Obama’s Sneaky, Deadly, Costly Car Tax – Michelle Malkin – Townhall.com


Obama’s Sneaky, Deadly, Costly Car Tax – Michelle Malkin – Townhall.com.

While all eyes were on the Republican National Convention in Tampa and Hurricane Isaac on the Gulf Coast, the White House was quietly jacking up the price of automobiles and putting future drivers at risk.

Yes, the same cast of fable-tellers who falsely accused GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney of murdering a steelworker’s cancer-stricken wife is now directly imposing a draconian environmental regulation that will cost untold American lives.

On Tuesday, the administration announced that it had finalized “historic” new fuel efficiency standards. (Everything’s “historic” with these narcissists, isn’t it?) President Obama took a break from his historic fundraising drives to proclaim that “(by) the middle of the next decade, our cars will get nearly 55 miles per gallon, almost double what they get today. It’ll strengthen our nation’s energy security, it’s good for middle-class families, and it will help create an economy built to last.”

Jon Carson, director of Obama’s Office of Public Engagement, took to Twitter to hype how “auto companies support the higher fuel-efficiency standards” and how the rules crafted behind closed doors will “save consumers $8,000” per vehicle. His source for these claims? The New York Times, America’s Fishwrap of Record, which has acknowledged it allows the Obama campaign to have “veto power” over reporters’ quotes from campaign officials.

And whom did the Times cite for the claim that the rules will “save consumers $8,000”? Why, the administration, of course! “The administration estimated that the new standards would save Americans $1.7 trillion in fuel costs,” the Times dutifully regurgitated, “resulting in an average savings of more than $8,000 a vehicle by 2025.”

The Obama administration touts the support of the government-bailed-out auto industry for these reckless, expensive regs. What they want you to forget is that the “negotiations” (read: bullying) with White House environmental radicals date back to former Obama green czar Carol Browner’s tenure — when she infamously told auto industry execs “to put nothing in writing, ever” regarding their secret CAFE talks.

Obama’s number-massagers cite phony-baloney cost savings that rely on developing future fuel-saving technology. Given this crony government’s abysmal track record in “investing” in new technologies (cough — Solyndra — cough), we can safely dismiss that fantasy math. What is real for consumers is the $2,000 per vehicle added cost that the new fuel standards will impose now. That figure comes from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

War on Middle-Class Consumers, anyone?

Beyond the White House-media lapdog echo chamber, the economic and public safety objections to these sweeping rules are long grounded and well founded.

For years, free-market analysts and government statisticians have warned of the deadly effect of increasing corporate auto fuel economy standards (CAFE). Sam Kazman at the Competitive Enterprise Institute explained a decade ago: “(T)he evidence on this issue comes from no less a body than the National Academy of Sciences, which issued a report last August finding that CAFE contributes to between 1,300 and 2,600 traffic deaths per year. Given that this program has been in effect for more than two decades, its cumulative toll is staggering.”

H. Sterling Burnett of the National Center for Policy Analysis adds that NHTSA data indicate that “322 additional deaths per year occur as a direct result of reducing just 100 pounds from already downsized small cars, with half of the deaths attributed to small car collisions with light trucks/sport utility vehicles.” USA Today further calculated that the “size and weight reductions of passenger vehicles undertaken to meet current CAFE standards had resulted in more than 46,000 deaths.”

These lethal regulations should be wrapped in yellow police “CAUTION” tape. The tradeoffs are stark and simple: CAFE fuel standards clamp down on the production of larger, more crashworthy cars. Analysts from Harvard to the Brookings Institution to the federal government itself have arrived at the same conclusion: CAFE kills. Welcome to the bloody intersection between the Obama jobs death toll and the Obama green death toll.


GM Electric Car Battery Explodes, Again Raising Chevy Volt Questions – Tea Party Nation

GM Electric Car Battery Explodes, Again Raising Chevy Volt Questions – Tea Party Nation.

Editor’s Note: This first appeared on PJ Tatler.

On Wednesday, a General Motors (GM) lithium-ion battery exploded and caused a fire at a research facility near its Detroit headquarters.  Most unfortunately, two people were taken to the hospital – one faces life-threatening injuries.

Lithium-ion batteries like this one are used by GM in the Chevy Volt.  Making this just the latest in a long line of Volt fire problems.

“The headlines are not positive for lithium-ion and General Motors,” Dennis Virag, president of Automotive Consulting Group in Ann Arbor, Michigan, said in a telephone interview. “It does bring up the subject of the dangers associated with batteries.”

Indeed it does.  Let us review these Volt dangers, shall we?

The Chevy Volt entered the market in December 2010.  There were in 2011 (at least) six Volt fires.  GM and the Barack Obama Administration acknowledged only one – a battery fire after a test crash.

And only after squelching word of that fire for six months, announcing it only when Bloomberg News was about to break the story.

The Obama Administration was in full GM damage control mode.  Obama’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reviewed the one fire and – shocker – declared GM and the Volt good to go.

But what about the other fires?

NHTSA themselves had two other test fires.In April, 2011 a Volt burst into flames.  Twice.

A $800,000 garage fire in Mooresville, North Carolina led the local power company to warn its customers to stop using the Volt charging stations until they knew they were safe.

And there were throughout 2011 multiple overheating Volt power cords, reaching temperatures upwards of 158* Fahrenheit and causing second degree burns.  Fire hazards – waiting to happen.

GM and the Obama Administration were aware of all of these incidents.  Yet NHTSA investigated none of them.


And because GM and the Obama Administration repeatedly kicked this dangerous, flaming can down the road, GM has spent most of 2012 in full-on Volt repair mode.

In January, GM “called back” every single Volt ever sold in the U.S., to fix the allegedly already “fixed” battery.

This is a customer satisfaction program, which is voluntary, that we’re choosing to do,” explained the automaker’s Mary Barra during a conference call Thursday morning.

But that didn’t fix the problem either.  So in March Chevrolet announced they were replacing the power cords for nearly every single Volt ever sold in the U.S.

GM spokesman Randal Fox told Reuters …”It’s just an effort to offer a more consistent charging experience. It’s not a safety recall. It’s more of a customer-satisfaction program,” Fox said.

“Customer satisfaction program” must be the GM equivalent of President Obama’s “Let me be clear.”  Only more perilous.


General Motors and the Obama Administration have spent the entire life of the Chevy Volt minimizing and obfuscating a hazardous Chevy Volt fire problem.

We still don’t know what that problem is.

What we do know is that two people were just grievously injured by a Volt-style battery explosion.

And that GM is still selling the Chevy Volt.

PR Fail: Former GM Exec Scrambles to Explain Away Chevy Volt Fire(s) – Tea Party Nation

PR Fail: Former GM Exec Scrambles to Explain Away Chevy Volt Fire(s) – Tea Party Nation.

Bob Lutz is a good man.  A Swiss-born immigrant American success story.

He’s held big gigs at BMW and Ford.  He also worked way up the food chain at (now $85 billion bailed-out) Chrysler and General Motors (GM) – retiring as GM’s Vice Chairman in 2010.

And he has recently written a piece:

Chevy Volt And The Wrong-Headed Right

…in vociferous defense of the Chevy Volt.

You know, the more-than-$200,000 in government-subsidies-per-unit-sold Volt.

The overproducedunprofitableunpopularcombustible Volt.  (And January 2011’s sales were no less disappointing.)

That Chevy Volt.

Are we on the Right wrong-headed?  Let’s take Mr. Lutz’s piece piecemeal and see.

The recent media coverage of so-called “Chevrolet Volt fires,” especially by the conservative talk shows and Fox News, has attracted my attention and ire.

Let’s set out the facts (and feel free to check them yourself):

Don’t mind if we do.

1) Not one Chevrolet Volt has ever caught fire in normal use or in accidents. Not a single one.

Fundamentally untrue, as we laid out in great detail after last week’s House Oversight Volt hearing.

From our piece:

There were in fact three other, private-owner Volt fires.  None of which involved Volts that were in crashes.

These three fires involved Volts that were simply garaged or recharging – i.e. “in normal use.”

More from Mr. Lutz:

2) The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), even after the highly artificial crash test (placing the car on its back, even though it did not roll over in the test) nevertheless awarded the Volt NHTSA’s highest crash-safety rating: 5 stars. Volt is supremely safe.

But there wasn’t just one NHTSA fire – there were three.

More from us:

The one NHTSA Volt fire discussed at the hearing was not the only NHTSA Volt fire that occurred.  In November, there were two others.

After conducting three different tests two weeks ago, the NHTSA found that the Volt’s battery either caught fire or began to smoke in two out of the three.

So that’s three Volt fires – all in the hands of the Obama Administration, all after crashes.

For a grand total of six Volt fires (about which we know).

And excuse us for being slightly suspect of the Government’s Five Star rating of Government Motors.

Especially when NHTSA, the Barack Obama White House and GM all covered-up the Volt fire(s) for nearly six months.

Especially when President Barack Obama is campaigning for reelection on the $85 billion auto industry bailout… and showing up at car shows to do it.  So bad news for the Volt and Government Motors is bad news for him and his reelect.

So, again, excuse our suspicion.

More from Mr. Lutz:

3) The crashed Volt, its battery shorted by coolant from the period unjustifiably spent “feet up,” caught fire three weeks after said test. (I submit that this would provide adequate time for surviving passengers to exit the vehicle.)

Again, what about the other five fires?  Three of which were just plugged in or garaged – “in normal use?”

Mr. Lutz:

4) On average, 278,000 cars with gasoline engines caught fire in the U.S. each year between 2003 and 2007, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

True – but gasoline engines are a long-known commodity.  Lithium-ion battery cars are not.

And when the Obama Administration and GM have spent half the Volt’s shelf life covering up Volt flameouts, it certainly warrants additional attention.

Mr. Lutz:

5) No factory-produced electric vehicle has ever caught fire, to the best of my knowledge.

As we’ve just demonstrated, Mr. Lutz needs to better his knowledge.

And Mr. Lutz is making a blanket assertion – applicable beyond just the Volt to all electric cars.  Is he really comfortable going that far?

Mr. Lutz:

6) The Volt, the most technologically advanced car on the planet, was conceived by me and my team well before any federal bailout of GM.

Is the pride of creative authorship clouding Mr. Lutz’s judgement?

I’m not sure the Volt is the “most technologically advanced car on the planet” – given that the 1891 electric Morrison had a better battery range than the Volt.

The Volt was in fact conceived by Mr. Lutz and his team, in 2007.  But I notice, Mr. Lutz, that you didn’t rush to mass-produce it, did you?  It existed only as a visual aide for auto shows – not for actual for-sale production.

Only with the arrival of President Obama – and We the People’s $50 billion – did Volts find their way to the mass-assembly line.

Mr. Lutz:

These are the bedrock facts.

Yours aren’t.  Ours are.

Mr. Lutz:

Now, how did the U.S. right-wing media choose to report this admittedly headline-tempting news?

A nationally syndicated editorial three-panel cartoon stated (I believe I remember the sequence): “Thomas Edison discovered electricity;” then, “Alexander Graham Bell discovered the telephone;” and, in the third panel, “But it took the US Government to discover fire!” (accompanied by a drawing of a burning Chevy Volt).

Come on, that cartoon is just FUNNY.

Mr. Lutz then goes into some detail about Rush Limbaugh and Lou Dobbs (appearing on Bill O’Reilly’s Fox News Channel show) publicly decrying the Volt.

Then Mr. Lutz writes:

Much air time was spent on the $50 billion-plus (GM) bailout, which, the audience was left to assume, “funded” the Volt, doubtlessly at the whim of Obama’s known army of evil enviro-Nazis, intent on forcing vehicle electrification on a good-ole’-boy, V8-lovin’ populace.

Again, the Lutz-era GM created the Volt – but never mass-produced it.  Obama and the bailout arrived – and suddenly Government Motors is (sort-of) selling Volts.

Clearly there is some electric vehicle forcing going on.  GM in 2011 produced about 10,000 Volts – and sold only 7,671.  And until very recently – when finally hounded into  submission-to-sales-reality – Akerson and GM were planning on upping 2012 Volt production to 60,000.

Sounds forced to me.

Mr. Lutz:

To top it off, these two media pros lamented the fact that the same government that had forced GM to produce the Volt was now extending $7,500 tax credits towards its purchase, thus squandering even more of “our taxpayer” dollars on this failed Socialist-collectivist flop. Truth? The $7,500 tax credit was enacted under the Bush administration!

True.  But again, you, Mr. Lutz, never produced the Volt for sale under the Bush Administration.  Only after you left, under Obama – when General Motors became with our coin Government Motors – did the foolish tax credit apply to the foolish Volt.

And we Right-wingers have long acknowledged – and publicly decried and lamented – many terrible Bush Administration policies.  The $7,500-per-foolish-car is but another.

Mr. Lutz:

But who the hell cares about facts when you’re in O’Reilly’s self-described “No Spin Zone?” (The fine print might as well read, “We said ‘no spin,’ not ‘no deliberate misstatement of facts.’ ”)

Again, as we have thoroughly demonstrated, it is the esteemed Mr. Lutz that is misstating and omitting facts.

Mr. Lutz:

What on Earth is wrong with the conservative media movement that it feels it’s OK to spread false information, OK to damage the reputation of perhaps the finest piece of mechanical technology our country has produced since the space shuttle, OK to hurt an iconic American company that is roaring back to global pre-eminence, OK to hurt American employment in Hamtramck, Mich., as long as it damages the Obama administration’s reputation?

It is Obama that is staking his reputation – and his reelection effort – on the $50 billion GM bailout and the Volt.

If our pointing out egregious, inconvenient facts is harmful thereto, it is simply happy collateral damage.

Mr. Lutz concludes:

While as a conservative Republican I may well share the goal, I deplore the means employed to attain it. The conservative cause damages itself, destroys its credibility through the expedient spreading of untruths. The public will figure it out.

The right-wing “talking heads”, O’Reilly and Limbaugh at the forefront, have managed to make me embarrassed to describe myself as a conservative.

Come on, you guys. Shape up! There’s plenty of legitimate fodder out there. Let’s leave the “invention of facts” to the left-wing climate-change alarmists.

Unfortunately for Mr. Lutz – and the Obama Administration – there are plenty of inconvenient truths about Government Motors, the Obama Administration bailout and the absurd Chevy Volt.

And we “wrong-headed” Right-wingers are the only ones delivering them.

Mr. Lutz is in need of but a minor recalibration.  The Chevy Volt he’s defending may be unrecoverable.

Pity the Democratic Party – Tea Party Nation

Pity the Democratic Party – Tea Party Nation.

By Alan Caruba

I actually pity the Democratic Party these days even though I think it has brought the nation to ruin because, as Joseph Curl recently noted in a Washington Times commentary, “Democrats must spend, spend, spend, and spend. It’s in their DNA.”

It got blown away in 1994 after forty years of control of the U.S. Congress when Newt Gingrich saved the nation from forty more. At the very least then-President Clinton has the political savvy to move to the center, earning a second term for himself.

This is not the case with President Obama who is running against a “do nothing” Congress to which he outsourced the writing of Obamacare, the stimulus programs, the budget, and, the most recent failure, the Super Committee which had been preceded by a blue ribbon commission whose recommendations he ignored.

Curl, like others, has come to the conclusion that Obama does not want to be reelected noting that this is the first President in the history of the nation to blame its present problems on Americans! While he campaigns furiously around the nation, he keeps telling voters that they are “lazy”, “a bit soft”, and have lost their “ambition and imagination.”

No, Americans are imagining what another four years of Obama would do to the nation and they don’t like what they see.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party is stuck with their “messiah” and having some very serious second thoughts about him. When two top Democratic pollsters and strategists, Patrick H. Caddell and Douglas Schoen, go on record to urge the President to step aside and allow someone else—like Hillary Clinton—to run for the office in 2012, you know the party is in serious trouble.

The media personality, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, gained everlasting fame when he declared early in Obama’s 2008 campaign that he felt “a tingle” go up his leg when he contemplated an Obama presidency. These days, Matthews is telling anyone who will listen that he doesn’t think either Barack or Michelle “like being in the White House.” Michelle made that clear early on, openly saying she hated it.

When the likes of Rep. Barney Frank announces he will not run for reelection, he has joined fifteen other Democrats in Congress bailing out before the 2012 national elections, knowing it will be a political bloodbath for the Party. Watch for still more to opt out as well.

The Democrats who controlled both houses of Congress when Obama took office in 2009 lost the House of Representatives in the 2010 midterm elections and saw a number of governorships go to Republicans. Unlike the Republicans who have numerous aspirants for the nomination, they have none. They are faced with spending millions to elect an unelectable President.

The chairwoman of the Democrat National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, is so astoundingly stupid that it is a reflection on the party as a whole. Despite the fact that she drives an 2010 Infiniti FX35, a Japanese luxury SUV, she declared “If it were up to the candidates for president on the Republican side, we would be driving foreign cars. They would have the auto industry in America go down the tubes.”

Meanwhile, Obama’s EPA just announced it is preempting Congress and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration by imposing a ruling that America’s fleet of passenger cars and light trucks must meet an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, a doubling of today’s average of 27 miles per gallon. The reason? Cars and light trucks emit a “pollutant”, carbon dioxide, a gas on which all life on Earth depends in equal message with oxygen.

The EPA rule, by the way, defies the laws of physics inasmuch as one can only get a finite amount of power from a gallon of gasoline. When you add ethanol to the mix, you get less mileage, all in the name of saving the planet.

The sole reason the Party will offer regarding why voters will desert Obama in November 2012 will be “racism.” Debbie Blabbermouth, ignoring the fact that Obama doubled and tripled the national debt and saw unemployment increase, has said, “people don’t like to deal with it, but the fact of the matter is—the president’s problems are in large measure because of the color of his skin.”

A lot of people voted for Barack Obama because he was black (well, actually half black). Now they will vote for whoever the Republican nominee is because Obama has exacerbated all the Democrat programs that have brought the nation to ruin.

As a longtime recovering Democrat who switched to the Republican Party during Ronald Reagan’s era, I almost feel sorry for the Party, but that is but a fleeting thought when I consider that it has saddled us with Barack Obama, Barney Frank, Maxine Waters, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and the likes of former Congressman Anthony Weiner, among others (Jimmy Carter!) too numerous to name.

© Alan Caruba, 2011