04 December 2008

I Watched C-SPAN Today

And it was fascinating.  The auto industry figures were back in Washington to request additional funds for a bailout.  Our senators are wary of handing out thirty-four billion dollars when there is very real evidence that it won't prevent these auto makers from going bankrupt.  To see these big-shot industry leaders actually humble themselves to preserve their companies was at first inspiring.  Here they are defending their companies, what they do, who they employ, and how critical they are to the economy was very interesting to hear.  However, I can't help but feel like they are acting.  The media burned them for taking private jets to Washington a few weeks ago.  So now they make a PR spectacle of driving themselves in hybrid/fuel-effecient vehicles that their companies are still behind the times on?  I don't buy it.

Economist extraordinairre Dr. Mark Zandi was on the panel today on the side of the automobile companies.  In his expert opinion, the proposed $34B won't save the companies, but only sustain them through fiscal year 2009.  He thinks there is a strong chance that they will be back for more money should this bailout be approved.  Doesn't sound like he's really on their side, does it?  However, he states that should these companies go bankrupt, the resulting damage to the US economy would cause FAR more damage than to approve the bailout now.  For some reason, I feel confident in his findings.  Maybe it's just the fact that he's an economist who doesn't work for the auto industry and could honestly be out to protect the economy.  Like a superhero!  Can we start an internet meme please?

The other guy who got my attention today was the senator from Tennessee, Bob Corker.  This guy did his homework and it showed.  He asked the best questions of all the senators I caught on C-SPAN today.  Really tough material like pointing out that Ford and Chrysler have less market value than BMW, a niche car company.  Or the fact that industry analysts believe that Chrysler jumped on the bailout bandwagon in order to survive just long enough to merge with or sell to another company?  The auto boys were sweating and shaking in their boots when Senator Corker took stage.

It's disconcerting that this event may have more immediate and more serious effects on the country than the presidential election!  Also, how many Americans are paying attention to this legislation?  So many people are still bitching/celebrating Obama's victory...

I was surprised that A) the coverage of the bailout hearings was interesting to watch and B) that I was able to follow along and interpret some of this deeper meaning behind what these men debating!

P.S. Yes, I know I missed my blog update yesterday.  All I can do is attempt to make it up with another post today or an extra one tomorrow. =P

1 comment:

  1. I find C-SPAN to be hit-or-miss, but there are times when it's entirely fascinating.

    I watched a debate once on C-SPAN between Newt Gingrich and John Kerry (in about early 2005) in which they were arguing about ways to stave off global warming. I don't think Newt is a very good guy personally, but he's a smart man, and he's always recognized the idea that humanity is to blame for the problem. Their differences lay in solutions: Gingrich wanted to encourage using tax incentives, while Kerry wanted to tax violators. It was refreshing to hear a true conservative and true liberal have an intelligent discussion about the topic, using honest arguments and tactics.