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Bachmann to Mr. President: Sir, don’t bail ’em out

U.S. Rep Michele Bachmann has asked President Bush not to use the $700 million bailout fund to help the auto industry. She says the money should go to troubled financial institutions, as originally designated, and not to the car makers.

In announcing her stance, the 6th District Republican congresswoman said: “Congress relies too heavily on the taxpayers as an ATM. It’s time for Congress to rein in government spending and pursue a pro-growth tax policy that attracts new investment, production and jobs. The real road out of this recession is through Main Street America, not Washington.”

Here’s the text of the letter, signed by Bachmann and “several colleagues” (who are not identified):

Dear Mr. President:

“We are writing to express our concerns over the possibility of funding from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) being used to bail out the “Big Three” auto manufacturers. The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act was intended to provide stability to the nation’s lending system—not to provide a taxpayer-funded capital infusion to favored businesses. The legislation allows the $700 billion to be used for leveraging “financial institutions,” which auto manufacturers surely are not. Congress never voted for a federal bailout of the automobile industry, and the only way for TARP funds to be diverted to domestic automakers is with explicit congressional approval.

“No one wants the “Big Three” to fail, and we are not proposing it. But the federal government cannot undo decades of mismanagement, so we are faced with a decision about how to deal with it. Exercising options already afforded them by law, under a Chapter 11 reorganization for example, the American automobile industry can make the necessary reforms and could soon return to profitability. A federal bailout of the automobile industry, on the other hand, would put taxpayer money at risk, shield the companies from making the reforms necessary to restore competitiveness again, and set a costly precedent that the federal government will bailout other failing companies and industries.

“Tempting as it is to step in with a federal bailout, American taxpayers cannot afford to save every company facing financial peril. Last year’s federal deficit was the highest nominal deficit in U.S. history, and many economists believe this year’s deficit will exceed $1 trillion.

“For the long-term stability of our nation and our automotive manufacturers, we urge you to not expand the use of TARP money to bailout American auto manufacturers.”

Comments (8)

  1. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 12/16/2008 - 05:57 pm.

    And that, my friends, is why, despite her unfortunate tendency to occasionally provide her enemies with fodder, Congresswoman Bachmann is a rising star.

    Integrity and the conviction of the correctness of dearly held American principles do still count for something.

    I salute you, Congresswoman Bachmann.

  2. Submitted by Mike Haubrich on 12/16/2008 - 07:14 pm.

    Except that with GMAC, Chrysler Credit and Ford Motor Credit Corp, all three actually are financial institutions. GMAC owns DiTech, the online mortgage company and finances homes as well as cars.

    It’s not so clear cut.

    Pat Buchanan wants to know why Southern Senators who voted against cloture of the Senate version of the bill have been so willing to give money to foreign automakers to build factories in their states. I think it’s obvious, and I would lay odds that they were keeping an eye to strengthening their relations with the transplant car companies.

    The money funding TARP is likely being thrown at banks with no accountability. I think this small portion of it could be fairly used in a way to continue the competitiveness of the auto makers, and I think it is fair to attach strings to how they manufacture and market their cars.

  3. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 12/17/2008 - 10:07 am.

    Congresswoman Bachmann voted “no” on the TARP bailout as well. But as we know, the courageous stand Michele, as well as most Republican and a few principled Democrats took was overwhelmed by the majority party in Congress and the Senate.

    How ironic is it that for all of the spittle flecked invective it has heretofore hurled at corporate America, the Democrat party has suddenly become the party of corporate welfare?

    One might be almost be tempted to think there is a measure of rear-end covering at work.

  4. Submitted by Tom Poe on 12/17/2008 - 05:19 pm.

    The auto industry represents over two million jobs that disappear if it goes down, either through bailout or bankruptcy. Michele and the other members of the Party of Corporate Welfare now want to proclaim they’re not that party. So, which is it? First we get Paulson demanding entitlement for Bush’s $1 trillion dollar going away present on the bogus claim they have to buy down mortgages so people can stay in their homes. Then once they get the money they reneg. Then the auto industry demands entitlement to save jobs, and now they reneg and want the industry to go into bankruptcy in order to wipe out unions. The Republicans couldn’t be uglier people if they tried. And all at the expense of voters.

  5. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 12/17/2008 - 06:05 pm.

    Tom, you may have forgotten, but the GOP congressional caucus voted a resounding “no” to the mortage bailout. This whole thing is a Democrat joint from stem to stern…

    Sorry to harsh your buzz, but them’s the facts!

  6. Submitted by david granneman on 12/19/2008 - 05:53 pm.

    hello all

    tom, you sound like an obama voter who has not a clue as to which party has controlled congress for the past two years.

    Michele Bachmann you are my hero. you are one of the few in congress who has COMMON SENSE. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK


  7. Submitted by Mike Haubrich on 12/23/2008 - 08:23 pm.

    Poor david would never let a little science get in the wsy of his opinions. The facts on global warming are clear, and unless society figures out better means to generate electricity and power there will be even more severe climate problems in our short-term future.

    “Common Sense” in terms of Michele Bachman reminds us that we believe what we want to believe and will stick to our guns no matter what the science shows. I am embarrassed every time she shows up on television and they introduce her as “Minnesota” Rep. Michele Bachman. I hope the world understands that as a whole we are much smarter than the majority of voters in the 6th District. When is she going to start her investigations into the anti-Americans in Congress, David? When is she going to revive the House UnAmerican Activities Committee?

    Sound and fury.

  8. Submitted by david granneman on 12/24/2008 - 10:08 am.

    hello mike
    you call me poor david – well we all are going to be poor when the high cost to environmental folley is going to as they say “come home to roost.” because of this hoax the cost of FOOD, ENERGY, AND THE PRODUCTS WE USE WILL SKYROOKET. energy from windmills costs seven times as much as from a coal fired power plant – are you willing to pay much more for your electricity. did you read the article how the EPA will be putting small farmers out of business due to the methane gas from the cows. this means only the rich will be able to buy a steak. in a year you will not be able to buy a cheap electric light bulb for 99 cents, you will be forced to but a $5 mercury bulb. are you willing to trade your suv in for an electric powered go cart. better yet are you going to ride you bike to work. it would be different if the huge sacrifices the environmentalist want us to endure
    would really be saving the planet – BUT NOT FOR A HOAX.

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