Pelosi on the auto bailout: No worries, it won’t be an endless flow of money

posted at 5:48 pm on December 8, 2008 by Allahpundit

Perish the thought. I’ve watched this twice and still can’t figure out what, precisely, she has in mind if the new car czar — yes, we are indeed getting a car czar — doesn’t like the looks of the Big Three’s restructuring proposals come March 31. At 1:10 she says that at that point they’d turn off the financial tap; then, at 2:15, she says they won’t let the industry fail and would move to install more accommodating leadership instead, in keeping with the de facto nationalization. Like I said this morning, there’s no earthly way they’re going to compound The One’s economic headaches/approval rating by dumping auto workers into the unemployment bin come spring, so however much they, i.e. we, have to pay to keep the companies afloat, that’s how much we’ll be paying. Distinguish that from an endless flow if you can. Things are shaping up nicely already:

White House officials have just gotten their first look at the legislative language of the auto rescue legislation, and they don’t like what they see.

Officials say it doesn’t appear to be consistent with what, for them, is principle No. 1 — that long-term financing only go to companies that can show long-term viability.

54 percent, including 59 percent of people under age 45, oppose the bailout. Good luck, Barry.


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Would it be rude to ask her to walk halfway across the Golden Gate Bridge, and then jump?

Vashta.Nerada on December 8, 2008 at 5:49 PM

….And in other news, monkeys fly out my arse.

HornetSting on December 8, 2008 at 5:50 PM

A car Czar? Well, it begins. Now the US will have a Minister of Transportation Production.

keep the change on December 8, 2008 at 5:51 PM

Would it be rude to ask her to walk halfway across the Golden Gate Bridge, and then jump?

Why half way?

keep the change on December 8, 2008 at 5:51 PM

We’re going to get highly fuel efficient hybrid death traps.

BadgerHawk on December 8, 2008 at 5:52 PM

They are feeling the pressure from the unions…we give the auto money, after Dodd, Cox, and Frank resigns, along with the leaders of the auto and union…

right2bright on December 8, 2008 at 5:52 PM

Why half way?

keep the change on December 8, 2008 at 5:51 PM

Biggest drop?

BadgerHawk on December 8, 2008 at 5:52 PM

Trust me, right?

ThePrez on December 8, 2008 at 5:53 PM

Biggest drop?

Yea, sure, but then it takes longer. Time is a luxury we don’t have.

keep the change on December 8, 2008 at 5:54 PM

Would it be rude to ask her to walk halfway across the Golden Gate Bridge, and then jump?

Vashta.Nerada on December 8, 2008 at 5:49 PM

She’s a floater, let’s flush her.

I think we should hold a raffle for the right to push her over the edge.

HornetSting on December 8, 2008 at 5:55 PM

Screw you Nancy. You are a waste of carbon.

cannonball on December 8, 2008 at 5:57 PM

Car czar = “Secretary of the Gravy” *grin*

[Crud, I thought that was very original. It was, in fact ALMOST original. I just did a Yahoo search to find out -- it got exactly one hit. Oh well...]

RegularJoe on December 8, 2008 at 5:58 PM

I think they should save Ford (the most viable of the three) and let the others go bankrupt.

conservative_in_texas on December 8, 2008 at 5:58 PM

UAW + Dem Congress = positive feedback loop of money exchanges back-and-forth. We’ll have hyperinflation and rattly microcars, but, hey, it’s all OK ‘cuz union thugs and congressmen will profit nicely.

innominatus on December 8, 2008 at 5:59 PM

Snakette Saleswomen me thinks!

The most powerful women in the universe Nancy “the
most ethical Congress in history”,”It just May take
a women to clean the House”and saying it really s l o w
like”700 B i l l i o n D o l l a r s” bailout,from 8 years
of a falied Bush Policies Pelosi,

wants you to trust her!!!!!

Ha Ha,ya right!!

canopfor on December 8, 2008 at 6:01 PM

The first step to taking back one of the branches of government is to fight the nationalization of our auto industry. Which Republican will stand up and lead?

RightOFLeft on December 8, 2008 at 6:03 PM

falied Bush Policies

What failed policy of his led this this econ mess?

ThePrez on December 8, 2008 at 6:03 PM

Oh crap,thats failed,not falied!Ugh:)

canopfor on December 8, 2008 at 6:03 PM

I think they should save Ford (the most viable of the three) and let the others go bankrupt.

conservative_in_texas on December 8, 2008 at 5:58 PM

Buy up Toyota and make real money..

the_nile on December 8, 2008 at 6:04 PM

Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.

- Mark Twain

Puddleglum on December 8, 2008 at 6:04 PM

From now on, it’s going to be: “We already gave them 15 billion. We can’t let that go to waste.” Then it’ll be 30 billion, then 50 billion. At that point you’re chasing the dragon.

If we give them $1, we’re in for at least $100,000,000,000.00

MikeZero on December 8, 2008 at 6:06 PM

We are just Smelly Taxpayers!
Let them drive cake!

Firebird on December 8, 2008 at 6:10 PM

What failed policy of his led this this econ mess?

ThePrez on Dec 8,2008 at 6:03PM.

ThePrez:Their are no failed Bush policies,useing Nancy’s
own words,when she went to the floor,and had the
Republicans on board in the first bailout,Nancy
then blamed President Bush,and that lead,and
rightly so to the Republicans taking Nancy to
task over Pelosi’s lie!

No,the econ mess,rests at Barney”Banking Queen”
Franks,Dodd’s,ACORN,and the Liberals forcing
banks to right off loans to the poor to buy
houses they could not afford!————-:)

canopfor on December 8, 2008 at 6:12 PM

When the automakers first revealed their plan, Barney Frank was skeptical at first. Then he heard about the new technology for vibrating heated seats and he quickly garnered the votes necessary to approve the loan.

Goodale on December 8, 2008 at 6:12 PM

Fox news reports the loan is ‘callable’ if the auto industry doesn’t meet some unspecified government benchmarks.

Think about that for a minute.

Skandia Recluse on December 8, 2008 at 6:13 PM

Biggest drop?

Yea, sure, but then it takes longer. Time is a luxury we don’t have.

keep the change on December 8, 2008 at 5:54 PM

I volunteer to drive her halfway in a Ferrari. That should satisfy everyone.

Jarhead68 on December 8, 2008 at 6:13 PM

Dear God I had to listen to Obama and the other Democrats, who’ve never worked a DAY IN THEIR LIFE explain how the CEO’s were bad businessmen.

I’m in Bizarro USA…

Skywise on December 8, 2008 at 6:15 PM

I wish I owned one of the chosen industries so I can tap that ass…er I mean endless supply of cash.

lorien1973 on December 8, 2008 at 6:15 PM

This is the face of Tryanny.

The Auto execs have to perform to her standards and if they don’t.. they are somehow going to be punished?

Isn’t that a violation of Bill of Attainder?

VinceP1974 on December 8, 2008 at 6:18 PM

Welcome to USSA (United Soviet States of America)

Lets build cars NO One wants, GOOD IDEA!!!

BroncosRock on December 8, 2008 at 6:18 PM

Did Pelosi have eyelid surgery?

Theworldisnotenough on December 8, 2008 at 6:19 PM

lorien1973 on December 8, 2008 at 6:15 PM

lorien1973…..thread killer.

ChrisM on December 8, 2008 at 6:19 PM

Somebody would buy them…maybe for 10 cents a share, but someone would eventually fill the void. It would be hurtful, painful, excruciating to let them fail, but that is the only option. Unfortunately, noone has the cajones to stand up to this…my naive little thought…has anyone in Washington even thought of approaching Toyota, Honda, Nissan etal about their desire to purchase any one of these dinosaurs??? (I either hear crickets or gunfire, not sure which.)
My husband worked for a subsidiary of Nissan USA for 20 years before retiring, so I don’t have a “buy America” axe to grind…we’ve bought cars manufactured in this country, but not by the big 3 in many years. Our Chrysler and GM vehicles were constantly in the shop.
I worked for 14 years for a consulting company and my primary clients were Buick, Olds, Cadillac and GM Parts…these clowns were clueless when it came to improving quality and customer satisfation ratings…’course, this was in the late ’80s-early ’90s

Chewy the Lab on December 8, 2008 at 6:20 PM

Let’em go bankrupt. The only way to facilitate change is to force it.

saltydogg14 on December 8, 2008 at 6:20 PM

Like I said this morning, there’s no earthly way they’re going to compound The One’s economic headaches/approval rating by dumping auto workers into the unemployment bin come spring, so however much they, i.e. we, have to pay to keep the companies afloat, that’s how much we’ll be paying.

Exactly!

That is why all this “no blank check” and “holding them responsible” is nothing but bullsh!t.Nothing but a show to make them seem like they care about how our tax dollars are being spent.

This auto bailout and Mr. hope and change’s new deal for hundreds of billions of dollars spent on infrastructure (otherwise known as pork) are nothing but promises kept in stuffing union pockets full why they destroy our economy.

Baxter Greene on December 8, 2008 at 6:21 PM

I am a 23 year old business student graduating next May. It is becoming more apparent that if I want to seek a job in business I might as well work for the government.

These numbskulls in Washington can’t put together a balanced budget and they think they have the ability to run a business better than top executives. Arrogant elitists, they raise my blood pressure. Mr. Paine said it best that government at its very best is a necessary evil; at its worst, an intolerable one. Are we getting closer and closer to an intolerable one?

niuhuskie2009 on December 8, 2008 at 6:40 PM

I think we should hold a raffle for the right to push her over the edge.

HornetSting on December 8, 2008 at 5:55 PM

The raffle would easily pay for the bailout

Wolfen on December 8, 2008 at 6:42 PM

I think that the only ones getting Nanny’s “haircut” are the taxpayers who will be forced to drive “green” cars that the Big 3 are forced to produce. These companies have until March to show compliance…or they will be redeployed to Okinawa.

onlineanalyst on December 8, 2008 at 6:42 PM

If the purpose of Government is to:

1. Uphold the Law; and
2. Provide for the Common Defense

Where in those two things must we have Government d*ck around in the corporate world???

[smacks head, hard]

OHHHHH, that’s right…them’s VOTERS we need to bail out!!!

Ok, I get it now.

Scrap those first two things above, and override with these two new ones instead:

1. Keep our sorry A$$E$ in power!; and
2. NOTHING ELSE MATTERS EXCEPT FOR #1

/think I could use a drink now

Wanderlust on December 8, 2008 at 6:47 PM

So the government is taking an ownership stake in the three major car companies and is assigning ONE PERSON to oversee the operations and sign off on all spending above $25M. This has got to be a bad dream.

I just heard that the Gov of IL is stopping all state business with Bank of America because of this nonsense with the Republic factory. Didn’t we learn anything from the mortgage mess. Once the government goes in and strongarms business the businesses might as well close up. BOA cuts off credit to a company going under and the government is going to force them to send good money into this pit.

This is exactly what will happen over and over with the car companies. Pay or else we will strike, riot and tear down the plant until you pay. It’s extortion sponsored by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.

grdred944 on December 8, 2008 at 6:51 PM

Did Pelosi have eyelid surgery?

With a few Millions laying around. This woman been cut on more times than Joan Rivers.

Nancy, there are just something money can’t buy.

try again later on December 8, 2008 at 6:56 PM

My husband worked for a subsidiary of Nissan USA for 20 years before retiring, so I don’t have a “buy America” axe to grind…

No, you have a “buy Nissan” axe to grind, just like Sen. Corker.

rokemronnie on December 8, 2008 at 7:01 PM

Somebody would buy them…maybe for 10 cents a share, but someone would eventually fill the void.

Not without a supply chain.

How will suppliers dependent on business with the Detroit 3 survive if they lose 60% or more of their business?

Toyota and Honda will be scrambling just to find components for their US assembly operations.

rokemronnie on December 8, 2008 at 7:04 PM

Would it be rude to ask her to walk halfway across the Golden Gate Bridge, and then jump?

Vashta.Nerada on December 8, 2008 at 5:49 PM

Better would be to a spot still over land (say the roadway from old Ft. Baker that runs under the bridge on the northern end). That way the cleanup is easier, and we don’t pollute the bay.

unclesmrgol on December 8, 2008 at 7:04 PM

Buy up Toyota and make real money..

Toyota lost money in the 3rd quarter and they just had their credit rating cut.

You know, if you “Detroit must die” folks had a clue about the auto industry you might be able to make a point without embarrassing yourselves.

rokemronnie on December 8, 2008 at 7:07 PM

54 percent, including 59 percent of people under age 45, oppose the bailout. Good luck, Barry.

That’s because most of the people under age 45 have no clue what’s involved in manufacturing. They think that MP3 players must spring fully formed from the forehead of some guy in China, ready to be blister packed and put on the shelf at Best Buy.

rokemronnie on December 8, 2008 at 7:09 PM

When Pelosi and Reid finish with the car industry, we’ll rename all these cars “Volkswagen”. As taxpayer produced vehicles, they’ll be the People’s Cars in the historic sense.

petefrt on December 8, 2008 at 7:09 PM

This is a barbershop and we are going to get haircuts?

I feel more like its a bordello and we are all going to get screwed.

cjs1943 on December 8, 2008 at 7:14 PM

Pelosi on the auto bailout: No worries, it won’t be an endless flow of money

It already is. This is exactly what every opponent of the “original” bailout was arguing against, the constant cry for “their share of the bailout” from every corporate entity in this country. It. will. not. end.

Nobody will bail me out if I lose my job next week. Nor do I want anyone to. But I will say this, I’ll at least have the dignity to get back on my feet and find another job on my own, without crying like all these mindless union workers.

Can’t say it enough, those factory workers in Illinois would rather bilk their fellow taxpayer than pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. Instead of finding a new job and bettering themselves, they whine and fuss and sit in a closed factory all day.

dugan on December 8, 2008 at 7:15 PM

Every single day that an auto company has its doors open it is asking for a handout.

It’s also known as “Please buy my product”.

We have chosen not to buy their products because they don’t meet our satisfaction in terms of quality or cost.
So the government now wants to force us to buy them anyway?

Someone please explain to Washington that when we choose not to buy something it means we have no intention of buying it – case closed.

robertkulbeth on December 8, 2008 at 7:22 PM

We are circling the drain.

patrick neid on December 8, 2008 at 7:27 PM

THIS IS BULLSHIT!

Those bastards don’t deserve a freakin’ DIME!

Put ‘em in Chapter 11!

GarandFan on December 8, 2008 at 7:37 PM

Skeletrix speaks.

fossten on December 8, 2008 at 8:41 PM

I am going to wretch.

rob verdi on December 8, 2008 at 8:58 PM

That was quite frightening…and that’s only looking at a transcript. Seems like the Dems have a penchant for extortion; make crappy little fuel efficient cars like they have in Europe…or else

“Innovation”, the only time politicians are ‘innovative’ is when they’re under indictment or they’re filling out their taxes.

Let’s hope W does the right thing and brings out the pen for this one. This is a UAW bailout, make no mistake about that. If the Big 3 file CH.11, they lose a key voting bloc and the chance to maybe earn returns which will be funneled into their campaigns. If it fails, they’ll blame Bush.

Ital79 on December 8, 2008 at 9:12 PM

So the White House doesn’t like what they see? Why the hell are they approving it then?

Curses on compassionate conservatism!

PattyJ on December 8, 2008 at 9:44 PM

We have chosen not to buy their products because they don’t meet our satisfaction in terms of quality or cost.

Ah, the old “nobody buys Detroit cars anymore” routine. I guess that makes 55% of the people who buy cars in this country nobody.

Didn’t some guy once say that if you keep repeating a lie folks will begin to believe it?

What kind of car do you drive? Did you comparison shop any American brands?

rokemronnie on December 8, 2008 at 9:46 PM

I know it’s free money, and all… But why would the auto companies want this deal? Do they really want Congress sticking their nose into their business until the end of time? Do they really think they are going to be competetive once the Car Czar starts telling them what to build, how to build it, where to build it, how many union workers they must employ and how much they must pay them? Keep in mind that every foreign auto supplier will be operating without these handicaps, building the cars they think people will want to buy in the most efficient way they know how.

The money they get today will seal their fates. I predict the US auto industry will be wiped out within ten years of private/public “cooperation”, unless the government steps in to slap whumping tariffs on every foreign supplier.

Wouldn’t it be better to go into bankruptcy, deal with the government once during the restructuring, renegotiate their toxic work contracts and rules, and emerge as independent companies once more? Isn’t the best way out of this mess through this mess?

gridlock2 on December 8, 2008 at 9:49 PM

I have been listening with expectations of hearing one of the talking heads discuss Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Nada, zilch, what I am hearing is we have a choice of massive unemployment because of liquidation( Chapter 7 ) or bailout the ‘Big 3′.

If there was an honest discussion regarding this situation there would be even more people opposed to propping up a losing enterprise. If more people understand that Chapter 11 protects the company and the employees they would not be intimidated by all the scare tactics being used in the current discussions. BTW, I was against the bailout of WS. That herd, more than any other group of businesses, need to be thinned. GS or JPM have been setting, or at the very least influencing, the US monetary policy for decades and the only thing the bailout money did was to make them whole.

I read so much venom regarding the ‘excessive profits’ Exxon was making, but NO ONE was bother in the least when GS or JPM reported $Billion quarterly profit. Where was the reports of ‘excessive profits’? Huh? Then I guess that when the oil companies were on the verge of destruction a few years ago, no one was even bothered by it. In fact, many just thought that it was the nature of the business life cycle.

In the case of the ‘Big 3′ there is a reason that congress, and the MSM, have too much invested in maintaining their grip on power, via the unions, that they have to make sure that the ‘Big 3′ survive intact.

belad on December 8, 2008 at 10:16 PM

Is does Mizz Nancy qualify as a MILF? If so I would like to offer her my own bailout in the form of buttering her muffin and then kicking her “dawn of the dead” mug into the Potomac river. Where in the phuck do these people come from, my God.

GlocknRoll on December 8, 2008 at 10:18 PM

belad,

Ch 11 is the logical course except for the fact that 80% of people say they won’t buy a car from a bankrupt automaker. Would you?

rokemronnie on December 8, 2008 at 11:30 PM

No. She used to be an attractive woman, but now she’s starting to look like Michael Jackson. I think that’s a new nose job.

Jaibones on December 8, 2008 at 11:30 PM

yikes – her skin has been pulled so tight that she looks like one of those guys who puts a stocking on his head to go commit a robb, er wait a minute.

batterup on December 8, 2008 at 11:34 PM

So, who’s up for 2009 GM Trabant?

OldEnglish on December 8, 2008 at 11:51 PM

dugan on December 8, 2008 at 7:15 PM

Those protesting factory workers at Republic Window and Door (in Chicago) are an extension of ACORN protests at banks over lending to poor neighborhoods under the Community Reinvestment Act.

This is a warning shot across the bow from Obama’s grass roots community organizations aimed at big business. This is one way Obama intends to redistribute the wealth from big corporations to democrat party loyalists. Obama openly, publicly supports their demands.

Every big business in the United States has a big bulls eye painted on their income statement.

Skandia Recluse on December 9, 2008 at 12:30 AM

“I’m from the Government and I’m here to help……”

The horror……………. the horror!

Seven Percent Solution on December 9, 2008 at 12:55 AM

We’ll have hyperinflation and rattly microcars

That’s what we already get from the transplants. By the way, that’s called a CRX on the used car market, or a Fit on the new car market. Also acceptable as an answer is any Kia/Hyundai compact regardless of condition.

So, who’s up for 2009 GM Trabant?

It’s called an Aveo. No, GM wouldn’t make such a car, they captively import it. No, I will not buy one or rent one.

Ah, the old “nobody buys Detroit cars anymore” routine. I guess that makes 55% of the people who buy cars in this country nobody.

No, they just want to force us who choose Detroit into cars we avoid at all cost.

What kind of car do you drive? Did you comparison shop any American brands?

Buick’s 2 door W-body. 2 doors, sized similar to a Civic, has a 3.8L V6. Accepts newer 3800 series engines and may be able to accept a V8. Try that with a transplant.

When the transplants finally figure out how to make affordable performance(read: not a 4cyl, high rpm/low torque car stuffed with a large turbocharger), then Detroit’s in trouble. The only thing they’re doing is making it easier to buy domestic muscle at rock-bottom prices.

Transplant auto workers: Work harder, you only make my Detroit car more affordable.

sethstorm on December 9, 2008 at 1:09 AM

No. She used to be an attractive woman, but now she’s starting to look like Michael Jackson. I think that’s a new nose job.

Jaibones on December 8, 2008 at 11:30 PM

Define “used to”. The last time I checked, she was a dog the moment she popped out of the womb.

pilamaye on December 9, 2008 at 6:33 AM

The only words missing from Nancy’s presser is that she is offering Congress’s “haircut” “for the children”.

onlineanalyst on December 9, 2008 at 6:59 AM

Sounds like industries will need to prove their long-term viability.

Does this include a Five-Year Plan, comrades?

DarthBrooks on December 9, 2008 at 7:55 AM

Worst Speaker of the House in US history. Corrupt STUDPID baltimoron Nancy D’ALLESSANDRO Pelosi.

Max47 on December 9, 2008 at 7:58 AM

What kind of car do you drive? Did you comparison shop any American brands?

rokemronnie on December 8, 2008 at 9:46 PM

2007 Civic hybrid. EPA at the time I got it (numbers have been revised) was 50, and it gets 50 in and out. I’ve put 50,000 miles on it since I got it. Mechanically it’s the best car I’ve ever owned. I got it for just over $18k with the tax/rebate treatments (no bitching to me about that, the domestic hybrids are eligible too).

I’m 6’2″, 240. It’s perfectly comfortable for me and 3 other adults to ride in.

Show me your Detroit comparables. I’m all ears. You can start with the mpg number, I’ll give credit for any class of vehicle.

DrSteve on December 9, 2008 at 8:10 AM

I assume an earlier version of this was eaten, apologies in advance if it double-posts.

What kind of car do you drive? Did you comparison shop any American brands?

rokemronnie on December 8, 2008 at 9:46 PM

2007 Civic hybrid. EPA at the time I got it (numbers have been revised) was 50, and it gets 50 in and out. I’ve put 50,000 miles on it since I got it. Mechanically it’s the best car I’ve ever owned. I got it for just over $18k with the tax/rebate treatments (no griping to me about that, the domestic hybrids are eligible too).

I’m 6’2″, 240. It’s perfectly comfortable for me and 3 other adults to ride in.

Show me your Detroit comparables. I’m all ears. You can start with the mpg number, I’ll give credit for any class of vehicle.

DrSteve on December 9, 2008 at 8:16 AM

Ain’t that a kick in the head!

Mr. Joe on December 9, 2008 at 8:24 AM

The Pelosi Commrad Car

Mr. Joe on December 9, 2008 at 8:25 AM

at what point do lightening bolts come out of the sky and strike these liars? I mean, it’s getting to the point of criminality.

marklmail on December 9, 2008 at 8:40 AM

Considering that this process of running on of our more significant industries into the ground, in spite thriving examples of better practices competing with them in their own market, how likely is it that this becomes a “thriving, innovative, viable industry” by March 31st?

ttime500 on December 9, 2008 at 8:57 AM

Is does Mizz Nancy qualify (etc.)

GlocknRoll on December 8, 2008 at 10:18 PM

Nancy Pelosi is a national disgrace.

And yet somehow you’ve managed to make yourself look 100 times more contemptible.
____________________________________

I feel so caught in the middle of this. I’ve never bought a new car that didn’t have a big-3 nameplate (well, one used Mitsubishi POS and one used Mazda POS for my kids when they were learning to drive. The cars didn’t last any time, but they were bought to be disposable since teenagers tend to dispose of them). My last three new cars have all been Fords, and have all been excellent — reliable, comfortable, nicely styled (a matter of taste, of course, but my ’07 Stang Convertible gets a lot of compliments). And my best friend works for Ford, in (lower) management. So I have no desire to see any of the big 3 shutter their factories and go out of business.

But I remember all too well what happened in the steel business. Between the labor unions and the EPA, it became financially unfeasible to make steel in this country. Now, we’ve lost that industry for good. And we’ve been headed in the same direction with the automobile industry for the last 30 years or so.

Now we’re faced with three alternatives:
1 – Cancel Christmas, add potentially 3 million to the unemployment rolls.
2 – Make the car companies permanent wards of the state, and begin producing American Yugos (look it up, you young ‘uns).
3 – Make the necessary changes to make American car companies profitable again.

Obviously, #3 is the one we all want. And we have a template for how to do it, in the car companies that HAVE operated at a profit in the U.S. But the unions will not make the necessary real cuts in wages and benefits, and the management will tighten their operations as needed, until they are forced to do so.

Now, setting that aside for a moment, let’s agree that compared to the financial bailouts the car companies are asking for chump change, and that (apart from principled objections to ANY government interference) it makes sense to spend some government dough IF we can get back to option 3 above.

Given that it’s worth doing, and with all due respect to those whose livelihood is affected by this, it’s going to be rough. The government needs to put the dough on the table, and let car companies know that it will be there to help them get through — say it with me — chapter 11. And as silly as the whole “car czar” idea sounds, I heard an outstanding suggestion on Fox this morning: put Jack Welch in charge of the necessary restructuring. Here’s the key, though, the Fox didn’t mention: to do this correctly, Welch needs to be appointed to the bench as a bankruptcy judge. Since the money will already by promised, there must be leverage to force the parties involved to make the necessary changes. He needs to be able to make rulings and dispositions that would be inappropriate for a government “regulator”. He needs to be able to turn to the union and say “the new wage is XX”, and turn to management and say “these people have to go, and these people can only stay at this salary”, and to tell the EPA “back off on your cafe standards for a bit.” The money the government loans needs to be sufficient to meet 90% or better of the current payables to suppliers, but of course they will also have to bear some of the pain. In short, it will be painful to everyone. That’s just the way bankruptcy works.

But it’s still the best option.

RegularJoe on December 9, 2008 at 9:26 AM

54 percent, including 59 percent of people under age 45, oppose the bailout. Good luck, Barry.

Then they should have voted differently, in congressional races at least.

Vashta.Nerada on December 9, 2008 at 9:31 AM

Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.

- Mark TwainPuddleglum on December 8, 2008 at 6:04 PM

Mark Twain for President!

scalleywag on December 9, 2008 at 9:41 AM

Right, we can trust Pelosi, Reid, Kennedy, Schumer, Franks, Dodd, et al with our money.

What could possibly go wrong?

notagool on December 9, 2008 at 10:55 AM

DrSteve,

So it’s just fine for the taxpayers to subsidize you with tax credits, but it’s wrong to help stabilize an American industry whose collapse would pose systemic risk to the economy?

rokemronnie on December 9, 2008 at 12:19 PM

NO BAILOUT. Them them sink. Corporate incompetence and Union greed should not be rewarded.

dogsoldier on December 9, 2008 at 12:25 PM

DrSteve,

When it’s time to replace your Civic, the Ford Fusion Hybrid will be available and if you find that you need a bigger car then, that can seat 5 comfortably instead of 4, you might want to check it out. It doesn’t get quite the mileage that the Civic Hybrid gets, but automotive journalists test driving it reported over 43mpg, and it’s a midsize sedan, not a compact like the Civic.

http://www.autoblog.com/2008/12/09/autobloggreen-gets-43-1-mpg-in-the-2010-ford-fusion-hybrid/

rokemronnie on December 9, 2008 at 1:06 PM

Whoa, did Nancy OD on botox Nov. 5th?

Spitfire9 on December 9, 2008 at 1:11 PM

DrSteve,

So it’s just fine for the taxpayers to subsidize you with tax credits, but it’s wrong to help stabilize an American industry whose collapse would pose systemic risk to the economy?

rokemronnie on December 9, 2008 at 12:19 PM

Those credits and rebates subsidize people who want to buy American-built hybrids to exactly the same degree. And they don’t reward failure. And they don’t result in decades of politically distorted management decisions following the bailouts. Just look at what Durbin was saying about Bank of America and Republic in IL — he’s micromanaging an individual loan decision, for goodness’ sakes. The Big 3 are selling their souls.

I am genuinely excited about the hybrid Fusion/Milan, as I think they’re perfectly gorgeous cars (I considered the Milan with the I-4 as I was looking around, since Wright Brothers FLM where I live has them for crazy low prices). I bet I can squeeze 50mpg out of the F/M hybrid on the highway if the city EPA really is 39mpg. I will definitely test drive them when they’re out, and I will give them a fair shake once I put my customary 250k on my current Honda.

DrSteve on December 9, 2008 at 2:15 PM

rokemronnie, you made a comment earlier about the transplants’ supply chains falling apart if the Big 3 went under. If you have a cite for that I’d love to read it.

DrSteve on December 9, 2008 at 2:19 PM

rokemronnie, you made a comment earlier about the transplants’ supply chains falling apart if the Big 3 went under. If you have a cite for that I’d love to read it.

DrSteve on December 9, 2008 at 2:19 PM

Not rokemronnie, and he may have better info that I’m unaware of; but from what I’ve seen this is somewhat anecdotal — as is almost all information upon which these decisions will be based.

The concern, which strikes me as well founded, is that there are suppliers who are owed a great deal of money by the manufacturers, and who are using those receivables as collateral to borrow operating funds. If GM were to go Chapter 7 — or potentially even Chapter 11 — they could default on those debts. The parts suppliers would have to write off the loss, and would have to cover the loss of collateral by immediately paying off part of their lines of credit. Of course they wouldn’t have the cash to do that, so THEY would also go bankrupt, leaving the suppliers of subassemblies and raw materials hung out to dry, so they would go bankrupt, etc.

I don’t believe any of this is knowable; I do think the potential is real. That’s why I consider it important for the government to give ironclad assurance that it will make funds available to pay suppliers before the manufacturers declare bankruptcy.

Don’t get me wrong; it makes my free-market soul shudder. But government interference (in the form of CAFE standards) had a lot to do with this. That means WE (citizens) had a lot to do with it. So we do, corporately, have some culpability and therefore some responsibility.

RegularJoe on December 9, 2008 at 5:27 PM

Come on people, let’s call a spade a spade. This isn’t socialism we’re talking about anymore. Government owning and controlling industry can only be called one thing:
C-O-M-M-U-N-I-S-M

Has it been that long since 1991 that we’ve forgotten what that looks like? I know that China tries to pretend to have a more open economy but all business that you deal with is government owned. There is nothing done that they don’t know about and aren’t controlling in some way, shape, or form.

Has America been dumbed down this bad that we’re are seriously going to discuss the merits of this line of government intervention and the pros and cons of it all? You’re kidding right? Why aren’t any of you call Capital Hill and shutting down the phone and fax lines to stop this? We did it for Shamnesty. Isn’t this worse for Pete’s sake?

Sultry Beauty on December 9, 2008 at 7:20 PM