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

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

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.”

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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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.
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  • Theflyersfan I guess I should have kept my first ever car which was also a 1987 Nissan. Probably could have sold it for $50,000 by now if I was living in this fantasy world where used up 37 year old Nissans sell for the same price as a new Versa. I wish a link was here so all of us can check out this treasure among junk 200SX. The only way this car is even remotely worth that kind of money is if there are illicit substances hidden somewhere in the frame that, as part of the sale, you have to drive across the border and "make a delivery." Otherwise, get that thing off of my lawn.
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  • RHD Questions? None, no, not really. Interested in some random Hyundai? No, not at all. Yawn.