Bailout Mania Screeches To A Halt

It seems that the alternative mode of transportation taken by the Big Three CEO’s to Washington D.C. didn’t deliver a different result. At least not now. It appears that the public has had it and Congress is intensely “skeptical” — the new favorite term for “not going to explain to the folks back home why taxpayers should throw more money down a rathole” — about a bailout. This report suggests that, despite their expressed fondness for the car industry, Democrats aren’t much moved to do anything:

Many Democrats, despite the support of party leaders, remain ambivalent. And across the board, sharp disagreements exist over the source of taxpayer funding for any rescue, how much would be committed and under what terms.

You can attribute it to the “power vacuum,” or you can blame the car companies poor PR. But at bottom, the notion of providing billions and billions — maybe as much as $125 billion would be needed — to failing companies with little hope of salvation (as least two of the three) simply isn’t palatable. Sometimes an idea is too dumb, even for Congress.

Next up is the House hearings. We’ll see if the CEO’s do any better there.