Commentary: Don't bailout failure

This editorial appeared in The (Tacoma) News Tribune.

Next up for U.S. taxpayers: a plan to bail out General Motors.

The giant automaker is stumbling toward Chapter 11. Without help, it may run out of cash by the end of the year. Bankruptcy, its officers say, is not an option. They say customers won't buy cars from a company that looks like it's gone bust.

It's not just GM. Ford and Chrysler are on the same path.

As with Fannie Mae, AIG and all the rest, the logic of federal intervention is that this one's too big to let fail. Failure could indeed be catastrophic. Auto manufacturing is America's biggest industry. If the Big Three went completely bust, more than 2 million Americans – many of them working for suppliers – could lose their jobs.

The failure of General Motors – a pillar of American industry – would say something awful about the United States.

One problem with loaning General Motors $25 billion, as congressional Democrats are pushing to do, is that it simply may not work. GM could slip into bankruptcy anyway.

Like Ford and Chrysler, GM has been a victim of its own leadership – union leaders emphatically included.

They've been operating under the Soviet model of manufacturing: let others set the trends, perpetuate the past, turn out obsolete vehicles for the sake of keeping assembly lines running.

To read the complete editorial, visit The (Tacoma) News Tribune.