Behold your future and your fate, America. China, a nation that holds 8 percent of all publicly held U.S. debt, just bought another pound (well, ounce) of our flesh.
Reuters reports that Wanxiang Group, China’s largest manufacturer of auto parts, submitted the winning bid in an auction for electric car battery maker A123 Systems Inc. A123, for those with short memories, received a $249 million taxpayer-funded grant from the U.S. Department of Energy in 2010. It was touted by the president and Energy Secretary Steven Chu as a step toward “securing the energy of the future.” The president also boasted that the “investment” would lead to thousands of new jobs. Two years later, A123 filed for bankruptcy.
Wanxiang’s bid, $279 million, topped a joint bid from Johnson Controls, Inc., of Milwaukee and Japan’s NEC Corporation. The sale did not include A123′s Michigan-based government business that works with the U.S. Defense Department. This wing of the company was instead sold to Navitas Systems for $2.25 million.
When A123 failed this past October, it became the 33th green-energy company to go belly-up after receiving a cash infusion from the government. The other 32 and the amounts squandered are as follows (h/t The Foundry):
Referencing the president’s profligate green-energy investments, then-candidate Mitt Romney said during the first presidential debate, “You don’t just pick winners and losers, you pick losers.”
The criticism was apt, but the American electorate chose to ignore it. They re-elected Obama, who has already pledged to do for other American industries what he has done for the auto industry. So far taxpayers are out $25 billion on the bailout of General Motors and Chrysler. How fast can one man impoverish the once-greatest nation on the planet? Stay tuned.