Thank you, Al Gore:
WASHINGTON -- 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."
Sweet! Be a Democratic contributor and get to stick your hand in the taxpayer trough! So now my taxes (and yours, dear reader) are going to benefit some Finnish eco-car company because Al Gore has convinced enough lemmings that the global apocalypse is nigh. Arrrggh!
But this also highlights some of the folly of having government, through tax payer funds, attempt to pick winners and losers in a market. In this case it's electric cars. Invariably, taxpayer dollars are going to go where taxpayers probably would not have wanted it to end up--in the hands of foreign capitalists trying to make a buck on our dime.
I still can't get over Al Gore, though. That fat cat is sitting pretty. He probably rubs his Nobel every night before he goes to sleep.