Big Three Don't Have a Monopoly on Economic Misery (Rep. Jeb Hensarling)

The Big Three don’t have a monopoly on the economic misery. My first question to the three executives was “name me three industries in the economy that aren’t hurting and couldn’t use $34 billion dollars”. They was stark cold silence. Everybody’s hurting in this economy. That was my first point.

My second point was, “why you guys and not a small business, the job engine of America, they could use the $34 billion but we know your names and you spent $15 million dollars to lobby Congress in the first nine months of the year, kind of an unfair advantage”. I know lobbying is protected under the Constitution, it should be, and I don’t fault them. But I look at the unfairness.

Number three, nobody on our panel is an auto industry expert but we do the due diligence we can. No one, I believe, can be convinced these so-called plans, which seem to me like pipe dreams, are going to work. Independent analysts say that in the next sixth months if consumer demand doesn’t pick up, one hundred billion dollars is not going to save these companies. Nobody denies that it would be tragic to have these companies go under but there are a lot of lousy options and maybe Chapter 11 is the least lousy option.

Frankly, I think taking an additional $34 billion dollars from taxpayers who are struggling to put food on the table, struggling to send kids to college, struggling to pay their mortgage, I think that’s the lousiest of the lousy options. There are companies that survive Chapter 11 and restructure in a stronger, leaner, more competitive posture and that would be my hope for the Big Three. It’s one of the reasons that Chapter 11 was created in the first place. But they want the path of least resistance and that appears to be taking additional $34 billion dollars from taxpayers and I don’t plan to be a part of it.