Since Bush and Congress seem determined to bail out the auto makers in one form or another, I guess this plan is better than outright nationalization.....
WASHINGTON (AP) - A government "car czar" with the power to force U.S. automakers into bankruptcy would dole out $15 billion in emergency loans to the failing industry under an emerging deal between the White House and congressional Democrats.
All three would have to negotiate with labor unions, creditors and others and submit blueprints by March 31 to an industry czar named by President George W. Bush showing how they would restructure to ensure their survival. If not, the emergency loans would be revoked, the companies cut off from further federal help, and the government overseer could order his own overhaul, including forcing them into bankruptcy.
Auto makers want to be given other peoples' money and they want to decide how the government regulates their reorganization but, when you're begging for money you didn't earn and don't deserve, you don't get to name the conditions on which it is given. I think a car-czar is stupid and unnecessary, depending of course on who it is and what he believes the role of government in the free market is. Without lowering the crippling, idiotic environmental mandates and exposing the cost of labor to the competitive marketplace, what good is any amount of money going to do?
I don't want to see the auto makers go under but, what alternative is there when they refuse to make any substantive changes in the way they do business?