This is a no brainer. The $24 billion in loans sought by the US auto industry needs to happen. Our government simply cannot afford the industry to fail.

According to Pete Davis’ blog at Capital Gains and Games… “The Big Three financed Center for Automotive Research has estimated that the demise of the auto industry would cost 239,341 direct jobs, 973,969 supplier jobs, and 1,738,034 other jobs from $150.7 b. less personal income. Federal, state, and local governments would be hit with $14.3 b. of increased transfer payments, $21.1 b. of less Social Security payroll taxes, and $24.7 b. less personal income taxes.”

World's Highest Standard of LivingOkay, it’s not a no brainer as it takes a little math. Using Davis’ figures, the total direct cost to government to let the almost 3 million jobs disappear would be $60 billion for one year. That doesn’t include trickle down/trickle on. Taxes lost from Wall Street losses. Cost to pony up for the pension plans. And admittedly, while it doesn’t take into account increased revenues by bankruptcy attorneys, it also doesn’t include the cost of increased foreclosures and credit defaults. Pick any number to lend the industry and the math still works. But aren’t we missing something?

Didn’t our President-Elect convince us that energy independence was the next economic bubble – the bubble that will raise the standard of living for all? Let’s use this moment to start it. Let’s add a string to the bailout. Say, new CAFE standards to reach a 50 mpg target for 2010 and 80 mpg for 2012? They’ll reach, because they must.

Wait a minute, the economy stinks so no one is buying cars. Let’s sweeten the deal. Say, a 10% tax credit to anyone who buys a new American-made car. Sure it is unfair trade, but screw the rules, this is an emergency and we need to create jobs.

But there’s another aspect of competitiveness we need to address and it just happens to be another promise of our President-Elect. I do love it when a plan can come together so neatly. The cost of providing employee healthcare is killing the industry – while the lack of it, is killing people. This is the moment to pass healthcare reform.

Write your Congresspeople.

Lee Leslie

Lee Leslie

I’m just a plateaued-out plain person with too much time on his hands fighting the never ending lingual battle with windmills for truth, justice and the American way or something like that. Here are some reader comments on my writing: “Enough with the cynicism. One doesn’t have to be Pollyanna to reject the sky is falling fatalism of Lee Leslie’s posts.” “You moron.” “Again, another example of your simple-minded, scare-mongering, label-baiting method of argumentation that supports the angry left’s position.” “Ah, Lee, you traffic in the most predictable, hackneyed leftist rhetoric that brought us to the current state of political leadership.” “You negative SOB! You destroyed all my hope, aspiration, desperation, even.” “Don’t you LIBERALS realize what this COMMIE is talking about is SOCIALISM?!?!?!” “Thank you for wonderful nasty artful toxic antidote to this stupidity in the name of individual rights.” “I trust you meant “bastard” in the truest father-less sense of the word.” “That’s the first time I ran out of breath just from reading!” “You helped me hold my head a little higher today.” “Makes me cry every time I read it.” “Thanks for the article. I needed something to make me laugh this mourning.” “If it weren’t so sad I would laugh.” "... the man who for fun and personal growth (not to mention rage assuagion) can skin a whale of bullshit and rack all the meat (and rot) in the larder replete with charts and graphs and a kindness..."“Amen, brother.”