President Elect Obama was elected with a tremendous level of support from labor unions and they didn't do that for nothing. Unions have every expectation that their priorities will be addressed, chief among them looming large and in charge on the horizon, a bailout of the Detroit Dinosaur Triad. The Dinosaur Triad wants a $25 billion dollar "bridge loan", basically sidling up next to the Wall Street beggars crying poor mouth and hollering "me too".
From our man on the street perspective, this situation is why you have to ask Obama, why do you want this job? Basically, this seems like a lose lose deal. Do it, and you can bet that the Dinosaur Triad won't be the last industry to come rooting in the taxpayer trough. Where does it stop? And with every industry that gets a taste while the electorate watches friends and neighbor's mortgages one after the other bite the dust when their jobs go puff like smoke, the voter's anger will increase as we ask the reasonable question, "so where's my bailout? I made a bad decision or two, some honest mistakes and now I'm hurting pretty bad. Where's the help for me?".
Don't do it, and a major constituency, labor unions and the working class folk they connect to, take the hit as the Dinosaur Triad burns through its remaining cash in the next six months and begins laying off thousands and shuttering plants at home and abroad. Ditto for the industry of suppliers to the Dinosaur Triad too. The effect will ripple through the economy and across the kitchen tables of Joe and Jamaal Sixpack with the family destroying force of a nuclear blast wave. And with every family that takes it on the chin, flying apart in economic meltdown, divorce and family dysfunction maxed out by financial disaster, the voter's anger will increase as we ask the reasonable question, "so where's my bailout? I made a bad decision or two, some honest mistakes and now I'm hurting pretty bad. Where's the help for me?".
How in the world does Obama thread this needle? Economists and free market fiscal conservatives say, let the Triad die, the Phoenix that will arise from the ashes will be stronger and better, but there is no doubt that letting Detroit and the millions who make their livelihood from that industry implode by inaction would be political suicide as the labor unions and their followers turn and savage Obama like rabid dogs. Liberals and progressives will say save it, but that means our multi-trillion dollar deficit continues to grow like the blob, gorging and gobbling up our fiscal health and insuring our status as a debtor nation to the likes of China and the petro kingdoms continues for decades. I got family that works in the industry and I'll bet many of you do too, so this is personal.
What do we do?