Overseeing Failure

The failure of Fisker is indicative of the government’s inability to prop up whole sectors of the economy, said William Yeatman, an energy policy expert at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

“Industrial policy doesn’t work,” he said. “It never has and it never will.”

Yeatman said the government subsidized both the battery manufacturer and the car manufacturer in Fisker’s case, beyond subsidizing the car’s purchase with tax credits.

A business’ success after receiving help from the federal government does not justify the tax dollars invested in the company, Loris said.

The federal subsidies crowd out private investment in successful companies, he said, while the failing companies should not have received taxpayer support in the first place.

“It’s just kind of depressing that this much money was wasted,” Yeatman said.