GM CEO: Hey’s who’s up for a one-dollar hike in federal gas tax?

posted at 9:25 am on June 8, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

They don’t call it Government Motors for nothing, you know:

General Motors Co. CEO Dan Akerson wants the federal gas tax boosted as much as $1 a gallon to nudge consumers toward more fuel-efficient cars, and he’s confident the government will soon shed its remaining 26 percent stake in the once-bankrupt automaker. …

And while he is eager to say goodbye to the government as a part owner of GM, Akerson would like to see it step up to the challenge of setting a higher gas tax, as part of a comprehensive energy policy.

A government-imposed tax hike, Akerson believes, will prompt more people to buy small cars and do more good for the environment than forcing automakers to comply with higher gas-mileage standards.

“There ought to be a discussion on the cost versus the benefits,” he said. “What we are going to do is tax production here, and that will cost us jobs.”

By taxing production, Akerson refers to the effort to raise the CAFE standards for average fuel efficiency.  The Obama administration wants to push US automakers to stop producing so-called gas guzzlers, pushing the average efficiency to as high as 62 MPG by 2025.  Akerson says that will add $3500 to the average price of cars, which will put US automakers in poor competitive position against their imported competition.

That argument has two problems.  First, politicians will continue to tinker with CAFE standards regardless of tax policy, so Akerson’s trade wouldn’t be a trade at all — it would be an additional cost on top of the financial and safety tradeoffs that come with increased CAFE mandates.  Second, the problem in this case isn’t which government intervention to demand but the government mandates themselves, on a cost issue that should be regulated by consumer demand.  When gas prices rise, people will look for more fuel efficiency without government either stripping consumers of choice or taxing them into oblivion.

Besides, this is hardly the environment in which to demand a gas-tax hike.  Drivers have already gotten sticker shock from skyrocketing costs at the pump — and at the grocery store.  Akerson seems to be blissfully unaware that while CAFE standards impact costs in his industry, gas tax hikes impact costs throughout the entire distribution chain.  Gas prices have a multiplying effect as they impact costs of bringing all goods to market, especially food.  Consumers are already seeing their declining buying power erode even faster due to escalating fuel prices and an insane government policy that keeps America from exploiting its own resources to bring more supply on line and stabilize the markets.

Rather than solve the actual problems, Akerson defaults to piling more taxes on consumers as a solution.  Maybe consumers should keep that in mind when considering GM for their next transportation solution, too.

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Comment pages: 1 2

Barry’s bailout czar probably required Government Motors’ to support higher gas taxes. It’s just the next play in their playbook.

EconomicNeocon on June 8, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Funny thing is, even the CEO of Ford, in addition to its Chairman, agrees with the new federal CAFE and fuel policies. Are all these capitalists stupid or is there another angle here? This story has nothing to do with GM’s prior federal bailout.

http://blogs.automotive.com/ford-ceo-mulally-reacts-to-obama-administrations-fuel-economy-emission-speech-8784.html

bayam on June 8, 2011 at 12:35 PM

You vill buy a Government Car and like it! Or maybe you vould like to spend a little time in ze re-edukation kamp. Zeig heil!!

Sporty1946 on June 8, 2011 at 12:35 PM

I know…lets make people who already drive a 32mpg vehicle pay more at the pump in the hopes that people who don’t own those types of vehicles will run to GM and buy a car.

What?

scalleywag on June 8, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Sporty1946 on June 8, 2011 at 12:35 PM

lol

scalleywag on June 8, 2011 at 12:44 PM

How about just for GM owners?

Wander on June 8, 2011 at 1:04 PM

Here’s the best example of what fine cars are built by government owned companies.

I give you the best thing that the German Democratic Republic ever produced. The Trabant.

simkeith on June 8, 2011 at 1:08 PM

The beatings will continue until sales morale improves.

peski on June 8, 2011 at 1:09 PM

Buy Ford, and you’re money goes to the UAW, which then goes to the 0bama regime and the democrat party.

Buy non-union Honda or Toyota instead.

Rebar on June 8, 2011 at 9:47 AM

Check.

For decades, the greedy unions have been scamming us with their ‘buy American’ propaganda. What they really mean is ‘buy union’, and ‘support politicians that believe in socialism’.

I will favor products built in the USA, but only if greedy unions are not involved.

slickwillie2001 on June 8, 2011 at 1:11 PM

Anybody with GM stock better sell now, even at a loss. Can the GM CEO explain how GM will not cease to exist if this tax happens today?

Really Right on June 8, 2011 at 1:13 PM

GM’s CEO? I thought that was Obama! In fact, it really is Obama!

Christian Conservative on June 8, 2011 at 1:14 PM

This guy is just begging to get buried under one of his electric cars.
Great idea, genius!

docjohn52 on June 8, 2011 at 1:39 PM

The Pubbies need to make a political ad ‘stat’ about this what this idiot proposes and what then-candidate Obama had said about gas prices needing to go skyward. A lovely reminder for those whose pocketbooks are running on empty!

Bob in VA on June 8, 2011 at 1:41 PM

Due to all the crappy taxes, I already pay $4.20-4.37 a gallon. Now, they want me to pay over $5 bucks?!!!!! Aholes.

Blake on June 8, 2011 at 1:46 PM

So I’m supposed to comply with the new paradigm and buy something fuel-efficient. OK- I’ll take that challenge. My choices are a Citroen 2CV or a Peugeot 505 Turbodiesel.

Screw GM- they haven’t built anything I’ve wanted for decades.

BillH on June 8, 2011 at 1:49 PM

How about we just charge the Japanese car owners the $6.75 they pay in the island paradise over there which includes about $1 in federal taxes on top of an engine size tax and a few local taxes?

Put that in your CRV

IlikedAUH2O on June 8, 2011 at 1:53 PM

Then tell me why your utopian enterprises overseas wet themselves at the prospect of removing trade barriers to US manufactured goods. Yea. Built by our subhuman trash in Detroit.

Seig Heil to you.

IlikedAUH2O on June 8, 2011 at 1:56 PM

They want to sell new cars. The CEO of GM is a socialist moron.

dogsoldier on June 8, 2011 at 2:08 PM

Who’s up for torches and pitchforks?

Ward Cleaver on June 8, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Yea. Ain’t no socialism in Japan or Germany. Lust don’t look up their universal health care or about 25 other topics which I am too tired to list. This garbage of smacking or manufacturers while they have barriers makes me sick. I have worked in this arena. It stinks. I don’t miss meals but there are Americans out of work.

IlikedAUH2O on June 8, 2011 at 2:16 PM

General Motors Co. CEO Dan Akerson wants the federal gas tax boosted as much as $1 a gallon to nudge consumers toward more fuel-efficient cars…

I want a government program which will nudge you and your dangerous comrades to take a long walk off a short pier.

Buy Danish on June 8, 2011 at 2:30 PM

So this moron who is the CEO of GM wants the Congress to raise the gas tax to force people to by GM’s small cars. Gas at $4 a gallon is sending us into double dip recessioin and he want to run it into a depression. Oh and the gas tax goes to bike paths and pedestrian overpasses and car museums not just rebuilding roads on the cheap so we can keep fixing them. At least GE has the decency to grovel for handouts not regressive taxes on the poor and middle class. Buy Ford or Chrysler. I don’t think GM’s managment gets it at all.

michigan republican on June 8, 2011 at 2:44 PM

Who’s up for torches and pitchforks?

Ward Cleaver on June 8, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Brings out my inner Bluto….

Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

HELL NO!!

Tim_CA on June 8, 2011 at 4:38 PM

Maybe consumers should keep that in mind when considering GM for their next transportation solution, too.

Well, I certainly would consider that if I were considering a Government Motors purchase either now or in the future. Which I’m not. Sad to say it, but GM is dead to me.

SukieTawdry on June 8, 2011 at 4:42 PM

GM is getting slammed over Uncle Sam’s CAFE standards. But in reality, they can’t control which cars consumers want. I can understand their plight – they’re being held accountable for a consumer preference that they cannot alter.

But a red-blooded American GM executive wouldn’t respond that way. They’d say something like “We build the cars that America wants. And if Obama doesn’t like those cars, he’s got a problem with the American people, not us.”

hawksruleva on June 8, 2011 at 4:48 PM

Maybe consumers should keep that in mind when considering GM for their next transportation solution, too.

Already have. Ruled out buying from “Gov’t Motors ever since Obama stepped on investors to pay off his auto union cronies.

chickasaw42 on June 8, 2011 at 7:10 PM

Check.

For decades, the greedy unions have been scamming us with their ‘buy American’ propaganda. What they really mean is ‘buy union’, and ‘support politicians that believe in socialism’.

I will favor products built in the USA, but only if greedy unions are not involved.

That’s just the height of ignorance. American automakers build cars here and just as importantly keep the profits here in the USA. When you buy a Toyota or Honda, the US trade deficit increases and American wealth is lost to foreign corporations.

Anyone who thinks that the government still controls GM is sadly out of touch with reality.

bayam on June 8, 2011 at 8:20 PM

so that hurts any small business that uses a work vehicle. I wonder if these clowns even give a thought to who will plow their driveway or clean up their yard or any thing that needs a heavy truck or any truck for that matter.most small businesses in my area depend on a truck of some kind.I guess this is their way of helping us little guys.hey clowns please stop helping us.

lees on June 8, 2011 at 8:21 PM

The vehicle I drive every day barely gets 7 mpg on a good day. I’m a truck driver. We buy more fuel per day than most people do in a month. Since Sunday, I’ve filled up twice. 331 gallons at 3.959 per. That cost of $1310.43 is directly being transferred to the consumers of our customers because a fuel surcharge is added to the cost of hauling freight. These idiots may not think their killing the Golden Goose but they sure are doing something to the Duck. For those in Rio Linda, it rhymes.

rmel80 on June 8, 2011 at 8:21 PM

Does anyone else hate it when they don’t proofread their posts until after they’ve submitted them and seen that they’ve typed in “their” instead of “they’re?” I’m just disgusted with myself right now. lol

rmel80 on June 8, 2011 at 8:26 PM

Bill O. just got a new GM car. I knew he was a closet lefty. Just like me and Hannity.

IlikedAUH2O on June 8, 2011 at 9:37 PM

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