Thursday, December 11, 2008

Unions and Republicans kill auto bailout?

Just when you think the country is going straight to hell, something happens to make me think maybe things will work out OK.

Tonight, that moronic $14 billion bailout plan for the inept U.S. auto manufacturers died in the Senate. Why? A few Republicans acted almost like conservatives for a change and officials from the United Auto Workers union (UAW) acted like the pigheaded, reality ignoring fools they are.

As we all know by now the U.S. auto industry is in trouble due to a combination of things. The Japanese are stomping Chrysler, Ford and General Motors into the ground by resorting to a remarkably unfair tactic -- building cars that people actually want to buy.

Of course, those technologically, gas guzzling piles of junk that are rolling out of Detroit are built by an incredibly overpaid labor force, thus making things even more difficult for American car makers. It seems the bailout was killed by Republicans who demanded that the UAW agree to cut salaries so they're in line with what American autoworkers working for Japanese companies make.

The union, of course, refused and the pro-bailout crowd couldn't find enough votes to ship $14 billion to an undeserving industry. That's pretty much the correct result. I do wish the bailout for the financial industry would have met with such opposition, but that's all water under the bridge (a bridge that was probably also paid for with money borrowed from China and Japan, by the way).

A few things about this whole episode bother the heck out of me. For one thing, the issue that killed this nonsense in the Senate came about because a bunch of Republicans wanted labor costs cut. It should have been killed out of the gate because governments simply don't go around bailing out rotten companies in a capitalist economy (assuming we still are capitalists, of course) and then nationalizing them. Without the stubbornness of the unions, it seems that bailout might have passed the Senate -- there simply aren't enough free market conservatives left to generate the support to block anything for purely economic reasons.

For another, we've still got George W. Bush and his filthy cronies to consider. Apparently, pushing for this bailout is part of Bush's master plan to completely piss on conservative ideals before he's sent back to Texas. A conservative president would have lobbied hard against any talk of bailouts, but Bush has proven time and time again that he has no problem with letting the government fool around in the free market.

I'd love to see this bailout die for good so that our incompetent auto manufacturers would be forced to reorganize under Chapter 11, renegotiate their ridiculous labor contracts and be under the gun to design some innovative vehicles in order to compete with the superior automobiles produced by the likes of Honda and Toyota.

However, I doubt anyone will be shocked if the Bush administration rides in to rescue a bailout that any Republican worth his salt ought to oppose.

Update -- Arkansas Senator has the right idea

According to this story from, Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln said she voted against the auto bailout plan because the bill would have committed more taxpayer money to a failed business plan. Good for her. I'm glad I keep voting for Lincoln.

Lincoln, a Democrat, usually does a very good job of representing her constituents, and she's lived up to her reputation here as someone who considers her vote rather than just doing what her party tells her.

That's in direct opposition to our other senator, Mark Pryor. Pryor, of course, voted for the bailout. But who really cares what Pryor does? He's an idiot and I'm embarrassed that he is affiliated with my state.

Update -- Bush is a bastard!

Well, according to this story, Bush may well raid the $700 billion bailout fund set aside for the financial industry and give it to the crybabies in the auto industry. Why the hell is that alleged Republican going out of his way to reward failure?

Companies that can't compete deserve to die and make way for businesses that can manufacture products that consumers want to buy. That's called capitalism. That's called giving the consumers the power to determine what products and services they want and how much they are willing to pay for them. That is the way the things ought to be.

That blasted $700 billion bailout for the financial industry and this latest nonsense has set a nasty precedent. Any industry that can't hack it can turn to the government and ask for money. They may get it, too.

Thanks, Georgie! You made me regret my decision to vote against both Al Gore and John Kerry. You've almost made me look forward to four years of Barack Obama because he can't possibly hate the free market more than you do. You suck, Bush, and you're nothing more than the Republican version of Jimmy Carter.

8 comments: said...

Hawg, this evening we were out riding around town, playing Christmas music in the mini-van and checking out Christmas lights. So we missed this auto bailout not making it out of the Senate.

Thanks for the good news!

Merry Christmas!

Da Old Man said...

The last new car I bought was a 2006 Scion. It took about 10 minutes. All I had to select was the trans (auto or manual) and the color. All the goodies, power windows, stereo w/CD player, rear window wiper and defroster, etc etc are all standard.
Last American car (I admit it was a while ago) nearly every item was an option.
I felt nickled and dimed to death. And I was unsatisfied with that Ford. BTW, I had tranny problems, which was made in Mexico. The truck was made in Canada. So much for buying American.

Exaggerato said...

From one EntreCarder to another:

Methinks the Republicans who opposed the auto-industry bailout have this overzealously flawed belief that Natural Law and free-market capitalism must somehow be intertwined.

Arohan said...

Oh, the bailout will happen, mark my words. Sad state of affairs. I would have much preferred the government provide a debtor in possession financing during a bankruptcy process, if they were hell bent on helping the automakers. Atleast the union contracts would have been nullified.

But now it seems dealing with the unions will be left to Obama, and that probably means we will be bailing out the Union lifestyle again some time soon in the future as Obama is unlikely to bite the hand that feeds him

Matt said...

Good for the Republicans who killed the bill. Screw the UAW for being greedy slobs. Bush may rot in hell for what he has done to this country. I say let the big three reorganize under Chapter 11. Delta did it and it worked out pretty well for them.

Great post, Hawg!

ImitationAngel said...

This has been the top story across the country. I think I may changed my mind regarding the auto bailout.

Did you hear about AIG and the bonuses they're giving to people? AIG got over $100 billion in bailout money from our pockets. With that money, they made a plan to offer bonuses to over 150 of their employees. These people will be getting between $92,500 - $4 million each if they stay with AIG for the next year.

I love seeing my money going into the pockets of those that don't deserve it.

The Natural State Hawg said...

Paul -- Sounds like great fun! We do that ourselves...

Da Old Man -- The American manufacturers will nickel and dime you to death, indeed. Buying one of those "foreign" cars is much simpler.

Hell, my Toyota is probably more "American" than most Fords these days. Fun stuff.

Exaggerato -- Actually, we simply believe that rotten companies shouldn't be given a government handout.

Simple as that.

Arohan -- Great, isn't it? Here's the problem with unions -- they are absolutely obsolete. The abuses that caused them to form have been legislated out of existence.

All they can really do any more is demand more money. At some point, that tactic will break the companies that rely on unionized labor.

Unless, of course, the feds keep bailing them out.

That can't happen forever, either.

Matt -- Thanks, and you are completely right about Bush. The spend-happy left has no opposition these days, thanks to Bush and his flunkies.


ImitationAngel -- It's just plain wrong for the undeserving to get free money from the government. That's all these bailouts are, and I do believe we've seen that the companies that receive them have absolutely no motivation to alter the behavior that got them into trouble.

ettarose said...

I still think Bush is going to push the bailout. All the CEO's should resign immediately without golden parachutes and why the hell should the unions care if the companies are bailed out or not. Them SOB's are millionaires several times over. The workers are making $70 plus an hour to stand around and watch robots do the job. Pisses me the hell off.