A woman gets into her Tesla car at a supercharger station in Los Angeles, Calif., in 2018. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters) Have you ever seen a poor person driving a Tesla?
Regardless of party affiliation, few Americans support taxpayer subsidies for the rich and well-off. But if you look closely at his plans for electric vehicles, that’s exactly what President Biden is currently promoting.
The president included a whopping $174 billion for electric-vehicle subsidies in his $2 trillion “infrastructure” proposal. And in a recent speech, Biden argued that “the future of the auto industry is electric. . . . There’s no turning back.” He went on to insist that “we have to look forward. . . . That means new purchasing incentives for consumers to buy clean vehicles like the electric Ford 150 — a union-made product — right here in America.”
This vision of government-led innovation spurring a green-technology renaissance to the benefit of all sounds nice, at least at first glance. But the truth is Biden’s proposed “green” spending binge amounts to nothing more than a taxpayer-financed handout to environmentally conscious rich people.
To understand why, consider the consumer-focused approach to subsidizing electric vehicles the president has in mind. His remarks and White House releases alike constantly refer to “purchasing incentives,” which is just politician-speak for tax money subsidizing consumption — in this case, subsidies for purchases of new electric vehicles.
That’s a pretty wealthy demographic. For one, most working-class Americans buy used cars, not new ones. And electric vehicles are still significantly more expensive than traditional ones, further narrowing the purchasing pool to well-off folks.
Just think about it like this: Have you ever seen a poor person driving a Tesla? Or a working-class person behind the wheel of a Prius?
We don’t have to speculate about who would benefit from Biden’s increased electric-vehicle subsidies — current federal subsidies largely end up in the pockets of the rich. Yes, there already exists a federal tax credit for plug-in electric vehicles. Taxpayers can claim a credit of up to $7,500 for qualifying
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