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The World According to TARP

With apologies to John Irving it must be said that "In the world according to TARP, we are all terminal cases" and that includes GM and Chrysler despite the monumental mistake President George W Bush made this morning. Notwithstanding that one of TARP's principle authors, Senator Judd Gregg ( R-NH), claims that there is no authority under TARP to loan money to the auto industry, just consider what Hoover Institution Fellow Deroy Murdock says President Bush is doing to his own party:

"Comrade Bush once again needs to be reminded that there is nothing conservative about corporate welfare. Bush long ago abandoned any pretense of fiscal conservatism. But rather than recede quietly into the reeds before leaving the White House January 20, he seems hell-bent on killing with an axe what remains of the Republican Party's central organizing principle: limited government. Bush's eight-year-long spending spree, his signature on at least 69,341 earmarks, his barely touched veto pen, his $783 billion Medicare drug entitlement, and his massive financial bailout (so far: $3.35 trillion in actual outlays and $13.35 trillion in total guarantees and commitments) apparently are not enough. Bush believes that what taxpayers really need is yet another $40 billion for Detroit to spend with little assurance that automakers will make the major reforms needed to restore their competitiveness."

The Hoover Institution is a recognized voice for conservative core values however even they have their limits to how much big government they can swallow in a matter of years.

Republican voters began rejecting this type of policy in 2006 by staying at home and not voting. Legacy building is becoming a greater burden to the Republican base than all of the political toil expended supporting the President in the Great War on Terror.


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Comments (8)

Once again, the car guys ar... (Below threshold)

Once again, the car guys are in the situation they are in because of government. This plus a downturn in car buying caused mostly by hysteria in the marketplace and really bad rebates, and it is what it is.

Labor costs are an overblown component. Compare roughly $1,700 in labor to a $6,000 discount and which one has the greater contribution?

The problem is market share. Once lost, it is seldom regained. Thus the rebates.

There are car loans available.

In spite of the pundits and ideologs mouthing off, the best sellers continue to be large pickups. Sure small cars sell. But guess what, not in large quantities like larger cars and pickups.

Everyone says that SUVs are rejected. Baloney. What is rejected is the price tag for a vehicle that doesn't contribute to work and home flexibility.

Basically, the Republican mantra is to stick it to the Unions. As a Republican and former Union guy, I have mixed feelings on the subject, but do understand both sides of the issue.

The real problem was a lax SEC. The real problem was a stupid Congress run by both parties.

We have the best Government money can buy.

The bottom line is that it costs less to bail out the car guys than to let them go bankrupt.

I'll just note I am not the... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

I'll just note I am not the famous author. Nor is he where I come by my name.

'nuff said.

Hugh. Thanks but no thanks.... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Hugh. Thanks but no thanks. It is a little too late to disown Bush. Critics of Bush could have told you since the outset in 2001 when he began his string of mediocre crony appointments and began tilting the rules to his corporate backers with no public payback required. Cheney`s secret energy task force to this day being a prime example. But no... any criticism of Bush our dear leader was dismissed as BDS on this site and others.

George W. Bush often smirking has been the face of conservatism for the last 8 years and conservatives have had to face the consequences of backing him even into a second term. As Greenwald expressed it, back in November, 2006 after the disappointment of the Congressional elections (for Republicans).

It is completely incoherent for a political movement that selected its own leaders and propped them up and supported them for years to suddenly insist -- once those leaders become wildly unpopular and are revealed as failures -- that somehow they are not "real" members of that political movement. Nobody forced George Bush on conservatives. They picked him, stuck by him, and long into his presidency, insisted that he was their leader and the face of conservatism. And so he is.

All of this is depressingly predictable. Last year, Digby famously defined "conservative" this way: "'Conservative' is a magic word that applies to those who are in other conservatives' good graces. Until they aren't. At which point they are liberals." And Rick Perlstein has pointed out many times that, just like Communism: "In conservative intellectual discourse there is no such thing as a bad conservative. Conservatism never fails. It is only failed." But the predictability of all this doesn't make it any less deceitful, dangerous or just wrong.

SteveWhich Greenwa... (Below threshold)


Which Greenwald? There are several of him.

Also, if after eight years you're still not able to discern the differnece between legitimate criticism and BDS then stop trying.

What I wrote about Bush was legitimate criticism; prolonged obsession about the "secret Cheney energy task force" is a symptom of BDS.

Hugh this is just one examp... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Hugh this is just one example in which Bush/Cheney, conservatives and the executives of carmakers (and their supporters) have been very wrong on fuel efficiency and fought against it, and are now scrambling to turn things around now, when they could have meaningfully done something in 2000/2001 instead of cutting off public and environmental input.

In the secret energy task force, Bush administration officials sought extensive advice from utility companies and the oil, gas, coal and nuclear energy industries, and incorporated their recommendations, often word for word, into the energy plan.

The May 2001 NRDC, the Natural Resources Defence Council report was an analysis of the Bush administration energy plan that was released on May 17. NRDC's energy experts found it heavily biased in favor of the most polluting fossil fuels -- coal and oil -- at the expense of the environment and public health. Furthermore, the plan would have no impact on energy prices, and no practical effect on U.S. dependence on foreign sources of oil.

Of course, you feel this wasn`t a legitimate criticism of the Bush/Cheney style of government...It is only in 2006 when criticism was appropriate.. when the damage had already been done. Great anticipation.. but I suppose that is why you are a conservative.

The May 2001 NRDC, th... (Below threshold)

The May 2001 NRDC, the Natural Resources Defence Council report was an analysis of the Bush administration energy plan that was released on May 17. NRDC's energy experts found it heavily biased in favor of the most polluting fossil fuels -- coal and oil -- at the expense of the environment and public health. Furthermore, the plan would have no impact on energy prices, and no practical effect on U.S. dependence on foreign sources of oil.

Steve, first, the NRDC is a hyper partisan, ultra liberal activist group with a long history of opposition to major private sector energy initiatives that find there way into public policy.

Second, the NRDC has done nothing to ensure that consumers pay less for energy usage in this country. Their initiatives usually have the effect of increasing energy prices.

Third, the NRDC is a tool of the Democratic party....there's no secret there. That they would attack Bush's energy policy 120 days into his nascent administration does not surprise me. Any Bush energy policy, including the means by which it was created, is dead on arrival at the NRDC.

But here's something we might agree on: why doesn't the NRDC launch a full scale investigation into the blatant manipulation of crude oil prices in the Summer of 2008? Who was running up the price and why? There is no identifiable market dynamic that has changed since last summer but for some odd reason I'm paying $1.60 per gallon for gas now as opposed to $4.25 per gallon last summer. Maybe the NRDC can tell me why that is?

Gas (and oil) prices have d... (Below threshold)

Gas (and oil) prices have dropped due to lower demand. Those of us who have lost our jobs no longer commute, and even with less-costly gas we have no money to spare just riding around for fun.

And since we've pretty much stopped buying ANYTHING, Chinese and other low-cost countries have watched their exports drop, so people there are using less oil, too.

Heck, if the Richie-Riches lay off another two or three million of us or send our jobs overseas, I'll bet you'll see gas under a buck before long.

Enoy the party! :)

Will we ever see fiscal con... (Below threshold)

Will we ever see fiscal conservatism in the White House again? Ever?






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