Ladies and Gentlemen of the House and Senate:
I applaud your severity in dealing with the Big 3 automakers in Detroit. These bozo's and their high-flying lifestyle (kudos to the Senator who asked them, "You had to have 3 private planes? You couldn't have jet-pooled?") have just about run the American auto industry into the ground. Now, they're asking for $25 billion of our tax dollars to bail them out.
Yes, $25 billion is a lot of money.
Yes, the Detroit automakers put out a crappy product (though it is greatly improved).
Yes, the Detroit corporate executives are overpaid swine.
Yes, the unions (near and dear to the hearts of us Democrats) are WAY out of control, and the average Detroit auto worker is VASTLY overpaid compared to EVERYBODY ELSE.
Yes, Detroit made some bad decisions, building SUV after SUV after SUV after truck after truck, all of which get horrid gas mileage (even though WE, the Great American Consumer, shunned small cars like the plague and were, at one point, paying PREMIUMS OVER STICKER for Tahoes and Suburbans---my cousins, the former Chevrolet dealers in Searcy, Arkansas, told me that for years their salesmen had little lists in their pockets and would go out and meet the car haulers when they drove in with a load from Arlington; they'd then go down the line calling their waiting list, telling them, "We've got a beige Tahoe LTZ; it's priced at $42,000; I can let you have it for $44,000" and the people would rush down there with a checkbook. For years, my cousins couldn't drive a Tahoe or Suburban for their "demonstrators", because they made too much money selling the beasts---but at the same time, you could buy all the Cavaliers you wanted, in a variety of colors, at huge discounts.) This is what we here in America call "Capitalism", or "Market Economy". The Market, you see, dictates what it will buy and what it won't, therefore you supply the Market what it craves. And what it craved until a few months ago was big, V-8 powered vehicles in which you could haul 5 adults, 2 kids, a dog or two and all their junk, WHILE towing your boat or travel trailer.
But yes, Detroit made some mistakes.
BUT WHAT OF THE BILLIONS AND BILLIONS of dollars y'all just GAVE the *BUSH ADMINISTRATION*, that bastion of intelligence and competence, knowers of the best way to do things? What happened to our $700 BILLION that you GAVE, as a BLANK CHECK, to the Bush Administration to bail out companies that (get this) made loans to people they KNEW wouldn't pay, then bought up these loans and bundled them and sold them (as "AAA" rated investments!) to other companies, which bought a bogus product from AIG called a "Credit Default Swap" so if somebody DID default, they'd be "covered" by "insurance"----you bailed AIG out to the tune of BILLIONS AND BILLIONS of dollars, without even finding out where it went!!!! You gave JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America BILLIONS AND BILLIONS of dollars and they used it, not to make loans, but to buy up other banks!!! You saved Freddie and Fannie and AIG and Bear, Stearns, but you let Lehman Brothers go down the tubes. What was that all about, anyway? That's what brought on the current credit crunch! Why was Lehman Brothers deemed "not worthy" of bailout, but the other big investment houses were? Is it because Paulson and Bernanke were from a COMPETITOR and they just didn't LIKE them? We never heard....
Bottom line, dear Congresscritters: If you can afford $700 BILLION DOLLARS, unaccounted for, in a blank check, to bail out freaking Wall Street, which is, in my humble opinon, Las Vegas without the free drinks and showgirls---ok, scratch that, make it "Las Vegas without the heat but with lots of rain and slushy black snow"---then why can't you afford a comparatively paltry $25 Billion to bail out the American auto industry---you can put CONDITIONS on the money! You can literally change the laws regarding unions! You can pull some of the same crap Truman and Roosevelt did with regard to the unions. You can require the resignations of the CEO's, you can require the reduction in their pay and benefits and perks.
I really, really dislike Wall Street. Money truly is the root of all evil.
3 hours ago