Bailout Watch 430: In the Long Term, We're All Dead
According to the silver-lining seeking scribes at The Detroit News, the Presidential Task Force on Automobile is taking the long-term view on the Motown meltdown. Hang on. Didn’t DetN scribes Gordon Trowbridge and Christine Tierney read Daniel Howes latest column? You know, the one where Mr. Howes called bankruptcy deniers “deluded.” And yet, less than twenty-four hours later, the word “bankruptcy” appears in the DetN’s Task Force article exactly none times. Instead, there’s a hopeful assumption that the Obama admin wants YOU to support Chrysler (maybe), GM (definitely) and Ford (maybe) for as long as it takes to . . . well, we’ll get to that in a minute.
The federal auto task force that arrives in Detroit on Monday has spent the past two weeks meeting with a range of industry players, pushing its work beyond the automakers’ immediate cash crisis and strongly hinting at a longer term goal… the group’s focus appears to extend far beyond the balance sheet, looking more deeply into the question of what a successful U.S. auto industry would look like in the long run.
Yeah, that’s what I want: a gaggle of professional politicians deciding what the American auto industry should look like under a new five-year plan. So, how much is this boondoggle going to cost me? As the DetN points out, it’s not all about money (even though it is). DC’s going to make sure there’s plenty of green in that mean, mean, mean; mean green.
. . . the White House sent strong signals this week that it is considering energy and environmental issues alongside financial matters. White House officials said discussions of a single, national greenhouse gas standard, which could supersede attempts by California and other states to set their own standards, are part of the restructuring process.
As we’ve pointed out many times, Detroit ain’t gonna take a free ride. If congress stumps-up a $34B “loan” for General Chyrsler, they’re going to demand that their beneficiaries let nature sing. Clearly, Detroit’s automakers are keeping bad, bad company; ’til the day they die.
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