Friday, November 21, 2008

We Already Subsidize The Auto Industry

By subsidizing roads, bridges, and streets, we subsidize the auto industry.

I'll ignore the cost of defending oil shipping lanes, wars in the Middle East, ethanol subsidies, and other things that are arguably not subsidies for automobiles, but for general energy production. Ethanol is subsidized for the farm vote, not for Detroit.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, States spent over $100 Billion in 2006 on transportation. almost all of which was on roads. A third of that came from the Federal government.

A hundred billion dollars, ach and every year.

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Anonymous said...

"A hundred billion dollars, ach and every year."

Ach! My sentiments exactly.

Actually, here in Washington State (that's pronounced "Warshington" for right coasters), we also spend 100's of millions on fairies, I mean ferries. Of course, one could argue they only carry automobiles with/without the fairies that drive them!

So, I guess the moral of this story is that even fairies subsidizing ferries are subsidizing the auto industry.

Screw the bailout then and in any case. ~Jimmy (sorry, I know I'm commenting too often but IMAO is boring.)

KnightErrant said...

Agreed. For decades conservationists have argued that public spending on highways is a subsidy of the auto industry and puts alternative (and more energy efficient) transportation such as rail at a competitive disadvantage.

Loren Heal said...

I saw that "ach" typo, but decided it was appropriate enough.

I'm not sure which way to use these stats. The default argument is: we already subsidize the auto industry -- what's a little more?

But the thing is, if they can't turn a profit with all that they're getting now, why should they get more?

So yes, knight, while I'd like to see a lot of that infrastructure spending go away, I would accept the alternative of spending it on railways, dredging, levees, etc.

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