Brady again, asking you to support the Domestic Auto Industry. It appears that an agreement has been reached to provide about $15B of loans to GM and Chrysler so that they can last until March. During that time, they are to negotiate with creditors, labor unions, shareholders, and other stakeholders to bring themselves into a reasonable cost structure. Some are calling it “Bankruptcy Lite”. A “Car Czar,” appointed by the president, would monitor progress and ensure that taxpayer dollars would be well spent. Additionally, the government would benefit on the upside with stock positions in the companies.
This plan seems reasonable and will protect the taxpayers. However, even though there is reportedly agreement between the House of Representative and the White House, Republican Senators are threatening to block passage of this bill.
If the automobile companies are allowed to fail, hundreds of thousands of people will lose their jobs. You know at least one of them. Hundreds of thousands of senior citizens may lose benefits from their pension plans. You probably know at least one of them too.
There has been lots of talk lately about Energy Independence, the concept that we rely too much on foreign countries for oil and other energy. If we allow the largest domestic manufacturing industry to fail, we could find ourselves in a similar situation, relying on foreign countries for cars and other heavy manufacturing. Do we really want to go there?
At the end of the day, I am asking you, my dear readers, to do me a personal favor. If you live in, or have a credible connection to, a non-Michigan state, will you call or email your state senators and ask that they support the Auto Industry Bridge Loan program? This is especially important if you live in a state with Republican Senators. (Cough… Cough… Texas… Cough… Utah… Cough… Wyoming…)
Tell them that you are calling to support the job of one of our friends, the pension of one of your grandparents, the future of one of your children. Please, as a favor to me, call them. Here is a link that will help you find your Senators:
Here’s some more reading for you, if you’ve got nothing better to do:
Seven Myths about the Automakers
And don’t forget the Ford Story!