Sunday, November 09, 2008

Bailout Obama

Isn’t it amazing how easy it is to spend someone else’s money? When you’re not footing the bill for something, how painful can it be?

First the Congress decided that despite egregious greed and unconscionable sloth in the lending industry, the Financial sector really was too important to the functioning of the country to allow it to implode. There is some merit to that position, and so, $700-billion dollars—your tax dollars—were dedicated to bailing out the banks.

Not all the banks, mind you—because in our newly-emerging post-election Orwellian world, some banks are more equal than others…or maybe they were just less egregious.

The Madame Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, over the weekend proposed extending the bailout to include the automakers—which I find hysterically ironic: From the state the brought you “Save the Whales” now comes the mantra of “Save the Cars." The ironic part is that California is poised to impose more extreme emission restrictions on automobiles operating in that state.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker Pelosi wrote a letter to Treasury Sec’y Hank Paulson, imploring inclusion of the auto industry in the $700-billion package because they are convinced that tens of thousands of American manufacturing jobs are at risk.

And they are:
-Jobs in which wages and benefits have been fattened beyond reason by the Unions
-Jobs in which products were manufactured that contributed to our dependence upon foreign sources of energy by virtue of their inefficiency
-Jobs in which products were produced that were generally inferior to foreign manufacturers'

Those jobs are in jeopardy, and well they should be.
Instead of bailing out The Big Three, which, in their arrogance ignored the storm warnings of higher fuel prices and short supplies of gasoline, tell them to shut down and don’t open until they can produce a line of vehicles that gets 40-mpg, runs like the wind, and lasts like leather.
And it better be pretty.

This happened once before, remember?
Automakers got sloppy, built junk, and lost market share to foreign makers building lighter, less expensive, more reliable cars. The foreign cars emerged as more desirable to American consumers, because we were tired of paying through the nose for something that needed replacing in two years.

This is part of a cycle that perhaps should be allowed to continue through its course, because when it does, the products the domestic car makers turn out will be what you and I want to buy. The only reason they have not done so up to this point is because as automobile consumers, we haven’t demanded it—or at least, not up until about a year ago.

It was ludicrous for Ford, Chevy, and Chrysler to continue to build 12-mpg land yachts when gasoline was marching towards $4/gal, and Japan and Germany were cranking out small, light, efficient production models (that would have sold like hot cakes here, were they allowed to bring them into the country.)

So The Big Three missed the call—they guessed wrong—they made colossal mistakes, and now they want you and me to bail them out with our tax dollars.

What a great country we live in. Here we not only have the opportunity to succeed beyond our wildest dreams, but if we fail, no worries: Uncle Obama and Auntie Pelosie will bail us out.

Hey, what about your industry, or mine?
Let’s see…the Communications Industry needs a bailout, now.
Too many Air Personalities being fired.
You see, once upon a time, the broadcast operating companies became the darlings of the investment banks, when it was discovered how Radio was making good money selling air.

Congress allowed station operators to monopolize by owning multiple stations in each market, and the bankers were all too willing to lend them the money to buy those stations up. Guess what—as the buying frenzie escalated, and the prices for stations went up and up, companies like Clear Channel and CBS and Cox found themselves holding title to broadcast facilities that couldn’t cash flow revenue to service the debt.

Now you’ve got these companies trying to sell off “under-performing” assets, so designated because they can’t make their bottom line numbers work, because the debt service is too high.

Nancy, when are you going to bail us out?
The Radio business is so vital, there’s even a federal agency just for keeping track of the licenses—the FCC.
You can’t let us all fail?

Do you see where this is going?
Past U.S. Presidents have all left a legacy:
-FDR’s was the New Deal.
-Kennedy’s was Space Exploration.
-Johnson’s greatest legacy was Civil Rights.
-Reagan was the slayer of the Communist dragon of the Soviet Union…

Will the 44th President of the United States be known to historians as Bailout Obama?

Here's a notion: Why don't you eggheads in Washington come up with not a bail-out but a build-up of the petroleum refinery industry:Dedicate some of that $700-billion pie to build more capacity to process the petroleum we're needing now, thereby buying some time to create and produce alternative sources of energy, thereby reducing our dependence on foreign sources?
It's not a rhetorical question.

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