Politicians portray fuel efficiency regulations as such a noble cause. Good for the environment! Lessens our dependence on foreign oil! Saves you money at the pump!
President Obama recently declared that auto companies' fleets must average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. The way he puts it, "everyone wins. Consumers pay less for fuel, the economy as a whole runs more efficiently."
But as I point out in my syndicated column this week, everyone doesn't win. Regulations have costs:
The Center for Automotive Research says the new standard will raise the price of cars by about $7,000. You'd need to save a lot on fuel to break even.
But that's not the worst of it. The new rules will kill people.
The MPG standard "has been killing people for the last 30 years," Kazman said.
How can that be?
"It forces cars to be ... made smaller and lighter. ... They are simply worse in just about every type of auto collision."
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration actually backs Kazman up. It estimates that smaller cars are responsible for an additional 2,000 deaths each year.
On the other side of the argument, Bob Deans of the Natural Resources Defense Council said we were wrong-car manufacturers are working hard to make vehicles that are fuel efficient and safe:
"By increasing that gas mileage for our auto fleet, we can cut our oil consumption in this country by 4 million barrels per day by 2030. That would almost wipe out our OPEC purchases daily. It will make our country stronger [...] It's not necessarily a smaller car that we're talking about. You look at Chevy Malibu. That is a 3,400-pound car. It's not a small car. It's getting 33-miles to the gallon. We believe Detroit can do this."
Detroit will have to because government gets to use force.
But there are tradeoffs. Far better if Detroit did what its customers wanted. Better cars will arise if manufactures are free. Read the rest here.
This Week's Show -- July 10, 2014
CENSORSHIP AT CBS: Investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson has a similar story. She explains why she left CBS after it became "harder and harder to get stories on television" that criticized this government and "any powers that be."
IS STOSSEL BIASED?: Years ago, journalist Howard Kurtz criticized me for not being objective. I said it's impossible for any journalist to be completely objective. Now that Howard Kurtz is on Fox, we debate again.
THE OBJECTIVITY MYTH: Andrew Kirell of Mediaite.com says, "every journalist has a point of view and they don't just magically check it the minute they walk in the newsroom door."
NEW MEDIA: Reason TV's Remy Munasifi uses music videos and parodies to complain about things like politicians' spending. One of his latest parodies highlights the scandal surrounding the VA hospitals. Munasifi discusses his videos, which have gone viral on YouTube.
RETRO REPORT: It's great there's a new media organization called Retro Report, which reveals media hype of the past ("crack babies," America's landfill "crisis," the "superpredator," etc.) and corrects stories everyone in the media got wrong. I discuss the new show with its executive producer, Kyra Darnton.
REAL OR FAKE?: Sometimes people in the media say things that are so bizarre, you'd think they were made up. Kennedy of The Independents quizzes FoxBusiness.com's Kate Rogers, Fox Business host Charles Payne and me to see if any of us can tell which quotes are real, and which were made up by my staff.
MY TAKE: I used to report on lots of scares. CBS even ran an ad for me where someone called me a "guardian angel."
That's bunk. The only guardian angel is a free and open society. That's what allows innovation, gives people longer lives, and lifts billions out of poverty. But these gradual improvements aren't newsworthy. Scares and disaster make the news.
News is broken not just because we're biased but because most good and important news happens slowly.
9PM ET on Fox Business Network