Wednesday, March 10, 2010

You'll be pleased to know what it is you are paying for.

The head of the Toyota National Dealer Council today blasted the federal government for using 'taxpayer dollars' to fund incentive campaigns to lure customers away from Toyota, and accused GM of using ‘fear’ in an attempt to lure away its customers, 1200 WOAI news reports.

"As an American citizen, it is tough on my part to pay tax dollars to an entity that can turn around and use those tax dollars to get my fellow American citizens to not do business with me," Paul Atkinson, who owns Atkinson Toyota in Bryan Texas, and is President of the dealer council, tells 1200 WOAI news.

Here’s the rub: a concerted effort by the government to exploit the current Toyota recalls may be complete fiction. However, when the U.S. government is the majority owner of General Motors, that government leaves itself open to entirely legitimate criticism and suspicion that it is indeed doing so.

Applying Occam’s razor, let’s take the federal government out of the equation. Suppose GM was a fully privately-owned entity answerable only to their customers and shareholders. Wouldn’t it be expected for GM and Chrysler and Ford to leverage Toyota’s woes to their advantage? Of course, it would. Not only would it be entirely predictable, it would be entirely acceptable. That’s life in the big boy world of market capitalism: someone screws up, they suffer the consequences while others reap the benefits.

So, how would that entirely predictable response be altered by the fact that the U.S. government owns 60% of General Motors? It wouldn’t and it doesn’t.

But is it also acceptable? In Bailout Nation where crony capitalism/economic fascism is the governing economic structure, it’s pretty much a moot point. It’s now the big boy world of picking winners and losers where your tax dollars are funding an attack campaign against another private entity that directly and indirectly provides tens of thousands of jobs for people in this country.

The fact that we are even having this conflict of interest discussion is appalling.

B-Daddy is thinking of attending a Coffee Party event on Sunday. We have encouraged him to go in order to see precisely what these disaffected Hopenchangers want to accomplish but also to see if there is any common ground with the Tea Party agenda. We believe a good and honest liberal who has railed against “corporatism” in the past should be as outraged as we are regarding the current state of affairs in the domestic auto industry.

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