President Obama tried rally environmentalists and working-class supporters today, by bragging about his refusal to wait for Congress to implement new fuel efficiency standards.
"Change is the decision we made to stop waiting for Congress to do something about our oil addiction and finally raise fuel-efficiency standards on cars," Obama said during a fundraiser in Detroit. "By the middle of the next decade, we will be driving American-made cars, better than ever, that get 55 miles to a gallon. That saves the typical family over $8,000 at the pump, helps the environment."
Obama failed to mention that the average price of a vehicle will likely increase by $3,200, driving lower-income buyers out of the market, as The Washington Examiner's Conn Carroll explains. Meanwhile as the standards create what The Washington Examiner editors call a de facto "individual mandate to buy Chevy Volts."
The comment reflects a common theme of Obama's presidency. "I'd like to work my way around Congress," he told the Congressional Hispanic Caucus last year when discussing immigration reform. The president now hopes that Hispanics forget that he opted not to work with Congress on immigration reform when he had the votes, perhaps sacrificing the opportunity for the next decade.
But for that other niche group, the environmentalists, Obama "stop[ped] waiting for Congress" and did what they wanted him to do.