the companies were failing.

Actually, those idiots should be identified and then presented with a bill from the US Taxpayer.

And just how much of that money was returned to the Democratic Party in the form of ‘political donations’?

GarandFan on April 24, 2013 at 10:17 AM

Nobody cares. Here’s the most popular story at cbsnews.com:

Dwayne Johnson recovers after hernia surgery

This Fisker story isn’t even in the top 5.

We live in a nation of absolute fools.

Common Sense Floridian on April 24, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Obama’s plan is to spend all of the money that he can in order to hasten the downfall and destruction of America’s economic system and our democratic government.
He has consistently thrown billions away, and will continue to do so. Nothing has to show a profit. Nothing has to operate. The goal is to get rid of all of our assets, by any means possible.
When will Americans wake up and see this?

maryo on April 24, 2013 at 10:54 AM

So, Fisker was failing to meet its goals in June 2010, continued to receive money in June 2011, and stopped production in July 2012–all of these dates long before the November 2012 election, and neither CBS nor the AP nor anyone else in the MSM said peep one about it, which might have cost the Investor-in-Chief his job.

NOW the great uninformed masses find out about this, and may be wondering “we shoulda voted for Romney”, but we’re stuck with the Spender-in-Chief till 2016, and no way of stopping him…

Steve Z on April 24, 2013 at 11:05 AM

On the other hand, it will be really cool to see the Fisker hit 88 mph and then vanish in a flash of light in the inevitable “Back to the Future” remake a few years from now…

jon1979 on April 24, 2013 at 8:39 AM

The fuel requirements will be 1.21 Gigabucks.

trigon on April 24, 2013 at 11:24 AM

Repeated in 2008 and 2012…

hillsoftx on April 24, 2013 at 8:38 AM

Silence of the lambs.

Decision making is a fascinating science and the best part of a MBA program although they manage to toss pieces of it all over the curriculum and leave the students trained to become dumb bureaucrats.

Anyway, after the fact analysis of this administration’s decisions supports tow facts:

“US president’s get into really arcane decisions and then deep trouble with crusades.”

“A president with a carping media can be diminished for stupid reasons while one lacking critics will diminish himself and eventually his media.”

Don’t even think of comparing the 2008 bailouts with this electric car and climate change program. We actually got jobs preserved and stuff that sells with that.

IlikedAUH2O on April 24, 2013 at 11:26 AM

NOW the great uninformed masses find out about this, and may be wondering “we shoulda voted for Romney”, but we’re stuck with the Spender-in-Chief till 2016, and no way of stopping him…

Steve Z on April 24, 2013 at 11:05 AM

The climate change and electric fiasco was sitting there for all to see in the middle of 2012.

Mitt could have asked: “Y’all want jobs?” Instead we had demonized Mitt knocking disrespecting the 47% and respecting his abuser.

Not too smart.

IlikedAUH2O on April 24, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Burning Money = Green Energy = Obama’s Green Economy ≤ Zero

RalphyBoy on April 24, 2013 at 11:36 AM

They want to believe..

The charlatans keep rumors flying about technical breakthroughs and our poor POTUS is not the only target.

The stock price of Tesla was recently jacked up before a report from management with news of super fast charging. And hard nosed, super slick, throat cutting guys on Wall Street were just as excited as teeny boppers over the prospect. I talked to some as the pre market share price was up 15%! Well, a thread said that, anyway. It did go up.

I don’t even bother to track the garbage tech stock prices since they depresses me like the body counts from the wars.

Meantime, back at the unemployment and foreclosed property figures in flyover country which the media ignores…

IlikedAUH2O on April 24, 2013 at 11:40 AM

How ra-a-acist of me to note the black cloud hanging over the Karmic Fisker. That black cloud has hung over every single cotton-picking investment that the rat-eared puke ever made.

It doesn’t matter to Oboobi, he’s going to keep on investing because he can, not that he has any skills or insight.

Thanks to Doc Morgan (98 KZEW) from back in the glory FM days

No time to stop, keep on movin’
Whole world is to see
No time to think of things that I am missing
Wherever I go
Black cloud’s following me

Each and every town
From father’s last relations
Doing what I can just to eat
Never ‘wanna settle down
I ain’t got the patience
Wherever I go
Black cloud’s following me

I’m a citizen of nowhere
The sky’s above my head
I wonder where the grass grows

Looking through the sunshine
‘Til my judgement day, my judgement day

Wherever I go
Black cloud’s following me, yeah
Oh, it’s following me around
Don’t leave me be

No time to think of the things that I am missin’
I’ve got to keep on movin’ along, eh
You know I can’t settle down, righty babe
Don’t come, come to me

No time to stop, keep on movin’
Whole world is to see
No time to think
The thing that I am missing
Wherever I go
The black cloud’s following me

I’m a citizen of nowhere
The sky’s above my head
I wonder where the grass grows

Looking through the sunshine
‘Til my judgement day, my judgement day

Wherever I go
Black cloud’s following me
You know it’s following, following, following me
Never let me go

Keep on moving

We have got to make it
We are going to take it, yeah

We are going to take it
I am not ‘gonna make it

Never talk to a rich man, yeah

AH_C on April 24, 2013 at 12:19 PM

Know the type. Unfortunate, sounds like she won’t last long regardless. Ticks me off too that the govt is subsidizing a competitor while my family uses its own money and credit lines to buy new stock.

Zomcon JEM on April 24, 2013 at 9:01 AM

They subsidize the living hell out of corporate agriculture businesses as well.
Now here in ND it’s state law a corporation cannot run & own an Ag biz. Same for pharmacies as well.
But all this subsidizing does is make the big farmers get bigger & the small fry gets smaller & goes out of business.
The subsidizing of crops actually sets the price of pastureland for ranchers. So even tho we won’t play their game, we are affected by it.

I’ve questioned my sanity sometimes in avoiding FSA loans myself. But I shudder at the thought of them coming out to look us over all the time and telling us how to run things. It’s only my hobby (albeit a big one) after all. I suppose I shouldn’t say that in case the IRS is looking…so,correction, it’s only my 2nd business…
moo on April 24, 2013 at 10:03 AM

Well it’s our 1st business. And to compensate, we’ve also had to start a one man trucking operation. Plus I teach.
All to try & compete & stay in business bcs it is more than that. It is a lifestyle we love.

Badger40 on April 24, 2013 at 6:27 PM