Since I was last here, the auto bailout has already gone down. It looks like the president will use some of the $700 billion to step in where Congress (or really the Senate GOP) didn’t.
While I don’t know if bailout or bankruptcy is the right solution for the Big Three, I do know that the GOP rationale for not bailing out the industry just doesn’t make sense. If you want wage restrictions for companies that get bailout money, why did you fight so hard against executive compensation rules for the financial companies that, you know, got us into this mess? Why weren’t across the board wage cuts part of the AIG bailout, even if we ignore the executive compensation issue? Heck, the US Government is in huge amounts of debt. Why doesn’t a congressperson introduce a bill to cut the salary of congress by the same amount as the proposed UAW cut?
I honestly don’t have a problem with the people who are saying “They should just go into bankruptcy, because the consequences won’t be that bad, and it’s better in the long-term.” Salon quotes the conservative blog “Hot Air”, who says about the same thing:
If they’re convinced that economic catastrophe is inevitable and don’t want to burn any more taxpayer money trying to deflect the asteroid, that’s fine. If, on the flip side, they think the consequences of letting the Big Three fail and losing a million jobs in this economic climate won’t be that bad, that’s fine too. Both are good reasons to oppose a bailout. But make the case. Explain to me why, in the middle of a global economic crisis, propping up a failing industry to save jobs at least until the crisis is over is a worse option than pulling the plug now.
Now we have fallout from the bailout failing. First off, Andrew Leonard from Salon, with an ironic little story. Bob Corker of Tennessee was the GOP’s lead on killing the bailout. Once the bailout died, GM announced that it’s shutting down most of its plants, including the one in Spring Hill, TN. Whoops.
Next, we have Rachel Maddow with a pretty eloquent little rant about the GOP’s new platform: reducing the wages of American Workers. I can imagine the bumper stickers now.
And finally, every action in congress has political consequences. As Andrew Leonard points out, the economies of Michigan and Ohio are already in serious trouble. If this causes a lot of layoffs and the state economies get worse, do you see them voting for republicans any time soon? I’d say it’s pretty unlikely. The GOP is starting to look more and more like a regional party…maybe they like it that way, because they sure don’t seem to be making many friends.