Feb 14

President Obama proposes plug-in subsidy increase

 

President Obama’s proposed budget yesterday has called for increasing the electric vehicle tax credit to $10,000, but the broader document was immediately dismissed by political opponents, and said by the Wall Street Journal as having zero chances of being passed.

Among a host of far reaching initiatives that are beyond the scope of GM-Volt coverage, the $3.8 trillion budget for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1 cuts subsidies for gas and oil interests while boosting funds for green energy.

The Journal wrote the proposal was rejected out of hand by Republican lawmakers and presidential candidates as “a political document that fails to seriously tackle the nation’s growing debt.” Nonetheless, the Journal added that the budget showed where the Obama administration’s priorities are.


The president proposes more money for the DOE, but his opponents and commentators say his proposed budget is DOA.

News organizations that picked up the $10k for EVs angle first were also of the conservative variety. In an article titled,“Obama hikes subsidy to wealthy electric car buyers” by The Daily Caller, and re-posted by Fox News, it was calculated the proposal would cost taxpayers $100 million assuming just 10,000 plug-in vehicles were purchased.

Obama’s plan to put one million EVs on the road by 2015 is also in contention, and has been cited as a driving force for his desire to further grease the tracks for green transportation.

But what the future actually holds is still the subject of debate. The Daily Caller quoted Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Mike Kelly who we previously reported has introduced legislation to end auto subsidies.

“The nation is $15.2 trillion in debt and climbing, so we’ve got to be a lot more careful about how we spend the money,” he told The Daily Caller in January.

The bill, said the Chevy dealer, will also shed light on “the money-losing crony-capitalist deals between Democratic legislators and business interests, such as Chevy,” wrote the Daily Caller.

“How do we get this crony capitalism across to the voters?” Kelly said. “We tell them, ‘Folks, this is your money, not the administration’s money. It’s being thrown around by this president. … It’s not a good investment, and there’s no positive return on it.”

Green energy highlights

On a more positive front, Green Car Congress sidestepped all political commentary, and merely noted elements of the budget that would boost discretionary funds for the U.S. Department of Energy by 3.2 percent, or $27.2 billion.

As pointed out in a pdf distributed by the White House, and re-listed by Green Car Congress, key elements in the proposed budget for the DOE include:

• Increases funding for applied research, development, and demonstration in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy ($2.3 billion). These funds are part of a broad energy strategy that emphasizes priorities in clean energy and advanced manufacturing, through grants, financing assistance, and tax incentives that accelerate fundamental research, technology development, and commercialization.

• Within EERE, the Budget increases funding by nearly 80 percent for energy efficiency activities and increases funding for the development of the next generation of advanced vehicles and biofuels. It maintains support for research, development, and demonstration of renewable electricity generation, including: $310 million for the SunShot Initiative; $95 million for wind energy, including off-shore wind technologies; and $65 million for geothermal energy and enhanced geothermal systems.

• The Budget also provides $770 million for the Office of Nuclear Energy, which includes funding for advanced small modular reactors R&D. Other priority activities include R&D on storage, transportation, and disposal of nuclear waste that supports the implementation of recommendations put forward by the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future.

• The Budget also includes $350 million for the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy.

• $421 million for fossil energy R&D, including $12 million to fund a multi-year research initiative aimed at advancing technology and methods to develop domestic natural gas resources. Specifically, DOE, in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency and the US Geological Survey, will focus on understanding and reducing the environmental, health, and safety risks of natural gas and oil production from hydraulic fracturing in shale and other geologic formations.

• More than doubles research and development on advanced manufacturing processes and advanced industrial materials, enabling companies to cut costs by using less energy while improving product quality.

• Promotes basic research through $5 billion in funding to the Office of Science.

• Works through the President’s Better Building Initiative to make non-residential buildings more energy efficient by catalyzing private sector investment. Creates jobs through mandatory funding for HomeStar incentives to consumers to make their homes more energy efficient.

• Positions the Environmental Management program to meet its legally enforceable cleanup commitments at sites across the country.

• Continues investments to maintain a nuclear weapons stockpile in support of the planned decrease in deployed US and Russian weapons under the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.

• Provides funding for securing, disposing of, and detecting nuclear and radiological material worldwide.

 

The budget proposed for the Department of Transportation includes:

• An increase of 2 percent in discretionary and mandatory budgetary resources to $74 billion.

• $50 billion in immediate investments to support critical infrastructure projects, improving America’s roads, bridges, transit systems, border crossings, railways, and runways.

• Six-year, $476-billion surface reauthorization plan to modernize the country’s transportation infrastructure, and pave the way for long-term economic growth.

• $2.7 billion in 2013 and $47 billion over six years to develop high-speed passenger rail corridors and improve intercity passenger rail service to significantly enhance the national rail network.

• More than $1 billion for 2013 for the Next Generation Air Transportation System.

Beyond energy questions

The scope of the entire budget encompasses far more than energy issues. Among top controversies spurred by the proposal is that Obama is purportedly targeting “the rich” (albeit allegedly rewarding high income earners with an EV tax subsidy).

Among ways the proposed budget reportedly stands to hit the wealthiest Americans is by letting Bush-era tax cuts expire for families that earn more than $250,000 and restoring the estate tax to its 2009 level. This is supposed to generate $1.7 trillion in new revenue over 10 years, according to the Journal.

The Washington Post and Bloomberg reported Obama has said his proposed budget would in total save at least $4 trillion over the next 10 years and stabilize government borrowing.

 

The budget also projects the deficit will exceed $1 trillion for the fourth straight year in 2012, which the Journal pointed out means that “Mr. Obama will have fallen short of his promise to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term.”

We could go on, but we’re already past the scope of automotive news, let alone Volt news.

In his defense, Obama said he is exercising “common sense,” not meaning to pick on classes.

“The budget that we’re releasing today is a reflection of shared responsibility,” Obama said in Virginia on Monday. “And some people go around; they say, ‘Well, the president is engaging in class warfare.’ That’s not class warfare; that’s common sense.”

Again, this goes way beyond Volt news but in the interest of staying on topic, we will ask: Do you think the federal plug-in subsidy might be increased? Or, as it’s already threatened, will the subsidy be taken away? Or will it remain the same?

Is the subsidy truly necessary in your view? If it were removed, how would that affect the electrified vehicle industry?

Politico.com, Washington Post, The White House.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 14th, 2012 at 5:55 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 108


  1. 1
    Eco_Turbo

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (7:08 am)

    I’m sure the subsidy helps sales to the wealthier crowd, but removing them might bring about lower prices which could create even more sales to everyday people.


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    James

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (7:10 am)

    To address today’s question: What implementation of EVs and hybridization of vehicles begs for is not a tax credit or a higher tax credit for individuals who earn enough to pay $7500 – $10,000 in income tax. Increasing the subsidy only makes it a larger target for critics – which may result in the entire credit becoming a sacrificial lamb. If the tax credit goes completely it would be a devastating blow to the budding EV industry, no doubt.

    Congresspersons are like little children. Todays budget news only gives the kids new toys to debate passionately causing more gridlock and even more contention ( if that’s possible ). Adding new expensive layers of government bureaucracy seems counterproductive in this high debt season the nation finds itself in. The gridlock always goes the same – This will keep the boys and girls busy ( I predict some extremely watered-down version of this budget passes hours before a deadline where catastrophe is averted – is it ever any different? ) as they fight over the toys of power running up to the November election.

    ______________________________________________________________________________

    If we’re going to use tax dollars to kickstart a consumer trend towards less oil dependency, let’s talk a point-of-purchase rebate.
    ______________________________________________________________________________

    RECHARGE! ,

    James


  3. 3
    HaroldC

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (7:34 am)

    l’m retired and if l bought a volt l would get about $2000 back next year……YAHOO!!!

    That should clinch the deal for shure…….

    Now if it was a cash-back at point-of-sale………..


  4. 4
    JeremyK

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (7:40 am)

    Anybody planning to buy a Volt or EV in the next year or two should definitely contact their congress-person regarding the proposed repeal of the plug-in subsidy. There’s a forum thread floating around on here that you should check out for more info.

    An increase in the subsidy would be GREAT, but right now I’m worried about there even being a subsidy when I go to file my taxes next year.


  5. 5
    firebirdbandit

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (7:48 am)

    I would actually prefer to see that $7,500 continue but that it would allow people to take that credit up front and that it would apply to everyone regardless of what you pay in taxes (like the old hybrid credit). I think that will help sales way more than an extra $2,500.


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    Roy_H

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (7:54 am)

    I think it would be much better to have an instant rebate at time of purchase. But how about applying the tax credit to the dealer rather than the purchaser? This could lower the purchase price of the car.


  7. 7
    Jim I

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (8:00 am)

    Sorry, but quite simply, if this country does not get it’s fiscal house in order, then we are all in real trouble. Our kids and grandkids will inherit a country that is second rate, at best.

    You can’t overspend your budget like this and expect things to get better. In a short term emergency, maybe, but not the way it has been done over the last forty years!

    Political grandstanding is a time honored tradition. But it is time to put stupid traditions to rest and begin making the really hard decisions to clean up the mess. That is what real leaders would do. But I am truly afraid that we have no real leaders anymore. All I see are a bunch of hacks with no other concern than to get re-elected.

    This isn’t a Democratic or a Republican problem. It is an American problem. And as Americans, we have to stop asking for everything to be provided for free. It just can’t be done.

    Are you watching what is happening in Greece? You should be. It is our future, if we don’t start now to clean up the mess we have put ourselves into.

    I guess the real question is: Do we have the will to keep this country great? I hope so, for the sake of all of us……….

    Sorry for the downer post, but Jeff put up the political topic.

    JMHO

    C-5277


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    Mark Z

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (8:02 am)

    What is the cost to our country to fuel an ICE vehicle over its lifetime?


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    Nelson

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (8:24 am)

    Got to agree with Republican Rep. Mike Kelly on one point, “Folks, this is your money, not the administration’s money.”
    The $7,500 tax credit gives people an opportunity to choose how a portion of their TAX dollars is spent. Kelly would rather have that $7,500 for Congress to choose how to spend it, like on TARP. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troubled_Asset_Relief_Program
    Bailing out the financial industries so they can continue to reward their employees with bonuses for poor performance was a great decision. I for one like having the choice of spending $7,500 of “MY TAX MONEY” on a new alternative fuel vehicle for “MYSELF”.

    NPNS!
    Volt#671


  10. 10
    George S. Bower

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (8:27 am)

    The purpose of a subsidy is to help bring an industry or product or an idea up to self sustaining mode. I believe the electrification of the auto industry CAN self sustain and therefore it is a legitimate subsidy. Obviously I would not want it removed. However it certainly seems like a major possibility if and when some stringent belt tightening occurs.

    If the Republicans had a majority right now could they implement a serious effort to eliminate the deficit??

    NO. They are blowing hot air. In fact, the Republicans have even LESS of a chance of balancing the budget than the Dems……Why….because they will refuse to lower defense spending….and neither party will make a lot of cuts in Medicare or SS because it is political suicide.

    So where is all this budget balancing going ???

    NOWHERE. The congress will get nothing done or passed. and when the MANDATORY budget cutbacks are about to be implemented at the end of 2012 the congress will pass some legislation to stop it.

    NOTHING WILL GET DONE when it comes to reducing the deficit….and the electric car subsidy will very possibly get eliminated.


  11. 11
    MichaelH

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (8:30 am)

    HaroldC: l’m retired and if l bought a volt l would get about $2000 back next year……YAHOO!!!

    I am retired, and I bought a 2011 Volt last year. The $7500 tax credit just about paid for my income taxes on the $40,000 I took out of my IRA to purchase the vehicle. Tax return submitted, accepted, waiting for the final feedback.

    Separate note about being retired and all: someone asked me the other day, “how long will that battery last and what will it cost to replace.” I merely said, “the battery is warranted for 8 years, I’m not.” ;-)

    Michael – 2011 Volt 1761 – 12,258 miles :-)


  12. 12
    Tagamet

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (8:34 am)

    I’ve been on record as opposing tax breaks for almost everything, but I’m sitting here wondering how the admin reconciles the “the rich need to pay their fair share” (as if they didn’t), and increasing the tax break that will mainly HELP the rich. In effect he’s offering another loophole deduction.

    BTW, – point of information – the Repubs in the Senate immediately called for a vote *to pass* the proposed budget. After all, the Dems have the majority and all it takes is a simple majority to pass a budget. Nope, *again* no chance for a budget from the Senate after over 1000 days with no action.
    I’ll head to work now.
    Be well,
    Tagamet (The Retired)
    PS I agree that this cannot help the Volt’s public image – on so many levels.


  13. 13
    kdawg

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (8:37 am)

    it was calculated the proposal would cost taxpayers $100 million assuming just 10,000 plug-in vehicles were purchased.
    ——————–

    This isn’t really true. It isn’t COSTING taxpayers anything. The people buying these cars are getting to KEEP their own tax dollars.

    What about the COST to taxpayers for all the WEALTHY to buy homes and the tax breaks they get? There’s lots of less fortunate people who can’t afford homes. Why should their tax dollars go to the rich who can afford homes (which BTW cost a lot more than a Volt)?


  14. 14
    Loboc

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (8:40 am)

    Debating whether to have a $7500 or $10k tax credit is like fighting over 7 to 10 CENTS ya found in the couch.

    How about we stop importing OPEC oil and cut the supporting military expense?


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (8:42 am)

    I feel EV’s are the best idea to come down the pike. I also feel they need to be able to stand on their own, that is to say, without the aid of subsidies. I think without the tax credit, it will hurt the sales of an already expensive vehicle. That is a tough pill to swallow, but none the less should be done. I’m sure these opinions are unpopular, and that’s ok. In nature, the toughest survive. In the EV world, the Volt is by far the most practical for the most people. I really think even without tax credits, it would sell and it would survive. It would sell in low numbers, but it still would sell.

    I’ve said here before, if anything, GM could/should afford to give a subsidy of their own. The same with Ford. The same with Toyota. The same with the rest of them that want to sell EV’s. But, as long as someone else is giving the subsidy, in this case our gov’t., then they certainly won’t.

    Again, these opinions are unpopular I realize, but I think if EV’s are as great as we all know them to be, they will survive without the gov’t help, and they’ll be better and stronger for it.


  16. 16
    HaroldC

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (8:47 am)

    MichaelH: I am retired, and I bought a 2011 Volt last year.The $7500 tax credit just about paid for my income taxes on the $40,000 I took out of my IRA to purchase the vehicle. Tax return submitted, accepted, waiting for the final feedback.

    Separate note about being retired and all: someone asked me the other day, “how long will that battery last and what will it cost to replace.” I merely said, “the battery is warranted for 8 years, I’m not.”

    Michael – 2011 Volt 1761 – 12,258 miles


  17. 17
    kdawg

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (8:48 am)

    George S. Bower: If the Republicans had a majority right now could they implement a serious effort to eliminate the deficit??
    NO. They are blowing hot air. In fact, the Republicans have even LESS of a chance of balancing the budget than the Dems……Why….because they will refuse to lower defense spending….and neither party will make a lot of cuts in Medicare or SS because it is political suicide.

    You forgot to add, the Republicans will never let the Bush tax cuts expire, or raise the capital gains tax in any way. More likely they would reduce it completely, and make up the $ by removing more needed social programs.


  18. 18
    kdawg

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (8:56 am)

    Schmeltz: I feel EV’s are the best idea to come down the pike. I also feel they need to be able to stand on their own, that is to say, without the aid of subsidies. I think without the tax credit, it will hurt the sales of an already expensive vehicle. That is a tough pill to swallow, but none the less should be done.

    The problem is how do you fight oil subsidies, and War budgets, that will never be taken away? These things keep oil artificially cheap. Without “expensive” oil, EV’s don’t have much of a chance the “free” market, regarding the expensive initial cost (most people will not calculate lifetime costs). The only way to combat artificially cheap oil, is to subsidize EV’s. I’m all for getting rid of the subsidy, right after all oil subsidies are taken away and the defense budget is cut in half. Either that or add a 25cent/gallon tax.


  19. 19
    volt11

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (8:58 am)

    “The bill, said the Chevy dealer, will also shed light on “the money-losing crony-capitalist deals between Democratic legislators and business interests, such as Chevy,” wrote the Daily Caller.”

    It’s always Chevy/GM that’s the bad guy with these Republicans. Never any mention that Nissan and Toyota have already benefited more from green subsidies than GM has.

    Completely two-faced, lying, double standard charlatans. God forbid we have an energy policy that might actually get us mostly off oil in the long run.


  20. 20
    HaroldC

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (8:59 am)

    MichaelH,
    I hope you are around to have to buy a new battery …maybe five or so years after the warranty ends.
    I imagine that even if the battery is somewhat deteriorated at the ten year range that it would still get 15-20 miles range so you better start thinking of getting in shape to be able to enjoy your volt for a long time to come…..
    +1 to you….hadn’t thought of the IRA angle….

    Have a blast w/your volt…..regards..Harold


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    pjkPA

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (9:09 am)

    I’m for the tax credit only if it’s for American companies… and companies who trade fairly ONLY!!!

    We should STOP giving our taxpayer money to companies in countries that put huge taxes on our cars while taking our money to more than freely dump their products in the US!!!


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    kdawg

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (9:11 am)

    volt11: God forbid we have an energy policy that might actually get us mostly off oil in the long run.

    I think you had a typo, it should be “GOP forbid” :)


  23. 23
    PaloAltoWorldView

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (9:17 am)

    (click to show comment)


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    kdawg

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (9:28 am)

    Tagamet: I’ve been on record as opposing tax breaks for almost everything, but I’m sitting here wondering how the admin reconciles the “the rich need to pay their fair share” (as if they didn’t), and increasing the tax break that will mainly HELP the rich. In effect he’s offering another loophole deduction.

    That can be spun the other way too.

    Also, let’s look at the Nissan Leaf priced at $37,250. If you take $10K off, its $27,250. That is $1000 less than the AVERAGE price of a new car. That’s the goal. To have AVERAGE people buy these cars not the rich. BTW, the millionaires are not buying fuel efficient vehicles. To them gas price is meaningless.

    Here’s where you say “the average volt buyer makes $175K/year”. And my response would be, if the Volt cost less, the average income would be less, and enough Volt’s haven’t been sold yet to make the general public comfortable with them. People on limited budgets can’t be as risky w/their investments.


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    kdawg

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (9:34 am)

    The change I would like to see to the subsidy would be the first 500,000 vechicles, period. Not X-amount per manufaturer. This would accelerate competition/cost reduction/etc.

    Peferably, if it could be contained to cars assembled in the US, that would also benefit the country, as the jobs used to make those cars will generate tax revenue.


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    kdawg

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (9:38 am)

    PaloAltoWorldView: If the price of electricity would fall from today’s 11c/kWh to something more reasonable around 1c/kWh, U.S. industry would be a lot more competitive, and people would be buying many more electric cars.

    I don’t think the price of electricity is what is holding the EV movement back. Electricity could be free, and people are still going to look at the initial price of the car, and then the price of gasoline.


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (9:39 am)

    First we have to define the question. There is after all many different versions of the question… If the question is merely how do we stimulate sales of electric vehicles then this subsidy works. If the question is how do we stimulate the sales of electric vehicles and reduce our dependence on foreign oil then the answer is to increase the price of foreign oil. This makes electric vehicles cheaper to operate than their gas burning competition. It also makes a car/truck that get better mpg even more cheaper to operate then the one it replaced. A tariff on imported oil/gasoline etc. would bring money into the treasury rather than drain it. A tariff on imported oil would even further spur domestic production of oil/gas. Alternative energies would have a better competitive position with a higher price for oil. A tariff on imported oil would improve our trade deficit. The big negative is a tariff on imported oil would probably drop the world oil price and our competitors would have cheaper energy prices which would put us at a disadvantage. Would the positives outweigh this negative?


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    James

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (9:41 am)

    Reduce or remove all gasoline subsidies.

    Then watch EV/hybrid usage multiply!

    DUH! .

    James


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    atl-jb

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (9:42 am)

    We should have a $24,000 point of sale rebate that goes down by $500 every month. Simple. And encourages sales Now. In 4 years EVs can then swim on their own.


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (9:47 am)

    HaroldC: hadn’t thought of the IRA angle…. Have a blast w/your volt…..regards..Harold

    Thanks. It worked for me.

    This is our second new car ever. Our first was a 1973 Buick Apollo (upscale Chevy Nova, for those not old enough to remember). We’ve had a string of used vehicles ever since the Buick was totaled in 1976.

    We have had the Volt, White Diamond with everything except polished wheels, for 10-1/2 months now. The vehicle has been great. :-)


  31. 31
    jeffhre

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (10:02 am)

    PaloAltoWorldView,

    The government got out of the way at one time. The managers at Enron shouted out a collective, thank you very much America!

    PaloAltoWorldView:
    The government should not be in the business of offering subsidies or otherwise skewing the market.What the government should do is to reduce the obstacles against producing more (i.e., cheaper) electricity.If the government just got out of the way, the cost of electricity would decline and as a result, adoption of electric cars would increase.If the price of electricity would fall from today’s 11c/kWh to something more reasonable around 1c/kWh, U.S. industry would be a lot more competitive, and people would be buying many more electric cars.


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    Energy Tyrant

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (10:08 am)

    Daily Caller — “Obama hikes subsidy to WEALTHY electric car buyers.”

    Really???

    Is that not the most propaganda-laden headline of the week??

    Wealthy?

    How wealthy do you have to be to own a vehicle with a 40,000 sticker price these days?

    Or a 32,000 sticker price Nissan Leaf?

    President Obama needs to call out these big-oil sellout bastards. He needs to focus light on these propaganda techniques like a kid focuses intense sunlight on a bug with a magnifying glass. Instead of avoiding them, he needs to bring light and heat onto them and their underhandedness, until their publications cease to exist.


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    CorvetteGuy

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (10:19 am)

    I’m no math genius, but I think all of those trillions could have been used to pay off EVERY personal home mortgage in the United States. With no Home Loan Debt, the economy would have been much stronger. With a stronger economy, Obama could have easily raised all of our taxes to start paying back the trillions. Problem solved. No. Wait… I think that’s the definition of Communism. Sorry. Nevermind.


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (10:31 am)

    Just curious, but would the $10k just be an increase on the limit of the tax credit? Unless it also includes changes to the way the credit is calculated, Volts will still only be able to get $7,500 of it. The Leaf and other vehicles with batteries larger than 16 kWh would be the ones to see anything above the original cutoff.


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    Loboc

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (10:33 am)

    Energy Tyrant: Obama needs to call out these big-oil sellout bastards

    Kind of tough to do when accepting oil money to get re-elected. Both parties have sold out.

    We need to make our leaders independently wealthy so they are not so influenced. Raise their pay to something commensurate with market rates of CEO’s. Then hire (elect) the best. We haven’t had ‘the best’ in office for quite some time.

    As CEO’s, their pay can then be tied to the US profit (GDP). If we lose, they lose.

    At the same time, disallow any and all contributions to their campaigns. Fund each campaign equally from taxes and do not allow private funding (even theirs) at all. The ones that use their budget wisely will make some fiscally responsible leaders.

    If we have the brightest stars as our leaders, they may actually lead rather than take bribes.


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (10:57 am)

    Tagamet: I’ve been on record as opposing tax breaks for almost everything, but I’m sitting here wondering how the admin reconciles the “the rich need to pay their fair share” (as if they didn’t), and increasing the tax break that will mainly HELP the rich. In effect he’s offering another loophole deduction.

    Hi Tag. Great to hear from you.

    Do you really oppose tax breaks for everything? Interest on home mortgages? Employer provided health insurance? State property and state income taxes? Charitable donations? Capital gains? People talk about being opposed to tax breaks but in most instances they’re just opposed to SOME tax breaks. If you’re serious about all tax breaks then I’m with you 100%. But if it’s just some tax breaks then I greatly favor the EV tax credits over any of the above as a matter of economic policy and national security.


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    Randy

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (11:02 am)

    CorvetteGuy:
    I’m no math genius, but I think all of those trillions could have been used to pay off EVERY personal home mortgage in the United States. With no Home Loan Debt, the economy would have been much stronger. With a stronger economy, Obama could have easily raised all of our taxes to start paying back the trillions. Problem solved. No. Wait… I think that’s the definition of Communism. Sorry. Nevermind.

    You want to use taxpayers money to pay off other peoples homes,i hope your joking.
    WHat about those who did not buy more home than they can afford?


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    BNL

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (11:03 am)

    (click to show comment)


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    DonC

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (11:04 am)

    Tagamet: I’ve been on record as opposing tax breaks for almost everything, but I’m sitting here wondering how the admin reconciles the “the rich need to pay their fair share” (as if they didn’t), and increasing the tax break that will mainly HELP the rich. In effect he’s offering another loophole deduction.

    Hi Tag, great to hear from you.

    Are you really opposed to all tax breaks? Would that include tax breaks for: Charitable donations? State income and property taxes? Capital gains? Dividends? Employer provided health care? Home sales? Interest on mortgages? Most people say they are opposed to ALL tax breaks but they inevitably are opposed only to SOME tax breaks. If you’re opposed to all the tax breaks listed above then I’m with you 100%. But if you’re in favor of any of them then I’d argue from an economic and national security standpoint that the EV tax credit is more important.

    On the idea that the EV credit is only for rich people, the i-Miev starts at under $29K so you could buy a new one for under $19K with this credit. That’s not what I’d call a tax break only for the rich.

    I personally find it “rich” that people who campaign so strongly for special tax breaks for the rich — think capital gains or the private equity carry trade exemption — would argue that a tax break which benefits the rich is so anathema. Seems good proof that the EV credits aren’t really for the rich.


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (11:05 am)

    First of all its sheer lunacy to give US taxpayer money to buy foreign cars (leaf)not made here.
    All else pales in comparison.


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    Nick D

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (11:05 am)

    kdawg:
    The change I would like to see to the subsidy would be the first 500,000 vechicles, period.Not X-amount per manufaturer.This would accelerate competition/cost reduction/etc.

    Peferably, if it could be contained to cars assembled in the US, that would also benefit the country, as the jobs used to make those cars will generate tax revenue.

    This is a great idea – and what I thought should have happened all along. It will create incentive for innovation rather than having the adverse effect of slowing down the process.
    Additionally it would create extra incentive for foreign manufacturers for setting up manufacturing plants stateside, creating jobs. Now you are solving multiple issues with the tax credit rather than solving none.


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    DonC

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (11:14 am)

    Loboc: We need to make our leaders independently wealthy so they are not so influenced. Raise their pay to something commensurate with market rates of CEO’s. Then hire (elect) the best. We haven’t had ‘the best’ in office for quite some time.

    Realistically when you make the prize larger you encourage people to use more nefarious means of staying in power. If you want to see how this works just look at West Africa. Lots of natural resources and even more government corruption. Seems like a recipe for corruption to me.


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (11:16 am)

    James: If we’re going to use tax dollars to kickstart a consumer trend towards less oil dependency, let’s talk a point-of-purchase rebate.

    To some extent a lease does this. Another way is one suggested by someone in the forums. His dealer registered the car, filed for the rebate, and then sold him a technically used car for $7500 less.

    Where there is a will there is a way. (Did Mao say that? LOL).


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    kdawg

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (11:17 am)

    Loboc: We need to make our leaders independently wealthy so they are not so influenced

    The average Congressman is a millionaire already.
    http://www.pri.org/stories/politics-society/government/average-net-worth-of-congressmen-and-women-now-913-000-7658.html
    A new report from the Washington Post has found that the net worth of a member of the House of Representatives has climbed 2.5 times in 25 years, while the net worth of Americans has been stagnant.

    It’s a good time to be a member of Congress.

    Loboc: At the same time, disallow any and all contributions to their campaigns.

    All they will do is form super pac’s and have a campaign managers run them without coordinating with the people running (ha, right).

    Loboc: If we have the brightest stars as our leaders, they may actually lead rather than take bribes.

    Even if you have a great leader, w/out a functioning Congress we are screwed. I think political parites should be outlawed. Stand on your own merits, not a party’s. No straight-ticket voting.


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    Tim

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (11:20 am)

    No. Wait… I think that’s the definition of Communism. Sorry. Nevermind.

    Actually, that’s not the definition of communism. The definition of communism is “a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state.” What you just stated is more akin to socialism, where the private property rights are retained by the individuals. I’m not supporting the premise you stated (sarcastically, I know) but just saying it isn’t what you said it was. And by the way, no one has ever proposed that policy. No one.


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (11:23 am)

    Jim I:
    You can’t overspend your budget like this and expect things to get better.In a short term emergency, maybe, but not the way it has been done over the last forty years!

    There is not a spending problem. There’s a revenue problem. Taxes have been repeatedly been cut for the last 40+ years and are at their lowest rates since the 1950s. Let’s split the difference and return to the tax rates under Reagan. Guess what! The deficit would disappear and there would be revenue left over to start paying down the debt. No cuts necessary whatsoever, and we can still have our shining city on the hill.


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (11:25 am)

    Randy: CorvetteGuy:
    I’m no math genius, but I think all of those trillions could have been used to pay off EVERY personal home mortgage in the United States. With no Home Loan Debt, the economy would have been much stronger. With a stronger economy, Obama could have easily raised all of our taxes to start paying back the trillions. Problem solved. No. Wait… I think that’s the definition of Communism. Sorry. Nevermind.You want to use taxpayers money to pay off other peoples homes,i hope your joking.
    WHat about those who did not buy more home than they can afford?

    I think a better idea would be for the goverment to give a 1% loan to the homeowners vs. giving 0% loans to banks so they can line their pockets, then loan the money out at 30% credit cards, to people who buy more than they can afford. I laughed when everyone called it an accomplishment after they got the bank mortgages down from 7.5% to 5.5%. What? The banks should be loaning money for homes at 1% when they are getting it from the potential homeowners tax-pockets for 0%.


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (11:37 am)

    No. I don’t like the tax credit idea. It’s giving people that make the most money an incentive to buy a more fuel efficient car. Those are the people more able to cope with the fuel/energy prices. I didn’t much like the “cash for clunkers” program either. It spent tax dollars on cars that would virtually all disappear on their own through attrition and made the used car market tougher for the lower income people that can really afford new cars. Plenty of opportunity for fraud in the program too.


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (11:42 am)

    PaloAltoWorldView: If the price of electricity would fall from today’s 11c/kWh to something more reasonable around 1c/kWh, U.S. industry would be a lot more competitive, and people would be buying many more electric cars.

    Cheap electricity won’t do it alone. You mostly need expensive oil to make the alternative more attractive. Otherwise, people keep doing what they are used to do : buy ICE cars.

    Getting used to something new is always difficult, even when it’s better.

    P.S. Gas is 5.33$ a gallon this morning in Montreal


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (11:44 am)

    George S. Bower: NO. They are blowing hot air. In fact, the Republicans have even LESS of a chance of balancing the budget than the Dems……Why….because they will refuse to lower defense spending

    #10

    The bottom line. +1

    We can’t do any of the above because we’re broke, but we can fund a new generation of bombers in case we need to bomb anybody. Sounds like a great idea, since we have gotten so much use out of the B-1s and B-2s we spent all of those billions building. I guess now the bogeyman is the dreaded China. Corporate welfare reigns supreme.


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (11:46 am)

    MichaelH: I merely said, “the battery is warranted for 8 years, I’m not.”

    #11

    As my Dad always used to say, “Too true to be funny”, LOL. Me neither! +1


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (11:52 am)

    Loboc:
    Debating whether to have a $7500 or $10k tax credit is like fighting over 7 to 10 CENTS ya found in the couch.

    How about we stop importing OPEC oil and cut the supporting military expense?

    #14

    No s**t! +1

    Not to sound like a broken record, but we could have paid for all of the above with the money we flushed (and continue to flush) down the toilet in Iraq and Afghanistan. Something to think about when they start to beat the drums to:

    “Bomb, bomb, bomb – bomb , bomb Iran”

    Sung to the tune of “Barbara Ann” by the great John McCain, if anyone needs to be reminded.


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (12:11 pm)

    voltvalentine.jpg


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (12:48 pm)

    While I’d certainly take any money the government cares to offer me, I’d rather GM just find a way to build their VOLTEC offerings in a way that didn’t weaken the company with subsidies.


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (12:53 pm)

    I would like to see random recharge stations placed throughout our cities. This is the bottle neck at this time.

    NPNS


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (12:57 pm)

    Randy: You want to use taxpayers money to pay off other peoples homes,i hope your joking.
    WHat about those who did not buy more home than they can afford?

    Of course I joke. But one thing is for sure… Giving that tax money back to the tax-PAYERS who gave it to the Gov’t in the first place would have been better than giving it to banks to bailout their sorry portfolios or letting it line some presidential slush-fund. (((…sound of Secret Service kicking in my door…)))


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (1:07 pm)

    Tall Pete,

    Saw one station in Montreal last nite at $1.564 per liter or $5.91 for USG. (Premium grade)

    Electric lookin’ GOOD….$.08 per KWH around here…..


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (1:25 pm)

    I think the credit is essential to get the EV market off the ground. That said, I do niot think making this a credit helps incvrease sales to most people.

    Making the credit a point of sale rebate would really stimulate sales. Chevy made the Volt to be the Electric Car for the Masses. Unfortunately a $40k+ car is pretty pricey for the masses. While the leases are very reasonable, some people just don’t like leases and prefer to buy.

    Reduce the sales price at time of sale by $7.5k and it will make a Volt more reasonable for many folks. A lot of the masses can’t swing waiting for up to a year to get their credit. Furthermore, most of the masses don’t pay enough tax to get the full credit anyway. The credit is just too much for many folks to understand and it scares a lot of people off.

    Keep it simple and you will get more sales.


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (1:25 pm)

    HaroldC,

    Yup, Yes Sir, Sure is a way to get the $7,500.00 on the spot………..shore is!

    NCD ( Net Cost to Drive ) Bout $37.25 a week! ……..What? !

    Let’s try this one more time…………………**$5,364.00 NCD ?

    **$37.25 a week or less!

    We now know that the Volt Lease is back for model year 2012.

    We know that in most states the lessee pays a use tax only on the scheduled lease payments and NOT the MSRP or MSRP+.

    We know that the lease shows on the lessee credit report as total of scheduled payments only thus not impacting household budget more then the typical $15,000.00 used car with an average of 4 years old and minimal warranty remaining!

    We know therefore that the 3 year lease is ideal also because the turn in time may well happen as Volt Gen 2 arrives……….No 5-6-7 year contracts.

    We know that the Fed $7500.00 is captured by the Lessor, US Bank/ Ally and they state “Us Bank as the lessor holds title to the vehicle . The lessee receives the benefit of the tax credit as an ENHANCEMENT TO TO THE RESIDUAL VALUE…”

    …No side loans or other fancy arangements…the $7500.00 credit is a price reduction NOW!

    Chevrolet announced the MY2012 Chevrolet from $349.00 a month with roughly 7% up front…
    ( Almost $3,000.00 Stackable Lease Bonus Cash ( a lease rebate ) NOW!)

    http://www.chevrolet.com/volt-electric-car/

    Assuming base Volt with destination included at no more than MSRP.

    36 months at $349.00 per month =$12,564.00. Net over the 3 year lease!

    Now factor in the cost to plug in……

    Estimated cost to drive the Volt 40 miles a day at $1.20 a charge=$36.00 a month,

    http://www.lbwl.com/PEVintro.pdf

    Plus some gasoline…………

    With 78% of American Commuters driving 40 miles a day or so………

    http://www.bts.gov/publications/omni…pdf/entire.pdf

    ……………….then, here is the fuel costs that the Amazing Chevy Volt EREV will displace each month!

    Note, average consumer fleet average is 22 mpg, hwy/ city. Lets us 20 mpg for simplicity.

    With the cost of a gallon of gas at $4.00 that’s $8.00 per day or $240.00 a month.

    With the cost of a gallon of gas at $3.50 that’s $7.00 per day or $210.00 a month.

    With the cost of a gallon of gas at $3.00 that’s $6.00 per day or $180.00 a month.

    Let us use the $4.00 a gallon figure for now at $240.00 a month gas cost, again, set aside $40.00, plug in costs plus some gas!

    Not spending $200.00 a month for gasoline. $200.00 a month net cost to drive reduction equals $2400.00 a year or $7200.00 over the three year lease!

    $12,564.00 lease payment over 36 months minus $7200.00- gas not bought equals….

    $5,364.00 Net Cost to Drive the Amazing Chevy Volt EREV for 36 months!

    Divide $5,343.00 by 36 months and this equals $149.00 a month, Net Cost to Drive!

    One more step………..

    $149.00 devided by 4 weeks in a month equals……….

    $37.25 a Week or less-Net Cost To Drive N.C.D. per week. Folks, if my math is right then anyone looking to buy a $10,000 used car with most likely 80,000 miles on it, no warranty and 5-7+ years old can do a heck of a lot better in The Amazing Chevy Volt Extended Range Electric Vehicle.

    I Just Love My Math! Make Sense ?

    The Amazing Chevy Volt EREV-Facts Guy

    http://www.gm-volt.com/forum/showthr…lt-White-Paper


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (1:51 pm)

    Dave K.: I would like to see random recharge stations placed throughout our cities. This is the bottle neck at this time.

    Ah, a comment from someone with an EV! I still think that even 120V chargers at workplaces would be best, followed by 240V chargers at public places and fast chargers at a few places like LAX where there might be some concentrated demand.


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (2:05 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: Giving that tax money back to the tax-PAYERS who gave it to the Gov’t in the first place would have been better than giving it to banks to bailout their sorry portfolios or letting it line some presidential slush-fund. (((…sound of Secret Service kicking in my door…)))

    Time to remove the tin foil hat. First taxpayers generally don’t “give” the government anything. They pay taxes. Second, if the financial system had collapsed we would have been lucky if unemployment had stayed below 30% and you wouldn’t have had a job because no one would have been buying cars. So kiss the feet of those who figured it out (equal credit BTW goes to both the Bush and Obama Administrations but most of the credit has to go to the Federal Reserve). Third, the bank bail out actually turned a hefty profit for taxpayers. Maybe you didn’t get the memo. So no, “taxpayers” as a whole would not have been better off.


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (2:18 pm)

    HaroldC: Saw one station in Montreal last nite at $1.564 per liter or $5.91 for USG. (Premium grade)

    #56

    OUCH! +1 for the info though. We need to take a message from that.


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (2:20 pm)

    kdawg,

    “the average volt buyer makes $175K/year”
    I see that number thrown around, and I know that there is one very important point that is missed. Consider that some of the early adopters of the Volt were people with ridiculous incomes like Jay Leno that skew the mean income WAY higher than it will eventually shake out. rather than quoting an average it would have made a lot more sense to show income distribution: I think that there are some pretty high earners that would show up as a spike in the distribution.


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (2:34 pm)

    HaroldC:
    Tall Pete,

    Saw one station in Montreal last nite at $1.564 per liter or $5.91 for USG. (Premium grade)

    Electric lookin’ GOOD….$.08 per KWH around here…..

    Let’s hope GM figures it out soon.


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (3:12 pm)

    ronr64: First we have to define the question. There is after all many different versions of the question… If the question is merely how do we stimulate sales of electric vehicles then this subsidy works. If the question is how do we stimulate the sales of electric vehicles and reduce our dependence on foreign oil then the answer is to increase the price of foreign oil … Alternative energies would have a better competitive position with a higher price for oil.

    We add in the cost of the military campaigns needed to protect oil interests and that will slam the cost of gasoline through the roof. Start billing the oil companies to protect them and they will pass it along in gas prices.


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (3:14 pm)

    I would like using a both carrot and stick approach; where the stick pays for the carrot. An instant rebate would be a big improvement; no need to increase the amount. Restrict the tax credit/instant rebate to vehicles assembled in the U.S. Pay for temporary EV incentive programs with oil company subsidy money and a slight gas tax. Go back to Clinton tax rates for now, with the goal of totally simplifying the tax system to a simple 10% to 25% gradual scale starting from income above 20K single and above 40K married. Only allow deductions for things like: medical, education and dependents. Getting rid of the “temporary” tax reduction for the wealthiest IS NOT A TAX INCREASE; because it was originally not meant to be permanent and should have been stopped when we ran out of “surplus” to pay for it IMHO. The economy grows as the Middle Class grows.


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (3:27 pm)

    DonC: Ah, a comment from someone with an EV! I still think that even 120V chargers at workplaces would be best, followed by 240V chargers at public places and fast chargers at a few places like LAX where there might be some concentrated demand.

    120V chargers are not even needed. What is needed is a place to plug in the 120V chargers that come with the cars. I drive 26 miles to my office. I do have an external outlet, and I plugged in at 9:00am today. Estimated time to full charge is 3:30 pm. cost to fully charge (from 30% capacity)? about 55 cents. Easy and cheap installation of external outlets can be done at many places of employment almost immediately.


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (4:27 pm)

    A lot of this “helping the rich” argument on the tax credit is completely irrelevant. Bottom line, the tax credit sells more electric cars, plain and simple, and that’s the objective of having it in the first place.

    I know in my case it enabled GM to do the attractive lease, and that is 100% what got me in the door to place an early order. If the Volt was $600 a month to lease instead, I am 99% sure I would not have one, regardless of the fact that I can afford the $600 a month.


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (4:58 pm)

    volt11: A lot of this “helping the rich” argument on the tax credit is completely irrelevant. Bottom line, the tax credit sells more electric cars, plain and simple, and that’s the objective of having it in the first place.I know in my case it enabled GM to do the attractive lease, and that is 100% what got me in the door to place an early order. If the Volt was $600 a month to lease instead, I am 99% sure I would not have one, regardless of the fact that I can afford the $600 a month.

    HECK YEAH! My payment is $549/month for 60 months to buy. $600/ month restricted to low mileage to hand them the keys at the end would be pretty dumb! :-)


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    Charlie H

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (5:47 pm)

    (click to show comment)


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (5:48 pm)

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    evnow

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (5:59 pm)

    Charlie H: Nobody “gave” money to the banks, they were loaned enough money to remain afloat and in business.

    Well, the problem is the loan is at 0%. Then the banks buy teasury bonds with that money and make a nice profit.

    And then, there is the roblem of bankers completely ignoring the fact that they were bailed out – and taking all the profits & bonuses.

    Essentially the bankers are capitalists when things are rosy & socialists when they aren’t.

    This is not a Faux News position – this is the Occupy WS position.


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (6:19 pm)

    DonC: Hi Tag, great to hear from you.

    Are you really opposed to all tax breaks? Would that include tax breaks for: Charitable donations? State income and property taxes? Capital gains? Dividends? Employer provided health care? Home sales? Interest on mortgages? Most people say they are opposed to ALL tax breaks but they inevitably are opposed only to SOME tax breaks. If you’re opposed to all the tax breaks listed above then I’m with you 100%. But if you’re in favor of any of them then I’d argue from an economic and national security standpoint that the EV tax credit is more important.

    On the idea that the EV credit is only for rich people, the i-Miev starts at under $29K so you could buy a new one for under $19K with this credit. That’s not what I’d call a tax break only for the rich.

    I personally find it “rich” that people who campaign so strongly for special tax breaks for the rich — think capital gains or the private equity carry trade exemption — would argue that a tax break which benefits the rich is so anathema. Seems good proof that the EV credits aren’t really for the rich.

    ========================

    I don’t know about Tag, But yes, I think all deductions should be eliminated. There should be a graduated flat tax.

    Less than $15000 – 0%
    15000 – 24999 – 7%
    25000 – 49999 – 10%
    50000 – 99999 – 12%
    100000 – 249999 – 15%
    250000 – 999999 – 18%
    1000000 – 4999999 – 20%
    5000000+ – 22%

    No difference where the income comes from.

    And the tax form is only 4 lines long.

    1. How much did you make?
    2. How much do you owe?
    3. How much was already paid?
    4. How much do you owe, or how much is your refund?

    And a similar idea for businesses as well.

    We don’t need 72,000 pages of tax code!
    We could reduce the government payroll by most of the 88,000 IRS employees.

    Think this will ever happen? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How would the politicians give benefits to their big donors???

    That is simple to fix too – term limits………. Two terms and you go home – and no big pensions – government service is supposed to help the citizens, not yourself. But pay them well while they are there, to get some good people.

    JMHO


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (6:40 pm)

    Tim: There is not a spending problem. There’s a revenue problem. Taxes have been repeatedly been cut for the last 40+ years and are at their lowest rates since the 1950s. Let’s split the difference and return to the tax rates under Reagan. Guess what! The deficit would disappear and there would be revenue left over to start paying down the debt. No cuts necessary whatsoever, and we can still have our shining city on the hill.

    Somebody is wrong.

    http://www.heritage.org/budgetchartbook/growth-federal-spending-revenue

    http://www.heritage.org/budgetchartbook/federal-spending-per-household

    http://www.heritage.org/budgetchartbook/growth-federal-spending

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_public_debt#Recent_additions_to_the_public_debt_of_the_United_States

    There must be a reason each man/woman/child owes $49K of the national debt.

    http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (6:49 pm)

    Jim-I: Less than $15000 – 0%
    15000 – 24999 – 7%
    25000 – 49999 – 10%
    50000 – 99999 – 12%
    100000 – 249999 – 15%
    250000 – 999999 – 18%
    1000000 – 4999999 – 20%
    5000000+ – 22%

    Love your idea, but I would make it even simpler:

    Income up to 20K => 0%
    Income over 20K => 20%
    No deductions for anything.
    Only tax payers get to vote.


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (7:28 pm)

    Charlie H,
    GM should add eAssist to every ICE vehicle as the first step to electrify their entire line. This will be light hybrids, but everyone who has driven a hybrid (I see that you haven’t) know how well hybrids saves gas.

    That same eAssist technology can beimproved to a strong hybrid, while GM continues to produce more EVs and EREVs. Their eAssist customers will be motivated to move up to the stronger hybrids and EVs. Eventually all the line will be EREVs or EVs.

    Think of the eAssist as “training wheels”! You have to train every driver to save gas!

    Raymond


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (7:32 pm)

    Jim I: 0 – 49999 – 10%

    And the tax form is only 4 lines long.

    1.How much did you make?
    2.How much do you owe?
    3.How much was already paid?
    4.How much do you owe, or how much is your refund?

    I saw a simpler tax form many years ago:

    1. How much did you make?
    2. How much is left over after expenses?
    3. Send it

    Raymond


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (7:49 pm)

    Open-Mind: Love your idea, but I would make it even simpler:
    Income up to 20K => 0%
    Income over 20K => 20%
    No deductions for anything.
    Only tax payers get to vote.

    Do you think the rich would end up paying more or less than they do now? If its less, who makes up the difference?

    I think taking away people’s right to vote is the wrong direction in this country, after it took decades for so many to gain that right.


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (7:50 pm)

    Raymondjram: GM should add eAssist to every ICE vehicle as the first step to electrify their entire line. This will be light hybrids, but everyone who has driven a hybrid (I see that you haven’t) know how well hybrids saves gas.
    That same eAssist technology can beimproved to a strong hybrid, while GM continues to produce more EVs and EREVs. Their eAssist customers will be motivated to move up to the stronger hybrids and EVs. Eventually all the line will be EREVs or EVs.
    Think of the eAssist as “training wheels”! You have to train every driver to save gas!
    Raymond

    Amen to everything you said Raymond. Putting E-Assist as standard on everything may make their vehicles a bit more expensive to compete, but it will raise the entire line-up’s fuel efficiency and get economies of scale in the same stride.


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (8:02 pm)

    Open-Mind,

    Well let’s see; after minimal deductions, we paid just over 11K in actual Fed. Income tax, not including FICA of course. Using your tax suggestion; we would have paid 17K in actual Fed. Income tax. No thanks; and that’s not including if we had children at home, college or extra ordinary medical expenses to deal with. Flat tax is a bad idea for the low and low-middle income and a sweet deal for many wealthy people.


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (8:08 pm)

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (8:17 pm)

    Charlie H: GM’s current project is adding the fundamentally worthless eAssist to everything they can think of.

    So you think a 25% fuel economy improvement is worthless?

    From GM:
    In fact, the 2012 LaCrosse gets better highway fuel economy than the Lexus HS and Infiniti M Hybrid.2

    The 2012 Regal with eAssist Technology will offer better fuel economy than Acura TSX, Audi A4, and the Volkswagen CC.


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (8:57 pm)

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (8:59 pm)

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (9:02 pm)

    kdawg: Do you think the rich would end up paying more or less than they do now? If its less, who makes up the difference?
    I think taking away people’s right to vote is the wrong direction in this country, after it took decades for so many to gain that right.

    Some rich (like Warren Buffet and Mitt Romney) would pay more. And some rich (like Bill O’Reilly and Barack Obama) would pay less. The benefit of 20/20 is not revenue … the benefit is simplicity … everyone plays by the same rules. And more importantly … it deflates the destructive class warfare argument about “not paying your fair share”. The “fair share” is 20% (or whatever the voting public decides it should be).

    As for taking away people’s right to vote … today people under 18 can’t vote. Isn’t that age discrimination? Isn’t that unfair? No system is perfect. With my system if you contribute, then you get to vote, regardless of age.


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (9:16 pm)

    BLIND GUY: Well let’s see; after minimal deductions, we paid just over 11K in actual Fed. Income tax, not including FICA of course. Using your tax suggestion; we would have paid 17K in actual Fed. Income tax. No thanks; and that’s not including if we had children at home, college or extra ordinary medical expenses to deal with. Flat tax is a bad idea for the low and low-middle income and a sweet deal for many wealthy people.

    Reversing your calculation (and ignoring FICA), you payed 11K on 87K … about 13%. If we want to define 13% as “the fair share”, that’s find with me. We can also adjust the universal $20K deduction higher or lower too. The important thing is that “fair share” is clearly defined and that everyone plays by the same rule.

    FICA and the other federal sub-taxes should eliminated or lumped into the single “fair share” percentage.


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (9:27 pm)

    Charlie H: The Lexus HS is discontinued.

    2012 is advertised for sale http://www.lexus.com/models/HSh/

    Charlie H: And the Buick is not in the same class as the Inifiniti.
    Or perhaps you’re a bit goofy from all the GM Kool-Aid?

    Says the sap drinking the Toyota tea. You consistently compare the Volt to a Prius econobox.

    [calls nurse to change Charlie's diaper]


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (9:44 pm)

    Open-Mind: Some rich (like Warren Buffet and Mitt Romney) would pay more. And some rich (like Bill O’Reilly and Barack Obama) would pay less. The benefit of 20/20 is not revenue … the benefit is simplicity … everyone plays by the same rules. And more importantly … it deflates the destructive class warfare argument about “not paying your fair share”. The “fair share” is 20% (or whatever the voting public decides it should be).

    But is its about revenue. You can’t cut taxes for everyone. If someone is paying less, someone else is paying more. How many Bills does it take to equal a Romney? I think you’ll find that the lower end will end up footing the bill for the those at the top. BTW, we are playing by the same rules now, it’s our current tax code. Are they the best rules, probably not. I don’t agree with a mere 15% capital gains tax. But why is a progressive tax not fair? The richer a person is the more they gain from a country and its government. I’ts only fair they pay more. I’m for making it less complicated, but I dont think people making $21K/year should pay the same rate as someone making $2.1 million/year.

    Open-Mind: As for taking away people’s right to vote … today people under 18 can’t vote. Isn’t that age discrimination? Isn’t that unfair? No system is perfect. With my system if you contribute, then you get to vote, regardless of age.

    18 is the age determined to be an adult, resposible for you own actions, can be drafted, etc. I don’t have a problem with minors not being able to vote. You speak about removing class warefare. Elimating voting rights for the poor is not going to help that. What if I’m living off my savings and don’t have any taxable income? Does that mean I dont get to vote? The system you are describing is similiar to buying a vote. People are already buying elections, which isn’t good. What if the people that can vote, decide to raise the price of voting? Eventually only the rich will be able to vote and they will only elect people that will benefit/maintain their current status.


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (10:35 pm)

    Open-Mind,

    A flat tax with no deductions will always be too harsh on low to low-middle income people and accelerate the wealth of the richest. Your idea will turn us into a 2 Class society. People need to be able to afford the education to get or make a good paying job so they can afford to have children, pay for medical care, save for retirement etc… A gradual tax scale with deductions for education, medical, and dependants will allow people the ability to climb that income ladder which will benefit everyone in the long run. We can’t just cut our way out of this mess either. We need more revenue by creating more jobs in clean domestic energy and fixing our infrastructure, which will give us more revenue through those payroll taxes. We are borrowing money to continue the tax reduction on the wealthiest which hasn’t trickled down; it only made the rich richer. You just seem to forget about all the basic living expenses that the majority of people struggle with. I would be willing to give up my payroll tax holiday, if the Rich go back to paying the Clinton rate. No Sir; a flat tax is not fair.


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (10:47 pm)

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (11:16 pm)

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    Feb 14th, 2012 (11:38 pm)

    LOL.. it always amuses me how bothered John & Charlie get. It must grind their planetary gears that Voltec is now the superior technology. I wonder if they will ever stop saying the same things over & over.

    [prepares for "Deep Thoughts" reply from John]


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    Feb 14th, 2012 (11:56 pm)

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    Feb 15th, 2012 (12:58 am)

    BLIND GUY: A flat tax with no deductions will always be too harsh on low to low-middle income people and accelerate the wealth of the richest.

    No deductions? Not sure what your’e talking about. I proposed a flat universal $20K deduction for everyone. Only income beyond that would be taxed at a flat rate.


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    Feb 15th, 2012 (1:27 am)

    kdawg: But why is a progressive tax not fair? The richer a person is the more they gain from a country and its government. I’ts only fair they pay more. I’m for making it less complicated, but I dont think people making $21K/year should pay the same rate as someone making $2.1 million/year.

    Perhaps you didn’t read what I wrote.

    Let’s try my proposal again with your example. The $21K guy would take his $20K deduction and pay 20% on $1000 = $200. The $2.1 million dollar guy would take his $20K deduction and pay 20% on $2,080,000 = $416,000. So the rich guy who makes 100X as much pays 2,080X as much taxes. That’s not progressive enough for you?

    How about this for an analogy … Michael Jordan was not a better basketball player than everybody else at the time … he just gained more from the NBA. It was greedy of Jordan to score half the team’s points each game. Since that was clearly unfair, he should have been required to share his salary and points with the rest of the Chicago Bulls. No big deal if he quits or stops trying … the Bulls would have won just as many championships without Jordan. Right?


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    Feb 15th, 2012 (1:34 am)

    BLIND GUY:
    Open-Mind,

    A flat tax with no deductions will always be too harsh on low to low-middle income people and accelerate the wealth of the richest.Your idea will turn us into a 2 Class society.People need to be able to afford the education to get or make a good paying job so they can afford to have children, pay for medical care, save for retirement etc…A gradual tax scale with deductions for education, medical, and dependants will allow people the ability to climb that income ladder which will benefit everyone in the long run.We can’t just cut our way out of this mess either.We need more revenue by creating more jobs in clean domestic energy and fixing our infrastructure, which will give us more revenue through those payroll taxes.We are borrowing money to continue the tax reduction on the wealthiest which hasn’t trickled down; it only made the rich richer.You just seem to forget about all the basic living expenses that the majority of people struggle with.I would be willing to give up my payroll tax holiday, if the Rich go back to paying the Clinton rate.No Sir; a flat tax is not fair.

    I am not seeing your point. You actually need to run the numbers for your income to see where you end up. Take last years return and see how much you actually paid in taxes after all the wonderful deductions, which do nothing but complicate everything. Now take your income and use my scale to see how much you would pay. I did, and my taxes actually went up a bit. But I look at is as almost a wash from what I would save paying the CPA to do the return.

    And as far as the “rich” that everyone seems to talk about, if you remove the deductions that they get to take advantage of, and that are written specifically for them, believe me they would pay much more with a flat tax.

    IMHO, it levels the field for everyone.

    If my brackets need some adjustment, no problem. But the basic idea is sound.

    My personal and corporate returns were over 50 pages last year. The system is just ridiculous.

    I would welcome a one page return I could fill out myself………….


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    Feb 15th, 2012 (1:36 am)

    john1701a: Meanwhile, how Voltec is actually “superior” remains a mystery. What are the goals?

    That’s easy.

    The Volt is superior because it can (for many) handle most of their driving on electric fuel that is 100% made in the USA from sources that are very abundant. And the per-mile cost of that fuel is 1/5 the cost of gasoline, and that ratio is likely to increase. And the Volt is still the only reasonably priced vehicle that can do all this without the range anxiety of a pure electric.


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    Feb 15th, 2012 (10:12 am)

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    Feb 15th, 2012 (10:16 am)

    Jim I,

    I gave you a +1 for post#7. You describe a flat tax as: no deductions, but you have a graduating scale or % as your income increases. My definition of a flat tax is: same % across income levels and no deductions; which I say is unfair. According to your plan: I would have paid about $750.00 less. The only thing you and I disagree on is I would want 4 basic deductions for everyone:
    1. 1500. Per dependant
    2. All medical expenses.
    3. Tuition and supplies for college, not room and board.
    4. Up to 6000. Per year towards any retirement account.
    These are deductions to lower your total taxable income, not tax credits. I feel these deductions are fair to help people climb to the Middle Class; which will help our economy the most.


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    Feb 15th, 2012 (11:29 am)

    Open-Mind,

    OK so let’s take a family of 5 and see how they do with your plan.
    Total income is $60,000. A year
    FICA and medicare is calculated on $60,000. Because a 20% flat won’t be high enough to balance the budget IMO. So 60,000. – 8% approx.. = 55,200.
    Now minus 8000. For the flat 20% on 40,000. = 47,200.
    Some States have State income tax as well, but we’ll just forget about that for now.
    So now, let’s pay for some basic living expenses:
    Rent/mortgage, utilities, phones, internet etc… 1600. Minimum
    1 vehicle payment and insurance, gas, main… 600. Min.
    All medical… 800. Don’t forget about disease
    Food and clothing for 5…1200.
    Other miss. Expenses…300. = 4,500. Min. per month x 12 months= 54,000.
    So take your 47,200. After taxes and minus your bills of 54000. And your in the hole -6,800. And that’s not including State income tax for States like AZ. We couldn’t put any money aside for college or retirement either.
    So to have a true Flat tax at a low enough % for many people to survive will not pay for the budget period; you’re dreaming my friend.


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    Feb 15th, 2012 (12:23 pm)

    Loboc,

    I agree with you totally… If we eliminate politicians’ need to be bought through corporate kickbacks, then the politicians would be more in position to cater to the general public’s consensus (as they’re elected to do) as opposed to catering to the demands of their elite purchasers.

    Campaign finance reform is critical to this.

    However, thanks to the recent Citizens United ruling, imposed upon us by Republican-nominated Supreme Court judges, corporations are now officially considered people, and can go hog wild with buying our leaders. Heck, thanks to that incomprehensible ruling this great country’s leaders can even be bought by foreigners.

    So instead of bringing about campaign finance reform, the Republicans have now officially blown up the dam holding back the millions in bribes.

    As Mitt Romney said, ‘corporations are people, my friend.’

    Until this nonsense stops, neither will the corruption.

    And until the corruption stops, neither will the attacks from corrupted media outlets and politicians who are trying to protect those who are.buying them.

    And that’s very bad for breakthrough technology that threatens the powers that be, such as the Volt does.


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    Feb 15th, 2012 (5:12 pm)

    john1701a: When will the technology be aimed at those simply looking for a Malibu or Cruze with a substantial efficiency improvement… rather than 25%, what about 100% or 200%… without a massive upfront premium?

    That target of “nicely under $30,000” needs to be achieved without subsidies at some point. When?

    I agree, and I don’t know when. But I do know that lithium batteries are getting better and cheaper each year, and economies of scale will accelerate that. Eventually electric cars will be cheaper than ICE cars since they are simpler machines with fewer moving parts. Big transition … takes time.


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    Feb 15th, 2012 (5:45 pm)

    BLIND GUY: OK so let’s take a family of 5 and see how they do with your plan.
    Total income is $60,000. A year
    FICA and medicare is calculated on $60,000. Because a 20% flat won’t be high enough to balance the budget IMO. So 60,000. – 8% approx.. = 55,200.
    Now minus 8000. For the flat 20% on 40,000. = 47,200.

    I proposed that the other sub-taxes be absorbed into the 20%, so this guy would pay $8K and clear $52K. Hope that’s enough. Maybe this guy should have planned ahead a little … considered his budget before deciding to raise a family of 5 on $60K. Maybe his wife could get a part time job … her first $20K would be tax-free. And maybe they could live without internet and cell phones. Imagine … planning ahead and living within ones means? That’s how my parents raised six kids on one income. When did personal responsibility become the last option?

    Same goes for the government. It would be possible to cut government spending back to the Bush levels. Again … when did government responsibility become the last option?


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    Feb 15th, 2012 (7:26 pm)

    Open-Mind,

    Go back to the Bush spending levels? What about the two wars we haven’t paid for? Why was Bush borrowing more money to pay for tax cuts for the Rich. The Bush policies, for the most part crippled this Nation.
    You and I will never agree on tax policy.


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    Feb 15th, 2012 (9:08 pm)

    BLIND GUY: Go back to the Bush spending levels? What about the two wars we haven’t paid for? Why was Bush borrowing more money to pay for tax cuts for the Rich. The Bush policies, for the most part crippled this Nation.

    It’s really quite simple … Bush’s deficit spending was very irresponsible. Obama’s deficit spending is THREE TIMES BUSH’S DEFICIT SPENDING.

    I’m curious … can you explain or reference the “Bush policy” that crippled the nation? I often see it referenced, but I’ve never see it defined. That’s because in reality, the root cause policies you speak of started in the 70′s under Carter.


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    Feb 15th, 2012 (10:59 pm)

    Open-Mind,

    Off the top of my head:
    He was responsible for giving the richest tax cuts; with the promise that it would create more jobs in America. Where are those jobs? The Rich have gotten richer with no significant job growth here in America.
    He let Osama get away in Afghan. And pushed for a war against Sadame; without regard to consequences.
    Basically He allowed the housing bubble to happen and burst causing chaos that has taken a huge toll on homeowners and tax payers.
    Bottom-line: He started his office with a budget surplus and ended his office with the Nation hurting badly.
    Obama really didn’t have a choice; he had to bail the Nation out of that huge mess or risk a long depression.

    I am done debating with you; because you obviously have your “mind” made-up and not “open”.
    BTW Reagan-nomics really jacked up our debt.


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    Feb 16th, 2012 (12:18 pm)

    Schmeltz,

    Problem is that all other foreign companies get huge subsities from THEIR governments… if we don’t do anything there will be no American companies left…. for the same reason KODAK has filed for bankruptcy… they cannot “compete” against the heavily subsidized Fugi… and can’t sell anything in the large camera market Japan because of tariffs and other barriers.
    In the “Global Market” the cheaters are winning.


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    Feb 16th, 2012 (5:30 pm)

    BLIND GUY: Off the top of my head:
    He was responsible for giving the richest tax cuts; with the promise that it would create more jobs in America. Where are those jobs? The Rich have gotten richer with no significant job growth here in America.
    He let Osama get away in Afghan. And pushed for a war against Sadame; without regard to consequences.
    Basically He allowed the housing bubble to happen and burst causing chaos that has taken a huge toll on homeowners and tax payers.
    Bottom-line: He started his office with a budget surplus and ended his office with the Nation hurting badly.
    Obama really didn’t have a choice; he had to bail the Nation out of that huge mess or risk a long depression.

    I am done debating with you; because you obviously have your “mind” made-up and not “open”.
    BTW Reagan-nomics really jacked up our debt.

    Many of your impressions seem to be based on misinformation. Here are some facts:

    Clinton’s budget surplus was largely a result of Congress during his term. Congress creates the budgets, not the President. A guy named Newt Gingrich was House speaker at the time.

    Using your terminology, Bush “inherited Clinton’s recession”. Remember the .COM bubble and crash? Happened under Clinton. Main difference … Bush didn’t blame Clinton since economic ups and downs are a natural occurrence.

    Remember 9/11/2001? Bush got hit with that that too while “Clinton’s recession” was in full swing.

    The Bush tax cuts applied to all tax brackets, not just the rich. And they worked. Despite 9/11, the economy recovered in two years and was great until the housing/credit crashes. Tax revenues increased under Bush and unemployment was below 5%. He and congress simply spent too damn much … much less than Obama, but still way too much.

    No specific Bush policy caused the housing bubble. That bubble had been growing for 30 years starting with the CRA under Carter. Bush tried but could not end the dangerous lending policies that triggered it. I don’t think he realized how critical it was. Senator/Attorney Obama was an advocate of those same liberal lending policies.

    Obama’s policies are causing (not fixing) our current long recession. Just like the same policies extended the recessions for Carter and FDR. The economy is not recovering … Obama’s historic (Bush X 3) deficit spending is a temporary economic steroid. When it stops (which it will eventually), the economy will crash again. Have you been following Greece? We have adopted their economic model.

    Seriously … you might want to do some research on these issues and not just repeat MSNBC talking points.

    This thread is getting old, so I’m probably done too. Have a nice day.