Clare Boothe Luce is credited with the quote, "No good deed goes unpunished." If she were alive today, Ms Luce might revise her quite to "No good deed goes unpunished, by General Motors."
Only a short few years ago the United States treasury used public funds to rescue the beleaguered auto giant. This was followed by the use of Presidential power to steal share of G.M. from the company's investors, gift wrap it and hand it to the United Auto Workers. Now G.M. is asking congress to screw the public who saved it, by adding at least a dollar to the price of gas. General Motors Co. CEO Dan Akerson wants the federal gas tax boosted by as much as $1 a gallon to nudge consumers toward more fuel-efficient cars
Akerson would like to see it [Congress] step up to the challenge of setting a higher gas tax, as part of a comprehensive energy policy.
A government-imposed tax hike, Akerson believes, will prompt more people to buy small cars and do more good for the environment than forcing automakers to comply with higher gas-mileage standards.
"There ought to be a discussion on the cost versus the benefits," he said. "What we are going to do is tax production here, and that will cost us jobs."
For the years 2017-25, federal officials are considering 3 percent to 6 percent annual fuel efficiency increases, or 47 mpg to 62 mpg. That could boost the cost of vehicles by up to $3,500.
"You know what I'd rather have them do — this will make my Republican friends puke — as gas is going to go down here now, we ought to just slap a 50-cent or a dollar tax on a gallon of gas," Akerson said.
"People will start buying more Cruzes and they will start buying less Suburbans."
With gas already over $4 a gallon in parts of the country, a higher gas tax is a hard sell.
General Motors certainly has an unusual way of thanking the American public who saved them from possible liquidation.