Some information about me. Since my backgrounds and opinions will color how I view and comment on life with the Volt, this actually is important. For better or worse, these opinions will color some of my comments in writing about my experiences. I hope that someone can find some useful information in my experiences with the Volt and help make their own decision for better or worse
Political Views: I am basically a Conservative – let me expand on that. I am fiscally conservative, but fairly liberal socially. I don’t mind things that we (as a Country) can afford. Taxes are a part of life and a part of existing in a society, so I am not opposed to taxes on the face. I do believe that our tax system is fundamentally flawed and am a big FairTax proponent. If you haven’t read the FairTax book – or better yet, the bill itself, and understand it, then you should give it a try. Don’t depend on people who tell you what it means. It is actually a very well researched plan, it just confused people because it completely changes how we consider taxes.
Now that we understand that I don’t really mind taxes themselves, let me follow with that I believe the government (be it city, state or federal) has a responsibility to be careful in spending tax revenue and to avoid making it a matter of income redistribution. Build roads, build parks, provide public access for things, even help people on hard times and fund research – and I will admit that the line on what is acceptable and what shouldn’t be is fuzzy, even to me. However, most art and entertainment should be able to stand on their own. Buy some statues for parks and public places, if we decide to, but we don’t need to provide a living for the sculptor in general.
In general, I tend to follow a Republican line of thought on fiscal issues, but frequently wish they would get off their social high-horse. I am probably somewhat Libertarian, but then some of the issues there seem to go against my beliefs too. I am not a fan of isolationism, and think that we should be involved in some extent with events on the world-stage.
Moderation, at least in politics, from all sides is a good thing.
Social Views: Socially I really don’t care. Live with who you want, it doesn’t bother me if they are of your same sex or not – however, do not ask a church that does not want to view it as a “marriage” to call it Marriage. If you want to call it marriage, that is fine with me, and if the given church decides to call it a marriage that is also fine with me, just like if they don’t. As far as the City and State government. Well, they are using the word “marriage” differently from the churches — and this is our basic point of confusion. If you want to be legally obligated to each other, you should be able to – and the particular government should recognize that and all of the benefits or liabilities that go with it.
I will go ahead and jump off the Abortion issue – and it will be the first and last time I mention it on this blog – I am not a woman, so it really isn’t an issue I will ever have to deal with. I don’t have the the plumbing for it to really be an issue. It is legal, yes and that is the end of the story right now. If you are married, legally obligated to each other, then the other person might have some grounds for input in what happens. Otherwise, it is the woman’s decision to make, and I will not make that any harder than it already is for her. I will stay out of it.
On most other issues, I will go back to my moderation point. Really, if whatever it is you want to do doesn’t impact (read limit) another individual’s rights, then have at it. This goes with the even if I think what you are doing is stupid – example: Motorcycle helmets: I don’t think you should be required to wear one after you are 18 or so, you should be able to realize the dangers. If you injure or kill yourself that is your business. Now some people will make the arguments about increased healthcare/insurance costs and things like that. Those are parts of the cost we have to bear to allow people the freedom to make choices. Now I have no problem if the insurance companies offer a discount for agreeing to wear a helmet. I also believe the cost will average out, although that sounds cold, but some of the people that choose to not wear a helmet and do something stupid that would have been just injured will be fatalities. I think that defines my basic logic well enough to see how I think about these type issues.
Other Items: Rich paying their fair share? They already do. They take risks, they invest. I don’t hate the rich, I am not jealous of them. I don’t get this class-warfare thing we having going now. Neither do I hate the poor. What I don’t like is those that want handouts and expect to have everything without making the efforts to get it. I am not rich, that is why I don’t have a multimillion dollar house – and I don’t think anyone owes me one. Part of being poor is not having things like a Corvette. Part of being rich is being able to have one if you want. That is the incentive to change your status. I am all for helping people out, but not long term and every creature comfort.
Environmental Concerns: Well, I am not getting a Volt because of the “Green Factor,” or to make a political statement. I like the looks of the car, I think the Extended Range Electric Vehicle is a cool concept, and I like the technology. I am not a big Global Warming (Climate Change, this year…) supporter or fan. I am sure that will get me a bunch flack with some people, but I just don’t see the support for it. Don’t get me wrong, I think some of the EPA regulations we have are for good, I think emission controls for vehicles have done a lot for our air-quality in cities. I am glad that we check to make sure some companies are not dumping oil straight in streams and rivers. But I also think that people sometimes go overboard and forget that there has to be a balance between doing what we need to do to support our modern life and taking care of the environment. Have deer been decimated because of the Alaskan Pipeline, no – the actually have found it to be a source of warmth in excessively cold weather. It has been adapted into their environment quite well. But if you had listened to all of the suggestions people put out as it was proposed, you would have thought Alaska would have no wildlife at all by now. I suspect the current Keystone pipeline project will be similar, if it is ever done.
Combining all of that together I don’t think that anyone will be surprised by my thought about tax incentives for Volts and other electric vehicles. On the surface, I really don’t have a problem with the government providing incentives to motivate changes. I am a bit more hesitant when we get into picking exactly what gets encouraged or not, but I like the idea of encouraging a lot more than I like the idea of penalizing. I am buying a used Volt, so I will not be eligible for some of the Federal tax credits related to it. But if there are any that I am eligible for, you better bet I will try to make use of them. Do I think as a Country we can actually afford a lot of this right now? No, I really don’t. But the fact is they are out there right now. We need to change the course going in the future, but I am not going to make a stupid gesture that won’t do anything by not taking advantage of what is already there.