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December 11, 2008 12:41 AM UTC

Automaker Bailout Progresses, GOP Feigns Bailout Anger

  • by: Colorado Pols

As The Associated Press reports:

Majority Democrats and the Bush White House have finalized a deal to speed $14 billion in emergency loans to struggling U.S. automakers, congressional officials said today.

Strong opposition lingered among some Republicans.

The White House did not go as far as to say the deal was final, although it did report “very good progress.” The measure could see a House vote later today and be enacted by week’s end.

Then, money could be disbursed within days to cash-starved General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC, while Ford Motor Co. – which has said it has enough liquidity to stay afloat – would be eligible for federal aid.

It would create a government “car czar” named by President George W. Bush to dole out the loans, with the power to force the carmakers into bankruptcy next spring if they didn’t cut quick deals with labor unions, creditors and others to restructure their businesses and become viable.

Congressional Republicans, left out of negotiations on the package, expressed grave reservations. A handful in the Senate promised to block the measure, which could delay a final vote for days.

Sen. David Vitter, R-La. said the package has an “ass-backwards” approach to curing what ails the U.S. auto industry- giving carmakers money immediately, and only later demanding that they restructure.

Sen. Mitch McConnell, the GOP leader, said his side hadn’t seen the measure as of this morning and wouldn’t agree to immediate votes.

“Republicans will not allow taxpayers to subsidize failure,” he said, although McConnell added that the auto situation would be addressed by the end of the week.

Of course, Sen. McConnell had no problem voting for a $700 billion package to bailout financial institutions.

“Republicans will not allow taxpayers to subsidize failure,” he says. Really? Because you already did that. Just a few months ago. Remember?

Sure, this is a different situation, but let’s not pretend like Republicans are the great defender of taxpayer dollars when it comes to refusing money to corporations.


15 thoughts on “Automaker Bailout Progresses, GOP Feigns Bailout Anger

    1. Although I own an automaker’s stock, I oppose the bailout as apparently written.

      I oppose having the feds further California’s crazy emission laws, and I oppose any bill that doesn’t force the UAW to make sacrifices equal that it is asking lower-paid Americans to make on its behalf. It ruined its work places, and it can suffer the consequences.

      I greatly doubt Ford and GM will go out of biz, and if they do, others will pickup the pieces and hire auto workers.\

      Dealers are small business owners. If they made bad decisions in going into a highly competitive business, they  should pay for their mistakes as all failed businesses do, not taxpayers.

      We’re talking about people who are struggling to survive, the ordinary taxpayer. It is unfair to tax them some more and to increase the national debt just to keep politicians and union leaders in their lucrative jobs.

      1. From Forbes:

        Chrysler’s owners have the deepest pockets of any of the Big 3.  The idea that they need taxpayer funds to stay afloat is ridiculous.

        Is this really necessary, or desirable?  Are we really fixing a problem, or are we just handing money over to those who give to the politicians, like the bank bailout?  Will we just be keeping in business companies who are creating a product in numbers that have absolutely no relation to the number of people who want, or increasingly, can afford to buy them?  Will this really help, or just increase the number of unsellable cars sitting in closed shopping mall parking lots in Michigan?

      1. This is the hard sauce intended to go with The Plum Pudding.

        1/2 pound butter (2 sticks), softened

        3 cups confectioners’ sugar (12 ounces)

        orange zest , finely grated from 1 orange

        *1/2 teaspoon mace

        *1/4 teaspoon table salt

        1/3 cup brandy or cognac

        2 tablespoons cream sherry (or amontillado)

        *Note if you are using salted butter you should cut this in half. I always use salted butter because it keeps longer. Though really I don’t need to since butter tends to disappear quickly in my home. Also I tend not to have mace on hand so I’ll use about half the amount of nutmeg with a pinch of allspice to get a similar flavor. If you don’t have brandy you might try bourbon for a different, but very good flavor.

        Combine butter, sugar, zest, mace, and salt in large bowl with electric mixer set at low speed; gradually increase speed to medium-high and beat until mixture is fluffy and looks almost white, 7 to 10 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Combine brandy and sherry in liquid measuring cup. With mixer running, very slowly dribble in spirits until well combined. Turn mixture into airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 week. Bring refrigerated sauce to room temperature before transferring to serving dish or it will separate.

        If you wish to flame the pudding (and who doesn’t!) warm 1/4 cup brandy in small saucepan until barely tepid. Drizzle brandy over pudding and then, standing back, ignite with long wooden match or long handle lighter. Cut into wedges and serve with Fluffy Orange-Mace Hard Sauce.

        Don’t forget to heat up the pudding again before serving! Traditionally this is done in the same mold as it was made in, but a microwave on 1/4 power works just as well.

  1. This proposal isn’t a bailout; it takes money from the auto industry for fuel efficiency programs and gives it back to them for general expenditures.  In effect, it doesn’t even increase the car companies’ budgets.

    Of course, one of Bush’s main goals in life is to put up as many obstacles to weaning ourselves from Big Oil as possible, and so long as he’s President, that’s what he and Sen. McConnell will continue to do.

  2. …why is it that the assembly plants owned by foreigners are doing just fine and not lining up for loans?

    Oh, better management?  More realistic labor costs? I see.  

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