The Barack Obama administration and the former George Bush administration are in a battle of words over who is responsible for the collapse of Chrysler and General Motors.
According to the Obama economic advisor Austin Goolsbee, who spoke on Fox News last night, the Obama administration turned down a pitch last November from Bush’s administration to publicly join forces on setting tough conditions for GM and Chrysler in return for federal aid.
“We are only in this situation because somebody else kicked the can down the road, and that’s really an understatement,” Goolsbee said. “When George Bush put money into General Motors, almost explicitly with the purpose, how many dollars do they need to stay alive until January 20th, 2009? There was no commitment to restructuring, to making these viable enterprises of any kind. I don’t know why the Bush administration simply handed them money and shoved the problem onto the next guy.”
Separately, former White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said in Politico that president Barack Obama had endorsed Bush’s decision to provide GM and Chrysler with $17.4 billion in aid. She said that if Obama’s administration had objected, GM and Chrysler most likely wouldn’t have gotten any federal loans.
“If the Obama transition team had not wanted us to provide breathing space for the automakers — with an express condition of future proven viability — they should have said so at the time, and those concerns would have been given considerable weight and may have changed the outcome,” Perino said. “It was, in fact, the new administration that decided last week to go whole hog and put taxpayers on the hook for a 60 percent stake in a company that has not proven in concrete terms how it will become viable in the future.”
Honestly, who cares now? What’s done is done and we’re here – let’s just hope we don’t end up here again. For the sake of argument, whose fault do you think it is?
– By: Omar Rana
Source: Free Press and Detroit News