Submitted by NLPC Staff on Tue, 03/13/2012 - 08:37
NLPC Associate Fellow Fred N. Sauer asserts that General Electric is no longer a great industrial company, but is now dominated by its General Electric Capital Services (GECS) division. Contrary to the conventional wisdom of the financial media that GECS has been GE's strength in recent years, Sauer argues that GECS is dangerously reliant on short-term financing to support its own lending. The result is a company ultimately dependent on political influence to mitigate the risk, creating opportunities for the well connected, like Warren Buffett.
The recent lowering of lease costs for the Chevy Volt led me to think about the amount of money General Motors or Ally Financial (also taxpayer-owned) was going to lose when the quickly depreciating leased vehicles begin to be returned. I then recognized another egregious waste of taxpayer money being spent to support the struggling car. Taxpayers are paying the tax credits, which go to the lessor of the Volt (most likely Ally Financial), to place Volts on the road for a limited period of time.
These guys at Government Motors just continue to outdo themselves. Just as Chevy Volt owners are getting over being called idiots by the head of Audi, GM comes up with an ad that lends credence to the accusation. A supposed Volt owner tells how she loves her car because her friends think it looks like a spaceship and it saves a "crapload" of money.
Last week NLPC reported that an international law firm, whose employees provided significant campaign support for President Obama, was paid $1.8 million from the stimulus to review and conduct “due diligence” for the Department of Energy’s suspended loan to Fisker Automotive, an electric vehicle start-up company. Fisker sent 65 workers to the unemployment lines.
Debevoise and Plimpton, which employs top Obama bundler and fundraiser David Rivkin, wasn’t the only largely Democratic law firm to reap such rewards. At least four other major law practices also analyzed DOE’s loan programs and its grantees – three of which gave large sums of money to the campaigns of President Obama and fellow Democrats.
I hate to beat a dead Edsel, but the Chevy Volt story is just too important to let slip away. After last week's announcement by General Motors that it would be temporarily halting production of the Chevy Volt due to low demand, you would think that the evidence would finally be conclusive that the over-hyped, over-subsidized vehicle is a flop. The response by GM and lack of same from the Obama-loving media is worthy of continued criticism from those of us who have recognized that taxpayers have been bilked out of billions of dollars to produce a car that does practically nothing for the environment or foreign oil dependence while being unwanted by the 99% of consumers that can not afford, nor want the car. In fact, most 1 percenters don't want the car either.
It looks like there is plenty of inventory of Chevy Volts available for those aliens that seemed to be so impressed with the car on Super Bowl Sunday. Unfortunately for General Motors, earthlings do not seem as enamored with President Obama's favorite vehicle. Despite GM spending millions of dollars during the month to advertise the taxpayer subsidized Volt, only 1,023 sold in February.
There has been much written and said about the operating costs of the Chevy Volt. Proponents and critics have both been a bit deceptive on claims about just how much the Volt can save or cost you by mostly running on an electric charge before switching to gas. Snopes.com gives a fairly accurate picture of the true fuel savings in a recent analysis.
I discovered an interesting fact while reviewing the 2011 IRS form 8936 used for the $7500 EV tax credit. While under most circumstances it is the wealthy purchasers of Chevy Volts and other high priced plug-in vehicles that get the taxpayer-funded handout, it appears that General Motors' dealerships that sell the vehicles to government entities are benefiting by being able to claim the credits. These dealers are able to double-dip into the seemingly endless pool of taxpayer funds designated for cronies of the Obama Administration under the guise of green initiatives. Not only do taxpayers pay for Chevy Volts purchased by various government "units," the sellers can claim the credits which were designed to help individuals be able to afford the costly vehicles.
Last week, Greencarreports.com reported that crony corporation, General Electric, will be purchasing only Chevy Volts for employee use. The move will help General Motors proclaim that the Volt is a success (and help ensure that GE sells more charging stations) as thousands of orders for the vehicle hit the books, conveniently timed to coincide with the run up to the 2012 presidential election.
General Motors reported year end earnings figures today. The company made about $9 billion dollars in 2011. How much of its "fair share" is GM paying in taxes? Zero. In fact, from GM's financial report, they actually received a "benefit" of $110 million for the year. The UAW benefited as well, as they are set to receive $7,000 per worker in profit sharing bonuses.