When Uncle “Cheats,” it’s OK

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Apparently, it’s ok for Uncle to “cheat.”dirty pool 2

Not on emissions tests, as VW is being stoned to death for doing, but on federal fuel efficiency requirements (CAFE, in Uncle-speak).

Would you believe he is not only going to triple the “gas guzzler” fines applied to any automaker that doesn’t make the CAFE cut – the mandatory minimum “fleet average” MPG, which is currently 35.5 MPG – but also that these fines will be applied retroactively – to the 2015 and 2016 model year – as well as to future model years?

That’s two full model years before the 35.5 MPG mandatory went into effect – and tens of millions of dollars in fines, just because.

Dirty pool, as Gomez used to say.

But apparently it’s ok when Uncle does it.

And it’s not a proposal. It’s a fatwa. Done deal.

A “notice” was published in the July 5 Federal Register simply announcing Uncle’s decision (see here).

Technically, it is NHTSA’s decision.CAFE 2

NHTSA – the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – is one of the many federal regulatory “agencies” (as they are innocuously styled) that operates as a legislature. It issues “rulings” that have the force of law, even though no one elected NHTSA or the bureaucrats within. What happens is that Congress passes a vague law – in this case, the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, way back in 1975 – which alphabet agencies like NHTSA (and EPA) are then given free reign to interpret.

This little shuck-and-jive allows Congress to take Grand Stands (we are saving energy!) without being held accountable for the specifics (new cars must average 35.5 MPG – headed to 54.5 MPG) while enabling unelected bureaucracies to impose the specifics (you will be forced to pay heavy fines if those “targets” aren’t met) without any fear of being held accountable.

It’s a slick con.

Your congressman or senator can get claps on the campaign trail hollering about the importance of more “efficient” cars. No one demands specifics from him. Later on, you read that a bureaucrat whose name you probably never heard – and whom you’ll never be given the opportunity to vote out of office – has decided to interpret the law passed by your congressman or senator. More “efficient” cars now means that every new car will average 35.5 MPG or else you’ll be hit with a fine.

That’s right – you.CAFE 3

And me and everyone else who buys the cars. The “gas guzzler” fines applied for not meeting the decreed CAFE mandatory minimums are simply folded into the price of the car you just bought.

Or did you think the automakers would simply absorb the fines as a kind of penance?

Now the fines are to be tripled – and applied retroactively.

The rate goes up from $5.50 to $14 for each 0.1 MPG that any automaker falls short of the “target,” as Uncle innocuously styles it. In fact it is a mandate. And the mandate just got a lot more expensive. Possibly catastrophically so.

Which may be on purpose.

NHTSA – a government agency that doesn’t have to worry about such drudgeries as balancing its books because it can simply take (via Congress) more of our money to finance its operations – may not grok that car companies do have to balance their books, have to convince people to buy what they are selling; cannot simply jack up the sticker price and shove their hands into people’s pockets and take what they feel like taking.

If this tripling of CAFE fines stands, it is probably going to put several car companies that are already in trouble into an unrecoverable spin.

Under the old fatwa – noncompliance with the lower (30.2 MPG “combined”) CAFE mandatory minimum – Jaguar Land Rover was socked with in excess of $46 million in “gas guzzler” fines over the period 2010-2014 alone –  all of that passed on to its customers. Of which there are fewer because of the fines.fatwa

Jaguar Land Rover is a relatively small automaker that sells no “efifcient” cars to boost its overall CAFE numbers – so the costs it must pass on to its customers (in the form of higher sticker prices) are proportionately higher than the costs born (and passed on) by rivals like BMW or Mercedes, which score better on CAFE because they sell some relatively “efficient” models whose MPG numbers offset the not-so-great MPG numbers of the others.

Even so, they, too, fork over millions – and have to charge customers millions, to make up for what Uncle grabs

Even Fiat – which only sells “efficient” cars – is forced to pay millions to Uncle, which the company  recovers by charging its customers more for every car they buy.

And now the fines are going to triple.

And the CAFE fatwa is set to nearly double – to 54.5 MPG by model year 2025, just nine years away.

It is not an exaggeration to state that this could destroy the car industry by making it literally not possible to sell cars at a price people are not merely willing but able to pay. There is not one currently available new car – not even the Prius hybrid – that averages 54.5 MPG.

Consider what this means.tony pic

Unless – via unicorn farts, perhaps – a way is found to build cars that average 54.5 MPG less than ten years hence, every company selling cars that don’t average 54.5 MPG will be hit with triple the current “gas guzzler” fines. It will mean the certain extinction of most car types currently available, including mid-sized and larger sedans and especially SUVs and larger crossover SUVs, most of which don’t even come within spitting distance of the current 35.5 MPG fatwa.

And 54.5 MPG? As Tony Soprano used to say, forget about it!

But this business of ex post facto’ing the car industry is beyond egregious. It’s one thing for an unelected, unaccountable government bureaucracy to simply decree that next year or the year after that or nine years from now every car company’s roster of cars must average at least 35.5 MPG (the current, upticked standard – which went into effect this year) and something else to decree that the standard that was in effect last year no longer applies – and that a new standard will be applied retroactively.

This is tyrannical.

The trade publication Automotive News quoted a car industry executive – who wished to remain anonymous for the obvious reason that any government which engages in re-writing laws and applying punishment retroactively is a mafia and capable of anything – as follows:

“The most disturbing thing about it is that essentially no notice was given… you make your regulatory plans based on a certain set of assumptions. To have it change suddenly without notice and without the ability to respond is really troubling.”


What’s next? Fining companies that sold cars without air bags before the air bag mandate went into effect?

It would not surprise me.

To recall and paraphrase the immortal words of Richard Nixon: When an unaccountable, unelected federal agency does it, it’s not illegal.

Let alone “cheating.”

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      • Fraid Eric is right on that. The era of guys like Henry Ford the second are long gone. He would have fought for his customers, the current folks, nope.

  1. “No…ex post facto Law shall be passed”. So says Art. 1 Section 9. para. 3 of the US Constitution. Therefore, Congress cannot allow any department of the Leviathan to make ex post facto Law. However, in that fines are not specifically mention it must be OK then for the Leviathan to impose ex post facto fines.
    In the near future, by 2025, only the elite will be allowed private transportation. What’s left of the American human population, at about 60-65 million, will have no need for an auto of any kind. They will be shoved into stacked and packed mega cities, comprising less than 10 percent of the land mass of America and living in their 500 square foot cubicles, or smaller, enjoying life in the hive.
    I truly hope all you youngsters out there will enjoy your Soylent Green Cuisine in the future people’s paradise.

  2. What doesn’t make sense in all of this is the complacency of the car companies. It’s not like they don’t have the ability and finances to fight this. Unless I’m not looking in the right places, I have never even heard of any of them actually pushing back against these ever more onerous regulations. It’s simply ‘yes sir, may I have another’. I guess they have decided to just go along and throw their bets on electric.

    • They don’t have the ability to fight anymore, as they take bailouts etc. In many ways they are already part of the government. It will be their undoing.

  3. An explanation of politics (thanks to Becky Akers)

    I told my son “I want you to marry a girl of my choice!”
    He said “NO!”
    I told him it’s Bill Gates’ daughter!!!!
    He said “OKAY!”

    Got in contact with Bill Gates & told him “I want your daughter to marry my son!”
    He said “NO!”
    Told him my son was the CEO of the World Bank!
    He said “OKAY!”

    Went to the President of the World Bank & told him to make my son CEO of the Bank!
    He said “NO!”
    Told him my son was Bill Gates’ Son in Law!
    He said “OKAY!”

    And that’s exactly how politics works.

  4. IT is time to reign in NHTSA and EPA. They should NOT be able to pass any regulations without Congress ok them in a vote.

    They need to reform this.

    • “They need to reform this.” But they aren’t going to.
      Anybody here besides 8 remember Eddie Chiles yelling “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more”?

      • I’m tempted to have some(more) bumper stickers made up that once again say “I’m mad too Eddie”. They’d probably sell like hotcakes, at least in Tx. anyway.

  5. Damn, I wake up and hear Rod Serling but can’t quite make out what he’s saying. Is this Twilight Zone, Night Gallery or something else? Is this the episode of The Old Man Who Only Spoke in Riddles With All Caps?

    Back to the subject at hand though. Will this mean cattle drives again?

  6. Like was said in *All The President’s Men*, one should follow the money in this. It’s not about the environment. It’s not about global warming. It’s about that sweet sweet money being collected from non-compliance fines.


    • You make some pretty broad, unsubstantiated claims. ‘Anyone under 50 is too stupid to understand’? That includes Eric, who’s site you are posting your all CAPS bullshit on.

      Why don’t you tell all of us under 50 idiots what exactly a ZIOJEW is. Eric has taken the time to explain what he means by “clover” on several occasions. Maybe you could do the same.

      • Come on ancap. Don’t pick on the poor guy. He can’t even spell his own name – it obviously should be ‘Feeble.’

      • The main issue with the younger set is not “stupidity.” It is that they have never experienced anything other than the the iron fist of government regulating nearly every aspect of their lives. Thus they accept it as the norm, reinforced by their own recent indoctrination and conditioning in government and government-regulated schools. They have been trained to run to government for their life needs. The young ones coming of age now will never even know a time when Orwellian surveillance is not an ever-present fact of life.

        I can certainly remember a past that, while it had its own set of problems to deal with, was overall much freer than life is today. (Back then the conditions we currently live under would have been rejected as bad science fiction, too crazy even for the pages of the pulp magazines.)

      • Ancap51: I’ve been retired for sometime. There are lots of stupid people in 60’s onward for sure. Hubby and I are social recluses for the most part because I have zero tolerance for anyone “older” that is ignorant of globalism and ag. 21 stuff. Younger folks (because of parents who teach zero values and nationalism, are to blame for the kids. Gov ed. is for losers like parents who don’t pull their kids out of these brainwashing centers. Media (MSM), gov. 501c3 churches and incl most all higher educ. are the enemy pushing globalism. Trumps vp choice is a damn globalist (free trade and Muslim immigration) America is beyond hope.

        • Agreed Laura. There are many, many stupid people in their 30’s. Cloverianism knows no age.

          I am reclusive to an extent. I prefer to keep company of close friends and family. I have 3 young kids. They do not/will not attend public indoctrination centers. They do ride bicycles without helmets. They do explore the world outside our home. They have time to pursue what intetests them. They are/will be taught mechanical things. They are/will be taught to question things and think for themselves.

          I feel bad for my kids at times because they will never know life before 9/11. But, I attempt to make my home a place where free thought and ideas can flow. If my kids become clovers, it won’t be because I didn’t try my damndest to prevent it.

          On another note, it seems that Fiebel doesn’t have a concise definition of “ziojew”. Surprising, since he seemed so sharp in his post.

          • Morning, Ancap!

            Clovers seem to come in all colors, ages and sexes. I’ve encountered just as many “Greatest Generation” Clovers as I have Millennial Clovers.

            It would be so helpful if Cloverism were a function of something biological. Something that could identified at the genetic level and then chlorinated out of the gene pool.

            • It’s deliberately conditioned into people starting in childhood. There may be a few genetic examples and of course the effect over time as the human race has become domesticated.

              There’s another aspect too… the selective enforcement. It’s annoying to have putter along at the PSL when other people can speed with impunity.

    • Isn’t the government employing something like 30% of the population, aside from military?
      And not counting those actually on the dole, too.

      • Wouldn’t be surprised if its higher then 30% when you consider all levels of government. The largest single employer in my community: the public school district. Wouldn’t be surprised if a government agency of some kind is the largest single employer in most places in the US now.

        And add all the people working at companies with government contracts too. Yikes. No wonder private employment won’t go up.

    • Hi Rich,


      But this not the usual incremental uptick. 54.5 MPG? They might as well just outlaw cars. Which is what this amounts to.

      Technically, cars can be built. But in order to achieve 54.5 MPG, they will probably have to be semi-electric (like the Volt) and (in addition) much lighter or use some technology I’m not aware of without costing $50,000-plus.

      So the result will be your pick of cars that are either extremely expensive because of the technology needed to meet the CAFE standard or very expensive because they did not meet the CAFE standard.

      I see no middle ground.

      • Eric: friends and I were discussing outrages high car prices. We drive Korean cars with 30mpg, some higher mpg. Car prices pricey for average income folks, who buy brands with 5 yr. warranties (Kia and Hyundai). Rising prices for” useless crap” ( like auto lift back doors,) on cars is one “game plan” to get us out of cars or having to drive old cars out of warranty. Agenda 21 at work against the masses. I like the back up cameras and the app for mp3 music. I am really sick of the screen asking Q (press screen to agree to Q) before you play the radio on newer cars-insanity. This Q thing on screen will be in most or all 2017’s. I hope you and other s know what I’m talking about (press screen, etc)

      • I think you’re thinking like an angry rational white male. Like Obamacare the objective is not to raise MPG, it is to raise taxes without saying so and get complete control over the small independent guy.

        Obamacare has driven the costs of medical care out of the affordable range for anyone not getting insurance through a medium big corporation, and it is just a big tax increase on the rest of us who have to do without. And a way to strip the remaining wealth from we small holders forced to do without when a medical emergency comes up.

        Since driving is a “privilege” the “privileged” should pay more and more and more. And be grateful they are allowed to produce for their masters.

        Going Galt in some form is becoming the only only viable alternative. Having no visible wealth (amazing how many 1 oz gold coins can be hidden in a small hole) and climbing on to help drag down the sinking gravy train- to mangle a metaphor.

      • Perhaps a good series of articles might be to apply your vast access to new cars to give some suggestions about great used cars in the fairly modern category in each category, that might be keepers “Before the Motor Laws” kick in…

        Just a thought…keep up the good work!

  8. What isn’t okay for uncle to do? He can rape, murder, pillage, steal, torture, frisk, assault, lie, or perform any other aggressive violent behavior and get away with it. The law is what he says it is and isn’t what he says it isn’t.

    We truly live in a circus sideshow. Many people love and even reverence the circus. They pledge allegiance and sing anthems to it.

  9. We have suffered worse from the infiltration of mid-east countries, Saudi Arabia and Israel, than anything the Soviets might ever have dreamed. The entire govt. is paid off, all the way from Clintons, GW, and BO and all the congresses with them. Banksters will have, if their dreams come to fruition, and the Saudi’s and Israeli’s are huge players in that, a new banana republic waving the Stars and Stripes in prison planet duds. No matter if you’re a Dockers, Brooks Brothers, Wrangler or GI Joe type of person, you’ll be bowing to the same masters.

    This is simply the part using the automotive arm to disenfranchise and impoverish the masses with dangling fobs and bright shiny things.

    Ok Tor, start that new jargon and algorithm. I’m a fairly fast study just like most everyone else on this site. See where it takes us.

    • This is my recap of the megalanguage we’ve been using.

      SE (Standard English) [2.3 billion commonwealth, .33 US, .06 Israel]

      This is the lingua franca of the 53 commonwealth countries, united states, and israel. It’s also a trade language in other countries.

      We can accept multiple SVO’s to be used right away.
      Word order English equivalent Proportion of languages

      SOV “She him loves.” 45%
      SVO “She loves him.” 42%
      VSO “Loves she him.” 9%
      VOS “Loves him she.” 3%

      Accept we can using alternate subject verb objects. And stop tittering like schoolgirl clovers when our superiors, forget which order English uses because we’re fluent in 4 languages.

      I love freedom.
      Freedom I love.
      Freedom loves I.
      Loves freedom I.

      Tyrants I hate
      I hate tyrants
      Tyrants hate I
      Hate tyrants I

      Instead of quibbling over squishing unpindownable hierarchies and powers schemes disguised as ethics.

      We look at our version of English as philosophical mathematical.

      Hilary is an ugly old woman.
      Ugly old woman Hilary

      (or these three can be shunned in our language.)
      ugly should be more scientifically arrayed.
      old should have more signifiers
      woman is something doctors in America choose at birth for the fetus. the numerous third sex that are born are surgically altered to better fit the ruling binary construct

      Hilary is an R with wrinkled skin and her femality index is 0.12. The typical female being a 0.5 and anything less than 0.10 being more male than female.

      TLP – English translation – Wittgenstein

      • Hilary is an R14 (statistically she’ll be dead in 14 years.)
        This is more useful than Hilary is old.

        In actuarial science and demography, a life table (also called a mortality table or actuarial table) is a table which shows, for each age, what the probability is that a person of that age will die before his or her next birthday (“probability of death”).

        Thus Ron Paul’s P.O.D. is high. He is an R7, he’s got 7 more years, though his health and vigor is amazing.

  10. You’re one of the few even discussing what might be the most destructive covert op going. Instead of some heroic John Galt stopping the motor of the world and going on strike. It is the State Science Institute itself that has scheduled the motors of industry here to all grind to a halt in less than a decade.

    The concealed objective of this industrial covert op, like every other major covert op is to: “defeat the enemies of the State Mafia and thereby gain more control.”

    The salient question is, control over what?

    It not merely control over titans of industry, and districts of mass production they’re seeking. Beyond these seen conquests, the great unseen conquest is: “control over the mind.” A brave new world where they control all classes, from Alphas to Epsilon Minuses.

    Why, you might ask? Because if perception and thought can be channeled, directed, reduced, and weakened. If they control the both the vertical and the horizontal like in the “Outer Limits” then it doesn’t matter what humans do to resist other types of control.

    They will always go down the wrong path. They will always operate within limited and bounded territory. They will always ignore their own authentic power.

    The kind of power Aristotle chronicled. The power to think in sentences of subject, predicate, and object. All these forms and thought tools we take for granted. Yet never even consider we might start new forms and tools right this minute, rather than obsess over whether we are using “correct” American English.

    I’m talking about power that exceeds the “normal” and “average” ability to influence the stream of cause and effect.
    We “could” start our own jargon and word algorithm right here. One superior to anything that exists. But they “know” we won’t, and thus don’t worry about us much.

    The “prison” of cause and effect is a foundational concept that they have floated as part of their basic covert op to convince all of us that we are small, diminished, and at the mercy of larger forces. The Pakleds seemed funny when they said “We Are Smart.” But is it merely their poor grammatical ability that made them Pakleds. Or was it more a deficiency we also share with them. A poor conceptual ability to look at nature and use techne and episteme to shape it to our will using physics.

    Aren’t we a type of Pakled whose goto method of problem solving is the old saw of “follow the money” and “find the seen and unseen power.” We ignore our own innate power to solve things ourselves with our minds.

    We’ve lost sight of our abilities, the truth tha underneath it all, we humans have the capacity to “jump the chain” and become, as it were, “first causes.”

    And not in some minor way.

    Unfortunately, the popular view of how this can be accomplished is often rooted in New Age notions: the instantaneous fix; the Disneyesque manifestation; the “surrender to the universe.”

    These are psy-op versions of the real thing, floated as part of the overall covert op to engage the gullible among us.

    “Jumping the chain” is actually a matter of reversing the op. In other words, instead of accepting the mural of reality that has been created for us, each person creates his own.

    This, dare I say it (yes, I do), is a heroic enterprise. And by heroic, I mean: without surrender. Without compromise.

    Beyond the covert op, every human has the capacity to act in ways that change the flow of time, the architecture of space, and the sources of energy.

    The degree to which an individual believes this is impossible mirrors his acceptance of the basic covert op on planet Earth.

    When people speak about “hope for all of us,” they rarely refer to the power of the individual, but that’s where it starts. With we few individuals here assembled. With our minds opened and fully unchained.


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