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Bailouts and Bailiffs Don't Mix

The Detroit Little Three auto manufacturers are asking for a big government handout to help them make up for the huge financial losses resulting from their irresponsible business decisions. Yet, at the very same time, the automobile manufacturers are engaged in lawsuits that seek to perpetuate those same bad decisions. The Detroit Three are going to court all over the country to try to prevent state governments from adopting up-to-date standards for fuel efficiency.

Just this week, a lawsuit by General Motors and Chrysler, seeking to require Rhode Island to accept inefficient cars, was thrown out of court. The judge called the lawsuit “vexatious” and a “waste”.

Why should Congress give any aid to an industry that continues to resist the idea that it needs to provide people with cars that get reasonable gas mileage? Government bailout money to Detroit would be used, in effect, to pay the fees for lawyers seeking to interfere with important state and federal regulation. We’re facing an environmental crisis, and an energy crisis with wildly careening fossil fuel prices that wouldn’t have the power to harm our economy if America’s engines ran more efficiently.

Until the Detroit corporations call off their lawsuits, they shouldn’t expect to hear anything at the negotiating table but laughter.

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