The Anti-Climax of the Bailout Saga

There was plausible speculation that the auto bailout saga would come to a conclusion this week. Instead, nobody was surprised when the Bush administration decided to follow the path of least resistance and punt. The $17 billion loan provided by the White House is enough to keep GM and Chrysler in business through February, but not much further.

By now we ought to be used to doublespeak from this administration. Apparently, "I believe that good policy is not to dump [Obama] a major catastrophe in his first day in office" means that Bush is okay with dumping a major catastrophe on Obama in his second month in office. "In any scenario that comes forward after this decision-making process, all those stakeholders are going to have to make tough decisions" means that the administration is comfortable forking over taxpayer money without any concessions from the unions or commitments from management.

Since the run-up to the Iraq War, I noticed that you get a much clearer picture of reality by believing the opposite of everything said by a Bush administration official. "Urgent threats" are not urgent and hardly any threat, "vital security measures with responsible oversight that protect the privacy of ordinary Americans" are expensive and useless policies, lacking any meaningful oversight, that violate the privacy of ordinary Americans. And so it goes.

Conservatives were hopeful that a successful long-term bailout plan mimicking bankruptcy restructuring would come from the White House, which would be similar to the deal offered by Senate Republicans and rejected by the unions a few weeks ago. Instead, the Bush administration settled on a band-aid measure that passes the buck to an incoming liberal Obama administration that is likely to be perfectly comfortable letting the unions suck at the national teat with no long-term concessions.

This one last act of spinelessness by the Bush administration is a perfect symbol to remember them by.

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Would Bush really have been

Would Bush really have been able to pay over the amount of money a permanent bail out would cost within days of the end of his rule & an unfriendly Congress?