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Joe Biden is in Michigan today, reportedly to announce the first round of $2B in battery grants.  (Source: The Weekly Standard)
Grants bring good news to state's troubled economy

Michigan is among the states that has been hit hardest by the recession.  The government went to extreme measures to keep the state's economy from collapsing, including assuming majority ownership of GM and propping up Chrysler through bankruptcy.  Now the federal government is preparing to reach deeper into its pockets to help the state out even more.

Vice President Joe Biden is in Michigan today at the NextEnergy Center in Detroit.  He is reportedly going to announce the first round of $2B USD in Department of Energy battery grants.  The grants should boost the state's economy and help develop better electric vehicles, currently favored as the future of the car industry by the domestic automakers.

The federal government is also separately loaning money to battery manufacturers under the $25 billion Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Incentive Program (ATVM).  Among the battery manufacturers that applied for that loan are A123 Systems, EnerDel, and Compact Power.  Thus far Ford, Nissan, and Tesla Motors received ATVM loans.  It is unknown who the grants will go to, but A123 Systems, EnerDel, and Compact Power seem like leading candidates.

Ed DeSeve, the president's special advisor on the stimulus program, had stated about on July 21, "I think you'll see over the next week or so ... some industrialization focus, for example, on the battery grants that are coming.  It makes sense to put those in places where there is productive working capacity -- people who can do the jobs. There are plants where the jobs can exist, and I think you are going to start to see more and more of that over time."

The ATVM loans must be repaid eventually by automakers and battery makers.  However, the DoE grants do not have to be repaid.  Michigan has also offered battery makers some big tax cuts in hopes of luring business into the state.

A limited amount of tickets to Mr. Biden's appearance have been offered to the public on a first-come-first-serve basis.

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RE: Michigan
By knutjb on 8/5/2009 5:47:44 PM , Rating: 2
If one were trying to stimulate how come only 70B has been spent and 122B is in progress to magically be spent just before the 2010 elections? This is no way to fix an economy. The severe recession of 1920 didn't last long, government did nothing and the market corrected itself. The crash of 29 lasted for a DECADE because government spent like fools on everything and accomplished little except suppressing the economy.

Government spending doesn't work no matter who implements it. When the government tries to soften the blow of an economic down turn it will last longer and limit growth in the long run. Preventing the economic pain is a major factor in the fall of the USSR.

The market does a pretty good job in picking winners and losers, not Congress or the President. This recession was caused through a cumulative effect of limited controls on mortgages over 30 years. Banks are better at determining borrowers ability to pay back loans than Congress.

As for spending and where it went:

RE: Michigan
By ClownPuncher on 8/5/2009 7:16:26 PM , Rating: 4
Actually the Great Depression had many factors working against the country and world economy.

One was the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, which was a form of protectionism, taxing the crap out of foreign goods which caused the world to tax our goods to death in response.

The Dust Bowl, soil erosion and farm collapses. Farmers couldn't even afford to eat the food they were barely able to grow.

Prohibition, cost the country $500 million a year or more just in tax revenue, not to mention jobs lost and Constitution/Bill of Rights being violated.

The problem with the New Deal was that in '37-'38, it created more goods than demand. This caused another, smaller economic downturn towards the end of that decade. Also, it grew the central government to never seen before sizes.

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls

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