Thursday, December 11, 2008

Auto Bailout Put on Ice for the Time Being

A blog called The Conglomerate has this progress report:

The Auto Bailout Fails ... For Now
Posted by David Zaring

We've seen quickly crumbling Republican recalcitrance before, but this time it is the Senate, rather than the House, that is holding up a big bailout. And it is doing so in the face of lobbying in favor by Dick Cheney himself. If there is time to consider something else (Politico thinks it is unlikely), here's Bob Corker's proposal, Corker being the senator from Tennessee, which, entirely coincidentally, houses the headquarters and principal operations of Nissan North America:

The alternate plan offered by Mr. Corker calls for giving the holders of bonds issued by the auto companies 30 cents on the dollar to ease the companies’ debt burden; immediately bringing workers’ wages in line with foreign companies like Nissan and Volkswagen; and forcing the United Automobile Workers to eliminate payments to workers after their jobs have been eliminated.

EDITORIAL NOTE: Senate Majority Leader Reid was right in saying that there were not enough votes in the Senate to pass the bailout. We are opposed to simply handing billions of dollars of the people's money to the Big Three automakers without strict conditions, as that would be wasteful and tempt them to come back for more. Sacrifices have to be made, and it is a leadership function on their part to determine what they will be.

UPDATE: MSNBC supplied this update of a last-ditch bailout extended to General Motors and Chrysler. Unless this involves fundamental changes and sacrifices on the part of the United Auto Workers, the Big Three will come back begging for more after Barack Obama is inaugurated as our next President.

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