Last week, President Obama announced his visions for the future of General Motors and Chrysler, although, he claimed, “the United States government has no interest in running GM.” Unfortunately, the rest of his speech read like a CEO’s to-do list. His “team will be working closely with GM,” and “Chrysler needs a partner to remain viable.”
Such is the problem with bailouts: Government feels entitled to dictate the business plan of rescued companies.
The president also announced the a new position, a “Director of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers,” to cut through the red tape and ensure that the full resources of our federal government are leveraged to assist the workers, communities, and regions that rely on our auto industry.” Too bad the new director can’t jettison destructive and redundant government programs.
If a federal bureaucrat has the power to cut through red tape, he should start by eliminating the new fuel economy standards unveiled the previous week. According to the EPA, GM, Chrysler and Ford can’t meet the 2011 CAFE standard, even though it’s major foreign and Japanese competitors do. Unattainable federal mandates won’t increase Detroit’s viability.
Another pending threat was the recently released discussion draft of the “American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009.” The bill, drafted by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) would mandate a host of new transportation fuels, give incentives toward electric vehicles, increase energy input costs for vehicle production and potentially ignite a trade war. It’s another bailout that kicks the can down the road and spends more taxpayer dollars on poor business plans, bad labor contracts and inept government regulators, continuing what the late William F. Buckley deemed “creeping socialism.”
Conservatives Have Solutions
Heard of “the party of no?” At least one House conservative is promoting alternatives to Obama’s plan to expand spending, taxing and borrowing by the federal government to fund big-government health care, energy regulation and manage of the economy: Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.).
Ryan has rolled out his “Path to American Prosperity” to provide a comprehensive alternative to Obama’s $3.6 trillion budget. The Ryan plan saves $4.8 trillion by freezing non-defense/veterans spending, borrows $3.6 trillion dollars less than the Obama budget, doesn’t raise taxes and increases the defense budget by $5 billion.
In the Senate, John McCain (R-AZ) offered a plan that would have made politically difficult, but necessary, cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The McCain plan would have saved you, the taxpayer, $3.1 trillion over the next ten years. It was defeated on a 38 to 60 vote, losing three moderate Republicans: Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Bob Corker (R-RN). Senator John McCain and Congressman Paul Ryan have proven that fiscal conservatives have comprehensive alternatives to the Obama Budget and they are not members of “the party of no.”
So what are Mr. Koh’s views? “Mr. Koh believes that the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 violated international law because it was not authorized by the U.N. Security Council,” Groves continues, “He also believes that a decision of the International Court of Justice — located in the Netherlands — is binding upon a court in the State of Texas in connection with a death penalty case against an illegal alien who murdered and raped two teenage girls. Finally, Mr. Koh believes that America flouts international law to such a degree that it is part of an ‘axis of disobedience’ along with North Korea and Saddam’s Iraq.”
Cheers to a Socialist
Sometimes the left and right come together on a common sense issue. Conservative cheers to Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and libertarian-leaning Rep. Ron Paul for fighting against crony capitalism and against the federal government giving your tax dollars to private companies. Conservatives hate the Federal Reserve when the Fed tries to manage the economy by printing massive amounts of new money. “This money does not belong to them,” Sanders said last week on the Senate floor, “It belongs to the American people.” Conservatives agree. The Federal Reserve has put $2.2 trillion in loans to banks at risk. Therefore, the Fed should, at a minimum, provide transparency on how these banks are spending federally loaned money.