I’m doing part of my rant at the beginning….. First Congress bailed out the banks against what the taxpayers of the United States wanted, in other words, they didn’t listen to their constituents. A perfect example of taxation without representation. We spoke, they didn’t represent what we the taxpayers wanted. And that $700 billion bailout has been nothing but a comedy of errors since, considering that the bailout was suppose to only be for banks. Since then insurance companies have had the money to buy out a bank and gain access to the funds, even a Dutch bank asked for TARP funds, among other “Stooge” moments.
Now, most people don’t want the Big 3 bailed out, unless they are actually an employee of the Big 3, a retiree of the Big 3, or have a business that is directly influenced by the Big 3. And the Democrats in the House didn’t listen and attempted to pass law. The Senate, with their Republicans, said forget it.. ain’t gonna happen. But obviously, there are those who again don’t seem to listen to what the taxpayers want. Bush, going against his own party, says bail em out with his spokespeople saying because Congress “failed”.
And how is he planning on doing this? By using the funds from the $700 billion previously mentioned. There’s only one small problem… it’s illegal according to the wording in the bill.
THE WHITE HOUSE AND THE UAW
The Senate failed to pass the $14 billion bailout and the head of the UAW, Ron Gettelfinger, blamed the Senate Republicans stating, “This was just simply subterfuge on the part of the minority in the Republican Party who wanted to tear down any agreement that we came up with, the auto industry around the world is in peril.”
“The current weakened state of the economy is such that it could not withstand a body blow like a disorderly bankruptcy in the auto industry,” White House press secretary Dana Perino said today.
Treasury spokeswoman Brookly McLaughlin said, “Because Congress failed to act, we will stand ready to prevent an imminent failure until Congress reconvenes and acts to address the long-term viability of the industry.”
Obama said he was disappointed that the Senate failed to act. “My hope is that the administration and the Congress will still find a way to give the industry the temporary assistance it needs while demanding the long-term-restructuring that is absolutely required,” he said in a statement. Yet on this Sunday’s past “Meet the Press” Obama stated, “We don’t want government to run companies. Generally, government historically hasn’t done that very well.” Is this “change” your mind, or another instance of “double speak”?
According to Congress, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act which created the $700 billion fund known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, could be used for the $14 billion bridge loan to the Big 3.
In recent weeks however, Paulson has resisted the idea of using TARP funds for the Big 3 since it was created to provide liquidity to the financial sector, not the auto industry.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would never support an auto bailout that used money originally set aside to help the Big 3 develop fuel-efficient vehicles. Then Pelosi “changed” her mind and clamed she wouldn’t support a bailout bill unless the Big 3 promised to drop their lawsuit against California’s emissions requirements. Then Pelosi “changed” her mind again, this time saying she is willing to support the bailout without the Big 3 dropping the lawsuit, but only if Republican lawmakers support the bill.
SORRY, ITS ILLEGAL
About $15 billion from the first half of the $700 billion remains uncommitted since about $335 billion has already been used for banks and insurance companies. To begin tapping the second half of the bailout, the administration would first have to notify Congress, which could block it or put new conditions on how the money is used.
The Treasury lacks the statutory authority to direct TARP dollars to the automakers. While the statue, passed by Congress in October, grants the secretary extremely broad discretion to decide how to employ the funds, it clearly limits the recipients to “financial institutions.” And the definition of that term is quite clear:
FINANCIAL INSTITUTION – The term ‘financial institution’ means any institution, including, but not limited to, any bank, saving association, credit union, security broker or dealer, or insurance company, established and regulated under the laws of the United States or any State, territory, or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, American Samoa, or the United States Virgin Island, and having significant operations in the United States, but excluding any central bank of, or institution owned by, a foreign government.
Now one could say that GMAC qualifies under this, well it doesn’t. GMAC is not a bank. Providing customer financing is a function that many non-financial institutions, from department stores to bars, engage in regularly. In other words, they self finance without being a bank. If GMAC would offer loans to anyone for any purchase, then that would be a different matter.
Even The Heritage Foundation says that bailing out the Big 3 is a bad idea and illegal:
“Even if the Administration were inclined to do so, it simply lacks the power under the statute passed by Congress to tap TARP funds to prop up auto manufacturers. This makes sense: why else would have Congress spent the past month taking testimony from auto executives and then crafting politically contentious bailout legislation if the whole thing was unnecessary, because it had already passed the bailout back in October?
The Administration must reject calls for it to trample the law, and accomplish an end-run around our represented democracy, by moving forward with a bailout. Giving in would be both unprincipled and, ultimately, illegal.
Worst of all, it would be counterproductive. Reorganization in bankruptcy continues to represent the best chance for General Motors and Chrysler to survive and prosper.
The Wall Street Journal reports that banks and bankruptcy experts were all in a huff over a line in the Monday draft of the bill providing that the government gets its money “senior and prior to all obligations, liabilities, and debts of any such holding company or company that controls a majority stake in the eligible automobile manufacturer.”
This might be a violation of the Fifth Amendment, which guarantees just compensation for taking private property, bankruptcy and constitutional law experts told the Journal:
“It really sounds like a clear violation of the taking cause in the Constitution, to put the government ahead of all the other lenders. To go this route is a treacherous path riddled with all sorts of constitutional issues,” said Don Workman, head of the restructuring practice at the law firm of Baker Hostetler.
On the other hand, Congress might argue that the bailout is actually keeping the car companies out of bankruptcy, and if the taxpayers are ponying up, then they should get some guarantees.
Obama has also said in the past that even if Congress does not bailout the Big 3, he will push for federal help once he is sworn in.
RANT ON AGAIN
Why do we even have Congress, a President and such if no one listens? And ultimately, if what the highest in power wants, that person gets? That is Democracy?
Maybe just maybe Mr. Gettelfinger the reason the GOP Senate said no was because they don’t want to pile debt on top of debt. And maybe just maybe the reason they said no was because they don’t agree that a certain part of our population in the United States should get “special” treatment. I am referring to not the pay the workers receive, but their benefits, which include health care for retirees. Why should one industry be given special treatment when so many others have nothing right now, not even a job. The UAW should be willing to make temporary sacrifices, such as cutting health care benefits to a minimum, in order for reduce costs until the Big 3 can get on their feet again. But as usual, the UAW thinks they should have their cake and eat it too while the rest of the nation eats dirt.
And where is all the money going to come from to buy these cars? Currently all U.S. automakers are seeing the worst sales slump in 26 years. GM today announced, after the fact of learning they weren’t going to get a bailout, that they were going to temporarily close 20 production plants. But don’t worry, those who are laid off will get their unemployment benefits, and additional money from the Big 3 to compensate to make sure they get 95% of their weekly income. Oh, and they still have insurance benefits this whole time. So basically GM is saying okay, let unemployment support them, yes we still have to pay then according to our UAW contract to make sure they make 95% of their normal income, but hey, it’s less money for us to pay! So, that’s a nice Christmas present for all the UAW workers impacted by the temporary close……. Did you get a paid month off of work for Christmas?
No one has the money to make a new purchase of a new vehicle. So millions of new cars are going to be sitting in lots doing nothing but gathering dust all because you think your workers deserve special treatment. So tell me, where’s the profit in this bailout for me? Remember, the new mentality is about “sharing the wealth”, so where’s my share in all of this? Will I get a car at cost? Will I get a full warranty on everything on that new car for the next 10 years? Because I as a tax payer will be paying for YOUR bailout, especially if you can’t pay it back, for the next 20 years! High risk with no high payback is bad business. Isn’t that how Wall Street collapsed? Isn’t that how the real estate industry collapsed? By giving high risk loans to those who they knew couldn’t afford it.
And since no one is buying new cars, where are the Big 3 going to get the funds to pay back this loan? And what about them coming back asking for more money? The Big 3 are going to end up being just like AIG, asking for more and more and more money, turning into a super black hole sucking the life out of our taxpayer funded accounts.
And why are the big wigs being bailed out? Banks, investment firms, insurance companies and now possibly the Big 3. And I’m going to take a Socialist attitude here since that seems to be the “new way”. When is it time to help those who pay for all this? Where’s my bailout? How about not having to pay federal taxes for an entire year? If the government has all this money to spread around, then why can’t we get a break?
Why doesn’t the Big 3 have to go through what everyone else is? Filing for bankruptcy reorganization and start over again. In bankruptcy court, the process allows the auto industry to negotiate with creditors, stakeholders and unions. The auto industry spent nearly $50 million lobbying Congress in the first nine months of this year while unions spent hundreds of millions to put Democrats in Washington.
And maybe, if maybe twenty years ago, there had been a national healthcare system put in place, like every other major country of the world, then the UAW and the Big 3 wouldn’t have this contract for health care benefits. This is the ONLY point so far that I agree with that Obama should do.
Ultimately, the Big 3 bailout is nothing more than dividing the classes further and a continuation of destroying our economy.
So obviously another law is going to be broken on a bill that the taxpayers never wanted to pass. But this seems to be the new rage among many these days. Now you might think, well this is nothing new, all politicians are crooks. Well, being a crook is one thing, breaking Federal law and ignoring the Constitution is another matter.
- Bush wants TARP funds to bailout the Big 3, which is illegal.
- Hillary Clinton has been appointed Secretary of State in Obama’s new Administration, although according to the Constitution she can not take the position legally. [Here also.]
- Obama wants a mandatory “America Serves” program, a violation of the 13th Amendment.
- We are two states away from rewriting the Constitution.
- Oh and lets not forget that the Democrats in Congress want to seize your 401K which could be considered a violation of the 5th Amendment of eminent domain.
Oh, and one other small newline. Obama is planning on raising taxes and sending the money to Kuwait.
And I could always bring up the Obama birth certificate issue……..
- “White House may tap Wall Street funds for autos”, MSNBC, 12DEC08
- “United Auto Workers Lash Out at GOP Senators Over Bailout Collapse”, FOX News, 12DEC08