Humming for the Flat Tax

Sikha Dalmia at Reason Foundation has an interesting commentary on comprehensive 450 plus page study by CNW Marketing Research that finds that the dust-to-dust energy costs of Hummers are lower than those of gas-electric hybrid automobiles.  Although many environmentalists will likely blink their incredulous eyes, after two years of looking into all the minutiae that constitute the lifetime energy costs spent on developing, building, selling, driving, and disposing of a vehicle, it turns out that, as any good low energy consumption Luddite will tell you, simplicity is what’s important.  Fancy cars with lots of perks, advanced materials, and those that have a small market all tend to use much more energy in development and manufacture, as advanced materials take a lot of energy to build and dispose of, and the smallness of the market cannot support the efficiencies of scale that a larger market supports.

Such new information will likely escape the attention of lawmakers and their staffs, and even if it ends up in their office somewhere it will have even less of a chance to cause them to reconsider the $3,400 tax credit for hybrids which promotes increased energy consumption.  Yet the considerable effort that would be needed to change just this one tax credit demonstrates the pitfalls of overhaul of the current tax system, and demonstrates why a simple flat tax is such a good way to limit the power of politicians.