But they do have a little time to pull their drumsticks out of the oven. Today the Democrats in Congress gave the U.S. auto industry until December 2nd to come up with a proposal acceptable to Congress and the current White House occupant.
You gotta ask yourself, what were the Detroit managers thinking over the past decade? Did they forget all lessons learnesd from the VW Beetle forty years ago? Did they honestly believe lobbyists could forever protect them from motorists and politicians in California and New York, the nation's two most populous states? Did they believe the Rovian rhetoric that there would never again be a Democratic-controlled government in the land, so they didn't have to worry about fuel-efficiency? For over 200 years this nation's political history has been one of ups and downs, cycles if you will. What were they thinking?
My guess, they were thinking about next quarter's bonus, maxing out immediate profit and let the devil worry about next year. So Toyota and Honda ate Detroit's lunch, and now may have stolen even the breakfast rolls.
DETROIT'S HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT
Democratic leaders in Congress said they want to see the auto makers helped. But they want to see a plan acceptable to both parties. It was also stated that the Bush administration could take some of the billions of TARP money and make it available to Detroit. But Bush and his Treasury Secretary have said they will NOT do that. They've changed direction before with TARP money so it's not clear if that's a negotiating ploy or a firm stand. December may tell us.
Congress could come back into session December 8th if there's a plan submitted by December 2. The Democratic leadership admit they do NOT have enough votes to pass of the proposals that have been floated within Congress heretofore. I guess that means the three "competitors," Chrysler, Ford and GM, will spend long days and night together trying to promise change while saving the status quo.
One assignment for the auto folks, tyhey have to find a way to assure the Congress thagt the companies would become viable if they get the loans requested. Tall order with the economy in recession, or maybe worse, and consumers holding back and loans hard to come by even if you assume another monthly payment, and jobs being cut, and....
This could get ugly, and Michigan will not be having a Happy Thanksgiving. A Merry Chiristmas hangs in the political winds of a national capital going through its own unemployment and hiring cycle. I say that regretfully, having been born in Michigan back when Ford, Chevrolet, Plymouth, Nash, Studebaker, DeSoto, even HenryJ were all viable American car brands.