Congress will now engineer our automobiles, as well as decide which ones we can buy

Posted by Marc Hodak on March 2, 2010 under Innumeracy, Politics | Read the First Comment

The first premise of the story is ludicrous enough:  The Obama administration may require every new automobile sold in the United States to incorporate a brake override.

“We’re looking at it,” LaHood told the Senate Commerce Committee. “We think it is a good safety device.”

We?  You mean the auto designers and builders in the Department of Transportation,  that well-known bastion of quality manufacturing?  The agency that, according to Senator Rockefeller “would rather focus on floor mats than microchips because they understand floor mats?”  Those guys should be tasked with second-guessing Toyota’s engineers?  Please, please, please let me wager against any of them that the net effect of their interference on this will be a net loss of highway safety, with autos all over the nation’s highways suddenly stopping as drivers maneuver to momentarily avoid something with a van riding just a little too close behind them.

Senator Rockefeller, desperately seeking to destroy far more economic value than was created by his illustrious grandfather, began with the conclusion that every legislator draws:  “The U.S. government has to do a much better job of keeping the American people safe.”

Yes, the government of a nation that tolerates 35,000 auto deaths per year is gearing up its magnificent machinery to take on a problem that is alleged to have caused all of 5 deaths since 2007, and perhaps 52 deaths since 2000, with even that latter number being mere allegation provided by cowering agents whose funding depends on giving their congressional masters exactly what they want to hear.  That way, our legislators can studiously ignore the fact that in the trillions of miles driven per year, the average driver is far less likely to die in a Toyota than in most any vehicle made by the auto companies they directly oversee, makers of the most unsafe vehicles in the land, according to the government’s own crash testing.

And when you thought your “You can’t be serious!” clown nose couldn’t shine any brighter, the second premise of this story–that the government may restrict Japanese-made vehicles–turns it blinding red with this from Nebraska Senator Mike Johanns:

The U.S. should consider banning Japanese-made cars until Japan’s government guarantees the vehicles have no defects.

“I’m as free-trade as anybody here, but I can tell you the American consumer is getting tired of this thing if we are getting substandard products,” Johanns said.

Because it’s not enough to drag through the mud the name of Government Motor’s worthiest competitor, but also threaten to deny your own citizens, those of us who know from the full evidence and experience that Toyotas are not deathtraps, a chance to ignore Senator I’ll-Decide-These-Things-For-You.  And the people of Nebraska don’t see how ridiculous all this is?  They don’t see how unfair, outlandish, and irresponsible such a threat is, as if they don’t have someone with a shred of decency or integrity to actually elect for the Senate from that entire state?

Alas, being a Senator means that decency or integrity are optional because the people in front of your panel can’t call you on it, and the media won’t call you on it.  Constituents will reward rather than blame their politicians for their astounding performances in these circuses.

At the hearing, Senator Boxer stated, “As a longtime Toyota Prius owner myself, I understand that many Americans are uneasy about the safety of their Toyota vehicles right now.  It is up to Toyota to again prove to the American people that it is a company that values the safety of its customers over the bottom line.”

Another senator leaned into his microphone beneath the klieg lights and lamented without irony that Toyota’s much publicized problems were threatening sales at dealerships in his state, “just at a time when jobs are scarce.”

Because, you see, without such caring politicians, Toyota would surely continue its killing spree, terrorizing its customers in its master plan of shedding as much market share as possible because this will do wonders for their bottom line.

That must be what these politicians are thinking.

  • Scranton Joe said,

    Love the clown committee. I’m amazed that the media is letting them get away with this horrendous conflict of interest, except that the media is benefiting from this. The politicians are creating this circus just for them.

Add A Comment