Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Columns

November 17, 2008

CONFER: Don’t bail out the auto industry

You’d be hard pressed to find someone who supported the $700 billion bailout of Wall Street. Most folks were up in arms over how taxpayer money — our money! — was used to reward Wall Street’s excesses and bad behavior. This ire, which was shared by pretty much everyone except for Congress and Wall Street’s bigwigs, was well-intentioned and a real breath of fresh air. It was nice to finally see so many people that upset with Big Government.

Even so, I can’t help but to walk away from that uprising with a sense of pessimism directed towards the masses. I have to feel that way when I see how selective they have been with their criticism of 2008s ongoing “New New Deal.” Where were the critics when Uncle Sam issued the economic stimulus checks? Where were the naysayers when we covered homeowners’ bad mortgage decisions? Why didn’t the media throw a temper tantrum over the government’s buyout of AIG or its cash infusion to the banks?

It’s all because people are mad only when it’s convenient for them. Their anger, their resentment, surfaces only when it’s not they or their interests who are at the financial feeding trough. Because of that selectivity, the federal government has run roughshod over our economy, making FDR’s historic efforts look almost pedestrian. By focusing only on the aforementioned $700 bailout, the media and citizens of our nation have virtually ignored the cornucopia of bailouts, buyouts, stimuli, infusions, loans and the like bestowed upon us the past six months. So far this year Uncle Sam has doled out $2,950 trillion of those giveaways and we still have a long ways to go before the economy can even begin to be healthy. Without the masses pulling tightly on the checkrein, the fed will no doubt feel obligated to issue more rescue plans which might include the salvation of credit card debtors (card debt now stands at $970 billion) or the confiscation of 401k accounts.

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