A Look Back at Michigan's Battery Subsidies

Mackinac Center policy analysts discuss A123

Watchdog.org took a look back at the hundreds of millions of dollars approved for the battery maker, A123 Systems. The Mackinac Center and Michigan Capitol Confidential covered the deals between the state and company for years, before the entity went bankrupt.

Policy Analyst Jarrett Skorup was quoted in the story:

“The general lesson for policy makers is that they make very poor venture capitalists because they’re not spending their own money,” said Skorup. “They’re spending other people’s money and those politicians weren’t putting their own stock portfolios into A123 Systems. They were putting taxpayer money into them.

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“And the lesson for taxpayers should be, when politicians are making these claims about job projections they should be extremely skeptical. In Michigan, almost none of those — we’ve done multiple studies, other news organizations have done multiple studies — reach the actual projections that they promise.”

A123 has been bought out by another group and is set to turn a profit in 2015 - without new state support.

In a separate Watchdog.org article, assistant director of fiscal policy James Hohman was quoted on A123 developments and the company's connection to Fisker, another company that received government subsidies and later declared bankruptcy.

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