Sunday, June 07, 2009

Sunday morning - catching up on my reading

* I'm so glad that Indiana pension funds have challenged the bailout/bankruptcy of Chrysler in the U.S. Supreme Court.

For weeks people have been questioning under what authority the federal government is acting when it comes to the automobile companies. While the administration says their authority derives from the TARP funds, Congress only authorized that funding for financial institutions - not auto makers. Complicating matters is Congress's rejection of an auto bailout plan after the approved TARP. If TARP allowed the administration to address the car companies, then why was separate legislation even introduced, much less defeated?

I was opposed to the bailouts in the first place and hope the Supreme Court rules in favor of the Indiana pension funds.

* The stimulus isn't working and April figures prove it. At least, that's what Dick Morris and Eileen McGann say in their latest column:

1. Household personal income (inflation adjusted) rose, but every penny -- and then some -- went into savings or paying down debts. Consumer spending, on which Barack Obama is betting to stimulate the economy, actually fell. None of the stimulus money was sent. None.

2. Meanwhile, to pay for this stimulus spending that didn't stimulate, Obama had to borrow so much money that long-term interest rates have almost doubled since he took office, forcing postponement or abandonment of business expansion and hiring across the board.
...
The stimulus package was a total and complete failure. As predicted, as happened with Bush's 2008 tax cut, as happened with the Japanese stimulus packages of the '90s, fearful consumers sat on their money and wouldn't spend it. Keynesian economics didn't work. Again.
...
Consumers are not idiots. They know that when their paycheck is fatter -- either because of tax cuts or government spending -- that it is not the beginning of Nirvana, but just a short-term, one-shot respite from hard times. They know the difference between standing in front of an electric fan and a windy day.

Barack Obama has fatally undermined our currency, our solvency, our financial stability and -- ultimately -- our economy, all to spend money that has had no economic effect!

* According to Rich Tucker, 75% of Americans live in suburbs, but the government thinks that's a bad thing. And if government thinks you're doing something you shouldn't they'll create rules and laws to make sure you do what government wants.

We’d all like to think Washington has bigger problems to worry about than whether we make one trip or two to pick up, say, groceries and prescription medicine.

But, just for the sake of argument, consider the fact that it’s much easier to “combine errands” in suburbia than it is in Manhattan. With one trip to the Super Target, one can pick up everything from food to clothing to entertainment. That would require at least three separate stops in a city, imposing a much higher cost in both time and money.

Still, if Washington gets its way, we’ll have more people packed into smaller spaces.

Tucker also details how the Energy Department’s 2008 Buildings Energy Data Book, which purports to show how apartment living is better than owning a home, failed to take into account the energy costs of common areas including lobbies and parking lots. When those shared areas are included, apartment living is far less efficient than the report claims.

* George Will has a great column on the contradiction between the words and the actions when it comes to President Barack Obama's statements regarding General Motors. Despite saying he doesn't want to run the car company, that's exactly what he's doing.

And Congress will be sure to be part of the act, as well, as they insist upon adding their own dictates under the guise of a 'responsibility' to oversee how public dollars are spent. After all, this approach has been sooooo successful with Amtrak - right?

* If Chrysler gets bought out by Fiat, is it still an American company? Honda builds cars in Marysville, OH, and local UAW members will tell you the cars built there are 'not really' American cars since they're owned by a foreign company. Will that claim still be true when Fiat buys Chrysler? Or will they conveniently change their definition of 'American company'?

2 comments:

Roman said...

This bailout/bankruptcy/takeover is so wrong on so many levels.

Firing of CEO's dictating of pay (pay czar), throwing out centuries of bankruptcy law precedent...the list goes on.

The idea of government bureaucrats picking winners and losers in the marketplace goes against everything American. Everyone knows how well Amtrak has worked out, it would be cheaper to buy each passenger a airline ticket that to continue to subsidize this passenger railroad.

In the interest of full disclosure, the dealership I work for, after Tuesday, will lose its Jeep franchise, after 30 years, with no compensation, we will just not be a Jeep dealer anymore. I still do not understand how it will save Chrysler any money to have fewer places to sell their product.

We are a strong country and will survive this administration. I hope that the damage to the economy and collective conscience will be minimal.

Hooda Thunkit (a.k.a. Dave Zawodny) said...

Maggie,

"* If Chrysler gets bought out by Fiat, is it still an American company? Honda builds cars in Marysville, OH, and local UAW members will tell you the cars built there are 'not really' American cars since they're owned by a foreign company. Will that claim still be true when Fiat buys Chrysler? Or will they conveniently change their definition of 'American company'? "

The ever resilient (read as forgetful) UAW will naturally redefine their term; no surprises here...

But, that's just my opinion, YMMV.

:-)

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