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:

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