Government to the Rescue...Again

Posted: Dec 11, 2008 1:40 PM
Late Wednesday night, Congress passed the Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act.  Like bailouts in the past, I firmly opposed it, as it offered no assurances that it would fix the failing business models that put the Big Three in this position to begin with, while offering no protection for the taxpayer's investment.

Last night's vote proved that the Bush White House and Democratic leadership are working lockstep to put taxpayers on the line for another irresponsible bailout without making the necessary structural changes and without renegotiating labor contracts. Throwing taxpayer money at Detroit's spiraling problems will not fix their long-term management and productivity troubles and they will only be back for more time and time again.

My Republican House colleagues and I presented an alternative to help the American automakers stabilize their industry while they execute long-term restructuring and reorganization.  That alternative would set hard benchmarks for reducing their debt and renegotiating money-pit deals with Big Labor and would set up the financial assistance as interim insurance instead of a taxpayer-financed bailout.  Unlike the proposal Congressional leadership has brought before Congress, which essentially nationalizes the auto industry, this alternative would maintain an outlet for private investment in the American automakers. 

However, Democratic leadership dismissed consideration of alternative proposals that could truly restructure these companies over the long-term and help them rein in costs.