A day after Senate Republicans protected the taxpayers from paying for yet another bail-out, the White House signalled that it will find a way to throw some of their money at the failing auto companies.
On Friday afternoon, Administration officials claimed that no decisions have been made on the size or duration of the back-door bail-out or what type of concessions might be demanded from the companies, the United Auto Whiners, or anyone else.
One likely scenario is that the White House will divert some of the financial bail-out funds to the auto companies, converting part of one bail-out that Americans didn’t want into another bail-out that we don’t want. The Treasury Department has said that it is “ready” to prop up the auto companies on the backs of taxpayers. Questions remain about whether the Troubled Asset Relief Program funds can legally be used to bail out the auto companies, but Secretary Henry Paulson has already made clear his contempt for the legitimate limits to his power.
Whatever shape the latest scheme takes, it is a kick in the face of the American people, who have opposed both bail-outs. It’s a mockery of the Constitutional principle of the separation of powers. And it is a fitting cap to a disastrous, big-government Republican presidency.