I don’t like federal interference in private industry. Have I made that clear enough yet? That means I would have been opposed to former Treasury Secretary Paulson, acting (I assume) on the orders of President Bush, putting heavy pressure on the head of AIG to step down after AIG received one of their many sacks of bailout cash. But somehow it doesn’t register quite the same way with me as President Obama forcing the GM CEO to resign. Maybe I didn’t pay as much attention to AIG’s internal employee shuffling as I have been to what’s going on with the auto industry. It’s just that the failure of AIG, while terribly detrimental to the economy (and many 401ks) in the short term, wouldn’t have nearly the impact of GM or another one of the Big Three closing up shop. The Big Three are American institutions, and it would be harder to imagine an America without them than without one of the many insurance companies we have in this country. Sentimentality aside, if we continue to interfere with the free market the way former President Bush has done with his bailouts, and the way President Obama continues to do with his multi-million dollar taxpayer gifts to various entities, the economy will not improve.
Neither President had (or has) the expertise to make personnel decisions at insurance companies (Bush) or to make the right choice for the next GM CEO(Obama). Thank goodness President Obama says he has no intention to run GM, and that he will draw the line at forcing their CEO to step down. GM and Chrysler owners can also be thankful that their warranties are now guaranteed by the United States Government. What a slippery slope it is for companies who take their fair share from the federal money tree — now the feds pretend to have the right to exercise direct control over these companies. It’s a painful lesson to learn — next time the feds come with the offer of cash — the correct answer is: Just Say No.
I rarely link to Wonkette, due to the fact that it’s not exactly (hardly ever, in fact) family-friendly, but this quote is priceless:
Hmm, so this auto bailout problem, is it a good thing or a bad thing? Good, because the government should continue to withhold money from GM and Chrysler until they get their acts together. Bad, because GM and Chrysler cannot get their acts together without money, plus the demise of the manufacturing sector etc. President Obama assures us, however, that no matter what happens we will not let our auto industry simply vanish. This is liberal socialist code for we will raise taxes on the wealthy and give everyone a free Geo Metro. [Washington Post]
Awesome. But see, Wonkette’s got it all wrong. President Obama will give us all free bicycles, since he doesn’t want us using more fossil fuels, even in a tiny car like the Metro. Just can’t wait for all my free stuff that my taxes are paying for…