This week, President Barack Obama visited the ZBB Energy battery factory in Wisconsin. The 30-employee company manufactures high-tech devices that stores renewable energy and ZBB Energy was also a benefactor of U.S. stimulus dollars.
“Companies like this are showing us how manufacturing can come back right here in the United States of America, right back here to Wisconsin,” Obama explained. “We've been fighting on all fronts - inch by inch, foot by foot, mile by mile - to get this country moving forward again, and going after every single job we can create right here in the United States of America.”
Many restless Americans couldn’t disagree more with the president on the job front as the unemployment rate hovers around 10 percent. The Wisconsin energy company hosted the Obama Energy Department in January when they invested $14 million in the business; the President was present to claim credit for every employee.
However the Wall Street Journal decided to do their homework and found a very different story than the one the Obama Administration was portraying. ZBB Energy went public in June of 2007, and for the past three years ZBB has been hemorrhaging money.
The firm lost $4.9 million in fiscal year 2008, $5.5 million in fiscal year 2009, and has a "cumulative deficit" of $44.1 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. They also admitted that its ability to continue was a growing concern and would be directly tied to an infusion of more cash.
Economists argue that in a free market economy, private investors would invest the money, and either reap the rewards or suffer the losses if ZBB Energy failed. Under President Obama's “new” capitalist economy, ZBB Energy wins while the taxpayer is left holding the bag.
Not one to let the fundamental money making practice to get in the way Obama has decided to move full steam ahead with the Cap and Trade energy push.
“There are folks in Washington right now who think we should abandon our efforts to support clean energy," Obama said.
"They've made the political calculation that it's better to stand on the sidelines than work as a team to help American businesses and American workers. And my answer to people who have been playing politics the past year and a half is, they should come to this plant. They should go to any of the dozen new battery factories, or the new electrical vehicle manufacturers, or the new wind turbine makers, or the solar plants that are popping up all over this country, and they should have to explain why they think these clean energy jobs are better off being made in Germany or China or Spain, instead of right here in the United States."
If that statement was true, these companies would be running cash surpluses and not in the red and wouldn’t require bailout after bailout like ZBB Energy’s $44.1 million deficit shows.
Moving forward it is clear President Obama will stick to his agenda a push for an unproven clean energy market.
"The worst mistake we could make is to go back to doing what we were doing that got us into the mess that we were in," Obama said. "We can't turn back."
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