Istook’s Insights: Of electric cars, IRS lies, speaking of disabilities, and water in California

Washington, D.C. – Many who bought electric cars are now disenchanted.

Billions of tax dollars went to induce you to buy an electric car, or at least a hybrid. That includes a $7,500 per car federal incentive, plus state subsidies. Even then, those are expensive vehicles.

Buyers soon learn that electric cars have limited range because big batteries are super-heavy and a charge won’t take you very far. Performance also lags as other cars accelerate past you.

Fuel savings? With high gasoline prices it took five years to make up for the costlier sticker price of the car. With gas prices down, now it takes ten years—longer than most people keep a car.

Auto sales show that electric and hybrid owners are increasingly trading in and buying an SUV instead.

President Obama promised one million electric vehicles would be on our roads by now. Despite the billions spent, we’re still 800-thousand cars short.

Meanwhile, guess who’s lying about their finances? It’s the IRS.

The Internal Revenue Service told Congress millions of taxpayer inquiries are ignored because Congress doesn’t give the IRS enough money to function.

A new report shows that’s false. The IRS deliberately makes taxpayers its lowest priority.

Congress gave the agency the same money this year as last year. But the IRS diverted $134-million away from customer service, reducing its customer service budget by 76 percent.

Instead, the IRS commissioner gave out more bonuses to workers. He allowed them to spend 500,000 hours doing labor union business instead of IRS business. And the IRS spent over $1.2-billion to implement Obamacare rather than answering phone calls and other requests from taxpayers.

It’s not that the bureaucrats don’t have enough money to do their jobs. It’s just that they choose other priorities instead of taking care of the little people—to them, that’s what the taxpayers are.

Come on, now: Should government pay people not to speak English?

English is America’s language of success. Yet one study claims 10 % of working-age adults have limited English proficiency. What do you expect when learning English is no longer required, not even to vote?

Now inability to speak English is being used to award disability benefits—monthly government checks supposedly based on permanent disability. But inability to speak English is curable—study and learn it.

We pay $175 billion a year to 11 million people under SSDI disability. 

The biggest reason is that Congress relaxed the definition of disability. 

Even in Spanish-speaking Puerto Rico, not being able to speak English is designated a disability that qualifies for monthly payments. Our system to help the needy has become another form of welfare.

Instead of increasing jobs, we’re increasing people on disability, food stamps and Medicaid. Isn’t it time to reverse this trend?

And, here’s a provocative question: Are environmentalists to blame for California’s water shortage?

America has plenty of fresh water—but it’s not always located where people want it. In California, 39-million residents are ordered to use 25% less water. That dramatically impacts everyone and everything.
Former computer executive Carly Fiorina says the problem is man-made, not purely due to drought. She blames environmentalists for blocking projects to transfer water from wet areas to dry areas.

Others point out how many dams have been blown up, reducing the ability to impound and re-route water. 

California and other states have aggressively destroyed dams. Often it’s older dams that are no longer safe. But others were demolished because activists protested that they harmed natural river habitats for fish.

Untangling the facts gets tricky, but this deserves an honest debate: Is the economy of California being destroyed because environmentalists have gone too far?