Understandably, Republicans are seething.
When Hank Paulson demanded $700 billion to haul away the trash in the dumpsters of JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs—assuring us we could hold a garage sale of the junk—they rebelled. They acted as the nation, by 100 to one, demanded. They killed the Wall Street bailout.
The Dow quickly sank another 1,000 points, and, charged with criminal irresponsibility by the elites, the GOP buckled, reversed itself, rescued the bailout—and was wiped out on Nov. 4.
Now we hear from Paulson that the $700 billion Congress voted will not, after all, be used to buy up all that rotten paper on the books of the big banks. Some banks are using the cash to buy other banks.
So Republicans are right to be enraged. They are victims of the biggest bait-and-switch in political history.
But they are now about to do
something terminally stupid. With GM, Ford and Chrysler
teetering on the brink, they are turning a cold stone
Are Republicans aware of what they are about to do?
When workers, execs, engineers,
dealers, salesmen and suppliers are all factored in, the
Big Three employ 3 million people who contribute $21
billion a year to Social Security and Medicare, and $25
billion in federal income taxes. Add in all the
businesses that depend on the auto industry, and we are
talking about one-tenth of the
And to let the auto industry die is
In a good year, like 2005,
Americans buy more than 17 million new cars, and West
Europeans as many. Tens of millions in
"Who cares?" comes the free-traders` reply. Japanese and Koreans are setting up factories here. They can pick up the slack.
But that means Americans will work
for and depend on foreign companies for a necessity of
our national life as vital as the imported oil and gas
on which our cars and trucks operate. All the profits of
the mighty automobile industry in
Before Republicans follow this free-trade fanaticism to their final interment, they might study the results of a poll by Peter Hart: [PDF]
If the GOP blocks these loans, and
the industry dies, the party can forget about
By the choices we make, we define ourselves and reveal what we truly care about. Thus, consider:
We bail out the
We bail out with International
Monetary Fund and World Bank loans and foreign aid
We bail out Wall Street plutocrats and big banks.
But the most magnificent industry,
the auto industry that was the pride of
Nancy Pelosi is talking about tying loans to a restructuring of the industry. But Congress is not competent to do that.
What needs to be restructured is
Dump globalism. Instruct
To accomplish this, use the same import quotas and tariffs Ronald Reagan used to save the steel industry and Harley-Davidson.
Reciprocal trade. Even Democrats like FDR used to practice it.
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Patrick J. Buchanan needs no introduction to VDARE.COM readers; his book State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America, can be ordered from Amazon.com. His latest book is Churchill, Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World, reviewed here by Paul Craig Roberts.