No Runny Eggs

The repository of one hard-boiled egg from the south suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (and the occassional guest-blogger). The ramblings within may or may not offend, shock and awe you, but they are what I (or my guest-bloggers) think.

Day by Day cartoon

Pot Meet Kettle

by @ 5:51 on November 24, 2008. Filed under Economy, Politics - National.

After a week of Congressional appearances and public angst over the possibility of an industry bailout, Nancy Pelosi gave the CEOs of the Big 3 automakers the following advice as they  retreated for their private jets to head back to Detroit:

“I am very optimistic and hopeful that they have gotten the message that they just can’t come and say, ‘Give us this,’ ” Pelosi said Friday. “How do we tell the American taxpayer it was worthwhile to put this in not as a life support for a few more months and then they are back again, but as an investment in their viability?”

How different is this?

The US debt is now at $10 Trillion and counting.   That number doesn’t include the $3.5 Trillion, and counting, price tag of the various bailout and stimulus packages.   The US deficit (negative cash flow) is projected to be $1 Trillion in the next fiscal year and while a big chunk of that is from the bailouts, there’s no plan to reduce the annual deficit and pay down the national debt. Lastly, the unfunded liability for Social Security and Medicaid is estimated to be as high as $101 Trillion!

During the Congressional hearings, the Big 3 were justifiably berated for not dealing with the reality of their financial circumstances and for not having enought foresight to anticipate the need for significant change in their industry.   Certainly one can argue that the current economic environment accelerated the auto problems but they were coming, it was just a matter of time.   Again, how different are they than the US budget and deficit issues?

Let’s look another time at Pelosi’s advice to Detroit:

“I am very optimistic and hopeful that they have gotten the message that they just can’t come and say, ‘Give us this,’ ” Pelosi said Friday. “How do we tell the American taxpayer it was worthwhile to put this in not as a life support for a few more months and then they are back again, but as an investment in their viability?”

Is there any part of that statement that is not just as accurate for Obama, Pelosi and Reid as they clamour for more taxes?   Pelosi and Reid, justifiably, demand accountability from Detroit.   Accountability that they and their compatriots in Congress refuse to put on themselves!

Pelosi and Reid demand that the leadership of the automakers:

And Congress promises to limit executive pay, bonuses and other benefits of top executives, who were roundly criticized after flying corporate jets to two days of hearings this week and providing what many lawmakers called stilted, incomplete answers.

Pelosi and Reid summed up their expectations of the “skin in the game” required from the leadership of the automakers by saying:

“In return for their additional burden, taxpayers also deserve to see top automobile executives making significant sacrifices and major changes to their way of doing business.”

When will Congress set the same limits and expectations on their pay, benefits, perks as they are demanding the auto execs do?   When will Congressional leaders put their “skin in the game?”   When will Congress eliminate the ability to gain any future income from their time in Congress and remake the Representative and Senator roles into the public servant, not public fleecing  roles that they were intended to be?  

If the issue is that the auto execs deserve to be impacted because they have mismanaged their companies into a situation requiring a bailout by the American taxpayer, well, Pelosi, Reid and every other Congress person has done exactly the same thing!

It’s time for Pelosi, Reid and the rest of the Congressional leadership to lead by example!   Before they get another penny of taxes, of any kind, they should vote to impact their own economic benefits in the same way that they expect Detroit to impact theirs.

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