May 20, 2009
Something tells me that the WSJ is less than optimistic about the future of the American auto industry under Obama's new fuel economy standards:
At the end of his Rose Garden explanation yesterday of the new U.S. fuel-efficiency standards, President Obama remarked on the good that can be accomplished when we are "working together." The President may be getting ahead of himself. Watching the unlikely coalition arrayed behind him as Mr. Obama committed the U.S. to an astonishing passenger-car mileage average of 39 miles per gallon by 2016, it looks truer to say we are merely standing together in this adventure, for better or worse.
Mr. Obama's fleet-mileage partners yesterday included the two auto companies that have fallen into his arms, Chrysler and GM, still-independent Ford, the major foreign manufacturers, United Auto Workers chief Ron Gettelfinger, and beaming representatives from the Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund and the Union of Concerned Scientists.
All that's left to arrive at the President's new destination for the American way of driving are huge, unanswered questions about technology, financing and the marketability of cars that will be small and expensive.
They go on to point out that the new fleet of American cars will likely be made up of small hybrids and electric cars and then ask an extremely silly question:
Once Detroit is forced to build these cars, will free Americans want to buy them, at any price?
Um, like we're gonna have a choice? That's pretty much the entire point. Oh, and isn't that "free Americans" thing quaint?
We wish these folks luck "working together" with the Obama auto-design team. One thing seems certain by 2016: Taxpayers will be paying Detroit to make the cars Americans don't want, and then they will pay again either through (trust us) a gas tax or with a purchase subsidy. Even the French must think we're nuts.
We. Are. So. Fucking. Screwed.
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