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Third Base Politics


"You’re feeling a bit like Alice. Hmm? Tumbling down the rabbit hole?"

As we all know by now, Obama recently forced out the General Motors CEO, Rick Wagoner. By doing so, he’s put himself in a bit of a pickle. I’ll let Mickey Kaus detail it for you.

After visibly defenstrating GM CEO RIck Wagoner, and moving to replace the board of directors, won’t Obama now “own” the GM problem? If the company shuts down in the near future, costing tens of thousands of blue collar jobs, it will be under executives implicitly or explicitly chosen by Obama. It will be Obama’s failure, not simply GM’s failure, no?

He nails it. Now where Obama should be worried is that his decision was nothing more than, as 3BP contributor Chobemaster puts it, window dressing. By simply forcing out the current CEO rather than demanding a complete restructuring, Obama is doing nothing to remedy the issue.

Now, that doesn’t mean 3BP thinks the President should be in the business of hiring and firing of private sector CEO’s, but if you’re going to dip your wick, at least do something that could help change the way GM does business. Instead, GM will continue to fail, and thanks to the President’s political capital being invested in the company, he will continue to bail it out.

A vicious circle. With our tax dollars.

But this isn’t the first time the federal government has used taxpayer dollars to get their way.

Over the years, the federal government has given just enough to schools to make them addicted to the teat. It has gotten to the point where the school system is so reliant on federal dollars, that any withdrawal would be met with a fierce political fallout.

No Child Left Behind finally introduced some accountability into the system. Schools were required to provide some evidence of production in return for the dollars. The ultimate punishment for repeated failure to improve was, you guessed it, the wholesale firing and replacement of school administration.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? But, there are distinct differences — 1) these firings are codified into the law and are enforced as such…in other words, not done at the will of a single individual(i.e. President Obama and the CEO); and 2) schools that receive federal dollars are not private entities.

The fact is, by making private companies reliant on the taxpayer dollar for their survival, we are moving closer and closer to a system similar to what we’ve done to our schools where there is little incentive to innovate and improve.

NCLB is a law that few are happy with. Conservatives want the feds out of education, and Dems don’t like the accountability. But long ago we put ourselves into a situation where, for now, it’s the only option we have.

The massive bailouts were the same kind of first step towards government takeover of aspects of the private sector. Obama’s firing of the GM CEO is the second…

I don’t want to know what’s going to be third.

h/t: on the new GM logo.

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Third Base Politics is an Ohio-centric conservative blog that has been featured at Hot Air, National Review, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and others.


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Third Base Politics