Recently President Obama was in town for a fundraiser to help Democrat Tom Barrett in his quest to become the next Governor. While here, Obama and his entourage planned a visit to a local business - ZBB Energy Corporation in Menomonee Falls.
The Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel reported on Obama's stop at ZBB in their business section on August 17, 2010 with the headline: "ZBB welcomes the attention - Workers appreciate president's support of clean energy." The article went on to highlight remarks made by Obama touting his commitment to "clean energy" and support of companies like ZBB. Obama stated that ZBB is "pointing our country toward a brighter economic future." ZBB has been in business for over ten years and makes batteries and equipment to store energy from such things as wind turbines.
What both Mr. Obama and the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel failed to mention is that ZZB Energy Corporation is a company in dire straits. Financially, it has been a money-loser for years. According to the Wall Street Journal("Uncle Sam, Venture Capitalist" - 8/17/2010): ZBB lost $4.9 million dollars in 2008. In 2009 the firm lost $5.5 million. And for the first nine months of this year, ZBB has lost $6.9 million dollars. All told, the company has a cumulative deficit of $44.1 million dollars. When the company went public with it's first stock offering, shares were priced at $6.00. Currently, ZBB stock has a value of 70 cents per share.
Aside from losing money, the company has had management difficulties. A former ZBB CEO was compensated twice - both as an employee and an independent contractor. The company also failed to withhold his taxes. It was also discovered that the company at one time had entered revenue from a contract in the wrong quarter. The company itself - in a building which is 72,000 square feet - is "currently producing at less than 10% of its expected capacity" - according to the Wall Street Journal.
So, ZBB Energy Corporation is a failing business - relying on the federal government for "stimulus funding" (to the tune of $1.3 million) to stay afloat - and a promise of $14 million more in tax credits if it increases production. Why wasn't this bit of information included in the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel story? Why did Obama chose to tour a company that most of us would suggest should be bankrupt? Because, to Obama, ZBB Energy Corporation is a SUCCESS story! Yes, in Obama's world a business success story is a company that turns to the government. A company that produces an item that no one is buying and/or isn't making any profit for the company - especially if that item is "green!". A company that relies on the support of the federal government - for taxpayer dollars - in order to stay in business. Wow! This IS a liberal success story.
On the other hand, a "failure" to Obama and his followers has to be a private business that is successful - making a profit - without relying on the federal government. A private business that produces something people are buying - and makes money while doing so. That type of company, according to the President, is the real failure. The CEO's and others who make a living off of such a company are the evil ones. Obama's disdain for private companies is noticeable. Obama and his co-horts in Washington, D.C. continue to enact legislation and regulations aimed at hurting private businesses with little regard for the economy or the workers whose livelihoods depend upon those jobs.
Why didn't the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel report on the poor financial situation of ZBB Energy Corp.? Because they didn't want to. They didn't think it was important for their readers to know such things. Because in the liberal world, all that matters are intentions - not the end results.