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“We Simply Cannot Ask The American Taxpayer To Subsidize Failure”

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Study the words in the title, and take a think. Haven’t we already subsidized failure to the tune of hundred of billions in the last three months?


i speak with forked tongue

Before Mitch McConnell uttered the phrase above, he made sure to try to separate the bailout of the auto industry from the bailout of the financial industry. The financial bailout he said, was to shore up the entire economy. The auto bailout would support a single industry.

But McConnell’s cries of selectivism should fall on deaf ears. The US Auto Industry is no ordinary industry. It represents a big chunk of our albeit shrinking manufacturing output. It’s not as if the aluminum siding, or the garden furniture industries were looking for federal handouts. We’re talking about cars here. You can’t walk five yards in this country without seeing fifty. If the US car industry were to fail it would impact millions of Americans, would crush a thousand companies that rely on the Big Three, would severely impact the world auto industry, and would dig us deeper into recession.The truth is that sometimes principles have to suffer. But it’s not as if McConnell and his fellow Republicans can make any claim on ideological purity when it comes to subsidies.

America has been hedging againt failure with subsidies for years with handouts to the weak and the strong. In McConnell’s home state of Kentucky, the state coffers shelled out six figures per job to become home to Toyota, and for many years received the largesse of the Feds for the Tobacco industry. Without agricultural subsidies, US agro-business would have to compete on the world markets without handouts. We’ve been shelling out cash to the Oil companies too. And more recently, Hank Paulson and his Goldman lackeys hijacked the public coffers to save Fannie and Freddie, AIG, and biggest and best of all Citigroup. Without the public dollar, Citi would have been recession roadkill weeks ago. So it’s hard to see where the GOP Senate Caucus get off suggesting that the US taxpayer shouldn’t be asked to subsidize failure.

The GOP’s grasp on logic has always been tenuous at best, but their weasel-words in this case are simply craven. They make no attempt to look at the big picture. They just see this as an opportunity to break the UAW, which while it shares the blame is not the problem right now. This is a management issue. They make no attempt to see that the pitiful amount the Auto Industry is seeking is nothing next to the vast sea of cash that’s been made available for Vikram Pandit and the other Wall Street losers. And they don’t see that the structure of the deal is hardly a bailout – it’s  rather onerous loan at best. Worst of all is the White House announcement that they’ll consider using some of the TARP funds to help the Auto Industry, end running McConnell and his good-ol-boys (If the Auto Industry isn’t the definition of a “troubled asset”, I don’t know what is).  Perhaps McConnell’s “strategy”, if indeed it can be graced with the term, is to try and scupper the ‘bailout’ now, before January 20 rolls around and Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins are pushing an Obama supported bridge loan for the Auto Industry over the Senate filibuster line. Either way, McConnell and his knuckle-draggers are the personification of why the GOP are utterly bankrupt.

Hopefully GM won’t suffer a similar fate.

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