Festering animosity between the United Auto Workers and Southern senators who torpedoed the auto industry bailout bill erupted into full-fledged name calling Friday as union officials accused the lawmakers of trying to break the union on behalf of foreign automakers. But lawmakers and their spokesmen said the criticism is off base. Jonathan Graffeo, Shelby's spokesman on the Senate Banking Committee, said the senator has consistently opposed taxpayer-funded bailouts.Here’s the admission of incompetence I mentioned earlier:
"He opposed the Chrysler bailout in 1979 when there were no foreign auto manufacturers in Alabama, and he opposed the recent $700 billion bailout of the banking industry," Graffeo said.That’s something to brag about? Shelby opposed the highly successful Chrysler bailout that employed thousands of workers, dealerships, part makers, the banking industry that provided loans, area businesses and taxes paid into the federal government over the last 30 years. What a disaster. Now we’re expected to think he’s making another informed decision? Shelby continues to show his ideology over intellect approach to lawmaking:
"Bailouts generally don't work, and this is a huge proposed bailout, and I fear it's just the down payment on more to come next year," Shelby said on the Senate floor.
If bailouts “generally” don’t work, give us a few examples. But when specifically applying it to the car companies, there are no examples. And according to economic projections, that $15 billion LOAN will cost the government that amount anyway, with or without the “bailout.” Would it hurt so much to err on the side of jobs and U.S. manufacturing? They say so. But Shelby isn’t alone when it comes to screwing things up, take Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee.
(He) said the alternative he tried to develop would have provided federal money in exchange for … making the UAW more competitive in wages with workers at U.S. plants of Japanese competitors.Corker apparently failed to connect the pay of the American union workers to the wages of the in-sourced car manufacturers work force. Minus benefits, the wages are nearly the same, and competitive.
Oh, and one more thing. For these free market Republicans, Shelby and Corker, the idea of big government telling companies how much their workers can make and forcing an artificial ceiling, is the height of hypocrisy.
To paraphrase these big government capitalist, "what does congress know about running a car company? Government can only make things worse."