The Corner

Re: Santorum Hits Romney on Bailout Support

If Mitt Romney loses Michigan, it will be because of this.

Romney underestimates voters’ persistent anger at the bailouts in 2008 (and beyond). Romney should note that whatever the flaws of

the auto bailouts (and there were many, as he points out in his Detroit News piece), President Obama did force the auto companies into “managed bankruptcy.”

Neither Presidents Bush nor Obama took that step with AIG, BofA, and many other financial firms. The financial industry got its money, and also got to keep its unworkable business and economic model intact for a few more years.

The auto industry could not afford to buy such a luxury from Washington. If Romney won’t say these things, Rick Santorum has shown that he will do it for him!

— Nicole Gelinas is a contributing editor to the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal

P.S. Sometimes we hear the argument that Congress authorized the financial bailouts via TARP, but not the auto bailouts. No. Via TARP, Congress signed into law a blank check for the Treasury to spend as White House officials saw fit. When you give someone a blank check, don’t be surprised when he uses it. That is the problem with blank checks. It’s irresponsible to give them, not to receive them.  

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