Here's what the WSJ has to say (in part) on the subject. Excerpts:
So far, the Obama administration has yet to lay out its magical thinking on how the homegrown auto makers are to become "viable" when required to subordinate every auto attribute that consumers find desirable (ed: emphasis mine) in favor of achieving a passenger-car average of 39 miles per gallon by 2016. Nonetheless the answer has quietly seeped out: Taxpayers will write $5,000 or $7,000 rebate checks to other taxpayers to bribe them to buy hybrids and plug-ins at a price that lets Detroit claim it's earning a "profit" on its Obamamobiles.As for attributes I find desirable... horsepower is right up there along with agility. It pains me, severely, to think that those rompin', stompin' V8s of my youth... improved as they are (and 304 hp V6s that get 29 mpg, fer gawd's sake)... will go the way of the dodo. I just don't see how they fit in with The One's
Mr. Obama was supposed to be smart. His administration was supposed to be a smart administration. But the policy coming out has not been smart. It has been a brute shifting of power to the president's political allies, justified by the shibboleths of copybook liberalism (though Mr. Obama is clever enough to know that nothing he's done will have a meaningful effect on atmospheric carbon or climate change or the country's need for oil imports).
I may never own another fire-breathing V8 and it's quite likely I wouldn't choose one the next time I'm in the market for a new car, anyway. But I ain't happy about having the goddamned government take that choice away from me. What have we come to?
(toon from the usual source)