Observations from the Cheap Seats

  • GM and Chrysler are back for more money.  Wow – now there’s a shock.  The U.S. government turned on that spigot two months ago and it isn’t going to be turned off anytime soon.  GM is looking for another $16 billion and Chrysler for another $2 billion.  And, as sure as the day is blue, you can be certain that these amounts are not the last that will be spent by the U.S. taxpayer to prop up the UAW and the car companies.  Based on early reports, these plans turned into the Treasury Department today are woefully inadequate to address the systemic difficulties within both companies and the burdens of the Health/Welfare and pension fund obligations imposed by union contracts.
  • I have consistently written that we need a domestic car industry, but I continue to advocate the notion of automaker bankruptcies, with a warranty clearinghouse established to back the warranty claims of prospective new car buyers.  I do not buy the argument that bankruptcy is not a viable option for either GM or Chrysler.
  • Let me get this straight – as posited by Glenn Beck yesterday – at a time when our country is going into debt at a pace greater than $1 trillion per month and at a time when the Administration and its minions on Capitol Hill are chastising auto company CEOs for taking jets to Washington for meetings on the survival of the U.S. auto industry, the President of the United States felt compelled to hop on Air Force One, fueled with more than 10,000 gallons of jet fuel, and fly to Denver to sign a piece of paper.  UNREAL!
  • Well, well, well – Rahmbo may have some tax issues – I know, I know the story about his rent-free living has been around for a couple weeks – but there is just something so sweet about officially acknowledging the media’s labeling it a potential tax problem.  What is it with the people that serve or want to serve this Administration?  I think the White House website should have on its Home Page a “Featured Tax Cheat of the Week.”   At the rate they’re going – they’d have enough to work with for a couple years.
  • Kudos to Israeli Prime Minister-elect Netanyahu for calling upon the international community to step up and bolster Palestinian moderates by strengthening their security forces.  In so doing, Prime Minister-elect Netanyahu demonstrates the strength of his convictions, the commitment he (yes, liberals, . . . Bibi Netanyahu) has to peace, and the confidence he has in his position and in Israel’s ability to deal with a stronger and more stable Palestinian leadership.  In a strange way, like Reagan, Netanyahu is arguing that peace is possible through strength – even the enhanced strength of his adversary.  Changed leadership in Israel bodes well for possibilities of peace.