In our Liberty Update this week, we highlight the latest illegal leak of thousands of supposedly confidential…
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ProPublica/IRS Leak: There's No Underlying "There" There

In our Liberty Update this week, we highlight the latest illegal leak of thousands of supposedly confidential Internal Revenue Service (IRS) taxpayer returns spanning over 15 years, confirming that the partisan and power-hungry IRS simply cannot be trusted to safeguard our sensitive records, let alone to begin collecting sensitive private information from nonprofit organizations on donors who contribute to them in violation of the First Amendment.

Getting to the substance of the ProPublica/IRS leaked documents themselves, former Senator Phil Gramm and U.S. Policy Metrics partner Mike Solon explain in The Wall Street Journal how there's nothing scandalous in the least in what they reveal:

ProPublica’s 'blockbuster' story showing that the wealthy 'pay income taxes that are only…[more]

June 18, 2021 • 04:40 PM

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Eliminate, Don’t Expand, the Wasteful Federal Electric Vehicle Subsidy Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, October 03 2019
Americans should be free to purchase EVs if they so choose in an open marketplace. But they shouldn’t be forced to subsidize them, particularly on behalf of wealthy Americans concentrated in California, simply because the federal government wants to pick winners and losers and reward favored special interests.

If you’re like most Americans, you think of electric vehicles (EVs) as a novelty that may or may not succeed in the marketplace of products, and an option that people should be perfectly free to purchase with their own dollars if they so choose. 

But like most Americans, chances are that you also oppose taxpayer subsidies for EVs and believe that the federal government has no business manipulating the market or propping up other people’s EV purchases. 

That’s the unequivocal public consensus, according to a recent opinion survey by the American Energy Alliance (AEA): 

Voters don’t think they should pay for other people’s car purchases.  In every state, overwhelming majorities (typically three-quarters of respondents) said that while electric cars might be a good choice for some, those purchases should not be paid for by other consumers.  Voters’ sentiments about paying for others’ electric vehicles are especially sharp when they learn that those who purchase electric vehicles are, for the most part, wealthy and/or from California.  There is almost no willingness to pay for electric vehicle car purchases.  When asked how much individuals would be willing to pay each year to support the purchase of electric vehicles by other consumers, the most popular answer in each state (usually more than two-thirds of respondents) was “nothing.” 

Moreover, the survey found that “few voters (usually less than 1/5) trust the federal government to make decisions about what kinds of cars should be subsidized or mandated.” 

Despite that overwhelming public opposition to federal government meddling and taxpayer subsidies, some in Congress stubbornly persist in not only working to preserve the EVs cronyist subsidy system, but hope to expand it. 

As the end of the year approaches and lawmakers negotiate tax legislation, some propose an array of “green” tax extensions and a tripling of the number of EVs per manufacturer that will be eligible for taxpayer subsidies.  Making matters worse, even some otherwise sober lawmakers who oppose EV subsidies might be tempted to capitulate in order to obtain other unrelated priorities they seek. 

By way of historical context, the EV subsidy boondoggle was originally justified as a temporary, limited incentive to kickstart the fledgling EV industry.  In 2008, before the American fracking revolution subsequently eased our concerns about overreliance on foreign oil, the Pelosi-Schumer Congress created $7,500 tax credit for purchasers of EVs.  Senator Orin Hatch (R – Utah) at the time emphasized the subsidy’s limited scope and duration: 

I want to emphasize that, like the tax credits available under current law for hybrid electric vehicles, the tax incentives in the Freedom Act are temporary.  They are needed in order to help get these products over the initial stage of production, when they are quite a bit more expensive than older technology vehicles, to the mass production stage, where economies of scale will drive costs down, and the credits will no longer be necessary. 

Well, over a decade later we’re well past the “initial stage of production,” yet they remain “more expensive” and continue to receive taxpayer subsidies. 

The Obama Administration expanded the credit program to cover the first 200,000 EVs from each manufacturer producing them, at a cumulative cost of $2 billion by 2017. 

The EV subsidy’s defects, however, extend far beyond just its accumulating cost. 

Outrageously, approximately 80% of federal EV subsidies go to households with incomes over $100,000, who don’t need their auto purchases subsidized by working-class taxpayers.  Americans outside of California will also be offended to learn that approximately half of EV sales occur in California, which constitutes only 12% of the U.S. auto market. 

Conspicuously, EVs don’t even offer the environmental benefits that proponents seem to assume.  That’s because they must recharge their batteries using the U.S. electric grid, which provides power from energy sources that often produce more pollutants than today’s more efficient internal-combustion engines. 

Despite the EV subsidy program’s overwhelming unpopularity, cost, unfairness and logical indefensibility, however, some in Congress aim to expand it in legislative negotiations.  Specifically, they want to triple the current cap of 200,000 cars per automaker to 600,000. 

Responsible lawmakers owe it to American taxpayers to oppose that proposal, and instead work to eliminate the outdated, ineffective and wasteful subsidy program. 

Americans should be free to purchase EVs if they so choose in an open marketplace.  But they shouldn’t be forced to subsidize them, particularly on behalf of wealthy Americans concentrated in California, simply because the federal government wants to pick winners and losers and reward favored special interests. 

The EV taxpayer subsidy boondoggle must be eliminated, not expanded. 

Quiz Question   
What is the current U.S. national debt?
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Notable Quote   
 
"The Supreme Court in a 6-3 decision Wednesday ruled that a California law allowing union organizers access to farms to organize workers is unconstitutional because it in effect deprives farm owners of their property rights without just compensation.The six Republican-appointed justices ruled for the businesses while the three Democrat-appointed justices dissented, siding with state officials who…[more]
 
 
—Tyler Olson, FoxNews.com
— Tyler Olson, FoxNews.com
 
Liberty Poll   

In the first Supreme Court term with Justices Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Coney Barrett all now on the bench, how satisfied are you with decisions in cases you care about?