Taxpayer Rescue:Down Payment on Endless Bailout
Let's not kid ourselves that a taxpayer rescue would be anything but a down payment on a never-ending bailout. The bailout already is never-ending: Chrysler was already rescued once. Forgotten are the Reagan-era import quotas that inflated the price of every car sold in America to help prop up the Big Three. If hooked up to Washington life supports today, Detroit's first assignment would be to "protect jobs" -- job protection guarantees being one of the Big Three's fatal errors in the first place.
With or without a taxpayer rescue or the ministrations of a bankruptcy court, breaking the labor monopoly is the step without which Detroit will remain the problem child of American industrial policy.
The stakes here are even bigger than they seem. Detroit's bad news could be America's worse news if the industry's year of living extra miserably starts the whole economy down the road to protectionism and taxpayer-financed industrial cronyism.
~Holman Jenkins in Wednesday's WSJ