In July 2015 Severin Borenstein and Lucas Davis released a report titled, The Distributional Effects of U.S. Clean Energy Tax Credits. It sought to examine the distribution of government handouts (incentives) to invest in things the government insisted would be better for the environment. The government is incredibly bad at so many things but thinking it can change the weather is second only in stupidity to the foolishness of the rubes who believe that the weather or the planet has anything to do with these “policies.”
To “fix the climate” experts tax trillions from the economy in more forms than we can count to the disadvantage of lower and middle-income families, for programs that, for the most part, can only be taken advantage of by people progressives refer to as “The Rich™.”
The finest example of this economic genius is Hybrid and electric cars that almost no one could afford without credits or incentives–see also free money to already rich rent-seeking car makers–paid for by working Americans to subsidize them, which according to Severin Borenstein and Lucas Davis results in almost all of these vehicles ending up in the driveways of those people the progressives refer to as “The Rich™.”
The government has plundered your paychecks through utility bills, renewable portfolio standards, higher taxes, fees, and massive debt accumulation so that rich people can save a bundle of “green” on vehicles that do little or nothing to better the world unless making “The Rich™” feel a tiny bit better about their otherwise gargantuan carbon footprints counts.
Yes, Democrats, primarily, have been redistributing money up from the bottom to the donor class and getting away with it with for years.
Abstract (Emphasis mine)
Since 2006, U.S. households have received more than $18 billion in federal income tax credits for weatherizing their homes, installing solar panels, buying hybrid and electric vehicles, and other “clean energy” investments. We use tax return data to examine the socioeconomic characteristics of program recipients. We find that these tax expenditures have gone predominantly to higher-income Americans. The bottom three income quintiles have received about 10% of all credits, while the top quintile has received about 60%. The most extreme is the program aimed at electric vehicles, where we find that the top income quintile has received about 90% of all credits. By comparing to previous work on the distributional consequences of pricing greenhouse gas emissions, we conclude that tax credits are likely to be much less attractive on distributional grounds than market mechanisms to reduce GHGs.
So, most of the money progressives plundered to “green America” has been going to the people who had the green to pay for it themselves. And that sounds about right. But for how much longer?
Many of the US subsidies on Electric and Hybrid vehicles are set to expire, and if recent history is any indication (Tesla sales plunged to nearly zero in Hong Kong and Denmark, as huge government subsidies were eliminated), without the billions in bail outs interest in electric and hybrid vehicles will collapse.
The 99% will revert to reliable, affordable transportation, while the top 1% …will do the same because without the plunder there won’t be a market for anything else.
Tesla could very well cease to exist without other people’s money, though Moonbeam Jerry Brown has plans to Milk California Taxpayers to keep Elon Musk well-heeled into the near future; all while Brown’s major Paris Climate partners build scores of new coal fired plants in Asia–the only place anyone will be able to afford to run the damn things.
No one has a clue how California will pay for that (or anything else) but seeing as debt is soon to be California’s number two export–right behind emigrating American’s escaping to Arizona or Texas or Nevada, Elon might not want to hold his breath. If California taxpayers can’t bail him out, he’ll have to find other investors. People who won’t have a political monopoly and the force of law to provide him with bailouts, or tax credits. Just an interest in how that investment will turn them a profit.
If it can.