I’ve been watching C-SPAN again. (CAUTION! Watching our congress can be dangerous to your health! NOT watching congress can be dangerous to our collective wealth!) The particular subject of the week is the bail out plans for the "Big 3" auto makers.
I had been convinced that some temporary funding would be necessary, but as the congressional leaders have now rolled this thing out, echoes of the last ($700B!) bail out are too loud to ignore. Last weeks’ completely bi-partisan condemnation of the Detroit auto makers suddenly gave way over the weekend to a leadership written bill that basically gives away $15B. The threat is simply that no more will be given (thus conceding that congress is PLANNING to give more) UNLESS the three companies can come up with a "plan" that shows they will some day make money.
The leaders claim it is not a give-away because they can "call the loan due" if sufficient progress isn’t made, but by then the money will be spent and there will be no way to get the money back. And this, of course, will be the rationale for NOT rejecting whatever half-baked plan the Big Three will come up with.
Oh, and don’t forget the reason the money wasn’t given BEFORE Thanksgiving: congress gave them two more weeks to come up with a "plan" then. Now, that plan found wanting last week, the congressional leaders propose giving them $15B and 3 more months to "TRY AGAIN"!!!
"Fool me once, shame on you; Fool me twice, shame on me!"
It is pretty clear that every congressman and senator that voted on the $700B bail out was "fooled" into giving huge sums away with virtually no real control or oversight. If any of them now come back and vote for this absurd bill, it is time to SHAME them out of office. If this past election was thought to be an anti-incumbent election, just watch the next one!
Now consider this: the total yearly production run of the Big Three is now down to about 10M cars, or less than 1M per month. If congress wants to give away $15B to stimulate the economy and help the Big Three, give a $5000 check to each family that goes out and buys a Detroit built car over the next 3 months! That will help the people, the DEALERS, the MECHANICS, the local BANKS, the entire supply chain as well as the Big Three!
Why is this NOT obvious to our politicians?! We live in crazy times.