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A123 Systems Fails Costing Taxpayers $249 Million

Posted by Steve Markowitz on October 16, 2012

Forbes reported today on the bankruptcy filing by A123 Systems of Waltham, Massachusetts.  Not only will this company’s failure hurt employees and suppliers, but it will also take US taxpayers to the cleaners once more.  A123 Systems is another green energy company backed by the Obama Administration that has failed.  The US Department of Energy gave a $249 million grant to this producer of lithium-ion batteries for electric cars.  This huge loss is now added to the nearly half billion loss that taxpayers took on the Obama Administration’s bad bet on Solyndra.

Making matters worse, Bloomberg reported that A123 Systems was attempting to sell a significant stake in the company to a Chinese auto parts manufacturer in exchange for a capital infusion.  With the bankruptcy, the Chinese can now by this US taxpayer-funded technology for pennies on the dollar.

President Obama and his Leftist compatriots have the naïve belief that they can dictate the needs of markets and technological realities through sheer will, even though they have little experience in either area.  It is therefore not surprising that they have invested in failed enterprises and ideas and have squandered taxpayer money.  That naivety was apparent in 2010 when President Obama made the following claims concerning the Administration’s decision to invest in the now failed A123 Systems:

This is about the birth of an entire new industry in America – an industry that’s going to be central to the next generation of cars.  When folks lift up their hoods on the cars of the future, I want them to see engines and batteries that are stamped: Made in America.”

Crony-capitalism and bad economics and science will be the legacy of the Obama


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