Clunkers and Taxes

August 5th, 2009

According to Brian’s test I’m a Centrist and not a hard-right conservative after all. Nonetheless, I truly dislike most politicians, especially the liberals. They are parasites growing rich and fat at the expense of all of us. Now they even want to destroy my old car because it ain’t “green.” To hell with ’em. My money, my gun, and now my old Mopar Road Runner.

I’ve owned pretty near every muscle car made at one time or another. Also, one airplane and four motorcycles. I love the old machines that breath fire and burn tires. The plan to pay $4,500 to get rid of all such machines can’t continue forever, so figure on at least an attempt to outlaw the older cars and force a voluntary surrender of these so-called “clunkers.”

I doubt if many old Corvettes, GTOs, or Mopar hemis were among the recently purchased clunkers. Many people collect these old cars and invest thousands of dollars in restoring them. Will we soon need a special permit to own these cars? Call it a use tax for vintage autos? To make sure no one feels left out we could have a nationwide wheel tax on everything licensed to use the public highways.

I live south of Nashville in Lawrence County. We have a $50 county wheel tax on all licensed cars and trucks. The county commission is trying to double the tax, claiming an educational need for the money. The voters keep defeating the proposal, but it keeps coming back.

Now we’re being told by the Obama people that there might after all be a need to tax the middle class. Why am I not surprised? Taking in millions of taxpayer dollars seems to be all this otherwise erratic Administration can do.

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7 Responses to “Clunkers and Taxes”

  1. Brian |

    Larry, the biggest problem with this “clunkers” buy-back program is that it is going to take low-end, used vehicles off of the market for the people that really cannot afford anything else. I’m not sure how this really helps the “working poor” as the liberals like to call them. But, as with many other liberal economic fantasies, it actually injures those at the bottom. When you make an item more scarce, you tend to raise the price on that item.

  2. Tom |

    You make an excellent point when you say that the money for this program can’t last forever and that the next move may be to outlaw cars the feds consider to be clunkers.

    There’s a very simple solution to all of this energy mess — fuel consumption by cars and trucks, burning coal to produce electricity, etc. It doesn’t require massive legislation, cap-and-trade nonsense, federal attacks on clunkers, and all the rest. Just increase federal taxes on consumption of carbon-based fuels, such as gasoline, diesel, coal, etc and make maximum reasonable use of domestic resources. I know most people hate the idea of higher taxes on energy, but something has to be done to advance the goals of less energy dependence on foreign sources and improved environmental quality. Taxes encourage changes in behavior, and this kind of tax would encourage less consumption of carbon-based fuels and might even move us to greater reliance on nuclear power plants. If you’re one who worships at the church of man-made global warming, it would advance your goals, too.

  3. larry |

    You concern for low income transportation is very real. I can still recall the city bus and street car systems in Michigan during the early 1950’s to mid 1960’s. Many folks that couldn’t afford an auto had “Mass Transit” to furnish transport to about any where you needed or wanted to go. The cost was within the reach of everyone. Imagine, only twenty five cents a day round trip to work or school. I seldom saw empty buses. The street cars gave way to the buses due to up keep expenses but cheap transportation was still at hand. If you consider the cost of owning and driving your own car you can see where many lesser paying jobs became so expensive transportation wise that people couldn’t afford to work them. What happens now.

  4. larry |

    Atomic power generation is many years old. To date there has been very few problem’s with it. Why can’t we have it here?

  5. Brian |

    Tom, they’ve already demonstrated poor stewardship with what they have. Why would we want to give them even more? never mind that it really is not within the scope of government to be encouraging this or discouraging that. That ultimately leads to patronage, which is what we already have in spades. How else would San Fran Nan (they’re nearly all just as guilty as she) have been able to get her buddies the money to study the wetlands around san Francisco?

    And in relation to Larry’s article, raising taxes, like the clunker buy-back program, will affect the poor and middle classes the most. Finagling the law and convoluting definitions to capture these use taxes from “the rich” would be an even bigger mess.

    How about we just roll back the size of government? Nothing would give us a bigger bang for the buck than to free lots of taxed capital that is used to pay for non-productive and largely unconstitutional programs. Even more, have the federal government stop borrowing to pay for things which it cannot afford. That frees us from future taxation as well because we don’t have to pay back a loan or the interest on a loan. Part of the reason government programs end up costing so much more than we are initially told is that I don’t really think that they factor in the cost of paying back the interest on future borrowed money. While the interest rate on 30 year treasuries is small, it adds up when you are borrowing billions or even trillions of dollars every stinking year to close the budget deficit.

  6. Tom |

    Brian, your last paragraph sounds nice, but it isn’t going to happen. From the standpoint of what is going to happen, I’d rather see a relatively simple carbon tax than the huge, expensive, bureaucracy-spawning energy bill that’s now sitting in Congress. That’s effectively a regressive tax, I know, but if people don’t like it they can elect politicians who will go in another direction. In any case, it would do a heck of a lot less damage than what we’re likely to end up with.

  7. doris |

    Yes, I knew Brian would hollar about higher taxes. I don’t think higher taxes is the answer to anything. No more, no higher taxes. Clunkers rule, most people drive one, and they are needed. Gas is high enough. I am firmly against ridding the world of old cars and trucks that run. Ex traded in his truck, clunker, for a new truck and got that 4500, still driving a gas guzzling truck. Confusing, and 5 hours of paperwork.

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