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Chevrolet Volt
Bush signs bill which grants the Volt a $7,500 tax credit

In mid-September, DailyTech brought you news that congress was working on a new round of tax credits targeted at plug-in electric/hybrid vehicles. The tax credits were projected to weigh in at $3,000 for plug-in vehicles with at least a 6 kWh battery and top out at $7,500.

Toyota, which sells its Prius featuring a 1.3 kWh battery pack, balked at the tax credits as its hybrids wouldn't even qualify for the entry-level tax credit. Toyota also was unhappy that the only vehicle in the near future likely to qualify for the maximum $7,500 tax credit is the Chevrolet Volt.

Despite its opposition, Toyota's fears became law last week when President Bush signed the legislation which passed in the House by a vote of 263 to 171 as a part of the massive $700 billion Wall Street bailout package. The entire 10-year tax package for plug-in electric/hybrid vehicles is worth $1 billion.

Requirements to qualify for the tax credit have changed slightly since its inception in the Senate. The 6 kWh battery minimum dropped down to 4 kWh, while the base tax credit rose from $3,000 to $4,168. The maximum credit remains at $7,500 for the Chevrolet Volt with its 16 kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

The Chevrolet Volt gets its primary power from a 150 HP, 273 lb-ft electric motor. A 1.4 liter gasoline engine is also used to recharge the lithium-ion battery pack once the Volt's 40-mile battery range is depleted. According to GM, the Volt can save customers $1,500 per year in fuel costs based on a daily commute of 40 miles.

The $7,500 tax credit should go a long way towards making the Chevrolet Volt more affordable. Current estimates place the base price of the vehicle at $40,000 or higher.



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RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By andrinoaa on 10/6/2008 2:38:36 AM , Rating: -1
Wow, 80% disenfanchised! What? The land of the free and rampant capitalism? Fucked completely from within?
Maybe, just maybe, the dickheads who want NO rules on capitalism may just learn something about orderly regulation .
You guys should look at this with optimism. Just think, your government is finally backing something worthwhile. Its the new "space race".
Sure it costs a bit now, but you will reap the rewards later. It was a mistake to rely on oil for your prosperity for too long. This is an opportunity to weaken the link. Its strategically the right move. Fuck the market, look what the market has done to you guys. Absolutely the right move if for the wrong reasons, what more can you ask from a government! lol


RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By Ringold on 10/6/2008 3:25:07 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
.. the market, look what the market has done to you guys.


Okay, let me see what it's done for us, by comparing it to a place where capitalism dare not tread, say.. France.

GDP PPP: 40% higher
Unemployment: 1.1% points lower
Average Unemployment: ~5 to 6% points lower
Average home size: Hard time finding European data, but the difference appears to be huge. It's 2349sq-ft here, as of 2004.

Whats the downside? A cyclical economy where the average Joe actually notices what is going on, where as in Europe the government attempts to compensate with fiscal stimulus, huge unemployment benefits, and by simply replacing a large portion of the economy with government jobs.

It also appears that European banks and other institutions are starting to collapse at an even brisker pace then here! Europe is also regulated to death. What good has it done Europe? Higher unemployment when the times are good, and now that times are bad, even higher unemployment with almost none of the pain being spared. Even European economists seem to agree with those of us on this side of the pond; the European economy is going to be in worse shape and for longer than the US due to the flexibility of our markets (labor as well as capital). We hit a cyclical hard spot, and all the weaklings come flooding out of the woodwork with their doomsday talk, like they always do.

I'd prefer socialists be honest. Lets not pretend socialism/aversion to capitalism means all the upside with none of the downside. It means, in a best case scenario, where government is perfectly competent and happens to get most things right, smoothing out some of the pain while permanently lowering the long run rate of economic growth.

America isn't an outlier in the more-capitalism example, either. Ireland and Switzerland are hanging right up in there, and it sure wasn't socialist reform that started India and China's growth spurts.


RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By andrinoaa on 10/6/08, Rating: 0
RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By FITCamaro on 10/6/2008 6:03:39 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
How many people are homeless


Many of our homeless choose to be. Because like in socialism, they have found they can survive by doing absolutely nothing. Some have turned panhandling into a career and own homes and drive nice cars.

quote:
have no health coverage


So I'm supposed to pay for it? In this country you have what you earn (or were born into unfortunately).

quote:
are incarserated


You do the crime, you do the time. No one forced people to commit crimes.

quote:
on minimal wages


That's what happens when you slack off in school. Again. No one's fault but their own.

quote:
How many homes now lay empty due to forclosure?


And it's my fault that someone who makes $2000 a month was stupid enough to buy a $300,000 home thinking it would work out? I'm sorry I guess I think people should use that thing called common sense and realize that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. And that people should actually read their mortgage before signing it. Yes Fannie and Freddie allowed these loans to exist by buying them from banks almost guaranteed. But if people had exercised basic common sense to realize that the chance of rates staying insanely low over a 30 year span was almost 0% then this mess wouldn't exist. Yes the banks were wrong to take advantage of the situation, but they were pretty much forced to by the government, especially under Clinton with Janet Reno threatening to go after banks who didn't issue the loans. So no, I have no pity for people who lost their homes because they wanted to live in luxury when they couldn't afford it. Or people who bought homes as an investment and it turned out to be a bad one (that's part of investing. there's risk).

Yes some basic checks on the market will always be needed, but many of the financial failures in the past 100 years have been due to government intervention in the market. Not raw capitalism itself. This situation wouldn't have existed if the government hadn't created the sub-prime market itself in the 70s with the Community Housing Act. It's bad business to give loans to people who can't afford them which is why those people never got the loans before that to begin with.


RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By andrinoaa on 10/6/08, Rating: 0
RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By andrinoaa on 10/6/08, Rating: -1
RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By BansheeX on 10/6/2008 9:44:12 AM , Rating: 5
You think it was capitalism that failed the markets? We are in the late stages of socialism, fool. 50% of our GDP is controlled by the government. Labor and interest rates are centrally price fixed. We have a non-market determined money with a ban on competing currencies. Banks can loan out money they don't have at interest while any other industry would be jailed for doing the same. Politicians regularly distribute our tax money to one industry and not another via subsidies or tax credits. We bail people out and remove the fear of bankruptcy that would have otherwise existed to deter risk. We offer federal insurance on deposits via the FDIC, removing the fear of losing a deposit that would otherwise deter depositors from ever loaning money to highly leveraged investment banks. We pass legislation like the Community Reinvestment Act in the name of social progress, essentially declaring lending standards discriminatory and forcing banks to make loans to low income people. We force every American to pay into a forced "retirement plan" at 12% of wages which is really just an unsustainable ponzi scheme. We nationalize industry and finance it with forcibly appropriated money, so it is far more resistant to failing from bad policy. Fannie and Freddie were government companies and accomplished the opposite of their initial goal by the time they corrupted. We ban products via the FDA, some of it is anti-competitive and the result of lobbying. These are all idealist socialist powers that the private industry doesn't have, but has access to as long as they exist. That's the problem. Buy a clue already.


RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By FITCamaro on 10/6/2008 10:16:46 AM , Rating: 3
*waves hand*

These aren't the facts you're looking for.


RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By Fnoob on 10/6/2008 11:14:18 AM , Rating: 2
LMAO!

'What do you think you are, some kind of Jedi? Your tricks won't work on me, I'm a Paulsonian!"


RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By Villains on 10/6/08, Rating: -1
RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By Reclaimer77 on 10/6/2008 1:42:13 PM , Rating: 5
Would you want to live in a world where you are only alloted just " what is needed " and nothing more ?

Oh wait... nevermind. You apparently already are.


RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By Spuke on 10/6/2008 1:49:08 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Average home size is 2349 sq-ft?
Actually, it's 2434 sq ft and that size home is mostly concentrated in the southeastern US. The northeast would be second. The farther west you go, the more expensive homes get so they are generally smaller (there are exceptions). Homes are cheap here compared to most of Europe so we get larger one's.

In the south, depending on the neighborhood, you can get a 2400 sq ft house for well under $150k. More than affordable to your average American family.


RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By Oregonian2 on 10/6/2008 9:37:21 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, that sized home would go for a LOT more than that here. Almost without regard to location. We're probably two to three times more expensive (making wild assumptions about location and the like) -- and we're dirt cheap compared to the SF Bay area in California. And our property taxes are high too (although there is no sales tax).


RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By Oregonian2 on 10/6/2008 9:30:58 PM , Rating: 2
My wife and I get by in a 2850 sq ft home (could use more).

I don't complain about those things (other than taxes). It was built in 1996 when we moved in, so although not real new, the insulation (and such) are decent -- but the central air conditioner could have been much higher in efficiency (now), so that is a problem in the summer -- but like buying a new Chevy Volt a spendy thing to "fix".

But then I didn't just graduate from college -- I used to be in apartments, then my first home was a whopping 1250 sq feet where my wife and I used to live. And that house still exists and is part of the average. I think the 2349 may be the average of new-builds rather than existing homes. As land becomes more expensive (very much the case here in my metro area where land zoned for houses is fairly scarce) it becomes more advantageous for builders to build larger houses on the land they have available to them. Of course at the very moment, houses aren't selling well and the smaller ones probably would sell better if it weren't for those looking for "entry houses" probably not being in good positions to get loans (at the moment) with good size down payments (speaking generally in a statistical way).

Of course, all of those nasty ARM and other 'creative' loans that the banks are now in trouble for having made had some part in driving up prices and house sizes seeing as how people could get loans for homes bigger than they could afford.


RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By FITCamaro on 10/7/2008 10:01:09 AM , Rating: 3
Who are you or the government to decide how much space I "need"? One of the biggest fake environmentalists out there, Al Gore, owns a 10,000 square foot home.

And what does the size of a home have to do with the rate? In some areas a 1000 square foot home costs as much as a 3000 square foot home in other areas. What matters is what you financed and how you financed it. It doesn't matter the size of the home.


RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By Rhaido on 10/6/2008 2:35:57 PM , Rating: 4
"who want NO rules on capitalism may just learn something about orderly regulation ."

"...look what the market has done to you guys."

The mortgage crisis was not a function of a free market. Government corruption (mostly Democrats buying minority votes), intervention, and moral hazard created the problem.

http://articles.latimes.com/1999/may/31/news/mn-42...
>>>All of this suggests that Clinton’s efforts to increase minority access to loans and capital also have spurred this decade’s gains. Under Clinton, bank regulators have breathed the first real life into enforcement of the Community Reinvestment Act, a 20-year-old statute meant to combat “redlining” by requiring banks to serve their low-income communities. The administration also has sent a clear message by stiffening enforcement of the fair housing and fair lending laws. The bottom line: Between 1993 and 1997, home loans grew by 72% to blacks and by 45% to Latinos, far faster than the total growth rate.
>>>Lenders also have opened the door wider to minorities because of new initiatives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac–the giant federally chartered corporations that play critical, if obscure, roles in the home finance system. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac buy mortgages from lenders and bundle them into securities; that provides lenders the funds to lend more.
>>>In 1992, Congress mandated that Fannie and Freddie increase their purchases of mortgages for low-income and medium-income borrowers. Operating under that requirement, Fannie Mae, in particular, has been aggressive and creative in stimulating minority gains. It has aimed extensive advertising campaigns at minorities that explain how to buy a home and opened three dozen local offices to encourage lenders to serve these markets. Most importantly, Fannie Mae has agreed to buy more loans with very low down payments–or with mortgage payments that represent an unusually high percentage of a buyer’s income. That’s made banks willing to lend to lower-income families they once might have rejected.
>>>The top priority may be to ask more of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The two companies are now required to devote 42% of their portfolios to loans for low- and moderate-income borrowers; HUD, which has the authority to set the targets, is poised to propose an increase this summer. Although Fannie Mae actually has exceeded its target since 1994, it is resisting any hike. It argues that a higher target would only produce more loan defaults by pressuring banks to accept unsafe borrowers. HUD says Fannie Mae is resisting more low-income loans because they are less profitable.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0...
>>>Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits.
>>>In July, the Department of Housing and Urban Development proposed that by the year 2001, 50 percent of Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's portfolio be made up of loans to low and moderate-income borrowers. Last year, 44 percent of the loans Fannie Mae purchased were from these groups.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_hazard
>>>Financial bail-outs of lending institutions by governments, central banks or other institutions can encourage risky lending in the future, if those that take the risks come to believe that they will not have to carry the full burden of losses.


RE: Not Enough at $699 Billion
By andrinoaa on 10/6/08, Rating: -1
By GiantPandaMan on 10/6/2008 11:16:31 PM , Rating: 2
Okay, your point is so full of crap that I had to reply to this one.

#1) The problems with ARM's started to show in 2006. These ARM's were not given back in 1994 but far more recently.
#2) Republicans ruled the Congress and Senate from about 1995 to 2007. The White House since 2001.
#3) Neither Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac were small players in the ARM's market. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's problems were they had too much SUB-PRIME mortgage debt. No dodging there.

Blame everything on Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae? Umm, no. The problem is far larger and reaches into far more companies than that. What hand did the federal government or Democrats have in Lehmann Brothers? Was it the federal governments fault that AIG, Wachovia, WaMu and others were about to go insolvent? Stop putting your head in the sand so you can point fingers and feel better. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were simply the first to show signs and go down.

Blame everything on Democrats? Umm, your timeline is way off.

Inevitably, EVERYONE in government, the people who got the loans, and the people who gave them is to blame. Painting one single group as the culprits is oversimplifying, ignorant, and knee-jerk. The mortgage mess was caused by lack of regulation. Let me repeat. The mortgage mess was caused by lack of regulation! If you're fine with this happening every once in awhile (and no bailout) then you're a true free market capitalist. This is what free market capitalism, along with growth, can cause. As with all systems, it has its pros and cons.


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