AP: Senate votes to help Americans buy cars

Posted by on February 4th, 2009 at 8:10 am

“I believe we can help by getting the consumer into the showroom.”
— Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)

To give you an idea at just how difficult it will be to make any significant change in the American transportation paradigm, here’s the latest in the ever-changing saga of President Obama’s economic stimulus bill (via the Associated Press, emphasis mine):

The Senate voted Tuesday to give a tax break to new car buyers, setting aside bipartisan concerns over the size of an economic stimulus bill with a price tag edging above $900 billion. The 71-26 vote came as President Barack Obama said he lies awake nights worrying about the economy and signaled he’ll try to knock out “buy American” provisions in the legislation to avoid a possible trade war.

Sen. Barbara Mikulski led the successful effort to allow many car buyers to claim an income tax deduction for sales taxes paid on new autos and interest payments on car loans.

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She said the plan would aid the beleaguered automobile industry as well as create jobs at a time the economy is losing them at a rapid rate. “I believe we can help by getting the consumer into the showroom,” she said.

Democratic leaders have pledged to have the bill ready for his signature by mid-month, and in a round of network television interviews, the president underscored the urgency. He told CNN that even three months ago, most economists would not have predicted the economy was “in as bad of a situation as we are in right now.”

The American auto industry is hurting badly. They have already received billions in government assistance and they continue to shutter dealerships, close factories, and buy out workers. Americans, it seems, are finally beginning to realize that — despite what years of marketing has been telling them — it is possible to live on a low-car diet.

Our car culture is emptying American bank accounts, encouraging sprawl, hurting our planet, and making us less healthy. Is making car-buying easier really a smart way forward? Is it good economic policy to promote car ownership? What if we took those tax credits and put toward improving bus service or used them to help fund more bikeways?

And then there’s this story from MSN about GM and Chrysler essentially suing taxpayers with taxpayer money.

What’s next? Free cars for all Americans just to keep the auto parts and service industry alive?

[For transportation related goings-on in the stimulus bill, stay tuned to Streetsblog.org and The Transport Politic.]

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Singletrack_Mind
Guest

Let the American “auto industry” falter for failing to accurately determine the needs of the demographic it exists to provide goods to. Put these people and money towards producing a viable mass transit infrastructure in this country (I use a bike for 99% of my transportation, but there is still great need for public transportation). What could we use for an example? Hmmm…every single other industrialized country on the planet comes to mind.

J
Guest
J

I know this wasn’t the point of this post, but it would take more than some tax credits to get me to buy an American car (if I were even in the market).

It does seem utterly ridiculous how big of a portion of average peoples paychecks each month get dropped into transportation. I often wonder how much better my life would be without the financial burden (payment/maintenance/gas/insurance).

…and as you pointed out financial burden is really only a small part of the overall picture 🙁

Krampus
Guest
Krampus

The auto industry is hurting because of the economy, not because of consumer awareness. I’d say, personally, when living in Portland it’s easy to get trapped in the bubble of thinking that because we can live without cars that anyone anywhere can. I just got back from Tulsa, a sprawled out place if ever there was one, where everything is ridiculously spaced out and far apart and couldn’t imagine riding a bike there. Portland has very small city blocks and the city seems pretty compacted in (at least where I travel, mostly inside NW 25th to SE 40th) — whereas in Tulsa you’d have to cover that distance just to move a few “city blocks”. In many places in America, traveling soley bike bicycle simply isn’t feasible — at least not yet. For many people, cars are still a necessity – we’re simply the lucky few for whom cars have become expendable.

TE
Guest
TE

There should be a bike buying incentive, also!

Coyote
Guest
Coyote

How did Wyden and Merkley vote on this?

Vance
Guest

I read that the domestic retail auto market is doing just fine. The article said that customers remain in numbers equal to, or greater than, the numbers prior to the surge in retail gasoline prices. Cars are not being sold mostly due to buyers being unable to obtain financing.

High retail gas prices have done absolutely NOTHING to even impact the American consumer’s desire to own, and operate, a personal automobile. Nothing. Not one thing. Higher retail gas prices didn’t even really affect trip numbers, or times that much; and are really the only areas that showed any sign of change through this. As soon as the credit market is sorted out a bit more, we’re right back to 10.2 MILLION new autos per year globally.

I find this so irksome. Forward, positive change for cyclists can occur without demonizing the personal automobile, and it’s owners. Not getting every little superfluous doo-dad this community unceremoniously demands of the tax-base, absolutely does not mean that the authorities are either ignoring cyclists, nor their desires.

Bicycles are a teeny, tiny, itty-bitty, little minority on the public right of way. Adding bicycle infrastructure to our system can’t be anything but good for every one, I agree with this whole-heartedly, don’t get me wrong. However, making crass demand, after crass demand, that this small minority of users have the IDENTICAL transportation experience as their automobile counterparts is unrealistic, selfish, and exactly why I personally remain at odds with the agenda.

Articles like this wouldn’t even phase me if it weren’t for the fact that even the author of this article has a car parked in their driveway, let alone most of the rest of you. Lastly, it’s the principle of the thing. This is a free country. You are free to go by bike or car. I ride all over this city, problem free, and expect every one else to have the same experience. ‘Cause we’re all equal, right? Everybody is just exactly the same, right? Not one whit of difference between young, and old, male and female, rich and poor, right?

So if I get around Portland just fine the way it is, why can’t every one else? If you want to answer that this isn’t the experience every one has, then you’ll also have to explain to me why. ‘Cause this affirmative action thing has cost me pretty good over the years. If people’s personal attributes entitle them to extra benefits from our collective tax-contribution, then I’d like my career and great life back please.

Paul Tay
Guest

Meanwhile in Tulsa, OK, there’s this. Eat yer heart out, PDX!

“Mayor’s Proclamation Declaring All Streets and Roadways Within City Maintenance Jurisdiction As Bicycle Routes and All Lanes as Bicycle Lanes:

Whereas, the Complete Our Streets Task Force reports that 28% of Tulsans, over 100,000 citizens, do not have access to motor vehicles;

Whereas, the continued use of motor vehicles significantly contribute to global warming and obesity;

Whereas, obesity significantly and needlessly increases healthcare costs for City employees, paid with tax dollars;

Whereas, motor vehicle use for personal trips under five miles is inconsistent with the City’s BeGreen message;

Whereas, City ordinances prohibit the operation of bicycles as vehicles on sidewalks;

Whereas, the totality of State statutes and City ordinances define bicyclists as drivers of vehicles that operate in traffic on public roadways;

Whereas, the general public is uninformed of bicycle laws;

Whereas, bicycle driving is overlooked for personal transportation to work, for shopping, and to entertainment venues;

Whereas, bicycle parking is overlooked by City zoning codes;

Whereas, persons informed of proper and lawful bicycle driving techniques have demonstrated the efficacy and safety of bicycle driving on major roadways and expressways, without causing deaths or injuries;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Kathy Taylor, Mayor of the City of Tulsa, do hereby proclaim:

A. All streets and roadways within City maintenance jurisdiction are bicycle routes and all lanes bicycle lanes, to be shared with other users of the roadway;

B. Support for State legislation to include bicycle driving education as part of the standard drivers’ education and training for obtaining driver’s license.

B. Bicycle is the official vehicle of the City of Tulsa for all personal trips, without load over 100 pounds and under five miles, for persons with normal mobility, able to walk from office to parking lot.”

Bug Eater
Guest
Bug Eater

Both Merkley and Wyden voted against it, Coyote.

Kt
Guest
Kt

Paul, stop rubbing it in. 🙂

+1, J @ #2. American cars are made poorly.

And also, +1, Krampus @ #3. Yes, it’s easy to get around by bike here in the Portland Metro area, but not so much easy to do so in other parts of the state and country.

Still, I’m sitting here shaking my head at this idea the government has come up with.

Todd Scott
Guest

Excellent points, Krampus. It should also be noted that it is the automotive industry that is involved in these lawsuits, including Honda and Toyota.

Yes, this car-subsidy legislation is a bad idea. But as cycling advocates, we already have a great pitch for America. Making assumptions in order to knock down the car culture only knocks down our credibility.

Lance P.
Guest
Lance P.

In response to Krampus:

I disagree completely. I grew up in Indiana. Talk about car culture. I lived there until I after receiving a MS in Engineering, and I lived there without a car.

People choose where they live. I biked 15 miles to school, I biked 5 miles to work, and 2 miles to the grocery store. Just because the city was over 40 miles wide, didn’t mean I had to go or shop at those locations. Businesses can only survive if people are willing to travel to their store. Everyone, including people in sprawled out messes, can influence how they live their lives. This includes the choice of Auto centric life vs. a livable life. If people stood up and decided NOT to shop in strip malls, then strip malls would no longer exist.

Things can change. You just have to first be willing to change yourself.

Dave
Guest

…looking at other countries in the world which are trying to encourage people to *stop* using cars for daily travel, we, as usual, decide to vote for the option that boosts big business over any other consideration…

KWW
Guest
KWW

Unfortunately, for people who don’t take advantage of the tax cut, it is a tax increase if you choose notto buy a car. That sounds like weird logic, but it is true and even worse than that, because all of this will be folded back into the deficit and we all will be paying interest on this stupid idea.

And I really don’t see the benefit of a ‘bike’ tax cut, when 99.9999% of all bikes are made overseas…

Paul Tay
Guest

KT, #9, “Still, I’m sitting here shaking my head at this idea the government has come up with.”

Bienvenidos a America! The GREAT American Democracy HARD at work. What does C-dude Earl B. have to say about this FINE FINE piece of GENIUS? Show me da U-TUBE!

Paul Tay
Guest

#13, hey, how bout a tax INCENTIVE for in-house bikes to keep the prices as low as the out-sourced bikes? Naaaaaaaaaaaaah. Forget it. We ain’t exactly India.

Vance
Guest

Dave@#12. Can you provide some examples? What countries’ governments are actively discouraging automobile use? Besides which, what is the correlation between what another country does, and what the U.S. does? Also besides which, the so-called, “Green movement”, is pervasive and omnipresent in the U.S., the majority of what I see is the continued vilification of the personal automobile user. I don’t get your point.

Oh, and for the record. The domestic auto-industry has been suffering on two-fronts since 1972 IMO. On the first front, the liberals, and the nanny-state, effectively regulated the auto-industry out of it’s ability to compete with Asian producers. On the second, this led not to the domestic auto-industry stepping up their game in a true American sense. No, they just started mass-producing soulless junk instead. The, “Buy American Quality”, bake-sale, BS, umbrella-shield they’ve held over their head won’t help ’em now that one has to give up a first-born child to even think of owning.

Domestic auto producers shouldn’t get this money. Not because of some eco-fad, but because this is supposed to be a free market. Or leastwise that’s what they gripe about every-time they are regulated. They shouldn’t get this money because they are all arcane, monolithic, corporate behemoths unconcerned with the communities out of which they arise. They shouldn’t get this money because they suck, and their products suck, not because of an opportunity to force one world-view over another.

Mike
Guest
Mike

Dave-
Keep in mind that we are not just boosting big business. We are boosting everything from multi-billion dollar businesses down to Mom & Pop auto parts stores.
There are far (1000x) more small supplier companies for the auto industry than there are auto makers.

It is so easy to demonize the Big Three, or even all auto makers, but please realize that we are talking about millions of people.

While I am not totally for the proposal, this could be the quick fix needed to keep this country afloat until a long term solution is proposed and adopted.

Make no mistake about this: If we allow the auto industry to collapse, we will no longer be in a recession.

K'Tesh
Guest
K'Tesh

Boo HISS

Dave
Guest

@Vance: Denmark has heavy taxes on automobile purchase, as well as sliding taxes based on the weight of the vehicle. This makes it not impossible, but not a simple decision for most Danish to purchase an automobile. The Netherlands is looking into taxing distance driven, so you would pay taxes based on how much you use your automobile. They also prioritize biking infrastructure over automobile infrastructure in many cases, making it more direct and more convenient to travel by bike than by car. Many other European countries do things like having tolls for personal automobiles to go into the city center in large cities (London for instance), or just making carfree city centers.

I’m not saying that exactly what they do should be done here, all I’m saying is that countries all over the world are trying to minimize the amount people drive, while we are seemingly trying to make it as easy and convenient and appealing for people to drive everywhere as possible.

Dave
Guest

@Mike: I know, I realize it’s more complicated than that – it just gets really discouraging that any real change will happen when any kind of car-boost seems to be approved at the drop of a hat, whereas any kind of alternate transportation method has to go through jumps and hoops and votes up and votes down and failing, and being brought back into legislation and failing again and over and over.

Krampus
Guest
Krampus

Lance: You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. Telling people they choose where they live.. well, it’s not quite that simple. Not everyone can quit their job, especially in this economy, in order to move across country just so they can live somewhere with decent bike infrastructure. Not everyone has the money to do that.. some people were transferred (via their job) to where they live now. I mean, what do you really think would happen if everyone left bike unfriendly places? Entire communities would collapse while others would become overpopulated.. it would throw the system completely out of wack. It’s a complicated situation and not one that can magically be fixed by having the entire country move to Portland OR and Davis CA.

Paul Tay
Guest

Dave, #20, it’s great to be AMERICAN, ain’t it? I am soooooooo PROUD!

Coyote
Guest
Coyote

Bug Eater #8, thanks for that info. I am impressed. I wrote them earlier in the year asking them to support funding transit both operationally and infrastructure wise. Even if they were of the minority opinion, both of our senators deserve our thanks.

Paul Tay
Guest

Keep it up and auto will be the new four-letter dirty word.

Jill
Guest
Jill

This is crazy! If US automakers made high-quality, reasonably priced, fuel-efficient cars, then people would buy them.

How about incentives to buy US-made bikes!!

Bug Eater
Guest
Bug Eater

Coyote #23, no problem. I haven’t met Wyden yet, but I know Jeff and he really gets it. He was a bike commuter until he went to the Oregon Senate, (70 miles each way being the problem) and I talked to him several times about bike stuff. I don’t know how he’ll do on other issues, but I think he’ll stick up for us cyclists when he can.

Mike
Guest
Mike

KWW-
How will my taxes go up if I do not buy a new car?

Jill-
One of the many problems with American automobiles is not the price, per se. American autos are too cheap, both in construction and in sales price, and the Big Three are not making enough profit. They need to build a quality car and then they need to charge for it.

As for US made bicycles, there are not too many options when considering a “reasonable price”. A quality commuter bike (bike, not frame) for less than $1500, and US made. How many choices are there?

DT
Guest
DT

A-MEN to Vance’s description of the US auto industry’s problems.

Paul Tay
Guest

Mike, #27, my commute bike is less $25. No matter how well-built the cars are, the problem is credit. Auto companies are nothing more than banks that just happen to sell cars.

Natty
Guest
Natty

Quoth ‘J’:
“I know this wasn’t the point of this post, but it would take more than some tax credits to get me to buy an American car (if I were even in the market).”

You would need the tax credit just to offset the difference in fuel economy 😉

peejay
Guest
peejay

Just read this and tell me if we really need more cars.

Oh Word?
Guest
Oh Word?

#3- I think what you’re saying is the root of this problem. Even though Tulsa is spaced out, that’s not really relevant. One of my usual rides is to my friend’s house on the East side, it’s an 18 mile round trip.. whether you’re in Portland or Tusla, 18 miles is 18 miles. So the problem isn’t space- it’s distance. The only way around that is to get people off their butts and have them put it right back on a bike seat.. these car-buying incentives aren’t helping that cause..

Todd Scott
Guest

Prior to this economic meltdown, U.S. automaker unprofitability was primarily due to health care costs of their retirees. U.S. automakers have significantly more retirees than the Asian auto manufacturers. Also, foreign workers in developed countries outside the U.S. have universal health care.

This January the Consumers Reports chief of testing said, “On reliability, Ford is up there with top brands like Honda, Toyota and Subaru. The reliability is top to bottom.”

robert
Guest
robert

This stimulus bill will not have any bike/ped facilities in it and we have all been swindled by a man named Obama who talked change but was really the same.

More highways, more cars and more bullshit.

You can stop worshiping him anytime.

Hart
Guest
Hart

Whether they “get you in the showroom” or not, the auto industry will get your money and there’s nothing you can do about it.

matt picio
Guest

Vance (#16) – the so-called “nanny state” had little to do with the automakers being unable to compete with foreign automakers in the 70s and 80s. It was almost entirely due to the Big Three’s refusal to build cars that people wanted, same as today. In fact, the “nanny state” actually helped to make the Big Three competetive again, by forcing them to increase gas mileage and safety.

I grew up in Detroit in the 70s and 80s, and both my father and grandfather worked for and retired from GM. I’ve also worked for the industry myself for 3 years with various suppliers. This is almost exactly what happened in the 70s, except this time the government did NOT impose standards on the industry (as opposed to last time), the industry got itself in deeper, and now the government is bailing it out (which it did NOT do last time).

I think we’d be better served if the government forcibly bought out the Big Three (which at current stock prices would cost less than the bailout) and converted them to build transit and freight / passenger rail. It’s never going to happen, but I can’t see it being much worse of a situation than what we have. I previously supported bailing out the auto industry, and stated such on this site – but that was predicated on attaching strings and controls to the money, which didn’t happen.

Personal automotive transport is dead, everyone just doesn’t realize it yet. Like the action hero in the movies, it’s going to walk a few more steps before it collapses. Whether in 5 years or 20, our declining resource base can’t continue to support the massive system we’ve built. Better to start disassembling it now in a controlled fashion than having it fail catastrophically later.

Hart
Guest
Hart

Very, very well said.

Ed Gill
Guest
Ed Gill

Please get off your high horse (or bike in this case). A huge majority of Americans drive cars, and need them for the way they currently live. No amount of your condescension will change this. If you let the US car industry fail people will not stop driving. They will just by foreign cars and the US will lose badly needed good paying jobs. I bike to work 2-3 times per week, but I also drive a car (a very well built American car). I am tired of the cycling purists that believe that cars are all evil and that everyone should adopt the superior lifestyle that they have chosen. Get over yourself! You are turning off many would whose support is needed to get increased funding for cycling infrastructure.

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
Guest

Ed Gill (#39) wrote:

“Please get off your high horse (or bike in this case)…

I am tired of the cycling purists that believe that cars are all evil and that everyone should adopt the superior lifestyle that they have chosen. Get over yourself!”

Ed,
I drive too. I own a mini-van and we use it to get our groceries and take our daughter to dance class across town.

This is not about “cycling purists” or “high horses”. For me, this is about sayin, “Enough is enough already!”.

I have nothing against cars. I have everything against our over-use of them and our our country’s continuing subsidies that come at great expense to all of us in the form of numerous negative external impacts.

It’s the car industry that has convinced every level of American culture that we cannot live without them. We used to think a similar way about tobacco and cigarettes. Now we know better.

Brad
Guest
Brad

Jonathan,

Please give us your definition of “overuse” of cars? That might help to frame the debate better.

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
Guest

“Please give us your definition of “overuse” of cars? That might help to frame the debate better.”

“overuse” is how I was trying to explain America’s very unhealthy relationship with cars.

they are simply used way too much by way too many people and there is little to no institutional or cultural disincentive to use them less.

Todd Scott
Guest

“It’s the car industry that has convinced every level of American culture that we cannot live without them.”

The roads and sidewalks outside are covered in glare ice, the temperatures are well below freezing, and the car companies have convinced my 73+ year old parents they need a car rather than… bikes? Or should they just not leave the house?

Some cannot live without cars. People can live without cigarettes.

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

I don’t think anybody is saying “everyone should live without a car.” It is true–for some people life would be very hard without a car. Nobody is saying that we should all give up our cars, just that maybe a car is not appropriate for every last mile of travel we do in a day.

If I use my car to drive 1 mile to the store on a cool-but-clear day to pick up 4 pork chops and a bottle of Teriyaki sauce, some would consider that an inappropriate use of a car. If I start my car every morning and let it warm up for 5 minutes because my drive to work isn’t long enough for my car to even reach operating temperature, maybe I should consider another way of getting to work.

All I believe Jonathan and others (the spectrum is wide, so I don’t want to put words in anyone’s mouth) are saying is to use the right tool for the job. One wouldn’t use a 10-lb. sledge to drive finish nails, or a shoe to drive a railroad spike. Why use a car for those just-around-the-block trips that could just as easily be done on foot or on a bike?

Dave
Guest

@El Biciclero: well said. And I think just a short note to add to that, is that people should honestly re-evaluate what kinds of trips they *could* walk or bike for, and make a real effort to do so (that is, not just say, “eh, the store is to far, forget it,” without really thinking if they realistically could make it or not).

I’m not going to ride my bike to my parents’ house outside of Oregon City from SE 39th and Powell, but I will ride it for almost all of my daily trips to the store, the library, work, etc, as they are all in the 5-6 mile or less range.

Apparently about 40% of all trips in America are under 2 miles. That’s a distance that can be easily ridden or walked.

I think the benefits of changing those trips to modes of travel which use your own power (walking, biking, skating, roller blades, whatever), are far reaching and would make a huge difference in our cities and towns.

Pete
Guest
Pete

Yeah, it’ll create jobs… in South Korea. As a taxpayer I really wish I had better control over what my money was going towards.

Brad (#41): “overuse” example for cars: most of my neighbors drive to Safeway – literally across the street – and come back with one or two manageable (plastic) bags on a regular basis. Even on sunny days when I’d kill to be away from the laptop for such a short walk, let alone a long bike ride. It entertains me watching them drive around in circles waiting for the closest spots to open up so they don’t have to walk far.

My roommate couldn’t afford a car and walked everywhere when she studied for her Realtor license. I live in a small rural town where you can easily walk everywhere, and it’s quite enjoyable as most of our streets have low traffic. Fast forward to now – she needs a car as a Realtor to show houses to clients. But, economy is bad so she works almost exclusively in the office, which is only a half-mile away. She drives everywhere now, including Safeway and her close office, no matter the situation or weather. She has gained noticeable weight and recently started complaining that she can’t afford a gym. She hasn’t paid rent in two months or utilities in six, because the economy is so bad, and because (she tells me) her car payments are so high.

Matthew Denton
Guest
Matthew Denton

The plan has been withdrawn:
http://www.reuters.com/article/GCA-autos/idUSTRE51509C20090206
Not because it was a bad idea, but because it didn’t equally spread the pork around to all the congressional districts.

(And Pete, I thought you moved to the big city.)

Donna
Guest
Donna

My story is the same as Matt’s except you should put Ford where you see GM and take it up through my great great grandfather.

Matt’s dead-on about the Big 3. They did this to their own selves by not changing when the writing was on the wall 35+ years ago. Then to put the cherry on top, they decided to keep themselves afloat the last 20 years by getting into the high interest credit business. How clever of them. Now they (like the adults that they are) need to take responsibility for the situation that they created.

How I feel about cars and the destructive nature of the car culture is irrelevant to the fact that no business or industry should be receiving a bailout. Period.

Pete
Guest
Pete

Matthew (#47): got to land job in big city first. Big interview is next Thursday! Job in big city will be used to pay small town mortgage so I can move back someday. Mom needs a place so she’s moving in here when I finish building handrails on my staircase.

And yes, job (if gotten) will be bike commutable to a company with showers and bike parking! Wish me luck; I miss you guys… ride safe.

jami
Guest

a disappointing provision indeed.

i really wish they’d vote on these provisions in individual bills, rather than bundling junk like this in with things that really are quite vital right now, such as badly needed NIH (scientific research) and unemployment funding, for two dear to my own heart. the current system of lumping everything together makes accountability impossible. and there’s something to dislike in it for everyone. is it just laziness — er, expedience — that makes them vote on things in giant lumps like this?

i’m impressed that you covered an actual detail of the bill, unlike npr and the bbc, which so far have only covered the bickering. for anyone interested in what else is in the stimulus bill, there’s a spreadsheet:
http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=pts0bNgmEz6AeaIi0cBYOPA&hl=en

Lindsay
Guest
Lindsay

The exchange above too often veers into the “People need cars/don’t need cars” debate. Of course, many rely on the auto, the issue is, who really needs a NEW one? 1/3 of the pollution incurred by a vehicle over it’s lifetime is in the CREATING of it. If folks didn’t feel the need to have a new set of shiny wheels every 3 years, the planet and the economy would be in MUCH better shape!

The main frustration I have with this amendment is that it detracts from the main purpose of the economic stimulus package: To Create Jobs, NOT Encourage Consumption, this just puts consumers in greater debt! If you can only buy one big ticket item, that doesn’t help out the rest of the economy, does it? The auto industry already received their bailout; this one is supposed to put $ in OUR pockets via job creation.

Both the auto industry bailout and the financial industry TARP package strip politicians and economists the right to ever cry out “oh the free market!”, but this is over-board. Talk about government incentive to buy a certain product rather than letting the consumers decide where to spend their bucks! Plus, buying an auto, even with this incentive requires loans, so it’s really yet another handout to the bank industry, too.

And lastly:
Go Mayor of Tulsa!
She could easily have simply proclaimed that bikes have a right to the road, but she goes out of her way to list, in an official Mayoral Proclamation, the many ills of excessive auto use, including obesity and environmental impacts, and more!