On the eve of President Obama’s campaign trip today to Holland in Republican dominated western Michigan, the Department of Energy issued a report on the positive economic effects of the Administration’s spending on advanced batteries and vehicles.
The study “Recovery Act Investments: Transforming America’s Transportation Sector,” not surprisingly, claims to show how Recovery Act funds are creating new jobs.
U.S. unemployment at about 10% (reported, not actual) remains at levels not seen in at least four decades, as the Great Recession continues unabated. Michigan is particularly hard hit with a seasonally adjusted figure for June at 13.2% of its workers on the street. Critics maintain that the real number of people unemployed in Michigan is closer to 20%. Michigan has had the honor of producing the nation’s highest unemployment rate for four straight years now.
The Administration, of course, faces difficult mid-term elections because of a stalled economy, high unemployment, and soaring deficits, among other liabilities, real or imagined by increasingly hostile opponents. The sight Obama is speaking at won’t be operational for two years, and in the interim Korean-made battery cells will be imported for use in Chevy and Ford electric vehicles that taxpayers are helping to underwrite.
Obama will be saying that the construction of new plants, the addition of new manufacturing lines, as well as the installation of electric vehicle charging stations across the country are helping to build an emerging “domestic” electric vehicle industry from the ground up.
The Administration is spending your (borrowed) tax dollars on a broad portfolio of advanced vehicle technologies hoping that the monies, which, to be fair, are matched by private funds, will ultimately rebuild the “domestic” auto industry.
Obama will apparently claim that these investments are “driving down the costs associated with electric vehicles and expanding the domestic market.” A proposition that remains to be seen.