How Badly Has Congress Screwed Up Ethanol?
Two years ago the Democrats in Congress and the Bush administration got together to deliver a payoff to farmers: they required refiners to use 15 billion gallons of biofuels by 2012. They did not expect that a crashing recession would lead to a reduction in the amount of gasoline the nation consumes – the first such reduction in years. And they also didn’t expect a | Read More »
Barry O Kills the Chevy Volt
Way to go, General Motors! You’ve staked your survival on electric cars, hybrid cars, and high-mileage cars – apparently reading tea leaves and thinking that was what Obama and Congressional Democrats wanted. Instead, it turns out Barack Obama thinks you did it all wrong. Even more surprising, it’s GM’s high-tech, environmentally-friendly, crown jewel car of the future that was your biggest mistake. The Chevrolet Volt | Read More »
The UAW & ‘Shared Sacrifice’
Former RSer Pat Cleary has been checking up on the United Auto Workers and has some thoughts on the need for shared sacrifice. He also observes that the UAW no longer seems so proud of the great deal it got for its members in 2007; in fact, they’ve sent their press release down the memory hole: So 6 months ago we moseyed on over to | Read More »
Obama’s Auto Task Force Decided to Bail Out GM & Chrysler Before they Started Work
The Wall Street Journal reports that the Obama administration is prepared to recommend billions in new ‘loans’ to America’s automakers, as long as they meet certain requirements. But once you get past that headline, something very disturbing becomes apparent: Obama’s task force never really considered a bailout on the merits, but concerned itself only with how to structure it. The decision to pour tens of | Read More »
Will the Last One out of Detroit Please Turn Off the Lights?
GM’s auditors are talking about bankruptcy for the automaker: General Motors Corp.’s auditors have raised “substantial doubt” about the troubled automaker’s ability to continue operations, and the company said it may have to seek bankruptcy protection if it can’t execute a huge restructuring plan.
Did Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow Deliver Billionaire Paul Allen a Tax Break Worth Hundreds of Millions?
Well what do you know? Despite the rhetoric from President Obama and Congressional Democrats, it looks like the rich are set to reap more than their fair share from the Obama-Reid-Pelosi debt spending plan: Billionaire Paul Allen is a Microsoft cofounder, the owner of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and the owner of the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers. And, thanks to the stimulus bill President Obama signed | Read More »
Levin to Shove $7 Billion GM Tax Break Into Stimulus Conference?
This provision was not in the House version of the bill, and was not in the Senate version of the bill. And now Carl Levin wants to sneak it into the conference report — despite the fact that Republican supporters are insisting that the bill be slimmed down? General Motors Corp. may win protection from a tax liability of as much as $7 billion when | Read More »
Obama Loves Transparency, But Officials Won’t Discuss the Big 3
There’s a lot of self-congratulation on the left about how open and accessible the Obama administration will be, but it seems there’s a lot of reluctance among his representatives to talk about the Big 3 bailout.
UAW Rallies Against Mandated Pay Cuts
Was it really just a few weeks ago that the United Auto Workers came to Washington with the Big 3, and promised to work together with management to ensure the companies’ viability — if only Washington would bail them out? Didn’t the UAW ultimately agree (if unhappily) to the requirement in the bailout that the companies reduce their labor costs to a level comparable to | Read More »
UAW on Concessions: Let’s Not Get Hasty
According to the Wall Street Journal, the United Auto Workers don’t want to get ahead of themselves and agree to too much in the way of concessions on compensation: Although the UAW has said it is ready to negotiate, UAW President Ron Gettelfinger said Monday it is unclear what kind of reductions it will have to agree to. The Treasury Department has said GM must | Read More »
Jim Bunning Makes the UAW Enemy List
Jim Bunning supported bailing out the Big 3: I have previously said that I would support federal assistance for the companies if they undertake a Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring. Federal financing and warranty guarantees would enable the companies to emerge from that restructuring successfully and more quickly than they otherwise could. Senators Shelby and Ensign have an amendment to do just that, and I will | Read More »
Frank: Bailout is ‘Welfare’ for Auto Workers
As usual, Frank is nothing else if not honest: “No. We’re not propping up companies. That’s your mistake,” he tells Stahl, who had asked him about taxpayer money going to prop up companies that had made bad decisions. “We’re propping up individuals. The world doesn’t consist of companies. The world is people. The country is people.” When Stahl points out that Frank is then talking | Read More »
GM Vice-Chair: Bailout Can’t Work
There’s so much to hate about the proposed bailout of the Big 4 automakers (GM, Chrysler, Ford, and Tesla), that you can occasionally be forgiven for forgetting some of the problems with the idea. The Journal’s Holman Jenkins points out the most basic flaw: it can’t work. Leave it to Bob Lutz, GM’s voluble vice chairman, to puncture the unreality of the auto bailout he himself | Read More »
Big 3 Bailout Hits a Snag
Harry Reid said this morning that the Senate may vote as early as tonight on legislation to bail out the Big 3: Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) expressed optimism Tuesday morning that votes on an automotive rescue plan could come as early as tonight or sometime Wednesday as Congressional Democrats and the White House try to work through the details of a deal. But that | Read More »
Big 3 Bailout Unlikely?
Blackhedd has given an excellent analysis of where the Big 3 bailout stands, and why Congressional leaders are having a hard time building support for quick action. It therefore should come as no surprise that House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is now warning automakers that Congress will not act unless leaders reach a bipartisan agreement in the next few days: House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer | Read More »
Democrats to Level the Car-Making Playing Field by Screwing Everybody
MSNBC considers an interesting question: is card check the only way to save the UAW? One advantage the Honda and Hyundai plants in Alabama have over the General Motors, Chrysler, and Ford plants in Michigan is lower labor costs. That’s because, in part, auto workers in Michigan are represented by the UAW and workers in Alabama aren’t. This cost differential has been a theme of | Read More »
Get Ready for a Trade War
If nothing else, the Great Depression proved very instructive. Plenty of commentators and analysts learned one of its important lessons: protectionist policies are only likely to deepen and worsen an economic slowdown. One person who’s given no indication that he’s learned the lesson is Barack Obama, but we can at least hope that his protectionist talk was nothing more than campaign rhetoric. That said, it | Read More »
Barney Frank: Big 3 Will Need Lots More Money
NPR’s Morning Edition featured a very interesting interview with Chairman Barney Frank this morning. In it he asserted that the $25 billion that the Big 3 is now seeking is definitely not enough to keep the companies going, and it will be followed by tens of billions more if the companies come up with a ‘plan’ that seems promising. Although if you listen to the | Read More »
Democrats Lack Courage of their Convictions: Chapter 227
The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassel injects a necessary dose of reality into the debate over what to do about the Big 3. She reminds us that the same Democrats who sanctimoniously remind us that ‘something must be done’ to save the U.S.-based automakers, refused to do anything when they had the chance: Democrats have been trying to shuffle money to Detroit since summer, but | Read More »
Transforming the Big 3
Barack Obama and the Congressional Democrats are clearly determined to extend Detroit a ‘loan’ that runs into the tens of billions of dollars, and which seems unlikely ever to be repaid. But as the Bush administration negotiates with Congress over the package, it’s clear that Democrats in Washington don’t want to ‘save’ the automakers. Rather, they want to run a car company and ensure that | Read More »
Tags: Barack Obama
, Barney Frank
, Big 3
, General Motors
, green cars
, Harry Reid
, Nancy Pelosi