Monday, November 17, 2008

Here is a letter I wrote to my Congressman on the proposed auto bailout. Yeah, let's go ahead and subsidize failure yet again! Enjoy.


13 November 2008

Hon. Representative Wittman,

I am writing to urge you to strongly oppose the recent proposal put forth by Speaker Pelosi to use taxpayers' dollars to bail out the "Big Three" automakers.

I wrote you previously on the "Bank Bailout," urging you to oppose it, and I appreciate the way in which you listened to your constituents and voted against it both times. I submit to you that this bailout of the auto makers is possibly even "more wrong" than the bank bailout. At least in the case of the banks, there was some view (however misguided) that the economy could collapse without any Congressional action. Here, we are simply talking about large corporations that have been performing at a substandard level for a long time now, long before the timeline associated with the mortgage and credit crisis. There is no threat to the national economy if they are made to face the consequences of their past decision-making. In fact, if they were to ultimately fail (signaling a failure on their part to successfully adapt to the market), it is quite believable that other more successful car companies could and would step in to purchase the manufacturing assets of these companies, with little to no loss of jobs from the transition.

By granting these companies a bailout, Congress would be effectively taking money from Mr. Joe Taxpayer and giving it directly to company shareholders. There's no other way to look at it. This would be an unconscionable dereliction of duty by any Congressman or -woman charged with the power of the purse. Additionally, it is not our job as a society to subsidize poor management and performance. When a company cannot make a profit, its management and its shareholders should pay the price...not the American taxpayer.

Recent political reactions to the "economic crisis" are quickly causing more and more people in this country to get accustomed to the idea of the government "saving the day" (which it rarely succeeds at). The more this happens, the more palatable it will seem when people on the extreme right or left move to socialize more and more sectors of our economy and/or society. We will all wake up one day and realize that it's a Brave New World (not a good thing). The time is now to draw the line and stand up to those who would benefit from making people more and more reliant on the government (those people being the ones with the power to make the decisions for everyone else).

I recognize that the elections are over, and as such, there is no immediate consequence from not heeding the wishes of your constituents (as there may have been with the bank bailout). That being said, I am certain that other citizens like me will begin keeping score for the next elections starting now. In the meantime, I implore you to fight this blatant catering to special interests simply because it is the right thing to do. Thank you for your time and consideration. Have a pleasant day!

Ben Bursae

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