News came last night (December 11) that the Senate had rejected the House-approved plan to keep the US auto industry in business while it worked out its long-term challenges. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Rescue Bid for Detroit Collapses in Senate” the culprits are the small-government advocates, mostly from the South, like Mitch McConnell. Their free-market god has failed them by creating a monster in Detroit, and they can’t see that letting nature take its course will be just as productive [NOT!].
Rescue efforts suffered a major blow when the Senate’s top Republican vowed to oppose the bill. “This proposal isn’t nearly tough enough,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.).
Calling for stronger provisions to ensure reforms at the auto companies, Mr. McConnell also said he opposed the bill on ideological grounds. “A government big enough to give us everything we want is a government big enough to take everything we have,” he said.
I don’t believe we should reward the companies, like GM, who have been short-sighted and stupid, but this isn’t just about them, it’s about the workers and about the stability of the economy, the markets, and the entire world. Mitch McConnell almost lost his re-election bid this year, but obviously didn’t hear the message. People WANT a government that will come to their rescue when they need it. The days of “drowning it in the bathtub” are SO over!
The Japanese stock market was down 5.6% today; as I write this (early afternoon in Europe), the European indexes are down nearly 5%. A comparable fall in the Dow would put it close to 8,000, and that’s without even considering the likely fallout of the Madoff arrest, which is likely to have a ripple effect, bringing down more hedge funds.
This is another complete Republican disaster in the making. January 20th can’t come soon enough! The government that isn’t big enough to rescue the jobs of hundreds of thousands of people wasn’t big enough to oversee the industry when it needed it — to enforce and enlarge mileage requirements and emissions standards. It wasn’t just Detroit that got us into this mess, it was a failure of public policy, too. We let them get away with murder in the name of the “free market” (free to fail, that is).