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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

December 16, 2008 at 12:06 PM

Auto-industry bailout

Let it fix itself

As the Democrats in Congress and the president seem to have come to some agreement on an auto-industry bailout, when is anyone going to be honest with their intentions [“In auto bailout, GOP finds an old foe,” Politics, Dec. 14]?

It is obviously a bad investment — the automakers have not generated a profit in years and show no attempt to make one. It is becoming apparent that the betterment of the taxpayers is not at the forefront.

By not forcing the Big Three to declare Chapter 11, where they must renegotiate supplier and labor contracts and restructure the organization, we are delaying the inevitable destruction of these companies at the cost of a huge taxpayer bill.

The arrogance shown by Congress, in particular Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, that they can run these companies, is almost obscene. The fact that Congress wants to force Americans to driver smaller cars that run on something other than fossil fuels is evident. If American consumers don’t want them, then we will be forced either through regulation, supply or taxes.

We have been writing checks that we can’t cash with the bank bailout, soon the auto bailout and on the horizon, the infrastructure plan. Who will pay the piper? We must allow the principles of a free market to not be breached, with catastrophic unintended consequences.

A free market has ups and downs; we must ride them to allow our economy to naturally fix itself. I know it is a painful process, but we win in the long run.

— Todd Welch, Everett

Help a guzzler out

The big oil companies have been rolling around in obscene profits for a few years now. Why don’t they bail out their partners, the Big Three automakers? That may even guarantee them gas guzzlers rolling down the highways for years to come.

— Barry Hohstadt, Bainbridge Island

End of an era

Did the Senate, Congress or White House ask the bankers or Wall Street executives to fire themselves or have a czar watch over their firms? Did they demand $6.2 billion in bonuses not be given Wall Street executives who helped get us in this jam? Did they even ask any of these groups what they were going to do with the money? No.

This is not a loan; it’s a giveaway. We see banks buying other banks and the wealthy getting wealthier with no strings attached.

God forbid the auto companies ask for funds to continue their operations to support American workers.

While our politicians give VW $500 million to build plants in America and Sen. John McCain tries to get the Air Force to buy tankers from the foreign company Airbus, our economy is sinking like a stone.

Congressmen are upset with the benefits autoworkers receive. What about the benefits Congress receives? How many days do they get off every year? You can back up your Mercedes, Lexus or BMW to the Treasury and load your trunks full of money, but do not show up in a Chevrolet, Ford or Chrysler because you’ll be turned away.

Americans should be furious. Is this really the end of the industrial revolution in America?

— Pete Jones, Anacortes

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