$50,000 Chevy Volts For Embassies

Discussion in 'Politics' started by pspr, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. pspr


    The U.S. military's newspaper, Stars & Stripes, recently reported that the Pentagon is buying Chevy Volts in a 1,500 electric-vehicle purchase, as part of the Defense Department's "green initiatives," which seek to reduce the country's dependence on foreign energy sources.

    A recent Congressional Budget Office study challenged the assumption that electric vehicles have any impact on such dependence, prompting the question of why the government is spending money this way. Against the backdrop of the attack on our embassy in Benghazi, and looming embassy security cuts due to sequestration, it appears politics and ideology are trumping common sense.

    A little poking around the web raises additional questions about government Volt purchases. A State Department contract from March of this year details the purchase of a Chevy Volt for $47,500 for use at a U.S. embassy in Norway. The sticker price for a 2013 model year is $39,145 (before the $7,500 tax credit upon individual purchase). Obviously the government doesn't get a tax credit because it's not an individual income tax filer. But it left me wondering, why did the State Department pay $47,500 instead of $39,145? Why did they pay an extra $8,000?

    Then I noticed that the State Department also paid over $108,000 for another contract, dated May of this year, for a Volt-specific charging station at our embassy in Vienna, Austria. But according to GM's Volt FAQ site ("Charging" --> "Charging station -- Preparing for your Volt"):

    Every Volt comes standard with a 120V portable charge cord that can plug into most common household outlets and will fully charge a Volt in about 10 hours, depending on outdoor temperature. You can also have a 240V charging station (additional cost plus installation) professionally installed in your home that will reduce the charging time to about four hours.

    Even if a consumer needs an electrical converter, the 240V dedicated charging stations cost, at most, around $2,000 (and guess what? consumers get tax credits for these, too). What did the embassy spend the extra $100K on?

    And this is where it actually starts to get ridiculous. The State Department also recently threw a big party (photos of two Chevy Volts at the event here) to celebrate the "greening" of the American Embassy in Vienna. There's actually a "League of Green Embassies" website.

    As it relates to Benghazi consulate security, sequestration will gut $129 million from embassy security, maintenance and construction budgets. The State Department should be devoting its sure-to-dwindle resources to security guards and/or equipment in order to prevent a repeat of the deaths of Ambassador Stevens and the others in Libya.

    These Chevy Volt-related purchases are symbols of misguided Obama administration priorities. I'm sure these two embassies aren't the only places the government has spent money on environmental idealism instead of practical security measures.

  2. Lucrum


    So Government Motors is going to sell itself some cars?

    Is that better or worse than buying our own debt with printed and or borrowed money?
  3. pspr


    To be precise, China is lending the U.S. Government money so it can buy cars from itself. That's a much more useful spend than to waste the money on security for our Middle East embassies that are under attack. Ambassadors are a dime a dozen. :D
  4. The outrage. I wonder who supplies the Hummers, jeeps, tanks, troop carriers, and all the rest? China? Why not test all the crap from within than without?
  5. This just points up how much money the goverment wastes, even as they plan to raise our taxes. If we cut the State Department budget by 90%, it would be a good start. WTF do they do anyway? Have parties with other useless diplomats mainly.

    And why did we have a Consulate in freakin' Benghazi in the first place? To issue visas to terrorists who wanted to come here? Lot of American businessmen over there? I don't think so.
  6. LEAPup


    Ronald Reagan is rolling around in his grave, no question!
  7. pspr


    Absolutely right. We complain about Me-Chelle's vacations but Hillary has probably traveled to and partied in every capitol in the world. I'm not sure what, if anything, she has accomplished with her 4 year world tour.
  8. They're paying retail for cars? They should send my wife to negotiate the deal.

    We got our VOLT on a cheap lease because GM can barely give these cars away. My wife likes the car and it's fine for running errands and getting the kids to and from school, but it's basically a $25k car on which the government is planning on spending over $40k each.

    Our local Chevy dealer told me that every Volt he sells is on the "lease deal" subsidized by government tax credits and government motors because nobody in their right mind would pay $40k for that car. We pay $329/month (36 months, no money down). The lease payments on any other $40k car would be at least $500 month. Taxpayers are paying about one third of our lease payment.