Dan Gainor

American car companies will be forced to cut size, cut luxuries and make all-around worse cars to meet these draconian mandates.

The only reason Obama can do this backed by smiling auto execs is because, thanks to the bailouts, he’s now their unofficial boss. We now have, in the words of a friend of mine, “Twelve lawyers and a community organizer deciding what cars we get to drive.”

The only group my friend left out were the eco-nuts who are thrilled by the Obama move and clearly had a seat at the table. The environmental groups probably created decades’ worth of carbon dioxide crowing about the decision on every news outlet available. Network after network reported the story like it was good environmental news. NBC called its segment “Clearing the Air.” Journalists parroted the White House line that “President Obama is uniting federal and state governments, the auto industry, labor unions and the environmental community.”

Left out of that equation are taxpayers who have to fund this atrocity and car buyers who will be fighting tooth and claw over the last decent cars left on used car lots.

They’ll have to buy used because the new Obama rules will add $1,300 to the cost of each automobile. That seems an important point. But it’s buried, glossed-over or flat-out ignored by the news reporting because such facts are insignificant to network reporters. But it’s not insignificant if you want to buy a car. In the middle of a recession, our president is striving to make one of the most important purchases that much harder for working people. The Smart Fortwo car (you know it’s a lefty car because they spell it like e.e. cummings would as “smart fortwo”) costs $11,990 base. Tack on $1,300 and that’s almost an 11 percent increase. So much for making an inexpensive car that ordinary people can drive.

Ultimately, this remains what NBC’s Brian Williams called a “truck and SUV nation.” The only way to change that is either making better small cars or by force of law. Obama and his lefty supporters don’t have a clue how to make cars, but they know enough about law to make you buy whatever they make.

Dan Gainor

Dan Gainor is The Boone Pickens Free Market Fellow and director of the Media Research Center’s Business & Media Institute.