Monday, December 22, 2008

Just say no to bailouts

As most of you are aware, a few weeks ago I supported bailing out the auto industry.

Even though every instinct in me told me that this bailout was a bad idea, I stood in support of the people that live in my district and those living in Kenosha, including former and current Chrysler employees.

As much as I hated it, I knew how upsetting the effect of the auto industries collapse was having on my friends and neighbors.

Well, I should have followed my instincts instead of supporting the auto industry bailout.

As bad as things are in the industry, I did not think it was possible to make the situation worse. Since the auto industry has pretty much hit rock bottom, how much further can it go?

Not shockingly, it fell even further.

I was supportive of the bailout when Congress was involved. There was a real attempt to at least begin to solve some of the problems that have lead to the demise of the American auto industry. The money was coming from a bill that was passed in 2007 for $25 billion already appropriated that Congress had finally decided to remove the stipulations from. Yes, it

Then, the union stepped in.

Now I know that I will once again get ripped by the Local Union Paper for speaking out, but so what.

The biggest frustration with the union’s rejection of the congressionally sponsored bailout is the unions forgot who they were negotiating with.

Normally the union is negotiating with the corporations, but not this time.

They were not negotiating with the Republicans, as some claimed they were.

They were not negotiating with government officials.

What the UAW failed to realize is that they were negotiating with the American people.

Instead of siding with the American people, the UAW worked against us. Instead of siding with the American people, who are not real happy about doing this anyway, they sided with the environmentalists.

Their unwillingness to concede to a program that would begin to bring about a program towards financial stability was highly frustrating to many Americans, me included.

Of course the UAW did not want to have anyone take a pay cut, but would they rather the companies fail altogether?

Perhaps they knew that Bush would bail them out anyway.

The only problem is that the bailout is very temporary. There is only enough money to get the automakers through until April, maybe May.

We will be doing this all over again. Only now, we have just blown $17 billion and absolutely none of the critical issues that needed to be dealt with have been addressed.

The Big 3 are no more stable today than they were a few days ago. Only now, $17 Billion of American taxpayer’s dollars has been spent and absolutely no solutions for critical problems have been advanced.

We solved nothing and it cost us $17 billion.

I spoke to a couple of retired UAW workers this week living off of their pensions. I asked them what they thought. There are no more comfortable today than they were last week. They know that no problems were solved in this fiasco.

They know this is only temporary and they are aware of the issues moving forward. One of them was looking to a President Obama to fix their problem. The other one is convinced that a President Obama could care less about American auto workers or he would have involved himself in the process by now. I cannot tell you what Obama plans on doing.

Well, that is the end for me. Clearly, instead of taking the responsibility of fixing the problems that these companies are having, they are looking for a handout.

The entire system has become so secretive, we have no clue what the terms of the deals that are being made, and clearly no one plans on telling us. We will be kept totally in the dark, only they will spend billions of dollars and they answer to no one.

No one is holding anyone accountable for any of these messes we are in.

Eve though we were days away from the collapse of GM, the American people still did not support bailing out the auto industry.

I am tired of hearing excuses from irresponsible companies, unions and government officials.

No more auto bailouts, no more bank bailout, no more bailouts of mortgage companies, no bailouts of individual states.

It is time to be grown ups and take responsibility for our own actions. At the rate the government is going, we will have ripped through the $700 billion by April and will be back asking for billions more in a few short months.

We are Americans; we will figure a way through this. We have gotten through these types of problems before, we will have to muddle through again.

I believe the American people have an incredible spirit and incredible drive and will get through this. I also believe that the American auto industry and the American unions will survive this.

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