Friday, July 22, 2011

Obamaland - Where All Of His Fantasies Come True

Obama, during the 2008 campaign, derided Hillary Clnton's health care mandates by saying that they are ineffective. "If mandates work," he said, "we could cure homelessness by mandating that everyone buy a home." Somewhat surprisingly that is about the only thing he hasn't tried to mandate in the last three years. And yes, as we all know, his health care plan includes a mandate that is central to it's success.

He seems to believe the hype that his ascension to the presidency heralds a sea change in the world, as if just by being who he is things will get done. One of his latest moves is to push for 56 MPG standards for auto fleets by 2025, a move the people in the auto industry - you know, the ones who make a living manufacturing and selling cars and trucks - say will cost another 220,000 jobs. The problem here is you and me - the consumer. It turns out that we don't really want to pay more money for a vehicle that doesn't satisfy our wants or needs. We want cars that perform well, that can go hundreds of miles between refueling, and can be refueled in minutes rather than hours. But if the auto companies sell such vehicles to us, they will be fined for not meeting the standards set forth by the government. So this cost will get added to the price of the vehicle - estimates put it at $1000 per car - and WE will pay the price.

Proponents say that we should welcome the higher cost of a more efficient vehicle because it will save us $6000 on average. Whenever I see something like this I try to validate their numbers, but nowhere can I find how this figure was calculated. I did the math on my own vehicle. Buying a hybrid SUV would cost about $3000 more than a non-hybrid. The improved mileage would save me about $500 per year in gas based on my average annual mileage, or about $2500 over the life of a 5 year loan. So I would have to have it for 6 years to break even. Not a problem, since I've had my current SUV for 8 years now. But, here's the thing; by NOT buying the car I am saving $500 PER MONTH by not financing the new car. And my current one, poor mileage and all, is running just fine, thank you.

That's the biggest flaw in Obama's 'legislate it into reality' philosophy. For it to work, we all have to view the world the same way. While most of us are pretty grounded in reality, he operates as if the world is the way he wants it to be and then throws a fit and talks down to us when we don't cooperate. Along the way, people voted for him because they wanted him to live up to the hype have become somewhat disillusioned. Those that voted for him because they were pouting over their candidate not getting the nomination have seen the error of their ways, and those of us that saw behind the curtain and didn't vote for him in the first place can say we told you so. He will not get re-elected, at least that the version of the world as I see it. We HAVE to vote him out. Now, there's a mandate for you.

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