I'm sensing a disturbing trend here....
With the Big Three US automakers teetering on the edge of insolvency, it appears Washington may finally be ready to come to Detroit's rescue.
Detroit's situation has certainly worsened in the face of the current economic crisis that combines what many describe as a "perfect storm" of factors, such as high fuel costs, tight credit, job losses and rising commodity prices.
But the seeds of the current crisis date back to the last big oil shock, of 1979, which helped the Japanese gain a foothold for small, fuel-efficient products.
As gas lines faded from memory, the Asian automakers continued to gain ground by focusing on quality, something GM, Ford and Chrysler have only recently come to grips with -- and with varying degrees of success.
Further compounding the situation, Detroit has been consciously slow to embrace changes in the American automotive marketplace, especially the shift from big trucks to small, fuel-efficient passenger cars.
And even where it has, lamented Consumer Reports' auto analyst David Champion, it has needed "more models that were exciting for people to buy."
"Automakers need immediate funding to stay on track during this difficult time," said National Association of Manufacturers president John Engler.
"We're talking about close to a million jobs in America -- we're talking about a lasting impact on our industrial production in the United States. We simply cannot afford to let the auto industry fail."
I'm sorry but, it's not a proper role of government to prevent the failure of businesses who've made bad decision after bad decision for 30 years. Obama's insistence on saving the American auto industry stems not from genuine concern for this traditional symbol of American ingenuity and innovation(Bush's reasons), but from his political promise to pay back the union thugs who spent millions to help elect him.
By most measures, unionization can increase operating costs by as much as 30%. If you want to read the laundry list of ways labor unions increase costs to consumers, go here.
I guess it's the nature of modern politics that you have paybacks after each election, regardless of how wrong the form of that payback may be.