The Corner

More Where That Came From

One quibble with the WSJ’s otherwise-great editorial on the auto fiasco:

Mr. Obama said a lot yesterday about the promised benefits of all this for the environment but not much about return on investment for the auto sellers. These public goals notwithstanding, it still looks as if Ford, Chrysler and GM will be making cars they can’t sell, or can’t sell profitably. That might not be a problem if you’re now Gettelfinger Motors. But still-independent Ford has private shareholders and creditors to answer. While GM and Chrysler attempt to meet the new standards with taxpayer money, Ford will have to do so on its own.

Not quite. Before the bailouts, Congress created a $25 billion loan fund for all three Detroit automakers to help them retool to make more fuel-efficient cars — and that was before Obama decided to adopt California’s targets as the national standard. Congress will probably make billions more available to subsidize the production of cars that Detroit will not be able to sell profitably, and Ford will take the money.


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