Bailout Watch 190: White House Wants DOE Loans "Released"

bailout watch 190 white house wants doe loans released

Political analysts are having a field day with this bailout business. Do Democrats want the multi-billion dollar automakers’ rescue pack to fail along partisan lines, so they can blame the fall-out on Diego the Republicans– before there are no Republicans left to blame? Are the Republicans stonewalling the bailout because they’re against the bailout on principle, or because they don’t think it will work, or so they can blame the Democratically-controlled Congress? Or even, God forbid, the lame duck President? (Praise be to GM for dropping Washington into the legislative soup between regimes.) I don’t pretend to know what’s in the hearts of our elected representatives, assuming that this vital organ even exists within their cash-padded chest cavities. Anyway, the AP reports that White House “Spokeswoman Dana Perino says the Democratic proposal [to tap into the existing Wall Street bailout fund] would lead to partisan gridlock because the $700 billion rescue package was never intended to help automakers and shouldn’t be now. For that reason, she told The Associated Press that the White House is now actively asking Congress to accelerate loans it first approved in September.” WTF?

So it’s not OK to change the Wall Street bailout bill for Detroit because it would it violates the intent of the law but it is OK to change THE OTHER ONE because…? You know, the bill that was passed by Congress specifically to fund fuel-efficient vehicles, and nothing BUT fuel-efficient vehicles? “Removing those limits from the $25 billion loan package approved in September ‘would be a huge bait and switch,’ said Ann Mesnikoff, director of the clean cars campaign at the Sierra Club.” Yeah, no shit. So… fuhgeddaboutit. Besides, the Congress has already moved on.

“The bill Democrats are writing [to be revealed Monday] would insert the government squarely into the car companies’ operations,” the AP reports. “It would require that the companies submit a plan for long-term viability in exchange for the loans, share a portion of future profits with the government and reimburse taxpayers before any other shareholder, according to aides familiar with it.

‘We certainly want to make sure that there’s a plan how are you going to get out of this mess,’ said Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y.”

Note the use of the word “you.”

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  • Mel23 Mel23 on Nov 14, 2008

    I think this is much ado about nothing. At least nothing Wagoner knows anything about. Given that the GM accounting system has 'material weaknesses', Wagoner doesn't know if they're running out of money or not. My theory is that GM ran out of money seven months ago. So let's just keep going until we hit something, or Detroit Edison cuts off the power whichever occurs second. I like the statement from the PBGC Director today. "GM has not been able to give us a straight answer about the funded status of their pension plan," said PBGC Director Charles Millard. "We can't successfully monitor the situation if they are not responsive."

  • Mokers Mokers on Nov 15, 2008
    share a portion of future profits with the government Ha! This assumes that there might be profits in the future.

  • DenverMike When was it ever a mystery? The Fairmont maybe, but only the 4-door "Futura" trim, that was distinctively upscale. The Citation and Volare didn't have competing trims, nor was there a base stripper Maxima at the time, if ever, crank windows, vinyl seats, 2-doors, etc. So it wasn't a "massacre", not even in spirit, just different market segments. It could be that the Maxima was intended to compete with those, but everything coming from Japan at the time had to take it up a notch, if not two.Thanks to the Japanese "voluntary" trade restriction, everything had extra options, if not hard loaded. The restriction limited how many vehicles were shipped, not what they retailed at. So Japanese automakers naturally raised the "price" (or stakes) without raising MSRP. What the dealers charged (gouged) was a different story.Realistically, the Maxima was going up against entry luxury sedans (except Cimarron lol), especially Euro/German, same as the Cressida. It definitely worked in Japanese automaker's favor, not to mention inspiring Lexus, Acura and Infiniti.
  • Ronnie Schreiber Hydrocarbon based fuels have become unreliable? More expensive at the moment but I haven't seen any lines gathering around gas stations lately, have you? I'm old enough to remember actual gasoline shortages in 1973 and 1979 (of course, since then there have been many recoverable oil deposits discovered around the world plus the introduction of fracking). Consumers Power is still supplying me with natural gas. I recently went camping and had no problem buying propane.Texas had grid problems last winter because they replaced fossil fueled power plants with wind and solar, which didn't work in the cold weather. That's the definition of unreliable.I'm an "all of the above" guy when it comes to energy: fossil fuels, hydro, wind (where it makes sense), nuclear (including funding for fusion research), and possibly solar.Environmental activists, it seems to me, have no interest in energy diversity. Based on what's happened in Sri Lanka and the push against agriculture in Europe and Canada, I think it's safe to say that some folks want most of us to live like medieval peasants to save the planet for their own private jets.
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  • MaintenanceCosts There's no mystery anymore about how the Japanese took over the prestige spot in the US mass market (especially on the west coast) when you realize that this thing was up against the likes of the Fairmont, Citation, and Volaré. A massacre.