“Paying” for bailouts as if they were taxcuts
I am surprised not to see a suggestion from either side of the aisle, that suggests “bailouts” should be paid for in the same way tax cuts: by identifying dollar-for-dollar tradeoffs.
By government standards, the Big 3 bailout is a rather modest sum when you stack it up against the Department of Defense budget. Republicans arguing on principle that $17B should not be spent on supporting domestic industry are silent on the financial disaster of the department of defense budget which is an order of magnitude larger.
At least a dollar spent on the Big 3 automakers has a remote chance of returning on the investment. And yet we’ll routinely shovel money at defense contractors who, knowing how the re-election and “jobs in the district” game is played, are adept at keeping their gravy train running on time. I mean, seriously, we are talking about spending 10′s of thousands of dollars per copy on autonomous robots that will see around a corner of a building in a hostile land, where our national interest is defined by some as free-market access to oil combined with the potential for a little more stability in the Middle East. If we were energy independent, how morally compelling would the interventionist argument be? Probably less convincing than the non-intervention we have undertaken in Africa in the face of measurable human atrocities on a genocidal scale. Oh, but there’s no oil in Africa.
Detroit has to sell a dozen cars to generate enough profit to be taxed in order to buy that throw away robot which can never, ever generate an additional dollar of revenue downstream. It can only be maintained with more dollars until it is obsolete, or destroyed, in which case it will be replaced at a higher cost with a more capable model.
Hardly a dollar of the DoD budget addresses the security of our own border. we spend more money on the security of the borders of other nations than our own, while we remain singularly incapable of preparing for, managing and rebuilding internal national disasters, having created another new department to mismanage that task in the last 5 years.