Thanks, Senate! For NOTHING.December 12, 2008: 10:26 AM ET
Do you guys know what a piddling amount $14 billion is to the Federal Government? We just allocated 50 times that amount to the financial business. But not a penny will Republican Senators allow to the crumbling American automotive business.
Yeah, I know what 47% of you will say. It's the fault of the UAW, those greedy, stubborn auto workers who won't give up their big fat paychecks right away in order to secure the deal. Bad, bad auto workers!
Sure. I know each and every one of you would give up a chunk of your salary and benefits without a full and aggressive negotiation beforehand, just because a bunch of suits were holding your company hostage.
Guess what. You wouldn't. I will bet you right now that each and every auto worker is at this moment willing to talk about a rational deal achieved after a good hard look at what needs to be done. But the Senate holding a gun to their heads as it earns its pinstripes playing to the angry anti-bailout voters back home? That's the price for that meager little pile of cash?
America complains that, when bold, decisive action is needed to guide the nation, Washington moves too slowly on what needs to be done to stave off disaster. We saw it in the reaction to Katrina, certainly, or the floods in Ohio in 2006, although strangely not in Orange County, California, when it had its acts of God. Well, Washington is a stupid beast. Its temporary residents do what they think will keep them in power. They don't want to lose their paychecks, either, I suppose.
So the little bit of grease that just might get our economy out of this year with one eye, one leg and a makeshift crutch to limp away on has just been squelched.
Merry Christmas. Happy New Year. January 20th can't come too soon for me.