The New Boss and His New Math


I am looking at a picture of the head of Chrysler and GM testifying before US Senator’s on June 3rd. The Senators were questioning the process by which these auto makers were closing dealerships. One Senator commented that the auto makers should not be allowed to take taxpayer funds and then leave it to the dealers to fend for themselves. Are we headed for an auto dealer bailout too?

Just as Congress interferes when the Defense Department wants to close unneeded military bases to save money, now Congress is deeply involved in running the auto industry on the basis of course that they took federal money and are now owned by the taxpayers. President Obama assured the mayor of Detroit that GM would not move its headquarters from that city. How is that possible?

How can the President of the United States determine where a US corporation should be located? It is easy, just take control.

I know there is more in there, let's make this easy
I know there is more in there, let's make this easy

US financial institutions and others were provided the so-called TARP funds, some $750 billion. I like and I suspect many others assumed that this was a one time fund and as the money was repaid it would be returned to the Treasury. Unfortunately that does not appear to be the case. The latest plan is for this money to become an ongoing slush fund. As one institution returns money it will be used to give to another. In other words a revolving three quarters of a trillion dollars of deficit. It is hard to see all this adding up.

As we rush to health care reform that too has some amazing financial assumptions. For example, the President says that to help pay for health reform money will be saved within Medicare, a total of $609 billion over the next decade. The obvious question is how? And no, it will not come from curbing waste and fraud.

The next question is if this money could be saved on Medicare alone why hasn’t it been done to make a program heading for insolvency more affordable and viable? How are we going to save Medicare if we spend the savings to do that on another new and rapidly growing entitlement?

Americans may want to extrapolate this thinking and action to other areas of their lives and see if the change they voted for is the change they really want.

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