I took delivery of my 2007 Toyota Prius Hybrid this week -- the results of about two years of research/procrastinating.
"But Jblog," you say with astonishment, "Only quiche-eaters, treehuggers, dirt-worshippers and earthmuffins drive hybrids."
Not so, however -- it's actually the PERFECT car for a registered Republican like me. Lemme tell you why:
-- Tax breaks -- The purchase qualifies for a $1,500 federal income tax credit -- that's a credit, not a deduction, so it comes right off the bottom line. (But hurry -- the credit drops to $750 after March 31 and expires later this year. That's why I went for mine now.) Plus in Connecticut you don't have to pay sales tax on new hybrids -- that shaves another $1,500 off the top of the price.
-- Fiscal fitness -- In addition to $3Gs in tax breaks, I qualified for 24 months of 0 percent financing. I estimate that will save me another $2,000 or so over the life of the loan. And I estimate I will save another $1,000 in fuel costs each year. That's $7,000 in savings over the first two years, which well offsets the premium price for purchasing this new technology.
-- Good for America -- I'm currently averaging about 45 mpg, which is about twice what my old car got. America finds itself in direct competition with emerging markets in China and India for the global oil supply, which will push oil prices up over the next decade. Cutting my fuel consumption by half helps take the pressure off. It also means less money in the pockets of terrorists who profit from the oil trade, like Osama Bin Ladin and Hugo Chavez.
-- Rational environmentalism -- Contrary to popular misconception, most conservatives DO care about the environment. We'd just prefer not crater the economy while saving the earth. Adoption of new technologies like hybrid cars is a sane approach to this issue.
-- Intelligent design -- This is an exceptionally well-designed vehicle, inside and out. -- from the gasoline engine/electric motor power plant to the head-up display and touchscreen controls. Purchasing cars like this encourages all the automakers to strive for this kind of innovation and user-centered design.
-- Moral high ground -- "No blood for oil" my ass. How exactly did those hippies get to the antiwar rally, anyway? Next time I'm at the Dairy and Energy Mart giving my hybrid a sip and I see one of those freaks filling up his gas guzzler (with his antiwar, anti-oil bumpersticker proudly displayed), I believe I pretty much have the absolute moral authority to grab the tire iron out the hatch, walk over and bust his windshield.