We went out for a Sunday drive the other day (Sunday, as it happens) and ended up in the western suburbs of Boston: Lexington, Concord, Bedford, Lincoln. In addition to being the birthplace of the American Revolution, they also happen to be full of extremely wealthy and (because it’s Massachusetts) liberal people. So would you care to guess which predominated in driveways and on the streets? If you said Toyota Prius you are correct.
That little hybrid gas-electric car is the new status symbol automobile of a certain segment of the rich liberal set. Now certainly, plenty of non-liberal, non-rich people own Prius’s (Prii?), but lots more are owned by people who voted for John Kerry and maxed out their allowable donations to his failed presidential bid.
The Acton Institute blog noticed a commentary in a recent Weekly Standard examining hybrid cars. The article noted that even though the cars don’t deliver on their promised fuel economy benefits and they’re inconvenient to use, they’re still very popular. Even more, you and I are subsidizing the purchase of the vehicles by these wealthy six-figure blue-blood Blue State liberals.
The federal government subsidizes hybrid fashion statements with tax breaks that benefit the rich. The average household income of a Civic hybrid owner ranges between $65,000 to $85,000 a year; it’s more than $100,000 for the owner of an Accord. The median income of a Toyota Prius owner is $92,000; for a Highlander SUV owner $121,000; and for a luxury Lexus SUV owner it’s over $200,000.
All of those are hybrid cars that qualify for federal tax breaks. This year the tax deduction for buying one of these cars jumps from $2,000 to $3,400, which generally results in a $700 benefit to the purchaser.
Gee, and I thought liberals always complained about tax breaks for the rich. I guess they only complain when it’s conservative rich people—which usually means middle-class conservatives.
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