Logic Behind Auto Bailout: 'Insanity'

For Immediate Release Thursday, December 11, 2008

Says only hope for the long-term viability of automakers is bankruptcy and restructuring

The nation’s largest third-party is calling for Congress to strike down a measure backed by the White House that would risk at least $15 billion of taxpayer dollars to bail-out the American automotive industry.

“It’s insanity,” says Libertarian Party spokesperson Andrew Davis. “It’s insane that we keep going back to the taxpayers to bail-out struggling corporations who, for lack of good management and sound business practices, have become unprofitable. Who in Congress is standing up for the taxpayers? Where are the Republicans, who claim they stand for the free market? Where are the Democrats, who claim they oppose corporate welfare?”

The current plan seeks to initially give Detroit automakers a $15 billion, taxpayer-backed loan with a deadline of March 31 to develop a plan for profitability. If, by the deadline, automakers fail to reach what the White House has established as “viability,” the loans would be recalled — something Davis says is “already written in the stars.”

“We all know what’s going to happen, and it’s not going to be the outcome proponents of the bailout want us all to believe,” says Davis. “Automakers will get $15 billion of taxpayer money, and when April rolls around, they’ll be asking for more time and more money. There are absolutely no provisions in the bailout bill that require any type of change to management, union contracts or company structure before receiving taxpayer money. All taxpayers have is a promise that the same CEOs who put their companies in this mess will get it right the second time.”

“Or, the third time, if you’re talking about Chrysler,” Davis adds.

“The end goal of any restructuring should be removing the management that led companies into this pitfall,” says Davis. “This should be done by the companies — not the government. The Libertarian Party favors letting these companies file Chapter 11, instead of risking taxpayer dollars for promises of reform. It will be tough in the short-term, but better for the long-term stability of our economy.”

For more information on this issue, or to arrange an interview with the Libertarian Party, please email Andrew Davis at andrew.davis@lp.org , or call (202) 731-0002.

The Libertarian Party is America’s third largest political party, founded in 1971 as an alternative to the two main political parties. You can find more information on the Libertarian Party by visiting www.LP.org . The Libertarian Party proudly stands for smaller government, lower taxes and more freedom.