How Did John Stossel Get a Free Golf Cart From the Government?

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This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," February 9, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Stossel Matters" segment tonight: Our pal John found a loophole in the tax credit system and used it to get a brand-new, shiny golf cart worth about $6,500 bucks. We're not kidding. The feds sent Stossel a golf cart, and we paid for it.

Here now is that bunko artist, John Stossel. How did you pull this off? Let's start at the beginning. You saw what?

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JOHN STOSSEL, FOX BUSINESS ANCHOR: This wasn't hard. The dealers advertised it. They ran ads saying there's a big tax credit on golf carts. This one costs $8,000. We'll discount it $2,000. So, you pay $6,400 bucks. Sixty-four-hundred-dollar tax credit. It's totally free.

O'REILLY: Why do you get a tax credit to buy a golf cart?

STOSSEL: Because our bloated government subsidizes everybody. This is a Charles Rangel Bill to support electric vehicles, and...

O'REILLY: So electric vehicles, whether it's a car or a golf cart, you can take off on your taxes.

STOSSEL: It's a very complicated formula. You get $2,500 as a tax credit, plus $417 for each kilowatt hour of traction battery capacity in excess of four kilowatt hours, so forth. But for that cart it amounted to the full price.

O'REILLY: So you got $6,500 back on your taxes, which made that golf cart free?

STOSSEL: Totally free.

O'REILLY: And we paid for it, because that would be money the government would have that it no longer has, because it gave you, John Stossel, a free golf cart. Now, you know that now everybody at the Villages will be getting that golf cart for free. There will be thousands and thousands. But you're telling me that the feds, once you exposed them, and mocked them, and made them look small, they have stopped this?

STOSSEL: I won't take credit. The — the tax credit has expired.

O'REILLY: When did it expire?

STOSSEL: At the end of the year. If it would have been on your show it would have bankrupted the country.

O'REILLY: So 2009 was the last time you could do it?


O'REILLY: So you have a free golf cart. So the bottom line is that I paid for your dopey golf cart.

STOSSEL: I'm loaning it to Central Park Conservancy, so it's being…

O'REILLY: So you're actually doing something good with it.

STOSSEL: I hope so.

O'REILLY: Now, do we know how many Americans got in on this?

STOSSEL: We called 20 dealers around this area.


STOSSEL: They were all sold out. We had to get that one...

O'REILLY: So a lot of people picked this up?

STOSSEL: Yes. We had to get that one from Arizona.

O'REILLY: How would you — how would you know about it? See, I didn't know about it, because I don't get on the Internet or anything like that. So how would you find out about it?

STOSSEL: E-mail. But people who use e-mail and the Internet learn about those things.

O'REILLY: So one person like you got it, and then it circulated on e-mail, and then people said, "I'm going to get my golf cart."

STOSSEL: Some of the dealers ran out.

O'REILLY: It's only because of green energy. They want people to use electronic deal, right?

STOSSEL: And these are the endless subsidies that are taking us on a road to serfdom. It's..

O'REILLY: A road to serfdom.

STOSSEL: This is...

O'REILLY: We're going back to the Middle Ages where you and I will be knights and everybody in the golf cart will be serfs, or something like that.

STOSSEL: I don't know. There will be knights. We'll all be working for the government. We'll all from some form of chain around us. This is my show Thursday I'm plugging, "The Road to Serfdom."

O'REILLY: "The Road to Serfdom."

STOSSEL: Because instead of...

O'REILLY: You're not talking about "Surfing USA" out in the ocean. You're talking about medieval serfs.

STOSSEL: Where everybody has to work for the government and you are a ward of the state.

O'REILLY: OK, but think about this, ladies and gentlemen. Stossel, who's very wealthy, gets a free golf cart, and we have to pay for it because it's a con. But I understand the green, and it's better if we all use electronic vehicles.

STOSSEL: But wait. It's not even, because the National Research Council said they have to get the electricity from somewhere. That comes from coal.

O'REILLY: Yes. That comes off the grid.

STOSSEL: That's right.

O'REILLY: So it doesn't matter whether they're driving a golf cart.

STOSSEL: It may be worse than driving a natural gas vehicle.

O'REILLY: It may be worse. So this whole thing was a waste.

STOSSEL: Like so much of what the government does.

O'REILLY: I'm giving you an assignment. Try to find out how many damn golf carts got given away and how much it cost the taxpayer and come back next week and tell us.

STOSSEL: I will try.

O'REILLY: All right?

STOSSEL: I will try to count each one.

O'REILLY: Ask the secretary of Transportation or somebody. And if he doesn't, we'll roast him.

STOSSEL: If the government releases me from my ball and chain.

O'REILLY: We will — we'll make that happen. All right. "On the Road to Serfdom" Thursday, Stossel, Fox Business Channel. Right?


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