I think I’ll start a “green energy” company – evidently, you can make millions without ever doing anything:
Workers at a Michigan battery plant built with a $150 million federal stimulus grant but never opened played games and watched movies while their wages were paid for by U.S. taxpayers, according to a government report.
South Korea-based LG Chem, which used the grant money to build a factory that was supposed to make batteries for the Chevy Volt, has paid back $842,000 in wages it improperly billed to the government, but still has no plans to start production in the facility or return the grant. The company makes Volt batteries at another plant in South Korea.
“Our review revealed that LG Chem Michigan inappropriately claimed and was reimbursed for labor charges incurred by a variety of supervisory and staff employees for activities that did not benefit the project,” stated the report, by the DOE’s Inspector General. “… we confirmed that employees spent time volunteering at local non-profit organizations, playing games and watching movies during regular working hours.”
But our sharp eyed, vicious federal watchdogs are going to recover our tax money, right?
Turns out, not so much:
The Inspector General said getting LG Chem to return some of the labor costs – a drop in the bucket compared to the overall grant – was the best taxpayers could hope for because the grant was awarded without sufficient strings attached. And even the labor costs could be low, the report stated.
“We were unable to calculate the exact loss to the government because LG Chem Michigan did not track labor activities in detail,” according to the report.
Yet, these are the guys who can figure your taxes to the penny and fine or jail you if you don’t pay them and this is the level you can expect from the multiple layers of bureaucracy built into Obamacare.
The country is in the very best of hands.