Obama: $10 Billion in Taxpayer Money to Help Rich People Buy Terrible Cars
"There is a great deal of ruin in a nation" -- Adam Smith
"...especially when 'ruin' is the guiding principle behind its economic policy" -- Troy Senik's addendum to Adam Smith
The Obama Administration has come full circle. Back in 2009, the stated goal of "Cash for Clunkers" was to subsidize removing "inefficient" vehicles from the road. Now the administration is opening its wallet (read: opening your wallet) to put them right back. This is how the Daily Caller reports the newest gambit from the "what will it take to get you into this car today?" pitchman-in-chief:
The White House intends to boost government subsidies for wealthy buyers of the Chevy Volt and other new-technology vehicles — to $10,000 per buyer.
That mammoth subsidy would cost taxpayers $100 million each year if it is approved by Congress, presuming only 10,000 new-technology autos are sold each year.
But the administration wants to get 1 million new-tech autos on the road by 2015. The subsidy cost of that goal could reach $10 billion.
Of course, in this era of "shared sacrifice", it's only fair that taxpayers foot some of the bill so that the beleaguered middle class can finally kick their addiction to oil cold turkey, right?:
The average income of the Chevy Volt’s buyers is $170,000 per year, according to General Motors CEO Dan Akerson. “Some of them — I think roughly half — are either [Toyota] Prius or BMW owners,” Akerson said in a Dec. 16 interview with the Associated Press.
That high income puts the Volt’s buyers in the top 7 percent of households, according to census data, and slightly above the rankings held by households with BMWs, Lexuses or Cadillacs.
Ok, well ... these folks probably have hardships too. Have you ever had to deal with the nightmare of cleaning up your venti skim chai latte when it spills all over the leather upholstery in your Z4? It's like something out of Kafka. And this is still the right thing to do, because this industry is obviously bursting at the seams with pent up-demand:
For example, even with the $7,500 rebate for each buyer, Chevy sold only 7,671 Volts in 2011, far below the target of 10,000 earlier touted by company officials. Last month Nissan made the 10,000th sale of its all-electric Leaf model.
Memo to Washington: if you're dangling thousands of dollars in people's faces to get these cars off the lot and the public is still not biting, the problem is on the showroom floor, not the Senate floor. "Cash for Clunkers" was bad enough. Now you're trying to bait the public with "Cash and Clunkers"?
The American consumer doesn't want what you're pushing. This isn't an example of halftime in America. This is the third quarter. You're down by 21. It's 4th and 15 deep in your own territory -- and you're refusing to punt.