Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Oh, No, The Federal Government Never Ever Helps Private Industry

So, the federal government only bails out financially wobbly industries -- like the airlines in 2001 -- with billions of taxpayer dollars when the tipping point is a domestic terrorist attack?

Refresh your memory of that deal here, here and here.

But when the industry which re-started the American economy after 9/11/01 -- the car business in general, and GM in particular (with the zero percent financing it carried itself) -- needs help because of many p0litical problems caused domestically, that's when we start pondering political philosophies?

What were some of Detroit's tipping points? How about: the rise in gas prices due to the diluted America dollar; the unregulated lack of oversight of the financial markets which undermined consumer confidence and ability to borrow; reckless oil futures trading; or tax breaks of out-sourcing American jobs.

And how about the big one? No national health care insurance, which puts us at a disadvantage against all competing foreign automakers, which have national health care, and makes Michigan lose new plants to the otherwise very similar Ontario.

For those who want to put strings on a deal with Detroit, look at how grateful ungrateful the airlines have been to us, their saviors, a mere seven years ago.

Seems a bit inconsistent to me. Or could it just be that the car makers are caught up in some post-AIG schadenfreude?

Here's an idea. If you don't want to put $25 billion directly toward the car companies, use that to transfer all their health care responsibilities into Medicare. That'd be a big help.

1 comment:

Kim said...

The attitude towards the auto industry's request has left me bitter. I agree that an influx of cash isn't the full answer, but there are hundreds of thousands of jobs at stake here...millions of families. Let's at the very least do SOMETHING.