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Detroit Three Blame-Shifting at the Trough

Detroit’s Big Three big-wigs are on Capitol Hill this week trying to get in on all the bail-out action. Again.

Representatives from General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler, which is no stranger to bail-outs, are trying to explain why the taxpayers who don’t want to buy their cars should be forced to give them $25 Billion anyway.

Not exactly the picture of winsomeness, the Detroit Three CEOs “blamed the failure of the global credit system for driving down auto sales and plunging their firms into crisis” in testimony yesterday before the Senate Banking Committee, according to this morning’s Washington Post.

Not so fast. The foreign-owned maker of my current car sends me weekly offers of almost ridiculously generous credit terms on a new car. As much as these appeals are crafted to look like they’re just for me, I can’t believe I’m the lone target of such opportunities. Apparently, there’s plenty of credit out there, from better-managed companies, at least for people like me, who avoid using it as much as possible. Hey, we can’t afford unnecessary interest and irresponsible risk; we’ve got taxes to pay.

The Detroit Three should remove the log from their own eyes. Contrary to the men’s “that credit crunch you gave us” claim, analysts think that the Detroit-based auto makers’ woes stem factors closer to home, particularly their stubborn insistence on producing big, gas-guzzling SUVs that people no longer want and their value-busting union contracts.

It should come as no surprise to regular readers that this blogger would oppose a bail-out for the Detroit Three under any circumstances. But especially when their current problems are substantially their own fault. And even more especially when their blame-shifting suggests that they’re unlikely to correct the internal mistakes that have brought them to what they whine is the brink of bankruptcy.

The American taxpayers are growing weary of laboring to rescue irresponsible companies. Perhaps Congress is too. The Post reports, “[T]he chances were looking increasingly bleak that Congress would quickly approve a lifeline to help the firms survive.” It should also come as no surprise that this blogger takes every word in the paper that brought us into “Jimmy’s World” with a pound of salt. But I find encouragement in the fact that Pravda on the Potomac isn’t crowing about the inevitable Soviet-style socialization of auto manufacturing.

Maybe we can put the brakes on bail-outs.

1 thought on “Detroit Three Blame-Shifting at the Trough

  1. Hey, the automakers must be pretty desperate; their CEO’s were in such a hurry to get to Washington for the hearings that they chartered a private jet.

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