Friday, December 12, 2008

You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Bailout

Or at least Senate Republicans can't.

While I have some pretty big problems bailing out auto companies that have gone out of their way to produce sub-par products and failed to change with the times, I realize that failure of these companies will have a ripple effect as subtle as a tidal wave in the overall U.S. economy.

Today, the Rs filibustered into defeat a measure that would have secured funds for the Big Three automakers to keep them going with stipulations and oversight. And what prey tell as the Republican objections? They thought that auto workers make too much money.

All this points out a few pretty important things:

1) The Senators who voted against the measure were predominately from Southern states. Guess what? Non-union car makers (Toyota, BMW, Mercedes, etc.) are predominately based in Southern states. So, on a very transparent level, these Senators are trying to tilt the playing field for lower paid, non-union employees in their states...and naturally pump up revenue at the foreign companies who contribute to their campaigns. Country first? Hardly.

2) Republicans are still following a failed ideology. One has to wonder where today's thinking was when the big Wall Street bailout passed? Did the Republicans hold up the show because they thought white collar Wall Street workers needed to take a pay cut? Nope. Why? Fundamentally, they are anti-union, anti-worker in the belief that somehow the "free hand" of the market will make all things good. This has been painfully proven to be untrue.

3) The importance of a 60 seat majority for Democrats. You want health care reform? How about a new energy policy that not only creates millions of jobs American but cleaner air? You think that maybe we ought to do something about immigration or maybe Social Security. Well, it is NOT going to happen without the 60 seat majority.

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