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Sticker Shock on Cars Shows Crushing Cost of Bidenomics

AMAC Exclusive -By Luke Allen

cost

I was recently in the market for a pickup truck after the one I’ve had for decades finally died after 330,000 reliable miles. While I’d heard that new and used car prices were up from just a year ago, to say I have sticker shock from my truck-buying experience would be a significant understatement. The price of a modestly appointed truck in 2021 is now very close to the price of my first house, with J.D. Power estimating the average cost for a new pickup at over $52,000. But it’s not just trucks. SUVs and passenger cars as well, new and used, are all far more expensive today than at any time in recent memory. Purchasing a new car in the year 2000 on average required 66% of a middle-class individual’s annual salary. In 2021, it requires 77%.

An internet search of just why that is will likely lead to the much-lamented “microchip shortage” as a simple reason for the price increases. The Biden administration has also sought to blame “supply chain problems” to avoid taking direct responsibility for the phenomenon. But those explanations alone don’t explain the increase in prices. In fact, the regulatory decisions of the Biden administration may be partially responsible for skyrocketing costs, and may only be making the problem worse.

I saw first-hand how regulatory policy could quickly drive up consumer costs during my time in the energy industry. As I wrote in an earlier piece for AMAC Newsline, ill-conceived energy policies have created electricity price spikes and supply shortages in recent years. As these policies were being enacted, I witnessed no pushback from utility CEO’s I knew and worked with. For them, increased operating costs were simply passed on to consumers. Everyone needed at least some energy, and utility companies simply upped their costs until they were making the same profits while also complying with new regulations. In fact, they may have even used the new regulations as an excuse to upcharge consumers even more, thus actually increasing their profits even as their operating costs went up.

It’s possible that a similar situation may be playing out in the auto industry. Casey Mulligan, Chief Economic Advisor to President Trump, writes in his book that fuel economy standards pushed by environmental groups require expensive component upgrades, materials and new technologies that drive up the costs of cars and trucks for consumers. Some of these regulations tie fuel economy to carbon emissions reduction, meaning consumers pay twice. Gasoline costs more at the pump due to carbon reduction regulations on refineries, and cars cost more because of expensive mandatory fuel efficiency upgrades.

However, while the direct relationship between more regulations and increased costs may be obvious to most consumers, many career regulators don’t see it that way. Take, for example, David Friedman, Director of Cars and Product Policy and Analysis at Consumers Union (the publishers of Consumer Reports) who was formerly Deputy and Acting Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and before that was Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy, both under President Obama. Under Friedman’s leadership, Consumers Union released a report that said rolling back expensive fuel regulations would cost consumers money.

How does Friedman arrive at such a seemingly backwards conclusion? Because in his view, the view of a career regulator, Americans need the government to intervene to save them money by preventing them from burning too much gasoline. Think about that for a moment. In no way does the concept occur to Friedman that if the consumer wants to save money on fuel they might simply drive fewer discretionary miles (like making a grocery list and driving once to the store instead of making several separate trips to purchase a handful of items each time), or carpool, or use mass transit. No, in Friedman’s bureaucratic world, government must step in and force auto manufacturers to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to increase fuel economy of cars lest consumers spend all their budget on gas because they are too stupid to control themselves.

The Trump administration took a different approach, cutting regulations in order to lower costs and allow Americans to make decisions for themselves – and saving Americans $50 billion dollars in the process. Trump targeted stringent fuel economy regulations from the Obama administration in an effort to lower new car prices. But did the automobile manufacturer’s lobbyists resist such a cut? One would assume that auto manufacturers would welcome deregulation as a way to save car buyers money and perhaps increase the number of cars sold. Yet in his book, Mulligan states that the big car companies may have had an ulterior motive. In fact, they may have overcharged consumers for fuel economy compliance from the beginning – the very same situation seen in the utilities sector.

Biden is now making every effort to return to this failed system of perverse incentives and federal government overreach. While claiming that he will make the rich “pay their fair share,” the wealthy individuals with vested interests in car manufacturers may be making out better than ever – and it’s ordinary Americans who are paying the price.

Luke Allen, now a freelance writer, spent 30 years in the energy industry and was an energy policy advisor to two administrations.

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Rich
23 days ago

I guess we will all just have to wait for uncle Joe’s trillion dollar incentives so we can all go out and “buy” a new electric vehicle. If I’m helping the environment it shouldn’t cost me anything.

Gary
25 days ago

I still have the sticker from my 2012 Chevy Silverado Z71 LT package and it was almost 44000, that same truck will cost you 60000 now it’s crazy, my first house was only 52000.

Tom
25 days ago

It’s jiminey cricket carter all over again. The demonrats never have figured out our economy and what makes it tick. They just do the same stupid sh*t over and over again. Career politicians are out of touch and always have been.

HalB
25 days ago

Impeach Biden before he totally ruins our great country. The Dems impeached Trump with lies. The GOP can Impeach sleepy Joe with cause. He is incompetent and so is the rest of his administration. We sent in the clowns and it is time to close the curtain on the farce.

meaghan
24 days ago
Reply to  HalB

elect Ron De Santis for US PRESIDENT!

meaghan
24 days ago
Reply to  HalB

totally agree!
get rid of Biden!
price of mid range at pump here in NW California $5.00

impeach Biden but who we gonna put in his place? would Harris automatically take over? That’s not a plan!

Paul Berardi
25 days ago

Parts and labor are relative to pricing!
If a Chevy Cruse weighs 3,000 lbs and sells for $21,000. Thats $7 a lb for parts and labor, yet a 4200 lb truck works out to 29,400 yet that truck is $50,000.

Cost of materials and labor to assemble are all relative!! The profits have always been in higher priced units!

TheHoneyBadger
25 days ago
Reply to  Paul Berardi

Can’t imagine why GM discontinued the Chevy Cruse when the one I rented got 46 mpg on the highway and 40 in town.

Blondie
25 days ago

So glad we got our new truck last year. I can’t wait for the new electric vehicles that will be even more expensive, less reliable and the only thing on the lots. I hope all the Dems need a new vehicle and can’t afford one. I am good for the next 10 years, I just hope there will be gas.

Rich
23 days ago
Reply to  Blondie

Don’t worry, all that the politicians are putting out is gas.

Bill
25 days ago

We can thank the biden administration for this. Inflation is another shameful hallmark of an administration that will long be remembered for its failed policies.

Hal
25 days ago

I think Joe Hidin’ Biden in inborn/inbred mental stupor thinks he is a “Robin Hood”, when in reality he is a “Robbing Hood.” He, in his dementia, sees himself as a “Fair Knight”, when in reality he is a “Nightmare!” As POTUS or any other state of leadership, he is bent on sinking the ship of state.

Mohican
26 days ago

yep always said they would kill this country from within.. got your wish, by voting for a Communist mooslum Racist non American Hussein Barrack not Once but Twice.. who started this .. and is Continuing the Destruction.. along with Soros and Clintons just to name a few..

GTPatriot
26 days ago

Denise: Please understand that DC republicans are liberals posing as conservatives. There are no more than 5 conservatives in the entire congress. You will never change this by voting. Forget voting. You must take other action

Rich
23 days ago
Reply to  GTPatriot

Never stop voting until we KNOW that our votes don’t count. This next election, we WILL know. If they don’t count in ’22, THEN other action will be warranted.

GTPatriot
26 days ago

Buy a bicycle. We are now Holland. Honestly, I see as many bicyclists (they call it body building) as I see cars. Autos are obsolete in the Biden no-gas economy. Hope you enjoyed your cars.
Your options are $125K Teslas or bikes with umbrellas. So we are “progressive” ?

Denise
26 days ago

And what’s even more disgusting and flat out bordering on treason is the LACK OF “REPUBLICAN ACTION TO STOP THIS DEMENTED PUPPET, WHO’S STRINGS ARE BEING PULLED, ILLEGALLY OCCUPYING OUR WHITE HOUSE!
I became brutally aware of government evil in ’93 when comrade Wm. Jefferson Clinton over saw the 51 day vicious and unbelievable torture, slaughter and burning to death of almost 86 AMERICAN men, women and children in Texas…with the “blessing” of a repulsive “media” who constantly slandered those AMERICAN CITIZENS, and even more repulsive were so-called “americans” probably all leftists, or just ignorant lazy people who bought the BS, who bellowed kill kill kill…using the US military and law enforcement!
Sadly far to many citizens have no clue what our Constitution and Bill of Rights even say. These so-called “representatives” are not kings or rulers, but ignorance of the People’s Power has been over looked, ignored, omitted (as in ALL government controlled schools) or Americans have been to busy pursuing life…it takes time to hold so-called representatives accountable…and it takes more than a few…it takes numbers of people willing to act.
Is anyone so naive as to think this “regime” having left Americans in a terrorist nation and flying UNVETTED Afghani’s into our nation isn’t capable of “reducing the population”? Who’s opened our borders to thousands of illegals, many of whom are vicious gang members?
If you’re not familiar with history, look up the Genocide Chart online. Published in ’95 by Jews for the Preservation of Firearms ownership…It’s not just a few things being destroyed, it’s the freedoms of this nation.

Hal
25 days ago
Reply to  Denise

I’ve said it before … and I repeat … The Demoncraps want to RULE the Nation … whereas the Republicans want to GOVERN the Nation based on the tenets of the Constitution. The Democraps use the Constitution in ways only to feather their political partisan power. The Democraps are Communist based in their political stances and actions. For the Democraps, Constitutional governance is too restrictive in holding them back from total dominance.

Becky
26 days ago

It has been clear to me since the 70s that the US government is not our friend. It doesn’t exist to keep us safe while we are “living the American dream”. Instead it exists to enrich itself, it’s cronies, it’s pals, and it’s lobbyists/masters. Always at our expense.
I’m still waiting for US citizens to figure out that NO democrat Communist is safe to elect. Ever. Their only goal, for 5 decades, has been to TAX & SPEND America into oblivion. It’s a relentless goal. And they are doing it RIGHT NOW.

BAE
26 days ago
Reply to  Becky

Agreed. Everything you said is so true. This government is not here to keep us safe that is for sure. They are self-serving money grabbing political animals. They don’t see us or hear us.

Rich
23 days ago
Reply to  BAE

As Ronald Reagan once said: If more government is the answer, then it was a really stupid question.

Joanne 4 justice
26 days ago

Be prepared it’s not going to get any
better anytime soon! I expected inflation after COVID OUTBREAK and the extra expenses for stimulus checks!
However , what is really concerning is the crazy unrealistic leadership in the WH administration !
Let’s face facts Folks , Biden and Harris (alone or as a team ) are unable to lead themselves , or our Country, out of a paper bag . Indeed ,they cannot see any further past their entitled do nothing attitude in any way shape or form that would benefit our Country ! !!!!
I pray that the trillion $$$$ bill(s) WILL NOT PASS ! I have absolutely NO faith in them or their evil COMRADES!!!! ALL OF THESE DISHONEST SELF SERVING PEOPLE INTENTIONALLY , TOTALLY IGNORE THE PROBLEMS THEY HAVE CREATED ; AS THEY PROCEED TO manufacture more problems while SPENDING OBSCENE AMOUNTS OF TAXPAYER MONIES $$$$$$$ MUCH OF THE FUNDS DERIVED VIA FUTURE UNCERTAIN TAX REVENUE!!!!
A VERY DISGUSTING PLAN!!!!!

John Wesley
26 days ago

I have a hard time understanding your comment. The Biden/Harris/Communist Party group that is in control of America is doing exactly as they have planned. At this point, I do not know how we survive. I do know that the vote, either in 2022 or 2024, will not save America. If you watch FrankSpeech.com and believe in the courts, we could have a chance. If the courts continue as they have for the last couple of years, they will not be of help. I do not believe GOD is going to help as we are a fallen nation and don’t deserve his help, but prayer seems to be our only salvation.

Rich
23 days ago
Reply to  John Wesley

Never under estimate the power of prayer.

GunRunner
26 days ago

Well, thank “Unca Joe”, oh, and don’t forget the “Republicans In Name Only”, and the “Never Trump” Republicans! All of them had a big part in this…

Hal
26 days ago

If you wanna to slidin’ in the Biden Commie grindin’ garden of being saddened, just keep on sticking your head under water. Biden is so far out of sidin’ and understandin’ what the Nation’s citizen take pride in …. he is looney. He is a real and current danger to American life.

Backwoods
26 days ago

Have you thanked a Biden voter lately.

Hal
26 days ago
Reply to  Backwoods

No, I’m afraid I might puke on one!!!!

Robert
26 days ago

Same thing in the wood industry where unattainable emission mandates (not even scientifically or technologically reachable) required processing and manufacturing companies to spend millions on un-proven assets that could not get to the mandated requirements. Where do those costs end up being transferred to? Why the American consumer of course. All due to the climate myth… All the while China and India get a pass on any such emission requirements. I guess we here in the USA don’t share the same atmosphere as Biden’s dear tyrannical friends…..This country has become a joke under the Democrats and their co-conspirators (communists, the media, Hollywood, big tech, large corporations and industries) who plan to take full control of your thoughts and lives. I can hear them at Davos now, “If they refuse to submit to us, send them all to re-education camps.”

Becky
26 days ago
Reply to  Robert

I do believe we are in Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” now. DC must be starved of all monies.

John Wesley
26 days ago
Reply to  Becky

How can we stop the printing presses? Taxes have not supported this government for many years.

Rich
23 days ago
Reply to  John Wesley

It doesn’t much matter how much money we print or don’t print. America is technically bankrupt right now.

R.J. from Arizona
26 days ago

Oh,,talked to a car dealer couple of days ago. The new Jeep Grand Wagoneer you can get for 100k if you want bells and whistles.

John Wesley
26 days ago

On the Wednesday evening news it was reported that a USED Cadillac Escalade sold for $112,000. It was $72,000 new. Thank you Democrats/Communists.

Rich
23 days ago
Reply to  John Wesley

OK, how about only $99,000 without the bell and whistle?

R.J. from Arizona
26 days ago

Hey! It’s Trump’s fault! It’s Covid! It’s white privilege! The Great Bafoon.

Hal
26 days ago

And Joe Hidin’ Biden is the mentally and ethically the Great Baboon!

Joanne 4 justice
26 days ago

Trump has AMAZING GUTS AND I RESPECT HIM!

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