Boycott Watch  
August 11, 2011
US Dept of Energy Awards $10M to a $20B Foreign Company for Doing Nothing
Summary: The US Government throws away more of your hard working dollars.
    If you have ever wondered why the US is in a debt crisis, just look at today's business section headline in the Cleveland Plain Dealer: "LED bulb earns Philips $10M from U.S. Energy Department." Philips Lighting, Koninklijke Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG ), is an Amsterdam Netherlands company and it got a prize for developing a light-bulb the U.S. Congress made them develop and market in the USA anyhow. What a deal!

    Yes, the U.S. government is completely out of control when it comes to spending. Ten Million dollars to a 19.2 Billion dollar company is like giving you or me 2 cents, but ten million dollars added to the US tax payer debt is big deal. All to a company which has 4.7 Billion dollars of cash on hand and where Rudy Provoost, Executive VP and CEO, makes $1.8M in salary, not to mention other perks.

    In essence, the United States paid a corporate CEO's salary for five years as a thank you for building a product they will make billions of more dollars on, and to top it off, the money is supporting a non-U.S. company for product development that was partly done oversees. If this is not absurd, Boycott Watch has no idea what is.

    The article quotes Philips spokeswoman Silvie Casanova as follows "We want to reinvest the money here." Yes, a prize to a foreign company, and while they state they will build a factory in the United States, there is no commitment to only build the bulb factories in the United States. That's right; The U.S. subsidized development of a product that is likely to be almost exclusively manufactured in China.

    Boycott Watch has busted many scams and pointed out government waste in the past, but this comes out in the middle of the US budget crisis and for some reason the article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer managed to completely miss this fact.

    "Americans should be outraged. The U.S. Department of Energy apparently has nothing better to do than award money to people who don't need it. This is government waste at its worst. Perhaps we just need to dismantle the U.S. Department of Energy since it does not act in best interests of Americans" said Fred Taub, President of Boycott Watch. "The US Government works for us, we don't work for it. When a department proves it acts irresponsibly, it's time to fire the department."

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