11 December 2008

Detroit: We Usta-be Cool

Days Gone By...

The Big Three were once the pride of the modern world as they produced great feats of engineering for the common man (and even paid their workers a decent wage in the process). But now they have been reduced to groveling at the feet of the federal government (probably the most inefficient organization in recent memory) for taxpayer money to continue their model...until at least late March, when the money will dry up. From WaPo:
The agreement would grant General Motors, Chrysler and Ford less than half the $38 billion they had been seeking to help them survive the sharpest drop in car sales in 25 years. The money is intended to keep GM and Chrysler afloat through the end of March. Ford has said it does not expect to need federal aid immediately.
House Republicans are trying to block the bailout vote, but they green-lit the $700B bank bailout turd a couple months ago when it got loaded up with porky goodies. So, don't expect "free-market principles" to be championed at the last minute here.

Since the government is now in the business of dishing out cash to unprofitable enterprises, a consortium of Mayors is asking where there bailout is at. From Reason:
On Monday, the U.S. Conference of Mayors went to Capitol Hill to ask for a handout, or as they put it: "We are reporting that in 427 cities of all sizes in all regions of the country, a total of 11,391 infrastructure projects are 'ready to go.' These projects represent an infrastructure investment of $73,163,299,303 that would be capable of producing an estimated 847,641 jobs in 2009 and 2010."

A wish list that is 11,391 projects strong! What vital infrastructure projects would cash-strapped taxpayers get for their $73 billion? Here's a sampling:

- Hercules, Calif., wants $2.5 million in hard-earned taxpayer money for a "Waterfront Duck Pond Park," and another $200,000 for a dog park.

- Euless, Texas, wants $15 million for the Midway Park Family Life Center, which, you'll be glad to note, includes both a senior center and aquatic facility.

- Natchez, Miss., "needs" a new $9.5 million sports complex "which would allow our city to host major regional and national sports tournaments."
What a great time to be a taxpayer!