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Tax Dollars for New Toys for the Rich

Friday’s Wall Street Journal reports that a company backed by Al Gore has been selected to get a large loan from the U.S. government, specifically they write:

“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 is a California startup focusing on all-electric vehicles, with a number of celebrity endorsements that is backed by investors that have contributed to Democratic campaigns.

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."

Regarding the Gore connection, the Journal wrote:

“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.”

CAGW’s Leslie Paige’s comment that the cars are not being built for average Americans seems on the money and right out of taxpayers wallets.

UPDATE (9/28/09). Rick Moran comments at American Thinker:

". . . it's nice to know that our tax dollars are being used to fund new toys for the rich. They are going to want to buy these vehicles just to make themselves feel better after Obama raises taxes on them.
"And if these companies are so hot, what the hell do they need government money for? Has the investor class, entrepreneurial funds, and others in the private market lost their ability to see a sure thing and simply taken a pass? Or are these investments so risky that Obama and his energy department were too busy to hit Vegas and Reno so they decided to gamble the taxpayer's money on these politically motivated giveaways instead?
"And the printing presses are busy working overtime creating more worthless dollars for this?"


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