Right now, the biggest enemy to our auto industry is the government. First of all, I titled this "Government's war on the auto industry." I did not title this the Obama Chicago Mob war on the auto industry, or even the democrat war on the auto industry. They are some of the biggest villans, but they are one of many.
The first Bush was not a friend of the industry. Clinton was not either. He signed NAFTA and GATT. Ross Perot warned us of a giant sucking sound of jobs with the passage of those two trade agreements. He was right. Al Gore wanted to outlaw the internal combustable engine. Bush basically sat on his hands and then bailed out Wall Street along with his parters McCain and Obama on this. Both McCain and Obama lectured us about manufacturing and threw the auto industry under the bus. Obama was the only reason I voted for McCain. Only reason.
Right now the auto industry is double flanked by a significant number of pols in both parties. On the Democrat side, our industry's best ally is John Dingell. Dingell did his best, but the CULT of global warming, knocked him out for a radical in Henry Waxman. They also knocked out Joe Knollenberg, one of the two best friends of the industry on the Republican side. The other one is being targetted. Thad McCotter. McCotter is one of the few true friends of the auto industry left.
The Republicans have their own jerks. McCain was one. Bob Corker and Richard Shelby the party switcher is another. Corker got his wish with a GM bankruptcy. Guess what. Saturn's gone. Where's Saturn based? Spring Hill, TN. Great job standing up for your state, son. With "friends" like those two, we don't need any enemies. I hope both of these individuals get a nice primary challenge when they are next up for election.
The doubleflank is the global warming left like Pelosi, Waxman, Gore and Obama and anti-UAW right like Corker, Bush, and Shelby. One wants to punish the industry because they want cars banned except for the rich elite, and the other wants to unionbust at the cost of the entire company. I have mixed views on unions but I damn well don't want to see my industry destroyed.
The biggest threat is this cult of global warming. This global warming cult based on temperature data of 150 years (1860-today - and keep in mind we are coming out of a 500 year mini ige age from around 1300-1850), a microsecond of time by earth standards that is billions of years old. I'm not going to debate global warming here, except that any 150 year data set is worthless). It may exist. It may not. I'm not convinced that it is a problem even if it does exist, and I damn well am not buying any doomsday crap based on what we breathe out - CO2.
Regardless of the truth of fiction of global warming, I have a hard time with supporting government regulation over every aspect of our lives, and the rapid destruction and dismantling of our state's industry that built the middle class in our country.
What we have today and in the future was a long time coming. Many dominoes have fallen so far in the government war on the auto industry. Unless you've tuned out the news, today GM, once the largest company in the world, has filed for bankruptcy. Some of you here reading may not care. You will, when this affects your state, and your city, and it will. Believe me, it will.
Plants are closing, in Michigan and elsewhere. These people need to find work. They have families. Many are moving away to find work. Some are going on welfare. Many will take early retirement and look for other work. Dealers will close. Suppliers will close. The ripple effect will follow. Schools will have lower enrollment. Less money. Less tax money is collected because of lost jobs and at the local and state levels, relocation. The much ballyhooed services industry is losing money too. Auto workers and their families won't be spending as much money on tourism and luxuries.
In the Chrysler case, the government forced it to go under a large part of foreign ownership because Obama likes the Fiat. With its bankruptcy, so far, they are losing 25% of its dealerships. That's a lot of jobs. The UAW and the Government combined owned 65%.
In the case of General Motors, to begin with, 2100 dealers will be closed or placed on standby, as will 14 plants, seven in Michigan, including the Lake Orion plant which hits close to home in this family. GM's also off the NYSE and Dow.
This is supposed to "save" the industry? Thousands of dealers, dozens of plants, God knows how many suppliers, and all that this supports? What about the Mexico or foreign plants? GM's plant closings alone will cost 21,000 jobs.
All of that is subject to change by the courts as well. It could be worse.
Now as for the government dicates, here's a question. When has big government run anything top notch? Look at the US Senate. You will not find a bigger group of jokes on the face of the earth. From Levin and Stabenow doing nothing for Michigan, to Durbin, Obama, McCain, (formerly) Ted Stevens, Robert Byrd the pork king, Corker, Shelby, Specter, Feinstein, Boxer, Biden, and 1/2 of Obama's cabinent that came from that joke of a political body. Now the government and Obama want even higher CAFE standards, and are pushing the Big 3 away from what they do best. Trucks and SUV's.
Some of the inside stories I have heard are leaking what the Obama people have been yapping about. I am paraphrasing this to protect this individual who doesn't want his name out there. People with 30 years of auto experience in both foreign and domestic cars are being dictated to by government bureaucrats from Obama's admin, people with no manufacturing experience, no auto industry experience, no business experience, no finance experience, and no engineering experience. Big government at work.
One was telling the auto industry to make a car that was electric and liquid natural gas with enough combined fuel to go 500 miles to reduce the number of gas stations. They were quoting BTU's (energy measurement) of natural gas and battery life that they had looked up by some advocacy group.
This was nearly impossible based on the laws of physics due to the size of the car needed for that. Common sense. The number of batteries and natural gas tank would be gigantic. We'd have to drive busses. The individual mentioned the laws of phyics, and the Obama bureaucrat said that they needed to tell Congress to change that law or use an executive order. Good luck with that.
Lastly, I'm hearing a lot of preaching by Granholm and the others in both parties about diversifying the economy. Yeah, I support that. Who doesn't. However, diversifying the economy should not mean that we throw manufacturing under the bus. We need to protect our manufacturing. We need to keep these jobs home, not in China. We need to stop throwing our blue collar heritage, culture, and manufacturing under the bus. The next person who runs his mouth about these jobs not coming back needs to be forced to drink soup for a week.
When it comes to the auto industry, the government has failed this country. It has failed with big regulations, trade agreements, micromanagement, and its jihad with the cult of global warming. The best thing the government can do is reduce the regulations, enact fair trade agreements so our manufacturing isn't dead, stop the heavy taxes and red tape, and work for energy independence in a proper fashion, by an all of the above policy including drilling and refining, as well as nuclear technology.
Who cares about the possibility of global warming if your state is being turned into an economic depresssion. It's time to put Michigan first.