Barr: Dim bulb feds driving auto industry

In his weekly Atlanta Journal-Constitution column, 2008 Libertarian Party presidential nominee Congressman Bob Barr takes the Obama administration to task for its innovation-killing government takeover of General Motors.

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Ronald Reagan once quipped —- not altogether in jest —- that the nine most frightening words in the English language were, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” To these nine might be added 11 words spoken by President Barack Obama in his March 30 news conference announcing the terms under which the federal government would now be effectively running General Motors and Chrysler: “Starting today, the United States government will stand behind your warranty.”

Boy, if there were ever a reassuring statement, Obama’s from last week would be right on the money —- a statement signifying that an organization which has run up debt faster and to greater levels than any government in peacetime, and which is utterly unable and unwilling to balance its books, would be standing behind the warranty on my Dodge Magnum…

…And poor Chrysler. This venerable company formerly headed by Lee Iacocca, and whose muscle cars once ruled America’s freeways and racetracks, has been placed in the unenviable position of negotiating with Italian carmaker Fiat under an Obama-imposed deadline of 30 days or face bankruptcy. In those negotiations, who would you rather be —- Chrysler or Fiat?…

…In this new age of government-run businesses, in which bureaucrats tell us what cars we can have, what light bulbs we can use and which toilets we can flush, it is likely that Encyclopedia Britannica’s future editions of the world’s “great inventions” will not only be considerably shortened, but contain far fewer American entries.

Bob Barr, an Atlanta attorney, is a former Georgia congressman and Libertarian Party presidential candidate.

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