65 MPG Ford Available in November… Too Bad The Government Is Keeping You From Buying One

This November, Ford is expanding their slate of vehicles to include the Ford Fiesta ECOnetic, a sporty five-seater that gets a whopping 65 miles per gallon. This is great news for those of us that want to combat higher gas prices when the time comes to replace our current vehicles. It is very reasonably priced, and it will be available for purchase in the last quarter of this year.

The only problem is that it is only available in Europe. The first issue preventing sales here in the States is the fuel that the Fiesta ECOnetic sips is low sulfur diesel. With the focus of consumers being led to hybrids, like the Prius, “old tech” diesel is not very sexy, even though it gets about 20 miles per gallon MORE than the Toyota Prius.  Due to America’s voters’ poor sense of economics, we have not fought back against taxation on our fuel consumption, especially the taxes levied on diesel fuel which are higher than the taxes on regular unleaded fuels. I say poor sense of economics because most Americans do not see that a tax levied primarily on a business (for example, the extra taxation on diesel fuel that is paid at the pump by trucking and other transportation companies) is only passed on to the end consumer in the price paid at the register. Corporations do not ACTUALLY pay taxes; they simply build any tax into the price paid by the consumer. In fact, to preserve the margins necessary to keep their stock holders happy, they will have to pad the profit to meet the projected profit percentage relative to cost. Most consumers see a tax levied on businesses and smile, since they perceive that tax being paid by someone else.

The second issue I find with the inability by Ford to produce the Fiesta ECOnetic for American consumers is the protectionist tariff placed on the car due to its production in the United Kingdom, making it “too pricey to import.” In a time where all automakers are struggling, how can we expect Ford to take a gamble by spending $350 million to build the engines in a country we have deemed worthy for free trade? Not only that, why is the government subsidizing the Toyota Prius with a $1300 buyer tax credit when this car that is being snubbed for not being a hybrid, though its fuel efficiency exceeds that of the foreign-made Prius? PLEASE NOTE:  I do not endorse using taxpayer money to dictate or influence behavior, I only made that statement to use the tariff argument against its proponents.

The answer is to change tax policy to a free market solution. Theses changes should not influence behavior and subsequently contradict themselves as the government gets more involved in what could easily be a short-term solution for consumers to cope with the “energy crisis.” As politicians scramble to solve everything, the most effective and efficient method in matters of economics is to let the market determine the winner.

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