Question of the Day: Should the US Government Subsidize Cars?

Jonny Lieberman
by Jonny Lieberman
question of the day should the us government subsidize cars

We spoke earlier about GM trying to wrangle a $7k tax credit out of Uncle Sam so that (supposed? purported?) Volt buyers won't have to cough up so much green– about $40K at last count. If we look at the problem from General Motors' perspective, nothing could make more sense. But what about the other perspectives? Some will argue that the Japanese government pitched-in some research dollars for Prius R&D and all's fair in love, war and cars. Others will argue that the government has no business interfering with business, period. Still others will point out that the last time the Feds got involved with an automaker we wound up selling Jeep to the Germans. And then there are those who say, "What's the difference? Ever since we went off the gold standard everything (including money) is worthless." My opinion? We're spending a billion dollars a day in Iraq– what's the difference? You?

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4 of 42 comments
  • John Horner John Horner on May 28, 2008

    "The U.S. government does subsidize cars, at least on the whole. What do we think roads are, exactly? Every dollar spent on roads is a direct subsidy to the automobile." Which is paid for mostly with the gas tax. I'm all for setting the sum of fuel taxes and registration fees at whatever level is required to take care of the roads. Most analysis shows that spending on roads is in total less than is collected in fuel taxes and other user fees. Unfortunately, governments large and small like to slice, dice and co-mingle money to the point that it is very hard to sort out what is being used for what. At the moment, road user fees are being used to subsidize mass transit projects, not the other way around.

  • DearS DearS on May 28, 2008

    I not sure how this may affect things for me. Laws seem to favor big businesses anyhow and the rich. That effects things for me a bit. Making this personal is like making the weather personal. Of course I wan't things to always work well, but whatever. I feel angry enough thinking about the way the Government operates anyhow. I say fuck it, I have bigger fish to fry. I think the Government needs to be studied closer and notes taken. I want a limit on the wealth of the riches. Once a person has a billion dollars, what else do they need? Again, other fish to fry.

  • EJ_San_Fran EJ_San_Fran on May 28, 2008

    Government support for fuel efficient technologies is a good thing. It helps get the new stuff going in volume. It should be budget neutral: tax gas guzzlers to subsidize fuel sippers, I say. It should be non-discriminatory: not just a subsidy for GM's Volt, but for hybrids in general and all other fuel sippers. By the way, we do have CAFE standards that already take care of fuel economy, but, hey, why not shoot OPEC with multiple bullets?

  • Ricky Spanish Ricky Spanish on May 29, 2008

    subsidize what you want more of tax what you want less of want less pollution and gasoline consumption? Tax cars and gasoline. Want more hybrid cars? Subsidize them.