Why we needed Dingell - $25 billion in retooling being eyed for non-Big Three - by Democrats!!
"She (Feinstein)said some terms of the retooling loans as drafted so far -- such as requiring automakers to have had a U.S. plant open for at least 20 years -- would unfairly bar upstarts such as electric car designer Tesla Motors.
"I do not support disadvantaging the next generation of American automobile companies in an effort to save the first generation," she said."
4. I Also Fear That Their Whole Attitude Will Be to Relocate the Entire Auto Industry to Calif.
The more this situation goes on, with the same Congress that RAN to give at least $7 trillion (and counting) to the various bailouts, takeovers, subsidies, and all the rest, to invesment/speculator/hedge fund predators who should have been thrown in prison, now acting all hard-ass to an industry representing millions of good, middle class union jobs, the more I worry about the shift of the Energy and Finance Committee that Dingell used to head. You can almost feel the influence and power shifting from the Midwest and union manufacturing, to California and "entrepreneuers." At first, I thought it might be good to get the so-called "reformer" Waxman, until I started thinking about what, exactly, Waxman has done, and I realize, more and more, that Waxman is just a kind of showboat, or "media whore," who does not even issue subpoenas, and then hold people in contempt of Congress if they ignore them. I think the much-underrated Bart Stupak holds more substantial hearings than Waxman does, and Stupak, unlike Waxman, fights against Republican liars on the Committee.
Thinking back over the years of auto industry hearings before Congress, on C-SPAN, with Dingell, both Levins, Stabenow, all the rest, fighting and fighting for the industry and jobs, only to have the auto executives use it as an opportunity to further take away from the union, fight against improved fuel-mileage, fight against safety for all those years, not give people what they wanted, stall on everything, outsource, sabotage everything--smaller vehicles, both cars and trucks, alternative energy, even remembering how they killed the diesel during the 1980s--I sometimes wish these people, fighting for Michigan, had been a little less successful, and the industry had been made to improve fuel-mileage, make electric, etc., vehicles, etc. Things might be much different nowadays if they had--if they had been forced to improve standards by the Government, and not just won every battle, then went back to their anti-union, anti-customer, anti-environmental ways.
I agree with the worry of this OP, and also think that this might be a very bad and frightening era coming up--with the Midwest and its interests totally frozen out, by this power-grab for regional California corporations (and their donations) disguised as "reform" or "environmental progress." Dingel was great on a lot of things--you tend to forget how great Dingell has been for a couple of generations, on civil rights, Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, the issues of elderly people, fighting for half a century for universal health care, (just like Ted Kennedy), unions, consumers, and for constituents at home. I hope this new non-Midwestern control--especially with the automotive plants and manufacturers they have there, California, and would like more of--will not dismantle our area completely; note, however, their dismissive way of describing our area: "the first generation," like we are already dead and ready to be buried.
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