Planet Gore

Obama Provides More Tax Breaks for the Toys of the Rich

When President Obama isn’t steering taxpayer dollars to corporate cronies for their green energy projects, he’s comforting the well-to-do with tax breaks to buy electric cars.

“The White House intends to boost government subsidies for wealthy buyers of the Chevy Volt and other new-technology vehicles – to $10,000 per buyer” from the current $7,500, reports The Daily Caller’s Neil Munro of the increase buried in the president’s 2013 budget .

The average income of the Chevy Volt’s buyers is $170,000 per year, says GM CEO Dan Akerson, putting them in the top 7 percent of U.S. income earners and slightly above the household income of buyers of BMW, Lexus, or Cadillac luxury vehicles. Recipients of the current electric subsidy have included such needy cases as actor Leonardo DiCaprio and Senator Carl Levin.

“The ruling political class has determined that people who may not be able to afford a new car of any kind should subsidize affluent buyers of electric cars,” says energy expert Russ Harding of the Mackinac Center.

The president’s One Percenter auto subsidy is being opposed by Republicans such as Rep. Mike Kelly — ironically, the owner of a Chevy dealership — who has introduced legislation to end Obama’s trickle-up economics.

Obama’s taxpayer giveaway to the rich is an attempt to goose the sales of electric in order to meet his arbitrary mandate of a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015. (This is a number already artificially propped up by government purchases, as we reported here.) Even with the $7,500 rebate, Chevy sold less than 8,000 Volts in 2011.

The purchase subsidy comes on top of millions of dollars in Energy Department loans to wealthy entrepreneurs like Henrik Fisker, CEO of Fisker Automotive, and Teslas’s Elon Musk.

Henry Payne — Henry Payne is the auto critic for the Detroit News.

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