Chrysler Bankruptcy: Obama's Big Government Is Big Business, Which Is Bad News

He's blurring the line separating the public sector from the private one.


By Peter Roff, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

Bloomberg is reporting that Thursday morning Barack Obama will announce that Chrysler LLC is being placed in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection that will—eventually, once all the details are worked out—lead to an alliance with Fiat SpA, the Italian automaker, among other details.

I have to confess that has me a little confused.

Obama is the president of the United States, not the chief executive office of Chrysler LLC or any other automobile company. Maybe I missed something but it seems to me it's not the job of the president to announce that a company is going into Chapter 11 or, for that matter, coming out of it. Well, it might be the job of a company president, but it's not the job of the U.S. president.

On the other hand I am quite willing to concede that this may be what Obama means when he talks about the ways he has begun "the work of remaking America," as he did Wednesday in St. Louis at an event marking the end of his first 100 days in office.

Since entering the White House he has increasingly blurred the line separating the public sector from the private one.

He fired the CEO of one automobile maker and is apparently leading the march of a second into bankruptcy. As former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said in his own column marking the end of the first 100 days, Obama has moved the nation toward "a European model of regulation and government control." And, based on what's in the pipeline, its only going to get worse.

On healthcare, Obama is pushing for a government-run, government-managed system that threatens the quality of care available in the United States, will likely impose rationing as a necessary tool to keep costs down, and will remake it into something the American people are not used to and probably won't like. They might gain the security that comes with being covered by insurance—but that security can be purchased only at the cost of the reality of quality care.

On the environment Obama is pushing for a "cap and trade" scheme to reduce carbon emissions and make the nation more "climate friendly." It might, but at the expense of thousands (if not tens of thousands) of what Democrats used to call "good jobs at good wages" as the production end of the U.S. economy gradually shuts down under new environmental constraints. It is true that Obama energy initiatives will probably create lots of green jobs—and I'm sure the non-union workforce in China will be grateful to have them. Because it is their steel and their manufacturing facilities that will be used to produce wind turbines and other green energy components we won't be able to make in the U.S. once Obama gets his way on "cap and trade" and the restrictions his EPA want to impose on the emission of CO2.

It used to be that liberals feared the alliance of big business and government. Now, under a liberal president, the government is becoming "big business," in both meanings of that term.

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