Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Apparently, Barack Obama really likes corporate welfare (WP).

Jonah at The Frontal Cortex justly gives the senator grief over his blatant pandering to big corn and big hybrid-driving yuppie (the most dangerous yuppie of all). And to Obama's credit, he doesn't cave to the subsidy-craving coal producers of his home state.

However, I part ways with Jonah in his description of Obama's speech as "tough talk to Detroit". Obama just offered to pay off 10% of GM's outstanding healthcare liabilities for their retirement plans. If this is "tough talk", I have a car loan that could use a stern lecture from Sen. Obama. Of course money from the government always comes with strings attached, but the requirement that auto companies merely spend half that amount on manufacturing equipment to make cars, be they fuel efficient or not, isn't exactly stringent.

On top of this, it would just encourage other companies to follow in the automaker's footsteps and fail to adequately plan for providing the benefits they have promised their retirees with the expectation that a government bailout will be provided if they come up short.

I've actually found Sen. Obama to be preferable to most of the presidential field, but this isn't helping is case. It's bad enough that most of the candidates aren't interested in removing ADM from the government teat, but a willingness to add GM to it differentiates Obama in an unflatering way.

No comments: