Thursday, December 11, 2008
Bailout Hypocrisy from Oklahoma's Republican Congressional Delegation
Full disclosure, I have worked as an independent contractor in the automotive industry for more than a decade, and have recently relocated to Oklahoma due to the economy,so I may not be entirely impartial.
I'm against bailouts. I don't like the fact that public taxpayer-funded money could go to private companies if said private companies are huge, dying and poorly managed. But I'm warming to the auto industry bailout precisely because the final version of the bill will be dispensing loan money with tight controls, unlike the $700 billion in mostly free money with little control that the House and Senate passed in October. It's also less of a big deal because of the math involved: $19 billion is much much less than $700 billion.
But many Republican senators and representatives don't see it that way. Here's a sampling of the hypocrisy just in Oklahoma:
Senator Tom Coburn:
The labor rates of the Big Three are out of sync with labor rates across the nation and it is unfair to ask American taxpayers to subsidize poor management decisions. The only acceptable Congressional action would be the possibility of guaranteeing loans after labor contracts are renegotiated
Senator Coburn voted yes on the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, which mandated that Americans subsidize poor management decisions.
Representative Mary Fallin:
With our deficit rising and our economy continuing to shrink, cutting every struggling company a multi billion dollar check is simply not an option. The best way to protect American taxpayers is to ask the automobile companies to work through their problems, reorganize their companies and operate by the same rules that other companies and industries have to play by.
Representative Mary Fallin voted yes on the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, which cut many multi-billion dollar checks for dozens of struggling lenders; institutions that now do not have to operate by the same rules that other companies and industries have to play by.
Representative John Sullivan:
Taxpayers should not be asked to reward failure by subsidizing the very business practices that got them into this situation in the first place. Moving forward Congress should focus on helping to rebuild a viable domestic automobile industry through market driven policies, not massive government intervention by nationalizing these companies.
Representative John Sullivan voted yes on the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, which mandated that taxpayers reward failure by subsidizing the very business practices that got lenders into this situation in the first place and created a massive government intervention by partially nationalizing certain companies.
Representative Tom Cole:
Unfortunately, another costly investment by U.S. taxpayers does not guarantee that automakers will reform the habits that caused their current spiral. In fact, a bailout may only encourage the status quo.
Representative Tom Cole voted yes on the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, which encouraged the status quo.