Sec. of Transportation Ignorant About Auto Industry

Csaba Csere had an excellent column back in July.  Unfortunately C&D is much slower posting their columns than their reviews online – and I am much too lazy busy to re-type it myself.  However it is now up for general viewing and is even more pertinant given the current Auto Industry problems being eyed for government intervention.

I always thought April Fools’ Day came on the first of that month and Earth Day on the 22nd, but apparently, this year those dates were swapped. How else to explain the proposal, on April 22, of Mary E. Peters, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, to accelerate by 25 percent the CAFE increases that Congress enacted last year?

With gasoline pushing four bucks a gallon, it’s not that I would mind seeing average fuel economy rise to 35.7 mpg for cars and 28.6 mpg for trucks by 2015, as Secretary Peters proposes. I’d also like to see a big, happy parade of Sunni, Shiites, and Kurds marching merrily together down Yafa Street in Baghdad. Plus, I’d like to see an eight-figure balance on my brokerage statement and Kelly Brook delivering UPS packages to our office. Sadly, none of these events is any more likely than Secretary Peters’s delusions about CAFE.

Now if you come away from this article dogging old G.W.’s administration (or even blanket Republicans) you are completely missing the bigger point.  This is not a W. is stupid problem – this is a general problem with allowing (trusting?) politicians to fix (meddle?) in problems that they truly know nothing about.  Government can give nudges here and there in attempting to direct the market.  BUT economic forces and moreso laws of physics can not be overcome by legislation – no matter how much you will it to happen, nor how pure your intentions.

A perfect example for this would be the legislation that was passed in the hopes to make home ownership “affordable” to those that couldn’t afford it.  Result? Well it took a while to come home to roost but the noble plan cost us all 700 billion dollars and counting.  Remember that as government promises to solve the next problem with a wave of its legistative hand – or rushes aid those in need.