Americans Subsidizing the Green Fetish of the Rich
Henry Payne questions the Obama administration’s approach to saving the environment through the subsidization of green cars that only wealthy households can afford (try here if you don’t subscribe to National Review):
In this unholy alliance of Big Government and Big Auto, the carmakers exacted their price — more taxpayer billions to underwrite their research, in addition to the same $7,500-per-vehicle tax credit that buyers get for purchasing a Tesla. And since plug-in hybrids like GM’s Chevy Volt cost $40,000 — or about the price of an entry-level BMW — the program amounts to yet another set of subsidies for buyers with six-figure incomes.
Payne closes by noting that cars that Americans actually want, such as Jeep Grand Cherokees, remain profitable. All government intervention in this market is going to do is to distort incentives and place chips on technological bets that politicians — not scientists, not car designers, not consumers — consider promising. Of course, “promising” for a politician is always promising to their careers, not to the taxpayers and voters whom they are supposed to represent nor the economy that keeps the country rolling.