Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Obama Car Tax

An additional $600 per vehicle by 2016.  In fairness to Obama, there’s another $700 in car taxes that was already on books, so he can’t be blamed for the entire $1,300 estimated increase in the price of autos. That’s what the mandated MPG and emission standards amount to – a government mandated tax on car buyers*. It’s just a well hidden tax, the kind of dishonesty politicians prefer. If they attempted to do the same thing with a straightforward gas tax or licensing fees, they would lose elections.  

This also assumes that the automakers can actually deliver this kind of performance in just 7 years at these cost estimates. GM and Chrysler, however, really have no cost control incentives, since they know that the taxpayers will be picking up the tab.  

One suspects that the actual costs will come in much higher than the estimates in use today, given the political need to present low ball estimates to the public now. Indeed, the fact that they are openly touting a number as high as $1,300 per car suggests that the real numbers are likely to be well over $2,000, but don’t expect to see any transparency on this issue.  

An additional hidden cost is that more people are going to be injured and killed in car crashes since we’ll be forced into smaller, less safe, vehicles.  


* Most of whom make well under $250,000 per year, so that’s another campaign promise tossed aside.