American industry is being "hobbled" by an "onslaught" of government regulation, according to Bob Lutz, former vice chairman of GM and author of Car Guys vs. Bean Counters: The Battle for the Soul of American Business.
As a legendary 'car guy', Lutz is somewhat predictably most concerned about President Obama's energy policies and the impact it may have on U.S. auto makers for which he otherwise sees a bright future. (See: Bob Lutz Forecasst: 'Brilliant Future for The Auto Industry")
Although Lutz says Herman Cain is his favorite Republican these days, the former auto executive sounds a lot like Texas Governor and GOP Presidential candidate Rick Perry when he rails against "the increasing, and in my judgement, largely unnecessary [government] meddling in the private enterprise mechanism."
Somewhat unpredictably, however, Lutz believes the government isn't involved enough in repairing the nation's crumbling infrastructure. Even more surprising, Lutz recommends a "graduated, rising" federal tax on gasoline to help give consumers more certainty about gas prices — and encourage them to buy fuel-efficient vehicles -- with the proceeds (wait for it) to go to pay for upgrades of the nation's aging rail system.
An American businessman complaining about too much regulation is hardly newsworthy these days. But a former car guy lobbying for a gas tax to pay for better railroads? Now that's something different -- and maybe even worth considering.