Archive for the Automobiles/Automobile Industry Category

Less Government Regulation Series: Homebuyer Tax Credit (Oct. 26, 2009)

Posted in Automobiles/Automobile Industry, Housing, Less Government Regulation Series, Taxation on October 26, 2009 by e-commentary.org


A clunker of an idea.  The Homebuyer Tax Credit is another terrible scheme.  The government allows individuals to take an $8000 credit for the purchase of a home.  The government should quit trying to implant everyone in a single family house and instead allow individuals to live in a structure they can afford.  The mortgage interest tax deduction and the exemption from income of $250,000/$500,000 on the sale of a personal residence under defined circumstances should be rescinded.  The real estate market must be allowed to settle down rather than being jump-started with federal money.  Meddling is muddying the mess more.

And, once again, the deficit-loving Republicans are also behind this raid on the public fisc.  Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), a free-spending “socialist” from Georgia, is supporting the extension of the act.

Seems that the houses and cars are being sold to buyers who were already planning to acquire a house or a car anyway.

[See the “e-ssay” dated August 3, 2009 entitled “Less Government Regulation Series:  The Terrorist Tax Again” discussing among other things the clunker program for cars.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Like giving steroids to a grandmother

Government Tax Credit: Get A Home Without It

Less Government Regulation Series: The Terrorist Tax Again (August 3, 2009)

Posted in Automobiles/Automobile Industry, Energy, Gas/Fossil Fuel, Less Government Regulation Series, Taxation, The "Terrorist Tax" on August 3, 2009 by e-commentary.org

July, 2008:   Gas:   over $4 a gallon   Toyota Prius Hybrid Car:  $3000 over MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) and a line of buyers occupying the showroom.

July, 2009:   Gas:   under $3 a gallon   Toyota Prius Hybrid Car:  $3000 under MSRP and a flotilla of the cars littering the car lot.

The Volkswagen tdi (turbo diesel injected) cars followed the same price arc in response to the price of diesel.

The market should maintain its central role in American society.  Embrace it.  Taxing gasoline/diesel at a “quarter a quarter” per gallon contemplates a twenty-five cent ($.25) increase in the tax on fuel each financial quarter (90 days).  [See the “e-ssay” dated December 18, 2006 entitled “Pass The ‘Terrorist Tax’”]  As a compromise, raise the tax twenty-five cents a year every year.  Any tax by its nature contracts the economy which in this situation is akin to the body politic sucking in its stomach a little.

Implementing the tax while the market price of fuel is low is timely and crucial.  The market is ready.  More Prius cars will be built without the government passing legislation requiring more Prius cars.  More resources will be invested creating a more improved hybrid car or a new more efficient car without further government directives to create improved and new vehicles.  Although not fundamentally a revenue-generating measure, the tax funds can fill the fisc and reduce the country’s dependence on Chinese money.  So many other positive economic changes will result without any further government action.

O’Bama must deliver a speech on the proposal as compelling as his speeches in Philadelphia and Cairo.  He can sell it.  Writing the speech would be fun.

The Cars Allowance Rebate System (CARS), the “Cash for Clunkers” Program, is a short-sighted, expensive and misdirected use of government resources and misuse of public resources.  Too much government money is being spent to spew vehicles on the road that require substantial resources to produce and consume substantial resources to use.

Bumper stickers of the week:

25 cents a quarter

Stop funding terrorists

Bankrupt Auto Companies? (December 8, 2008)

Posted in Automobile Bailout, Automobiles/Automobile Industry, Bailout/Bribe, Bankruptcy on December 8, 2008 by e-commentary.org

Congress recently rejected the request by the “Big 3” (GM, Chrysler and Ford) auto companies who came in with their palms out and instead asked them to go out and come back with a plan in hand.  Congress already passed a Plan.  The Plan is part of Chapter 11 of Title 11, the reorganization chapter of the Bankruptcy Code.  The Code, in particular Section 365, provides the debtor with the power to avoid contracts and leases when necessary.  This provision is discussed in previous “e-ssays.”

Roam an auto show.  Kick the tires.  Open the doors.  Sit on the seats.  Turn the buttons.  Toggle the switches.  Slam the doors.  Look under the hood.  Peek in the trunk.  Check the workmanship.  Read the specs.  Scrutinize the consumer reviews.  Check recall notices.  Repeat.

Georgetown, Princeton and Cambridge make better cars.  In Kentucky, Indiana and Ontario (Canada), three of the Toyota plants in North America.  The management in Detroit has designed and manufactured lousy and energy-inefficient vehicles for decades and made Detroit irrelevant.  The trio from Detroit did not propose real compensation concessions to match the pay packages of their far more successful counterparts in Tokyo and Munich and elsewhere.

Southern Republican senators smell an opportunity to bust a union, the United Autoworkers of America (UAW), and support the non-union plants in their states.  However, the employees in the non-union states only receive the wages they receive because they can point to the higher wages possible if they were to unionize like their brethren in the North.  Cripple the UAW and undermine wages.  The Civil War, the War Between the States, the War between the Red States and the Blue States, the War between the North and the South continues unabated.

The Bankruptcy Code still provides the most promising legal mechanism to reorganize (organize?) the automobile companies.  The logic of Chapter 11 is that a going concern has additional value that should be preserved.  The problem seems to be that Chapter 11 may be inadequate under the circumstances.  The amount of the proposed bailout is squandered by the U.S. in a few days in Iraq.

The Trillion Dollar Bailout/Bribe of Wall Street was and is a travesty.  Is a bailout of the Big 3 necessary or appropriate?

Bumper sticker of the week:

See the USA owning Chevrolet?

Ford, Betty and Gerald (January 1, 2007)

Posted in Automobiles/Automobile Industry, Ford, Society on January 1, 2007 by e-commentary.org

Betty Ford is a classic and a contemporary woman, mother and wife.  She talked to her kids about pre-marital sex and marijuana rather than lecturing them.  She observed publicly that abortion is a private not a public decision.  Her efforts on behalf of breast cancer detection and treatment warrant a Nobel Prize in Medicine or Peace.  She confronted her demons and helped others detect and treat theirs.  She wore her beliefs on her sleeve not up her sleeve.  She wore an “ERA” (Equal Rights Amendment) button while her husband wore a “WIN” (Whip Inflation Now) button.  He confronted his demons – stagnation and inflation – with mixed success.  He did not lose the foreign policy demon of his day.  Although not elected, he elected not to exacerbate the many foreign policy mistakes of others in Vietnam.  The (Nixon) Pardon is still problematic; there was a sotto voce understanding which is not surprising among politicians.  The “Profile In Courage” award was appropriate because the decision to pardon, right or wrong, was courageous under the circumstances.  Not a saint and not a Lincoln, Ford is an endangered specie, a Midwestern Republican who preached and practiced personal integrity, fiscal responsibility, individual liberty, and a nuanced military polity.

Bumper sticker of the week:

Well-behaved women rarely make history