Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

Good God, when will the corporate welfare to automakers end? Part II

Posted by sanityinjection on November 7, 2008

It hasn’t even been one month since GM and Chrysler came to the Feds asking for $10 billion of taxpayers’ money to prop up their proposed merger. For once, the Treasury Department told them no, the automakers having already been granted $25 billion in loans for plant modernizations.

But like spoiled children who can’t accept that Mommy and Daddy can’t afford to give them more and more toys, America’s domestic automakers have shamelessly returned to beg for more money once again! This time, Ford, GM and Chrysler want the government to give them $50 billion in federal loans! Half of that money would go to pay for the health care coverage of auto workers, and the rest is for “general liquidity”, which is a fancy way of saying that the automakers can spend it however they please with no accountability.

The automakers claim that without this aid they may go under, which in turn would allegedly put other companies that do business with the auto industry out of business as well, creating massive unemployment. What they don’t explain is why those other companies wouldn’t just start doing more business with Toyota, Honda, and other foreign car companies manufacturing here in the US. The domestic automakers somehow expect us to simultaneously believe that their market share is plummeting, *and* that they represent a critical mass of the auto industry. To quote Scooby-Doo: “Hunh?”

Needless to say, the United Auto Workers has come out in support of the request, since it means somebody else’s money being spent to pay for their health care. How enlightened. Funny how you don’t see UAW sitting down with the automakers to discuss ways to work together to make mutual sacrifices to become competitive and profitable again. If the auto industry were really in such dire straits, don’t you think this would happen? Or does the UAW figure that their members will just get hired by Toyota and Honda, who probably pay better benefits anyway?

Here’s the point: Why should the federal government react with disaster aid to the domestic automakers, when they and their workers are unwilling to make any sacrifices of their own to keep their business afloat? That would be like a bankruptcy court judge writing off someone’s debts without even making them file for bankruptcy. (Oh wait, that’s what the Democrats wanted to do to fix the mortgage crisis.)

Regardless of whether the automakers get their money or not, is there anybody left on earth who doesn’t get that they will just be back asking for more again and again until and unless the government learns to say NO means NO?

Enough is enough. It’s got to stop.

Article here: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aWj2UUIE4ofU&refer=worldwide

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