Bailout Watch 11: A Bailout By Any Other Name…

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams
bailout watch 11 a bailout by any other name 8230

In Farago's editorial about the domestic automakers' attempts to get $25b in federal loans, he stated, "it's a prelude to a kiss: the REAL bailout (in for $25b, in for another $25b)." Well, it didn't take long for both sides to pucker up. The International Herald Tribune reports this morning the total has grown to $50b– it turns out the $25b was just for the first year. That would be followed by additional $15b in the second year and $10b more in the third year. Why? The UAW's legislative director, Alan Reuther explains "the amount of concern and urgency from the Detroit companies has increased in the last month and significantly ratcheted up what they're communicating what their funding needs are." But he makes it clear you don't dare call it a bailout: "We don't see it as a bailout. We see it as government assistance to help retooling tied to the production of these advanced technology vehicles." Whatever. It still amounts to billions of the taxpayer's dollars going to fund companies which have been driven to the brink of bankruptcy by inept management who collected obscene salaries for doing so. If they do get these handouts, it should include an oversight committee from outside the industry and from outside congress to make sure the money goes for vehicle design and retooling. Not a cent should be allowed to go to executive salaries or perks, bonuses, lobbyists or any of the other thousands of ways the automakers seem to find to fritter away money. And once that's gone, that's it. No third chances! And furthermore… Huh? … Oh… OK. Here comes the attendant with my Thorazine. I'll go sit quietly in the corner now.

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