Thursday, December 11, 2008

Should We Trust Democrats with Cars?

The Democrats in Congress and President Bush have been working on a bailout for GM, Ford, and Chrysler. Many of the arguments that have been used to justify this bailout were the same arguments used to justify the $700 Billion bailout of the banks and home lenders. That bailout passed, but we have seen an increase in the percentage of home's being foreclosed on. In the last few weeks it was revealed that even while the Executive and Legislative branches were hammering out a bailout, Secretary Paulson was intending to use the money in different ways than what we were told he would use it for. Congress set up an oversight group to keep an eye on how the money was spent. However, as of this writing, Congress and the President have yet to name any members to the board. With this in mind, is there any reason we should trust the government to pass emergency legislation to bail out the auto industry? Is there any reason we should trust a Democratic Party majority to try and bail out the auto industry?

If we examine the beliefs and goals of the Democratic Party they don't match up well with the interests of auto companies. The Democratic Party believes in man made global warming. They believe it is the crisis of our time. They also believe using oil and gasoline are bad. How many times have they campaigned on taxing big oil? The DNC is the party of the Unions. While Unions aren't the only reason GM, Ford, and Chrysler are in trouble, they are a big reason. No one has ever accused unions of being "pro-industry". Why would they start now? Looking at the planks to the DNC one would question why they would want the big three to survive.

The Democratic Party was trying to force the auto industry to drop lawsuits against California's fuel regulations as part of any bailout. The Democrats in Congress are still trying to force "greener" cars on the auto industry while preventing them from bringing the higher fuel economy vehicles they make overseas into the United States. Why? Because Democrats want the environmentalist and the union members happy with the party. They have never really cared how the auto companies might fare with their laws. Why should they start now?

If Congress really wanted to save Detroit, there are other more meaningful ways of doing it. They could do away with the CAFÉ standards. They could lower taxes in general on both industry and workers. They could allow Detroit to bring in the vehicles they make in Europe. I believe any sort of loan is just going to delay bankruptcy by these auto companies. Perhaps other solutions might work. But either way, why would we expect Democrats to help the auto companies?


Patrick said...


By saying "They could allow Detroit to bring in the vehicles they make in Europe," do you mean change our standards, or do you mean just the actual look of the cars? I just wanted to know, because I know we have different safety and engine standards than Europe.

the anonymous guy said...

U.S. automakers and Republicans:

-fought public transportation
-fought airbags
-fought fuel efficiency
-fought emissions standards
-fought climate change legislation
-fought energy independence

Republicans (with help from Democrats like John Dingell) have given us an auto industry that kills.

I don't want Democrats or anybody else bailing out the failed U.S. auto industry.

The U.S. auto industry either needs to enter the 21st century or roll over and die. The auto industry rightfully belongs to people who build safe, fuel-efficient, clean, reliable cars.

If Detroit won't do it, then good riddance.

Says this Democrat.

saint said...

The DNC has no choice but to bail out the big three. They will do what protects their elections and revenue base, just like the Republicans would do. At the end of the day, the unions provide them with money and put them in office, fighting global warming doesn't. Also, they couldn't be part of making thousands of over paid workers suddenly be unemployed, it would be undemocratic.

pack04 said...

saint have to disagree. With the future plans of the DNC unemployeed people does not matter, there will be a redistribution of wealth.

Honestly with the blame of political parties out of this, as they should be (less government yay!!!), I look at it this way. There are 2 big car companies and several smaller companies that are doing alright. Why are they working? What are they doing differently? It is possible for these big 3 to do well, people want cars. They need to retool, change they way the do things. If this loan is for that then I am okay with it. If this loan is to keep on keeping on then HELL NO.

Andy D said...

Thanks to everyone for the comments…

Patrick, I am talking about the fuel economy. My understanding is that Ford and GM both make fuel efficient, small cars in Europe that sell. These cars aren’t cheap, but gas isn’t cheap in Europe either. The UAW / Congress won’t allow the Big Three to bring these cars into the U.S. because they aren’t made with UAW forces.

Anon guy, I disagree with your argument, but maybe not your sentiment. I would say that if the Big Three can’t make cars in the U.S. that Americans want to buy, then they need to change, or go away. Someone will make cars we want.

Saint / Pack 04, I think the current DNC position just points to the fact that they are beholden to the extreme side of their party (UAW and Environmental groups). They won’t structure this bailout to make the Big Three successful. They will do what they can to prop up the UAW and to make environmentalist happy.

Two quick somewhat unrelated questions:

1) If the economy continues to spiral downward, where to UAW workers go for a job?

2) Where will the money come from to protect the environment?

the anonymous guy said...

Just a little perspective:

$700 billion = Republican bank bailout

$3,000 billion = Republican Iraq war

$14 billion = Republican-killed auto bailout

The Republicans killed an auto bailout that was 2% of the size of the Republican bank bailout, and 0.46% of the size of the Republican Iraq War.

The party of small government rides again!

If Andy is looking for money for the environment, he should ask Republicans. They seem to have found an unlimited source.

pack04 said...

is congress not in charge of the money?
is congress not controlled by democrats?

Is the war funding and bank bail out proposed by a democrat and passed by a democratic controlled congress?

please "justify" your response with "it was the republicans that got us into this mess" so that I can win a bet!

By the was was it not Commander and Chief William Jefferson Clinton, DEMOCRAT from Arkansas, that pussy footed around with the terrorist back in the 90's that lead to all this war mess? Was it also not Chief Executive of the United States of America William Jefferson Clinton, DEMOCRAT from Arkansas, who urged fannie and freddie to issue more loans to unqualified, sub-prime, persons?

Oh and one more is the AMERICAN war in Iraq. It is both disrespectful and irresponsible to quantify Americans who voluntarily put themselves in harms way to better America by classifying them as part of worthless political parties.

the anonymous guy said...

wow. a few facts make pack hyperventilate.

Back to school:

Bush (not Democrats) proposed the bank bailout, calling it a ticking bomb scenario. Yes, most Democrats grudgingly went along with it. Dems complained that they wanted to help working people directly in addition to helping rich people. Some guy who lives in a big white house said he'd veto that foolishness.

What my comment points out is that Republicans have a problem with perspective. Y'all dump trillions of dollars in the Iraqi sand and into bankers' private jets, but you hyperventilate about a relatively tiny bailout of some autoworkers on the assembly line.

And, no, that ain't no American war, bro. Iraq didn't attack us and we lied our way in. Unilateral invasions based on lies are not patriotic and not American. George Bush goes down in history as one of the worst presidents ever because of it. It's a stupid wasteful war. That's not American.

And many of us warned you about that before the war. The largest public demonstrations in world history protested the launch of the war. Most Democrats voted against it.

And can Obama blame Clinton for everything, or should he now start blaming Bush? It totally cracks me up how you guys can still blame Clinton. George Bush had the bin Laden memo on his lap and played around at his ranch, read children's books, instead of doing anything about it.

When are you people going to learn that current dominant Republican ideology is destroying this country? Look around, y'all. Most Americans figured that out this election cycle.

It's time to change.

Andy D said...

Anon, you seem to be selecting your facts.

The Bank Bailout was proposed and pushed by both Bush and by Congressional Democrats. Pelosi, Reid, and Bush are all to be blamed for the bailout. Some Republicans argued against it, but far too few. I think very few Democrats were against it, if any. For the Record, the bank bailout, the auto bailout, and the attempted home loan bailout are all bad ideas.

If you really want to split hairs on Iraq, it is a United Nations war. The United States entered Iraq with the authority of Congress and the UN. We followed through on a number of UN mandates, and enforced them. You can argue that we shouldn’t have gone it, or that the reasons we went weren’t the right reasons. Those are both debatable points, and fair minded adults can draw different conclusions about them. To say Bush lied us into that war is either to not understand the meaning of the word lie, or to be intellectually dishonest.

Clinton, Bush 43, Bush 41, Reagan, and Carter all made bad decisions in the Middle East that helped get us to where we are at. Some of those decisions were worse than others. When we have dealt with the threat militant islamo-nazi fanatics pose to this country, we can decide who made the worst decisions. Until then, we need to face that threat.

There are many problems with current Republican ideology as articulated by some of the Republican Party leaders. However, it is far from destroying the country. There are many problems with Democratic and Liberal ideology that in my opinion are destroying the country. Strong Conservatism is still the best political ideology around. Hopefully, more people we start to turn to it, and ignore the little R’s and D’s that follow politician’s names.

the anonymous guy said...

Andy, rewriting history is for Soviets, not Americans.

1) The U.S. and Britain gave up on getting UN support for the 2003 Iraq invasion:

"The two countries abandoned hopes of gaining international approval for an attack as it became clear that the move faced certain defeat in the UN security council."

Both the UN weapons inspector and the UN secretary general called the U.S. invasion of Iraq "illegal."

2) Bush lied, bro. Take your pick:

"Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent." --State of the Union Address 1/28/2003

"U.S. intelligence indicates that Saddam Hussein had upwards of 30,000 munitions capable of delivering chemical agents." -- State of the Union Address 1/28/2003

"We have also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas." --State of the Union Address 1/28/2003

"Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications and statements by people now in custody reveal that Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of Al Qaida." --State of the Union Address 1/28/2003

"Our intelligence sources tell us that he (Saddam) has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production." --State of the Union Address 1/28/2003

"Satellite photographs reveal that Iraq is rebuilding facilities at [nuclear] sites." -- Bush speech to the nation 10/7/2002

"The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." --State of the Union Address 1/28/2003

"We gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in." --Press Conference 7/14/2003

3) You're rewriting history on the bailout, too. But I'm too tired and this post is already too long. Maybe I'll correct the rest of your little history paper later.

Andy D said...


Nothing you site in bullet point two is a lie. It may be wrong, and most experts say we had bad intelligence before going into Iraq. However acting on bad intelligence isn't the same as lying.

the anonymous guy said...

OK, Andy, so I showed you were wrong about the UN. (If I were in your spot I'd issue a mea culpa...)

Now you say Bush was "wrong" but not lying about Iraq. Let's look at just one of Bush's "mistakes:"

Bush said: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

Bush made this claim even though:

1) months earlier, the CIA had voiced serious doubts about the basis for the uranium assertion and implored Bush--in writing--not to use the claim in his speeches.

2) CIA director George Tenet directly warned Bush's national security adviser Stephen Hadley not to use the claim.

3) The Bureau of Intelligence and Research wrote in the October NIE (delivered to Bush) that claims of Iraq seeking to purchase nuclear material from Africa were "highly dubious."

4) These warnings led Bush to remove the uranium reference from an October 2002 Cincinnati speech.

But Bush nevertheless made the claim again in his crucial 2003 State of the Union address.

So when the intelligence community has repeatedly said "don't say that because its probably not true," and the President goes ahead says it--and tells the public that it's true and a good reason to go to war--is that lying?

If it's not lying, what is it?

Andy D said...

There were some 13 to 17 UN resolutions Iraq violated before we went into Iraq. How many would you allow Saddam to violate before we entered? Democrats and liberals always love to defend the UN. Personally, I think the UN is a waste of both time and money. However, if it is going to have any authority, then at some point its resolutions have to mean something. You really want to take Kofi Annan’s opinion on anything to do with Iraq? Didn’t he have a little problem with taking bribes from Saddam with the Oil for food program?

If we accept at face value all of your claims regarding intelligence on Iraq, the worst it shows it that Bush looked at the data and its sources and made a decision. He didn’t manufacture any intelligence. Many of the claims you site didn’t come about until after we got into Iraq. No one in the intelligence community would have had a reason to alter any data at that point would they?

A lie is a deliberate telling of a statement that isn’t true. Bush looked at the data available and interpreted it one way. He may have drawn the wrong conclusion, but it isn’t a lie.

the anonymous guy said...

Andy, your answer is reads like a Sarah Palin interview response.

My post was clear:

George W. Bush reported "intelligence" about Iraq that his own intelligence agencies were telling him was false and should not be reported.

If everyone in the intelligence community is screaming "no, that's wrong!" and he went ahead and deliberately reported it as established fact to the American people, he's either a liar or insane.

I don't know what to call somebody who only sees that as a matter of "interpretation." An extreme relativist? slavish apologist? nihilist? machiavellian?

Thankfully, most Americans now recognize that Bush misled the public on Iraq.

saint said...

Our intelligence said "no, he's not".

British intelligence said "yes, he is".

Maybe he errored on the side of caution? When it comes to protecting Americans from foreign threats, I expect the president to do that. What would we be saying now if we had done nothing, and Sadam was still in charge and announced he had WMD?

the anonymous guy said...

So, Saint, you're saying that Bush could have simply *clarified* this issue by saying:

"The British government claims that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa... but American intelligence agencies say that's total bull."

Wonder why he didn't say that...

Of course, the U.S. intelligence was correct! But the U.S. public never heard the truth. We only heard the lies--from the President of the United States.

Repeating a lie (when you know its a lie) is lying.

It's tough to defend Bush on this because you either have to say he's lying or he's a doofus who can't get anything right.

Most of us have figured out the answer: all of the above.

saint said...

The problem with your argument, anon, is that you assume our intelligence people to be infallible.

Andy D said...

I think Saint is right, but I also think Anon has another failing: Anon wants Bush to be liar so bad he will contort to any position to make it so. The President has to take the data available to him and make a decision. Bush chose to classify Iraq as a threat to American interests based on the data available at the time. He wasn’t the only one to make that decision. The intelligence about Iraq wasn’t unanimous within the United States, or outside it. Bush looked at what was available to him and made a decision. And what do you mean we never heard the truth. The ultra left has been screaming “Bush lied, people died” for years. It is hardly a secret that the left thinks he lied.

Anon, do you plan to hold Obama to the same standard? Obama wants a $1 Trillion economic bailout package. There are a number of economists and elected officials saying that his plan won’t help the economy. If the economy is still in the tanks at the end of Obama’s term, will you label him a liar too?

the anonymous guy said...

You people are amazing.

Bush says "no doubt" about Iraq's WMDs and you believe him at face value.

You blame "bad intelligence" when it turns out there are no WMD.

When it turns out that the Bush actually was warned about the lack of evidence for WMD, you praise Bush's good judgment for ignoring the warning and starting a war.

Heckuva job, guys.

And, yeah, Andy, if Obama says there's "no doubt" about something important, and I find out he's hiding a lot of well-researched doubt about it, he's a liar. He outta be impeached if he does that.

the anonymous guy said...

And y'all are confusing two separate things:

1) Bush's decision to go to war based on whatever information he had in front of him.

2) What Bush said to the American people.

You may argue that Bush did the best he could on #1. But that doesn't change the fact that he lied on #2.

When I point out #2, you guys try to rebut the point by invoking #1. That's a non sequitur.