Golf Cart Stimulus

Remember when Glenn Beck interviewed John Stossel of FOX about his free golf cart?  I am hearing from friends that they know people who have bought a golf cart for free – you paid for it.  That is the President’s idea of Stimulus.



This would be funny but for the fact that you and I are paying for golf carts for others in the name of Stimulus.

The Times-Georgian reported on September 28th:

Self-professed “tea party Republican” Jim Watters exercised a loophole in last year’s tax code that allowed him to receive a complete rebate on the purchase of a golf cart, as funded through President Obama’s 2009 stimulus package.

Watters wanted to buy a golf cart to show how silly it was that the Stimulus allowed people to buy “electric vehicles” and receive a huge tax credit that covers the whole cost of the cart.

Watters, who is running for the District 4 seat on the Carroll County Board of Commissioners against John Wilson, justified the decision to exploit the loophole by saying that it’s illustrative of the kind of wasteful government spending that he has long decried.  Watters purchased the golf cart in December of last year after being told of the deal. As provided by the stimulus, known under the formal name of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, residents could receive a tax credit from $4,200 to $5,500 for the purchase of an electric vehicle. After the stimulus package became effective on Feb. 17, 2009, the Internal Revenue Service ruled that golf carts qualify for the electric-car credit as long as they are also road-worthy. The golf carts that qualify are effectively the same as the typical golf cart found at any country club. The qualifying carts differ in that they include some additional safety features and seat belts.


That is right, if you want a free golf cart, you merely have to buy one that has a seat belt and make sure the cart does not cost more than $5,500.  Now most carts run a bit more than that so consumers of golf cars need to see if the state they reside has a similar inscentive plan.  We can thank the Internal Revenue Service for interpreting “electric vehicle” to cover run of the mill golf carts.  Don’t expect to see these vehicles on the highway, but expect to pay for all of the people who are purchasing these carts.

According to, if you combine the federal tax credit with similar plans for many states, you can get one that costs up to $10K. 

From the statistics, the federal credit provides from $4,200 to $5,500 for the purchase of an electric vehicle, and when it is combined with similar incentive plans in many states the tax credits can pay for nearly the entire cost of a golf cart. Even in states that don’t have their own tax rebate plans, the federal credit is generous enough to pay for half or even two-thirds of the average sticker price of a cart, which is typically in the range of $8,000 to $10,000. Therefore, it is almost free for one to purchase a golf cart.

This Stimulus has been a boon for the manufacturers and sellers of golf carts.  Not only that, there are foreign companies taking advantage of this plan and many domestic purchasers who are stocking up on free golf carts.


Actually, nowadays, the sales of these carts have been soaring. Although we have the world’s famous golf cart, the competition is still hot, there are several abroad players begin to sense the potential of America golf cart market, one of them is Marshell, a Chinese electric vehicle manufacture.  The IRS has ruled that there’s no limit to how many electric cars an individual can buy, so some enterprising profiteers are stocking up on multiple carts while the federal credit lasts, in order to resell them at a profit later.

Next time you go golfing and you get into a cart with seatbelts and side mirrors, you can be confident that you probably already paid for the cart.  Ask for a reduction in your greens fees.  This is a joke — a joke being played on the American taxpayer.

I am interested if Red State America knows of any friends or relatives who have taken advantage of this deal.  Do you know of this happening in your community?  Discuss.


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