This $250,000 car isn't an Italian import.
It is a plug in from Detroit that's been catching fire. Not in terms of sales, though...only about 6,000 have sold. It has literally been catching on fire.
The Chevy Volt, a plug in hybrid,would merely be chalked up as another "green" and Detroit automaker failure if it weren't for the fact that taxpayers have footed $250,000 per car in subsidies as the folks at the Mackinac Center recently discovered.
Proponents of subsidies like this claim that "everybody is doing it" and that it creates jobs. But who decides which projects get subsidies? Those with political clout, not necessarily those with the best projects at the best price, tend to win out. This has been a halmark of the Obama administration. Decisions on investment in emerging technology are best left to the market where decisions are made most efficiently and, in sharp contrast to the use of taxpayer subsidized "investments," made willfully.
Politically directed investment is dangerous, as demonstrated by the Volt and the Solyndra fiasco. It is also morally wrong. Much like the Cash for Clunkers failure, the Volt subsidy is essentially a wealth transfer from the lower end of the income spectrum to the higher end.
Taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize new kinds of electric cars any more than they should be asked to bankroll electric yachts or helicopters.
I could wright all day about the faults of the modern Left. I did once, and put it in parts of my book, now available in paperback on Amazon.com (potentially sans affiliate fees in Illinois thanks to a pending job-killing, prosperity-stifling law) and finer bookstores near you.
Was that shameless? I'll tell you what's really shameless: the Left's propensity to point the finger at other people for the destruction progressive policies they tend to perpetrate on this country.
One of the major pitfalls of modern leftism is it's utter lack of regard for the common sense ethic of personal responsibility. Let me refine that. It is not a lack of regard for this virtue, but a complete embrace of its vice that seems to be the modus operandi of Obama, Axelrod, Pelosi, and their ilk. I believe this irks average Americans almost more than any single policy issue. It's a matter of character.
Nowhere is this more clear in recent history than with the Obama administration's inability to take responsibility for, well, anything. Now that he's had two years under his belt with the media cheerleading all the way, President Obama's approval numbers are still poor. As jobless claims gradualy eek up despite unprecedented intervention into the private sector, net "neutrality" and perhaps soon cap-and-trade by fiat, he reminds us that he's 'digging us out of a hole.' Presumably, he's referencing the hole creating by "backwards" policies like free-markets and capitalism, not poor policy and perverse incentives pushed by his administration in the last two years or by allies like Barney Frank for the past decade.
Then this from Nancy Pelosi just a couple days earlier: the midterm election spanking the Democrats took? It was Bush's fault.
In any case, I hope they really believe what they're saying. If they do, the only holes they are digging are their own political graves.
My latest piece at BigGovernment.com:
In his Daily Show appearance last night, President Obama made a very revealing—and presumably inadvertent—statement about those in Congress who have supported his radical agenda.
In the context of many congressional seats being up for grabs in what pundits and prognosticators are predicting to be a GOP wave election, Obama stated that many of his allies in Congress voted for politically tough bills because they believed “it was the right thing to so” despite being in conservative-leaning districts.
On the surface, what the President says sounds so noble. These politicians are doing what they think is right. They’re standing up despite outside pressure! Except they aren’t standing up for the right people: their constituents. “Doing what they think is right” is warm and fuzzy code for “what Nancy Pelosi / President Obama tells them is right.”
My latest piece at The Daily Caller:
In a tacit admission of the Tea Party’s success, backers of the wildly unpopular big-government, liberty-crushing policies of the Obama administration are brewing up their own movement—the Coffee Party. It all allegedly started with a random musing in a post by Annabel Park on Facebook in which she called for an alternative to the Tea Party movement.
Read more here.
New York Times token conservative David Brooks always has an interesting take on the tea party movement (See his previous piece on the movement where he contrasts tea partiers with the "educated class.")
Mr. Brooks' most recent reading of the tea leaves is equally...intriguing.
Take Brooks' summary of the tea party movement which he contorts to fit his cute narrative comparing tea partiers to the 60's radicals of the New Left:
The people we loosely call the Tea Partiers also want to destroy the establishment. They also want to take on The Man, return power to the people, upend the elites and lead a revolution.
Brooks goes on to characterization of the tea party movement as preoccupied with black helicopter theories:
In its short life, the Tea Party movement has developed a dizzying array of conspiracy theories involving the Fed, the F.B.I., the big banks and corporations and black helicopters.
I'm curious to know how many tea parties Brooks has gone to and how many tea partiers he's interviewed in order to form the opinion that informs his commentary. Based on my experience organizing, participating in, and documenting the tea party movement, Brooks' generalizations of the tea party movement bears no correlation with reality. The tea party movement is in fact a mainstream, grassroots coalition of Americans concerned with the direction of this nation. Brooks would likely draw a different conclusion were he to look beyond the pages of his own paper. Sadly, Mr. Brooks appears to suffer from the same delusion as many of his colleagues: that the reporting on the pages of the Times truly is an accurate portrayal of "all the news that's fit to print."
By far the funniest ad I've ever seen that mocks the "green" culture aired during the Super Bowl:
Some environmentalists were predictably steamed, going so far as to state that Audi was equating environmental regulation with the Nazis... Others, like David Roberts hailed the ad as a recognition of the "moral authority" of so-called greening, but not after getting in some particularly gratuitous "teabag" references.
Both are wrong. The ad brilliantly mocks a world that makes such "green" selling points necessary. Corporations in all industries are "going green" for PR (and often in name only) not because of "morality," but because it is in vogue - "green" is the new black. Roberts, like many others, seems to buy into the global warming religion. It blinds him from what is a hilarious commercial mocking the nanny statist meddlers and junk science peddlers that want to tell us what kind of car we can drive and how high we can have our thermostat. Force us to "go green" through regulation? Fine, I'll buy a diesel Audi that fits into your arbitrary metrics to solve a problem that doesn't exist and cruise down the highway as fast and as much as I want. It's a joke, enviros, and the joke is on you.
In my debut piece at The Daily Caller, I outline why Americans are so frustrated with President Obama just one year after his inauguration: the rhetoric and the reality just don't match up. President Obama has broken the trust of the American people too many times in such a short window of time. It's time for less talk and more (substantive) action.
Below, Paul Bedard at US News & World Report has a great wrap-up of the growing discontent across party lines throughout the nation.
Last night Scott Brown clinched the MA Senate race with a solid 5 point lead. More from the good folks at the Boston Herald here.
This is a huge victory for the tea party and for the millions of Americans the recognize the threat of ever-expanding government exemplified in policies like ObamaCare, the bailouts, cap and trade, and the rest of the President's radical agenda.
I can't believe I'm saying this, but Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco summed it up best before the final tally. As reported in the San Francisco Chronicle:
"Regardless of the outcome ... this should be a gigantic wake-up call to the Democratic Party - that we're not connecting with the needs, the aspirations and the desires of real people right now," said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.
It gets even better:
...But Newsom said the Republican resurgence in Massachusetts suggests "there's real intensity and fervor out there, as represented by the Tea Party" activists expressing anger at government spending and at job losses.
"This is real," he said. "At our own peril, we dismiss these tea parties as ... some sort of isolated extremism. ... It's not."
I couldn't have said it better myself.
This response to the radical policies of this administration - embodied in the tea party movement - is what I refer to as a counterrevolution in A New American Tea Party. It is a gut reaction millions of Americans are having to the rapid expansion of the size and reach of government and the fiscal crash course our nation is on. These aren't Democrat and Republican issues - these are American issues.
All things considered, it should not be too surprising that my home state of Massachusetts may be 24 hours from electing Republican Scott Brown to the late Ted Kennedy's Senate seat.
President Obama just visited MA to boost Democrat Martha Coakley's support. The only thing is, President Obama is part of the problem for Coakley, not part of the solution. The underlying factors behind the unexpectedly close race in MA are symptomatic of a larger dissatisfaction with the President's radical agenda. His big government boondoggles have his support at record lows nationally. A mere 26% of likely Massachusetts voters approve of the President's flagship health care plan dubbed ObamaCare. Only 48% approve of his job rating - this in a state that he won handily. Nationwide, a recent Washington Post poll reveals that 58% of Americans favor smaller government.
Massachusetts voters are right to be skeptical. They have had a taste of "universal" health care. The result? Long waits and higher prices. It is no surprise that they appose their own plan and exporting such a flawed policy to the rest of the nation. As Jon Keller writes in today's Wall Street Journal:
Support for the state's universal health-care law, close to 70% in 2008, is also in free fall; only 32% of state residents told Rasmussen earlier this month that they'd call it a success, with 36% labeling it a failure. The rest were unsure. Massachusetts families pay the country's highest health insurance premiums, with costs soaring at a rate 7% ahead of the national average, according to a recent report by the nonpartisan Commonwealth Fund.
When the folks back in my home state of Massachusetts - and believe me these aren't "right-wing radicals" - think the government is overstepping its bounds, it is time for President Obama and Democrats in Washington to make a major course correction.
Regardless of who wins this race, the fact that what should have been a done deal for Democrats is this close signals a victory for the tea party movement and serves as a warning shot over the bows of big spending, big government incumbents off all stripes as we enter the 2010 election cycle.