I swear to you that I’m not making this stuff up: the CEO of General Motors, Dan Akerson, proposes we add a $0.50 to $1.00 tax per gallon on gasoline, as it would help his company achieve the upcoming CAFE requirements. In a Detroit Free Press interview, Akerson said, “…as gas is going down here now, we ought to just slap a 50-cent or dollar tax on a gallon of gas. People will start buying more Cruzes and they will start buying less Suburbans.”
CAFE measurements are a complex blend of per-unit fuel economy and vehicle sales. Even if Chevy built a 65 mpg car, they could easily miss new CAFE requirements if the public didn’t buy it. From that perspective (and that perspective alone), Akerson’s comments make sense. But here’s where the CEO is sorely out-of-touch with reality: raising the cost of living for the average American family won’t force them to buy a new car, nor will it convert a significant number of truck buyers into compact sedan buyers. If you need to tow 10,000 pounds, you’re not going to do that with a Chevy Cruze. If you own a landscaping business, a Chevy Volt isn’t going to be your commercial vehicle of choice.
Most disturbing? Akerson, like most politicians, has no idea what life is like for middle class America these days. Families (including my own) are struggling to get by on a fraction of our former incomes, and there’s no relief in the job market in sight. If paying the rent or paying the mortgage is a problem, you’re sure as hell not going to consider trading your paid-off car for a new model, no matter how fuel efficient it may be.
Source: CNN Money