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Is Romney anti-Tesla?

In tonight's debate (10/22/23) Romney said the Government investing in Tesla, amongst a few other companies, is not a good way to create American jobs. Is he anti-Tesla? And should we worry about losing the EV tax credit for 2013 and beyond if he is elected? I am not trying to flame or campaign, just trying to get a clear understanding on what a Romney administration might mean to Tesla.

@Doug R

Maybe people choose to not divulge information because they embrace the fundamental principle that in an American democracy votes are private choices.

They may be consciously choosing to exercise their right to cast their vote in private.


Fair point. But in other threads, they did divulge their age, occupation, tax status, what cars they drive, how long they've been married, marital problems, and a variety of other private information. They are also not shy about offering political opinions on all manner of topics. Finally, many of them expressly stated that they do not favor either party or candidate, vote for the best ideas regardless of party, and similar perspectives. Perhaps they are all closet Democrats, but I don't think so.


Realistically, I don't think the early adopters of the Model S could be classified as anything but hard left as a group. There are obviously a few outliers, but I stand by my 99% estimate and I think people are kidding themselves if they claim otherwise at this point. Most people don't want to think of themselves as being on the fringe, but that doesn't mean they're not.

As time goes by and the general public gets a load of this car that will change, but we're way too early for that still.

I hope Tesla proves Romney, and other doubters, wrong.

But until Tesla does we will hear this blah blah.

Sorry to add to disproving your statistical estimate, but I am a republican Tesla supporter, reservation holder, and stock holder. (although I am an electrical engineer for a utility company which pretty much tells you how I got interested here)
(and another side note, I think both choices for president are just awful)

Contrary to what you asserted (and what one might assume), 99% of folks in this forum are NOT voting for Obama, or at least not admitting it. I started a thread on the topic, and was mildly surprised to find that a large portion of those who responded might be classified as "independents." (DouglasR)

The topic you are referring to is here:

EDIT: topic thread

Independents as far as I can tell vote republican but don't like the label.

To a different point, perhaps it's not US that are on the fringe, but everyone else. We might be right down the middle of American mainstream thought. American company, innovative, breathtaking style and perfromance, efficiency. Sounds like the all American story to me.

Me... I'm all for progress.

I tend to vote for those that appear to think through things and contemplate unintended consequences.

I like to see a candidate that says what they really think instead of what they think someone wants to hear.

Thoughful action trumps reaction in my book.

Both parties have inconsistent philosophies and some of their positions actually appear hypocritical. No party is immune.

You folks are missing Romney's point which he made last night.

He said (paraphrased) that government should not be investing in companies. Because, when government is the major financial investor, the "market" cannot compete with an unlimited bank account and therefore keeps out market competition and you end up with whatever the government picks as the winner.

So, like cars in the old USSR, you got what the government offered, like it or not....

What percentage of TM's total capital is attributable to the Federal loan? Just wondering how much the loan actually helped TM. I think it's clear that TM couldn't survive without it though. There may be a time element here (i.e. when did they get the loan and how badly they needed it).

It is not a bad thing for Tesla to have been mentioned in a national debate. I suspect the curious who have never heard of Tesla will look them up will be very impressed.


I thought I made it perfectly clear, but apparently not,
yes I am.
Oddly, in my family, the battle lines are clearly drawn.
No original thoughts or opinions,
both sides just regurgitate on demand, word for word,
as if by rote, memorized, exactly what they have been told
to say when confronted by someone from the "other side".
Neither side knows if anything they say is true or not,
but they continue to spew the drivel, exactly like they have been told, it is so predictable it's almost comical, (and somewhat sad)

"dahtye | October 23, 2012
What percentage of TM's total capital is attributable to the Federal loan? Just wondering how much the loan actually helped TM. I think it's clear that TM couldn't survive without it though."

Elon denies it; the loan was to accelerate new product development, including battery pack design, etc.

Note that the DoE requested TM agree to early pay-back if (as now expected) it reaches profitability sooner than originally assumed, and no longer needs the government funds (because it has access to the usual capital markets.) TM has, of course, readily agreed.

In case you haven't heard a politician speak before, this banter is all talk, and Romney is just trying to earn some votes and make the point that maybe venture capitalists should do some of the venture capital work and leave the taxpayers out of it. While I do support some investment in extremely expensive tech (SpaceX, NASA, military jets), I don't think we should throw pork money at every project and call it something its not. It's pork. Pork has traditionally benefited donors either directly by filling coffers or indirectly by buying votes. We (Anarchists, Repubs, Indeps, or Dems) can't afford taking 1 in 100 losses on every startup solar company and battery maker just to pad someone's wallet anymore or to buy votes. If you don't agree, it doesn't really matter as it is the simple truth that we can't afford these types of losses. While Tesla isn't truly a loss as its been lumped, there have been too many other pork projects that have been. Both parties have to stop.

For those worried about loosing the EV refund, Japan, Detroit, and Ford need the $7500 EV tax refund for their unsellable/undesireable EV/hybrid cars so I don't see that going away until it expires. The big car companies' people will see that the things that benefit them never go away just like the cigarette companies do. All the talk about loans won't affect the terms of loans already made by the Dept of Energy. The DOE loan to Tesla has been made and can't be undone at this point just because one man makes a talking point about it.

Neither Tesla nor its customers should be worried about refunds or loans. We should be worried about profitability and quality.


I got it. I assume most people did as well. It's disingenious. Romney was backing Konarka Technologies with state loans when he was governor.

He was just two miles down the road from Tesla taking photo ops in front of the shuttered Solyndra plant the week Konarka went bankrupt.

Romney's message doesn't have anyting to do with the technology, or even government investment. It's just an excuse to create an issue.

Solyndra is a sad case. They were making quite a bit of money back when they took the loan. The got Betamaxed a couple of years later. 4 American companies went under because of oversees "dumping" (selling product below cost to corner a market) by the Chineese, (supported by their government) that year.

The loss of Solyndra is not a photo op, or an opportunity to gloat. A lot of capital was lost, and a lot of good people lost jobs.


We CAN afford a 1 in 100 failure rate. Even a company as successful at maximizing shareholder profit as Bain had a 20 out of 100 failure rate averaged over the 350 companies it bought. I think the energy loan failure rate is only 8%.

Vegas works off of a 48% faiure rate. But it keeps the lights on, and the casino owners seem to be doing quite well (Trump is a statistical outlier).

As a friend of mine said about the stock market. You don't have to win every time. Try to win most of the time. You can never time the exact bottom, or the exact top.

Jbunn. You just made my argument stronger. Bain = private. Vegas = private. Trump = private. I love investors risking it. If I privately want to risk MY assets in something I believe will take off = private.
Not sure I want a "stable" government risking everyone's retirement funds (ss) and healthcare on pork projects like these. Again both parties are irresponsible in regards to this.

One more thing, doe loans don't fail at 8%. The actual number is unknown as most have not been paid back and the real number maybe between 8-100%. That's too wide a range to call that a safe haven for tax monies in private industry.


That kind of thinking is why we are 16 trillion in debt.

When you have politicians saying ...

Food stamps and unemployment are good for the economy...
Billions in "stimulus" that creates minimal jobs or just props up local governments who defrauded tax payers by handing out lavish pensions to fire / police and other unions in exchange for votes ...
More stimulus money spent that revealed it cost $1 Million to create a $50,000 temp job ....

Are you kidding me?


...4 American companies went under because of oversees "dumping" (selling product below cost to corner a market) by the Chineese, (supported by their government) that year.

The charge of 'dumping' is easy to make but impossible to substantiate. No one knows what someone else's costs are to make anything, so there's no way to know if they're selling below cost or not. As far as I know, no one has ever actually proven a case of alleged 'dumping'.

Furthermore, the theoretical practice of 'dumping' doesn't make a lot of sense. Think about it: you're going to sell a product for less than it costs you to make it, for long enough to drive your competitors out of business. Then, you'll raise your prices astronomically to make up for your huge losses up until that point and end up making a profit. That sounds like a great recipe for losing your rear-end, since there's no guarantee you'll actually put all your competition out of business in the first place, and there's also no guarantee anyone will buy your product at inflated prices afterward even if you do. That's particularly true of something like solar panels, which the world seems perfectly happy to live without at any price.

In my opinion, 'dumping' is a conspiracy theory that lets people blame others for the fact that many companies are unable to compete in the global marketplace.


I understood that you think you're not biased, it was a rhetorical question. No one is as unbiased as they think they are. For the record, I'm biased. I know it. I admit it. And only by recognizing that do I have any chance to overcome it. Ironically, those who are certain they lack bias can never make unbiased decisions.

When it comes to voting, there are factors at work beyond what one thinks is best for the country. For an interesting take on it, I recommend "The Myth of the Rational Voter" by Bryan Caplan.

Essentially his theory is that, since any individual vote has an astronomically small chance of actually influencing an election, people cast their vote so as to make themselves feel good rather than based on any rational process. I think he's right about that for the vast majority of voters.

Solydra didn't fail just because of "dumping". It got bypassed technologically, while it was resting on its projected laurels. And because of egregious management spendthrift habits. There are no excuses.

typo: Solyndra

I won't enter into the fray here with my political opinions, but will say it is absolutely the role of government to invest in the future, in particular, research that will lead to new industries.

Our nation started this trend with the investment in the telegraph (which ultimately helped Lincoln win the civil war) -- extended to the space program (which birthed entire industries) -- to the Internet (as others noted) and even GPS (a government program that runs a profit.)

How many more times must we see our future slip away? Whether its Ampex looking to commercialize home video recording or the birth of the EV industry, an investment in the future (R&D) means growth. Classic behavior (cut costs at all cost) leads to the morass of poorly aligned companies (witness HP today) with no means to compete in the future.

I remember when I was at Apple and heard Steve talk about how we were going to invest when the economy (and business) were down so that we would be primed to take advantage of the rebound. It worked brilliantly. Wall Street was not impressed, but who cares. The results speak for themselves.

Anyone that thinks investing in our future is "unamerican" or inappropriate is either severely misguided (or completely ignorant of our nation's history.) Sometimes you have to hold your breath underwater a bit to take a gamble on a payoff. This is what we are doing now as a nation. It's a gamble, but I'm bullish on this country's ability to win.

+1 Matt_D


Great way to get an open discussion going. Tell anyone who might possibly have other points of view that they're ignorant buffoons.

+ 1 Matt

By the way, one of us got on national radio today.

About 10:50 AM Pacific, a Tesla roadster owner and S reservation holder (Rob) was a caller into The Ed Schultz radio show, and got about 2 minuites of air time to set the record straight about Tesla.

Thanks Rob! Good points!

Now I would appreciate your looking into the President and his relationship with Bradley Manning. Gary Johnson is on the ballot, what do you have against him?

What's happening to Manning is an abuse. Unfortunatly whistle-blower protections have been weakeaned for private citizens as well. Holding someone indefinatley is no diffrent than punishment without trial. He's subject to military law, but if we have something on him, get it out, give the man his day in court, and get it delt with.

Regarding Gary Johnson, can you point to another country as an example of a libertarian society other than Somalia? I would suggest it's not a viable method of running a country.

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