By on March 20, 2015

US Rep Tom Price with Republican Members of US House Budget Committee

Should Republicans in the U.S. House have their way, the loan program meant to foster development of advanced automotive technologies would be killed.

The Detroit News reports the $25 billion Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program, which issued loans between its establishment in 2008 and the last fulfilled request in 2011 to companies like Tesla, Nissan and Ford, would see the remaining $16.5 billion be rescinded as part of the House Budget Committee’s budget proposal:

The budget rescinds all unobligated balances from the president’s stimulus green energy programs. The government cannot recover taxpayer dollars from failed projects like Solyndra, but it can protect taxpayers from being on the hook for future boondoggles.

Said “boondoggles” include the aforementioned solar panel startup Solyndra ($536 million received; failed in 2011), Fisker ($529 million; now under new ownership), and Vehicle Production Group ($50 million received; U.S. Department of Energy sold the loan to AM General for $3 million). On the other hand, Ford ($5.9 billion), Nissan ($1.4 billion) and Tesla ($465 million) have done well with their loans, with Tesla paying off its loan nine years early.

The effort to kill the program has been ongoing since the collapse of Solyndra, but until now, the House Republicans haven’t had support from the Senate. Now under Republican control, however, Congress could do away with the program barring a veto from President Barack Obama.

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108 Comments on “House Republicans Gunning For End Of Auto Technology Loan Program...”


  • avatar

    Awesome picture, 8 white guys and a token woman.

  • avatar
    jimbob457

    Low oil prices. Subsidies go away.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    This is great news for my fellow US citizens if it can succeed.

    The next step is to stop the States giving out handouts and subsidising EVs/hybrids and those other loss makers that the taxpayer is forking out billions of dollars to.

    What a title for a socialist plan; “Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program”. Should of stated “The Automotive Handout Scheme”.

    Imagine if that money was used to finance bringing natural gas to more American homes. It would reduce greenhouse gases more cheaply than giving some rich dude like Musk welfare and assist more Americans to have cheaper and cleaner energy. The energy is in your back yards, not even imported.

    If a person wants an EV or hybrid or whatever, pay the real price. Why should the lowest paid workers in the US pay taxes to have them given to some person who can afford to buy an EV?

    If the prices rise and a person can afford a Tesla, then buy a Leaf. You can still feel good that you are saving the world when driving.

    Stop all of the corn/ethanol handouts as well and use gasoline as nature intended, without those additives.

    Organic fuel straight from the ground, untainted.

    The most economical way to convert corn into energy is to eat the stuff, on the cob with lashings of butter. Or better still flavoured popcorn, the double butter microwave popcorn.

    • 0 avatar
      Mr. Orange

      Gasoline isn’t exactly organic. They have to add nonorganic additives, detergents and metal deactivators to it to make “safe” to use. (Safe being used relatively for those who didn”t notice safe in quotation marks.) We can’t really use the oil straight out of the ground. It has to be changed immensely from its original self. Thereby requiring all these process and methods to make it usable.

      Phenylenediamine, Alkylated Phenol, Phenylene Diamine, 2-Ethylhexyl nitrate, Di-tert-butyl, N-disalicylidene proplylenediamine really don’t sound like natural or organic materials.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Mr Orange,
        The last couple of paragraphs was sort of a joke.

        There are better uses for arable land than waste tax dollar paying farmers to grow. Odd that, arable land and farmers are paid handouts.

    • 0 avatar
      FractureCritical

      so, if the government pays to bring natural gas to every home in America, isn’t that kinda, you know…. socialist?

      As far as the ‘handouts’, let me make this easy for you: the rightist dream of free markets does not exist. Even if it did exist here in the US, it sure as hell doesn’t exist in China or Germany, where the government is partial owner of auto manufacturing concerns, and has no qualms about dumping oceans of money into advanced R&D. Those Chinese and German products come here, and pure private entities cannot compete with that kind of investment. So either you have SOME federal funding, or you have NO pure capitalist domestic companies.

      If it helps you sleep at night, call it ‘national security’ investment.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        Somewhere between extreme libertarian and socialist is a kind of nice place where government helps smooth the acquisition of rights of way for the pipelines. That’s pretty much a necessary government function.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Look at moving energy out of Canada. Keystone.

        Moving oil by freight train seems to be the expensive way of doing business.

        Fracture Critical. The US subsidises its auto industry by #3 000 per vehicle to the German’s $1 300. The German’s have a better export market and arguably build better quality vehicles.

        The problem with the subsidised model is it doesn’t allow for new players. The system only allows for the existence of established vehicle manufacturers.

        If you want progress then create a system that allows for some new blood.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          But didn’t this program enable Tesla, a new player?

          How many new carmakers can you name in the developed countries in the last 40 years? I can’t think of a single one.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @VoGo,
            There isn’t any new manufacturers because of protection offered to these businesses.

            New entrants are not “permitted” to compete.

            If that is the case why is there a need to have import tariffs and barriers on vehicles. If the market was truly free then these wouldn’t exist to protect the ones receiving.

            Governments hand out billions to these guys, don’t you think the government is going to protect the handouts, subsidies that are given?

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Something else that the right-wing overlooks.

        The program that funded Solyndra turned a PROFIT.

        Sure there are will be “losers” when basically acting as a venture capital fund, but that isn’t that the essence of capitalism?

        And Solyndra (along with other solar panel companies) failed, including those which were funded by Romney’s admin back when he was gov. of Mass, since the Chinese have been pumping even more state $$ into their solar panel companies (the Chinese think it is important for them to take the lead, if not dominate, the future in power sources).

        But you know the right-wingers, if it’s not some bloated military project/contract, giveaways to big pharma, big oil, etc. – not to mention building publicly funded stadiums/ballparks for Billionaire owners (hello GW Bush and the Texas Rangers) or $30k yearly tuition payments for those for-profit “universities (basically diploma mills) – then everything else is a “waste” of taxpayers $$.

        • 0 avatar
          Landcrusher

          It’s not that anyone over looks it or what wing is in charge. These programs are a mistake. There is a moral issue, a market issue, an efficiency issue, and a complete lack of accountability of the real overall costs. I don’t want anyone in our government handing out these checks for any businesses. None!

          i suspect you think I’m a right winger, and I am against all those things. I am against them sensibly though. When the Democrats want the military cut, it’s not weapons in their districts they want cut, so it’s the soldiers that suffer the cuts. Training and payroll are ALWAYS the first and largest victims. Raise taxes on corporate jets? Mom and pop flight schools, flight instructors, plane manufacturing workers – these are the victims.

          The biggest problems aren’t issues about “wings” they are issues about how to get results. We aren’t getting the ones either side claims we will, and partisan hackery doesn’t help.

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            Um, who do you think has funded much of the innovations that have made its way to the marketplace?

            The least not being the world wide web in its modern form?

            The govt. has subsidized or incentivized many things – from the railroads (giving railroads rights to adjacent lands) to the US interstate system to ushering in the air travel age with publically funded airports and traffic control systems.

            Germany, South Korea, Japan, China, etc. – all invest in research and future technologies.

            If you think the US shouldn’t, then that would only put the US behind the proverbial 8-ball.

            Where govt. should NOT “invest” in is giving wealthy corporations tax breaks that they don’t need (tax credits to oil companies, states giving tax breaks to mega-corporations, etc.).

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @bd2,
            Have a look at the infrastructure in your comment. Everyone benefits.

            With EVs, who benefits? The poor slob on food stamps? With highways the food is brought to him on this “subsidised” system.

            You must draw a line on what is and what isn’t in the nations interest or what is of national importance.

            Subsidising the people who can afford to buy a vehicle into an EV or hybrid just doesn’t make sense.

            The government isn’t and shouldn’t be involved in business or protecting business.

            Using government money to make an unviable venture viable is just ludicrous. Stupid.

            The consumer is the one forking out the money.

            There is no need to subsidise automotive technology. The reality is if a company can’t develop a viable and marketable product then it should go broke.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Bd2,
            Who do you think? I think taxpayers. Now, the real question is what do you think is better – Private innovation or public? Generally private is better.

            The www was not a loan program or other corporate welfare scheme. It was a byproduct of a program to make something for defense.

            Railroad rights? Agree with those, note my pipeline comments above.

            Interstate? A defense and road infrastructure program. Excellent.

            Publicly funded airports, unnecessary.

            ATC – proper government function, also necessary for defense.

            Here is a good question. Why are the examples of the best stuff from government usually things most people agree are legitimate government functions when the complaint is about corporate welfare for what most people would describe as private sector functions?

            Give me examples of crony programs, and I’ll bet I can give you a better way to use government to help it along without the moral problems of the loans and subsidies.

    • 0 avatar
      bosozoku

      Another fevered dispatch of wisdom from Big Al’s Down Under Bunker. What would we do without you?

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @bozo,
        No, at least I have ideas.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @BAFO™ – How many import OEMs have overcome this US “protection”? And these import OEMs went on to enjoy this “protection” as you call it. This when obviously the US has the LEAST “protection” of any meaningful markets. ANY!!!

          If there was any kind of meaningful “protection” offered to OEMs selling cars in the US, that’d be more reason for potentially new import OEMs (TATA, Peugeot, Citroen, TVR, etc.) to come and enjoy all this “protection” you keep harping on about.

    • 0 avatar
      Eyeflyistheeye

      Mind your own business and stick to screwing up your own country. You voted for the most incompetent leader of any first-world democracy so listening to you wouldn’t accomplish anything.

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/australasia/australian-pm-tony-abbott-labelled-most-incompetent-western-leader-by-us-think-tank-10041683.html

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @E I E I O Schmuck,
        The Independent UK????

        Hmmm……….a centre left publication????

        Cut and paste; “The Independent is regarded as coming from the centre-left, on culture and politics”

        Tony Abbot a right wing conservative.

        So, what else would a British socialist tabloid say about a “Tory”?

        Link;

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Independent

        I’m starting to believe that RobertRyan might be correct with his assumption that the UAW does infest this site with some propagandists.

        One thing worse than a EU socialist, is a redneck UAW hillbilly socialist.

  • avatar
    bunkie

    It boggles the mind. If these bozos were really interested in “protecting the American taxpayer”, they would take an axe to the F-35 program which is a disaster of incredible proportions. My biggest beef with these people is that they either a) learn nothing from history of b) actively ignore it. Anyone who was around in the 1960s should remember the AFB project which, like the F-35, was supposed to be all things to all people. It ended up producing a pretty decent medium bomber (the F-111 a good plane, but limited to that one role), but the colossal waste trying to shove it down the Navy’s throat ballooned the cost and limited capability. The F-35 takes this stupid idea and multiplies it by 100. But, since we have subcontractors in practically every House district, it’s unkillable. We’re close to one trillion dollars and counting on this baby…

    This is nothing but political B.S. They can’t get over the fact that without gerrymandering at the national level, Americans won’t give them the White House, so they pout and cry like the selfish children they are.

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      The current state of the military industrial complex is truly a bipartisan mess. Trying to blame it on one side isn’t going to help your credibility.

      • 0 avatar
        bunkie

        So where do we start to try to get some rational behavior out of the Congress? You’re right, both parties are to blame. But the clown show that is the modern GOP creates a major obstacle. Their no compromise, undercut the Executive at all costs mentality is a disgrace and, if I were to let the cynic in me come out, strikes me as nothing but a intentionally-created smoke screen to divert us from problems like the F-35 boondoggle and the “screw actual national defense, all that matters is keeping the gravy train rolling” problem.

        • 0 avatar
          Landcrusher

          One side isn’t compromising, the other redefines the term so that it means agreeing with them. It’s a pretty bipartisan affair.

          I suppose one effort would be a sensible approach to districting, but that’s now deemed unconstitutional because of race issues.

          Realized the other day that the District of Columbia was created to keep state power from tilting the federal government, but now the District is warping the politics in the states around it.

          Could go back to appointed senators.

          One bit of non partisan wonkery: Create a new district for the House in the middle of the country. Vastly increase the number of House seats. Then, hold them accountable for every regulation on the books. No more delegating their powers.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Bunkie, you just hit the nail on the head. The Pentagon tried the exact same stunt over 50 years ago resulting in a failure just as large accounting for decades of inflation. Back then they developed two different aircraft to serve two different purposes under the same rules–that they should be usable by all services equally. The F-111 was an abject failure in the naval environment as the plane was absolutely huge–barely carrier worthy at all. Even the F-14 was bigger than it needed to be, but then the Navy did the same thing to the F-17 as well, turning it into a much larger F-18 simply because it was so different. Meanwhile, the F-16 proved far more capable than the -17 and the F-15 was far more capable than the -14 in actual combat exercises. The -111? An excellent long-range strike bomber that ended up with almost no air to air capability whatsoever. The only ‘success’ out of that early program was the F-4 Phantom, whose only advantages were that it was fast… and tough. It was outclassed by nearly every other plane flying with its only real combat advantage being superior pilot training.

      But you have to say something for being tough. The thing became the fighter workhorse for 15 years in the USAF and Navy/Marine theaters capable of doing ALMOST anything–as long as you ignored how thirsty it was on average. Even in combat, they almost always carried a minimum of one and quite frequently three external fuel tanks even for a routine mission. Final count had over 5,000 F-4s built and used by nearly every allied air force in the world and some still in use in some parts of the globe.

      The F-35 started out with a huge handicap however. The Pentagon wanted the F-35 to be all things to all users. The single worst requirement was that it had to include a VTOL variant while still remaining something like 80% compatible with all other variants. You know, there’s a reason why the AV-8 was so different; VTOL requires a massively different airframe with massively different designs throughout the airframe. Vertical lift requires that a jet engine’s gasses need to balance at the plane’s center of gravity; equal lift at nose and tail with at least strong control jets at each wingtip, nose and/or tail for pitch, roll and yaw control. These all take up space that the other versions can use to store fuel, install sensors and otherwise make far better use. If the Pentagon had dropped the VTOL variant, the F-35 would already be flying with every service and potentially exceeding the capabilities of the F-16 it’s designed to replace. As it is, it can do none of that.

      Yes, commonality between platforms can be a huge benefit–as long as it doesn’t cripple an aircraft for the task to which it is purposed. It’s nice that a number of aircraft can share specific components. When the F-16 first came out it could use the exact same engines the F-15 was using to such great benefit. At the time the F-15 outclassed anything else in the sky and even now, 40 years later still can hold its own against most aggressors and with relatively minor modifications can be both more stealthy and equivalently capable against both allied and non-allied air forces. Such a prototype exists at Boeing which demonstrates what is called “Generation 4.5” fighter technologies that surpass all others’ generation 4 fighters and equals some others’ generation 5 fighters at significantly lower costs.

      Meanwhile, the 40-year-old A-10 is still the predominant and ONLY purpose-built Close Air Support platform that exceeds the capabilities of ALL modern fighters in that combat envelope–including purpose built assault helicopters designed for the same task. Even if production were re-started with modern sensor and control systems, its cost would be a tiny fraction of any other combat aircraft in production right now. Sometimes specialized design really does have an advantage over a multi-purpose design.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        I see all these fighter plane programs as welfare for wealthy donors to the Republican party. The F-15, F-16 and F-18 were already superior to any other planes existing or on the horizon.

        And besides, the days of the manned fighter jet are essentially over – drones will clearly be superior for this duty. I could support investment in air superiority drones, which would cost about 1% of these programs, but that isn’t on the political agenda for this congress.

        • 0 avatar
          Landcrusher

          Pfft. I’ll believe that when I see it from a reasonable source. The MIC has mostly been quite bipartisan. I got a lesson in getting programs through congress while still a lieutenant. The only anti spending Dems are ones with no MIC porkies n their districts.

    • 0 avatar
      mechaman

      Besides, we want a couple of wars to get goin’. All the money pissed away on the last two never seems to bother some folks. All that bowing and scraping before Lord TrickleDown, and what do his worshipers have to show for it? Less than they had before they crawled on their knees into His church..

    • 0 avatar
      LuciferV8

      You’re absolutely right on this one, but then so was Eisenhower. The American people will finally wake up when things start getting really tight. By then, it might be too late though.

  • avatar

    The Federal Government gets into trouble every time is acts outsides its enumerated powers found in the Constitution. No difference here.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      Truth

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      Cool story, Bro.

      Care to enumerate them and how this is outside their powers?

      Short Answer: You can’t, this falls explicitly under the interstate commerce clause and while you fail to agree with the exact decisions being made people far smarter than you called constitutional experts agree that this is wholly legal.

      • 0 avatar

        “decisions being made people far smarter than you ”

        Exhibit A.

        How dare the proles object to their credentialed masters?

        Is it petty to point out that the guy who thinks he’s smarter than others left out a preposition?

        • 0 avatar
          Xeranar

          You only use prole when it’s convenient, you’re the first one to declare yourself an individual, so don’t co-opt socialist language when you’re not willing to accept the meaning behind it. I made a point that I’m not a constitutional scholar, merely a historian and political scientist. My greatest strengths aren’t on constitutional doctrine but when idiots make themselves known with no shred of evidence to support them, it’s perfectly reasonable to call out the idiot.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            You just keep digging deeper don’t you?

          • 0 avatar

            ” don’t co-opt socialist language”

            You seem quite comfortable telling others what they can and can’t say. I guess those are just more of those decisions made by people who are smarter than me.

            “Political scientist”? My, aren’t we impressed with ourselves? If you have a PhD, I’d bet you use the title “Dr.” socially too. I’m also willing to bet that my son, the physics major, can do better in poli-sci courses than you can do in physics.

            Exactly what part of “Political science” follows the scientific method?

          • 0 avatar
            LuciferV8

            @Ronnie: L O L
            What he doesn’t realize is just how much of that Socialist lexicon has now been adopted, revamped and re-purposed by conservative sh*tlords like myself.

            @Xeranar: Seriously, I just can’t get enough of this stuff. Truly. Do you know the field day that we have been having with “trigger warnings” alone?

  • avatar
    Fred

    If Obama is for it then the Republicans are against it. SOS.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Fred, not always true.

      I’m an Independent and I hope that Obama can swing the Asian/Pacific/Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA 2.0) because I think that what NAFTA did for the US was great!

      However, IIRC, the ‘crats and unions are dead against NAFTA 2.0 and Richard Trumpka stated publicly the the unions would bury that deal.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree this is the position the Republicans are taking with greater and greater frequency.

      They will soon be known only as the party that cancels whatever the other guy did, rather than do something creative and impactful themselves.

      The GOP are on the ropes.

  • avatar
    jdmcomp

    Yea, yea, yea

  • avatar
    kosmo

    I’m pretty conservative, but I’m not sure some form of this program isn’t actually a good idea.

    The problem, as I see it, is that “par” is the best we ever do. I think that there should be some balance where the occasional borrower that hits it out of the park ends up paying back more than just the loan amount through some mechanism, to help balance the failures.

    Doesn’t a lot of private equity funding work this way?

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      With every new concept there will be risks. The concept of helping engineers to come up with new technologies for energy and transportation is guaranteed to reveal failures; but is equally guaranteed to bring out successful new ideas of which the Tesla, for all its negatives, is one. So far. But before some of you go panning my argument lets look at something completely different.

      I’m sure every one of us remembers having a CRT (cathode ray tube) television and most of us remember CRT computer displays. The overall design hadn’t changed in 50 years, just tweaked over the years to offer slightly better image quality and add colors. For more than 50 years television screens stood at a ratio of 4:3 and depending on where in the world you lived you either had 360 or 420 horizontal lines. It took a government mandate here in the US to change that and to be quite honest I don’t know if that spurred the global upgrade in television technologies or not. But, had we not had that governmental mandate, would you now be using a 16:9 display on your computer or a 19:10 television?

      Without that auto-technology loan in ’08, would we have seen the advances we’re seeing even now in fuel mileage and control systems? Would we now even be talking about the potentials of electric vehicles of ANY type over gasoline alone? Sometimes industries need a real kick in the pants to start moving forward again. It’s too easy to just stick with what works and let the world pass you by.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Vulpine,
        The US didn’t spur improved resolution in CRTS.

        What was the French resolution? 720?

        • 0 avatar
          Eyeflyistheeye

          Wow BAFO, you’re a real genius. It’s not like France and Australia use the same analog TV system or anything with the same resolution.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Also, when it came to CRT-televisions, Europe used the PAL system, while North America used the NTSC system. Big difference in resolution!

            When I first was assigned to Germany in 1972, we had to buy a Motorola Quasar switchable color TV (made in Canada of all places) from the BX so we could watch both AFTVN and German TV in color. Pretty steep price, too.

            Our Admiral color TV was useless living in a German village near Heidelberg, before we moved into base housing at Patrick Henry Village. No such thing as Cable TV where we were at until 1979.

            The sound carrier was also different, 4.5MHz for NTSC and 5.5Mhz for PAL.

            So there is merit in what the man from Oz stated.

            The higher resolutions attainable with digital LCD displays were driven by Sony, Hitachi, Technics and Mitsubishi because CRTs had maxed out on resolution.

            Sony’s slotted-mask Trinitron was the best it could get, in its day.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Eyeflyshithead, BAFO? schmuck,
            Actually intelligent one, the world was divided up into different regions for television.

            Australia had nothing to do with what went on in the EU. Maybe Chile.

            Use google and learn. You seem not to bright. Glowworm.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @e, I, e, I, o,
            Actually the world broke down into 5 regions in relation to TV.

            I do think Australia is the same as Chile and possibly other South American nations.

            Like most of the other f#ckheads who call me BAFO, you appear to have marginal knowledge and are a d!ckhead.

            Why don’t you read up on comments that you don’t have a clue of.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Look up the difference between NTSC and PAL, the two older television standards, one in the US and the other global.

  • avatar
    Dr. Claw

    If they want to be useful, they should kill the chicken tax and the Imported Vehicle Safety Compliance Act.

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    It’s corporate welfare, and I’m amazed how many on the Left are for billionaires like Musk getting fatter off taxpayer subsidies.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      …by the same folks who frequently attack corporations as being heartless and evil.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      Loans = corporate welfare? Intriguing, if anything this is a better alternative than the negative tax rate that GE pays or the massive layout we pay for military contractors including the newest supply of Abrams tanks we don’t want or need.

      It’s a complicated issue where I’m for paying corporations to do things I want them to do, develop more green-friendly tech, but I’m against them getting to avoid paying billions if not trillions in taxes OR subsidizing their slave-wage employees because they’re too cheap to pay them a living wage. It isn’t just black and white, there are shades of gray obviously, but this program is a drop in the bucket and far better designed than most. Giving away 500 Billion on military spending that could easily be scaled back and still be hegemonic is just a waste. I want to spend the money in ways that better citizens and doesn’t just line Boeing, Raytheon, and the other big contractors pockets.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        Yes, loans are corporate welfare as are loan guarantees. They have a cost. If not, I got lots of stuff I will be happy to take from you which cost you nothing, and I will gladly pay you for them. I’d love a new Ferrari, let’s talk.

        Tax cuts are never welfare. They never have a cost. You have to use Newspeak to get where you went with that. They may be unfair, but money you aren’t owed costs you nothing.

        • 0 avatar
          Crosley

          Newspeak

          Government taxing less = subsidy

          Government actually giving a specific company or industry a handout that others aren’t eligible for = not a subsidy

          The New New Left is basically Corporatism for the right tribes that are connected.

        • 0 avatar
          Xeranar

          So now because the Government may guarantee a loan so that it is made at all it’s a ‘cost’ but giving away tax cuts that aren’t being off-set with a reduction of services aren’t a cost. Please, LC, I understand you’re some sort of hyper-partisan but you really need to stop trying to do right-wing math because nobody is buying it in the real world. A tax cut is a cost, it costs me and you more to give GE 50 billion in tax breaks than to take that 50 billion and cover our shortfalls in services. This goes into the issue of long-term debt and how it keeps increasing while you froth angrily.

          As for Crosley, I’m not ‘new new left’ and the strawman you built can’t even stand up. Please, atleast attempt to build one I can’t just breathe on to knock down. I’m more so New Deal Left, but if yo want to get into the nitty gritty, in the 1950s we did the same thing, producing loans and tax cuts for corporations that did what we wanted them to do. To use a good example that you old geezers may somewhat recognize: Under Eisenhower & Kennedy the corporate tax rate was 90% but nobody paid that. Instead most of the money was funneled back into R&D and wage increases because they didn’t get taxed. So ultimately the system flourished because money was being forcefully pushed back into the system rather than upwards into the ‘market’ where it was sold and resold. This is why we can’t even begin to discuss taxes because every time we do people like LC come out angrily shaking their cane about taxes when they don’t even begin to understand the basics of economics.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            I’m not even partisan, nevertheless hyper partisan. I am an ideologue for sure. You know that, and I’m not sure why you pretend otherwise.

            Also, I did no math. We are not discussing math. We are discussing language. You seem to need to change the language for your crazy propaganda to stick.

            You cannot give what does not belong to you. Giving someone a tax break is not the same as giving them other people’s money. Like I said, it may not be fair, but it’s not a subsidy. It may have the same effect as a subsidy, but it is not actually a subsidy. We have a wonderfully specific language and it’s hard enough to communicate for those of us trying to do it constructively already.

            And I understand basic economics quite well. I did fine in my undergraduate and graduate economics classes. You seem to be confused on some of the basics. You can make a claim that goods and services given by the government cost you something assuming you pay taxes, and maybe even if you don’t. However, any money that a corporation does not owe in taxes cannot be said to have cost you anything. The money they do not owe was never yours or even the government’s. Why is that so hard to get?

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            So your basic argument is ‘tax breaks’ = never taking it in the first place. So you’re using the strictest sense of terminology to avoid discussing the obvious issue? That by not making them pay their fair share into the system and then we pay for their workers to live subsidized livings we’re not actually handing anything out.

            You must be living in a fantasy land where up is down and left is right. It’s convenient to argue semantics because that’s where this always goes, someplace safe, avoids the discussion of shortfalls, deficits, and debt. A place where you can hide behind right-wing semantics to phrase taxes as a ‘taking’ when they’re more so a repayment of already spent ventures.

            Frankly, if you have an advanced degree in economics you should be ashamed of yourself (though I imagine you have an MBA and thus at most have a basic grasp of economics). But I digress, you refuse to comprehend the basics put forward and instead try to debate word meanings when you’re simply trying to spin the argument your direction. If you want to discuss it with your spin, that’s fine, but remember you lost the right to complain about the deficit and debt with that spin.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            I’m avoiding nothing. I pointed out the possible unfairness to start with.

            I’m not playing semantics games either. I will happily discuss the issue if we can avoid the propaganda, condescension, and name calling.

            I never finished my masters. I left the army, decided the masters would not help me reach any goals, and didn’t really think the material was that useful. The graduate Econ I took as an undergrad was very interesting, and quite applicable to my intended military path. The other courses were at a mediocre public institution and though many were practical, they were also rather easily self taught.

            I’m really not that far on the right. I don’t know why you can’t figure that out.

            Lastly, pointing out your spin isn’t the same as spinning things to my side. Trying to equivocate, always a classic for those lacking a compass, won’t work with me either.

            The positions here are plain. You think it’s fine for our government to meddle in the economy and others of us don’t. That doesn’t make us extremists or loons because we are not caricatures. We just know how bad most of it goes. The successful government economic programs are usually those that either deregulate, research basic sciences, or create real goods for government purposes (military tech including space travel, transportation infrastructure, etc.). The track record of government as a venture capitalist is terrible and full of cronyism and corruption. Just throwing money around to lift demand is terrible. Those for it always avoid discussing the downsides. It destroys real opportunity and progress by taking away resources and motivation in the private sector.

            I will also happily discuss tax rates and policies. It’s also simple. You will generally define fairness by the outcome and propose unfair rules to punish the successful rather than those actually taking advantage of systems put in place by people like you years ago. I will define fairness based on equalizing the players as much as we actually can knowing that we can’t create ultimate fairness but that trying to do so hurts the weakest the most.

            Rant off for now.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Landcrusher
            This is probably your best comment; Landcrusher – March 21st, 2015 at 6:06 pm

            You are indeed an economic liberal, join the club of common sense and common good for our futures.

            The use of the term “liberal” will confuse many Amercians as they associate the word with “socialism”, when in fact its the best form of economic management around.

            Maybe Xeranar should read up on Economic Liberalism, he might be able to be saved from the evils of Social Democracy.

            @Xeranar,
            Even though this is a Wikipedia link the first couple of paragraphs illustrate a better way to manage countries.

            Have a read, then you can become a liberal right winger. You can do more good for the US with if you can change your paradigms.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_liberalism

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Xeranar,
        WTF response did you give? “Loans = corporate welfare?”

        If these are loans why doesn’t the banks give out the loans and not the government? Risk.

        Then these are indeed handouts and subsidies. The government is risking taxpayer dollars. It must be risky if the banks gave money to janitors to buy mansions and yet the banks will not fund industry.

        • 0 avatar
          Xeranar

          But see, the example you give services no purpose unless you want to use the multiplier effect….But to be poignant, the loans were used to develop green technology and get it marketable. The small investment is a drop in the bucket in terms of annual spending and the only reason why it is being chopped is that it has become an ideological attack based on completely misguided views.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            So it’s okay to waste money so long as it’s only a few million and for a good cause? How about we loan that money to the Koch’s to build some energy projects? They have a lot of their capital tied up in other things at the moment after all.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            No, it wasn’t ‘wasted’ money nor was it just a few million or for a good cause. It was a public good that was supported by the US populace for development. It was developed a loan program that ended up being paid back by Tesla along with Ford and Nissan still paying. If we look at overall investment we’re at a net gain on development never mind that 1 billion lost on a program is 0.001% of our military budget which was lost once, and that annual budget continues. If the Koch industries invested in green renewable energy I would hand them a billion dollar loan without a second thought.

            You don’t really understand public good debates, do you? You claimed that economics degree a bit too soon. Now I know you must have a MBA because nobody who graduated with an economics degree would be so daft on public good arguments. You may not agree with what a public good is but atleast you would understand the basics of the argument thought you clearly don’t.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Well, you stuck foot in mouth again.

            Read up on your Thomas Sowell. Then get back to us with a better attitude.

          • 0 avatar

            “You claimed that economics degree a bit too soon. Now I know you must have a MBA because nobody who graduated with an economics degree would be so daft on public good arguments.”

            No credentialism there, no, none at all.

            Why listen to that Hoffer guy? He has no degrees.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Our blue boy here has a political science degree which means he THINKS he knows everything

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Why would I read up on Sowell, the imbecile of economics? I know about him, I discounted him years ago because the austerians/Monetarists/Chicago School have never been right on a single issue. Their official track record has yet to score a single correct action. It’s tragic because their main proponents are the moneyed interests that keep them teaching at the Universities never mind that Economics has turned towards this very insular belief while ignoring behavioral economic outcomes in order to keep forwarding their failed agenda.

            EDIT: By the way, Sowell would still recognize a public good, he just wouldn’t agree the loan program qualifies as one. That was the point I made, you’re so blinded by your ideology to refute all public goods on a whim that can’t withstand even the most minimal of intellectual scrutiny.

            @Ronnie – Be right on a subject and I’ll listen. Your track record is right up there with Sowell’s. I know that Lie2me and the rest of the right-wing brigade is going to cheer lead and glad hand each other on this in opposition to me and while it may annoy me it doesn’t deter me from being right. You’re entitled to be wrong, but it doesn’t mean I’m not going to call it out.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            ” Lie2me and the rest of the right-wing brigade”

            ROFLMAO! That’s the first time anyone has ever implied that I was “right-wing”, EVER. You are just plain wrong about so much that even a card-carrying liberal democrat like myself might appear to be “right-winged” to your wing-nut

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Gee, I guess Milton Friedman isn’t good enough for you either?

            Either man could school you in Keynes and they don’t even believe in that mumbo jumbo.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Sewell & Friedman are both considered fools for their belief in Chicago. Friedman is respected for his work outside of Chicago & lets be honest, if you’re a ‘liberal’ lie2me you’ve done a piss poor job showing yourself to be one. Pch101 is what would be considered center-left, I’m far left, you’re at best center-right.

          • 0 avatar

            Lie2Me, I don’t think that he actually bothers to read what people say. He just looks for phrases that provide him with an angle to spout what he wants to spout. He’s attributed stuff to me that I never said and inaccurately accused me of getting news stories wrong.

            For a self-professed lefty he’s awfully reactionary, but then I repeat myself.

            I got a kick out of him calling you a right winger.

            The academic left appears to be so doctrinaire that they can’t even recognize who their allies are.

            They’re more orthodox than most of the rabbis that I know.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Which proves the theory that being an idiot transcends all other bipartisan issues

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Strawmen to end it all, Ronnie. That’s about what these debates amount to. You make a ‘psychoanalysis’ strawmen after you can’t actually get me to agree with you. It’s more tiresome to watch you flail angrily and declare yourself the ‘middle’ or whatever you want to sell this week then actually admit Keynes was right and much of the deregulation arguments are merely absolutist doctrinaire with no pragmatic outcome expectations merely silver dishes of power for the elites.

            But come on, you were the one who confused left and right about communism. Living in a fantasy land may work for writing for a car website but it doesn’t cut the mustard in the world where academics are going to check your evidence. But I’m sure you’ll keep spouting off because you’re the one with the domain and I’m the one with the wordpress account. Just like I’ll keep shaping young minds in my classroom and pointing out the failures of monetarism to any student who cares to step into it.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            “Just like I’ll keep shaping young minds in my classroom and pointing out the failures of monetarism to any student who cares to step into it.”

            This is borderline child abuse. Does child protective services know about you? Those poor innocent students

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            xer,
            Only idiots and jerks have your level of contempt for Sowell, Friedman, or anyone else whose disagreements are basically ideological. I think Keynes is a fine and brilliant man, but what passes as Keynesianism is a bunch of academic/bureaucratic nonsense. It’s like flying into weather without a briefing. Sure, it works out fine, until it doesn’t.

            Reading your posts here is a constant reminder of how small a man can act.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Why do right-wing fiends always try to use the language of their English Tory heroes to malign their enemies? Do you think that the Lord of Marlboro will rise and salute you for telling us actual Proles how we should be excited for the breadcrumbs they throw us?

            To be blunt I’ve read the monetarist arguments and their neo-liberal allies. I’ve not been convinced because EVERYWHERE they’ve implemented their agenda has fallen worse than Keynesian and aggressive demand-based economies. I’m not sure how much further down this rabbit hole we have to travel before we can excuse the formalities and stop trying to throw intellectual barbs at each other.

            We can review the facts, we can review the books, we can review until the cows come home. The same time that Friedman and his Chicago allies took the lead in the US was the same time that income moved upwards. Alan Greenspan even admitted that Monetarism/Chicago was impossible to work once he landed the chair of the Reserve.

            To go back to Sowell, he actually advocates against a minimum wage which flies directly in the face of EVERYTHING WE KNOW ABOUT SURPLUS EMPLOYMENT. Once you have X number of people to run a society the excess becomes superfluous, those people have a right to eat, sleep, and be happy. So we have to either constantly expand at such a rate that we’re always short people for jobs or increase minimum wages while building in retirement incentives to create a steady flow of workers into and out of the workforce so we don’t have to go break-neck speeds to keep from bottoming out. Ricardo explained this, Keynes explained this, a number of others have dug into the concept of real wages vs. efficiency wages. In no situation does removing the basement on pay in a society where we have excess population is a good idea. There is only so much work to go around and unless you believe everybody below the poverty line should be working 80-100 hours a week to subsist (which you may, since Sowell basically agrees with this assumption) there is no logical justification.

            If you want me to critique economic theory I can. I just choose not to write a 5-page treatise on a car website every time I respond.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            One, you are no prole. You are an intellectual employed by the state. Just because you are so junior, and obviously that’s appropriate, that you make a small check that doesn’t make you a prole.

            Second, I am no fiend. Nowhere in civil discourse is it appropriate to call other people fiends.

            Third, what language? What heroes?

            I understand you disagree with monetarists. That’s not the point. The point is how you are so disrespectful to those who disagree with you. The answer to your minimum wage argument, I suspect is, that the shortage of work you speak of isn’t real. Frankly, I agree with a minimum wage, I just usually think it’s set too high for political reasons. I certainly do not believe in the bizarrely named living wage.

            I’m not a huge fan of most macro theory, but I am pretty sure that what those who are against Keynesian ideas are recommending today haven’t really been tried. Furthermore, the lack of recovery since 2008 is no great record for the Keynesians. I’m pretty sure that the issue is lack of ever having a surplus, too much government spending, and destruction of a real incentive to play the game the old fashion way. Why try to do things better and cheaper if the risk of getting burned by the government is too high? Better to play the game and fight for pork.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Technically I’m part of the professional class, a petty bourgeois if we’re going to follow strict Marxism. I do not because frankly Marx was writing in a philosophical fashion and I take my lead from post-marxism where academics have been tied to a structure that prohibits them from the free exercise of their craft, firmly moving them away from the Doctors & Lawyers and more towards engineers and general scientists. We’re not technically proles but in the modern capitalist system few people aren’t.

            I called you a fiend with intent, your statements lend themselves to it since you have nothing but normative arguments to assert your ‘truth’ so unless you choose to find reality OR gain a conscience you’ll remain as such. I’m not sure why you think we’re having a particularly civil discourse. We’re not old colleagues enjoying a cup of coffee, we’re partisans on issues of the utmost importance, it doesn’t mean I have to spot you niceties. You do understand we need not be ‘PC’ here because there is no public vote to harm either of us.

            As for why I called you a lover of Tories? Read what you write, you resent the lower class, declaring the term ‘living wage’ nothing more than poppycock. If you weren’t American you would be a Tory through and through and even then Conservatives in the US exist as a corporatist variant of Toryism, if you need to look that up Wikipedia has a good explanation you can read that will save me the typing.

            As for the 2008 meltdown, just look around you man. Every country that pushed larger keynesian packages through recovered faster. Every country that used Austrian/Chicago packages failed and dragged down the world economy. It’s in black and white, there is no debate to be had on this fundamental reality. I imagine Sowell and his colleagues within the Chicago School are writing to protect their failed system and egos but nearly every other economist on the planet reviewing the basic facts of the moves made showed Keynesian worked at the principal level. The only reason the US didn’t recover faster was that we didn’t spend enough to jump start the economy. I know you live in a bubble but atleast TRY to pretend you read news and understand economics when you discuss this. This is why economics has become glorified accounting and the real economists are political scientists because we’re not blindly hamstrung by the need to serve our corporate overlords.

  • avatar
    wmba

    The spark of human kindness beams out from every shiny polished face. Did it take this many people to announce the obvious?

  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    Wah! All sorts of problems with the ttac site logging me on as someone different….. on all three of my browsers.

    WTF!?

  • avatar
    shaker

    Republicans found another finger to stick in Obama’s eye.

    Such a surprise.

    • 0 avatar

      Yes, it all started when they hit him back.

      Considering how petulant our president is, it’s almost humorous to see his political opponents accused of acting childishly.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        The sad part for America and Americans is that next to nothing is being accomplished toward the betterment of America.

        Where the repugs were the party of NO until this last election, the roles have now reversed with the ‘crats now being the party of NO until the next election in Nov 2016..

        The only thing positive from this lame-duck stand-off is that Americans can look forward to another government do-nothing term until the Nov 2016 elections.

        I, for one, intend to kick back and enjoy the excellent opportunities that such a political lull affords us to buy new cars, homes, boats, skis, ATVs, guns, ammo, whatever our little hearts desire.

        No insecurity or instability ahead – we all know nothing is going to threaten our well-being for the next two years.

        Enjoy!

  • avatar

    Republicans think they are being cute by opposing Obama at every turn, but are blind to the obvious fact that they are also saying they oppose advanced automobile technology.

    Essentially they are calling themselves Luddites.

    How exactly will that secure the white house for them in the next election?

    Politics has elevated itself from negative campaign ads once every 4 years, to negative policy making day in day out.

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      Republicans think that automotive innovation will best come without government intervention and that the program is spending money inefficiently.

      There are plenty of reasons for the Republicans to oppose the President on a partisan basis. He and his have made it personal themselves. However, most real opposition is based on ideological and constitutional grounds.

      OTOH, the President has gone way out of bounds.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        And yet he won 2 presidential elections and the Democratic Party is cruising to a 3rd win in a row and naming 2 Supreme Court justices. Perhaps the Republican party needs to rethink their strategy? Oh, never mind, they can’t. They’re locked into a regional view built on racial animosity, social conservatism, and free trade agreements that benefit corporate overlords. They’ve not been ‘small government’ since before Taft and most of their modern ideological positions are built on low regulation/high handout motives where the biggest corporate actors get to eat the trough without any threat of retaliation.

        But you keep selling that swill, I’m sure somebody is buying it, LC. :)

        • 0 avatar
          Landcrusher

          Stalin was incredibly successful. Big fan are you?

          Whoever your “they” describes, it’s not me. not sure you have them nailed down though. It’s a more diverse bunch than you seem to comprehend. The biggest weakness they have is that they are mostly limited by principles. Given the choice of the two parties, I’ll take the GOP until things get all mixed up again. My principles are based on my own beliefs no matter who is winning. I choose the side that comes closest.

          The democrats have little principles at all it seems, just a big wish list and hubris to think they can get a free lunch (or at least fool others into giving them a free lunch). Well, TINSTAAFL!

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            And so was FDR, Kennedy, Eisenhower. Anybody else you want to name? Never mind that Stalin was only successful by controlling a military force and purging government officials that could challenge his power. Obama by contrast has been the head of the federal bureaucracy for nearly 7 years now and we’ve yet to hear of anything that comes close to Stalin for power control. Do you enjoy being wrong or is just a thing you do?

            As for your pronouncement on the Democrat agenda, why don’t you take your lies with you on the way out? You’re practically the biggest joke I’ve had the tragedy to read in some time and while your right-wing allies may smile and cheer the voters aren’t on your side. 2016 will be all the sweeter. :)

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            What lies? Anything specific you want try to disprove?

        • 0 avatar
          an innocent man

          So, you are saying Democrats haven’t supported Free-Trade Agreements? Remind me who signed NAFTA?

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            And NAFTA was pushed through by Republicans when they got control of congress and while Clinton did sign it it was under protest. Never mind that a faction of blue dog democrats support free trade and a progressive/liberal faction do not. Confusing one faction of Democrats with Republicans on Free Trade doesn’t make Republicans better, it just makes them as bad as that faction.

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            And NAFTA has been a disaster for the US middle class, nevermind decimating the small farmers in Mexico and central America (with imports of cheap, subsidized American foodstuff) – which is why so many Mexicans and central Americans started to migrate to the US to earn a living (ironic, isn’t it?).

            But even more disastrous was the massive offshoring of jobs to China (funny how the middle class has grown in China and fallen in the US) and over-deregulation of the banking/financial sector which allowed Wall St. and hedge funds to pull their shenanigans, including what was the largest “legal” Ponzi scheme in the history of the world.

            Both pushed by Republicans (with the end result being the massive transfer of wealth from the American middle class to China and to the bankers/hedge funders), not to mention CEOs, who got ever increasing compensation for lowering production costs in shipping jobs to China.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        You mean the same automotive industry that has fought safety (going even further back than the installation of seat belts) and fuel economy standards (which, btw, has played a role in lower gas prices)?

        Yeah, that’s like trusting Big Pharma, Big Tobacco and Big Agri (Mosanto, Cargill, ADM, etc.) to do the right thing.

        Nevermind Wall St/banking sector successfully tanking the US economy twice within the past 2 decades.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    Musk pays off his federal taxpayer loan with proceeds from the sale of state tax credits and helps himself to another billion. Go forth brave eco-pioneer!

    • 0 avatar

      Educate me. What state sales tax credits did he sell? Didn’t realize tax money was for sale.

      • 0 avatar
        thelaine

        Here you go JP:

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/patrickmichaels/2013/05/27/if-tesla-would-stop-selling-cars-wed-all-save-some-money/

        • 0 avatar

          OooKaaaayy….

          Two tax credits mentioned in that article.

          1. Federal Tax Credit. That goes to the buyer of the car, not Tesla.
          2, State Tax Credits. Same story, goes to the car buyer not Tesla.

          Which tax credit do you think TESLA are selling?

          JP

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            Your sarcasm is noted JP, but childish. You asked a question. You don’t like the answer. Is it impossible to simply discuss the issue? Here are some more citations.

            1) ZEV credit (Zero Emission Vehicle tax credits) Tesla gets up to 7 ZEV credits for every Tesla sold in a CARB state. Allegedly each is worth about $4K, so about $28K in tax credits are sold to other manufacturers. Last year Tesla sold $129.8M in ZEV credits. This is equal to Tesla’s profit on selling 5200 cars.

            http://my.teslamotors.com/de_DE/forum/forums/p85d

            On the more expensive Model S — with the biggest battery and longest driving range — Tesla collects seven environmental credits from California’s Air Resources Board. It can sell those credits for an estimated $5,000 each to other automakers, as Los Angeles Times auto reporter Jerry Hirsch reported earlier this year. Other automakers need the credits to meet state pollution regulations.

            So Tesla can net as much as $35,000 per Model S — more than most cars cost. It’s the difference between profit and loss. During just the first six months of this year, Tesla has sold about $150 million in environmental credits.

            That’s on top of the up to $10,000 in state and federal government subsidies directly to buyers of electric cars. Strip all that away, and Tesla presumably would have to sell its top-end Model S for something more like $150,000, in the same volume, to make any money.

            http://articles.latimes.com/2013/aug/21/autos/la-fi-hy-tesla-model-s-20130820

            A big motivator is California’s air pollution control regulations, which require the six biggest automakers to derive 4 percent of sales from zero-emission cars this year. Nine other states, including New York and Oregon, have similar laws.

            By the 2018 model year, the ZEV requirement in all those states will jump to 15.4 percent and include smaller companies such as BMW.

            The new rules are a great boon to Tesla. Electric-car buyers receive $7,500 in federal tax credits and, if they live in California, $2,500 from that state, where Tesla sold 6,110 Model S’s last year.

            In addition, the 10 ZEV states distribute credits that companies can buy and sell to meet emissions targets. Companies that fall short of the targets can buy credits from companies that don’t to avoid fines.

            At 2015 prices, these credits earn Tesla $14,000 for every Model S sold in the 10 states, people familiar with the situation say. (Details of the transactions aren’t public.)

            Battery Swaps

            Tesla can earn another $17,500 in credits every time a Model S swaps its battery pack for a fully charged new one at an experimental station north of Los Angeles.

            Each car is allowed 25 swaps, with total credit-eligible visits capped at the number of cars Tesla sells each year in the state.

            Dan Sperling, an environmental engineering professor at the University of California at Davis and a member of the state’s Air Resources Board, defends the ZEV program as a way to promote technologies California needs to cut carbon emissions. Still, he expects the Air Resources Board to reduce credits for battery swaps.

            “We want to be generous in supporting these technologies,
            not obscene,” he says.
            If nothing changes, Tesla could make enough money selling credits — as much as $500 million a year — to fund a quarter of its capital expenses, says Morgan Stanley’s Jonas.

            http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-04/as-tesla-gears-up-for-suv-investors-ask-where-the-profits-are

            http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/03/12/analysis-tesla-may-have-made-over-100-million-off-the-carb-enabled-battery-swap-scheme/

            …the company is actually a prodigious harvester of government favors and handouts. Tesla’s flagship automobile, the Model S, would not only fail to make money in a free market, it would likely bankrupt any company that tried. As the Los Angeles Times reported, Tesla’s “cars themselves aren’t making the company any money.” A Model S with a typical options package sells for more than $100,000, but that is literally tens of thousands of dollars less than it costs to manufacture and sell. How, then, does Tesla make its money? The direct subsidies for purchasers, to encourage them to buy “clean-energy” vehicles, are fairly well-known: a $7,500 federal tax credit and a wide variety of state-level incentive programs. (Tesla has them all listed conveniently here.) Less well-known are the hidden subsidies that flow directly to Tesla, thanks to “zero-emission vehicle” (ZEV) credits. ZEV credits are a mandate dreamed up by the bureaucrats at the California Air Resources Board (CARB), which requires manufacturers to build and dealers to sell an arbitrary number of “zero-emission” vehicles each year. (Note that these vehicles are actually “zero-emission” only in the unlikely event that the electricity used by the car comes from a zero-emission source — which, of course, would also be heavily subsidized.) Tesla’s Model S generates four credits per unit sold. This means the company can sell $20,000 in ZEV credits to other manufacturers for each Model S sold — a cost borne by purchasers of other cars. And that amount used to be even higher. Because ZEV law is so arcane, Tesla was able to game the system for additional credits; for example, it was able to generate an additional three credits per vehicle when it demonstrated to CARB that its batteries could theoretically be rapidly swapped. But in fact the battery-swapping pilot program is more than a year late getting started. Nonetheless, those extra credits netted the company an additional $15,000 per car sold — and the company is now trying to get them reinstated. In 2013, ZEV credits to Tesla totaled $129.8 million — to a company that lost $61.3 million for the year on its actual manufacturing and selling operations.

            Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/397162/tesla-and-its-subsidies-phil-kerpen
            Tesla didn’t generate a profit by selling sexy cars, but rather by selling sleazy emissions “credits,” mandated by the state of California’s electric vehicle requirements. The competition, like Honda, doesn’t have a mass market plug-in to meet the mandate and therefore must buy the credits from Tesla, the only company that does. The bill for last quarter was $68 million.

            Absent this shakedown of potential car buyers, Tesla would have lost $57 million, or $11,400 per car. As the company sold 5,000 cars in the quarter, though, $13,600 per car was paid by other manufacturers, who are going to pass at least some of that cost on to buyers of their products. Folks in the new car market are likely paying a bit more than simply the direct tax subsidy.

            Tesla isn’t actually making money selling cars. It’s making money from crony capitalist taxes of people who buy cars from other companies. And even the customers who buy its cars get paid with taxpayer money.

            First, there’s the $7500 taxback bonus that every buyer gets and every taxpayer pays. Then there are generous state subsidies ($2500 in California, $4000 in Illinois—the bluer the state, the more the taxpayers get gouged), all paid to people forking out $63K (plus taxes) for the base version, to roughly $100K for the really quick one.

            Tesla is still turning a profit, not from customers, but from money being seized from taxpayers to compensate its customers for buying Tesla.

            http://www.frontpagemag.com/2013/dgreenfield/how-tesla-motors-really-makes-money-from-taxpayers/

          • 0 avatar

            Ah so you are talking about the ZEV Credits eh?

            Let’s be clear about what a ZEV Credit isn’t. It isn’t a tax credit.

            CARB issues credits (think Monopoly Money that isn’t a monetary instrument). If a car manufacturer doesn’t earn enough ZEV credits they will be prohibited from selling cars in California. CARB recognize that some manufacturers are more advanced than others and allow one manufacturer to sell excess credits to another so the laggard manufacturer can still sell cars in California. The Money Tesla received for the ZEV credit was from another car manufacturer not the state or tax payer.

            Let’s go back to what you said initially.
            “Musk pays off his federal taxpayer loan with proceeds from the sale of state tax credits and helps himself to another billion. Go forth brave eco-pioneer!”

            He paid off his loan from the tax payers early yes.
            He used some of the ZEV credit revenue to pay the loan. Yes.

            No tax money was used to pay off a loan. the money came from his ‘competitors’. The tax payer did not have to “pay twice” if that was your implication.

            I’m not being sarcastic. Pedantic maybe, but your assertion that Tesla used tax money to pay off a loan is dead wrong.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            I understand your point JP. Still, I disagree. Taxpayers are paying for this scheme.

            Absent this shakedown of potential car buyers, Tesla would have lost $57 million, or $11,400 per car. As the company sold 5,000 cars in the quarter, though, $13,600 per car was paid by other manufacturers, who are going to pass at least some of that cost on to buyers of their products. Folks in the new car market are likely paying a bit more than simply the direct tax subsidy.

            Tesla isn’t actually making money selling cars. It’s making money from crony capitalist taxes of people who buy cars from other companies. And even the customers who buy its cars get paid with taxpayer money.

            First, there’s the $7500 taxback bonus that every buyer gets and every taxpayer pays. Then there are generous state subsidies ($2500 in California, $4000 in Illinois—the bluer the state, the more the taxpayers get gouged), all paid to people forking out $63K (plus taxes) for the base version, to roughly $100K for the really quick one.

            Tesla is still turning a profit, not from customers, but from money being seized from taxpayers to compensate its customers for buying Tesla.

  • avatar
    LuciferV8

    You’re absolutely right on this one, but then so was Eisenhower. The American people will finally wake up when things start getting really tight. By then, it might be too late though.

  • avatar
    an innocent man

    @Xeranar Clinton opposed NAFTA and signed it under protest? That doesn’t seem right. Let’s go to the videotape.

    http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/29354-obama-s-trans-pacific-partnership-promises-echo-clinton-s-on-nafta

    Note Mr. Clinton’s feistiness towards those who oppose the agreement. Hardly seems the tone of one who “signed it under protest” no? Plus President Carter is at the White House to lend support. Is Carter a “Blue Dog Democrat” as you called its supporters? I don’t recall him that way.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    xer,
    Started a new thread at the bottom to be easier to find. The necessity of that means it’s time to wrap up.

    Prole – I was thinking 1984 since that is where the term comes from so you would be Outer Party IIRC.

    Trying to pigeonhole my arguments as mostly normative is rarher ignorant. Why do you always try to play classification games? Just because you classify something doesn’t change it. At any rate, most of my arguments with you are pointing out how ridiculous you are being, not appeals to the conservative status quo.

    My dislike of your rudeness is simply reactionary. I can’t help it. I was raised well. (Okay, that one was normative, so?)

    Classifying me as a Tory or corporatist is just wrong. Try again. And I don’t write with resentment of lower classes (though maybe I have an issue with the low class, that’s social rather than economic. Tasteless rich people do irk me). You read what I say, put it through a progressive filter designed to impute malignancy, and react to the malignancy that was never there. Why, well let’s take the living wage nonsense.

    Living wages are rarely properly defined and I believe this is a crucial propaganda element. If they were strictly and objectively defined, the whole thing might actually work to ruin progressivism. Mostly, it’s just minimum wage bump set to a feel good level to buy votes from unskilled workers, class warfare types, and guilt ridden people who can’t think their way out of a paper bag. The reality is that the laws hurt employment and screw up markets and if broadly adopted hurt the poor the most. The benefactors are unions, politicians, bureaucrats and class warfare con men.

    Your evalualuation of the 2008 recovery is just silly. You don’t even realize the cause. I’ve had enough trying to get you to stop confusing causation and correlation. It no longer matters to me if you are unwilling or unable to get to the truth of anything.

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