Carl Levin (D-Michigan)
Photo Courtesy Detroit Free PressOK, so the auto execs should've thought twice about going to Washington in separate $20K/trip corporate jets. Of course the auto companies need to change a lot of things about their business model. But is anyone thinking about not just the "rich guys at the top" but the millions upon millions of blue-collar workers and retirees who depend on the auto companies for their livelihood? What about the millions of auto-related jobs with small businesses around the country who depend on the auto companies? What about all of the other small businesses that will fail because they won't have any customers? Why punish all of them because of what the bigwigs did or didn't do?
Raise your hand if you have a family member who works now, or who is retired from one of the Big Three or a related company. Raise your other hand if that family member bought a house, raised a family, donated to charity, sent their kids to college, and just basically lived the American life by keeping the American economy going. Now, put down one or both hands if that family never ever made a mistake thoughout life. See all of those hands raised?
The auto companies are asking for a "bridge loan"; the re-tooling for the future starts next fall--the plans are already in place. The unions have cut their wages and benefits to the bone. Huge world-wide companies can't change overnight, but changes are coming.
But because of vengefulness, short-sidedness, and frankly, elitism on the part of Republicans in Congress--yes the same ones who spend $10 BILLION a MONTH in Iraq--the white-collar financial companies got their bailout, but the blue-collar auto companies can't get a loan without rankor and vitriol.