Auto Industry Bailout: We Need a Cure, Not A Billion Dollar Bandaid!
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson
December 11, 2008
When someone has a deal that is too good to be true, run from them! When someone insists that emergency action is necessary such as the automaker bailout of the formerly "Big Three" automakers, Congress should take time to think it over carefully. We just got through being pressured into one bailout already. This is about process.
And yes, our largest national deficit in American history should be dealt with along with the largest national debt (the sum total of each year's deficits) in our history as a top priority! This is about the "red, white and blue".
First, some questions:
What is to stop other ailing industries from seeking the same deal?
What provisions will be integrated into the deal to depart from the most irresponsible manner in which we have allowed these businesses to operate?
What about requiring serious fuel efficiency standards the auto industry and big oil have consistently fought with the result that our American cars are less competitive in the market? According to Amory Lovins, experimental physicist with the Rocky Mountain Institute, the CAFÉ standards rollback by the President and Congress was the equivalent to "undiscovering" the same amount of fuel as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has beneath it!
If Congress moves quickly on this added bailout, have we then not acted to serve self-destructive special interests over the public interest?
What consideration will be given to the consumers and Americans in general? Will we get more fuel efficient vehicles, provisions for repayment and prohibitions against application of such monies loaned toward the unrepentant and failing industry in return for bailing them out?
Would this cost the country, i.e., the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation if nothing is done relative to pensions of the employees of the formerly big three automakers?
If as is reportedly the case, half of the $50 billion the auto industry wants is for health care for its current and retired employees, why should that be a public responsibility of the American taxpayer?
What does Toyota have to say about the proposed bailout? If they don't support it, isn't it a little bit disgraceful that foreign automakers can make it in the market place while American automakers cannot? I assume that both foreign and domestic automakers receive some sort of public financial support in tax breaks and incentives already.
Congress has apparently already authorized a $25 billion loan package meant to help the auto industry retool to meet higher fuel-economy standards. Isn't this enough?
The car makers have at least 10 assembly plants more than they need to meet demand, according to Oliver Wyman Consulting. If their closure is assumed how does this affect any bailout?
If as has been suggested that GM needs to be restructured, which means it must change the terms of its legal obligations to suppliers, bondholders and employees, might a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy be more appropriate? Same question for Chrysler.
Let's stay tuned!