Posts Tagged ‘taxpayers’

5th January
2012
written by Sean Noble

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UPDATED (to reflect GM, not GE)

It turns out that not only does the Chevy Volt cost taxpayers about $250,000 PER CAR when sold (for about $30,000) it can also catch fire days or weeks after an accident.  Think of it as delayed combustion.

So GE GM is putting out a “call back” to the 8,000 cars it has sold over the last year-plus.  Much to the individual Volt’s dismay, this “call back” is not because they did a good job on the first audition.  It’s a nice way of saying “recall” without the PR problems.  And, of course, the Obama administration is willing to let GE GM get away with a “call back” rather than a recall because they have more to lose than GE GM with a negative public reaction.

Imagine if it were a Ford vehicle that had delayed combustion.  The Obama administration would have put out a scathing report calling into the question Ford’s commitment to safety.

I think we should make a resolution for 2012: if you plan on voting for someone other than Obama and you plan to purchase a vehicle, buy Ford, not GM GE.

 

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3rd January
2012
written by Sean Noble

 

 

 

 

 

Just read the lede of this story:

Each Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid sold so far has cost taxpayers far more than the $7,500 federal tax credit for which each Volt buyer qualifies.

But factor in all state and federal assistance offered for development and production — to not just General (Government) Motors but its Volt-parts suppliers — and a real shock is delivered:

Each Volt sold could cost taxpayers up to $250,000 — or $3 billion total.

This new analysis by James Hohman, assistant director of fiscal policy at Michigan’s Mackinac Center for Public Policy, pegs total per-Volt subsidies at $50,000 minimum. Whether that number skyrockets to $250,000 depends on whether targets needed for some subsidies to kick in are ever reached.

This is among the most clear examples of government “incentives” gone wild.   Taxpayers are out $250,000 PER for a car that consumers pay about $30,000 to drive off the lot.

Talk about a get away car.

9th April
2010
written by Sean Noble

The Arizona Republic reports that it costs taxpayers an average of $100,000 per City of Phoenix employee. That’s not to say that some City of Phoenix employees don’t deserve to be paid appropriately for their work, they should. The rub is paying full-time employees for things that could easily be outsourced – like auto repair. How many companies do you know of that employ their own auto mechanics? Yeah, yeah, I’m sure Swift Transportation or Knight Transportation does, but that’s apples and oranges.

There is nothing wrong with sending cars that need to be serviced or repaired to a private auto shop. It would save taxpayers money, and the private company would have incentive to do a good job for a good price because they would want the repeat business.

The second rub is that we have City of Phoenix employees making more money than comparable jobs in the private sector. That doesn’t seem to make sense.

City Councilman Sal DiCiccio has been one of the few voices trying to educate people about what is going on, and he’s taking on some powerful interest groups, including the employee unions. It’s refreshing to see someone on the council who has the courage to take on the establishment and actually stand up for the average taxpayer.

Here is an interesting excerpt from the Republic story:

“Public-sector employees should not get paid more than their boss, the taxpayer,” DiCiccio said. “It’s skewed so far it’s almost embarrassing.”

The councilman has upset Mayor Phil Gordon, some council members and labor groups by proposing to outsource certain “non-strategic” city jobs to the private sector. For example, Phoenix spends $31 million a year to have city mechanics repair vehicles, he said; only $10 million is outsourced. He would like to see more work sent to private mechanics.

Luis Schmidt, a spokesman for the union that represents mechanics, said outsourcing those jobs could put police officers, firefighters and other employees who drive city vehicles at greater risk. Schmidt argues that city mechanics are better trained and more accountable than their private-sector counterparts.

So DiCiccio has upset the Mayor, other council members and the unions. And the mechanics union spokesman says police and firefighters would face greater risk if their vehicles were repaired by mechanics in the private sector. Seriously? That has to be one of the most absurd arguments I’ve ever heard.

We need more Sal DiCiccio’s standing up for the taxpayers. As a resident of Phoenix, I offer my personal thanks to the Councilman.