- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 24, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

On Tuesday, Detroit, like a mortally wounded but not-yet-dead victim, lay on the asphalt staring at its attacker while President Obama used CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) regulations - which impose especially onerous burdens on American manufacturers of trucks and sport utility vehicles - to put one more bullet through its heart.

Congress required Detroit to get all of its labor from the United Auto Workers and then decided not to impose the restriction on transplanted workers. When the first CAFE regulations were implemented in 1978, Detroit auto companies were hurt much more than were foreign auto companies because Americans liked American pickup trucks and SUVs much more than the imported versions.

Foreign companies have been pretty good at building little cars, whereas Detroit has been great at building safe, full-sized vehicles. Rather than allowing individuals to determine their values and choose their own vehicles (which would have allowed Detroit to thrive), Congress decided that its values were better and more important - and bankrupted the American auto industry in the process.

If someone wanted all Americans to be equally miserable, he or she would be hard-pressed to find a better way to further the cause than by mandating smaller and smaller vehicles, thereby killing off the last vestige of U.S. manufacturing production. As long as the majority of Americans think humans are the cause of global warming, the federal government will use CAFE as its tool of destruction.

TEDD POTTS

President

Heartland Chevrolet

Leawood, Kan.

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