For several weeks, Fox News has declared war on the Chevy Volt in the name of belittling all so-called green energy initiatives. The attacks have been relatively trivial, ranging from ridicule by Bill O'Reilly over a recall to general guffaws at the idea of vehicles that don't consume huge amounts of fossil fuel energy. But that all changed today with this segment on Megyn Kelly's show Monday.
Kelly featured James Hohman from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, the Koch-funded think tank in Michigan. Much of Mackinac's focus is on right-to-work laws and union busting wherever possible, so what better target to focus on than a GM-manufactured green vehicle, right?
According to the Mackinac study, if all government subsidies are added up and divided by the number of vehicles sold, it adds up to $250,000 per vehicle. The included subsidies are everything from research and development credits for battery technology to purchaser credits for buying a green vehicle. Of course, the problem is that this number assumes only 7,000 Chevy Volts will ever be sold anywhere. Forever and ever. As more Volts are sold and as more models become available and are shown to be reliable, more people will buy them. As for traction, I would note that when the Toyota Prius was introduced in this country, it only sold 5,800 units in the first year it was sold in the United States. The Volt sales topped that and as the price comes down, sales will increase.
As usual, watching Fox News drops viewer IQs by at least ten points. The pathway to new technology has traditionally run through the government, because venture capitalists are unwilling to take the risk. If government were not subsidizing research and development of green energy products, as well as many other products from medical devices to pharmaceuticals to solar panels, they simply wouldn't be developed in this country.
It's just driving Roger Ailes & Co crazy that General Motors is poised to retake its position as global market leader, that the President's actions in 2009 saved the auto industry and set it on track to be profitable again, and that union jobs were saved. They can hardly stand it, which is why they're so focused on attacking GM every chance they get. If they can get a Koch family institution like Mackinac to do the "research," they're just fine with that.
EDITOR'S NOTE: I don't get it - I thought Republicans liked subsidizing business. It's not like they're giving all that cash to poor children.