Each Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid sold so far has cost taxpayers far more than the $7,500 federal tax credit for which each Volt buyer qualifies.
But factor in all state and federal assistance offered for development and production -- to not just General (Government) Motors but its Volt-parts suppliers -- and a real shock is delivered:
Each Volt sold could cost taxpayers up to $250,000 -- or $3 billion total.
This new analysis by James Hohman, assistant director of fiscal policy at Michigan's Mackinac Center for Public Policy, pegs total per-Volt subsidies at $50,000 minimum. Whether that number skyrockets to $250,000 depends on whether targets needed for some subsidies to kick in are ever reached.
If sales are an indication, many won't be.
GM projected 10,000 Volt sales for 2011 but sold just 6,000. That makes all those government tax credits, loans, rebates and grants a textbook case of bureaucratic central planning's inevitable failure for all -- except those riding government's gravy train.
Mr. Hohman's devastating summation:
"This might be the most government-supported car since the Trabant" -- a legendarily awful product of the former East Germany and its communist central planners.
The much higher-tech Volt appears to be driving America down the same dismal road.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.