Monday, November 17, 2008

Today in Congress: The Auto Bailout

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

Today, Congress takes up the issue of whether or not to bail out the American auto industry. I vacillate somewhat on this subject, but lean towards telling GM to go to bankruptcy now.

Since this is the big issue of the day, a lot more corners have been heard from: some new perspectives from the pundit class. Robert Samuelson at Newsweek says to bail them out, but only with the kinds of politically suicidal actions that would be imposed in bankruptcy. The NY Times says that it shouldn't be a concern since the foreign manufacturers who are already producing on our shores will be able to pick up the slack.

But I think the best argument for letting GM go to bankruptcy now came from Pat Buchanan and Joe Scarborough on Morning Joe this morning. They basically argued that GM cannot be allowed to fail because we need to protect our manufacturing base because the only reason that the Japanese and Korean manufacturers are doing so well (comparatively) is because we don't have protectionist tariffs. They further contended that we need to save Detroit because we already gave up ship building. Then, they had the argument that they LIKE domestic cars better, especially, in Joe Scarborough's case, the Tahoe.

Here were two right wing guys who have been singing "free market" "no controls" ever since I can remember. And suddenly, the ONLY hope that capitalism has is to step in and save an industry that been the model for failure for 30 years. Remember, the Big Three's problems are not a problem of the current economic collapse, they've been headed this way for decades.

But what do you think?