Then There's the Auto Bail-Out - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Then There’s the Auto Bail-Out

As if I didn’t need another reason to wish President George W. Bush & Co. ill, today is the first installment of the auto bail-out.  Never mind Congress didn’t vote to waste, er, use my money in this fashion.  The president will give my money to auto companies which don’t make products at a price Americans want to pay.

And no one knows what the final bill will run.  Reports ABC News:

Today is payday for two of Detroit’s Big Three automakers, due to receive over $13 billion in taxpayer funds to keep the American auto industry running, and analysts say the bailout is likely to be just the beginning.

The U.S. Treasury is expected to transfer $9.3 billion to General Motors and $4 billion to Chrysler, but Mark Zandi, chief economist with Moody’s, predicts that over the next few years taxpayers will pay a total of $75-$125 billion to keep the Big Three out of bankruptcy.

“The bailout will likely cost $100 billion or more before we’re through,” University of Maryland economist Peter Morici told ABC News, adding that much of that money, technically loans, might never be paid back.

The automakers are stalled in launching the restructuring the Bush administration wants. G.M. has put off negotiations with creditors until Jan. 5. And the United Auto Workers Union doesn’t want to go along with the wage and benefit cuts the bailout agreement calls for, in hopes that the Obama administration will drop a target in the bailout that calls for the Big Three to make wages competitive with transplanted Japanese carmakers operating in southern states. The initial installment of funds is not expected to carry GM past February.

Analysts say it’s not a question of whether they’ll be back to ask for more money — but when.

Please, George, just go away.  I know in theory Barack Obama could be worse.  But I’m having trouble imagining how!

Doug Bandow
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Doug Bandow is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute.
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