See Kevin Drum for the latest in Obama amazingness. To wit:
The federal government would pay 10 percent of the $6.7 billion in annual health costs for retirees that are weighing down General Motors, Ford and Chrysler if they'll commit to building more fuel-efficient cars, Obama proposed in a speech Tuesday before a panel at the National Governors Association conference. He called it a "win-win proposal for the industry."
Specifically, he wants the auto industry to do the following:
Ramp up new fuel standards that will result in production of 65 billion gallons of alternative fuels per year by 2025.
Mandate that the federal government buy only flex fuel vehicles.
Within ten years, mandate that every car in America is a flex fuel vehicle. Include a $100 tax credit per vehicle to ease the pain.
Put yellow gas caps on all flex fuel vehicles.
Provide a $30,000 tax credit to any gas station that installs E85 pumps (i.e., a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline).
Matt Yglesias is less hot on the idea on a policy level, although he recognizes that it is political gold. He thinks that it may violate WTO rules (though he doesn't explain how, and I don't see the violation on first pass. If having complete national healthcare isn't a WTO violation, then how does partial coverage become one? Explanation appreciated). At the moment, Yglesias hasn't convinced me (though he definitely didn't pour his full argumentative talent into dismantling the plan). So I stand with Carpetbagger Report that this is win-win-win for Democrats, and they should press hard for it.
Just showing, yet again, that Obama is the golden boy.