The chorus of disagreement in Washington over a measly 25-billion dollars is something to behold. For the record that's less than 4% of the money that's been earmarked by the federal government to save the banks, insurance companies, the mortgage mills and other big-spenders on Wall Street and their Washington lobbying arms.
Today we hear the sitting president say he wants the Detroit automakers to get the cash, but with no fuel efficiency requirements. Too onerous perhaps?
This bailout for Detroit is an issue heating tempers across the political spectrum. One moderately conservative opinionator writes about the biggest danger to the American economy and its future gorwth: "It’s C.E.O.’s. It’s politically powerful crony capitalists who use their influence to create a stagnant corporate welfare state."
Outside my local post office today there were three young men from a right-wing group getting petition signatures to stop "The Multi-Trillion Dolloar Bailout." Meanwhile the United Auto Workers union is coming out big-time for the bail-out. The union is even verbally defending the Big Three auto makers from harsh words being spoken and written. The UAW refers to the cash as a "bridge loan." Perhaps. The above conservative opinionator has already called it a bridge to nowhere.
There is no final written version of the Detroit bail-out yet. And, if the current president prevails it may have no requirement for any tougher fuel efficiency standards to be met by future auto models out of Detroit. And if the overall economy continues to shrink and consumption to drop, gasoline prices may go down even further and we can just forget this whole fuel efficiency fad, right? Nobody in this discussion has yet said the words "global warming." But I would like to refer each Congressperson and any White House occupant to the U.N. report on the atmosphere. Give 'em the cash, if you please...but please don't forget about fuel efficiency.
A poll on GreenTech Pastures showed little support for just giving Detroit the cash because they're such fine folks. Some say, to hell with 'em, use the money for alternative energy. Another large fraction says any bail-out needs series restrictions. So here's your chance to vote, if you missed it earlier: