General Motors, Ford, Chrysler and the United Auto Workers union are pouring millions of dollars into a lobbying campaign for a taxpayer bailout.
The money devoted to influence peddling in Washington would be better spent on improving quality and finding ways to reduce a bloated cost structure, but both management and UAW have decided that fleecing taxpayers is a better option.
A taxpayer bailout would be a terrible mistake. It would subsidize the shoddy management practices of the corporate bureaucrats at General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, and it would reward the intransigent union bosses who have made the synonymous with inflexible and anti-competitive work rules.
Perhaps most important, though, is that a bailout would be bad for the long-term health of the American auto industry. It would discriminate against the 113,000 Americans who have highly-coveted jobs building cars for Nissan, BMW and other auto companies that happen to be headquartered in other nations.
These companies demonstrate that it is possible to build cars in America and make money. Putting them at a competitive disadvantage with handouts for the U.S.-headquartered companies would be highly unjust.
A bailout also would be bad for General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. The so-called Big Three desperately need to fundamentally restructure their practices. More specifically, the car companies need to endure some short-term pain in order to restore long-term viability. But that won’t happen if politicians raid the treasury.