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Obama’s $1,300 car tax

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By Michelle Malkin  •  May 19, 2009 07:02 AM

Nobody in the White House is going to call the president’s “mileage and pollution” plan what it is.

It’s a $1,300 car tax. On the working class. On the middle class. On everyone who has responded to the government’s consumption-mania incentives — loosened credit, tax deductions — and bought/planned to buy a new car without taking into account these unanticipated costs:

President Barack Obama wants drivers to go farther on a gallon of gas and cause less damage to the environment — and be willing to pick up the tab.

Obama on Tuesday planned to announce the first-ever national emissions limits for cars and trucks, as well as require a 35.5 miles per gallon standard. Consumers should expect to pay an extra $1,300 per vehicle by the time the plan is complete in 2016, officials said…

…Administration officials said consumers were going to pay an extra $700 for mileage standards that had already been approved. The comprehensive Obama plan would add another $600 to the price of a vehicle, a senior administration official said.

The extra miles would come at roughly a 5 percent increase each year. By the time the plan takes full effect, at the end of 2016, new vehicles would cost an extra $1,300.

That official said the cost would be recovered through savings at the pump for consumers who choose a standard 60-month car loan and if gas prices follow government projections.

Let’s all deliver a collective snort in response to yet another self-delusional bureaucrat’s promise that yet another massive government intervention will produce cost savings:

“[T]he cost would be recovered through savings at the pump for consumers who choose a standard 60-month car loan and if gas prices follow government projections.”

All together now: SNORT.

Totally missing from today’s discussion of imposing stricter mileage standards: the potentially lethal impact. For years, free-market analysts and government statisticians have warned of the deadly effect of increasing corporate auto fuel economy standards.

Sam Kazman at CEI explained in 2002: “[T]he evidence on this issue comes from no less a body than the National Academy of Sciences, which issued a report last August finding that CAFE contributes to between 1,300 and 2,600 traffic deaths per year. Given that this program has been in effect for more than two decades, its cumulative toll is staggering. CAFE has this impact on safety because it restricts the production of large cars. Large cars are less fuel efficient than smaller, similarly equipped vehicles, but they are also more crashworthy in practically every type of accident. The first major analysis of this issue came in a 1989 report from researchers at Harvard and the Brookings Institution; since then, a number of other analyses, by government and private researchers, have confirmed the conclusion that CAFE kills.”

Attention, House Republicans: Demand that Obama own up to tradeoffs. Demand that his administration make those costs transparent.

Let’s have some Cheerios-level truth-in-labeling on President Obama’s risky $1,300 car tax, shall we?

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