Graham’s got it right, too

No sooner had I hit "save" on that last post than I saw this release from Lindsey Graham, which actually came in before the DeMint one:

“I’m disappointed with President Bush’s decision in many respects. 
“I do not believe it’s appropriate to use the TARP (Troubled Asset Recovery
Program) funds to bail out the automotive companies.  These funds were supposed
to be used to stabilize financial institutions.  The TARP legislation would
certainly not have passed it we had known it was going to be used for this
“The plan announced by the President today will not lead to the necessary
reforms which will make these companies profitable.  The only viable solution is
for them to enter Chapter 11 reorganization. 
“There the companies would be able to renegotiate their labor and health
costs to make them competitive in the global marketplace.  It would also allow
the reorganization to be accomplished without political considerations. 
Presidential or congressional restructuring will end up being a political
exercise more so than a business exercise to make these companies profitable. 
“If we continue down this road, I expect this will be the first of many
government payments to the Big 3 automotive companies.”

Needless to say, I also agree with Graham. I'd like to see a little more indignation from him on this, though.

This is a bad situation we're in, folks. A lame-duck president takes it upon himself to throw $17.4 billion of money that was NOT appropriated for this purpose down a hole (and yes, I think the sudden failure of the Detroit Three is a bad thing to be avoided, but the whole managed bankruptcy thing sounded like a less bad option to me), and the only people who disagree with what he did is members of his party, and they're too loyal to get outraged about it. The Democrats love this, so they won't have a critical word to say.

And I'm too sick and eager to go home and hit the sack to get into it. Again, I recommend the Will column coming up on Sunday — he gives him both barrels.

14 thoughts on “Graham’s got it right, too

  1. randy e

    This bailout is 2% of the TARP total. Paulson is using the bulk of the funds in ways that is contrary to the intent as set forth by Congress – e.g. not buying bad mortgages. There’s even a loop hole that allows the banks receiving money to pay monsterous bonuses to the executives of these banks. This is disproportional criticism for such a small proportion of the funds.
    Then consider the consequences of not bailing out these companies. Such high profile organizations would suffer a great deal by the negative publicity generated from chapter 11. If the Big Three are in trouble largely because people are not buying their cars, chapter 11 will simply magnify the problem.
    This demagoguery from Southern politicians is a sad reflection of the South.

  2. Brad Warthen

    Randy, nobody’s saying there are GOOD options here. Nor is anybody saying Paulson’s made the right moves with the rest of the money (personally, I have no idea).
    I’m just saying two things: Sinking $17.4 billion into a losing business model with no plan to turn the situation around is bad. And the president doing this unilaterally is worse. Decisions such as this should be made by Congress. If Congress won’t act, action should not be taken. That, after all, is one of the purposes of the bicameral legislature checks and balances and the rest — to make it HARD to take major actions with large consequences.
    Is there Southern anti-union sentiment in this? You betcha. There’s also a sort of self-interest in that Detroit competes with the kind of auto industry we have in the South. But if the Detroit Three collapse, that damages the BMWs and Hondas too.
    Everybody’s got a stake in solving this problem. But the president’s got no business going out and playing white knight all on his own, just so he can say he didn’t leave it for Obama to worry about. I’d like to see the president worry less about his legacy, and more about the constitution.

  3. Ralph Hightower

    TARP is not being used for what it was supposed to do: that is to buy troubled assets. Instead, TARP is buying equity stakes in healthy banks. PNC Bank in Pennsylvania used TARP money, not to increase loans as the legislation intended, but to buy another bank.

  4. slugger

    The CEO’s that run the company that cannot make a profit needs to be fired along with the board that has kept him in this position.
    Unions should be dissolved or made to understand that they are not a dictatorship and should not be treated by industry as such.
    When a sports team has more money than the average ownership of a company that employs the small amount of people that a sports team does, says volumes about the priority of the average citizen. The sports fan can tell you the name of the player, what team, how many touchdown etc but cannot tell you who is Vice President or who their representative in congress might be.
    OK. I will shut up. We are in a world of financial trouble and no guiding figure or figures to light the way to salvation for the once most powerful nation in the world.

  5. Lee Muller

    The TARP bailout is unConstitutional.
    Social Security is unConstitutional.
    Medicare is unConstitutional.
    Welfare is unConstitutional.
    The automobile makers could be bailed out with a refund of all the taxes they paid in good years, when Uncle Sam showed up to be their partner and take his half of the money.
    This loan will do nothing but prop up the automakers while they pour out money to the UAW, who is unwilling to make any concessions.
    And why should they?
    They blew of Congress because they knew President Bush would come to the rescue.
    Now they say they won’t give up any wages or benefits in return for the $17.4 billion, because Obama is already promising to pour more billions of taxpayer money into subsidizing the UAW wage extortion.

  6. Workin' Tommy C

    Does principle matter at all to anyone anymore?
    Pay-outs to corporations of any kind is “corporate welfare” AKA “corporatism” AKA “fascism.”
    Excessive and dictatorial regulations and interference in the free market is also fascism. A lot of those regulations, in addition to government contracts, are responsible for the presence of the mega-corporations that are “too big to fail.”
    We have these semi-monopolistic companies–Frankenstein monsters created by Congress–that shouldn’t be as big as they are to begin with. If they’re truly too big to fail, they need to be hit with anti-trust suits and broken up.
    Hitler and Mussolini are looking up from hell at our politicians’ unprincipled shenanigans and giggling uncontrollably at us. Their countries may have lost World War II but their financial systems now rule the world.

  7. Workin' Tommy C

    Graham is just blowing smoke with is statement! He’s the biggest of the corporate welfare types in the U.S. Senate.
    She’s just positioning himself to leverage power in the next “gang of–” deal that presents itself. He is completely spineless–there’s not a principled bone in her body.

  8. Karen McLeod

    I have had my fair share of cars. Most of them have been foreign made. The first car I bought was an entry level Ford. I was much disappointed and ended up upside down in a loan that wasn’t much of a loan to be upside down in. The next time I purchased an American made car was in the late 80’s–a loaded GMC Jimmy. I now know what “Consumer Reports” means by “much worse rate of repair” and if you don’t know, you don’t want to know. Since then I’ve owned one Mitsubishi and 2 Toyotas. They have lasted long enough that I saved the money to purchase my latest car (a Prius) with cash. US made cars have been going down hill since the late 60’s. The only company to make the effort to build a better car has been Ford (notice that they aren’t taking any money at this point). Chrysler, GM,et. al. have had at least 30 years to notice and fix their problems, and they haven’t yet. And we’re bailing these idiots out why? And, by the way, I have a hard time blaming the unions. We have had high tariffs on foreign cars, and most foreign cars cost more initially than a comparable American car for that reason. Those of us that choose to buy them get them because they last longer, and have a “much better rate of repair,” which makes them a better economic deal in the long run. I see the unions forcing higher wages; I don’t see them forcing rattier cars.

  9. Bart

    Lee and Workin’ Tommy C, looks like the gay stalker is after both of you now. Be careful of anything you may put in print. Seems as if this guy can take any innocent comment and turn it into some homoerotic message meant only for him.
    Apparently the chatrooms became too much of a bore so he trolled until he found this blog. His comments are the very type of behavior that give gays a bad name and enforce the stereotypical image that gays are only interested in what is in another man’s pants to the exclusion of everything else.
    Neither Lee or Tommy need me to defend them but it is not about either one. Is is about decency and keeping the comments within certain boundaries. We hit each other hard at times but keep a certain protocol for the blog. gayguy, you overstepped the boundary as far as I am concerned. It is not up to me to police behavior but yours is coming close to sexual harrassment.
    If you want to talk about gay sex, there are probably hundreds of sites you can visit and chat to your heart’s content. Quite frankly, you bore the hell out of me with your “bitchy” behavior.

  10. Lee Muller

    Left-wingers operate by trying to shut down free speech and discussion of issues through intimidation, smears, and shouting.
    Using the homosexual angle to intimidation, smears, and shouting is especially easy when the goon is anonymous. It may even be another one of the left-wing goons who posted here under another pseudonym.

  11. gayguy

    One Christmas I got so bored,I knitted nothing but sweaters for presents.Many of the children on my list were disappointed,of course,but I actually received requests for the following Christmas.That was the end of my “knitting phase”.I’ve seen the horrors of carpal tunnel syndrome and it ain’t pretty.


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