by Sam Pierce
Perhaps GM CEO Dan Akerson is just trying to impress his boss. Maybe he is a high-profile brown-noser. He could be a closet statist (but not so much in the closet anymore). It is possible that he would like the full force of the federal government to exercise self-granted and illegitimate authority to manipulate the market... as long as he isn't kicked out of the administration's bed. Most likely, all the aforementioned apply to Mr. Akerson, who might as well be Barack Obama's Secretary of Inefficient Transportation.
How can Mr. Akerson find a market for his electric cars, just recently reduced to $39,995 for the stripped-down model? It probably won't be the price. It probably won't be demand... or at least organic demand. What if demand can be artificially created by the strong arm of the federal government? Mr. Akerson undoubtedly knows that the boss will like that. Mr. Akerson is a smart guy. He is surely aware that the only supply and demand dynamic of which his boss will approve is one created by an overbearing, authoritarian, anti-liberty federal government.
Mr. Akerson has a thought as to how the uncivilized, unsophisticated, bitter clingers in our country can be forced... er, persuaded to enter the market for the plug in vehicles that allow the driver to go short distances at a time. Hey, these big government types may have just solved the problem of falling asleep while driving! All they have to do is get all drivers into these vehicles that are not capable of travelling long-distances. Alright, I exaggerate, you can go 35 miles on the Volt's battery then 344 miles on the gasoline. Obviously it is an investment every household should be forced to make, but how?
Never fear! The statist beneficiary of crony capitalism who has been appointed Secretary of Inefficient Transportation has a suggestion (not necessarily a new one, but coming from the CEO of Government Motors, an infuriating one). From The Detroit News:
And while he is eager to say goodbye to the government as a part owner of GM, Akerson would like to see it step up to the challenge of setting a higher gas tax, as part of a comprehensive energy policy.
A government-imposed tax hike, Akerson believes, will prompt more people to buy small cars and do more good for the environment than forcing automakers to comply with higher gas-mileage standards.
"There ought to be a discussion on the cost versus the benefits," he said. "What we are going to do is tax production here, and that will cost us jobs."
For the years 2017-25, federal officials are considering 3 percent to 6 percent annual fuel efficiency increases, or 47 mpg to 62 mpg. That could boost the cost of vehicles by up to $3,500.
"You know what I'd rather have them do — this will make my Republican friends puke — as gas is going to go down here now, we ought to just slap a 50-cent or a dollar tax on a gallon of gas," Akerson said.
President Obama made a perfect selection when it was time to fill this new Cabinet position. If the uncultured swine in America cannot become European socialists on their own accord, perhaps they can be persuaded through burdensome taxes on the life's blood of their daily lives. Dan Akerson is a genius! He is also exactly the kind of Republican the media, the "moderate" medicine show barkers, and the likes of the leadership of the ILGOP believe should be thrust into the spotlight as the model for all Republicans:
"Now, we need practical decisions," Akerson said. "I think you need to cut the hell out of the budget and you've got to increase taxes … on everybody — including the middle class and the rich people."
Akerson, who describes himself as "a Colin Powell Republican — not a Sarah Palin Republican" — said President Barack Obama has "done a pretty good job on the economy," which, he said, was "a nightmare.
"I don't think he can fix it in four years and I think we just have to stay the course," he said.
I'm sold! Do you think we can get him to run for President? Of course not, he said we need four more years of President Obama. What if Huntsman or Romney were to ask him to be a running mate? One should never say never.
I wonder if Dan Akerson would ever collaborate with my congressman, John Shimkus (R-IL19), who seeks to use the federal government to manipulate automotive demand as well with his OFS legislation (HR 1687)? Of course, Mr. Akerson might not have anything to gain by pushing Ethanol on the electorate, but if he did run with Romney, he could at least support Shimkus' bill while campaigning in Iowa.
Doesn't this make you want to run out and finance a GM vehicle you can't really afford?
Cross-posted from "The Immoderate Blog"