Ah, electric cars. Remember the president's dream to put a million electric cars on the road by 2015? Save the planet and save the gas.
But wait, somebody forgot to tell consumers because despite the tax credits of up to $7,500 to buy the models just 18,000 sold. Boy, at that rate, we'll have a million green cars on the road by 2067, or 55 years from now.
Where did we go wrong? It’s easy. Government got too involved. The feds are no good at picking what technologies regular Americans are going to glom onto. Did the Department of Energy create Amazon.com so people would save gas driving to the mall? No, they did not. Did the post office invent Skype so that people could get in touch more inexpensively? No, they did not.
The break-through products were invented by private companies.
Let’s stick to cars, since that's where we started. 104 years ago, the nation's first touring vehicle, the Model T, was also the car first produced on the assembly line. Henry Ford said his car was for the "great multitude"- and how 16.5 models were sold.
Or how about the biggest selling American vehicle? The Ford F-150. An amazing 35 million trucks have been sold since it was introduced in 1948 and it ranked as the No. 1 selling vehicle in the U.S. for 24 years. Now, you can trick them out just like a sedan with TV screens, high tech sound systems, and back seats.
However, none of this stuff required a tax benefit to boost sales. That's the problem. When government starts aligning its priorities with the private sector you get the Chevy Volt, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac.
All disasters that are all costing taxpayers.
The Willis Report with Gerri Willis investigates the top business stories, outs corporate scams and polices D.C. policy.