No, I'm not talking about the Detroit that just suffered through the embarrassing tenure, resignation and felony conviction of its mayor. That Detroit needs therapy along with a check for its legal bills.
I'm talking about the Detroit's Big Three automakers, GM, Chrysler and Ford, whose top executives went to Capitol Hill yesterday begging for a $25 billion rescue package to keep them out of bankruptcy. That money, of course, would be added to the $700 billion that Congress already gave to Wall Street -- half of which has been spent but can't be accounted for.
If you ask me, that's reason enough to stay away from any more big company bailouts. Remember welfare reform in the 90s? The argument was that if you kept giving people "free money" from the government without oversight and limits, they'd never get off the taxpayers' proverbial tit. Why doesn't that now hold true for mismanaged, big industries?
The problem, though, is that if the Big Three are allowed to go bankrupt, many people will lose their jobs at precisely the worst time for that to happen. Some people, like former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, think that's a worthwhile risk if on the other side of Chapter 11, the automakers come out leaner and stronger. The automakers argue that transformation is impossible if they don't get help now.
I think both sides have valid points, though I'd really not like to see any more tax money go to corporate welfare. But hey, my opinion doesn't count here, yours does! If you were in Congress, would you vote to help the auto industry save jobs now with a bailout, or to force it to get its act together by risking job losses and potential bankruptcy?