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.

Slindell | October 25, 2012

Tam: research funding is different from venture capital investing. I have no problem with the Gov't doing long-range R&D, but the Gov't should not be funding individual companies/technology.

jaycweber | October 25, 2012


Romney mentioned Tesla in two debates. I think you are right that the second mention has been widely misconstrued. However in the first debate he went further and said that half of the government investment went to failed companies (a claim that has since be shown to be wildly false) and he did name Tesla as one of the "losers".

DouglasR | October 25, 2012

Did the government invest in Tesla? It invested in G.M. and AIG, but it never owned shares of Tesla. The government did not invest in Tesla any more than it invested in the homes that were financed through FHA or the businesses that got SBA loans.

Mel. | October 25, 2012

Carl, what a different outlook we would have if the debates were between Jill Stein and Gary Johnson.

roseland67 | October 25, 2012


I have my own liens/slants/biases etc,
and as usual, I will exercise my right to
"un-elect" everyone who is currently elected (-:

BenBoehme | October 25, 2012


You have a great point. Given Romney's business and investment background I would think he would have pretty good knowledge into the company, its management and the loan extended by the DOE.
The simplest explanation could be that he is misinformed but I think everyone informed will agree with me that Tesla is in no way a failure. Personally, I believe that Tesla has achieved true automotive greatness and will only continue to amaze us with its design and engineering brilliance.

jbunn | October 25, 2012

A simpler explanation - since he was at Solyndra just a mile or two down the road you really can't miss the factory... Perhaps he's playing to a particular demographic.

bob | October 25, 2012

Regarding Bradley Manning. He is an American Hero if he actually released the video of the journalists being murdered by the US military.
The real reason I support the Tesla and it's builders is quite simple. Our worldwide empire and it's military tentacles are in place to support our lust for oil. If we longer have to rely on foriegn sources then the justification for killing to maintain the flow is no longer justified. Our military adventures have destroyed this country's soul. Every Tesla, Volt and Focus EV is a nail in the coffin of the military industrial complex. I only hope our collective support of this gamechanging tech will have a positive effect of the body politic, and be the catalyst for elimination of the military security state. I hope this happens before it is too late for us.

jbunn | October 25, 2012

+1 Bob

Middle East oil accounts for less than 15% of our oil. But we actualy buy most of our imported oil from Latam and Canada, and ALL of it on the world market.

Even if we get completley off Middleast oil, and the world oil market goes up because of trouble somewhere or increaced demand, the price of our oil STILL goes up. Even if we produced 100% of our oil and the production cost was $100 a barrel, when the world market goes to $125, refiners here would be forced to pay $125, or the oil would be sold overseas (allowing for shipping costs).

I think it's funny when we talk about oil as being "our" strategic interest. We've claimed dibs on it. Apparently God put it underneath some other country by mistake.

mrspaghetti | October 26, 2012


So you're saying that the price of oil is affected by the world market. How is that different from the price of solar panels, wind turbines, food, cotton, beer or almost anything else?

jbunn | October 26, 2012

Solar panels for example are finished goods. Oil is a raw material. The value in a solar panel is also influenced by a number of other factors. Oil does fluctuate with world events, partuculary in the middle east because of shortages and futures speculation. Why? What are you thinking?

mrspaghetti | October 26, 2012


Finished goods are made from raw materials, thus everything is affected by world market events which influence prices.

Why? What are you thinking?

I'm still just wondering what your point is. You've stated a basic truth about supply and demand as if it's some great revelation about oil in particular.

Sudre_ | October 26, 2012

There is a huge difference between oil and any other raw material. Whenever anything happens in the gulf, middle east, or refinery anywhere in the world it seems the price at the pump goes up and rarely comes down to previous cost. When the entire coast of Japan is wiped out I didn't see solar panel prices go up much less go up and never come back down. Toyota lost thousands of Leaf's but the price didn't go thru the roof.

Oil goes up and down significantly on speculation alone.

jbunn | October 26, 2012

Sudre, very true.

Oil is traded as a commodity by people that will never posess, see, or store it and have no interest in being in the oil business. If we wanted to bring down the price of oil, we might want to look at tightning rules on speculation trading as a good place to start.

My point from a few posts earlier was even if the US was 100% oil independent on domestic production alone, we still won't be isolated from instability in the middle east. This suggests controling the supply will not solve the problem. So we need to change the demand side of the equation.

Mel. | October 26, 2012

Jbunn was standing up for the rule of law and against Obama torturing Americans..also the need for us to stop depending on oil.. I think we all agree with him, and one of the reasons we are buying an S.

Leafs and Toyota. Different thread

mrspaghetti | October 26, 2012


Look at the long term charts for silver and copper, for example, and you'll see at least as much volatility. Oil is hardly unique in that respect.


There's a reason speculation in oil, wheat and a host of other things came into existence. If you were to ban or restrict it, you might be unpleasantly surprised at the effects of doing so. Futures markets allow businesses to plan budgets, and allow the assumption of risk by those most able to deal with it. It's also known as hedging, and there would be much more volatility without it, not less.

mrspaghetti | October 26, 2012


Oh yeah, and I believe most solar panels are made in China, not Japan.

And the price of the Leaf didn't go up because no one even seems to be buying them even at pre-tsunami prices. So they couldn't very well have raised the price.

Supply and demand at work again.

Andrew18 | October 26, 2012

The leaf won't sell because it's hideous looking and Nissan's interest in advertising it effectively is limited. The same holds for GM's anemic advertising of the Volt, though I like the Volt.

jbunn | October 26, 2012

I'm not suggesting we ban speculation, but there are some ways you can decreace volitility through tightning the rules up a bit. But let's face it. A more likeley reason supeculation exists is because people can make money at it. If you're United Airlines, you might want to purchase futures for fuel for your business. But above I was very specific to mention there are players in the market that have no interst in the commodity per se.

These are all interesting, but I'm more focused on influencing the demand side of the supply and demand equation.

mrspaghetti | October 26, 2012


You presume to decide who "has an interest". Omit speculators who just want to "make money" (as if there's something wrong with that) and you remove many of those among whom risk can be distributed, defeating one of the principle reasons for the existence of the market.

It's pretty clear you don't understand how speculating works and you're just repeating sound bites from Charles Schumer. If I'm wrong, what rules would you tighten up, and how would such tightening decrease volatility?

I have and do trade futures and options, so using the jargon isn't enough to fool me.

jbunn | October 26, 2012

I dont know who Charles Schumer is. Nothing wrong with making money, but I think we might agree that one parties profit is the other parties cost, no?

Brian H | October 26, 2012

No. Fundamental leftist misunderstanding of commerce. Both parties get a price they like (for different reasons). You buy TM's car because it's way easier and cheaper than making it yourself. TM profits, because it put the work into designing and making and distributing it.

Whose loss?

mrspaghetti | October 26, 2012


Recommended: Basic Economics, Thomas Sowell

TheAustin | October 26, 2012

Sorry Ben, but you're way wrong...In the first debate, Romney specifically said that Obama picks "Losers" like Solyndra and Tesla.

jbunn | October 26, 2012


You're making a completley different point. I agree with you on this. In the case of Tesla, it ADDS VALUE through it's design and manufacturing.

I'm speaking about a different enterprise. Consider the random flucturations in the stock market. When it fluctuates up and down moment to moment, people are making and loseing money. No value is being added. We're doing nothing more beneficial than playing poker for money. The net amount of real wealth on the table and in the pockets of the players at any given time is constant, it's the distribution between players that is changing. It doesn't add value.


Thank you. I have had the pleasure to have some excellent professors of Economics at the undergrad and MBA levels. If I feel compelled to brush up, I'll seek that book out.

mrspaghetti | October 27, 2012


Your professors either weren't as good as you think, or else you slept through class. Your statement about the stock market is utterly wrong.

Mel. | October 27, 2012

Jbunn, your heart is in the right place, but your economics. Well. When the market goes up from say 1000 to 10000, that indicates that the pie has grown, and that everyone who had a piece of the pie is much better off. Now when the market fluctuates, it does not mean you have made or lost money.. You need to complete your transaction. In our case with Tesla , we would like to sell at a much higher price than we bought. Again all of us being winners

Getting Amped Again | October 27, 2012

This isn't intended to be a political statement, just suffer through the commercial and watch this. It's literally the funniest thing on the internet:

Just trying to lighten things up!

mrspaghetti | October 27, 2012

@Getting Amped Soon

That is pretty freaking funny!

jbunn | October 27, 2012

Hi Mel. Yes, thats exactly what I said is it not?

mrspaghetti | October 27, 2012


I don't think you know what you're saying. I think you have a fundamental confusion between the stock market, commodity futures markets and the free market. All distinct things.

It is unfortunate that some people apparently seem to think they cannot learn anything from anyone once they have attained a certain level of educational credentials. For the record, I have a Master's degree and sat through stock economics courses through the educational pipeline. None of them left me with a real understanding of economics. I read Sowell's book much later and learned a lot from it.

I know you have an MBA and everything (my eyes are averted), but maybe, just maybe it doesn't make you an expert on economics and everything else.

Mel. | October 27, 2012

Jbunn, maybe.. I think we all want the SEC to do their job. High frequency trading is out of control, and the machines that are doing the trading are killing all markets. The oil market stands out, because of its impact on the economy

Brian H | October 27, 2012

Moment to moment stock fluctuations can feel like poker, but there's more than zero-sum divvying of a fixed pot going on. The entire market is being valued and funded, as is each individual stock. Real world evaluation of performance and prospects is happening. In the case of a particular stock, the majority can be right or wrong about its future, and hence make or lose money.

The profit on a successful buy-sell cycle of a particular share does not come from someone else's pocket, exactly. You bought from A and sold to B. Likely none of you got the maximum possible trading yield, but none need have suffered a loss.

As for Sowell, read him for the perspective and the ideas. The mechanics of economic models are not the point and appeal of his writing. Brilliant man. Think of him as the polar opposite of Krugman. Another very interesting POV is John Tamny. He asserts, e.g., that trade is inherently balanced, and health of the currency (dollar) is key. He considers Bernanke a non-stop disaster in progress.

Tâm | October 27, 2012

It is not groovy to defend those who drag Tesla into the mud.

Naming Tesla as “losers” while defending the oil industry does not carry a benevolent intention.

Similarly, when National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) is suing Tesla for the right of franchising, then this cannot be defended as a benign act.

Tesla was able to open up a store in Colorado in 2009 before NADA realized early enough that Tesla would not be “losers” as broadcasted on TV lately, but the dealers association was able to get the bill passed as law to immediately ban Tesla from opening any more stores over there.

Tesla operates in a country that is regulated by laws. These laws are passed through a political process.

Thus, as a Tesla reservationist, it only makes sense for me to stay away from those obstructionists and those who take Tesla's name in vain.

Mel. | October 27, 2012

Tam , let's just hope when Romney gets in he can fix a lot of this.

Brant | October 28, 2012

Is Romney anti-Tesla? Yes.
The underlying mission of Elon/Tesla/Solar City is to replace ICE cars with electric cars and clean up the grid via the privet sector. Romney is a climate change denier beholden to the "drill baby drill" crowd. He has promised to continue subsidies to oil/gas companies and remove breaks/incentives for clean energy which he has called "imaginary". So to this effect, should he get elected, you would have a government with energy policies directly opposed to Teslas core mission.

Brian H | October 28, 2012

If TM's core mission is dependent on gov't favours, it is screwed. Elon has emphasized utility, quality, and operating economics from the beginning, and these will carry the day for TM.

Tâm | October 28, 2012

Wall Street, oils, nuclear, ICE.. got help from government and they are not screwed.

It is faulty to think that somehow, government is incompatible with business and big profits.

Tesla is screwed if it encounters a HOSTILE government. Tesla will grow faster if it operates in a NURTURING government.

Any side, who can pull a political leverage, can pass laws in their favor and against your interests.

Crushing EV1 while subsidizing $100,000 gas guzzler Hummer is another example of unfriendly government toward EV in the past.

No matter how great, how fast Tesla can make its cars, Colorado law banning further Tesla stores is a current hostile example that could jeopardize Tesla's progress.

I don't care for red or blue government, I just want a green government.

BYT | October 28, 2012

@Tam, I was about to post the exact same article!!

Mel. | October 28, 2012

If all these super large/blotted governments ( federal , state. And local). would quite picking on Tesla and Solar city they will prosper. It is this cronie capitalism tied into these BIG government types that support the status quo and want to stop young companies from competing.

Brian H | October 28, 2012

Remedial reading: "dependent on gov't favors".

Brant | October 28, 2012

I don't recall anyone suggesting Telsa is dependent on the government. I leave that misperceprion to the haters out there

Mel. | October 28, 2012

Are these haters connected to the evil doers?

mrspaghetti | October 28, 2012


I think they're affiliated with the guys in the black helicopters following around

Sudre_ | October 28, 2012

All companies are dependent on government. If the government makes their product illegal there is a problem. I sort of remember something called prohibition.... so yes Tesla is dependent on government just not the way Brant is thinking.

Government can pass laws making it difficult to sell your product.
Government can pass laws making your product undesirable. (how about all BEVs have to make loud beeping noises so the blind don't get hit)
Government can give funding to your competitors to encourage their product.

Government money comes in both forms.

Brant | October 28, 2012

Judge for yourself
Browse the web
They are not hard to find

Mel. | October 28, 2012

T.M , should we notify bob?

mrspaghetti | October 28, 2012

No, I'm sure he has his eye on them.

Brant | October 28, 2012

Snark is the best you have to offer
As usual

Mel. | October 28, 2012

Could bob have had a run in with the boojum?