George Graham

Subsidize Bolt Buyers



I just read that GM is ready to market an all-electric car that’s so affordable ordinary Americans will be able to buy it. How affordable? They’re trying to keep the price as low as $30,000 (approximately the going rate for electric autos today).

The new model is called the Bolt (photo above) and the story I read said this would make it “everyman’s car.”

What world are these folks living in?

“Everyman” is deep in debt. So is “everywoman.” I read somewhere that average Americans owe $16,000 on their credit cards. Now, they have to find another $30,000 to save the planet?

Not going to happen.

Unless, the next President gets something really radical through Congress. Something like the Home Affordable Refinance Program, which provides low-rate mortgages for struggling home owners. Only more radical.

If I were running things, I would offer a cash subsidy to make the Bolt’s price really affordable to “everyman.” If the goverfnment would ante up the first 10 grand, for example, I might be guilted into trading in our gas-guzzling Mercury Marquis for a planet-saving Bolt.

To be fair, the subsidy would have to apply not just to the Bolt but to any all-electric model – Nissan’s LEAF or Toyota’s Prius, for example.

I don’t mean tax credits. I mean hard cash. There already are tax credits for electric cars. The feds offer a $7,500 tax break, and states like Georgia and California pitch in another five grand. But tax credits are too complicated for us everyday Americans. It’s cash flow we need help with.

Of course that kind of legislation is a pipe dream – unless Congress is completely overhauled in November. And unless a Democrat succeeds President Obama.

With the Koch brothers- who are spending $10 million a year to block electric cars – owning the Republican Party, you can be sure this Congress wouldn’t consider doing anything to help Bolt buyers.

As long as Koch loyalists control the government, our planet is doomed. Americans will guzzle gas, and climate change will ravage our polluted environment.

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for