Skip to comments.Pat Buchanan: The Toyota Republicans
Posted on 12/16/2008 9:41:55 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
"GOP to Detroit: Drop Dead!"
So may have read the headline Friday, had not President Bush stepped in to save GM, Ford and Chrysler, which Senate Republicans had just voted to send to the knacker's yard.
What are Republicans thinking of, pulling the plug, at Christmas, on GM, risking swift death for the greatest manufacturing company in American history, a strategic asset and pillar of the U.S. economy.
The $14 billion loan to the Big Three that Republican senators filibustered to death is just 2 percent of the $700 billion the Senate voted to bail out Wall Street. Having gone along with bailouts of Bear Stearns, AIG, Fannie, Freddie and CitiGroup, why refuse a reprieve to an industry upon which millions of the best blue-collar jobs in America depend?
In a good year, Americans buy 17 million cars. A more populous EU probably buys as many. Three billion people in India, Southeast Asia and China, four times as many people as there are in the EU and United States, are moving toward the middle class. They, too, will be wanting cars. And millions of them love American cars.
Is the Republican Party so fanatic in its ideology that, rather than sin against a commandment of Milton Friedman, it is willing to see America written forever out of this fantastic market, let millions of jobs vanish and write off the industrial Midwest?
So it would seem. "Companies fail every day, and others take their place," said Sen. Richard Shelby on "Face the Nation."
Presumably, the companies that will "take their place," when GM, Ford and Chrysler die, are German, Japanese or Korean, like the ones lured into Shelby's state of Alabama, with the bait of subsidies free-market Republicans are supposed to abhor.
In 1993, Alabama put together a $258 million package to bring a Mercedes plant in. In 1999, Honda was offered $158 million to build a plant there. In 2002, Alabama won a Hyundai plant by offering a $252 million subsidy.
"We have a number of profitable automakers in America, and they should not be disadvantaged for making wise business decisions while failure is rewarded," says Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina.
DeMint is referring to "profitable automakers" like BMW, which sited a plant in Spartanburg, after South Carolina offered the Germans a $150 million subsidy and $80 million to expand.
Be it BMW, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, Mitsubishi or Hyundai, the South has become a sanctuary for foreign assembly plants, for which Southern states have been paying subsidies.
Fine. But why this "Let-them-eat-cake!" coldness toward U.S. auto companies? General Motors employs more workers than all these foreign plants combined. And, unlike Mitsubishi, General Motors didn't bomb Pearl Harbor.
Do these Southern senators understand why the foreign automakers suddenly up and decided to build plants in the United States?
It was the economic nationalism of Ronald Reagan.
When an icon of American industry, Harley-Davidson, was being run out of business by cutthroat Japanese dumping of big bikes to kill the "Harley Hog," Reagan slapped 50 percent tariffs on their motorcycles and imposed quotas on imported Japanese cars. Message to Tokyo. If you folks want to keep selling cars here, start building them here.
Fear of Reaganism brought those foreign automakers, lickety-split, to America's shores, not any love of Southern cooking.
Do the Republicans not yet understand how they lost the New Majority coalition that gave them three landslides and five victories in six presidential races from 1968 to 1988? Do they not know why the Reagan Democrats in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan are going home?
The Republican Party gave their jobs away!
How? By telling U.S. manufacturers they could shut plants here, get rid of their U.S. workers, build factories in Mexico, Asia or China, and ship their products back, free of charge.
Republican globalists gave U.S. manufacturers every incentive to go abroad and take their jobs with them, the jobs of Middle America.
And, for 30 years, that is what U.S. manufacturers have done, have been forced to do, as their competitors closed down and moved their plants abroad in search of low-wage Third World labor.
It's Herbert Hoover time in here, Vice President Cheney is said to have told the Senate Republicans -- as they prepared to march out onto the floor and turn thumbs down on any reprieve for General Motors.
In today's world, America faces nationalistic trade rivals who manipulate currencies, employ nontariff barriers, subsidize their manufacturers, rebate value-added taxes on exports to us and impose value-added taxes on imports from us, all to capture our markets and kill our great companies. And we have a Republican Party blissfully ignorant that we live in a world of us or them. It doesn't even know who "us" is.
We need a new team on the field and a new coach who believes with Vince Lombardi that "winning isn't everything. It's the only thing."
The UAW will outlast the big three by at least a generation, maybe longer. It will become our second Social Security Administration and will be protected in Al Gore's Iron-Clad Lock Box. Their time as auto workers will soon be over, but then they can move on to being served by the tax payer.
You miss the point, Pat.
Throwing money at the Big Three is about as useful as throwing money at a heroin addict. Unless the underlying behaviors that caused the mess in the first place are dealt with, all the government bailout money in the world isn’t going to solve the problems that plague them.
He makes NO mention of the UAW and other unions which made it unprofitable for U.S. corporations to continue to have manufacturing operations in the U.S.
THEY certainly aren’t the “fault’ of Republicans.
AND, the foreign manufacturers located their plants in the south to AVOID Unions, NOT because of some “economic Nationalism of Reagan”.
And it was Volkswagen that gassed all those Jews at Auschwitz.
Social issues aside, Pat is stuck in the 1950's, economically. The economic conditions that existed post WWII that allowed someone with a high school education to get a job at an auto plant that would support their family and take them to retirement are gone. The world changed and we can't undo the changes by passing a few laws.
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus
“Im no Buchanan fan, but how is he wrong in this piece?”
He is wrong in two major respects: 1) free trade is good, and 2) corporatism is bad. When it comes to economic matters, Buchanan is purely and simply a statist.
Are there any workers still at Mitsubishi that built the Vals and Zeros that attacked Pearl Harbor? That was 67 years ago! While we’re at it, let’s quit buying Range Rovers because the Brit’s sicced the Hessians on us...
See my prior post, bailing our the UAW with my tax dollars is a bigger F U to America. If GM, Ford and Chrystler vanishes today, it will not affect our weapons manufacture. Can any of you even name a single weapon system contracted to one of the big 3 at the present time?
Paying people for years 95% of their salary to sit at home is beyond folly. Why I, who’ve worked my arse off, should be forced to reward this sloth and greed is bs. Furthermore, its nothing more than a bandaid applied to a severed leg, it’s not going to work.
The 1950s werent so bad, my friend.
The “greatest manufacturing company in American history” is losing 2 billion a month, that “loan” would only keep them afloat for 7 months. Does Pat really think they’ll magically fix things in 7 months?! If they could do that they’d get a loan from a bank.
He’s advocating socialism.
That is precisely why the original Chrysler bailout was a a bad idea. It set a terrible precedent. Once you do it for one, everyone else is going to demand you do it for them as well. We should have nipped this thing in the bud way back in 77.
“The 1950s werent so bad, my friend.
Depends on what color your skin was.”
I’ll take 1954 all over again. The good _and_ the bad.
And no apologies.
Sorry if this offends anyone...
Im no Buchanan fan, but how is he wrong in this piece?
I read a lot of anti-Buchanan rants here....the same ones who regurgitate the failed Free Trade mantra, even when reality has dismissed their failed theories as moot.
But, Buchanan has quite accurately pointed out that the “Toyota Republicans” have screwed the GOP...esp if any GOP presidential candidate wants to win the industrial states....and voters in those states who are nominally conservative (except when it comes to their jobs)
And, the real message here...is that the same Senators who killed the auto bailout are from states that had no problem subsidizing foreign auto makers....they would rather aid a foreigner than an American
I wonder if those, who chide Buchanan for still being “in the 1950s or 1940s”....really prefer the economic situation of 2008?
And now they’re begging for money again. Long term mismanagement always leads to failure.
In the '50s? You mean when America was great, and respected in every corner of the globe, and feared by all enemies, or what was left of them at that point.
Okay, Pat, the Gov. should intervene, but ONLY when necessary, or else Detroit might get cocky.