President Obama's rhetorical spanking of the American auto industry yesterday hit the right chord -- "we're not going to reward failure." While it's the right statement to make, however, it's one that should have been made months ago when the auto industry first came to Washington asking for a bailout from the taxpayers.

President Obama is now threatening bankruptcy as the course of action for those companies who do not conform to his rules and regulations. Many of my colleagues and I suggested the option of bankruptcy before the government put millions of your tax dollars on the line.

Tom Price, Chairman of the Republican Study Committee, said it best:
The time for restructuring at General Motors and Chrysler came long before either company received taxpayer money to prop up their failing business plans. Legal restructuring in the courts, rather than through federal bailouts, should have been the first option once Detroit’s insolvency became clear. An organized bankruptcy filing would have allowed GM and Chrysler to restructure and re-emerge as viable, competitive businesses. We can restore freedom and turn our struggling economy around, but we must begin by recommitting ourselves to the market-based economic principles that once paved the way for American prosperity.

I couldn’t agree more.

President Obama and his allies in Congress have literally inserted government into a role that is best performed by a private board of directors. The President is hiring and firing CEOs. The Congress is determining what contracts are worthy of honoring. Our country has endured recessions in the past, and there has been no greater model for recovery and economic growth and prosperity than market-based principles. But now, all of a sudden, we think we have found a better government-centered model? What makes Washington think it knows best?

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