Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Government Motors — er, I mean General Motors — has sold approximately 6,000 Chevy Volts, its plug-in electric/hybrid gas-burner car. Is that good or bad?

Analyzing the various state and federal government subsidies to GM as well as to suppliers of batteries and other parts for the Volt, James Hohman with Michigan’s Mackinac Center for Public Policy estimates that each car sold could cost taxpayers $250,000.The Obamobile!

Hohman admits it’s hard to be certain of the precise subsidy level because of various government incentives that may or may not get triggered, but whether $50,000 per car or $250,000, a lot of taxpayer cash has been sunk into a make that still sells for over $30,000 (and usually closer to $40,000). Nor does Hohman’s analysis include a penny of the $50 billion dollars in TARP funds taxpayers put into GM, giving the federal government an ownership stake in the automaker.

Twisting the knife another turn, GM now lobbies state governments for more handouts. Justin Owen, president of the Beacon Center of Tennessee, wrote recently in the Daily Caller: “Rather than retool its business model to become competitive in the free enterprise system, GM turned to . . . another $1.7 billion in taxpayer-funded grants and tax abatements, not from the federal government, but from states across the country.”

When GM built cars without subsidies, it produced jobs and profits and wealth. That’s all good. But having auto companies sell cars at a couple hundred thousand dollar loss per vehicle sorta takes the fun out of it.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Rose Bogaert says:

    It turns out that using the heater or air conditioner reduces the mileage you can get on a full charge drastically.

  2. Drik says:

    This is WONDERFUL!

    Finally a government program that makes “Cash for Clunkers”, which ended up costing taxpyers $24,000 per scrapped car, look good in comparison.

  3. Pat says:

    Price aside, for how many people is an electric car not possible due to lack of maintenance facilities? Even those of us who own homes will be out of luck if we don’t have a garage or access to an outdoor charging facility. Compare that to a gas-powered vehicle, which required only a parking space.

  4. JohnnyK says:

    Rose, using the heater or A/C reduces the milage on gas powered cars too.

  5. MoreFreedom says:

    Another example of Obama the crony corporatist. I expect he’s getting millions in campaign cash from all those companies supplying parts to government motors for the Jolt, Joke, or is it Volt?

  6. Jay says:

    BUT THE U.A.W. contributes to the Dems, and contributed mightily to Obama’s 2008 campaign.


    Does anyoen recall LEE IOCOCCA (possibly spelled his name wrong).

    He wrote, (a few years ago, either at the time of the original bailouts, or jsut before)- “why is it, anyone BUT THE BIG THREE can build cars profitably in the US?”.

    Note, a few years ago, J..D. Powers had a survey of which cars had THE MOST AMERICAN MADE PARTS/COMPONENTS.

    HONDA & TOYOTA were first and second ( although i don’t recall which was where).

    But, they are (in their sunbelt state plants) non UAW, so i guess that they don’t count

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