Senate to Middle Class – “Drop Dead”

Senate to Middle Class: Drop Dead
From Michael Moore

Friday, December 12th, 2008


They could have given the loan on the condition that the automakers start building only cars and mass transit that reduce our dependency on oil.

They could have given the loan on the condition that the automakers build cars that reduce global warming.

They could have given the loan on the condition that the automakers withdraw their many lawsuits against state governments in their attempts to not comply with our environmental laws.

They could have given the loan on the condition that the management team which drove these once-great manufacturers into the ground resign and be replaced with a team who understands the transportation needs of the 21st century.

Yes, they could have given the loan for any of these reasons because, in the end, to lose our manufacturing infrastructure and throw 3 million people out of work would be a catastrophe.

But instead, the Senate said, we’ll give you the loan only if the factory workers take a $20 an hour cut in wages, pension and health care. That’s right. After giving BILLIONS to Wall Street hucksters and criminal investment bankers — billions with no strings attached and, as we have since learned, no oversight whatsoever — the Senate decided it is more important to break a union, more important to throw middle class wage earners into the ranks of the working poor than to prevent the total collapse of industrial America.

We have a little more than a month to go of this madness. As I sit here in Michigan today, tens of thousands of hard working, honest, decent Americans do not believe they can make it to January 20th. The malaise here is astounding. Why must they suffer because of the mistakes of every CEO from Roger Smith to Rick Wagoner? Make management and the boards of directors and the shareholders pay for this.

Of course that is heresy to the 31 Republicans who decided to blame the poor, miserable autoworkers for this mess. And our wonderful media complied with their spin on the morning news shows: “UAW Refuses to Give Concessions Killing Auto Bailout Bill.” In fact the UAW has given concession after concession, reduced their benefits, agreed to get rid of the Jobs Bank and agreed to make it harder for their retirees to live from week to week. Yes! That’s what we need to do! It’s the Jobs Bank and the old people who have led the nation to economic ruin!

But even doing all that wasn’t enough to satisfy the bastard Republicans. These Senate vampires wanted blood. Blue collar blood. You see, they weren’t opposed to the bailout because they believed in the free market or capitalism. No, they were opposed to the bailout because they’re opposed to workers making a decent wage. In their rage, they were driven to destroy the backbone of this country, not because the UAW hadn’t given back enough, but because the UAW hadn’t given up.

It appears that the sitting President has been looking for a way to end his reign by one magnanimous act, just like a warlord on his feast day. He will put his finger in the dyke, and the fragile mess of an auto industry will eke through the next few months.

That will give the Senate enough time to demand that the bankers and investment sharks who’ve already swiped nearly half of the $700 billion gift a chance to make the offer of cutting their pay.

Fat chance.

One Response

  1. Why does it have to be about hate? Do you think some of those Senators could have opposed the bill because it also contained 2 other pieces of sketchy legislation? Section 18 of the Auto Bailout, which dealt with the “Guarantee of Leases of Qualified Transportation Property”. That sounds like something that would be in the Auto Bailout Bill, right? Negative, that is a section, which allows the banks that were making shady tax deferment deals, with the bus and rail companies to re-coup their losses. Basically, the Bus and Rail companies in an effort to secure more capitol for “other ventures” made a deal with some lending institutions. The lending institutions would buy their real property (like rail cars) and lease them back to the Rail and Bus companies at a discounted rate. The companies would get their capitol while the lending institution would get major tax breaks on the depreciation of the real property. Everyone gets to swindle the taxpayers… yet again!

    Now this probably would have worked without the fact that we have a credit crisis. With this tiny 5-paragraph insert, the lending institutions could get their money from the government for any bad loans that are outstanding on those leases. So, let me get this straight, you want to try and swindle us, and then when it goes badly, you want us to pay for your mistake. Thank you Senators for not allowing that, because obviously the Representatives (their name makes me laugh every time I say it!) thought that was OK.

    If all of this is not enough, there is also a nice section at the end (19) which is unassumingly titled “Coordination with Other Laws” that allows for a cost of living adjustment (Why don’t they call it an increase? Have you ever seen a negative cost of living “adjustment”?) for Justices and Judges. Now why would that be in there? Could it be because if the legislation were ever challenged, the ones who would have to overturn it would be overturning a raise for themselves as well? I don’t see anything wrong with that, do you?
    The Southern Senators in some cases may have been protecting the interests of their charges, after all, they do Represent their state. Should they have voted to support Michigan because those are the people who will re-elect them?
    We are a union household and we did not support this legislation because it is a bad piece of legislation. You only heard what our liberal media wanted you to hear about that bill. It is about time the Congress started listening to what the voters actually wanted since this bill was opposed by a majority of Americans.

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