Czar Out, Committee In

To further distance himself from the Bush Administration, President Obama announced that he is dropping the idea of a "Car Czar" to oversee the recovery (?) automotive industry.  Instead, he wants a committee to do the job.

Uh oh…  This doesn’t sound good…  Governmental committees make me think of that old joke of a mouse being designed by a government committee turning out to be an elephant.

The Committee will consist of representatives of the following:

  • Department of the Treasury
  • Department of Labor
  • Department of Transportation
  • Department of Commerce
  • Department of Energy
  • The National Economic Council
  • The White House Office of Energy
  • The White House Office of the Environment
  • The Council of Economic Advisors
  • The Environmental Protection Agency

The Committee will be overseen by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and White House Economic Advisor Lawrence Summers.  An additional person, a certain Ron Bloom (a corporate restructuring expert), was also named to the administration’s auto team as a senior adviser at Treasury.

Of course, this change of plan just happens before tomorrow’s review of the automotive industries’ plans to "viability."  The whole thing is making me wonder if the government really wants the companies to succeed.

Stop to think about it for a second:  GM and Chrysler don’t need to have everything nailed down for Tuesday’s progress reports, but the companies are expected to detail concessions along with plant closures, the potential elimination of brands and thousands of job cuts.  And what was the weekend’s passing of the Redistribution of Future Taxpayer Dollars Stimulus Package supposed to do?  It was to help people keep their jobs!!

We’re not only doomed, we’re hosed…