Why do Republicans oppose an automaker bailout?

November 20, 2008

Republicans oppose the bailout for the auto industry because it helps poor people. That’s it. Wasn’t the Right asking for $700 billion for banks not even two months ago? And now, Democrats want to spend $25 billion of that to keep our auto industry running, and the Republicans really have the balls to try and oppose it. We are talking about money that has already been allocated towards getting the economy back in shape, and a relatively small part of it, too. Why is it acceptable to give money to banks and not automakers?

Because rich people don’t build cars. This is a blatant issue of class warfare, plain and simple. Republicans had no problem in bailing out the financial sector, but now that the option of giving money to the working class arises, they are jumping to attack it. A large portion of the automakers’ costs are in legacy labor costs. They are paying a significant amount of money to retirees, and this is crushing them financially. Keeping the auto industry alive benefits the employees of the auto industry and their communities. This bailout is a handout to the working class, and Republicans oppose giving money to poor people. Not only do they refuse to give them money, but they also go as far as to blame them for the auto industry problems.

The Right’s main argument is that instead of a bailout, the automakers should give less benefits to retirees and lower wages. Cutting labor, though, is not the answer. Instead, the auto industry needs to get its shit together and start working towards a sustainable business model. We have known since the 1970s that Japan was making better cars than us, and this is not the first automaker bailout we have come across.

We are at a time now when I think that the government needs to step in and keep people in their jobs. Our economy isn’t going to get any better without people working, and if $25 billion of money that’s already going to be spent is what it takes, I think that sounds pretty reasonable. We’ve had the bailout for Wall Sreet, and now we are facing a total denial of any form of bailout for Main Street.

Yes, the American auto industry has made mistakes, and part of its current problem is of its own doing, but this is not just an American problem. People aren’t buying cars everywhere. If the auto industry goes under, the cities and communities that depend on them, many of which have been struggling for years, will suffer. This is an avoidable situation, and I don’t think $25 billion of money already appropriated to help stabilize the economy is unreasonable. Hundreds of thousands of jobs are at stake here, but the Right will turn a blind eye, because rich people don’t make cars.

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3 Responses to “Why do Republicans oppose an automaker bailout?”

  1. Daniel Says:

    Don’t be facile. Republicans oppose throwing good money after bad. Mitt Romney’s op-ed on the subject explains the Republican’s arguments well: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/19/opinion/19romney.html?hp The best way to help the carmakers is for them to go bankrupt and restructure. This means new management, because this group of jokers are terrible. They thought it was a good idea to jet to Washington in private jets to wag their tin cups and beg for money. That’s wrong.

    The problem with Detroit is management. They are terrible and letting them squander $25 billion taxpayer dollars isn’t going to help them and it is going to hurt taxpayers.

    Bankruptcy also means restructuring contracts with the UAW to that Detroit is more competitive cost-wise with the Japanese. It’s better to have healthy companies paying wages that are a little lower than no auto companies at all.

    The right wasn’t asking for a $700 billion bailout–President Bush and Congressional Democrats were bailout’s promoters. To say that the right opposed bailing out the automakers because it helps poor people is silly and revisionist history.

    Lastly, Paulson doesn’t have the legal authority to spend the TARP funds on the automakers. But the law can be changed.

  2. micheallawrence Says:

    Look, it’s pretty obvious that we share some common points here. We both accept that it is the executives in charge that are largely responsible for the decline of the auto industry, so why should the workers suffer? I think we need to keep the auto industry alive for the hundreds of thousands of workers that rely on them for work. I don’t think the aim of the auto bailout is really for the industry as much as it is for those with jobs that depend on the industry.

    It looks like the Democrats have already made a decision though, and we won’t be seeing any resolution on this soon.


  3. […] 12, 2008 The bill to provide $14 billion in aid to US automakers has failed. As I have said before Republicans oppose the auto bailout because rich people don’t make cars. When the banks […]

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