DetN Shock Horror! Auto Task Force Owns Foreign Cars!

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
detn shock horror auto task force owns foreign cars

Instead of digging into the murky finances of federal teat sucker and Chrysler owner Cerberus, The Detroit News has focused its investigative expertise on the automotive lifestyles of the Presidential Automotive Task Force. I’m not sure exactly how this counts as “gotcha” journalism—and neither is author David Shepardson. “The vehicles owned by the Obama administration’s auto team could reflect one reason why Detroit’s Big Three automakers are in trouble: The list includes few new American cars.” Care to expand on that thought David, or just fan the flames of anti-DC hatred simmering in the automotive heart of Bailout Nation? Thought so. Sherpardson reveals that the ratio of domestic owning to foreign driving members is two to eighteen. Shock! Of course, “information was not available on all of the officials, and records for some states were not complete.” Never mind. ‘Cause in this particular witch hunt, if you EVER owned a foreign car you’re named and shamed, I shit you not.

• Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag owns a 2008 Honda Odyssey and a 2004 Volvo S60. He previously owned a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 1982 Datsun.

• Carol Browner, the White House climate czar, said earlier this month at the Washington Auto Show that she doesn’t own an automobile. Public records show she once owned a 1999 Saab 9-5 SE.

• Austan Goolsbee, staff director and chief economist for the White House Economic Recovery Advisory Board, owns a 2004 Toyota Highlander.

• Joan DeBoer, the chief of staff to LaHood, said in an interview Sunday she drives a 2008 Lexus RX 350. She doesn’t consider herself “a car buff” and views her car as a way to get around town.

• Heather Zichal, deputy director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change, owns a Volvo C30, according to public records and officials.

• Gene Sperling, counsel to the Treasury Secretary, owns a 2003 Lincoln LS, and previously owned a 1993 Saturn SL2.

• Edward B. Montgomery, senior adviser to the Labor Department, owns a 1991 Harley-Davidson and previously owned a 1990 Ford Taurus L station wagon, public records show.

• Lisa Heinzerling, senior climate policy counsel to the head of the EPA, owns a 1998 Subaru Legacy Outback station wagon, according to her husband.

• Diana Farrell, the deputy National Economic Council director, doesn’t own a vehicle. Her husband, Scott Pearson, owns a 1985 Peugeot 505 S.

• Dan Utech, senior adviser to the Energy Secretary, owns a 2003 M[INI] Cooper S two-door hatchback.

• Rick Wade, a senior adviser at the Commerce Department, owns a 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier and previously owned a 1998 Toyota Corolla.

• Jared Bernstein, Vice President Joe Biden’s chief economist, owns a 2005 Honda Odyssey.

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  • 50merc 50merc on Feb 24, 2009

    Mr. Horner, I appreciate your thoughtful and informative remarks. Posts like yours help make TTAC a great site, and are a refreshing change from commentary such as one would find on Democratic Underground. Actually, I do know a bit about the evolution of the office of Vice President. (I have a PhD in political science.) My jibe was directed to government's tendency to grow over time. In the Veep's case, it's an example of "mission creep." One of these days the office might get its own Council of Economic Advisors.

  • Potemkin Potemkin on Feb 24, 2009

    Jesse : Yes, you eat at Macdonalds if you want fast food and you work there and you shop at Walmart if you work there and can buy it there. Just common sense. If your employer closes you lose your job and then you can't afford to either eat or buy. Those people who think they are insulated from the failures of domestic manufacturing need a wake up call. If the good manufacturing jobs go then so does the tax base both local, state and federal which leads to a downsized public service. People working in the construction, electronics, restaurants, etc, etc will all be impacted if there are no well paying manufacturing jobs left in the US and Canada. The only people who will be OK are the robber barons at the top who already off shore their millions. They'll be drinking and laughing at how stupid we were to allow them to ship all our good jobs off shore.

  • Alan I would think Ford would beef up the drive line considering the torque increase, horse power isn't a factor here. I looked at a Harrop supercharger for my vehicle. Harrop offered two stages of performance. The first was a paltry 100hp to the wheels (12 000AUD)and the second was 250hp to the wheels ($20 000 (engine didn't rev harder so torque was significantly increased)). The Stage One had no drive line changes, but the Stage Two had drive line modifications. My vehicle weighs roughly the same as a full size pickup and the 400'ish hp I have is sufficient, I had little use for another 100 let alone 250hp. I couldn't see much difference in the actual supercharger setup other than a ratio change for the drive of the supercharger, so that extra $8 000 went into the drive line.
  • ToolGuy Question: F-150 FP700 ( Bronze or Black) supercharger kit is legal in 50 states, while the Mustang supercharger kit is banned in California -- why??
  • ToolGuy Last picture: Labeling the accelerator as "play" and the brake pedal as "pause" might be cute, but it feels wrong. It feels wrong because it is wrong, and it is wrong because Calculus.Sidebar: I have some in-laws who engage the accelerator and brake on a binary on/off all-in basis. So annoying as a passenger.Drive smoothly out there. 🙂
  • Johnny ringo It's an interesting vehicle, I'd like to see VW offer the two row Buzz in the states also.
  • Chuck Norton And guys are having wide spread issues with the 10 speed transmission with the HP numbers out of the factory......