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Obamanomics 101: The Volt experience

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Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012, 8:50 p.m.

The Chevy Volt, federally subsidized with a $7,500 tax credit for buyers, and its manufacturer General Motors, beneficiary of a taxpayer-funded $50 billion bailout, constitute the ideal case study in Obamanomics pitfalls.

The GM bailout “violated normal bankruptcy processes” by protecting United Auto Workers interests at bondholders' expense and bent tax law to cut what GM owed by tens of billions of dollars, reminds National Review. It points out that today, as Democrats claim GM's “thriving,” its shares are worth half what they were in January 2011.

August Volt sales set a record, but only because of discounted lease offers, and still leave 2012's sales pace far short of GM's 40,000-Volt target, Reuters reports.

Reuters estimates GM's losing $49,000 per $40,000 Volt sold. GM disputes the number. But columnist John Ransom quips, “It would be cheaper for the company to quietly ask potential Volt buyers if they would take a $40,000 check just to go away.”

Trying to obscure failure under “greening” cover, the administration has been buying up Volts. Its General Services Administration bought 100. Its Pentagon is buying 1,500.

Perverting the rule of law to benefit political supporters? Touting a losing proposition as a success? Distorting markets? Subsidizing “green” products few want to buy — and spending still more public money as buyer of last resort? Check, check, check and check — earning Obamanomics the “F” grade it so richly deserves.

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