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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bailout Debate, Part 1: GOP is CRAZY

There is so much I'd like to write about the Washington debate over making an emergency loan to the Detroit 3 that I don't have remotely enough time to do so. But I'll throw up a few thoughts over the next day or so.

Part 1: The GOP is CRAZY*.

The Republican party just got kicked to the curb by the American voting public. Not only did Obama win, resoundingly, but the Republican party managed to lose seats in the House and Senate, and is in danger of not even being able to filibuster effectively, because of a very slim 1 or 2 seat bulwark.

The GOP lost partly by losing the closely contested states of Ohio and Indiana. Which happen to be big automotive states.

It is nearly impossible for the GOP to put together a winning electoral map without Ohio.

Forget economics. Even of the Republicans are right (I don't think they are) that Chapter 11 protection is the best road , if the Democrats manage to stick in the voting public's memory that Bush and the Republicans fiddled while GM burned, the future gets dimmer in the midwest for the Republican party.

And if the doomsayers are even half correct, and a collapsing GM takes down suppliers, and other companies with it, if the Midwestern unemployment and home foreclosure rates skyrocket--the Republicans are dead.


Because people will remember who was in power when it started, and they will remember who sat there during the committee hearings and shook their fingers at the CEOs and lectured them that Chapter 11 was the best for everyone. And if people start to forget, the Democrats will gleefully remind them.

If the Republicans want to have a chance at regaining power any time soon, they had better come to the table with better ideas for the Detroit 3 than "let them fail, then we'll sort it out".

*I write this as a registered Republican, and former campaign volunteer (2004).


Hucbald said...

As long as any aid to the Big 3 is predicated on UAW workers taking a pay cut to even them out with non-union auto workers at foreign plants here in the US - that would be circa $72 UAW versus $45 non-union - well then fine. If, however, the UAW is NOT willing to take this pay cut, then let them go chapter 11.

Chapter 11 allows manufacturing to continue, so suppliers wouldn't be driven completely out of business, and all of those burdensome competition-stifling union contracts could be voided.

Look, this is an historic opportunity to bust a union that has driven our auto industry into the ditch with its unreasonable demands and strong-arm tactics against the owners. And guess what? It's been the middle management who have really paid, because they've been pay frozen for ages now. Meanwhile, the union workers get more and more money for less and less work, and executive compensations are positively obscene.

Any bailout that attempts to preserve the status quo is the real insanity here.

Look, I'm DYING to get a 2010 Dodge RAM 1500 4x4 with the new light duty Cummins diesel V-8, and I drive an '03 Quad Cab now, so I'm an American pickup kind of guy, but our auto industry will NEVER be viable as long as it's being held hostage by the UAW and its ridiculous compensation scheme.

Anonymous said...

I thought we were supposed to be *against* coporate welfare? Now we're supposed to be for it?

I wish the DNC would make up its mind.

Anonymous said...

With Mitt's comments a few days ago you can guarantee he won't carry Michigan or Ohio if he were to run again. I hope he did some calculating to find out what votes he would gain by saying the Big 3 should just go under.

Anonymous said...

"And guess what? It's been the middle management who have really paid, because they've been pay frozen for ages now."

Yeah, poor middle management, now they know how the average American worker feels who have endured stagnant wages for decades.

Anonymous said...

endured stagnant wages for decades...

Yeah, those poor overworked union saints only getting seventy plus dollars an hour to power torque a few bolts... I feel for 'em.