There’s a fair argument to be made that bailing out the Big Three automotive companies for their own bad decisions is just throwing good money after bad, but it turns out that the GOP politicians that killed the bi-partisan auto bailout bill weren’t so much concerned about the money being put out as they were having a means of breaking the UAW. The folks on NBC’s Countdown managed to get ahold of a memo detailing as much:
I’m no fan of unions myself as I’ve said before on SEB, but the UAW was bending over backwards to meet the conditions being proposed by the bailout bill—it doesn’t do the UAW any good to have the Big Three go under after all—yet the Republicans killed the bill anyway. What’s really amazing about this is that Vice President Cheney himself warned his part that if they kill the auto bailout bill that it would be Herbert Hoover time all over again:
“The big question is what happens next, if the auto companies are still in business in January or March, whenever it happens to be, [there won’t be] much fallout,” Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told Politico. “But if something dire occurs, if one of the companies or more face bankruptcy or layoffs and that has a dramatic negative impact on communities, families or the economy, then I think there are some questions to be answered to think whether this might have been enough to keep them in business and help them survive.”
Administration officials have been warning for weeks that failure to pass the bill could lead to an even deeper recession.
That was the message Vice President Dick Cheney brought to a closed-door Senate GOP lunch Wednesday, reportedly warning that it’ll be “Herbert Hoover” time if aid to the industry was rejected, according to a senator familiar with the remarks. A Cheney spokeswoman would neither confirm nor deny the vice president’s remarks.
If the Big Three end up failing because of this you can bet your ass that Michigan, Ohio, and several other states that rely substantially on the domestic automotive industry aren’t going to forget who let the companies die and put millions out of work anytime soon. The fact that they did it just because they want to destroy organized labor only compounds the issue. You think things are bad now? Wait until the full impact of a bankrupt auto industry hits the economy.