Highway Robbery – Obama Style

The Chevy Volt, hyped by Government Motors as one of the most anticipated Electric Vehicles to hit the market, has, by all accounts, been a dismal failure.

Sales last year were projected to reach 10,000 units.

The actual total sold:  1,139   7,671.

So what’s the problem?  Could it be the $44,000 price tag?  Middle-class people looking for a new car don’t want to (or can’t) shell out that much money for a ride, especially during this economy.

Some blame safety concerns, like the car blowing up on impact.  Though that issue has apparently been rectified, it sure isn’t a shining selling-point.

Despite this numerical abortion, GM plans to roll out 60,000 units this year.

Good luck selling that many.

But GM does have an ace up it’s sleeve, thanks to Obama’s Chairman of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness (Better know as Obama’s ‘Job Czar’), General Electric Chairman, Jeffery Immelt. (Immelt has been doing a spectacular job, as is evidenced by our rosy employment boom.)

Go ahead.  Clean the spittle off your screens.

For a bit of background information on Czar Immelt’s corporate stewardship, his company, GE, paid NO income tax in 2010, even though it earned $14.2 billion in profits.  Zip, zero, nada.  Further more, under Mr. Immelt’s leadership, GE laid off 21,000 American workers and closed 20 factories between 2007 and 2009.  More than half of GE’s workforce is now outside the U.S.  HALF!!  This hack is the person Obama put in charge of resurrecting the U.S. workforce, specifically the manufacturing sector.

That’s politics, right?

Well, enter the Chevy Volt.

The Volt was Government Motor’s proof that the days of the dirty internal combustion engine were numbered.

Both GE and GM hyped the Volt as an Electric Vehicle (EV).  It does, however, also run on an internal combustion engine, using eeeeevil gasoline to power it when the driver/brainwashed tool wants/needs it.  Which means, technically, it is a hybrid.

I guess the old term ‘hybrid’ doesn’t sound quite as en-vogue as “Electric Vehicle.”

GE plans on purchasing 25,000 ‘EV’s’ by 2015, 12,000 of which will be the Chevy Volt.

Those purchases are eligible for the Obama federal $7,500 tax credit per car.  That amounts to a GE tax savings of $90,000,000 ($7,500 * 12,000 = $90,000,000).  And who’s footing the bill for that savings?  The US taxpayer.

(That doesn’t include individual states which offer their own tax credits on top of the federal one.)

Since Immelt’s company has paid no taxes, that directly effects his personal compensation and the company’s bottom line.  More money kept/more money earned, thanks to Obama.

Sweet deal.

I wonder how this tax credit works out for a company who pays no income tax?  Will the government cut GE a $90,000,000 tax rebate check?

Over the last few years, many other car manufacturers have or have attempted to roll-out their own hybrid/electric vehicles.  And since U.S. Governmental standards for MPG are AVERAGED over all autos produced by a company, it doesn’t matter how many are sold.  Whether GM sells 10 Volts or 1,000,000 Volts, it’s irrelevant, as long as the average MPG of all models offered meets the specified standards.  So the stagnant sales of these rechargeable cars is a moot point.

Neat trick.

As if this cozy relationship doesn’t already scream crony capitalism, Immelt’s GE just happens to be the sole manufacturer of all Chevy Volt electrical charging stations.  And in a stunning coincidence, the buyer (GE) is also entitled to a 50% credit for each station purchased.

That don’t taste right, chef.

GE pays no taxes, benefits handsomely from Obama’s tax credits, supplies the charging stations at half off the retail price, while shipping American jobs overseas and doing business with terror states like Iran.

You just can’t make this kind of stuff up.

Nope.  No conflict of interest here.  Move along, sheeple.

In addition to this full-blown crony-capitalism, some GM dealerships have been scamming the $7,500 tax credit with some scummy practices of their own.

Mark Modica, an investigator for the watchdog group National Legal and Policy Center, has learned  certain dealerships are buying Volts from other dealers, claiming first title to qualify for the incentive, and then reselling the vehicles at inflated prices, offering no credit.

Now, this latest action is, so far, limited to a small percentage of GM dealerships.  However, it shows just a little bit more of how flawed government hand-outs/incentives/entitlements can be easily twisted and corrupted.

All-in-all, the whole situation wreaks of favoritism and lucrative pay-offs for political support.

But don’t fret. Obama has declared algae to be the next big source of energy.

If that’s the case, there’s enough pond scum in Washington D.C. to solve our energy concerns for a loooong time.


(Ed. note:  Keen-eyed commenter Walter_Cronanty noted the initial sales figures I quoted were wrong.  The information I posted was for a monthly sales period, not yearly.  As per cnet news:  “Sales of the plug-in Chevy Volt hit 7,671 for calendar year 2011, falling short of GM’s target of selling 10,000 in its first full year of availability.” 

My thanks to Walter for the correction!)

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