Dan Howes: "Top GOP Leaders To Big Three: Drop Dead"

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You know, the more the American automotive industry gets ignored by the folks with all the power in Washington, the more we start to like columnist Dan Howes over at the more-conservative- than-the-Freep Detroit News. In todays edition he pens a piece on the intricacies of the bullshit that is federal involvement with the American auto industry so biting, we're starting to think he's ready to start hitting the auto blogorrhea circuit . Here's one of our fave quotes:

Big-name Republicans are tramping around Michigan...Karl Rove...Ken Mehlman...for Senate hopeful Mike Bouchard and President Bush is rumored to be planning a campaign swing next month. But meet with Detroit's automakers? Nah, why should the president care...

In any other major auto-producing nation, politicians don't ignore the concerns of their auto industry. Not in France and Germany, where nationalism infuses economic policy. And not in Japan or South Korea, where manipulating currencies and erecting trade barriers is acceptable to help the home team — and Detroit isn't asking for either one.

Here? The president won't meet with the bosses of General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and the Chrysler Group. But he'll sit astride a Harley, visit a Nissan truck plant, herald the Toyota engine that won the Indy 500, campaign for Republicans and then have his press secretary swear there's no snub of Detroit.

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Hell Howes, we don't even have anything snarky to add other than to let you know you should feel free to drop on by and throw down a couple of posts over here whenever you want. You 'da man, Dan!

Top GOP leaders sending message to Big 3: Drop dead [Detroit News]

Related:
George W Bush: Bad For Cars, Good For Motorcycles; Breaking! Prez Bush Sez Not Snubbing Big Three, But No Meeting's Planned [internal]

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DISCUSSION

TPS — here's the problem with your argument. Domestic automakers employ 10 times the number of workers here in the USA that non-domestic automakers employ (all patriotic marketing/advertising by Toyota and Honda notwithstanding). And on top of that there's the countless spinoff jobs associated with those workers of domestic automakers. It's fine and dandy to talk about things like globalization — but it isn't as though GM doesn't know that — they ARE the #1 automaker selling vehicles in China.

The problem for domestics is they're dealing with legacy costs associated with being good corporate citizens — and in Japan and Korea and Europe, their competitors are being subsidized for those same costs.

And really, it's kinda hard to compete on things like innovative R&D and design when you've got billions of your profits going to pay those same costs. We should be helping our automakers who employ all those American workers in the same way their competitors governments are subsidizing those overseas jobs. Don't forget that we should be able to be competing on a level playing field for OEM jobs too — and we can't because our system is at such a competitive disadvantage.

If Bush wanted to "level the playing field" a good start would be to at least TALK TO the OEM's...