Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at thinking, intelligent individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

21 June 2011

Government Motors Urges Us to Drive 193 MPH

How odd it is that after decades of the federal government twisting the arms, legs, and other appendages of state governments to lower their speed limits on the Interstate Highway System and on US Highways, Government Motors is now aggressively marketing a Cadillac that achieves speeds of 193 mph on the highway.  Yes, it has wiper blades designed not to lift off of the windshield at that speed says the oft-repeated TV ad.

In this day of the Nanny State, when warning labels proclaim that only professional riders should ride small bicycles built for young children, this would seem a surprising turn of events at first glance.  But upon reflection, we remember that the cigarette tax is a good part of the reason that cigarettes have not been banned.  The state and federal governments make big money from the sale cigarettes.  If marijuana had been similarly taxed, it would not be banned today.  Now that the federal government has a direct and very substantial financial interest in Government Motors, it is hardly surprising that GM is now free to advocate a car designed to achieve speeds of 193 mph.  If that helps sales by creating a new, less stodgy, image for Cadillac, then the Nanny State training wheels need not be attached.

So, the old argument that high speeds are not an efficient use of fuel and therefore endanger national security by forcing us to buy oil from the OPEC nations who do not like us, is now set aside in the interest of making Cadillac seem sexier.  The argument that high speeds are dangerous and should be prohibited, is now inverted into one that implies that driving at dangerous high speeds is sexy.  And everyone knows that sex sells cars.

The fact that the government gave GM up to a $45 billion tax break by allowing it to continue to write off any current and future profits against losses prior to its reorganization is an ongoing embarrassment the government is trying hard to hide.  It has given GM a further domestic tax break of about $14 billion.  On top of that, the government still owns 26.5% of GM stock and wants to unload that well prior to the upcoming 2012 election.  It is estimated the loss upon the sale of the stock will be between $10 and $25 billion, where the upper estimate is based on the sale of so much stock no one much wants dragging the price way down.  These are the real costs of the GM bailout.

Of course all these losses do not stop Obama from bragging about how the government will get all of its money back on its GM investment.  Perhaps his whopper will be a lot less apparent to most of the People most of the time if a sexy Cadillac can be driven at 193 mph!  That should make GM stock much more valuable in a hurry.  This administration needs to leave GM behind long before the 2012 election so its losses will be old news by then.

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