National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Rush is Right - Who Knew?

It’s not every day I get to agree with Rush Limbaugh. He attacked the government’s offer of a $7,500 tax break for people who buy the new Chevy Volt, an electric car that carries the outrageously steep sticker price of 41k. I have never been a fan of tax credits as a means of inducing behavior. They clutter up an already over-cluttered tax code.

But, Limbaugh unwittingly also pointed the way to a better solution. He said that the true “game-changing” products don’t need a government tax credit, that true game-changers will dominate the market, and he points to the iPhone. Of course, I remember when computers were very expensive, clunky things. They became cheaper and smaller as they became more widely available, as more and more people bought them and the technology caught up with the demand.

Cars that use gas, unlike computers that provide information, help destroy the environment and make the world’s most volatile region, the oil-rich Mideast, more important than it would be in America’s strategic calculations if we had pursued the possibility of electric cars twenty years ago. I suspect, however, that the largest purchaser of automobiles are federal, state and local governments so what the Obama administration should do by way of a new stimulus is order a bunch of Chevy Volts for government use. The increased sales would drive down the cost for other consumers and strengthen the nascent electric car industry in Michigan, all of it honoring the free market principles that Mr. Limbaugh holds so dear. After all, the government is in the “market” for cars anyway and people buy cars for all sorts of reasons. Why shouldn’t the U.S. government buy cars that make our nation less dependent on foreign oil?

Help keep NCR going!
We rely on donations to bring you the latest news.
Donate today.

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

 

Feature-flag_GSR_start-reading.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

August 15-28, 2014

08-15-2014.jpg

Not all of our content is online. Subscribe to receive all the news and features you won't find anywhere else.