Planet Gore

Dick Cheney, Anti-Big Business Activist

Aren’t Republicans supposed to be slaves to Big Corporations? To Wall Street? To rich CEOs?

If so, how come the Democrats’ bête noire, Darth Vader Cheney himself, opposed bailing out the biggest crony of them all, General Motors?

That is not, of course, how Democrats will react to today’s revelation from The Detroit News’ Dave Shepardson that, in his new memoir, “Cheney says he disagreed with President George W. Bush’s decision to rescue GM with a $13.4 billion bailout in the final days of his term.”

Conventional liberal wisdom runs that the Big Three are synonymous with Big Labor and, therefore, should help themselves at the public trough. But who’s really looking out for the little guy here? Contrary to Halliburton caricature, Cheney took the taxpayer’s point of view: GM should fix their own mistakes. That’s how the market works.

Politically, no president would have left GM hanging in the midst of a financial crisis. “The president decided that he did not want to pull the plug on General Motors as we were headed out the door,” Cheney writes.

But in failing to let them fail, Bush deprived GM of a golden opportunity to rid itself of its historic disadvantage against America’s foreign transplants: the UAW. That ball and chain is back with a vengeance now as UAW Chief Bob King is putting renewed pressure on the Big Three to raise wages, because he is “very concerned about that entry-level member having a middle-class standard of living.” So much for wanting to make the industry competitive. King is a headache which GM’s competition doesn’t have to wake up to each morning.

“I would have preferred that the government not get involved and was disappointed,” writes Cheney, “when the Obama administration significantly increased the government intervention in the automobile industry shortly after taking office.”

The Democratic Party – slave to corporate America.

Henry Payne — Henry Payne is the auto critic for the Detroit News.

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