Tag Archives: bailout

Shaken. Not Stirred.

Treasury Secretary Tim “I didn’t cheat on my taxes…I just didn’t understand the tax code” Geitner was on the Hill yesterday, waxing semi-eloquent regarding the second half of the bank bailout, a.k.a. “TARP II: When Markets Bite Back.” By all accounts (both liberal and conservative), Geitner’s performance was, at best, underwhelming. He appeared nervous and ill-prepared (note to Tim: the unbuttoned shirt collar under the tie didn’t say “man of action” as much as it said “I’d rather be having a root canal than be here today”). Geitner looked, well…shaken. Congress was not stirred by his performance.

If the Obama administration is going to persist in shoveling this kind of pork at us, they’re going to have to find some much more convincing liars to sell it.

The deal here is that no thinking person believes this “stimulus” bill is about stimulating the economy. Everybody knows that it’s a wish-list of the liberal left, masquerading as stimulus or order to get it passed. Evidently, 30 or 40 years of yearning has the Dems throwing caution to the wind, in order to fund their pet projects. See the problem is, in order to stimulate the economy, it’s necessary to do but two things:

  • Spend less money
  • Reduce taxes

Neither of these strategies holds much appeal to the tax and spend crowd. 800 billion dollars is one HELL of a lot of money, and the real scandal is that over 3/4 of the money won’t see hit the economy until well after the first year. Stimulus, shimulus. It’s all shuck and jive to me.

Here’s my idea of a stimulus plan:

  • Reduce EVERYBODY’S tax rate by 20% for the next year
  • Reduce every department (other than the military’s) budget by 20% for the next year
  • Cut all non-essential spending (National Endowment for the Arts, Mohair research, etc.) by 50%

That’s it. The whole thing. And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is how you create a stimulus plan that works. To do something like that, it would help to have people that put the public’s interest ahead of their own. Oh, and maybe put somebody in charge of the Treasury Dept. that understands enough about the tax code that he can pay the taxes he owes, and not duck his responsibilities. I can’t see any Democrat doing this, because they are the party of bigger – not smaller – government. There’s not been a Republican since Reagan that had the cojones to even so much as propose this. Pity. We need leaders that will do what works, rather than try and game the system to serve their taste for pork, earmarks, and pet projects. Cut the waste, and the public would grant them a license to thrill.

Sellout!

I’m a conservative. I’ve been a conservative since waaaay before it was unfashionable and politically incorrect to be one. But when I say “conservative,” what I mean is that I adhere to the principles of smaller government and self-reliance – not the kind of “compassionate conservatism” and borderline soft Socialism that has been masquerading as conservatism lately.

And I’m mad as Hell this morning.

Tell you a little secret…I voted for George Bush four times – twice for Governor and twice for President. I thought – and still think – that he’s a good man, and the best candidate for the job. At no time, however, did I ever believe that he was a genuine conservative. Oh, sure, I acknowledge that he’s more conservative than Ann Richards, Al Gore, or John Kerry. But he’s far from a believer in the kind of conservatism I believe in.

Case in point, the automobile bailout decision. Continue reading Sellout!

Jeep-ers, Creepers!

As many of you may know, I’m a big fan of Jeeps. This has not always been the case. It’s really an outward and visible sign of an inward and invisible change in my thinking, thanks to 9/11. Sound odd? Read on…

To give you an idea of my history and love/hate affair with the automobile, here’s a list of the cars I’ve owned/driven: Continue reading Jeep-ers, Creepers!

What’s good for General Motors…

Chales Irwin Wilson
Charles Irwin Wilson

…is good for America, or to be completely accurate, “What was good for our country was good for General Motors and vice versa”, or so said Charles Erwin Wilson, Ike’s Secretary of Defense back in the 50’s. He believed that anything that was good for GM was good for America, because the two economies were inexorably intertwined. But what is good for General Motors?

I’ve been following the bailout of the Big Three for a long time. And I’ve got some ideas on a REAL solution…not this three-card Monte they’re playing in Congress. Real solutions. Here’s my ideas: Continue reading What’s good for General Motors…

What does “American-Made” mean?

The Big Three schlep back up on Capitol Hill, hats in hand, massaging the road sores they got from actually driving from Detroit to D.C., where they will beg for bucks once again. They are in hopes that their performance will be a lot more convincing – not to mention, vastly less tone-deaf – than their last appearence. In the meantime, we’re treated to a parade of concerned Senators and Representatives who wail that, without an immediate bailout, The American Automobile Industry Will Come To An End As We Know It.™

Hogwash.

In order to understand why, you have to grok that there are really TWO American automobile industries – the traditional one in Detroit, and the one that exists everywhere else. Continue reading What does “American-Made” mean?

A(n im)Modest Proposal.

Jonathan Swift, 1667 – 1745

Jonathan Swift, 1667 – 1745

With apologies to Jonathan Swift, I have my own modest proposal for the Bailout Bucks Sweepstakes. 

 

I think the government should write me a check. (And every other taxpayer for that matter.) 

Think of it this way…if the government is going to start bailing out every Tom, Dick and CEO, why not me? And you? I run a small ad agency in Amarillo. Like most people today, money’s tight. I have bills to pay. Fortunately, I didn’t do anything dumb like buy a house out of my price range, or rack up a huge debt for capital equipment I couldn’t afford. But because of some unexpected expenses (medical, family, business), I’ve got very little cushion left. We did all the right things – saved every penny we could, made extra house payments when we could, stopped buying non-essential things. Still, it doesn’t take much to shoot one giant hole in our savings parachute. Mind you, I’m not whining or complaining. At all. In fact, I think we are some of the lucky ones. Mrs. Digital and I are gainfully employed. We have a roof over our heads, and food in the refrigerator. We are self-reliant, and if we screw up, we’ve got nobody to blame but ourselves. 

So here’s my plan… Continue reading A(n im)Modest Proposal.

Car-mageddon Update.

The CEOs are up on Capitol Hill, hats in hand, begging for small change. $85 Billion in change, to be exact. And the Big Three have marshaled the troops to hit all the news shows, declaring (in no uncertain terms) exactly why bankruptcy is not the answer, and why we MUST give them a “loan” to keep them afloat. Here are some unanswered questions – and oddly enough, for once they are the questions that some in Congress are actually asking the Big Three honchos: Continue reading Car-mageddon Update.

Motor City Madness.

Let’s get one thing straight. I love American cars. My wife and I both drive Jeeps. While Mrs. Digital has, on occasion, driven a rice-burner, I have never owned anything but an American automobile. On the other hand, I think that American automobile manufacturers management is clueless, the Unions are parasitical, their boards of directors are derelict in their duties, and the whole thing needs to have one giant hycolonic, so it can be reformed into something that is once-again a shining example of American know-how and productivity.

Lord knows, it’s miles away from that today. Continue reading Motor City Madness.

Where will it all end?

I’m a big fan of Gilbert & Sullivan. In their immortal operetta, The Gondoliers, the ingeneue’s father, the Duke of Plaza-Toro (Count Matadoro, Baron Picadoro), realizes that being a member of the nobility is at odds with his current, destitute state of affairs. His novel solution was to apply for by the public under the Limited Liability Company Act. In American terms, that means he “went public,” offering shares in his Dukedom on the stock exchange. If Gilbert & Sullivan were alive today, I’m sure they’d write The Gondoliers II – The Baratarian Pirates Strike Back, where they’d script the Duke in debt once again, applying to the government for a bailout.

First it was the mortgage companies.

Then the insurance companies.

Next it was the automobile companies.

Now the credit card companies step up for a handout.

Will somebody please tell me where this governmental largess (with OUR friggin’ money!) will end? Continue reading Where will it all end?

Karmageddon.


Wanna see something REALLY scarry? If you think things are dicey regarding the economy this week, imagine working in the auto industry. Unless your company’s product burns rice for fuel, before the economic meltdown, you were likely in bad shape, financially. Since the meltdown, your company is basically Dead Corporation Walking. Double that, if you’re one of the Big Three automakers. 

Lo, how the mighty have fallen. 

At one time (say, circa 1960), GM, Ford, and Chrysler were the crown jewels of American manufacturing. Those three companies were the envy of the world. Americans made things. We built cars that were not just transportation – nay, they were objects of desire, status symbols, and tangible proof that the U.S. of A. was the Greatest Nation on Earth. But the times, they are a-changin.’ Continue reading Karmageddon.