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Obama Wants To Help The Auto Industry?

From a nonplussed Associated Press:

Aides: Obama suggested more help for auto industry


WASHINGTON – President-elect Obama suggested to President Bush that the administration immediately provide extra help to struggling U.S. automakers, aides to the Democrat say, in their first face-to-face meeting since Election Day.

Obama’s aides said the president-elect brought up the issue with Bush during their two-hour White House talks on Monday, expressing his view that action is needed now, not just to help the U.S. companies but also the broader economy, because of their enormous reach. Obama raised the idea of an administration point person on autos with a portfolio aimed at improving the long-term health of the companies.

Bush repeated his position, recently stated by staff, that he is open to helping the automakers…

The Illinois senator’s spokesman, Robert Gibbs, said only that the discussion involved “the broad health of the industry” and was not just limited to any one of the three largest car makers…

There clearly is momentum building for some new aid to automakers…

Over the weekend, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid asked the administration to consider expanding the $700 billion bailout for financial firms to include car companies. The administration has concluded the law doesn’t allow automakers to be eligible under the main, stock-purchase part of the program.

“We don’t see anything in there that would give us the authority to help individual industries,” Perino said Tuesday. “We have gone as far as we can with the authority given us.” …

How does this comport with the news we have just previously reported:

Obama Positioned to Quickly Reverse Bush Actions

Stem Cell, Climate Rules Among Targets of President-Elect’s Team

By Ceci Connolly and R. Jeffrey Smith
Sunday, November 9, 2008; A16

The president-elect has said, for example, that he intends to quickly reverse the Bush administration’s decision last December to deny California the authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles. “Effectively tackling global warming demands bold and innovative solutions, and given the failure of this administration to act, California should be allowed to pioneer,” Obama said in January.

California had sought permission from the Environmental Protection Agency to require that greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles be cut by 30 percent between 2009 and 2016, effectively mandating that cars achieve a fuel economy standard of at least 36 miles per gallon within eight years

Environmentalists cheered the California initiative because it would stoke innovation that would potentially benefit the entire country

Which Obama should we believe?

Perhaps neither.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, November 11th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

30 Responses to “Obama Wants To Help The Auto Industry?”

  1. Reality Bytes says:

    SG: I recall about a year ago the big three uploaded a somewhere around 15 billion along with the union taking pocession of the workers’ health plan. As a union shop, I know our union is Hemorrhaging cash from the plan they took over from the shop owners who previously managed the plan.

    So, my 64 billion dollar question is – will Pelosi/Obama/Reid jack the manufacturer’s up to recommit employee compensation into the plan in exchange for the bail out – thereby forcing them to accepting a slow bleed for a quick transfusion?

    Reminds me of the restaurant owner in Good Fellas who took on the mafia boss as a partner only to have his business go up in smoke.

    But, what do I know?!

  2. JohnMG says:

    RB; See my post on another thread. Basically what you’ve said above was my take also. The auto industry wouldn’t be in the shape they’re in without the government’s “help”. Forcing larger and more costly mandates on the automakers in exchange for a temporary infusion of funds would be like committing suicide by whacking one’s thumb repeatedly with a ball peen hammer.

    I’m not a conspiracy-theorist but I, too, warned that something was under foot with the tit-for-tat exchange vis-a-vis the health benefits plan. Once agaain the public (taxpayer) got flim-flammed.

  3. tjsbocaj says:

    Forgive me for saying so, but isn’t this the infamous ‘corporate handout’ that Democrats vehemently stood opposed to throughout the Bush administration??

    So what exactly is the argument here? That the success of big (evil, greedy fat cat) corporations ensure jobs for Americans? I’d be willing to bet that the CEO of Ford or GM makes millions of dollars too.

    If I didn’t know better, I would think that this is a (unwilling) consession by Democrats that conservatism is right.

  4. David says:

    While I think restrictive emission standards are important, I think what is missing from this conversation is that not all auto industries are failing. The big three can not be competitive (especially GM) until they scrap the mass production system and make the full transition to lean manufacturing. Propping up a failed business method purely for the sake of keeping low skilled line workers voting the way the union tells them to is criminal. It is simply a round about way of buying votes. No one asks the obvious question, what would happen if these auto makers folded? Yes, people would lose jobs and have to start over perhaps even without any real marketable skills. But I highly doubt that in a country full of people with bright ideas and eager to make money that auto manufacturing would end forever in this country. It just has to be done differently now.

  5. paulswigert says:

    When is this going to stop? I mean is the government going to own everything and why can’t they just “say no”. You wouldn’t keep giving a junkie money to buy drugs so, why are we continuing to give these companies, money, that have clearly failed. If this were me and I owned a company and I had managed it poorly, it would be tough, you screwed up “no soup for you”. This is the biggest “slippery slope” scam I’ve ever seen there is virtually no end in sight and trying to put a band-aid over a major artery puncture simply will not work and to continue to bail-out these companies is the same thing. The government should let these companies fail and we will come out better on the other side much faster than trying to print our way out of this problem.

  6. pinandpuller says:

    Nancy Pelosi’s plan to save the planet isn’t off to a very good start. Less car manufacturers-less pollution.

  7. proreason says:

    Redistribution part 3….for the loyal constituents of Detriot.

    Last time, 2% mortgages (and much more). This time, high paying jobs and delux health benefits for loyal constituents who build cars that don’t sell. Next time, the auto industry will be nationalized to keep the redistribution going. But the ultimate dream is smelly rail cars that go places you don’t want to go..and bicycles.

    But it’s ok, because the people who will pay the tab voted out of selfishness. Nowadays, it’s patriotism is the name of the game.


  8. curvyred says:

    1) Our American auto industry needs to adopt Lean Manufacturing Principles

    2) Industries come and go for a reason – only the strong survive – and that is the way it should be – no subsidies.

    3) I am stepping down from my soapbox now.

  9. Media_man says:

    Sorry to sound cold hearted but the auto industry is beyond saving. Might as well let them go down the tubes. Perhaps a new US manufacturer can spring forth from the rubble, free of UAW mandates. Congress could also pass laws that make them competitive w/ foreign manufacturers, relax CAFTA standards, UAW made by quotas, etc.

    Hell will freeze over before Congress lets that happen.

    Good news for Toyota, Honda, BMW, etc. Bad news for Michigan.

  10. JohnMG says:

    Our auto industries are saddled with decades of accumulated costs which must be factored into the end cost of their product. There are thousands of retirees whose pension benefits (negotiated over years and generations by the UAW) are funded by the automakers themselves. Each retiree’s benefit cost has to be factored into overhead costs. Contrast this to all of the foreign manufacturers assembling their product here. They aren’t burdened with these same costs because they are relatively new on the scene, and have successfully bargained hardball with the autoworkers to forestall such costs. In 50 years, they will face the same dilemma. Until then, they have an advantage in the marketplace. But if you’ll compare the foreign product to the domestic counterpart, you’ll find little disparity in prices.

    As I’ve said above, many of the federal mandates cause increased costs to the manufacturer who passes these on to the consumer. All is well until the consumer can no longer justify the costs. How can anyone have faith in a government that believes higher gasoline costs are good for the economy because they will force conservation. When you can barely afford fuel with which to get to work, how can you afford to install energy-efficient replacement windows, or the new roof, or the room addition for your expanding family. Trust me, as a small contractor, when the cost of fuel for my equipment goes up, my clients pay the increase. But my business drops off in response to folks not having as much (or any) discretionary income.

    This is a trickle-down unintended consequence of Federal intrusion in the free market. And yes, it’s the first step toward nationalizing private industry.

  11. Professor_Repulso says:

    GM stock is currently at $2.92 a share. After hearing the noise about the Volt, which won’t be available until 2010, I got to thinking. There are at least three problems: (1) It is being brought along about ten years too late. (2) It will be prohibitively expensive. The last estimate was $40,000+. (3) There are companies already producing retrofit devices for your present automobile for a fraction of that cost. A day late and a dollar short. Which is probably about what a GM share will be selling for tomorrow.

  12. Lipstick on a PIAPS says:

    Boy, Barack Obama and the Democrats have SOME NERVE! First, for 8 years they have been screaming that the “George Bush” policies have led to ruination. Second they advertised themselves as the antidote to Bush’s Policies. Now these @ssholes want Bush to fix it for them for the remaining days of the Presidency because Barack is not good at math.What a bunch of Shiite. Bush should tell all of these @ssholes to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine. They wanted to be in charge and they got it! Enjoy you bastards! ;- )

  13. bousquem says:

    And you know what ever Bush fixes or does right, the democrats will lay claim for either by claiming one or a combination of three things. 1. Clinton era policies/effects, 2. Democrat controlled Congress’s policies/effects/ideas, or 3. Obama’s ideas and policies, all of which Bush will have “stolen” credit for. If anything fails, it’s Bush and the Republican’s fault. Basically the same crap that has been happending for years, Good things happen can only happen with the democrats, all bad things are the fault of republicans/Bush.

    But I have to agree that a big problem is the UAW and their quotas and demands for years to make sure that people with basically no or little skills could make out like bandits. I guess if the auto industry fails we’ll have them turn into full time protestors or there will be alot more employees for McDonalds and such, though most will think an job that’s not paying top dollar is “under them”.

  14. GuppyNblue says:

    There’s no hypocrisy in the Democrats bailing out the evil auto industry. They will be using are money to reward gluttonous unions for their large organized voting block. Pelosi and her party understand who keeps them in power and they are ideologically part of the same monster.

  15. Liberals Demise says:

    Guppy is right on!! But I think the correct phrase for this is,”Paying Tribute” to the Monster Unions. According to the movie “GoodFellas”.

  16. BillK says:

    To be perfectly honest, Pelosi and friends could tell the Unions to #$@! off, just as they could do with African-Americans.

    It’s not like either group is going to vote for Republicans if the Democrats upset them enough…

  17. GuppyNblue says:

    I just believe it goes further than dirty politicians rewarding a voting block. When I say they are ideologically the same I’m referring to Communism. Pelosi has a history of officially supporting Communist in labor.

    See this Congressional Record where she pays tribute to Harry Bridges.
    Also, here’s a relevant article by Joshua Muravchik at The American Enterprise Institute.

    To a Communist, labor unions are right up there with learning institutions in priority. I’m not saying every union member is one but that unions are a target for influence and infiltration. Whether Pelosi is one… I’m guessing she is. Communist organization has many levels right on down to unknowing supporters (or useful idiots).

    Now if Obama has his way union voting will no longer be private. IMO this will lead, by intimidation from union thugs, to even higher enrollment and thus more of us working (and paying) for their cause.

  18. sheehanjihad says:

    Say what you will about Pelosi, but she is a cold, calculating shrewd politician. Her bid for total power is now complete, and since she knows her constituents will keep her in power, she can rule with the aplomb afforded those who understand the meaning of absolute power. When the only opposition candidate is a moron like Sheehan, she doesnt even have to campaign, and she knows it.
    Her hard leftist viewpoint is nothing new, her maneuvering and patient crawl up the trough to be the uber pig of the House…her atttention to destroying as many of the Bush administration policies as she possibly can so she can crow her usual diatribe about the “failed policies of the Bush administration” crap, her responsibility for the economic disaster due to her blocking any efforts to rein in Freddie and Fannie, her cronyism, her total disregard for the country as a whole while saying she speaks for the American people, all of it is factual and all to real.

    She doesnt speak for the American People, and if she had to run in a nationwide election, she would lose handily…but she doesnt, and Speaker of the House she remains, doling out her favors and punishments to her subjects as she sees fit. She, and her partner in the Senate, Harry Reid, were the first two legs in an unholy trinity….and Obama is the last leg in a triangle of unrepentant socialism that will be forced upon us by unfettered legislation. We are going to change alright…but to me, it’s like trading a bad cold for an Ebola Virus infection. One made you feel like crap, but the other will kill you. And as we speak, the Trinity of totalitarianism is cooking up huge vats of the virus….the virus of a socialist ideology that will bleed out our country as long as they are in power.

    We need to find a vaccine, and quickly.

  19. Reality Bytes says:

    Per Usual, Rush Nailed It. A quid pro quo of cash to save union benefits.Llet GM file chapter 11 & let them renegotiate their obligations. Why Not?! It worked for the airlines & everybody else is screamin’ for it. Why not GM?

  20. 1sttofight says:

    WTF is a “eoy”?

  21. sheehanjihad says:

    The reason you dont hear anyone screaming about anything is because you havent read past the current posts. The only one screaming is you. Please, find a more appropriate outlet for your anxiety issues..

  22. JohnMG says:

    End-Of-Year, 1st. But he might as well have said eee-i-eee-i-oh!

    What this brain trust doesn’t seem to understand about capitalism would fill volumes. Obviously socialism and Marxism are more to his liking and make more sense to him. That which issues from his mouth will most frequently be encountered in a “septic tank”, but I guess “skeptictoo’ is pretty close.

  23. sheehanjihad says:

    I would imagine that skeptictool never got chosen for any sports either…..so now we have to suffer from his childhood issues. The ones that occured last year. Capitalism to him is the big letter in front of his name.

  24. 1sttofight says:

    To be a success at capitalism requires brains and hard work. To be a success at socialism or marxism only requires that you be a mouth breather like skepictoo.

  25. DEZ says:

    I have to join 1st, WTH is oey.
    Or is it Oey OH, OH OH.
    “I would imagine that skeptictool never got chosen for any sports either”
    Your most likely right SJ, He was also passed over by every female to ever draw a breath.
    I am betting he is a necrophiliac with a limp noodle.

  26. JohnMG says:

    In other words, he’s not “up” for some “stiff” encounter?

  27. DEZ says:

    LMAO MG.
    The dead will not rise to this occasion!

  28. JohnMG says:

    Necrophilia: The irrestibale urge to ‘crack open a cold one’.

  29. DEZ says:

    “Necrophilia: The irresistible urge to ‘crack open a cold one’.”

    You owe me big time, the spray on my monitor, keyboard and desk was bad enough, But spraying beer through my nose is almost unforgivable!

  30. JohnMG says:

    I apologize. Beer through the nose? S’not funny! ;-}

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