Monday, August 02, 2010
The next time you hear somebody decry "tax cuts for the rich," brush 'em back by pointing out that at least you -- in stark contrast to Barack Obama -- do not support paying the rich to buy luxury cars.
Where does the federal government get off spending the average person's tax dollars to help better-off-than-average Americans buy expensive new cars?
Good question. The answer, of course, is that politicians often subsidize the things that are popular in their own social circles. Many affluent liberals will pay a "premium for the frisson of going green," so we get tax breaks on electric sports cars. We get subsidies for art museums and public radio -- both of which have audiences that could easily support them directly in the absence of public money -- for the same reason.
I made a
similar point here last Friday
, but went further: "So who would buy a Volt, especially when you can already buy a Prius if you want to make a Green statement ? Answer is no one will, other than captive government agencies."
Even Hitler commissioned a good "people's car." This is the Electric Lemon.
I think the point of this is welfare for people in Michigan. Maybe direct transfer payments would be more efficient, but since our political system frowns on that sort of thing we have to use roundabout means.