House Minority Leader John Boehner asks some good questions:
Spending billions of additional federal tax dollars with no promises to reform the root causes crippling automakers’ competitiveness around the world is neither fair to taxpayers nor sound fiscal policy.
Earlier this fall, the Democrats in charge of Congress approved a $25 billion loan package for America’s ailing automakers. Why are Democratic leaders in Congress discussing an additional taxpayer-funded bailout on top of that $25 billion package instead of ensuring these loans are made available to the automakers as quickly as possible? Why have the Democratic leaders of Congress been willing to provide this money without insisting that the companies receiving these federal dollars demonstrate to Congress and to taxpayers that they have a credible plan to strengthen their financial health? And what assurances will Democrats give taxpayers about their chances of getting their auto bailout money back?”
It is not clear who has the votes here, but the Republicans would do well to make the case that this is the worse sort of corporate welfare. Is there any doubt that, had the Republicans proposed this, every liberal interest group and environmental activist would be screaming bloody murder?