It’s Time to End Chevy Volt Subsidies

Whether you love the idea of the Chevy Volt or not, the federal government’s support of the car was one of the most ill-conceived schemes of all time. Taxpayers shelled out – against their will – over $80 billion to rescue auto companies that had been circling the drain for years, and some of that money was used to facilitate the creation a new vehicle which coincided with President Obama’s green vision. The problem was, the vehicle created was over-priced and under-performing (and now, also dangerous).

The base price for the 2011 Chevy Volt was $40,280 before a $7,500 federal tax credit. It is still more expensive than pure electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf or the Think City EV, and it still uses gas. In reality, it’s not the “green” vehicle that President Obama dreams about (that, of course, didn’t stop his administration from purchasing 101 Volts in order to boost sales and their failed dream of government intervention in the market). In total, only about 5,000 Volts have been sold since its launch in mid-December of 2010. Compare that to the 17,000 preorder sellout of the Nissan Leaf in its first year, and it’s easy to see that the Volt was a failed boondoggle backed by government idealists with no understanding of the markets.

After a year of taxpayer funded subsidies for a vehicle that costs more than it is worth, isn’t as “green” as similar vehicles that cost less, could be dangerous, and which has a battery which is more toxic than that of a pure gasoline-powered vehicle; it’s time for taxpayers to stop footing the bill. Luckily, that may just be a reality.

Congressman Mike Kelly (R-PA) has introduced H.R.3768, a bill that would end the taxpayer-funded subsidies for plug-in electric vehicles like the Chevy Volt. In a December op-ed, Rep. Kelly declared:

“The misuse of taxpayer dollars to promote the electric vehicle is emblematic of the Obama administration’s overall misunderstanding, and ultimate manipulation, of the free market principles that undergird our economy. President Obama has become the ‘Venture Capitalist in Chief,’ gambling hard-earned taxpayer dollars in green projects and industries that are more politically than performance driven.”

Rep. Kelly is taking a great first step towards cleaning up our tax code and reducing taxpayer-funded subsidies. American taxpayers should not be footing the bill for President Obama’s failed pipe dreams. Passing H.R.3768, in conjunction with H.R.3308, introduced by Congressman Mike Pompeo (R-KS) would start the process of getting government out of the energy sector and allow the free market to thrive.

H.R.3308 would eliminate all energy subsidies for all sectors of energy production, including oil, gas, solar, wind and biofuels. It would then lower the tax rates so that companies are not suddenly burdened with higher taxes.

When we clean up the tax code and stop taxpayer funded corporate welfare, we reduce government spending without hurting businesses. That is something that everyone in Congress should be able to come to the table on and agree with.

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