As we all know, America is in a recession and has been for a year. There’s something that responsible people do in tough economic times: Spend less money, especially borrowed money, particularly on expensive items, like cars.
The Detroit Three CEOs are back on Capitol Hill today, requesting, most recently, around $34 Billion of taxpayers’ money. Pointing to slow sales, they claim that the economic crunch is threatening to drive them out of business. Now, regular readers know that this blogger considers the recession only one factor in what ails the Detroit Three. The others include excessive regulation, ridiculous union contracts, and the companies’ own failure to anticipate changes in consumer demand.
But let’s allow that the economic downturn is a significant factor, particularly in the immediacy of the Big Three’s plight. So what? That doesn’t mean that bilking the taxpayers is either just or prudent.
Americans are cutting back on their spending. The federal government, allergic to responsibility, is trying hard to not to let us get away with such prudence. The government has already got hard-working taxpayers, and their children, and their grand-children on the hook for two bail-outs, which, by the way, don’t seem to be working very well. Now they’re contemplating picking our pockets for a third bail-out, this one for auto companies, forcing Americans to hand their hard-earned money over anyway to businesses whose products they’ve decided not to buy.
This is dangerous. By slowing down their spending, by relying less on credit, Americans are doing what’s necessary to get back on the road to economic recovery. They’re not buying cars because they’re not sure they can afford them. Instead of saddling them with more unaffordable debt, Congress would do well to learn from the taxpayers’ example.