• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • President Obama Doesn’t Want to Run the Auto Industry - But He Continues To Do It

    At a speech at a General Motors Assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio, President Obama restated his regret for government interference in the auto industry claiming the decision was out of necessity rather than choice. In what many called a campaign-like speech, the President asserted:

    As I’ve said before, I didn’t run for president to manage auto companies. It wasn’t something on my to-do list. It wasn’t even something on my want-to-do list. I like driving cars — sometimes, you know, I can change a spark plug or change a tire, but I don’t know so much about cars that I wanted to be deeply involved in the car industry.”

    As long as we’re restating things, let’s take another look at the government’s involvement in the auto industry. There was the $81 billion in government aid that won’t be repaid according to a Congressional Oversight Panel report that was critical “of the way the program was (and is) run. Among these: a failure to define the goals or criteria for the bailout, lack of transparency, and a lack of an exit strategy — leaving the question of when (if ever) the government will be selling its ownership stakes in GM and Chrysler. The report also questioned the government’s ability — as part-owner of these firms in a competitively-neutral hands-off manner, recommending that ownership be transferred to an independent trust.”

     

    Then there was the ‘successful’ cash for clunkers subsidy that destroyed perfectly good cars, distorted the used car market, affected charities relying on cars as donations, and provided dubious environmental benefits.

    And just after he said he didn’t want to be “deeply involved in the car industry, Obama and his administration unveiled new clean air and fuel-economy standards that will certainly affect how American companies operate and lead us to more command and control driven agendas that restrict choice as opposed to letting the auto companies adjust on their own to meet consumer demand. The new standards, starting with 2012 models, would “push corporate average fuel economy, or CAFE, standards to a fleetwide average of 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016, four years ahead of the schedule Congress laid out in a 2007 energy law.”

    There’s a simple reason we have so many models of cars in the market today. Consumers have different preferences and it’s the auto industries job to meet those preferences. Some prefer more miles to the gallon. Others prefer safety. These new government regulations certainly do a good job of restricting consumer choice and at the same time they raise the production costs for automakers. Fortunately for them, (unfortunately for the taxpayer), the Waxman-Markey cap and trade bill includes provisions allowances to subsidize cost of requipping, retooling and expanding manufacturers’ facilities to produce “advanced technology vehicles.”

    It’s been one handout after the next couple with costly regulations that could very well make more handouts necessary to keep the automakers alive. For someone who doesn’t know too much about cars, that’s a lot of planning the industry.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    14 Responses to President Obama Doesn’t Want to Run the Auto Industry - But He Continues To Do It

    1. Bobbie JAY says:

      This was a matter of NECESSITY NOT OF CHOICE?????

      WHO'S NECESSITY? Did the government offer? Or did the industries ask? Part of the industry is to take their lumps. That's freedom in a private business OF NO GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION: responsibility, accountability.

      Why, IN THE FIRST PLACE, would the government offer to fund an industry that government insists is creating global warming?

      So the government can take it over with trickled down mandates!

    2. Normca says:

      UAW – that is why the government gave 81 billion dollars to two companies. Look at who has benefited from Obama and who else he wants to control. Those are the entities receiving money from the government. President Bush, at what he saw, with the help of Hank Paulson [from Wall Street] as a real emergency at the end of his 8 years acted to help. Obama and Emanuel saw and still see an opportunity to move an agenda [to take advantage of people hurting]. The UAW got a high per centage o f ownership in one car company, while dumping the real owners, while the other car company was given away to a foreign government. The union will receive free health insurance. The unions gave millions to the Obama campaign. And its the unions that have depleted all of our buying power by seeking more and more benefits for members and their own power. We do not need unions anymore in this country. The should go the way of the Edsel.

    3. Jeanne Stotler, wood says:

      He wants to be President of the World, he needs to be watched carefully, this man has MANY HIDDEN AGENDAS.

    4. Mary,Cleveland, OH says:

      Is it even legal for the government to run car companies? Isn't this unconstitutional?

    5. Jim says:

      HIS WALL STREET SPEECH DIDN'T MENTION THE GOVT'S

      (DODD, FRANK, CLINTON, CARTER) CONTRIBUTION TO THE

      CRASH, WHICH ACTUALLY WAS THE TRUE CAUSE. WHAT A

      LIAR.!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    6. Dave Chelsea, MI says:

      The latest commercial offering from GM is a "money back guarantee" for anyone purchasing an automobile from GM who is in any way dissatisfied with the product. While there are “details” surrounding this offering, would GM be in position to make this offer IF they were not in reality, Government Motors. I strongly believe this type offer is an example of the competitive disadvantage companies without Government (taxpayer) money backing their act are faced with due the unprecedented action by the U.S. Government taking over companies in the private sector.

      Hopefully Comrades, we will see the Government exit their ownership positions in these companies as soon as possible before they wreak additional havoc.

    7. Ben C, Ann Arbor says:

      Notice the teleprompter in the picture? I wonder who wrote the speech?

    8. Pingback: Wednesday, September 16, 2009 — ExposeTheMedia.com

    9. Jerry from Chicago says:

      Mr. Obama's inexperience and ignorance in the finance industry, the banking industry, the anti-pollution industry and the insurance industry didn't stop him from plunging into those fields, why should we be surprised that he has plunged into the auto industry?

      His inexperience in foreign policy, the military and even government itself is staggering. Yet, undaunted by his overwhelming inexperience, Mr. Obama also plunges headlong into these areas. Kissing up to our socialistic neighbors like Castro and Chavez, confessing to American arrogance, dismissiveness and derisiveness to France, Germany, Spain and probably to Lichtenstein and Bohemia, giving the Queen of England an IPod (complete with recordings of Mr. Obama's speeches – a $29.95 value at Best Buy) as a gift from the American people and telling Isreal, our only ally in the Middle-East, to keep its hands off Iran, while he bows to the Prince of Saudi Arabia (the country that provided the worker bees for 9/11) and sends millions in foreign aid to Hammas. Yes, one must admire the shrewdness of these Presidential moves.

    10. Ross writes from B says:

      Obama has blatantly over-reached his constitutional authority. Few today know that when Andrew Jackson forced the Cherokee nation out the southeast at gunpoint, the Nation took him to the Supreme Court who ruled in their favor. Jackson continued on with the force removal, leading to the "Trail of Tears". When asked by reporters concerning the Supreme Court ruling, it was reported that Jackson said, "Chief Justice Marshall has his priorities and I have mine." That is also about the time the famed Davy Crockett fell out with Jackson leading to his famous farewell quote to congress; "you can go to hell; I'm going to Texas."

      The point, Jackson as the Chief Executive/Commander-in-Chief, ignored the ruling of the Supreme Court knowing nothing would become of it. Why? Because he had an overwhelming majority of his party members in the congress that would not contest his move.

      Today, the time is right for it to happen again and it will!

      Jackson was for Jackson and the rugged individualism he represented, no matter what!

      Obama is for Obama and the facist philosphy he represents, no matter what!

      Oh yes! Jackson was also a Democrat as was the majority of congress in his day. This president agenda is much more dangerous for the survival of the nation than Jackson's and his party is the majority in both houses of congress. And unlike Crockett, it wouldn't do us any good to go to Texas today.

    11. Pingback: EPA to Impose Global Warming Regulations: Will Congress Intervene? | Old People News

    12. Pingback: Amendment X » 2009 » October » 07

    13. AB Bradley USA, Kans says:

      Isn't This Fair?

      I was not in favor of the Stimulus Package, but that’s beside the point. We have it, my question or suggestion is to our elected officials. The government “bailout”….. “referred to as a Loan,” that we the people; me, you and our elected officials, we all have in fact a stock/ownership position in GM, The Banking Industry, and Wall Street brokerages firms. That is what the purchase of “stock” represents a “value” of the company’s “overall value.” Then why not return, to all the Taxpayers, our dollars that made it possible to fund the transaction that purchased “stock, loan instruments, or securities?” The Federal Government is holding some instruments that collateralize “The Bailout Loans” with these companies. Therefore, as we continue to pay our income taxes, that we the taxpayer receive “stock-mutual funds-securities” in exchange. As every dollar goes into the federal coffers (stock, mutual fund, security) goes to we the people. Thus allow we the taxpayer that funded the loans become the ones to receive the benefits of ownership in rebuilding the American Dream. Would the higher taxed incomes receive more shares? Absolutely, the model for this has already worked in The United States, World War II with “War Bonds;” much in the same way during the war did the wealth buy more bonds? Sure they did, they where investing in their country’s freedom, just as 60 years ago. The “Great Depression” ended with the war, our economy today will recover much quicker with the American People seeing themselves and their child as Stockholders in The American Dream. Last, if you owned your own business wouldn’t you buy from yourself? The American People have ownership not only their own business, but their future looks brighter as we continue to see our business grow.

    14. Pingback: EPA to Impose Global Warming Regulations: Will Congress Intervene? | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×