Washington has been abuzz lately with debate over possible federal action to save the American auto industry from financial collapse. American autoworkers and taxpayers deserve better than a taxpayer-funded bailout of the auto industry that simply guarantees failure. They deserve a plan that removes barriers and gives the industry a chance to be competitive again. I and some of my colleagues recently put forth a plan that would do this.
I opposed the recent bailout plan put forth by the Democrats who control Congress because I believe it is unworthy of American auto workers and unworthy of American taxpayers. It guarantees failure at taxpayer expense. If enacted, it would keep the American auto industry dependent on taxpayer money instead of giving auto workers the security of a viable industry that is back on its feet and ready to compete. It offers no guarantee that taxpayers will get their money back; instead it simply sets the industry up for further taxpayer-funded bailouts down the road. It would also put Washington politicians and bureaucrats in charge of the American auto industry – the same politicians and bureaucrats who racked up a $455 billion budget deficit last year.
American autoworkers and their families deserve better. A responsible plan should protect taxpayers and help auto workers and their families by allowing the Big Three to become competitive again. The plan I offered with my Republican colleagues would do this.
Our proposal, the American Automotive Reorganization & Recovery Plan, establishes firm benchmarks and a tight timeline for the companies’ restructuring. The Big Three automakers presented their plans for restructuring to Congress on December 2. Their plans included some worthy objectives, but no real details were provided with respect to how the companies would actually be restructured, or what the companies would do to ensure taxpayers get their money back. Our plan addresses this problem through benchmarks designed to ensure real changes are made that will allow the companies to get back on the path to prosperity.