Barack Obama was on Meet The Press with Tom Brokaw this weekend. Obama provided the following perspective on the auto bail out during the interview:
MR. BROKAW: …should the current management be allowed to stay in their jobs?
PRES.-ELECT OBAMA: Here’s what I’ll, I’ll say, that it may not be the same for all the, all the companies, but what I think we have to put an end to is the head-in-the-sand approach to the auto industry that has been prevalent for decades now. I think, in fairness, you have seen some progress made incrementally in many of these companies. You know, they have been building better cars now than they were 10 or 15 or 20 years ago. They are making some investments in the kind of green technologies and, and the new batteries that would allow us to create plug-in hybrids. What we haven’t seen is a sense of urgency and the willingness to make tough decisions. And what we still see are executive compensation packages for the auto industry that are out of line compared to their competitors, their Japanese competitors who are doing a lot better.
Now, it’s not unique to the auto industry. We have seen that across the board. Certainly, we saw it on Wall Street. And part of what I’m hoping to introduce as the next president is a new ethic of responsibility where we say that, if you’re laying off workers, the least you can do, when you’re making $25 million a year, is give up some of your compensation and some of your bonuses. Figure out ways in which workers maybe have to take a haircut, but they can still keep their jobs, they can still keep their health care and they can still stay in their homes. That kind of notion of shared benefits and burdens is something that I think has been lost for too long, and it’s something that I’d like to see restored. (Emphasis mine)
Today, Nancy Pelosi echoed the meme of “shared sacrifice:”
Pelosi said that everyone involved in the U.S. auto industry, including management, labor unions, parts suppliers, investors and dealers, would have to make a sacrifice to ensure the continuing viability of the industry.
“We call this a barber shop: everyone’s getting a hair cut,” said Pelosi, speaking at a press conference in the U.S. Capitol.
According to these Democrat leaders, the threshold for determining when a sharing of sacrifice should occur is when you are leader who has been fiscally irresponsible with your charge. You should share even more if your irresponsibility requires the American taxpayer to bail you out.
Hasn’t Congress been irresponsible with their financial responsibilities?
- Leaving Fannie and Freddie unchecked and unsupervised.
- Ignoring the risk of leverage on exotic financial instruments and leaving them completely unregulated or over seen.
- Constricting energy exploration which resulted in a 24 month hyper price speculation.
- Giving Hank Paulson nearly completely unchecked ability to spend $700 billion entirely on his whim.
- Adding over $100 billion of pork to the TARP bill….just because.
And who is now bailing out Congress’ financial irresponsibility? That’s right, you and me, the American taxpayers.
If sharing the pain is what Pelosi and Obama think should happen to leaders who rely on the American taxpayers for a bailout, Democrat and Republican Congress people alike, ought to be answering the door and the American taxpayer ought to be knocking….
Shave and a haircut, two bits!