Guess what we need? Another auto-industry commission

Barack Obama hasn’t learned anything from the collapse of GM.  The automaker stumbled in part from too much duplication in product, which apparently has given Obama the bad idea to launch duplicative commissions to handle the government involvement in the auto industry.  Four months after launching the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry, Obama will create a White House Council on Automotive Communities and Workers:


President Barack Obama is creating a White House council to handle issues that affect American communities and workers tied to the automotive industry.

The White House says Obama will sign an executive order Tuesday to establish the White House Council on Automotive Communities and Workers. The council will be chaired by the president’s economic adviser, Larry Summers, and his labor secretary, Hilda Solis.

The executive director will be Obama’s director of recovery for auto communities and workers, Ed Montgomery.

Who is Ed Montgomery?  Yet another auto-industry expert who’s, ah, never worked in the auto industry.  He led Obama’s transition team for the Department of Labor, and he’s held this director position since the end of March.  He joins the 31-year-old law-school dropout who was put in charge of the GM bankruptcy and Steve Rattner, the Auto Industry Task Force chief, who likewise never worked in the auto industry.

Speaking of Rattner, why does Obama need to create a new commission at all?  Larry Summers and Hilda Solis already sit on Rattner’s panel.  Why not just add Montgomery to it and expand their mission?  Oh, wait — Montgomery is also already on the Auto Industry Task Force.  And it’s not as though the AITF is focused like a laser beam on internal restructuring of the automakers anyway.  The AITF includes:

  • Environmental Protection Agency Administrator
  • Director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change
  • Heather Zichal, Deputy Director, White House Office of Energy and Climate Change
  • Lisa Heinzerling, Senior Climate Policy Counsel to the EPA Administrator

The White House appears to have odd priorities.  They have three — count ’em, three — “climate policy” advisers on the AITF for the past four months, and only now have added concerns about the impact of the auto industry collapse on “American communities and workers.”  Maybe Obama can create even more auto-industry “councils” and “task forces”, and instead of shuffling the same people between them, hire a few new faces … perhaps even people who have actually worked in the auto industry.

We could even give them cool names instead of these lengthy, clumsy titles.  We could call one Oldsmobile, another Pontiac, and so on.  Catchy, no?

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