SEARCH BLOG: AUTOMOBILES
As reported yesterday, the U.S. automobile manufacturers will be getting a federal loan. More accurately, General Motors and Chrysler will be getting a loan of $13-17 billion from the Federal government. Ford Motor Company has politely demurred... for the present.
While not subscribing to conspiracy theories, I find the unfolding of this particular diorama very peculiarly Orwellian. The stage was set with the House parading the CEOs of the three automobile manufacturers before the public in a display of mea culpa "brother can you spare a dime?" After much soul searching, the House said that maybe it was a good thing to lend the money. Onward to the Senate where the champions of free market, Sens. Shelby and Corker, pilloried the CEOs and, ultimately, turned down the loan request.
So goes the story.... Democrats struggle valiantly for the "workers" by trying to force the evil empire to change its ways in return for salvation. Republicans struggle to prevent a giveaway of hard-earned taxpayers' money.
Strangely, the Senate would have passed the measure to lend the money except some renegade Democrats voted against it. Please! Iron-handed Harry and Whip 'Em Into Shape Nancy couldn't line up the votes?
Here's how I see the conspiracy working:
- The Democratic Party puts on a show of support for the "workers" and their unfortunate companies, but simply can't generate the needed votes. It's a good attempt that wins the undying gratitude of their blue-collar constituents, but doesn't make the Democratic Party responsible if the loan isn't sufficient to keep GM and Chrysler afloat [the CEOs had requested about twice the amount being considered].
- The Republican Party stands up for the principles of the free-market in order to save the country from socialism and pushes the automobile manufacturers to "restructure"... although they have been doing that aggressively... and the unions to make concessions... although they have been doing that aggressively. Sens. Shelby and Corker remain the stalwarts of the free market and only incidentally find favor with their constituents who have forked over millions of taxpayer dollars to incentivize foreign automobile manufacturers in their states.
- Both parties know that the necessary action is to approve the loan, but neither party wants to take responsibility for it. Besides both parties know that President Bush will do the sensible thing and provide the needed funds from TARP which is already available... because the President is leaving office, can take the blame if the loan doesn't work out, and the political figurines get to claim a win despite not actually doing anything to fix the problem. A real bi-partisan effort.