See the USA from your Chevrolet: An hereditary legislature, a media fawning its way into bankruptcy, its iconic coastal states driving out innovators and entrepreneurs, the arrival of the new Messiah heralded only by the leaden dirge of “We Three Kings Of Ol’ Detroit Are/Seeking checks we traverse afar“
In those good old days of early October when the NYSE Dow Industrial Average was still over 10,000, the U.S. Congress, led by a fearless Senator John McCain, was contemplating a bailout of the financial system to restore confidence and free up credit for lending. Way back then I was a “fax-er” not a blogger, and so I sent the following fax out into the electronic ether:
TO: The Honorable Michigan Congressional Delegation (Rep. Bart Stupak, Rep. Peter Hoekstra, Rep. Vernon Ehlers, Rep. David Camp, Rep. Dale Kildee, Rep. Fred Upton, Rep. Tim Walberg, Rep. Mike Rogers, Rep. Joe Knollenberg, Rep Candice Miller, Rep. Thad McCotter, Rep. Sander Levin, Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick, Rep. John Conyers, and Rep. John Dingell)
Dear Michigan Delegation:
Please VOTE NO! on the Wall St. Bailout Bill when it comes back to the House this week. Don’t give billions of dollars in the taxpayers’ money away to the very people who created this mess.
The increase in FDIC deposit insurance limits and suspending of the mark to market rules are excellent steps to stabilize Wall Street. The bailout slush fund is not good for the future of this country, and neither are all of the so-called “sweetners” that have bloated this bill into unrecognizable goo!
Main Street still says “VOTE NO!”
To: The Honorable George W. Bush, President President Bush, Your Treasury Secretary runneth amok sir! I understand the desire for stability in the financial markets, but I would rather the business and political leaders who CREATED the mortgage crisis feel the pain than the American taxpayer. Your administration is acting like a parent who repeatedly bails out their college-age children when they overspend their credit card.
Take away the credit card, sir – stop the bail out! The CEOs and CFOs and political leaders in Congress who cretaed this mess ought to be arrested and held personally liable for the losses, not bailed out! In the long-term, the bail out will be far worse for our country than the pain of the consequences of such widespread greed and fraud.
Fast forward to December, and along comes the Big Three U.S. auto manufacturers asking Congress initially for a $25 Billion loan – eventually rising to $34 Billion. While Congress bent over backwards for the financial sector, the auto executives were greeted with a bit less love and respect, especially by the likes of the congressional bailout guru, Dr. Frankendodd. Here’s my next note to President Bush:
To: The Honorable George W. Bush, President
As an American and a conservative, I am tired of listening to know-nothing senators lecturing the auto company executives on how to run their businesses. The same members of congress who handed over a virtual blank check to the Treasury Secretary for a financial system bailout with little more than an admonition to “not spend it all in one place!” are now saying to the American auto companies and the UAW that “we need to be fiscally prudent here.”
What a crock!
Worse yet sir, is that I read that your administration *agrees* with them.
I am all for fiscal prudence, and thought that the financial bailout “plan” was and remains a lousy idea. If you want to prime the financial pump, you start by creating incentives for people to spend – not by handing $Billions to bank executives without conditions.
The AMERICAN auto industry is the place to prime that pump. If Americans buy American-made automobiles, the multiplying effect of these purchases is enormous. Sales of big ticket items going up cascades into increases in other areas, improves confidence in the economy, and gets money flowing through the economy faster than any other “stimulus” method. [For most Americans, a car purchase involves financing, and that means entities like Ford Credit and GMAC must have the liquid assets available to lend.]
Have you and your advisors forgotten that these same auto companies are as much FINANCE companies as manufacturers? Do you really not understand that it is the finance and credit market that has brought them to their knees? They are absolutely as much a part of the financial crisis as Citigroup, and they should get the same type of support.
Oh, yes – they aren’t even ASKING for a bailout, just a loan. Unlike the banks, the auto companies are capable of repaying what they’ve asked for!
Please support American business and American jobs – include the auto companies in the financial bailout program.
Truly an “evolving” position on government bailouts – Don’t do it!…but, if you do, don’t stop with just those guys! Of course, I am not so evolved as to support bailing out those wild and crazy folks in California or the City of Detroit. I still have my principles, after all.
The whole thing makes me feel dirty.
UPDATE: With thanks to Apackof2 posting at RightMichigan.com, I note with cleansing gratitude that those sit-in revolutionaries among the U.S. House Republicans have come up with an alternative to the Democrats’ flawed Big 3 Bailout, otherwise known as the auto industry nationalization program. Check it out here.