Not so long ago, I wrote of some of the humorous parts of the tax code.   Recently, I became aware that the federal government is now subsidizing the purchase of golf carts and I don’t find that funny at all.

You: Really?  They’re subsidizing golf carts?


You: How so?

Like any other subsidy, part of the cost is borne by the purchaser, while part of the cost is paid for by the government.

You: Which government?

Your government (if you live in the United States.)

You: Whose money is this?

Yours, of course.

You: Really?

Actually no.  Due to the country’s existing enormous debt, the money is more likely that of your children or grandchildren.

You: What if I don’t have any children yet?

Don’t worry.  If and when they’re eventually conceived, their debt will be waiting for them.

You: Seriously?


You: And part of this debt will be due to golf carts the country is currently purchasing for some private individuals?


You: I don’t remember voting for a golf cart subsidy.

Are you in Congress?

You: And reading a personal finance blog? Learning about money from an unbiased source? Ha! Michael, you’re hysterical.

Good point. I didn’t think I had too many readers inside the capitol.  As such, you didn’t vote for the golf cart subsidy.

You: Well, then, who did?


You: Seriously?

Yes, you seem a bit more incredulous today than normal.

You: Did you see your post’s headline?

Of course, I wrote it.

You: Now you know why I’m in shock.  So Congress voted to subsidize golf carts?

Yes, although not intentionally.

You: Wait -  so my government accidentally voted to subsidize golf carts?

Actually, yes.

You: How can a person, let alone an entire government, accidentally vote for something so, ah, I’m searching for the word . . . something so


You: I think I was going for something less kind to the voter’s intelligence.

And you’re sure you’re not in Congress?

You: Who knows?  If Congress can accidentally vote to subsidize golf carts maybe I can be in Congress and not know it.

I don’t even know how that’s possible, yet I sort of believe you.  So in a way, you’re starting to sound Congressional.

You: But I haven’t actually said anything yet.

That’s kind of my point.

You: What?

Forget it.

You: Good, because I wasn’t following you.

It’s that sort of honesty that will get you voted out of office.

You: This is so weird.

Like a golf cart subsidy.

You: Exactly, but how did it come to pass?

As reported in The Wall Street Journal, when Congress decided to stimulate the economy by providing a tax credit for the purchase of a high-mileage vehicle, it didn’t take long before those “in the know” started applying the credit to golf carts in their marketing.

You: But a golf cart isn’t a car!

I know that.

You: But?

For purposes of this credit, most golf carts are considered high mileage vehicles.

You: Seriously?


You: So what kind of subsidy are we talking about?

Between $4,200 and $5,500.

You: How much does a golf cart even cost?

Between $8,000 and $10,000.  Furthermore, some states also provide tax credits for such purchases.

You: So the government pays the bulk of the cost for a new golf cart?


You: Wow.

Wow.  Furthermore, there’s no limit to the number of golf carts you can buy and some enterprising folks have figured a way out that they can truthfully advertise, again, as reportd in The Wall Street Journal: ”

GET A FREE GOLF CART. Or make $2,000 doing absolutely nothing!”

[See the actual ad here.  Note, even though the WSJ didn't provide the actual link, their new ad indicates that they've had an overwhelming response.]

You: So why would the government do this?

Again, I don’t think they did it purposefully.

You: Why don’t they fix it?

Why don’t you fix it?

You: How?

Aren’t you in Congress?

You: Oh, that’s right, I might be. I’ll get right on that.

Go to the end of the hall, then up the stairs.  Ignore the lobbyist waiting outside your office.

You: Why?


#     #     #

I’m still waiting.  So are my children. Are yours?

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4 Comments to “Golf cart subsidies – Why the government is subsidizing golf carts”

  1. Jenny says:

    I’d write a longer response but I have to go buy a golf cart.

  2. Michael says:

    @Jenny: Ha! Bring your tax forms . . .

  3. Michelle says:

    I think I might be in Congress too because I keep getting confused about all these things out there that I am just now learning about. I mean, I probably voted on these items but didn’t truly realize it. Better go buy me a golf cart or two as well. Oh, and for those who can’t believe all this information coming to light…”aren’t you so very glad you voted for the blackout-inducing, teleprompt-reading, empty suit of a President”. And just for those who are slow–no, I am not a racist. That is getting old anyway. I digress. Actually, I really just want to get out of here and go find a place selling some cheap golf carts. Does anyone know if it has to be a brand new golf cart or can it be used? Those are less than $8k, I’m pretty sure. I’m giddy now…gotta run so I can get a putter-around-town golf cart.

  4. These subsidies will be used to buy used golf carts for sale in states like Florida that has a large number retirement communities. Just the people who probably can afford a cart and don’t need a subsidy in the first place.

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