Lutz doesn’t even like hybrids, but the world certainly seems to with hybrid sales ratcheting up in 2009. The problem is, if gas prices stay too low, people aren’t going to buy hybrids or fuel efficient vehicles if they have other options. By ratcheting up the gas tax and keeping petrol artificially high, it would help automakers sell the fuel efficient cars the government is mandating they build. 35 MPG by 2020 is a tall but not unreachable order, if you remake your lineup with enough small cars and hybrids to offset bruisers like the Camaro and Cadillac CTS-V.
According to CNN, Lutz said Monday at the Detroit Auto Show that ”If the rise in gasoline prices is gradual, I think that all of us in the industry would frankly welcome that, because there is nothing more illogical than forcing fuel-saving technology when gasoline is extremely cheap.” And well, he is right.
First of all, any about-face done by Bob Lutz can be explained by simply looking at who is signing his paycheck. This administration wants higher taxes, so Lutz must be open to them too.
Secondly, higher gas taxes will only harm those of us in the middle class who Barack Obama repeatedly assured during his campaign would be immune from paying even an extra dime in taxes. Higher gas prices means less disposable income for families who have disposable income to begin with. Higher gas prices means an increased cost of doing business for businesses large and small. It means higher food prices in the supermarket, increased fees for air travel, and the increased cost of new vehicles made to accommodate the changing needs of the American public.
Liberals don’t understand unintended consequences. And if they do, they generally don’t care. It’s just a shame that, in this case, they got Bob Lutz to go along with it.