“Protecting Consumers’ Pocketbooks”

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A federal appeals court in New York has just decided that cars which federal bureaucrats insist use “too much” gas will be taxed at triple the current rate – in order to punish us for having the effrontery to ignore their fuel-efficient preferences for us.

The tax at issue amounts to an increase from the current $55 applied for each mile-per-gallon less than the federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard decrees every new car must average to $140 for the same offense – effective beginning with the 2025 model year.

2025 is also the year the CAFE mandatory minimum will ratchet up to 36 MPG from the current 27.5 mandatory minimum.

That means a new car which averages say 28 MPG – which is better mileage than most 2018 model years car average – will cost you $840 more in 2025 than it otherwise would have.

The idea being to discourage you from buying it by punishing you for buying it.

But wait, there’s more.

If the CAFE mandatory minimum rises to 54.5 MPG – as it is on track to do – the punitive tax will soar to almost $3,800 applied to that 28 MPG car.

The idea being to make it impossible for you to buy it.

The Trump administration countermanded these fatwas – which were fatwa’d by the Obama administration – and that was what the court battle was all about. Annoyed bureaucrats and “environmentalists” (a category of mummery of a piece with phrenology) challenged Trump’s challenging of the Obama-era fatwas.

Trump just lost – and thus, so have we.

Our next new car will cost more – unless we buy the kind of car the bureaucrats want us to buy. Smaller ones. More “efficient” ones.

But these cars will cost more, too. Just differently.

There is the obvious cost of complying with the fatwa – which will involve “fuel saving” but cost-adding technology. There is a reason why hybrid and electric cars are more expensive to buy than standard cars.

Turbocharged engines have more parts and so cost more than larger engines without the turbo – which make the same power using fewer parts but use a bit more gas.

Replacing six-speed automatics with one overdrive gear on top with nine and ten speed automatics with 2-3 overdrive gears on top isn’t free, either. Nor direct-injection, ultra-high compression, auto-stop/start systems – etc.

The not-so-obvious cost, though, will be the reduced choices – and the lost capabilities.

Which is the real object of this exercise.

“Gas guzzler” taxes – which have been with us since the ‘70s, always gradually increasing – exist in order to counter our preferences, which government bureaucrats and certain politicians can’t abide. It annoys the American Politburo that the cars which sell best are the cars they like the least – particularly pick-up trucks and SUVs, which for a time got around the CAFE taxes until the Feds changed the regs to encompass them, too.

But the targeted group also includes larger cars with V6 and V8 engines, minivans and crossovers – in a word, vehicles which give ordinary people the attributes they like:

Power, size and capability.

People continue to buy vehicles which provide these things, even at the expense of a few MPGs, rather than micro-engined, micro-cars and electric cars. Which don’t appeal to them nearly as much or make much less economic sense to them.

Else they’d sell.

No one seems to wonder about this.

Never mind.

“Wasteful” vehicles must be taxed “progressively” – in order to make them artificially unaffordable – so that the average person finds it progressively harder to afford them.

The idea isn’t to eliminate them, however.

Just to limit them to the Right Sort of People. Those who can afford the artificially upticked cost. People like New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman – who is no doubt himself a millionaire on the taxpayers’ back. He uttered the following after the court’s verdict was announced.

“The fuel efficiency standards penalty rule is a common sense measure that would protect consumers’ pocketbooks…”

Italics added.

Apparently, “consumers” – a truly loathsome word, suggestive of hogs at the trough – are too dumb to know where their own interests lie. They must be nudged by such as Schneiderman & Co. in the “common sense” direction.

“Consumers” are tricked, you see, into buying vehicles which they don’t really need. Which use “too much” gas. The Evil Car Industry caters to this – damn their eyes.

The Feds – and the courts – to the rescue!

Democracy in Action. As opposed to the actual democracy of people buying what they want.

Of course, what “consumers” should be buying – they just don’t see it – are the small, “fuel efficient” cars and electric cars that Schneiderman & Co. think they ought to buy. Which Schneiderman himself probably is not driving. As the AG of a big state, he is probably driven around in a taxpayer-purchased (and very “gas guzzling”) V8 Tahoe SUV or similar. Just as Soviet Politburo members had their ZIL limousines while the proletariat got Trabants.

If they were lucky.

But never mind.

Some animals are always more equal than others.

. . .

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51 COMMENTS

    • Sure, why not? They give their lives and their children’s lives to do the dirty-work of our politicians and be their mercenaries/terrorists in foreign countries, so it’s pretty apparent that their very existence is built around the worship of The Beast.

      It’s like I’ve long been saying- we’ll never see anything remotely resembling liberty in America- not even what little we used to have of the quasi/faux variety of it, because the foes of liberty are not just the politicians….but just as much or more so the people who elect and obey them.

  1. Many years ago a comic strip whose name I’ve forgotten had a father driving his family in an econobox and telling his wife: “These new cars are so wonderful, so compact and efficient and sensible…” In the next frame there are circles in his eyes and spit flying from his mouth as he rants that he wants his old V-8 back with a four-barrel carburetor. In the last frame he turns to his shocked wife and apologizes, saying that he just lost it there for a moment but is all right.

  2. Disgusting.

    Check out Today Your Car Does Not Drive program in Mexico City and Mexico State.

    Basically, you cant drive anywhere during certain times each month.

    Hoy No Circula
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoy_No_Circula

    A vehicle-owner from outside Mexico City or the State of Mexico is subject to a set of rules similar to those of locally plated vehicles. The first restriction, is a prohibition on operation from 5 a.m. to 11 a.m., Monday through Friday.

    The second restriction is like that of locally plated vehicles—prohibition on operation from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. on one of the five days from Monday through Friday, depending on the last digit of the license plate. Foreign plated vehicles are prohibited from operating on Saturdays.

    Weekday Plate’s last digit Sticker color
    Monday 5 or 6 yellow
    Tuesday 7 or 8 pink
    Wednesday 3 or 4 red
    Thursday 1 or 2 green
    Friday 9 or 0 and those with letters only or temporary plates blue
    Example: The last license-plate digit of a vehicle from Illinois is 3. From Monday to Friday, it may not be driven between 5 a.m. and 11 a.m. On Wednesday, it may not be driven between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m.

    Example: A vehicle from Illinois has their last digit being a 3. Thus under the rules above from Monday to Friday, they cannot drive between 5 a.m. to 11 a.m. However, on Wednesday, they have the additional restriction that they cannot drive between 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. And on the third Saturday of the month they cannot drive between 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.

  3. Shit like this then leads to shit like Ford getting out of the smaller-car business. Of course, the MSM are burying the fact that the insane ramp in CAFE standards, as well as the above action in the People’s Republic of New York, might have anything to do with this…

  4. In fact, THIS G.C. (George Carlin, not moi, sadly) RANT sums up just about EVERY problem that plagues us here in this country and the sentiments those of us gathered here on a semi-regular basis. This man is the Father of the Clover-Haters, in no uncertain terms! Eric and I can only wish to be a outspoken as this man!
    If there ever was a god, this man was his mouthpiece, Amen! Enjoy!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqdsNxS_fk8

    • Morning, Graves!

      Carlin has been one of my heroes – along with Mencken, Thompson, Paine, Spooner and (yes, really) Gore Vidal – for most of my adult life. They guy is walking hydrochloric acid; he dissolves bullshit just by being in the vicinity!

      • That’s funny, I’ve long admired Gore Vidal for his Stoic Cynicism, and impeccable manner of delivery, as well. He is also a fantastic writer, producer, director, and actor.
        With Carlin and Vidal, who needs guns? Andy Rooney used to be quite adept at pointing out the glaring inconsistencies of our society, but his latest material had been subdued and rather innocuous, so I think he was playing it safe for retirement.

        • I really don’t “get” yous guyses Carlin love. Sure, he’d say some good things, and was anti-establishment….but he was a liberal.

          One of his quotes: “If rights really were from God, don’t you think God would be looking out for you? He would have made it a right to have a roof over your head and food to eat…”

          Classic liberal bullshit-the belief that one can have “rights” at the expense and obligation of others- which means that one only believes in rights for some…and slavery for others.

          He beleived in gun control….

          And much of the other standard liberal fare.

          If ya wanna hear someone give a big F.U. to the system, but in a true Libertarian sense, listen to Larken Rose:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmDpssJmODs

          • Carlin was not a libertarian and certainly had left-wing leanings.
            Despite this, he hit the nail on the head in his assessment of the political situation in the U.S. Where we differ is not so much in our understanding of the current situation, but in our view of the way things should be.

            • The one thing I have to give Carlin props for, is his exploitation of the English language to a very high degree. Many of his bits were not just the expression of “funny ideas”, but rather well-crafted precisely-honed literature. Oftentimes, language was the actual subject of his bits and observations. His routine on “Euphemisms” is a shining example. (Props to my grandparents for coming here, ’cause that Dago language they speak back in It-lee ain’t all that great- which is probably why Eye-talians have to “speak with their hands”, ’cause their language can’t convey the whole meaning adequately!)

          • Carlin is very useful in conversation. For instance, I cite Carlin when I need to discuss what he called the “owners”. Doing this diffuses the ‘tin foil hat conspiracy theorist’ shutdown. He created mainstream accessibility to things to ‘out there’ for people to process otherwise. When I use ‘the owners, in the Carlin use of the term’ people know exactly what I mean and now I don’t have to defend the concept of owners. The work is done for me.

            • Good point Brent, but I’m not so sure that *their* idea of “owners” is the same as ours. Kinda like the typical libtard/”Occupier”(They occupy space…)/SJW’s/etc., who equate shareholders voting to compensate the CEO of their company in proportion to the gazillions he has helped the company to earn, as opposed to giving every stock clerk a month’s paid vacation in Tahiti, as being tantamount to George Soros or Hitler. They pick the wrong enemy,. They pick the wrong fight. It’s not that we make points with them when we cite a reference which they are familiar with…it’s just that we’re speaking their language….only it means different things to us and them.

              Kinda like when ya criticize the Donald….and the libtards thus assume that you must be one of them or are for their candidate.

        • Lisa Simpson: “….these are my only friends- grown-up nerds, like Gore Vidal- and even he’s kissed more boys than I ever will.” 😉

  5. Schniderman is a filthy swine who deserves to be dragged into the street by the heels and hung from a lamppost.

    That being said… the question is, what ARE we going to drive??? Ford just announced that it will quit making CARS for the North American market and sell only trucks and SUVs! And the cars that it is going to drop are the most fuel-efficient ones they make — the Focus and Fusion.

    It seems that they’re not making money on fuel efficient sedans… I guess people are happy to pay stupid money for trucks and happy to pay the “gas guzzler” CAFE tax, because that’s where the Big Three are making money… so that’s what they’re going to produce.

    This puts me in a bind, though. Personally, I can’t afford to spend sixty grand on a truck and then put $3 a gallon gas into it — and then have it rust out in Northern road salt. I’ve bought three Focuses brand-new — because I can AFFORD them. Looks like I’m going to be driving Kias in the future??

    • Yep: Seems to me like Ford is bailing on the CAFE so the fines will just roll over onto the backs of purchasers. Makes sense, actually, in a conspiratory way: The cheap cars just aren’t available. Sorry. Akin to the high MPG European diesels Eric keeps talking about.

      Boy, the Little Guy sure is getting squeezed on cars for the future: “Unobtainium” CAFE standards with the fines rolled in, hyper-strung out turbos in little bitty engines that you can’t service, over-the-top electronic crap, and systems that feed Gross_Bruder and the Lifestyle police….

      Looks like I will be keeping my old Harley Davidson after all and buying some really good ski clothes!

        • eric, I don’t even need the video, just 10 minutes of sound would make me feel better. On another note, I was looking at some El Camino pics on Hagerty. The ’59 was wearing old school Cragars and T/A’s and another had factory mags with T/A’s. I recall having a set of radials that were L 60’s.

    • Agree X. I’ve said for a while we’ll probably all have to drive Korean cars soon.
      I have recently become a fan of the old-school tech Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger club. Big, heavy, no fancy much of anything. And the V6 they say gets 19/30. Low $30’s gets a decent charger.

      They will probably be going away by 2020. Or maybe I’ll get lucky, and with Ford killing cars, FCA’s 300/Charger sales go up a lot, AND FCA says “hmmmm, they’re selling great, let’s just update for another 5 years” I can wish.

      • AHhhh! Chris, those 2 cars ya mentioned, are two of the biggest piles of crap on the road today! Bottom of the pile worst reliability/durability….. Chrysler can never seem to get it right.

        • Try a Ford. I had one long ago and that was enough. I loathe Fords with a passion and wish for them to go out of business one day very soon. Even though my best friend worked for them for 14 years. I had several Chryslers and they were really good cars. So easy to repair when they went wrong.

          • The quality (or lack thereof) of Fords seems to vary decade by decade, and by product line. Their cars are generally no better than GM or Cruddsler…but up until recently, they did seem to be the only one left making good fleet vehicles- like Crown Vics, and full-size pick-ups and vans.

            I’ve been driving nothing but Ford trucks for the last 30 years, and darned if they don’t go over 300K miles without a problem (after the original owner has had ’em a while and worked out all of the bugs).

            The crappy gas mileage is more than made up for by the lack of repairs and length of service. Of course, with newer stuff (’03 and up) all bets are off….but that’s true across the board, and mostly due to Uncle making them wring every drop of MPG out of a gallon of gas, which causes them to resort to things like VVT, and turbo-everything.

      • Chris, the wife rented a Charger. It was a gas hog, not nearly what they said it would get and this was all interstate on cruise(by her….more than I’d have gotten). I noticed a really bright spot at the base of the passenger door and couldn’t tell what was making it. It appeared to be some super strong LED or something. Nah, it was just the west Tx. sun…..shining under the shut door, what QC.

  6. Bosch Says It’s Made a Breakthrough That Can Save Diesel Engines

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/bosch-says-made-breakthrough-save-102115089.html

    Robert Bosch GmbH said its engineers have developed a new diesel-exhaust system that cuts emissions far below legal limits taking effect in 2020 and can help automakers avoid potential driving bans in Europe that threaten to doom the engine technology.

    “This breakthrough offers the opportunity to shift the heated debate over diesel into new territory and, hopefully, bring it to a close,” Bosch Chief Executive Officer Volkmar Denner said Wednesday at a press conference outside Stuttgart.

    • I can only imagine… They’ve turned current diesels into Rube Goldberg monstrosities of unreliable non-durable delicate crap just to comply with current emissions BS laws… At this point, the problem ISN’T lack of technology, but rather overabundance of regulations, so trying to use the former to address the latter is a losing game, and is playing right into their hands. Anyway, all they have to do is ratchet-up the standards to new limits just over what the “new tekno-lodgy” can achieve, and we’re back to banning the IC engine, as is their true intent.

      • Gasoline engines are going that direction as well. You now have twin charged, direct injected tiny engines running huge amounts of boost, like Volvo’s 370HP 2.0 liter 4-cylinder. Even these rube goldberg devices won’t meet CAFE regulations.

        We’ll all be forced to drive electrics, and pay much more for cars, all the while our electrical grid catches fire.

        • Exactly. And EV’s are unsustainable….to all but the rich or those who travel very limited distances, and this is part of their plan.

          The automobile has always been a false economy though: An expensive to maintain luxury which has become a necessity because the modern world has been built around it. It required collectivist roads and infrastructure; collectivist fuel aquisition; etc. etc.

          Could it all have been done entirely in a free-market…yes, it could have…but it would likely be different- and that would have been a good thing.

          Now *they* are using their collectivist economy of infrastructure/wars/debt/etc. to control society even more, while eliminating the autonomy their creation once provided us, so just the control remains.

          I hope to soon live in the wilderness, where neither the infrastructure nor the control exists. Cars may’ve been one of the few enjoyable benefits of the big-government world….but look where it has led: Massive debt; forced insurance; crowded noisy cities; hardly any real countryside left; massive taxation to pay for the infrastructure; licenses; inspections; traffic cops…..

  7. “protecting our pocketbooks” by decreeing that we unnecessarily pay more….just like “protecting us from illegal drugs” by ruining the lives of those who may choose to use such, and possibly even killing them.

    Seems to be a pattern with our overlords.

  8. I believe that’s the fine if the automaker fails to make CAFE. Not a tax on individual models that fall short of the average.

    Gas guzzler taxes are applied to vehicle models that fall below some number a good deal lower than the CAFE requirement.

    Nobody will pay a tax on an individual car that fails to make the CAFE requirement if the automaker does make it over their entire line. If the automaker does fail, then it will pay the fine for everything they make. Which of course they pass on. So expect the prices of BMWs and other German makes that can’t meet CAFE now to go up.

  9. I’ve noticed in the past couple years a trend of people rebuilding to like new, older pickups such as the 90’s GM’s for the most part. With the price of a new pickup being astronomical it makes sense even though insurance companies won’t write a comprehensive policy for you.

    I’ll bet it will be an insurance mandate that stops the use of older vehicles, a ten fold increase in a liability policy for a certain age and older vehicles. Insurance is just another way banks rob us anyway. We see mandatory insurance on everything now, health insurance included.

  10. I’m probably buying a new truck next year, so I’ve started shopping. I love my new old-school Chrysler 300S V8 RWD-only so much (old school meaning older tech V8) that I’m now even considering a Ram, coming from GM trucks since the 90’s (10 of them).

    However, I just read this review on the new Ram, and unfortunately, even Ram is now adding so much high tech to save 1-2mpg that it’s got me worried about reliability.

    http://www.motortrend.com/cars/ram/1500/2019/2019-ram-1500-first-drive-truck-rides-like-car/

    It seems like the new way is a new car will have to be purchased with an extended factory warranty for fear of a ‘generator’ or ‘frame shaker’ going bad right after the warranty is up. I fear that people buying these new-fangled cars/trucks used 5-10 years from now will be in for a shock for a $2500 ‘generator module’, etc….

    Again, I say, we have been scamed for sure. What was wrong with a 1997 chevy 5.7 pickup? nothing. We could be buying them for half price now. all for 3mpg compared to my current ’14 pickup.
    Planned competition limiting, period.

    • I’ll tell you what’s wrong with a 97, airbags, more computerization and a less reliable engine than the 350’s…..but I’ll buy it. How much you want? Seriously, I continue to look for a 3/4T or one ton 4WD ext or crewcab pickup from the 90’s.

      • I’m pretty sure the 1500’s had both driver and passenger airbags in ’97.
        Really I just picked a year as an example.
        I currently own a ’99 2500 farm-beater truck and it does not have airbags.

        • If it has no air bags they’ve been removed. Nobody could sell a bagless vehicle in ’97. They began putting them in in ’95, the very reason I want a 94 or older. At least the POS Z71 has a switch to turn the passenger bag off. The wife and I never turn it on. It does have a red symbol of an airbag lighted up when it’s off. I try to ignore it since it only reminds me I don’t have the same option when driving.

          GM was the company that first offered air bags and couldn’t sell them. Eventually it was forced down everybody’s throat just like most everything we have these days has been crammed down our throats…….mandatory insurance comes to mind. Govt. mandates make everything more expensive.

  11. It’s not about the ability to buy the offending vehicles.
    They seek to make it impossible for automakers to profitably PRODUCE such vehicles, when the number of consumers willing and able to pay the “tax” falls below a viable level.
    At that point, the choice is removed.

  12. I love how they exempt themselves from the gas guzzler tax. You see all cops in suvs and chargers here in my state paid for by me. Military vehicles have no cafe. I believe the military is the largest user of petroleum products in the USA. If they believe in saving gas and now “clean air” they can have all the government workers driving Chevrolet volts or bolts for that matter. Let public transportation rely on electric buses or volts as well. The military can drive electric cars and helium zeppelins powered by a pedal and prop to do their part in saving the environment.

  13. I can Easily picture the Armani-suited Pricks pictured above wearing Black and Silver Geststapo and SS costumes and/or the Green & Red Monkey Suits of the former Soviet Union, or better yet, the South American Bannanna Republic Outfits like the Military Dictators in the 80’s and 90’s. They might as well dress the part, right?

  14. Big Brother must also want to force everyone to live on a paved road and not have any children.

    These mythical 55 mpg cars are not going to be suitable for gravel/dirt roads, nor are they going to be able to carry more than two people plus luggage.

    So I guess we are going to be buying 2500, 3500 or larger pickups for family “cars”.

  15. I don’t understand how Trump was overruled by this. He’s the president, the EPA falls under his executive branch jurisdiction, he ordered it to do something. It shows you who’s really in charge of this country, and that’s the unelected bureaucrats.

    I come from a country which had totalitarian communism (yes, that’s redundant). It wasn’t much different than here in terms of how power was applied, except the bureaucrats made no pretense about what they were doing. Communism was more honest than what we have. I’m shocked to see my American friends and colleagues telling me that we live in a free country and that I’m being hyperbolic. Communists definitely controlled more of our daily lives than US bureaucrats currently, that’s not in question, but the mechanisms where the same. We’re heading down that path, and it scares me. Freedom is dying fast in the US.

  16. Let’s all just get in line for our Amerikun “Lada”, which will be some worthless piece of shit like a Nissan Versa, a Chevy Aveo, or a Ford Aspire.

    • Well people worrying about resale value can’t buy those cars and they don’t. They lose their value so fast. A local car dealer is offering used 2017 chevy sparks with low mileage for under 10k! That means its already lost a third of its value in under a year.

    • gtc, the wife had a Versa rent car in 2010 I believe it was. It had a maddening noise coming from the ceiling lamp. We drove to Grapevine to see the SIL and the wife drove, said it she was the only driver covered by insurance. Fine by me so I thought I was going to get some shut eye. That damn buzzing was loud enough it drove me batty.

      On the return trip I put some tools in the front floor and sure enough, that POS started buzzing worse than ever. I spent a couple hours taking that light assembly apart and putting it back together. Oh for another screw, a drill or anything I could use to modify it, even a roll of ducktape I could create something to jam in there would have worked…..maybe. About 60 miles from home I directed her, since it was after noon on Sunday, to stop at a store where I bought some beer. After 3 or 4 I felt somewhat better and managed to laugh at it and myself.

      I have somewhat of a jaundiced view of Nissan anyway after owning one of their pickups. I can live without Nissan anything.

      BTW, the prick in the pic in this article looks mighty self-satisfied. Look at me, I have managed to fuck over entire industries with just a stroke of my hand.

  17. It’s becoming evident to me that this is just about collecting more tax $$ at the time of sale on the new car. Essentially, the CAFE is becoming like the element “unobtainium”. So, the end game is to just collect more $$, making the “gas guzzler” tax forced onto the proletariat. Early on, you will be able to dodge this by buying used. Eventually though, this extra cost on new cars will push used car prices a little higher.

    It will work in the used car market kinda like “Cash for Clunkers” did years ago. Back then, you couldn’t touch a decent used car for less than $7500 b/c the used-car owner could get $5k for it under the Clunkers deal. The mega taxation via the CAFE surcharges will work like this.

    Wow, I know Eric talks frequently about the late 90’s early 2000’s as being the apex of sensible car design: Features, durability, maintainability, fixability, etc. That statement is becoming more and more prophetic! I’ve been looking at an 07 Dodge Ram 1500, 4.7L, 4WD, 138k miles for $8800… That’s looking better all the time!

    • Hi Tom,
      It’s just like everything else, another excuse to rob us using whatever “reasons” they wish. This shit is gonna come to a stop sooner or later, and I would prefer it be sooner, frankly.

  18. It always helps to actually see a “gas guzzler” tax for real. Here’s the Monroney sticker (window sticker for normal, well-balanced, intelligent people) for a 2018 Shelby Mustang:

    http://www.windowsticker.forddirect.com/windowsticker.pdf?token=H%2BoVq%2Fkn9gZsGBgrxEHg3SoqNscmQyCq%2Fn2EaArOi96ZinTPxiU7uG7Dogz%2B1aR5gnnw5A6jbcKdJRG8C8LWn5SlwMdyyW%2BuWHTJpuSdgPzJXj%2F9e5v5LBAiyy2AOW%2B8%2ByN41M9Gub7n7JSy8YYA7TQtY1cPkToHCVTU7chCWHY%3D

    Right there under “optional equipment/other” is “gas guzzler tax” at $1300.

    Damm, there is so much wrong with this, where do you begin? What the Hell can we do?

    • Once it’s accepted that the government can tax anything for any reason, it will be invariably used for social engineering — by antisocial people who aren’t engineers.

      I suspect the “anything for any reason” part might be redundant.

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