Biden issues a completely tone-deaf announcement about electric cars
It’s a certainty that Marie Antoinette never said “Let them eat cake,” when she heard about France’s peasants starving for lack of bread. However, it’s the absolute truth that, even as 82% of Americans are paying above sticker price for cars, while the last year has seen them struggle with rising fuel prices, Biden chose to announce that he’s going to buy a whole new fleet of cars for federal workers—600,000 cars, to be precise—all of them electric.
The past year has been a tough one for Americans. Inflation has rocketed, with three primary causes: the government’s non-stop money-printing presses; rising fuel prices that boost the price of everything and hugely increase the cost of driving; and the supply chain shortages, including chips and other car parts from China. It’s no surprise, then, that Edmunds, the market research firm, says that 82% of Americans who bought a car from a dealership in the past 12 months paid above the sticker price. This is 276 times more than in 2020:
The trend slowly rose by May before skyrocketing up to 82 per cent in January 2022, a 276-fold increase since the 0.3 percent in 2020.
Ford saw an average of $163 add-on to MSRP in 2021, although one Seattle woman told the Washington Post she’d been warned she’d have to pay $12,000 over the list price for one of the firm’s hybrid pick-up trucks, prompting her to abandon the purchase.
GM’s Chevrolet and GMC brands saw markups of $625 and $677, respectively.
GMC’s prestige Cadillac line saw an average of $4,048 last month. Kia, Hyundai’s popular bargain brand, saw an average mark up of $2,289.
On average, the new markup on cars have cost consumers an extra $728, with shoppers reporting that electric vehicles and hybrids are being sold at an additional $10,000 or more.
Although most people understand that inflation and supply shortages are hitting car manufacturers as surely as they are everyone else, Americans are probably not feeling the love for the car companies. Many of them are hoping that their old cars manage to hang on for another year or two.
Image: Biden Antoinette by Andrea Widburg
But the Biden administration doesn’t care about the “little people.” Instead, it’s got its eyes fixed firmly on the wonders of green energy, which will enrich all the right people. (Hey, it worked for Al Gore, who is now worth around $330 million.) And so it was that this tweet emanated like a bad smell from the White House:
We’re gearing up to make all 600,000 federal government vehicles electric, bringing more manufacturing jobs back to our country, and building supply chains here at home. We’re making “buy American” a reality—not just a promise.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) February 11, 2022
Aside from rubbing in Americans’ faces the fact that they’re not getting any new cars, the idea is painfully laughable. I don’t need to write here what a terrible idea electric cars are. They don’t lessen pollution; they just remove it from the car’s exhaust pipe. But even more than that, our electrical grid can’t handle more electric cars, a fact that doesn’t even address the fact that, when an electric car runs out of charge, you’re stuck. No one-gallon gas can will rescue you.
Twitchy gathered some responses to this utterly tone-deaf announcement, with my favorite coming from Former Senator Orrin G. Hatch:
The midterm ads write themselves.— Retired Orrin G. Hatch (@RetiredOrrin) February 12, 2022
“While families struggled to afford gas and groceries, Joe Biden bought 600,000 electric cars for government workers.” https://t.co/QvDCivpmJn
This also seems like the perfect place to share Matt Taibbi’s article comparing Justin Trudeau to Nicolae Ceaușescu, not in terms of truly torturous cruelty but in terms of being completely disconnected from the people. After describing Ceaușescu’s complete inability to understand, even four days before his execution, that the Romanian people had finally finished with him, Taibbi writes the following, not just about Trudeau, but about all our Western leaders:
Ceaușescu’s balcony will forever be a symbol of elite cluelessness. Even in the face of the gravest danger, a certain kind of ruler will never be able to see the last salvo coming, if doing so requires any self-examination. The neoliberal political establishment in most of the Western world, the subject of repeat populist revolts of rising intensity in recent years, seems to suffer from the same disability.
There may be no real-world comparison between a blood-soaked monster like Ceaușescu and a bumbling ball-scratcher like Joe Biden, or an honorarium-gobbling technocrat like Hillary Clinton, or a Handsome Dan investment banker like Emmanuel Macron, or an effete pseudo-intellectual like Justin Trudeau. Still, the ongoing inability of these leaders to see the math of populist uprisings absolutely recalls that infamous scene in Bucharest. From Brexit to the election of Donald Trump to, now, the descent of thousands of Canadian truckers upon the capital city of Ottawa to confront Trudeau, a consistent theme has been the refusal to admit — not even to us, but to themselves — the numerical truth of what they’re dealing with.
Marie Antoinette had “Let them eat cake.” Biden has “Let me buy electric cars.” Different eras, same cluelessness.