Douglas Andrews / March 8, 2022

Mayor Pete’s $56,437 Swindle

Our nation’s transportation secretary is dead wrong if he thinks everyone can afford an electric vehicle.

Perhaps you’ve noticed: Joe Biden is president, the world is a mess, inflation is through the roof, and gasoline prices are at record highs. But never fear: Pete Buttigieg has the solution.

“Clean transportation can bring significant cost savings for the American people as well,” said the pay-to-play former mayor of South Bend, Indiana. “Last month, we announced a $5 billion investment to build out a nationwide electric vehicle charging network so that people from rural to suburban to urban communities can all benefit from the gas savings of driving an EV.”

That’s right. Rural, suburban, urban — it doesn’t matter. Everyone can benefit by simply purchasing an electric vehicle. Whether you’re a family farmer with an old F-150, a suburban mom with a used minivan, or a poor college kid getting to and from campus in a beat-up Accord, all you need is one of Mayor Pete’s coal-charged, battery-powered beauties. Oh, and around $56,437.

What’s that? You don’t have a spare fifty-six-thou just sitting around? Too bad. You can eat cake. If only you were a cabinet secretary like Peter Paul Montgomery Buttigieg, you’d be raking in a cool $221,400 a year, and you’d have no problem springing for a nice, new EV. Of course, were you a cabinet secretary, you’d also have a security detail at your beck and call, standing by to tote your bike around just in case you want to hop on and virtue signal on your way to the White House.

Oh, and that $5 billion “investment” for a nationwide electric vehicle charging network? We wonder, Pete: Where’s the comparable $5 billion “investment” in gasoline price reduction for the rest of us — you know, the regular folks who can’t afford an electric?

This isn’t the first time Buttigieg has tried to pull this con. And it is a con. As Byron York explained back in early December, when the transportation secretary and his boss still had hopes of getting Build Back Better through Congress:

For weeks now, Buttigieg has been touting the bill’s huge subsidies for electric car purchasers. “The Build Back Better package includes tax incentives to help purchase an EV,” Buttigieg tweeted on Nov. 1. “How would you use a discount of up to $12,500 toward an electric vehicle?” It’s not a discount of course, but a government subsidy — the government giving consumers money with which to buy the car. But here’s the big pitch: Those who take advantage of the government’s big handout, Buttigieg said recently, would “never have to worry about gas prices again.” Buttigieg said the subsidized electric cars would bestow the greatest benefits on people in rural areas who drive long distances and urban residents who pay the highest gas prices. No more worries!

That’s some serious snake oil, there. It’s true that the owner of an EV doesn’t have to worry about gas prices, but those batteries don’t just recharge themselves. They need electricity, and, as former Congressional Budget Office head Douglas Holtz-Eakin notes, Joe Biden’s “clean” electricity plan ain’t cheap: “Two trillion dollars for generation, another $2 trillion for transmission, and an unknown price tag for distribution, but $1 trillion for ‘the cost imposed on the distribution system by electric vehicle and photovoltaic solar panel adoption alone.’ That bill is roughly $50 a week for consumers.”

Whenever a Democrat says something costs “zero dollars,” watch your wallet.

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