Midday Roundup: Another green initiative bleeds taxpayers dry
Newsworthy | Leigh Jones
Money wasted. Another one of President Barack Obama’s “green” initiatives is dripping red. Fisker Automotive Inc., which received $193 million in taxpayer money to help it produce a fully electric vehicle, fired three-quarters of its workforce last week. The company only produced 2,500 vehicles, and now the government is trying to get some of its money back. The president set a goal of having 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015, a timetable driven by politics, not market realities. So far, Americans have purchased only about 87,000 electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. The president has approved $5 billion in loans, grants, and tax credits to support electric car manufacturers. The only model made by Fisker, based in Anaheim, Calif., came with a $103,000 price tag.
Almost ready. The eight senators working on a comprehensive immigration reform package say the legislation should be ready for a big reveal later this week. Members of the “Group of Eight” have said the bill will include a guest worker program and a pathway to citizenship for the country’s estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants. The measure also will call for expanded border security measures, something conservatives demanded. A bipartisan group in the House is working on its own version of the legislation. The two bills must be combined before they can be sent to the White House for President Barack Obama’s signature.
Political dynasty? Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton said today she might consider running for office if she weren’t satisfied with the people representing her. The NBC News correspondent, who also works for her father’s Clinton Global Initiative, has hinted at a possible political future before. But now that her mother’s one of the most talked about possible presidential hopefuls, people are wondering whether two Clintons could be on the ballot in 2016.
Stock slide. U.S. stock markets fell again this morning, following last week’s trend of decline. Economists blame the drop on the weak jobs and manufacturing reports. Some fear the economy is headed back into stagnation. Even so, the S&P 500 remains strong for the year, 9 percent higher than last year. “It’s still a bad-news, good-news market where modestly poor economic data keeps the Fed engaged,” Paul Nolte, managing director at Dearborn Partners in Chicago, told MarketWatch.
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