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  • Obama’s Ban on Soccer Moms

    Time for practice. Time to pile into the…Toyota Prius? Maybe the Yaris. Or surely the Smart Car will do. Those are three of eleven cars that meet President Obama’s new emissions standards that include “nothing larger than a midsize sedan, even when you include hybrids.”

    We’ve pointed out how bad of an idea this is. Megan McCardle summarizes what the new emission standards will do:

    • It will raise the prices of cars, and make them less safe
    • It will reduce our carbon emissions, but not by as much as advertised, because more fuel efficient cars make driving cheaper, so people will do more of it. This “rebound” effect robs about 25% of gains, and also means more congestion, and more wear-and-tear on roads
    • This will either help the Big Three compete, or seal their doom as the Japanese manufacturers continue to eat into their market share. If I had to bet, I’d wager this means big ongoing subsidies for our favorite three public charities.
    • If you want to cut down on the pollution from driving, this is about the worst possible way to do it. On the other hand, it may be the only politically feasible way to do it. If you take global warming seriously, as I do, it may be the best of a bad set of policy choices.

    And the always insightful Don Boudreaux offers comment:

    We Americans are lucky. President Obama, although having zero experience as an entrepreneur or in the automotive industry, has designed fuel-efficiency standards that (he assures us) will save the average car buyer $2,800 over the life of his or her vehicle. What a deal!

    No one in Detroit, in the U.K., in Japan, in Germany, in Korea, in Sweden, in Italy, in France – no one anywhere, not even persons with decades of experience producing and selling automobiles – has figured out how to devise vehicles that are so obviously attractive to American consumers — and, therefore, so rich in profit-earning potential for manufacturers — as are the ones now promised to us by the Obama administration.

    And we can admire not only Mr. Obama’s industrial and commercial genius, but also his magnanimity in offering to the public, free of charge, his money-saving idea. He could have earned billions of dollars in profit by putting his idea to the test in the market. But no: by simply forcing us to use his idea and charging us nothing for it, he’ll forego this profit. We Americans are lucky indeed.”

    Lucky indeed.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    43 Responses to Obama’s Ban on Soccer Moms

    1. Eli Perlman, East Br says:

      If the cars are smaller, instead of one Mini-Van or SUV picking up 6 or 7 kids and their "stuff" to bring them wherever they may be going, it will require two or three vehicles to do the same thing. So, if one vehicle gets 50 MPG, two going to the same place gets 25 MPG. Three gets 16.7 MPG. Where is the savings? And, to boot, the smaller vehicles are less safe and three pollute more than one. Are these guys crazy?

    2. Worldbfree4me says:

      While the cost of vehicles will surely go up, the savings at the pump will also go up. Which will offset the added cost of the technology used to increase overall mileage. Also, to save money on your next car purchase always remember, "Buy used, Lease New."

    3. Michael, Kankakee IL says:

      I am amazed that anyone thinks this is a good idea. The vehicles Obama proposes can't be made in a way that a "normal" family can use. I don't want my family traveling in a glorified golf cart on our highways right next to eighteen wheelers. We just don't fit and they are unsafe. Not to mention that they are downright ugly. Give me my SUV, my Camaro and my Pick-up!

      How arrogant of Mr. Obama to arrive to the press conference in a limo, a helicopter, and/or Air Force One – using untold gallons of fuel – leaving a dinosaur carbon footprint – to tell us the lowly stupid citizens that we need to cut back and be uncomfortable with our cars! This is completely outragous. And there is the media with their stupid grins nodding and gushing how right and couragous he is to make his announcemnt. What a crock!

    4. Carrie, Kyle Tx says:

      Does Obama not understand that not every family has 2 children. How is a family of 6 going to travel take 2 cars. How does that help the environment?

      People need to wake up and see whats going on around them and say enough!

    5. Ann,BlandingUtah says:

      I agree-I see many big vehicles and planes, and helicopters in use for the government to tell us what kind of cars we can drive-how many poor people will this hurt? how much will it save and who is really benefiting? Our economy is an area that needs far more attention then emissions. There are many American families that have more then one or two children-and that is their right-we are a put together family that went from a 3 children family and a 5 children family and became an 8 children family! The soccer game would be over by the time we made all the trips it would take to get them there. We the people have the right to determine the car size we want that will fit our needs, really we can make our own choices.

    6. Former Commie, Tenne says:

      I wonder what kind of vehicle is used to haul the Obama kids around.

    7. Spiritof76, New Hamp says:

      Efficient combustion means carbon dioxide. To describe carbon dioxide a pollutant, those that subscribe to it, please stop breathing! 6 Billion people generate 5.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per day, about 25% of total fuel based emissions.

      To agree to the premise that CO2 is a pollutant is neither science nor common sense. When will the Americans understand the basic lie created about CO2 to control your lives?

    8. Pingback: The Greenroom » Forum Archive » Smaller cars will lead to smaller families

    9. Polynonymous says:

      Or you could buy a fuel-efficient minivan and do all the same stuff your 5 MPG SUV does today. I have an early '90s minivan that does 25MPG while seating 7, there's no reason you can't easily do 40MPG in a minivan with today's tech.

    10. Pingback: Obama’s car regulations will kill more Americans than the Iraq war « Wintery Knight Blog

    11. greener, Virginia says:

      I'm glad to see that the Messiah has taken the awful burden of freedom of choice in automobiles from my shoulders. In the 40 years that I have been buying cars, I've made choices based on needs, desires and economics. Now I don't have to think, because the elite will do that for me. One of the consequences of this decision is that I will either be in the car market quickly to get one that I like or out of the car market for a long time seeing how long my current fleet will run. Which of those 45 mpg wonders will pull a trailer, transport building and landscaping materials, carry people and stuff and do it safely and comfortably? Looks like my '93 Ranger and '05 Tahoe have very long life-expectancies in my driveway.

    12. Rainboskies says:

      My husband and I work together doing home renovations and improvements. We RELY for EXISTITANCE on our GMC Sierra 8-cyl, pickup truck. Will we have to pay more $$$ just to drive it….or will we even be ALLOWED to own it??? Obama and Congress all need to go!!! WND.com is full of info. on how they are erecting billboards asking "Where is the birth certificate" Sign their petition (over 375,000 have already signed) for him to PROVE he is eligible for POTUS. Citizen courts are springing up, accusing Obama of treason. We also need to NOT REELECT ANYONE. EVERYONE IN CONGRESS NEEDS TO GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    13. Grace, Florida says:

      Yep – let's get them all out in 2010. New blood can't be any worse than what we've got now. The Socialist Party is running all over us and the Republican Pary is as quiet as mice. Get them out.

    14. Tom Nally says:

      Polynonymous wrote: "there’s no reason you can’t easily do 40MPG in a minivan with today’s tech."

      If a car company could "easily do it", and put it on dealer lots at a price that buyers would be willing to pay, then it would already be done! Clearly, the obstacles are not necessarily technical per se, but have to do with marketing.

      Heck, for that matter, a manufacturer could probably produce a "minivan" that got 80 miles per gallon. But to get there, you would probably have to make the frame out of titanium, the body out of light-weight plastic, install a solar array on the roof, and cut holes in the floor so that passengers could provide an assist by pushing with their feet. Even with all these "features", the ticket price might be 150 grand.

      Technically, a car company can produce just about any vehicle imaginable, provided that research and production budgets are unlimited, and it doesn't matter whether anyone wants to buy the vehicle or not!

      But that's not how car companies work. Car companies are businesses. They are owned by shareholders. Who are these shareholders? They are cops, truck drivers, teachers, accountants, nurses, secretaries and public employees. They are widows and orphans. They are also your mom and your dad.

      Ownership of a company, any company, involves risks. A shareholder will put his hard-earned assets at risk with the hope of making a return. In order for a car company, or any company, to provide a return to its shareholders, it must produce products that customers are willing to buy, and produce them at a cost which is less than the sticker price.

      That's why our new car lots are not filled with 40mpg minivans.

      If anyone believes that a 40mpg minivan can be produced at a cost that is attractive to new car buyers, then they should give the auto manufacturers this secret so that they can begin design and production immediately.

      —Tom Nally, New Orleans

    15. Jan De Lacy Chattano says:

      How arrogant indeed Michael.

      Everyday another step closer down the slippery slope to socialism.

      Has anyone been looking for another country to flee when we have to give up our beloved country?

      Ronald Reagan undid all of Carter's foolhardiness but this stuff will not be undone – SAD.

    16. Maria, NC says:

      Why isn't the President also demanding that Mrs. Pelosi and Mr. Reid take Amtrak home on weekends rather than emission spewing huge planes? Air Trak One? Oops, I just remembered that the Socialist Elite never apply government restrictions on themselves.

      I'll buy a hybrid when I can fit my SUV load of car poolers or 19 bales of pine needles into it. I am NOT too stupid to weigh the cost benefit of size and safety versus fuel efficiency all by myself.

      Tragically, Socialists don't understand free market economics, supply/demand/price curves, or the value of maximizing one's utility curve in the Pursuit of Happiness. Even the Founding Father's instinctively understood Economics 101.

    17. Fred,Michigan says:

      Yes Eli, they are.

    18. Tim AZ says:

      For one to believe that he or she will save money at the gas pump because of increased gas mileage forced on everyone. Demonstrates an extreme intellectual laziness. When fuel consumption decreases so does the tax revenue. Do you children really think your Messiah and the rest of govt. will do with less revenue? When they have clearly demonstrated that their appetite for for power and money is greater than all the presidents and representatives combined this country has ever had. And accomplished it in less than 100 days. I don't give them hell. I give them the truth. They just think its hell.

    19. John Roane Sarasota says:

      If I am lucky enough to be driving when the President's car idea is in force no matter what that is, I will be happy to drive any vehicle.

      Although my idea is better, when all members of the US Congress, all elected officials, and Federal employees are driving his cars then and only then will I. In the meantime if he is seriously about global warming and in fact believes it to be caused by man, all fossil fuel burning vehicles should be banned and let the economy settle it. It’s time for him to show some courage putting his life (political life) on the line for his country.

      The same can be said for his health care plan. When all the US Congress and Federal Employees have been on his health for one year the same planned should be applied to all citizens and I will accept that. But wait a minute I am already on his plan. As a 100% disabled American Veteran the VA is taking care of all my health issues currently although not very well. Maybe we should just have the US Congress go on my VA health plan for one year. After which the US Congress can review how acceptable it is for them and everyone else. Oh, wait a minute they have already year after year told the American Public we have a fantastic health plan for our American Veterans. If the US Congress and the President believe they provide the very best for our American Veterans who defend this nation's citizens and the US Constitution shouldn’t it be good enough for all? Just a thought.

      With Memorial Day once again upon us I ask you to join me in praying for our War Dead. Please remember what they gave so you could live free under the full force of the US Constitution. Amen.

    20. Andy Colon, O Fallon says:

      Obama dusted off FDR's playbook and is following it exactly. FDR failed to transform this nation into a socialist state but Obama is on the road to try again and unless exposed he will succeed where FDR failed. Two books all Republicans and Conservatives must read are: 'New Deal or Raw Deal' by Barry Fulsom and 'Traitor to his Class' by H.W. Brands. The blueprints to where Obama wants to take this country are in these books.

    21. FCWatson says:

      The usurper is clearly a buffoon and anyone who voted for this idiot; I hope is dearly paying the price.

    22. Anita Dailey, Tyler, says:

      What about people living in areas that require a 4 wheel drive vehicle to get up a mountian to their house……..I lived in Colorado for 8 years and we HAD to have 4 wheel drives to do just that.

    23. John Winston S says:

      To Spiritof76: The Obama clan is going to take care of our breathing by telling us in his health plan who will breath and who will die. He will set up a new tarp to tell us we aren't worth keeping around. That is going to be another story. Who will and who will not.

      Get rid of all of them.

      They think we are all stupid and can't think for ourselves. Look at what we have done, now.

    24. Shane York, PA says:

      If people are looking for economical cars that get better than the "Mandated" gas mileage, may I suggest the Ford Focus. I'm not a car dealer or affiliated with Ford at all. Actually, I was never even a fan of Ford, until now.

      A couple of years ago, I had to turn in my company truck and get a car. I looked for the most economical thing I could find. Not because of shrinking ice caps or spotted owls, but for the fact I'd be putting on 80 to 90 miles round trip everyday for my new job, and didn't want to give up an arm and a leg for gas. I found a used Focus and haven't looked back since. It said 34 MPG on the info card, but I get 36-38 depending on the drive. I can cram four kids and two adults in it and have room for a weeks worth of groceries. I can't get 2X4's or sheets of drywall in there yet, but I'll figure it out.

      The best part is, the Federal Gov't didn't make me buy it and Ford refused thier "help" (so far). Now all I have to figure out is how to mount a trailer hitch.

    25. ra,ohio says:

      Obama stated several times during the campaign that his "time frame" to implement his policies was two years.

      He knew his policies would piss off the American People to the extent he could lose his liberal majorities in congress, and lose his dictatorial power over the country.

      His intrusions into the private sector are despicable and communistic.

      He will take this country back 50 years economically if we let him.

    26. A J Fisher, Minneapo says:

      Hows that hope and change working for you?? I just wonder how much freedom the American people are willing to give. I got an idea.. HOW ABOUT WE DRILL ON OUR OWN PROPERTY, then we will no longer be "addicted" to gasoline from other countries.

    27. LW, Newport News VA says:

      To Worldbfreeme—No, gas is not going to cost less! Look at the EU. For decades Europeans have been driving tiny cars. Gas in Europe has always been significantly higher than in the U.S. Let's just say that these little tin cans will get better gas mileage. So we fill up less. Okay. What happens to the income stream to the local, state & federal governments who collect billions from the gas tax? It goes DOWN. So like governments everywhere, they will hike the tax. Gas goes up and up and up. Never mind that these cars are expensive to fix, do NOT get nearly the great mileage predicted, and have been found to pollute every bit as much as an older gas-guzzling SUV. And try replacing that battery. Last person I talked to said he was going to pay $10,000 for a new one for his hybrid. Yeah, this is really saving the consumer a lot of money. Give me the old-fashioned method of producing a car—the consumer through his purchase decides which models are successful and which bomb. Obama in his quest for power, absolute power, cannot allow us to decide anything. Anyone know of a decent freedom-loving foreign country to move to?

    28. Stephenie, Deer Par says:

      For those of you thrilled about the so called $2800 savings over the life of the car, you need to remember 80% of Americans don't keep a car more than 3-4 yrs. Also Assuming you mightreally get that you have to factor the $1300 more the car would cost you to buy because of the technology needed. That cuts your savings down to $1500 (if you keep the car 10 yrs) Oh and don't forget by 2016 gas will cost at least $5 a gallon so that turns your savings into a loss. Air no cleaner but you'll be poorer.

    29. Jordan, DC says:

      For those of you scared of the "socialist" path that you believe us to be walking down, here are a few things you would need to eliminate to keep our country truly a capitalist nation:

      - Eliminate all public funding for education. We would eliminate public schools, and every child's access to education would be completely dependent a parent's ability to pay.

      - Eliminate guaranteed police, fire, and ambulance services. Unless the situation is life threatening, you would be required to provide proof of insurance or ability to pay. This would include elimination of protection against crimes like robbery and fraud and small fires.

      - Implementation of toll-sidewalks. Citizens would be charged a fee for walking on public streets, or be required to purchase monthly passes, similar to the EZ pass lanes on the freeway. This would enable us to greatly reduce city taxes. If you drive to work or don't visit downtown, why should you have to pay for its upkeep?

      - Fees for judicial services. Tax revenue currently funding judicial services would be eliminated, and citizens would be responsible for hiring prosecution to privately investigate grievances.

      These are only a few of the things provided by tax revenue that most of us enjoy. If you wish to live somewhere where behavior allowances are based solely on money, I suggest you move to a less developed nation, where the divide between rich and poor is greater and money can buy anything. Just make sure to avoid Canada, most of Western Europe, and just about anywhere else in the world that is considered "developed" and has a happy, diverse, educated population.

    30. S. Baker says:

      A client of mine just came into the Bank and informed me that the company he purchased, the former owner had a chemical leak that he was not aware of before purchase. The Government said he would have to clean it up and pay the fines associated with it. After fighting for months, The government shows up to say "Congratulations you are on the top of our list to get some of Obamas stimulus funds granted to Pennsylvania, We will clean up the mess for you and wave the fees!" Now why would they do that? He replied all I have to do is(Now pay attention)agree to give them undisclosed profits in the future if the company performs well. He took the deal!!!! We as a country are doomed. We deserve to perish if our citizens are this dumb. Now you might ask if I had told him my opinion, the answer is yes, but to a sheep, free is free, right?

    31. pockets64, Virginia says:

      We are all making the mistake in assuming the President wants us to drive smaller cars. I have the strongest feeling he doesn't want us to drive at all.

      For a totalitarian government to work, they must restrict our communications. That includes travel. Take our cars away from us, we are stuck in our parts of the cities or counties we in which we live.

      The Fairness Doctrine is probably already in the works. Can you say, "required transition to digital AM radio?"

      That's my aluminum foil hat rant. My mind's worst-case vision.

      I certainly hope I am wrong.

    32. pockets64, Virginia says:

      Hey, Jordan in DC…

      This is the same logic Obama has been using to soak us even more… "Look! Bush spent tons of money! Now you cannot complain when I make that look like chump change!"

      Police and the judiciary are actually in the Constitution.

      As for free parking on the streets… most of the land the streets are made on were taken away by eminent domain. It is only polite to let people park on land that was originally theirs. There was not always the Constitutionally mandated reimbursement for that land.

      But that gets to the whole bitter point of your comment: you are posting from the point of view that the government owns it all and that as a "true capitalist" society, the government sells access to what it owns. The truth is that our government is supposed to own very little. Look at how much stink was raised when they tried to raise funds to build frigates to fight the Barbary pirates. You don't want to get started on the XYZ Affair!

      Spend some time in smaller towns and see just how little those municipalities own.

      The decades of creeping socialism that has been foisted upon this nation do not justify the sudden lurch to the left to which we are now being treated.

    33. BrianT in NY says:

      Hmmm, there’s some good ideas there, but we should go one step further:

      - Eliminate the Department of Education and all the bureaucrats running it (into the ground). Eliminate the Teacher’s Unions power over the dissemination of curriculums into our local schools and maybe start teaching our children to read, write and actually know how to do basic math without a calculator. This is a great idea.

      - I’m amazed you think we all actually have guaranteed police, fire and ambulance services. There’s a volunteer fire department where I live and it works really well. We have for-profit ambulance services were we pay for any services we use AND we pay for any services used by those who don’t have the ability to pay – through higher costs and/or higher Medicaid extortions from our paychecks. As for police protection, I’d really sad to have to inform you that you do not have any right, as an individual, to Police protection. Yes, your own Supreme Court has said so. See: DESHANEY v. WINNEBAGO CTY. SOC. SERVS. DEPT., 489 U.S. 189 (1989). This has repeatedly been reaffirmed by both State and Federal courts.

      - I don’t have sidewalks where I live. Wahhhhhhh. I want sidewalks. I think the government should tax you more so that I can have sidewalks. It’s not fair that they tax me for your sidewalks and I don’t get any. Come to think of it, I don’t have central (read: government run) water, sewer, garbage collection and electric services either. The government should *definitely* tax you more so we can be equal.

      - There’s a wealth of information, readily available to any interested parties, on how a private judicial system could work to the advantage of all, over the loot-and-plunder-by-tort system we have now. Capital crimes could stay under the jurisdiction of the local, State and Federal judicial systems as now constituted.

      - You mean we don’t already HAVE a system “where behavior allowances are based solely on money”? Do really believe that any of the Wall Street Bankers who run the Federal Reserve System, and who repeatedly transfer back and forth between Wall Street and the U.S. Treasury department are EVER going to even be indicted, nevermind convicted, for their massive ripoffs of the American People?

    34. Steve, GA says:

      Sorry, LW. You have two chances to find a decent freedom-loving foreign country to move to…..slim and none. And slim is out of town!

    35. Hope Rodriguez,Holla says:


    36. Ben C, Ann Arbor, MI says:

      Jordan: the Constitution clearly defines the purpose and function of government. The problem is that the "regulate interstate commerce" provision has morphed into social agendas. I will be happy if we regress back to the original document. Unfortuntely, for those living the "welfare state" they will find the free ride is over.

      The War between the North and South was not so much about slavery as it was about unfair taxation. The South was supporting the North through agricultural taxation and the South got tired of the taxes. While slavery was morally wrong it provided a work force to produce the goods for sale abroad. Of course, history books teach that it was about slavery and not taxation. Today we face the same problem about over taxation and it is "global warming" not slavery that is the banner.

      I am taking really good care of my SUV. Don't think I will be buying a Barrymobile.

    37. Barb, Arizona says:

      I've a 1996 4 cylinder Toyota Camry and get 29 mpg. I'm also 72 years old and bought my car strictly for comfort because of a very bad back and that comes with lots of pain. But President Obama is going to take care of me and my car with his health plan. He'll deny me the right to live because of age and various health issues and being dead I won't do anything to hurt his global warming efforts.This man will be the death of us all with his dislike of our country and our constitution. He's made blunders that the press and the liberals would have crucified any other President for. He got elected on charm not common sense. I'll vote either ticket as long as the candidate is for America and does right for her people. I don't think this man is.

    38. Dave, Bellingham, Wa says:

      CAFE standards have not decreased, at all, oil consumption. In fact, industry response to the original legislation led to the creation of the SUV, a vehicle larger and less fuel-economy-focused than would have been the vehicles created by the market, which would have been more fuel efficient and smaller in form-factor. Their existence would, however, have led to violations of fuel economy standards.

      My opinion is this: The market should determine fuel economy standards.

    39. John, Colorado says:

      75% of the gasoline in an internal combustion engine is burned in the catalytic converter.

      75% of the oil is left in the average oil deposit when it is rendered "depleted"

      The Bakken Formation has enough oil the last the U.S. 30 years, at 19.5 million bbl/year use rate.

      We need engines designed to thermocatalytically crack gasoline in a carburetor, and burn the simple alkane gases with water vapor to reduce combustion temperature, then we'd have 100 mpg cars.

      We need to fully exploit our own oil resources, then we'd be saving about 500 billion a year that goes to fund people who hate us in the Middle East.

      Finally, we need to do the "Federal Reserve", at force of the nation's arms, what Hugo Chavez is doing to industry in Venezeula, NATIONALIZE IT.

    40. David VanNorman Wi says:

      Let's get back to the Contitution . Throw the bums out.

    41. John, Colorado says:

      19.5 million bbl/day, sorry

    42. Kevin, Addison,TX says:

      In the end, we will see the president slink off into the sunset, with his tail between his legs. Where does he get off trying to tell the American people what kind of car to drive. GM and Chrysler are headed for disaster as long as king Obama is in charge. Rock the vote in 2010.

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