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President Obama stands in front of a Chevrolet Volt and a prototype Ford Focus Electric
Replacing some of the federal fleet with electric vehicles will reduce government fuel consumption by 7.7 million gallons

The Obama administration announced yesterday that it has instructed federal agencies to buy smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles in an effort to meet national energy and environmental goals.

U.S. Present Barack Obama is ordering government agencies to buy cars like the Ford Fiesta, Chevy Cruze and Chevy Volt instead of full-sized cars like the Ford Taurus or Chevy Impala. These instructions are aimed to reduce U.S. oil imports by one-third by 2025 from 2008's import levels, and to place 1 million plug-in electric vehicles on the roads by 2015.

The U.S. government plans to buy 116 plug-in electric vehicles as part of its fleet efficiency effort. Of the 116 plug-in's, 101 will be Chevy Volts, which will be made in Detroit, while the other 15 will be battery electric Nissan Leafs and Think City electric models. These environmentally friendly models will join the government's 600,000-vehicle fleet.

There are exceptions to the rule, though. Obama noted in a memo that federal agencies are not to buy full-size sedans unless absolutely necessary, and said that government employees can continue using full-sized SUV's that can run on alternative fuels like E85. But those using larger vehicles six months from now will have to post that they do so on their websites. 

In addition, Obama suggested that optional equipment should be limited unless it is vital to agency missions. Exceptions will be made for vehicles used for military tactical operations, emergency response and law enforcement. 

The new electric vehicle pilot program will equip 20 government agencies in five cities with these vehicles. All branches of the U.S. military as well as the Energy Department and Veterans Administration will take part in the program, and the five chosen cities will be Detroit, Washington D.C., San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco. In addition, 100 charging stations will be placed at federal buildings in Michigan, California and Washington D.C.

The government hopes to encourage U.S. citizens to adopt environmentally friendly vehicles by leading by example. According to government estimates, replacing some of the government fleet with these electric vehicles will reduce government fuel consumption by 7.7 million gallons, which equates to 385,000 barrels of oil. Obama hopes to have most government vehicles purchased in 2015 be environmentally friendly vehicles.

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RE: "leading by example"
By Flunk on 5/25/2011 11:29:36 AM , Rating: 1
One drop at a time, you can't solve every problem all at once.

What everyone doesn't want to face here is the real solution to the problem. A constantly increasing deficit isn't a realistic way to live. If they don't increase taxes and seriously reduce services and administrative waste there isn't any way out.

Of course that's not likely to happen, which is a problem with democracy. Sometimes unpopular plans have the best long-term outlook but the majority of voters are so short sighted that they will never get done.

RE: "leading by example"
By Kurz on 5/25/11, Rating: -1
RE: "leading by example"
By adhan24 on 5/25/2011 12:52:39 PM , Rating: 3
It is true that the United States, on paper, recently gained status as king of the tax hill in respect to corporate tax rates, but that doesn't tell you the whole story. We all know that corporations dodge these taxes by using loopholes. While the rates should be lowered, the loopholes need to be closed. Additionally, if personal income taxes are to be lowered (even marginally) the tax loopholes and benefits need to be looked at critically. But I tend to agree with the previous poster on personal income taxes, they could actually stand to increase for the top 2%.

RE: "leading by example"
By Kurz on 5/25/11, Rating: 0
RE: "leading by example"
By Ammohunt on 5/25/2011 2:43:12 PM , Rating: 1
VAT tax? no thanks! dumb idea! Income Flat tax 22% for everyone!

RE: "leading by example"
By Kurz on 5/25/2011 3:46:58 PM , Rating: 3
VAT Tax is not a Sales tax... Look up the definitions... Christ.

RE: "leading by example"
By Ammohunt on 5/26/2011 1:23:40 PM , Rating: 2
you are splitting hairs a VAT is a Sales tax on certain consumer goods. Why is it that becasue i am successfuly i pay more tax then some less so? i am not rich but i am lucky enough to be part of the 50% of people that actually pay income tax. 150Million people in the US do not pay taxes at all how is that fair?. a flat tax on income for everyone ensures everyone pays their fair share.

RE: "leading by example"
By gamerk2 on 5/25/2011 3:53:12 PM , Rating: 4
No, thats a dumb idea; you'd be forcing hte poor to pay that same rate, putting more people on government assistance programs, raising costs in the process. Taxing someone who makes $22k at a 22% rate will cost far more then that in the long run.

Reduce base rates 10% across the board, and remove all deductions. No more tax dodges.

And BTW, a sales tax, while fundamentally anti-competitive [hurts statups compared to established businesses], is FAR more recession proof then other forms of taxation; 1/3 of our yearly deficit is currently due to a decline in tax revenue ($500 Billion or so) due to this recession...

RE: "leading by example"
By DrKlahn on 5/25/11, Rating: 0
RE: "leading by example"
By Alexvrb on 5/25/2011 9:52:28 PM , Rating: 5
No joke. I know someone that has EBT and gets a crap ton of money for food, so they can spend the rest on other things. Sound nice in theory, if they really needed it. They have a job, and they already collect child support for two kids. But they don't work as many hours as they could, because making too much money would actually hurt their welfare! So they willingly limit their income in order to collect more. They have a much newer, more expensive car than I do. They go on vacations I couldn't afford.

Some families really and truly DO need it - it's just sad that it is so easy to abuse it!

RE: "leading by example"
By YashBudini on 5/25/2011 7:26:16 PM , Rating: 2
Income Flat tax 22% for everyone!

What billionaire is going to stand for that?

RE: "leading by example"
By Reclaimer77 on 5/25/2011 10:45:12 PM , Rating: 3

A flat tax would dramatically LOWER how much taxes a billionaire would pay. Currently the top 1% income earners in this country pay something like 65% of the taxes collected.

RE: "leading by example"
By YashBudini on 5/25/2011 11:43:42 PM , Rating: 1
Have you seen how many IRS forms exist for them to not pay their fair share?

I do realize the Heritage Foundation doesn't supply such data.

RE: "leading by example"
By CyborgTMT on 5/26/2011 12:47:45 AM , Rating: 1
The top 1% also have more wealth than the bottom 95% do combined. So a rough guess would place them at having 75-80% of the income so they shouldn't bitch about having to pay only 65% of the taxes.

RE: "leading by example"
By JediJeb on 5/26/2011 1:27:36 PM , Rating: 3
Everyone thinks that having the top 1% of the richest people paying 65% of all the taxes if fair. But since that is fair, would it also be fair that those same top 1% of people in the country have 65% of the say in what happens in the government?

Most would say no, this is a democracy so every citizen should have an equal say in governing the country. Yet it is expected that the most wealthy should be paying for the needs of poorest citizens. I think it would be completely fair to ask every citizen to pay the exact same percentage in income taxes. If you make a dollar and the tax rate is 22% then you owe $0.22 in taxes, if you make a million dollars then you owe $220,000 in taxes. The rich are still paying the most taxes yet everyone is being asked to pay an equal share of their income. To be honest even welfare payments should be taxed at the same rate, because people who are receiving the assistance paid for by other people should know how it feels to be paying taxes so they better appreciate how the system works.

I myself make about $42k per year, and when I look at my check I pay nearly 33% in taxes when you figure in federal, state, county, city, social security, and whatever other taxes they can find to take out of my check. Why should it be that the less money you make, the more of it you keep? I don't even ask for raises anymore because every time I get one I only see about another $3-$10 more on my paycheck, everything else goes to taxes because I keep jumping up a bracket. This is the same problem they are having in places like Sweden or Switzerland(I cant remember which one now) where they pay no taxes until they hit the $60k per year mark, then they start paying a large tax percentage. There many people refuse raises once they get close to that limit so they can continue to keep their money and receive the free government handouts. This only stresses the financial burden of the government even more as fewer and fewer people are asked to pay more and more to support a growing population who remain in the lower income range.

Fairness is asking every single person to contribute the same percentage. If a person wants to improve their position financially then they need to work harder and look for opportunities to advance to the level which makes them feel comfortable. If I think I need more money, then I will take a second job or look for a better one, not ask others to pay my way in life.

RE: "leading by example"
By YashBudini on 5/26/2011 10:15:59 PM , Rating: 1
would it also be fair that those same top 1% of people in the country have 65% of the say in what happens in the government?

Your country protects you and your stuff. There's a cost associated with that. And maybe they do through contributions and lobbyists.

Why should it be that the less money you make, the more of it you keep?

Well the standard deduction is a flat amount. Basic living expenses also don't vary nearly as much as salaries do. Paris Hilton doesn't count.

People at the bottom strain to pay for food and shelter. The millionaire is p!$$ed he pays more, but honestly the only physical hardship is what?

There many people refuse raises once they get close to that limit so they can continue to keep their money and receive the free government handouts.

Biting off one's nost to spite their face is an old story. Once I suggested to a friend who insisted they hated taxes that they really want to pay more taxes. They thought I was crazy. I said they want to pay half a million a year in taxes, they asked "why would I want that?" Because you get to keep a lot more. See any movie stars turning down roles because of tax brackets? If you despise taxes that much then don't work at all, and live on what little you get. If that's a win for those people they were beyond redemption in the first place. Such trash comes in many colors, though whites hate to admit that the most.

RE: "leading by example"
By YashBudini on 5/26/2011 10:52:29 PM , Rating: 2
The top 1% also have more wealth than the bottom 95% do combined.
Take a look at the sectin marked "Capital Gain" - Why Washington is closer to Wall Street than Main Street.

There's a reason there are far more numbers at these sites than you could ever find at the Heritage Foundation. They won't even tell you what the average income of the top 2$ is, and there's a reason for that as well.

RE: "leading by example"
By BansheeX on 5/27/2011 4:44:42 AM , Rating: 2
65% is the rate you can TRY to tax them at, but taxing income is much harder to collect than taxing sales. There are all kinds of ways, legal and illegal, that you can hide your income and reduce your tax liability. And there's nothing your effing laws can do about that. And there's nothing your tax rate can do about a millionaire ceasing production and avoiding all income tax. You could have a 100% taxrate on a bunch of wealth-squatting millionaires and collect absolutely nothing. The administrative cost of an income tax plus all its fraud and abuse is insane.

RE: "leading by example"
By SomethingNew71 on 5/25/2011 2:02:01 PM , Rating: 1
RE: "leading by example"
By weskurtz0081 on 5/25/2011 2:13:00 PM , Rating: 3
Look at the purple bars....

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

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