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Auto Deal Dead? Hold your horses ...
Posted by: McQ on Friday, December 12, 2008

Well the Republicans in the Senate (with the usual exceptions) and a couple of Democrats kept the US government out of the car business last night.

Reading the blogosphere, on both sides, has been fascinating. From Ed Morrisey's "good" to Jane Hamsher's "the Republicans quite plainly want the economy to fail" and everything in between.

But just when Republicans, at least in the Senate, seem to be returning to their ideological roots, it appears that the White House is poised to gut the effort and spare the Democrats the necessity of standing up and taking ownership of the entire debacle themselves. Yes, friends, Bush and the boys are now talking about doing something they rejected previously. They're talking about using part of the $700 billion bailout package for financial institutions for the auto industry:
Bush officials warned wavering GOP senators earlier Thursday that if they didn't support the legislation, the White House will likely be forced to tap the Wall Street bailout to lend them money, two Republican congressional officials told CNN earlier.

The White House on Friday confirmed that bank bailout funds may now be tapped to aid Detroit.

"Given the current weakened state of the U.S. economy, we will consider other options if necessary - including use of the TARP program - to prevent a collapse of troubled automakers," said White House Press Secretary Dana Perino in a statement released Friday. "A precipitous collapse of this industry would have a severe impact on our economy, and it would be irresponsible to further weaken and destabilize our economy at this time."

This is a noteworthy change since the White House and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson have previously refused to use bank bailout funds to help General Motors, Ford Motor and Chrysler LLC.
The point of course is regardless of the process, regardless of the principles at war in the process and frankly, regardless of who won the battle, there was a fallback plan under which a Republican administration planned on using other funds to thwart a final vote that didn't conform to their desires.

You have to wonder why they bothered? Heck, this could have been done weeks ago. But as you recall, the administration refused then. Now, suddenly, the Bush administration is the Democrat's best friend:
"I would only hope that the president, who has worked so well with us for the past several weeks, would now use consider using the TARP money," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., after the vote.
You just have to read that to know how screwed up this entire government has become. Oh, and this:
One of the sources said a White House official made clear to a GOP senator that that would be the worst option, because the loan could go to the auto companies with few or no requirements attached.
No. The "worst option" is undermining the supposed "will of the people" which said, last night, that the deal is dead. If TARP funds are used, the businesses are propped up with no required changes and the same failed business model continues burning through billions and billions of dollars. Of course, if the administration carries through on this, it won't even be their own billions they burn through this time.

This is a travesty and a sham. It points out what is becoming increasingly evident to those who observe the process of government in this country - if they can't get what they want through the legal framework allowed by the Constitution, they'll find a way around it. And that marks a country in serious and evident decline.
 
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If I understand correctly, the major sticking point now is that unions refuse to accept any wage cuts in exchange for getting the bailout.

In other words, their position is "Heck no, we won’t take a pay cut! We’d rather lose our jobs!"
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://qando.net
"Heck no, we won’t take a pay cut! We’d rather lose our jobs!"

I can only hope such bullheadedness stays steadfast. Then perhaps the unions will do something useful for a change and force this to fail.
 
Written By: josh b
URL: http://
"I would only hope that the president, who has worked so well with us for the past several weeks,
What in blazes if going on with Bush the past few months? He has become a total lapdog for the most liberal democrats. Killing this bailout is right for America long-term. When the dems somehow get a bailout done it should be "ALL THEIRS"! There should not be any "republican cover" for them.

Man, what a lost opportunity this would be.
 
Written By: jjmurphy
URL: http://www.allthatisnecessary.com
The Federal Government has already been in the auto business for many years by "virtue" of CAFE. This is why the Big Three build small cars that in many cases cannot compete with other automaker’s offerings. FREE THE BIG THREE! Just drop CAFE, it’s so simple.
 
Written By: TheOldMan
URL: http://
McQ - This is a travesty and a sham. It points out what is becoming increasingly evident to those who observe the process of government in this country - if they can’t get what they want through the legal framework allowed by the Constitution, they’ll find a way around it. And that marks a country in serious and evident decline.

Oh, you ain’t seen decline yet. Wait until people start to really grasp just how much money the government has spent in the past couple of months and how little chance there is that it will ever be paid back. Wait until those morons in DC (on both sides of the aisle) realize that they really have unlimited money to spend on anything they want. Deficits be damned! If you can’t blame them on somebody else, you can always pass them along to the next guy to come along.

The fundamental problem is that far too many Americans have come to believe that not only CAN the government fix all our problems, it SHOULD do so. Bush is a perfect example: he’s spending money in a desperate attempt to solve what is effectively an insoluble problem. The Big Three aren’t failing because of some unexpected catastrophe. Rather, they are failing because of an inefficient business model, artificially high labor costs, and horrible management. All the money in the world won’t fix those problems; it will merely postpone the inevitable. But Bush seems to think that he has to do SOMETHING even though there’s nothing effective that he can do.

Sigh...

We are so screwed. The future looks to hold nothing but a series of crises, each acting as a seed for the next one. Government will respond to each of them in the only way it seems to know how, i.e. spending money and increasing regulation. The end result will be a lethal combination of public debt and destroyed private industry.

As for Dingy Harry and his remarks... He’s praising Bush and talking about how well they’ve worked together???? Is this the same Dingy Harry who has accused Bush of being variously a liar, and idiot, and a "loser"???? If the dems (spit) believed half of what they’ve said about Bush these past eight years, it seems to me that he would be the LAST person they’d listen to in a crisis.
 
Written By: docjim505
URL: http://
I am at a loss to understand President’s motive. A misbegotten attempt to make nice and shore up a short term "good" legacy? Is it something his heart believes must be done? What I do understand is that "compassionate conservatism" is neither compassionate nor conservative and it is wrecking the future.
 
Written By: Jay
URL: http://

 
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