The Campaign Spot

Somebody Had This Right Last Fall

Bill Bennett, writing this morning:

This is part of the cost of a government bailout now, government dictates on personnel.  That in and of itself may be a good message for companies wanting the United States, i.e., the taxpayer to bail them out for business decisions that simply have not worked.  We have now given GM and Chrysler almost eighteen billion dollars and they are seeking another twenty two billion.

 

I understand the argument that we cannot allow these auto-makers to fail.  What I understand less is why Mitt Romney wasn’t correct, why couldn’t these companies have gone through a managed bankruptcy?  Writing this back in November, I think he’s been proven right: once these companies receive taxpayer money, there’s a reverse set of incentives to change radically enough to turn the companies around and they will ultimately come back for more and more money.

A conservative who had been skeptical of Romney during the 2008 campaign told me that the November 2008 op-ed impressed him, for a former auto-industry guy to come out and declare, “the taxpayer shouldn’t be on the hook for saving Detroit, let the companies declare bankruptcy.”

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