Obama Administration Still Stonewalling on Delphi Pension Scandal

The lack of transparency from the Obama Administration continues as leaders of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee continue to try and persuade the Treasury Department to hand over documents relating to the Administration’s involvement in the termination of non-union Delphi retirees’ pension benefits. Non-union Delphi retirees saw their benefits lost while unionized UAW retirees at the company had their benefits “topped off” and preserved with taxpayer dollars funneled through General Motors during the 2009 auto bailout process.

Evidence surfaced about a year ago that the Obama Administration played a role, once again, in choosing winners and losers by protecting friends in the UAW over less-favored groups when the Daily Caller unearthed emails pointing to Treasury’s involvement. The emails confirmed that the Treasury Department was the driving force behind the termination of non-union pension benefits. The evidence suggests that Treasury officials lied when they testified, under oath, that the … Read More ➡

‘Demand’ for Nissan Leaf is All Hype and Subsidies

Nissan Leaf photoReports have trickled out lately that, all of a sudden, demand is so great for the all-electric Leaf that Nissan’s production just can’t keep up.

“We’re going to be short on inventory all through the summer,” said Erik Gottfried, director of electric vehicle sales for Nissan, to Automotive News. “It will be late fall before we can produce enough to satisfy everybody.”

Then the appropriate question from taxpayers should be, “What did we pay $1.4 billion for you to do in Smyrna, Tennessee then?!?”

That’s how much stimulus-backed money went to the Japan-based automaker to design a factory outside Nashville to crank out up to 150,000 Leafs and 200,000 Leaf batteries per year. The plant began production late in 2012, and according to the Department of Energy, was to create 1,300 permanent “green” jobs, remove 11,000 gasoline-powered cars from the road annually, and lead to 51,000 … Read More ➡

Obama’s Ex-Car Czar Wants Taxpayer Bailout for Detroit

Rattner photoPresident Obama’s former head of the Auto Task Force, Steven Rattner, helped orchestrate the auto bailouts that saw billions of taxpayer dollars spent to save General Motors and Chrysler in a rigged bankruptcy proceeding favorable to political allies (i.e., the UAW). Rattner is now calling for taxpayers to come to the rescue of Detroit as the city struggles to restructure through a bankruptcy process without federal handouts.

Rattner penned an op-ed piece for the NY Times that trumpeted the success of the auto bailouts and called for similar action to save Detroit. Rattner likens the Detroit situation to Hurricane Sandy, and as such, deserving of taxpayer money. Perhaps Mr. Rattner should contribute his own money to help the noble folks of Detroit rather than continue to try and redistribute the wealth of others to those he deems worthy.

There were many contributing factors to the bankrupting of Detroit, all of … Read More ➡

GM’s Hypocritical Embrace of Free Enterprise

sushiThe US Chamber of Commerce’s “On the Road with Free Enterprise” tour has quietly entered its second month. The main story currently on the “Free Enterprise” website is a piece titled “First Ever Sushi Tech Combats Fish Fraud.” The fact that General Motors is hypocritically co-sponsoring a free enterprise tour might bring to mind the words fishy and fraud as well.

“Beneath the deep purple cuts of healthy tuna and the smell of fresh wasabi, there lies a sushi underbelly in America that will make your stomach turn,” reads the first line of the all-important “fish fraud” story. Likewise, GM’s anti-free enterprise bailout process exhibited an underbelly of political cronyism that turned the stomach of those (like GM bondholders and Delphi non-union retirees) who saw there rights subordinated to the politically-favored UAW.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines free enterprise as: “freedom of private business to organize and operate … Read More ➡

Shallow Analysis Deems DOE Electric Vehicle Loans a Success

A popular automotive Web site’s attempt to set the record straight on the degree of success and failure of the Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan program was well-intentioned, but missed the mark on several points and overall gave the initiative far too much credit.

Jalopnik.com contributor Patrick George was pointed in the right direction when he characterized DOE’s boastful Loan Program Office as “rosy,” but more accurate descriptors would be “excessive” and “unrealistic.” It’s clear his analysis was one of an automotive enthusiast and reviewer, rather than someone who regularly watchdogs government with a skeptic’s eye and knows how bureaucrats fudge and exaggerate numbers to claim credit for their politician bosses. As NLPC has reported often, DOE – before a taxpayer-backed bank check was ever issued to an electric automaker – has made absolutely unbelievable claims about jobs, fuel savings and carbon dioxide emission reductions that were … Read More ➡

Bailed-Out GM Sponsors Chamber of Commerce’s Free Enterprise Tour; NLPC Launches FauxEnterprise.com

Faux EnterpriseThe National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) announced today the launch of FauxEnterprise.com, a satirical mimic of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Free Enterprise website at www.freeenterprise.com/tour.

The Free Enterprise site chronicles the “Free Enterprise Tour,” which would be a welcome undertaking if not for the sponsorship of bailed-out General Motors. According to NLPC President Peter Flaherty, “I don’t know who looks worse, the Chamber for not appreciating that the GM sponsorship looks silly to many people, or GM for acting like it’s a competitive company operating in a real marketplace.”

Flaherty said, “The auto bailout was not about preserving free enterprise, or even saving jobs. It was about bolstering the political power of the United Auto Workers (UAW). Today’s GM is not a capitalist success story but instead is an example of state-directed crony capitalism.”

“There has been no GM comeback. The U.S. Treasury still owns a significant … Read More ➡

Party Time for Corporations Who Love the Regulatory Favoritism Game

Obama InvescoPresident Obama’s speech last week that re-emphasized his commitment to reduce US carbon dioxide emissions brought dismay to those who appreciate affordable energy, but it sparked a celebration among corporate types who have long sought caps and taxes on CO2.

While it was still more words from the president, which don’t always match his actions, on CO2 limitation he has largely kept his promise to environmentalists. Critics slammed his plan to bypass Congress and to task the Environmental Protection Agency to curb emissions via executive order, but EPA has operated out of bounds since he was inaugurated in 2009 – especially with the “war against coal” that is now universally accepted as true.

“What has us most encouraged by the president’s speech is he is lacing up his gloves and getting ready for that fight,” said Michael Brune, executive director for the Sierra Club, in an interview … Read More ➡

The Many Costs of Obama’s Electric Car Folly

Obama/Volt photoIt appears that there is no end in sight to the Obama Administration’s costly quest to electrify America’s auto fleet, despite the recent flurry of reports that continue to confirm that the benefits of electric vehicles (EVs) are practically nonexistent in comparison to the costs. One of these reports even came from Obama’s own NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) panel which downplayed the importance of EVs and claimed that electric cars will only need to account for between one and three percent of car manufacturer’s product portfolios by 2025 for lofty government EPA requirements to be met.

The Autoguide.com article on the NHTSA panel findings states, “Despite those findings, the government has willingly shoveled millions of dollars at manufacturers and consumers in a ploy to popularize electric cars.” I would whole-heartedly agree with that, except it has been “billions” of dollars shoveled, not “millions.” And money is not all … Read More ➡

Details Revealed of Fisker’s Waste and Mismanagement

As NLPC has covered Fisker Automotive’s catastrophic flop over the last few years since it was granted a $529-million taxpayer-guaranteed loan from the Department of Energy, one big question that repeatedly came up was: How could a company that produced only one electric car model burn through $1.4 billion in investment so quickly?

Reuters uncovered a number of reasons in a report published earlier this week. Citing documents and some sources, mostly anonymous, the news syndicate painted a disturbing picture of mismanagement, incompetence, disinformation, and squander. While businesses stumble and go out of business every day, Fisker’s case illustrates why government bureaucrats are only accidental successes as investors of public money at best, but often are horrific decision makers at worst.

“Fisker’s undoing had numerous causes,” Reuters reported. “Fundamentally, say suppliers and some insiders, executives simply couldn’t orchestrate the complex dance that leads from a design sketch to the … Read More ➡

Will Detroit Follow in GM’s Footsteps and Stiff Creditors?

GM building photoA recent Reuters article regarding the likelihood of a bankruptcy filing by the city of Detroit may come as a surprise to those who have heard nothing but positive spin on Motor City’s resurgence since General Motors and Chrysler emerged from their Obama-manipulated bankruptcies. Who can forget Clint Eastwood’s 2012 Super Bowl ad which gave a heartfelt tribute (paid for by Italian-owned Chrysler) trumpeting Detroit’s comeback? It seems like the outlook is now not so rosy for Detroit as its emergency manager Kevyn Orr puts the odds of a bankruptcy for the city at 50/50.

A proposal has been set forth by Orr to creditors offering them just pennies on the dollar reminiscent of GM’s low-ball offer to its bondholders which was made just prior to their bankruptcy filing. The GM offer was not made in good faith and never had a chance of succeeding. The parallel reality is that … Read More ➡

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