should we bail out the big 3 while they drag their feet on global warming?

Environmental activist Laurie David, in an article published today on the Arianna Huffington’s website, the Huffington Post, proposed that we not follow through on the proposed bailout for Detroit automakers until the Big 3 get serious about global warming, and drop the lawsuits they currently have against individual states that, tired of waiting for the Feds to do something, have passed more stringent emissions laws of their own. Here’s a clip:

… Detroit’s three-month lobbying blitz apparently paid off, as automakers stand with hands outstretched ready to accept the first $25 billion in direct federal loans recently funded by Congress – the largest federal aid package ever offered to the U.S. auto industry. Over the past few months, their top executives went to Washington to schmooze with Congress and some of the companies offered teasing glimpses at what they called “future” technologies that might someday hit the roads — if enough money flows from taxpayers’ wallets to make it so.

But there’s a serious lapse of reason here.

If we are handing over billions of our tax dollars to Detroit for automakers to retool their plants to build cleaner, more fuel efficient vehicles — something they should have done on their own a decade ago — the least we should demand in return is that the auto giants drop their ridiculous lawsuits against states that are trying to curb global warming emissions from cars and trucks…

So, good idea or bad idea – what do you think?

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16 Comments

  1. Col. WIll
    Posted October 15, 2008 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Listen carefully … it isn’t a bailout. These are loans. Loans that are part of the legislation passed in congress last year that calls for 40-percent improvements in fuel economy. Yes, they are low-interest loans and yes, you could argue that the Big 3 and others should have been working on these innovations a decade ago. But the only thing these loans have in common with the other bailouts we’re seeing is that they are happening at the same time.

    http://fastlane.gmblogs.com/archives/2008/09/the_case_for_gm_-_rick_wagoner_part_2.html

  2. Paw
    Posted October 15, 2008 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Yeah, I’m sure they’re good for it. They’ll pay it back with interest, right?

  3. Brackache
    Posted October 15, 2008 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    We should make as many bailout loans as humanly possible to everyone, all the time, so that our currency hyperinflates, our economy collapses, and we become a third world country. That is the only way the majority of Americans will learn why government economic interventionism is a shitty idea. So yeah, go to town. I’m sick of trying to veer the herd away from the cliff. Off you go! You can fly!

  4. LAKE
    Posted October 15, 2008 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    I think it is a good idea to have environmental stipulations, but the money must come in. Too many worker’s jobs and pensions are on the line here…and most of these people are over 50 years old. It would be a crisis if these companies go under. My father has worked for Chrysler since he was 18. He is now 57 and close to retirement. What the hell are he and my mother supposed to do if Chrysler goes under? What about all those retired workers and their families?

  5. dude
    Posted October 15, 2008 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    You can’t blame the auto industry’s indifference to the welfare of it’s workers on sound environmental policy.

  6. Dirtgrain
    Posted October 15, 2008 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    If I go bankrupt, will I be offered loans? No. This is certainly a bailout.

  7. Brackache
    Posted October 15, 2008 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    Yes, yes! Print up more money based on nothing! For the old folks! For the children! For the polar bears! For the troops! For the Israelis! For the Egyptians! For failing companies! For votes and lobbyists! For the saps! Print it up and throw it down from the rooftops! More, more, MORE!!! WATCH THE ECONOMY COME CRASHING DOWN!!! Mohahahahaha!!! DESTROY!!!!

    Even smack dab in the middle of getting what we deserve for our obstinate wrongheadedness regarding economic intervention, some of you numb nuts out there still won’t change your minds.

    We deserve this SO BAD.

  8. Brackache
    Posted October 15, 2008 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    Sorry. Frustrated. You’re not numb nuts and all your stupid feelings are valid.

  9. Posted October 16, 2008 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    I’m with Brackache. All this bailout stuff – printing money based on nothing – will cause serious problems for us as a country.

    We really need to back away from this government interventionism and get back to sound economic policy: printing money based on collateralized, securitized, high-risk loans pushed on people with no ability to pay them.

    Because, clearly, that system was working just fine until the stupid government got involved.

  10. Robert
    Posted October 16, 2008 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    No take backs Brackache! You can’t un-call people numb-nuts. Why would you anyway? We ARE all numb nuts…including you. In one way or another we’ve all contributed to that which brought us here. Some of us may have contributed considerably more stupidity than others, but I don’t think any of us could rightfully claim we did ALL we could to have stopped it.

    As much as I have a hard time feeling it, I want to align myself with Obama on his whole attitude that we’re all in this mess together, and that only by working together will we really have any hope of getting out of it.

  11. Paw
    Posted October 16, 2008 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    They’re all running to the trough like pigs. By the time this is over, we will have cut a check to every company in the US.

  12. Brackache
    Posted October 16, 2008 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    The point, Murph, is that those companies were supposed to pay the piper for their shinannigans, and government intervention prevented that from happening at our expense, and the eventual expense of the dollar (which is similarly based on credit which we don’t have the ability to pay). So we’re trying to pay off credit with more credit in a credit crisis. What in God’s name do you THINK is going to happen?

    The justification for it — helping the little guy who benefitted in the short term from unrealistic equity and irresponsibly easy loans but is suffering now that the market is trying to correct the mistake) — is like giving crack dealers free crack to sell because the withdrawal would be too hard on those poor hapless crack addicts. It’s bullshit. Yeah, I feel sorry for those who are losing out because they accepted loans that were over their heads in one way or another (like my best friend’s sister who will probably lose her house), or those who now probably can’t get a loan to buy a house in the first place now (such as myself), but that’s the way the cookie crumbles. I’m not going to make the whole country pay for my tough luck like some unprincipled selfish mooch. It’s hard in the short term but healthy for everyone in the long term.

    AND, having the Fed print up more money to pay for this shit will inflate the currency, lead to tyranny (like the Government takeover of banks that just happened without anybody voting on it but nobody gives a shit for some reason), and fuck up the whole world’s economy because our dollar is the reserve currency.

    It’s happening right now.

    But, it’s too late and I can’t stop it, so fuck it. Let’s just enjoy our recession/depression/tyranny with a cool refressing Moxie.

  13. haji
    Posted November 6, 2008 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    If you do not support AMERICAN co. and car makers and you buy jap crap move to japan and support them 100%. get the FUCK out of our country or support us……….

  14. Robert
    Posted November 6, 2008 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    There’s something kinda touching about a guy named Haji telling you to buy American or get the fuck out of the country. We really have come a long way. A new day has truely dawned.

  15. mark
    Posted November 6, 2008 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    I was thinking the same thing, Robert. It warms the heart, doesn’t it?

  16. RA, the Sun God
    Posted November 16, 2008 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    In 1972, I bought a Datsun 1200 that got 42mpg. You would think that with all the advancement in auto technology that I could buy a car today that got at least that much and hopefully, more. I haven’t seen anything like that come out of Detroit. Yes, GM and Ford make fuel-efficient cars but we can’t buy them in this country. So, I haven’t bought an American car since 1972. I grew up outside Detroit and can’t believe how the auto industy in this country has become a dinosaur that continues to produce crap. Let them all fail and break the UAW.

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