Czarist America

Yeah. We have a Drug Czar. An Energy Czar. And coming soon to an American company near you: an Auto Czar. And no - the czar will not be into self rule. He is going to rule auto companies who take government money.

WASHINGTON - A federal "car czar" would oversee a government-run restructuring of U.S. auto companies in return for a $15 billion bailout of the beleaguered industry under an emerging deal between the White House and Congress.

Negotiators worked through the night Monday narrowing differences on a bill to rush short-term loans to the struggling carmakers through a plan that requires that the industry reinvent itself to survive -- and pay back the government if it doesn't. The package could come to a vote as early as Wednesday.

The measure would put a government overseer named by President George W. Bush in charge of setting guidelines for an industry wide overhaul, with the power to revoke the loans if the automakers fail to do what's necessary to become viable.

At least the transplant auto makers will not be involved. They have their own governments propping them up. I guess nearly all the auto companies of the world will be on equal footing now. Pity. At least for the time being Ford remains independent.

There is one small ray of hope in this march to corporate socialism.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., a key ally of the auto industry, said getting the roughly 15 Republicans needed to support the plan was an uphill battle.

"This is a real hill to climb even if we can get agreement between the White House and congressional leaders," he said.

I wonder why they need 15 Republicans? Ten or eleven ought to be enough to end a filibuster. Does that mean all the Democrats in the current Senate are not on board? I hope so.

Cross Posted at Power and Control

posted by Simon on 12.09.08 at 07:14 AM


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