The Corner

Auto Hearings: Hypocrisy 101

Detroit, Mich. — Last summer, Pennsylvania senator Bob Casey joined his Democratic colleagues in piling $85 billion in new regulatory costs on the Detroit Three by mandating a 40-percent fuel-efficiency increase by 2020.

“The energy bill passed by the Senate takes an important step forward to increase our energy, economic, and environmental security,” said the senator. “And the CAFE standard increase contained in the bill is long overdue.”

At this afternoon’s Senate Banking Committee hearings, Casey — unapologetic for his role in burdening the industry now before him seeking a handout — demanded quick passage of $34 billion in taxpayer money to save the Detroit companies from bankruptcy. Casey moaned about the economic devastation an auto company failure would visit on his state.

Last fall, Barack Obama stood with striking UAW workers in Kansas City to oppose a new labor agreement that industry executives said was necessary to survive. “I stand with the 73,000 United Automobile Workers who are striking General Motors,” Sen. Obama thundered. “The demands the union is fighting for — job security, the health benefits they were promised — are things that all workers should expect and that UAW members deserve.”

Now, with automakers demanding a bridge loan just so they can live to see the day when that new labor agreement takes effect in 2010, Obama ally and Michigan Democratic Sen. Carl Levin points to the companies’ sins of “paying their executives and their workers too much.”

Clearly, these men have no clue that their actions have consequences.

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