Obama Props up Faltering Hybrid Market

Henry Percy
"Obama Bolsters U.S. Hybrid Automobile Sales in Waning Consumer Market" reads the headline. The hybrid market is now 13 years old. Hybrids have never made economic sense, either for manufacturers or consumers, and the latter have figured that out: "Consumer sales of hybrids are headed for their third consecutive yearly decline." So here comes a metrosexual in a limo tossing fistfuls of stimulus dollars from the window to bail out the faltering market. I'm from the government, and I'm here to help.

"About 3,100 of the hybrids purchased by GSA were paid for out of $300 million that the agency received from the 2009 economic stimulus package." OK, feeling better now, because it was not real money, just stimulus money, and we all know that "stimulus money" is shorthand for "Good Thing."

"Another 5,600 [hybrids] were bought with proceeds from selling older cars in the government fleet." Curious how our reporter neglects to say how many "older cars" were sold. Surely it was many more than 5,600. Perhaps 25,000? 30,000? More? Does that mean Mr. Obama downsized his fleet? And how many miles did these "older cars" have on them on average? That is, had they reached the end of their useful service life, or did the administration dump newer vehicles in order to realize more money to go green?

But in this ecstasy of doing good, Mr. Obama left money on the table: "The government paid an average of $5,281 less for its hybrid vehicles than sticker prices." Gee, why didn't they apply for the $7,500 tax credit?

Henry Percy is the nom de guerre for a technical writer living in Arizona. He may be reached at saler.50d[at sign]gmail.com.
"Obama Bolsters U.S. Hybrid Automobile Sales in Waning Consumer Market" reads the headline. The hybrid market is now 13 years old. Hybrids have never made economic sense, either for manufacturers or consumers, and the latter have figured that out: "Consumer sales of hybrids are headed for their third consecutive yearly decline." So here comes a metrosexual in a limo tossing fistfuls of stimulus dollars from the window to bail out the faltering market. I'm from the government, and I'm here to help.

"About 3,100 of the hybrids purchased by GSA were paid for out of $300 million that the agency received from the 2009 economic stimulus package." OK, feeling better now, because it was not real money, just stimulus money, and we all know that "stimulus money" is shorthand for "Good Thing."

"Another 5,600 [hybrids] were bought with proceeds from selling older cars in the government fleet." Curious how our reporter neglects to say how many "older cars" were sold. Surely it was many more than 5,600. Perhaps 25,000? 30,000? More? Does that mean Mr. Obama downsized his fleet? And how many miles did these "older cars" have on them on average? That is, had they reached the end of their useful service life, or did the administration dump newer vehicles in order to realize more money to go green?

But in this ecstasy of doing good, Mr. Obama left money on the table: "The government paid an average of $5,281 less for its hybrid vehicles than sticker prices." Gee, why didn't they apply for the $7,500 tax credit?

Henry Percy is the nom de guerre for a technical writer living in Arizona. He may be reached at saler.50d[at sign]gmail.com.