"Hell, it's only money. What are you whining about?"
Boucher defends votes to bail out financial industry, automakers [, governors, the steel industry, American Express, the real estate industry, local school districts, retailers, the city of Detroit, Wall Street, big city Mayors, California, Hollywood, the Bears ... see below]
Here's Boucher, as reported by Hank Hays at the Kingsport Times-News. Does anyone believe this for a second?
U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher is defending his congressional votes for the $700 billion financial industry rescue and the multibillion-dollar bailout for the Big Three automakers, although he says a narrow margin of his constituents backed both measures.It's a gift.
Boucher, an Abingdon Democrat, said a “bare majority” of his 9th Congressional District constituents who sent e-mails and messages encouraged him to vote for both measures.
“People understand what’s at stake here. They know this is not a gift to anybody. They understand this is an investment."
And then there's this:
Boucher admitted it is “personally distasteful” to invest in automakers the same way the federal government did with Chrysler about 30 years ago.Yeah, sure. Distasteful.
“In this case, it’s necessary because if any of these (car) companies go under and has to liquidate, there is a great risk the other two would as well because they all depend on a common base of parts suppliers,” Boucher said. “If any of those suppliers loses a big customer, one of the Big Three, that supplier is no longer there for the other two alone. ... About 2 million jobs nationwide vanish. That cannot happen. If that were to happen this economy would be in total free fall. We would be back to Depression-era unemployment numbers.”
Look, this is wrong on many levels.
First, I wonder how Boucher's constituents up at Volvo in Dublin feel about his giving Volvo's competitors (GM and Ford both make trucks) an unfair advantage by pouring billions of taxpayer dollars into manufacturing plants that are in states far far away. And I wonder how the Volvo workers (what's left of them) feel about Boucher giving taxpayer cash to a truck manufacturer - GM - in Mexico. Ford's there too. And soon it'll be in South Africa. The two in fact have dozens of automobile manufacturing plants all over the world.
Second, this is a zero-sum game. Supply and demand. Or, to put it in terms that Boucher can understand, you (... put down the rubber ducky and ...) take a glass of water out of one end of the full bathtub and pour the water into the other end, the water level as a whole ... remains the same!
People will be buying cars. And trucks. If they can't find a GM car, they'll buy a Toyota. And where are Toyotas made? Kentucky. And soon, if the economy stabilizes, in Mississippi. Nissan? Tennessee. Volkswagen? Soon they'll be in Tennessee. Subaru? Indiana. Honda? Ohio. And soon in Indiana. Mercedes? Alabama. Boucher's right about the fact that all these manufacturers share parts suppliers with "The Big Three" here in the U.S. But he's wrong when he says the industry will crumble if the "No Longer Big Three" fold. "Foreign rivals would step up if U.S. carmakers break down":
The failure of one or more of the Detroit Big Three automakers would put a huge initial dent in American manufacturing, but in time foreign-car companies would pick up the slack by stepping up production in their plants here, many industry experts and economists say.Let me ask you, did we have a shortage of pantyhose when Kmart closed a thousand stores several years ago? No. Wal-Mart executives yelled, "Yippee!" and got on the phone to their pantyhose suppliers and ordered big. BIG. And I was able to get my pantyhose ... (uh, I think we'll save that story). The same will happen in the auto industry (with time for retooling).
Let's cut through the fluff and bluster here. Why did Boucher support a bailout of the auto industry really? The UAW is - and has always been - a leading contributor to his reelection campaigns. Pure and simple. You need know nothing more.
You need believe nothing more.
* A shout-out to Carl Kilo for the link.