When $2.3 Million Does…Nothing At All!

UPDATE: ABC News pays out the rope:

In a statement by Neppl provided by the Romney campaign to ABC News, the CEO said that the manufacturer “is not a stimulus success story.”

“I did not support the stimulus, I did not seek out stimulus funds, and the stimulus did not create or save a single job here,” said Neppl. “One of our best customers placed an order as they have in the past, for a government project like those we have done in the past.” [Pols emphasis]


CNN reports from Colorado Springs today:

Hailing a metal engineering plant that received $2.3 million in stimulus funds as a small business success story, on Saturday Mitt Romney told an audience at the plant the federal recovery program “did not do the job.”

Romney said the millions in federal funds granted to Springs Fabrication in Colorado Springs had not created any new jobs at the plant.

“That stimulus he had, it did not do the job,” Romney said of the plant’s owner, Tom Neppl. “I mean, I understand Tom said he was working on a project that got some stimulus money. I asked, well were you able to hire more people because of that? He said no. Didn’t add any more people, just more money into the system. But no more people hired.”

…Romney credited the fact that 160 people worked for the company to “the ingenuity of Tom,” the owner, and said the stimulus protected government jobs but did not create private sector jobs “like it should have.”

Well, what the hell did you expect Mitt Romney to say, folks? After it was reported that the business Romney chose as his backdrop to disparage President Barack Obama on the economy–located in beet-red but as it turns out highly government subsidized Colorado Springs–received millions of dollars from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the very same “stimulus” Romney attacks at every opportunity, he was really only left with two choices:

1. Pray the snowstorm became severe enough to close Colorado Springs Airport, or

2. Find a way to pull off this speech without thanking Barack Obama.

Mother Nature didn’t cooperate sufficiently to close the airport, so what we got are these throwaway lines from Romney, citing absolutely no evidence, that the $2.3 million Springs Fabrication received “didn’t do the job.” A $2.3 million contract, evidently, isn’t enough for Springs Fabrication to create any jobs! Heck, maybe $2.3 million didn’t even preserve any jobs, but unfortunately Gov. Romney never got into that kind of detail in his brief speech.

This is as utterly preposterous as it sounds, of course. The only thing we can say about such mind-blowing hubris is that in El Paso County, Colorado, where the #1, #2, and #3 (and #7!) employers meet payroll with federal taxpayer dollars every two weeks…the fact is, this is a kind of hypocrisy so deeply embedded there that they don’t even notice it anymore.

And in that respect, it might actually be a good place for Romney to give speeches.

Provided nobody outside El Paso County ever sees them.

37 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    #4 is also government. And numbers 5 & 6 are healthcare which means over half of their income is from the government. Without tax dollars Colorado Springs would probably be looking at something like 70% unemployment.

    • Republican 36 says:

      According to news reports, Springs Fabricaiton and Mr. Neppl have been the benefactors of additional government contracts. In December 2009, Springs Fabircation won a government contract for $8.1 million and because of that contract Mr. Neppl was able to rehire twenty (20) people the company had previously fired due to lack of work. The contract was for disposal of chemical weapons at the Pueblo Army Depot.


      In addition, the Colorado Springs Business Journal reports that along with energy, mining and remediation government and military contracts “has been the cornerstone of continued success” for Springs Fabrication.


      In other words, Mr. Neppl has made a good deal of his living by bidding on and servicing federal government contracts and a government contract made it possible for him and his company to rehire twenty (20) people in the depths of the recession.

      There appears to be a lot of fabricating going on down in the Springs.

  2. was a $2.3-million tax cut to become a real job creator.  Duh!

    Maybe then, like Romney, he would have been able to employ four (underpaid) domestics.

    • 20th Maine says:

      did Solyndra’s $500MM net?  Amazingly, less than Springs Fab’s zero.  Now we’re getting into ‘negative whole numbers!’  Sxp, please help with the math!

      • Fidel's dirt nap says:

        over there !

      • Gilpin Guy says:

        that was superior Solyndra’s?  How come you love being addicted to Middle Eastern oil and being blackmailed by the Sheiks?  Why the hatred toward renewable energy?  Why do you want our young men and women to die for oil?

        How much does a dry hole in the Gulf cost?

        How come you aren’t concerned that this taxpayer money was spent correctly?  Oh because you’re an ass who doesn’t care as long as the money goes to Republicans.  OK then.

      • Solyndra, while it was still a going concern, employed 900 people.  Some of those people were employed with government money.  (If you get to claim the jobs created temporarily by O&G development as jobs, then jobs temporarily created at Solyndra count just as much…)

  3. The realistThe realist says:

    If you took $2.3 million and no jobs were created or retained, where did the money go – into your own personal bank account?!

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      and what was the criteria for awarding this grant to an organization that didn’t need it.  Did they or didn’t they fulfill the obligations of the grant?  Who in this organization applied for the grant and what were the expectations when it was awarded?

    • Fraudulent application? Inept management? Theft? Good grief, both the application and the company’s record of use have to be made public now. This spin is not going away without some accountability. And, as GG says, it’s going to be a lot of fun.

      Or it may be that Romney’s just a lying sack of shit.  

      • Gilpin Guy says:

        anything for the money.  Weird defense of Romney.  I’m sure he’ll remember Monday why he applied for the grant and whether he fulfilled the obligations.

        In Gilpin County, stimulus money was spent to implement a wildfire protection plan with vegetation thinning.  It should be pretty simple to match the grant with the work performed.

        • JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

          The Denver Post didn’t even see fit to mention it in their story yesterday. Hey, that’s right! They endorsed Romney on Friday! Perhaps the two are related?

          Now that Romney is likely nominee, the kid gloves will come out, not the long knives.

    • 20th Maine says:

      He was a subcontractor on a project that received the money.

      He said that over $1M alone went into buying parts from another vendor for the project.  The rest (I assume) went to doing the fabrication.

      And the $2.3MM is a very small number for them.  They do really big projects and make (and spend) a lot of money on them.

      So there’s not really that much of a conspiracy here regarding the lack of job creation or where the money went.

      • AristotleAristotle says:

        Downthread the discussion is that this amounted to around 5% of their annual gross revenue. I haven’t checked the numbers myself, but I don’t know any business that considers 5% of gross to be “small.”

        • 20th Maine says:

          Because Manta is always so accurate.

          I don’t know what their annual revenues are, but they do a lot of 8 figure projects (and smaller) every year.

          Manta?  Really?

          • AristotleAristotle says:

            you could, you know, address the point.

            If you know something other than what they told you (in an environment where they DON’T have to be accurate), you can share it.

            I don’t know many small cap companies that regard $2.3 million as “very small.” It may not be an amount that makes or breaks a company, but it’s not an amount that usually is ignored.

      • those “vendors” don’t have any employees?   So, was this $2.3M paid out in water that just evaporated?  Stupid government . . .

        But, I do agree with your “fabrication.”

        • 20th Maine says:

          And maybe the $1MM was a lot of money to that vendor.  Maybe they were able to hire more employees b/c of it.  But for Springs Fab that $1MM was a pass-through.  And I also said that I assume the remaining $1MM+ was actually spent at the plant.

          Are you not reading my comment because it didn’t occur to you, or did you not read it intenionally so you could employ the age-old trick of making ‘the other side’ waste their time and spin their wheels by making shit up?

  4. shrubHugger says:

    Then can we get the money back? Thanks.

  5. Gilpin Guy says:

    stays afloat on government subsidies while being ground zero of hatred for government in Colorado.  Schizophrenics make more sense than the modern Republican Party.

  6. BlueCat says:

    anti-government, anti-tax Rs one finds in the traditionally conservative military as well as among police and firefighters. Also all those rugged independent ranchers who make Reagan’s “welfare queens” look like  extremely minor users of government largess  by comparison. Not to mention the wealthiest most powerful corporations in general with all of their breaks and subsidies. It would be interesting to see how many Rs would still be calling for government small enough to drown in a bathtub if they woke up one day to find that had actually happened.  Although, like those of C Springs  they’d probably continue to blame whatever suffering ensued on them libruls.

  7. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    From that you can easily figure if this added jobs.

  8. gaf says:

    it was not “stimulus” because they were already living off government contracts. And that makes Romney’s case how?

    Of course, the purpose of stimulus was to maintain jobs as well as create new jobs, but that doesn’t fit the Rs story either. And these apparently weren’t defense jobs, so they have to be a waste of money, don’t they? Uh…this is so confusing..what are the talking points again?

  9. Republican 36 says:

    Ideology says the sky is red and even when one looks up and its blue, under ironclad Republican ideology you are required to claim the sky is red. Facts simply don’t matter. The $2.3 million this company received in “Stimulus” funds certainly kept some of their employees working while the company fulfilled its obligations under the terms of the contract  to provide the government with a product. According to Mr.Neppl’s theory, government contracts do not ever create jobs or save jobs. Apparently to him, its funny money. I wonder how much “funny money” his company has been paid over the years.

    He reminds me of the 1960’s in Orange County, California when the John Birch Society (JBS) was strong there and Ronald Reagan was the favorite evening speaker at JBS precinct meetings. They hated the federal government by night and by day, but practically all of them worked for defense contractors, the industry that transformed Orange County after World War II. It is amazing how compartmentalized their minds are.  

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