Government Knows Best (?)

John Wolkonowicz, Senior Analyst at HIS Global Insight, had this to say in an article posted on’s Automotive section:

“With Obama’s plan, everything changes in the domestic automotive world. The government will be able to dictate what General Motors and Chrysler can sell. Washington believes it knows what Americans should drive, and this bail out gives them the means to dramatically change the market.”

“With the power given them by the bail out, the government can simply mandate certain classes of cars and trucks out of existence, regardless of whether they are popular with American drivers or not.”

Now why would government want to restrict or dictate what vehicles that Americans drive?  The same article has this to say about the subject:

Depending on how active the Obama administration chooses to be regarding the operation of General Motors and Chrysler (the government already forced out GM CEO Rick Wagoner), bureaucrats may restrict the types of cars these two manufacturers sell in the post bail out future. Government leaders such as Nancy Pelosi have already voiced the opinion that Americans should drive smaller, more efficient vehicles. Conditions on the bail out funds may be the vehicle used to force GM and Chrysler to build only what Washington wants them to build. Additionally, changing emissions regulations will force Ford Motor Company and other producers to follow suit.

Bureaucrats want Detroit to build cleaner cars. Because facts don’t generally make good sound bites, politicians and regulators do not highlight the fact that every new car and light truck in sold in the U.S. run nearly emissions free once the engines have warmed to operating temperature. Current regulations already mandate exhaust emissions so clean that in U.S. cities experiencing heavy pollution days (think L.A. in August), the gases leaving a new passenger vehicle’s tailpipe are cleaner than the air entering the engine.

So what do politicians really mean when they talk about “cleaner cars?” It’s all about carbon dioxide emissions. Environmentalists have convinced enough members of enough different government bodies that C02 emissions must come down to combat alleged global climate change. President Obama believes that man-made C02 is dangerous.

Avoiding ongoing arguments regarding man-made C02 emissions and its impact on climate change (whether it is major or non-existent), because of a Supreme Court ruling during the Bush administration, C02 can be regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. New regulations are expected to begin impacting vehicles as soon as the 2011 model year.

With current technology, the only way to lower C02 emissions is for vehicles to consume less carbon-based fuel; gasoline, diesel fuel, natural gas, liquid propane, and coal-generated electricity.

Currently, government mileage targets are 35 mpg by 2020. The Obama administration may change this goal and increase the mpg even further. In general, meeting the “35” rule mandates small, lightweight vehicles with small, highly-efficient engines.

Regarding engines, manufacturers will attain more efficiency from smaller internal combustion engines. Technologies that contribute to added mileage include direct injection, variable valve timing, and auto-stop engines. High-performance models will utilize forced-induction such as turbocharging or supercharging. Diesel engines could also see expanded use (now that clean-burning diesels are available), but further tightening of C02 emissions could rule out this choice altogether.

Now isn’t that nice?  Government is going to take care of us by limiting our choices no matter how much it inconveniences or costs us to protect the environment according to an unproven theory.  Yes, it will cost us – do you think that technology is free?

The current line of thought is to make plug-in hybrids.  If you have been shopping around for a new car and priced out these vehicles, you probably got a good dose of sticker shock.  They’re not cheap, and the battery packs will need replacing at around the 5 year mark, and that will cost too.

On top of that, the existing electrical power grid that would be used to charge up these vehicles is not up to the task, much less the number of non-carbon based power generation facilities.  We hear so much about solar and wind power, but from one study that I read (reference has been lost) stated that we do not have enough land mass to support the number of windmills needed to supplement the expected future energy requirements, much less to replace the existing coal-fired power plants.

Of course, no one even thinks about the “N” word – nuclear.  It just doesn’t fit into the current administration’s thinking.  But I believe that they will if this individual vehicle policy is pushed through, and one other item:  High-speed rail systems.

President Obama announced a couple of weeks ago that he would push for a high-speed intercity rail system.  He cited the rail systems in Europe as examples.

Now while I liked the rail system in Germany because it was convenient for my purposes, the fact still remains that the system is subsidized by the German government (the taxpayers), and it loses money each year.  Germany also has several nuclear reactors powering the rail system.  If Obama thinks that the United States can do better in the rail industry, just mention “Amtrak” and watch the tap-dancing begin.

But perhaps all of this sounds wonderful to some.  We’ll have fuel-efficient go-karts for cars, and trains to shuffle us around long distances.  All the while, “big-brother” is going to take care of us and the environment…but at a price that I do not believe that the citizens of this country will be able to afford. 

I have not bought into the fantasy that government has our best interests at heart.  We are nothing but a resource to fund the social changing agenda of the politicians.

Yes, you read correctly – not Socialist, but social-changing.  Government is changing the social structure of the citizens of the United States.  It is slow, but it is happening.  If you do not think that this is true after reading the above about how the politicians want to change the social workings of our society by limiting choices of how we live, then you are truly drinking the kool-aid.

No, my dear readers, I don’t think that the government’s increasing role in the finance and transportation industries is going to help us one little bit.  I hope I’m wrong, but I see nothing but disaster ahead of us.


About Tom Roland

EE for 25 Years, Two Patents - now a certified PMP. Married twice, burned once. One son with Asperger's Syndrome. Two cats. Conservative leaning to the Right. NRA Life Member.
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9 Responses to Government Knows Best (?)

  1. Debbie says:

    “Government is going to take care of us by limiting our choices no matter how much it inconveniences or costs us…”

    That’s it in a nutshell, a very costly nutshell, a very freedom-of-choice-limiting nutshell. Conservatives must rise up in 2010 and 2012.

  2. Kris says:

    I couldn’t help but laugh out loud when I read the title. I’ll crawl the 35 miles to work on my hands and knees before I’ll drive a goverment mandated car.

  3. Z says:

    everybody knows it’s FATHER who KNOWS BEST! Trouble is, these days, obama thinks HE is our ‘Father’…..oh, man!

  4. Tom says:

    All – Unfortunately, it looks like the government is tightening it’s grip on the financial and automotive industries. I’m waiting for more companies to cave into the demands of the politicians.

  5. Joe says:

    Personally, I WANT an all electric car…as soon as I can get one for under $20,000.00, it can go 350 miles at 70 MPH on a fill (charge)up, go 0 to 60 in under 12 seconds, have a good air conditioning system, have padded seats, have a 6-changer CD player, an AM/FM radio, have a GPD system built in and can seat 5 in comfort.

    How long do I have to wait?

  6. Joe says:

    Hmmm…make that GPS.

  7. Tom says:

    Joe – I wouldn’t hold my breath – it’s going to take a while.

    In the meantime, can I interest you in a stainless-steel DeLorean with a Mr. Fusion / flux capacitor option?

  8. Braden says:

    One has to really wonder what has happened to the USA.
    Should we consider changing the name to USSA?

    Just sayin’

  9. Glenn Cassel AMH1(AW) USN Retired says:

    So, if you can afford it, go out and buy an F-250/350 Crew Cab with the diesel and four wheel drive.
    I was a Dodge guy for a long time and the missus has a PT Cruiser with almost 130,000 on the odometer. The current pickup is a 1994 Chevy C-1500 extended cab that it getting long in the tooth. Buying the equivalant Dodge was way too expensive at the time.
    With the impending demise of Chrysler and GM(more of a outsource/downsize), parts will become a bit of a problem since the suppliers will be shutting down also.

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