Today, President Barack Obama announced that the federal government will be providing $2.4 billion in federal grants to boost domestic production of electric cars.

electric car

Made in the U.S.A.?

The stimulus money for electric cars will not come from newly allocated funds. The money will come from the nearly $800-billion economic stimulus bill the government passed earlier this year. A good chunk of that money had been set aside for green industry and clean energy. The $2.4 billion for electric cars will come out of that vague allocation, which just now is being clarified.

Electric cars are a big part of Obama’s push to get the auto industry going again. He seems to believe that by building a new technology, the U.S. auto industry might be able to start competing with Japan, Europe and Korea.

As we reported here, the Cash for Clunkers program shows just how pitiful the U.S. auto industry has become (with the notable exception of Ford). The program should really be called Cash to Buy Japanese Cars for American Clunkers.

I agree with Obama that the U.S. auto industry is doomed unless it gets greener and more innovative. Electric cars seem to be the wave of the future, and if American car companies can master that techology, we’re headed in the direction.

However, $2.4 billion of government money is not going to make a bit of difference. That is chump change. Also, it is chump change that is going to be wasted by this administration, much like the auto industry bailout money has already been wasted. Wasted, because there is no real plan, other than to throw money around at a problem.

How about we stop and think about how we’re spending government money for a change? Is that too much to ask these days?

Photo: thingermejig