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"Imagine if voters could apply CAFE standards to government . . . " (by Scott Burgess/Detroit News)

"Imagine if voters could apply CAFE standards to government, forcing it to double its efficiency by 2025. " (by Scott Burgess/Detroit News)

I thought some of you would enjoy a witty little story while we wait for all of an incapable Congress and the Executive branch to put out a plan that won’t do a thing to save the nation from the problems they were party to (non-partisan, equal-opportunity blame) in the first place.

They are experts on cars, though. Your comments are welcome ( I think).

From The Detroit News:’s-force-government--not-cars--to-be-more-efficient#ixzz1Tb5zPAtQ


I would be happy if Congress and the executive branch had any type of standard at all. Something is almost always better than nothing. The art of compromise has been lost in the fury of political in-fighting and the country is taking a serious beating as a result. Our future economy depends on both political parties reaching an amicable decision one way or another. Posturing looks good for the moment but the clueless congressmen and senators had better get their act together. If they don’t then they need to remember that voters have long memories and they could soon be out of a job.

Missileman, I Agree, But What I’m Afraid Is Happening Is That We Will Wind Up With A Compromise On Something That Will Do Little To Nothing To Avert A Fiscal Meltdown. It Took Them Years Of Kicking This Can Down The Road To Get This Far Gone.

I’m afraid that a compromise on a real solution that would remotely begin to put the nation’s house in order is far beyond the ability of these clowns. It’s a show. We’ll keep spiraling the drain as long as they run the show.

I guess in the next election cycle, we’ll try and get enough of the voters to apply some CAFE standards of their own on the Washington set.


100 years ago the parties would compromise…They are now at the point where neither is going to give in no matter what. Both sides seem to take the opposite view of the other party…Some will stand up…but most won’t. If a bill was brought up by a Democrat that was great for the country…doesn’t matter if it was good or not the Republicans would be against it…And visa-versa. I don’t know what it’s going to take before there’s a change…Not even sure it’s possible now. Maybe an election when Jesse Ventura won the Governor election in Minnesota back in 2000. Surprised everyone…

I was listening to commentary on the radio last night on this subject. The host (Todd Zwillich) is a journalist on assignment to report on the government; mostly our elected representatives. He repeatedly said that he speaks to them all the time, and they are not clowns. But they are in the dark. We don’t tell them what we want. When was the last time you sent one an email? If many more of us did, they would have a better idea what the Silent Majority thinks. But we are silent, and they don’t know what we think. And that’s a lot of why we are in this mess. I think he makes a good point.

And another thing:

Reducing expenditures by 40% doesn’t mean a loss of any government jobs. Civil servants are paid about $150 billion of the $3 trillion annual budget (2009 numbers). That’s 5%. Even if all of them were fired, it would have no measurable effect on the deficit. Since social security, medicare, and medicaid are off limits and we can’t increase taxes, that means $1.2 trillion in lost private sector jobs. And many of these are skilled jobs that pay well. Is this how we fix our economy?

You want fries with that?

I E-Mail These Clowns All The Time.

I see several problems. Half the people in the country pay taxes. The other half either rides for free or rides for free and gets cash back. The politicians take the confiscated money (tax money) and spend it on being re-elected. When they run out of my money and your money, it’s no problem. They just keep deficit spending and charge it to the national debt. Then too much confiscated money has to go just to pay interest on the debt. We keep getting more and more in debt. Meanwhile, they add more programs, employees, benefits, and spending. Plus they spend my money on things I’d never, ever buy.

I don’t take anything from anybody. I live within my means. I have a fully balanced household budget at all times. I owe nothing to anybody. I expect the same from the people who take my money. It takes will power, apparently.

Government has gotten too big and too out of control, helping people they shouldn’t be and buying things they shouldn’t.

We need more folks to go to Washington who are willing to cut spending, balance the budget, and pay down the debt, (just like we citizens have to at home) and do it all FIRST before putting re-election first. Anything else will just put us a step closer to the brink and we’re right there.

What do you think about those new mpg CAFE standards ?


Hmmmm. When people say that government is too big and needs to be smaller, what, exactly do they mean? Do they mean the part that pays social security to the elderly? Do they mean the part that supports medical research at most of the Nation’s universities and medical schools? Do they mean the part that provides emergency assistance to people after natural disasters? How about the part that maintains weather satellites and forecasting ability? I could go on and on, but I’m sure you understand that I’m trying to say it isn’t that simple. And, I suspect that different people would have different answers.

“What do you think about those new mpg CAFE standards ?”

I think that they are ambitious. But the big auto companies agreed to it, so I imagine they will make it happen. Of course, the cars and trucks we drive will have to change to make it happen. The new hot sports car might be much more like a Lotus than a Corvette. That’s not necessarily bad, but it is going to be a tight fit. It also implies a lot of hybrids and electric cars. No wonder the cost of a car is expected to skyrocket.

And on the subject of a balanced budget: I believe that it should be balanced most of the time, but there are times that it can’t be balanced. Now is a good example. If we cut expenditures by $1.4 trillion and the average private sector job lost has a total compensation of $75,000 per year, then we lose 17,000,000 jobs. What are they going to do? All this is to say that we also need additional tax revenues from some place. Mr. Business Owner isn’t begging for new employees now. What will change if 17,000,000 more Americans are laid off, beside a whale of a big unemployment bill? Nothing will, I think. Well, maybe deflation. In some ways, the glass seems far less than half full.

I think you’ll like my comments, CSA.

First, I think the debt ceiling is silly. We are one of the few countries to have one. In addition, Congress authorized the spending of the money already, so threatening not to pay the bill now is totally unethical.

Lastly, our Congress was designed to be this dysfunctional. That’s one of the reasons we have two houses of Congress, so nothing can be done too quickly or too easily.

I haven’t had time to read the rest of the comments, so I will have to get back to you all later. I am out of time and Starbucks is about to close.

" First, I think the debt ceiling is silly. "
A debt ceiliing is in place to let the government know when they are broke and to quit spending taxpayer dollars. Any budget has to include a debt ceiling.

"In addition, Congress authorized the spending of the money already, so threatening not to pay the bill now is totally unethical. "
One cannot “spend” money they don’t have. One can only “charge” money they don’t have. That’s what the whole problem is.

"Lastly, our Congress was designed to be this dysfunctional. That’s one of the reasons we have two houses of Congress, so nothing can be done too quickly or too easily."
You are correct and it’s a thing of beauty. Gridlock is wonderful, but never lasts.

"I am out of time and Starbucks is about to close."
I don’t have a Starbucks within 100 miles, but please tell me you are just buying a black coffee and not some flavored concoction.


We are deep in debt for much the same reason we aren’t already driving 50 mpg cars. Each entitlement has a constituency that politicians don’t dare make angry and the public is not much interested in tiny slow cars.
So, if we want to assign blame, perhaps we should all look in the mirror first.

Balance the budget, but don’t mess with MY entitlement or raise MY taxes.
Save the planet, but don’t make ME drive a tiny slow car or ride the bus.
House the homeless but not in MY neighborhood.
End urban sprawl, but don’t make ME give up MY beatiful suburban house.

Our ills will not be cured until we are willing to “take the medicine”.

Our ills will not be cured until we are willing to “take the medicine”.
I’m ready and have been all my life. Lay it on me and keep all the entitlements. Thank You.

"We are deep in debt for much the same reason we aren’t already driving 50 mpg cars. Each entitlement has a constituency that politicians don’t dare make angry and the public is not much interested in tiny slow cars."
This is fairly accurate and is reason to limit government expansion and spending.

"So, if we want to assign blame, perhaps we should all look in the mirror first."
I didn’t ask for nor want anything from the government (except military, national monuments, and federal court / prison system). I’m looking in the mirror, but don’t see anybody to blame.


CAFE, and the people behind it, helped create the Hummer H1 — a beautiful vehicle that was completely misunderstood.

That is complete and utter malarkey. The H1 was an abomination. The vehicle no one but the military needs, but which uses a crapload of fuel. It wasn’t misunderstood at all, and fuel efficiency standards didn’t help create it at all. LACK of standards created it, because if you make a vehicle heavy enough it’s exempt from mpg requirements.

I would rather see the U.S. Department of Transportation create a rule that every new driver must get Wayne Gerdes-certified.

Ah yes. We could call it the “drive like a dumbass” bill. Hypermiling is stupid. Blowing stop signs, taking corners at 40, doing 40 under on the interstate, coasting 5 blocks to a stoplight are all ways to increase mpg’s while upping your risk of a wreck significantly.

Imagine if voters could apply CAFE standards to government, forcing it to double its efficiency by 2025.

Typical idiot statement from someone who thinks the government should run like a business. It shouldn’t. It’s not set up that way. And if it were, it’d be less efficient. The overhead for government agencies is significantly lower than overhead for corporations, because among other things, government workers get paid a lot less than their corporate counterparts.

That interstate highway system might come in handy from time to time CSA.

I don’t think it is worthwhile assigning blame. That requires energy that can be better applied to finding a solution. We have a huge deficit because we cut taxes in a big recession, and then went to war 2 (3?) times. Then we experienced another big recession, which cut federal receipts again while increasing outlays to stimulate the economy. Or at least avoid a wholesale collapse in certain sectors (banks, cars). Whether tax cuts work to stimulate the economy in the long run is a moot point. It has not brought about many new jobs, especially in the past 2 years. There are exactly two ways to decrease the need for a higher debt ceiling: increase revenues and decrease outlays. The greatest outlays are transfer payments, and the percentage of GDP for transfer payments is increasing. Discretionary spending is near a low over the past 50 years. It is 10% of GDP vs. 20% for mandatory spending (mostly transfer payments). Decrease transfer payments and a new deficit ceiling will take longer to reach. Increase receipts (nice word for taxes) and a new deficit ceiling takes longer to reach. Do them both and it could take even longer to reach a new deficit ceiling. Cut discretionary spending dramatically and you lose private sector jobs almost exclusively. That cuts receipts and increases mandatory spending. It’s fine to cut discretionary spending, and it should be done, but not all at once. Give the industries most affected by such cuts a chance to find other ways to make money besides government contracts. Why throw then in a ditch when the bankers and auto workers were not?

Half The People In The Country Pay Income Taxes And Half Don’t. It’s Not Surprising That Half Want Tax Increases. The Solution ?

The government will now accept additional tax contributions from citizens. Folks can put their money where their mouth is and mail it in. Those who think taxes are too low will be happy to send their money to Washington. Those who think taxes are plenty high or too high can keep their’s.

The government has no revenue problem, but rather an addiction to spending other people’s money.

So what do think ? You first. Is your check in the mail ?

“The government has no revenue problem, but rather an addiction to spending other people’s money.”

I suppose that depends on your viewpoint. In better times, fuller employment would mean more revenues and fewer outlays just because a lot more people are working. But that’s not the case here. We are here because there were extraordinary increases in spending to fund two wars and big tax cuts that ensured they were under-funded. Is there a responsibility to pay for the wars or not? Who is responsible for paying for these wars if not the citizens? Did you support the war in Iraq to oust Saddam Hussein or the war in Afghanistan to root out Bin Laden and gut the Taliban? If so, when are you going to own up to your responsibility?

I think the title of the article was misleading. There was no suggestions offered that would make the government operate more efficiently. Most of the article was of the “sky is falling” type.

We’ve seen this before when safety was mandated, when emissions were mandated. If the predictions had come true, we either would not be driving at all because we couldn’t afford a car or we would have giant, slow moving vehicles that get about 6 mpg. Cars somehow managed to become much safer, much cleaner and yet remain about the same size while getting about twice the fuel mileage they got back in the 60’s. And we can still afford them.

Automakers have been working on increasing the efficiency or cars for decades now. Somehow, I think they will make it, and we will be the beneficiaries.

As for the government?

CSA, when you go to a store, and use a credit card, you aren’t spending money? Wow.

RE: Starbucks, I think this is the first time a conservative has told me how I should and shouldn’t spend my money. Isn’t that the kind of thing Big Government does? They must be following your example.

There is only one other country in the world that even has a debt ceiling (Denmark).

When Congress votes to authorize spending but authorizes tax revenues at a lower level, it’s obvious (at least to me) that the government will have to borrow the difference. Isn’t that obvious to Congress? Isn’t that obvious to you? Why doesn’t this simple fact make a debt ceiling obsolete?

A vote to spend any money that exceeds tax revenues, is, in itself, a vote to borrow the money, at least from the reality in which I live. When I use a credit card, I am signing a document that says I will pay that amount to my credit card company.

In our Congress, both Ds and Rs have voted for a budget in which expenditures exceed revenues. Why should Congress vote, a second time, on whether or not to honor the debt it created?

Why don’t you see what happens when you go out, buy something with a credit card, and then call the credit card company and say, “Um, I didn’t actually spend any of that money because I didn’t have that money, so I am not going to pay you.” and see what that gets you. Explain to me how it is ethical for our Congress to do that now.

In the real world, you don’t just default on your debt. First, send the credit card company a payment, and then you get your financial house in order by getting your cashflow out of the red and into the black.

If Republicans don’t let us raise the debt ceiling, we will become a nation of financial deadbeats, rather than a country that got its financial house in order with honor.