Is Romney anti-Tesla?

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.

mrspaghetti | 23. lokakuu 2012


Mitt & Obama know exactly what their advisors think is important for them to know. They are both probably equally ignorant about Tesla or any other specific company. We on this forum are obviously focused on it, but to them and most other people it's just another anonymous company.

And even if he did know about Ford, why would he say anything about that in a debate? There are millions of people who drive Fords and would notice a negative comment about it. There are hundreds who drive Teslas, and 99.9% of them are voting for Obama anyway. To everyone else, Tesla is just another vague "green" company.

s_curve | 23. lokakuu 2012

Not to worry Tesla fans. Give the good Governor a few days. He'll flip his current position on the matter. He seems to have perfected that.

roseland67 | 23. lokakuu 2012


The vast majority will believe what they are told to believe
depending on the "side" they are aligned with.
47% will press a blue button and 47% will press a red button, because they have been "told" to do so.
They will do no research whatsoever on why they should vote for the "other" side, they will only research reasons why they should vote against them, (exactly as they have been told all of their lives).
This leaves 6% of the voting public, (the 6% who do not obey, who do not believe what they are told), to elect the next president.

Hopefuly, we, (the 6%), are all Tesla fans.

mrspaghetti | 23. lokakuu 2012


Are you sure you're part of the 6%?

STEVEZ | 23. lokakuu 2012

Velo1 wrote: "SteveZ, come up to Evergreen, Bergen Pek area. How well does the regen braking work going down I-70 from Genessee Park: 6 miles almost straight down hill?"

Road trip! I haven't done that stretch yet in the S, but my guess is the battery will get happy and the projected range will trend toward infinity. Somewhere there's a thread devoted to screen shots of ridiculously high projected range numbers; it might be over on TMC.

Apologies to all for hijacking the thread...if this forum were driven by better software I'd take it offline.

Captain_Zap | 23. lokakuu 2012
Tiebreaker | 23. lokakuu 2012

@tesla.mrspaghet: That was a rhetorical question. :-) . . . Yeah, I know all that and agree...

DouglasR | 23. lokakuu 2012


You made a couple of comments about the politics of the people who drive Teslas. 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." Those favoring Obama probably outnumbered those favoring Romney, but a lot of people declined to endorse either. I find this interesting, because people on this forum are not typical of independent voters at large: they are much better informed. What they generally share is 1) an admiration of Tesla Motors and its cars, and, to a lesser extent 2) a concern for the environment.

weeandthewads | 23. lokakuu 2012

I was upset that Obama let the comments slide again. These comments come from a man with a car elevator but wouldn't have a clue what make of cars are in his garage. All he knows if it is bad for oil it is bad.

jbunn | 23. lokakuu 2012

Yes, but I think the discussion would have rat-holed on a point that people would not understood over a car that most people have not seen in the wild. We know because we've all seen the unicorn, but the debate needed to stay on task. Where we sit right now, is Tesla has not paid anything back on the loan at this point (which was expected), a few hundred S vehicles on the street,and Fisker doesn't look too promising.

Personaly, I wouldn't have extended a loan to Fisker, as it's just a hybrid, and not an efficient or affordable design. Hybrid technology has been around for a while, and we really didn't need the wheel reinvented. Long range pure EV and the skateboard chassis WAS a game changer and a "technology", not a company.

I find Romney to be a bit of a blowhard, and prone to peddle any soap he's got. If I had been undecided, I would not be by now though. I personaly find this assessment of Tesla offensive.

Captain_Zap | 23. lokakuu 2012

@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.

DouglasR | 23. lokakuu 2012


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.

mrspaghetti | 23. lokakuu 2012


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.

viao44 | 23. lokakuu 2012

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

But until Tesla does we will hear this blah blah.

zwjohnston7 | 23. lokakuu 2012

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)

Volker.Berlin | 23. lokakuu 2012

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:

Volker.Berlin | 23. lokakuu 2012

EDIT: topic thread

jbunn | 23. lokakuu 2012

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.

Captain_Zap | 23. lokakuu 2012

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.

Captain_Zap | 23. lokakuu 2012
Steve841 | 23. lokakuu 2012

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....

dahtye | 23. lokakuu 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. There may be a time element here (i.e. when did they get the loan and how badly they needed it).

MB3 | 23. lokakuu 2012

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.

roseland67 | 23. lokakuu 2012


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)

Brian H | 23. lokakuu 2012

"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.

walla2 | 23. lokakuu 2012

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.

jbunn | 23. lokakuu 2012


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.

jbunn | 23. lokakuu 2012


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.

walla2 | 23. lokakuu 2012

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.

Steve841 | 24. lokakuu 2012


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?

mrspaghetti | 24. lokakuu 2012


...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.

mrspaghetti | 24. lokakuu 2012


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.

Brian H | 24. lokakuu 2012

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.

Brian H | 24. lokakuu 2012

typo: Solyndra

NorCal Tesla Driver | 24. lokakuu 2012

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.

Captain_Zap | 24. lokakuu 2012

+1 Matt_D

mrspaghetti | 24. lokakuu 2012


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

jbunn | 24. lokakuu 2012

+ 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!

Mel. | 24. lokakuu 2012

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?

jbunn | 24. lokakuu 2012

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.

Carl Barlev | 24. lokakuu 2012

+1 Matt

Although I do agree to a point with tesla.mrspaghet...

Your ultimate and ideal goal should be to educate and convert the "ignorant ones" to your understanding (or at least reach a common understanding). They too have voting rights and although logic and reasoning applied to sound knowledge rarely gets through, it can do on occasion and every little bit helps.

But then having said that, I'm not particularly impressed with either of the two main candidates, so moot point really :)

Carl Barlev | 24. lokakuu 2012

+1 Mel

It's good to remember that there actually are more than two candidates (not that the others have a bat's chance in hell of getting in).

Personally I think Jill Stein (Green Party) has the best policies regarding energy, environment, reducing unemployment, building sustainable infrastructure, reducing government debt...

And most importantly, her face and smile paint the picture of a woman I know I can trust to say what she thinks and act as she says she will... a true rarity among politicians.

She was arrested trying to get into the presidential candidate debates to have her say... so much for democracy :)

PS - I donate to Bradley's defense fund most months and will continue to do so as long as I'm alive and he's still behind bars.

Mel. | 24. lokakuu 2012

Jbunn, you are on top of this. But please give me something that Gary did as governor, that Makes him ineligabe.

Mel. | 24. lokakuu 2012


Steve841 | 24. lokakuu 2012

This thread has to stop .. Now you people are sticking up for Bradley Manning? OMFG!

This moron leaks national secrets and you support him? This A hole needs to be publicly hung for treason.

Why don't all of you who support him put on facebook every dirty little thing you did or thought about doing and see how well it goes over?

This amount of ignorance is unbelievable.

Ever watch sausage being made? .... then tell us how tasty the end result is. Watch animals get slaughtered then enjoy your steak?

Unfortunately crap happens and has to happen on behalf of the Country's safety and security. If you don't like it LEAVE. Then you can complain.

Tiebreaker | 24. lokakuu 2012

Umm... time to go to the test - Ignore - Body thread.......

Mel. | 24. lokakuu 2012

Steven, so you are the decider! No more trials , torture American military personnel. Never let him see the light of day? What country are you from?

jbunn | 24. lokakuu 2012

Steven, I must agree with Mel. Did he leak national secrets? Did he commit treason? How do you know?

If he commited treason, fine. Take him to a court, review the evidence, follow any appeal process, then by all means hang him.

But right now we don't know that. In a free society, throw the facts out on the table and make a decision. What are we afraid of?

Mel, I don't think anything Gary did makes him INELEGIABLE. I over heard two guys talking in a bar. One said, how come we have a dozen girls to choose for Miss America, but only two choices for president? Well, that's what the primary system is for. This is more like the superbowl, or world series where we have two teams in the final match.

No reason we have two parties actualy. I voted for Anderson but we ended up with Reagan. My cousin voted for Perot but he got Clinton. Some folks voted for Nader, and we got Dubya. In my lifetime, we've never had a viable 3rd part candidate that did anything other than a be a spoiler. And the two parties like it that way, and they are running the debate schedule. Right now, we use money as a standard of campaign fitness. Raising money while essential to being a candidate, is not allways the qualities required for an office. Sadley, that's kinda what we are stuck with for now.

Tâm | 24. lokakuu 2012

Why all the Tesla bashing when the congress approved government loan guarantee of $8.3 billion for Southern Co. to turn a simple concept of boiling water into something so practically toxic and dangerous of a nuclear plant?

In addition, Department Of Energy (DOE) already spent $13.5 billion on the now defunct Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage facility.

DOE is now spending $12.2 billion so far to construct Hanford, Washington facility by 2022 to temporarily process excess radioactive waste and let the next generation to figure out what to do with it in 40-100 years.

The bill for nuclear waste clean up in the US is easily about 400 billion dollars over 75 years.

Nuclear is touted as cheap and environmentally friendly but ignoring the fact of the unsolvable problem of spending money, time, health and civilization in the hope of outlive nuclear waste.

Man-made Plutonium-239 has a 250,000-year half-life and that’s longer than Homo sapiens has been around. Uranium-238 with a 4.5 billion-year half-life and that’s the lifespan of Planet Earth.

There seems to be no amount of money to control the waste of nuclear plants and there seems to be no human time or even earth time to outlast its invisible but harmful radioactivity.

“Free market” lesson: private profits for the nuclear industry while the public pays for its private company’s loss and waste.

So, stop beating down on Tesla for the 06/2009 Bush’s DOE loan guarantee of $465 Million that could be repaid in a fraction of human life time!

BenBoehme | 25. lokakuu 2012

I think there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding Romney and his comments regarding Tesla. When I first heard him mention Tesla I too believed he was being negative about the company. However under closer examination I now understand what he was really trying to say. Investment in individual companies and securities is not in the best interest of the nation and absolutely does not fall within the rights or responsibilities of the government. He is not anti-Tesla.