Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Mitt Romney Was Right About Detroit

Back in November of last year, Mitt Romney advocated letting distressed automakers fall into a managed bankruptcy rather than be given "bridge loans" to keep them afloat. He was roundly criticized for not having enough faith in the American auto industry, nor enough sympathy for the plight of auto workers receiving free health care and guaranteed retirement perks.

He wrote in his op-ed in the New York Times:
Without that bailout, Detroit will need to drastically restructure itself. With it, the automakers will stay the course — the suicidal course of declining market shares, insurmountable labor and retiree burdens, technology atrophy, product inferiority and never-ending job losses. Detroit needs a turnaround, not a check.
Today, tens of billions in government-backed loans later, it looks like GM and Chrysler are bankruptcy-bound. If they had listened to Romney six months ago, the painful but necessary restructuring would be well underway, and light may even be shining at the end of the auto makers' tunnel.

Instead, we're in a deeper hole and the auto makers are only now realizing that their ship is too obsolete and outdated to float.

For reasons such as this I still haven't removed my Mitt '08 bumper sticker. I can endure the tackiness for another few weeks, I think.

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