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* * * 2008 * * * : As GM goes, so goes the GOP
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(2 recommendations so far) Message 1 of 6 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameSmigChick  (Original Message)Sent: 11/18/2008 8:42 PM
As GM goes, so goes the GOP
Patrick J Buchanan
Posted: November 17, 2008
8:48 pm Eastern

Understandably, Republicans are seething.

When Hank Paulson demanded $700 billion to haul away the trash in the dumpsters of JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs ?assuring us we could hold a garage sale of the junk ?they rebelled. They acted as the nation, by 100 to one, demanded. They killed the Wall Street bailout.

The Dow quickly sank another 1,000 points, and, charged with criminal irresponsibility by the elites, the GOP buckled, reversed itself, rescued the bailout ?and was wiped out on Nov. 4.

Now we hear from Paulson that the $700 billion Congress voted will not, after all, be used to buy up all that rotten paper on the books of the big banks. Some banks are using the cash to buy other banks.

So Republicans are right to be enraged. They are victims of the biggest bait-and-switch in political history. But they are now about to do something terminally stupid. With GM, Ford and Chrysler teetering on the brink, they are turning a cold stone face to Detroit and are about to follow the counsel of that quintessential Bushite Dick Darman, who said of our computer chip industry, "If our guys can't hack it, let 'em go."

America responded ?by letting George H.W. Bush and Darman go.

Are Republicans aware of what they are about to do?

When workers, execs, engineers, dealers, salesmen and suppliers are all factored in, the Big Three employ 3 million people who contribute $21 billion a year to Social Security and Medicare, and $25 billion in federal income taxes. Add in all the businesses that depend on the auto industry, and we are talking about one-tenth of the U.S. labor force.

As columnist Tom Piatak of Chronicles and writes, 850,000 retirees, and their families, depend for pensions and health care on the Big Three. If they go under, the burden falls on us.

And to let the auto industry die is to write America out of much of the economic future of the planet.

In a good year, like 2005, Americans buy more than 17 million new cars, and Western Europeans as many. Tens of millions in Eastern Europe, Russia, China, India and Southeast Asia are now moving into the middle class each year. These folks will all need or want one or two family cars. If we let the U.S. auto industry die, that immense and burgeoning market will be lost forever to America, and ceded to Asia.

"Who cares?" comes the free-traders' reply. Japanese and Koreans are setting up factories here. They can pick up the slack.

But that means Americans will work for and depend on foreign companies for a necessity of our national life as vital as the imported oil and gas on which our cars and trucks operate. All the profits of the mighty automobile industry in America will be sent abroad.

Before Republicans follow this free-trade fanaticism to their final interment, they might study the results of a poll by Peter Hart:

  • ?Seventy-eight percent of Americans believe the U.S. auto industry is highly or extremely important. Three percent think we can do without it.

  • Ninety percent of Americans believe the death of the U.S. auto industry would do great damage to our economic future.

  • By 55 percent to 30 percent, Americans favor federal loans to save it. And by 64 percent to 25 percent, Americans back President-elect Obama's resolve not to let the U.S. auto industry go under.

If the GOP blocks these loans, and the industry dies, the party can forget about Ohio, Michigan and the industrial Midwest, for the Reagan Democrats will never come home again. Nor should they.

By the choices we make, we define ourselves and reveal what we truly care about. Thus, consider:

We bail out the New York and D.C. governments of Abe Beame and Marion Barry. We bail out a corrupt Mexico. We bail out public schools that have failed us for 40 years.

We bail out with International Monetary Fund and World Bank loans and foreign aid worthless Third World regimes.

We bail out Wall Street plutocrats and big banks.

But the most magnificent industry, the auto industry that was the pride of America and envy of the world, we surrender to predator-traders from Asia and Europe, lest we violate the tenets of some 19th-century ideological scribblers that the old Republicans considered the apogee of British stupidity.

Nancy Pelosi is talking about tying loans to a restructuring of the industry. But Congress is not competent to do that.

What needs to be restructured is the U.S. tax-and-trade regime.

Dump globalism. Instruct Japan, Canada, Korea, Germany and China that if they wish to sell cars here, they will assemble them here and produce the parts here. And we shall have the same free access to and same share of their auto market as they have of ours.

To accomplish this, use the same import quotas and tariffs Ronald Reagan used to save the steel industry and Harley-Davidson.

Reciprocal trade. Even Democrats like FDR used to practice it.


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 Message 2 of 6 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameT-o-r-s-t-e-nSent: 11/18/2008 8:56 PM
yeah, pat's right,  it is stupid to bailout countless banks who do anything with money but  move it around and create paperwork, then don't lend it out to actual businesspeople and consumers, and then act all uptight about $50B in--not bailouts--but guranteed LOANS to the domestic auto industry.
government, and not necessarily republicans prickly about assisting or stablilizing the auto industry, is guilty of piling on the CAFE standards on the Big 3, and subjecting them to corporate welfare, and letting the unions have an ungodly amount of power---there is no sanity to $73 dollar an  hour auto-workers. 
Now, it's not popular to say, but Chapter 11 bankruptcy isn't the end of the world.  GM or Ford files for 11--restructuring--tomorrow, the day after tomorrow their doors still open for just a legal means, on the books, of how a troubled company restructures itself to be more competitive, and actually profitable. 
What needs to happen in the auto industry is to shift the burden of their pension programs to the UAW.  Where management has failed, get rid of those guys.  Where government has hindered, obstructed, and weakened, get rid of those restrictions and regulations.  I'd almost instinctively prefer the Chapter 11 course for the autos, but if a deal could be reached that avoided the specter of such a reorganiztion, that'd be great but what that would likely and unfortunately entail would be management saving their jobs and government not removing their meddling hands from its role in the mess. However, if Ford, GM, and Chrysler file Ch.11, they do so individually and only would be able to address traditional intracompany problems that way.  If the domestic autos and the government can get together and restructure the landscape of the industry, that would be the best pathway to removing govt barriers that make it more difficult for our guys to compete with foreign makers.  The average Japanese car is $2500 less than the average American car simply b/c of unions.  Toyota, Nissan, Honda...they built plants here free from unions and so their profits are even greater than what they were when they had to ship them all here.  But the big skeletons in the garage are CAFE standards, pensions, and UAW demands.  None of these gets addressed in Chapter 11.

 Message 3 of 6 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameSmigChickSent: 11/18/2008 9:02 PM
LOL, Pat's almost always right, imo. (That's why I kept voting for him in the 90s, hahaha.)
And don't get me started on today's unions....
I really hope everyone pulls their heads outta their butts and does something to help the Big 3 or I'm afraid we're in for more problems than some are assuming.

 Message 4 of 6 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknamejöhnnybSent: 11/19/2008 1:56 AM
I hate to agree but...on point.

 Message 5 of 6 in Discussion 
From: ConradSent: 11/19/2008 5:53 PM
got this in e-mail yesterday
An urgent message to GM owners

You made the right choice when you put your confidence in General Motors, and we appreciate your past support. I want to assure you that we are making our best vehicles ever, and we have exciting plans for the future. But we need your help now. Simply put, we need you to join us to let Congress know that a bridge loan to help U.S. automakers also helps strengthen the U.S. economy and preserve millions of American jobs.

Despite what you may be hearing, we are not asking Congress for a bailout but rather a loan that will be repaid.

The U.S. economy is at a crossroads due to the worldwide credit crisis, and all Americans are feeling the effects of the worst economic downturn in 75 years. Despite our successful efforts to restructure, reduce costs and enhance liquidity, U.S. auto sales rely on access to credit, which is all but frozen through traditional channels.

The consequences of the domestic auto industry collapsing would far exceed the $25 billion loan needed to bridge the current crisis. According to a recent study by the Center for Automotive Research:

?One in 10 American jobs depends on U.S. automakers
?Nearly 3 million jobs are at immediate risk
?U.S. personal income could be reduced by $150 billion
?The tax revenue lost over 3 years would be more than $156 billion

Discussions are now underway in Washington, D.C., concerning loans to support U.S. carmakers. I am asking for your support in this vital effort by contacting your state representatives.

Please take a few minutes to go to, where we have made it easy for you to contact your U.S. senators and representatives. Just click on the "I'm a Concerned American" link under the "Mobilize Now" section, and enter your name and ZIP code to send a personalized e-mail stating your support for the U.S. automotive industry.

Let me assure you that General Motors has made dramatic improvements over the last 10 years. In fact, we are leading the industry with award-winning vehicles like the Chevrolet Malibu, Cadillac CTS, Buick Enclave, Pontiac G8, GMC Acadia, Chevy Tahoe Hybrid, Saturn AURA and more. We offer 18 models with an EPA estimated 30 MPG highway or better ?more than Toyota or Honda. GM has 6 hybrids in market and 3 more by mid-2009. GM has closed the quality gap with the imports, and today we are putting our best quality vehicles on the road.

Please share this information with friends and family using the link on the site.

Thank you for helping keep our economy viable.


Troy Clarke

General Motors Corporation
100 Renaissance Center
Detroit, MI 48265

 Message 6 of 6 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameHiccup1Sent: 11/19/2008 9:26 PM
a loan yes, bailout no.
although the american auto industry needs to change it's ways. the unions are killing us.
they were showing this morning that the workers at gm make an average of $75 an hour whereas the workers from toyota make $35 an hour.

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