The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney Takes on Detroit

By Garance Franke-Ruta
The race for 2012 is already on in the Republican Party, and today failed 2008 contender Mitt Romney appeared to take a stand sure to complicate any future presidential bid. In an op-ed bluntly titled, "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt," the former Massachusetts governor argued against the automobile salaries and pension systems that have for decades helped define the good life in industrial Michigan, where Romney won the GOP primary this winter and where his father was once governor.

"If General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye. It won't go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed," wrote the younger Romney in an op-ed in today's New York Times. "Without that bailout, Detroit will need to drastically restructure itself. With it, the automakers will stay the course -- the suicidal course of declining market shares, insurmountable labor and retiree burdens, technology atrophy, product inferiority and never-ending job losses. Detroit needs a turnaround, not a check."

Romney turned to his father George Romney's successful turnaround of American Motors in the 1950s and his own career at Bain Capital to argue that American automakers are at a "huge disadvantage in costs relative to foreign brands" that "must be eliminated."

"That means new labor agreements," he wrote, adding that "retiree benefits must be reduced."

As well, "management as is must go," he argued, calling for "new faces" to be brought in from "unrelated industries." These new leaders, he said, would have to work with labor leaders to accept "sanity in salaries and perks." Romney called for investments in "in truly competitive products and innovative technologies -- especially fuel-saving designs -- that may not arrive for years" and efforts to retain the best sales force.

In short, he said, "A managed bankruptcy may be the only path to the fundamental restructuring the industry needs."

Romney emphasized his point on CNN's "American Morning," calling the American auto industry "uncompetitive" and in need of being right-sized. "The best way to save jobs in the Detroit auto industry and to grow jobs ultimately is to get these companies to the proper scale so they will be able to be competitive in the long term, creating more jobs and build a highly competitive U.S. auto industry."

The federal government, Romney wrote in the Times, would have a role by investing in basic research on "new energy sources, fuel-economy technology, materials science and the like" while also providing "guarantees for post-bankruptcy financing."

This item has been corrected. It originally incorrectly described Romney's place of work as McKinsey.

Posted at 7:58 PM ET on Nov 19, 2008  | Category:  Mitt Romney
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Let’s be realistic, hourly workers at these auto companies make about $75/hour. The corporate leadership makes even more, the company is owned by wealthy investors, and multimillion dollar companies who produce parts also have a stake in these companies. Do these people (who are all richer than you or I), need us to bail them out? It seems to me that they have the money to bail themselves out. If they don’t believe in the future success of the American auto companies enough to invest in them, should we? They would know a lot better than us if their company is a good investment.

I don’t put a lot of stock in people’s opinions, who just want to keep their jobs, or keep their current pay salaries.

Posted by: bjalder26 | November 27, 2008 3:00 PM

I see where Congress has decided to hold off "bailing out" the big three until they come up with a plan to make themselves competative. I totally agree. Let's give Congress some credit. After all, the three big shot CEOs came strutting in to Washington so high and mighty, totally unprepaired,as if it were business as usual.

I support the "loan" but we should do this prudentially. Romney and the rest who support chapter 11 are showing their ignorance and are demonstrating why they lost 2008 and will continue to lose. I could not vouch for the intelligence of the American public all the time, but we do know when were being screwed.

Posted by: nwsjnky1 | November 21, 2008 2:10 AM

The current downturn cannot all be blamed on the Big Three, sales are down in general and much of that is to be blamed on the Federal Reserve banks.

Instead of doing a direct bailout of the Big Three, the government could create a consumer rebate of say $1000 for the purchase of any U.S. built automobile. To avoid accusations of protectionism, grant $300 on foreign cars provided that the country of origina provide an additional $700.
Want to read my full blog?

Posted by: thoughtchallenge | November 20, 2008 9:47 PM

What, exactly [or near exactly], are the saleries and pensions in the auto industry?
CEOs get $millions, labor force get $hundereds of thousands,pensioners get thousands and thousands$. Am I far off in my estimations?

Posted by: royaloak1 | November 20, 2008 5:00 PM

While I do not totally disagree with Mr. Romney's position, there are some facts he neglected to mention. First, a reason (perhaps the major one) that foreign car makers are "out competing" the US is that most or all of their workers' health care and retirement costs are paid by the government. These costs are not burdens these car makers have to carry, unlike the US "big three." Second, all foreign car makers work in partnership with their govenments. For example, in apprenticeship programs, R&D, and marketing. Finally, the efficiency and mileage requirements placed on foreign car makers have never been "dumbed down" like those the US government set for US car makers. Unlike the US, foreign govenments did not give in to the sqealing desires of US SUV and truck drivers. Funny thing about these facts, however, is that no Republican president or member of Congress (with only a few exceptions) has ever or could ever support these differences that have helped made foreign car makers successful and virtully destroyed US car makers.

Posted by: kenzimmerman | November 20, 2008 4:46 PM

When a car company is void of cash flow, 25 billion against a payroll of 3 million is only 8,333 or about 10 weeks of payroll. Reduce that time by whatever percentage health care and retirement constitute of the total package.

Whoever leads these companies has to reduce the work force to an effective size, explain the handwriting on the wall to the union leadership, modify the fuel systems to an alternate fuel, and more than meet the challenges of Toyota, Honda, and other successful foreign companies.

Whoever successfully leads each of these three companies should receive pay equal to his peers in the auto industry. Preferred stock equal to 10% of his annual salary should be held in trust for his retirement. Unprofitable years are not compensated in the retirement fund.
After two such years, he should stay only long enough to install his successor.

John Fitzgerald

Posted by: JohnFitzgerald | November 20, 2008 3:10 PM

Interesting, then if Burger King is a British owned firm with most of its profits and capital returning to "merry ole England" then no one should have a problem with "taxing the s**t" out of them and putting the cash into American coffers!

Oh that's right. Sorry I forgot Wall Street diversifies by buying in the foreign markets. Gotcha, gotta protect "thems that haves" whether they be invested in America or elsewhere.

Okay, then so we don't pay migrant pickers an extra $.01 a bushel that would be spent in the US, so who knows how many billions can be sent out of the US to Burger King's British parent.

Hmmmmm sounds like the whole Guatemalan/United Fruit deal to me. Nothing for the people who spend the money in your store and provide the labor to produce your product. Everything for the capitalists from elsewhere.

Okay gotcha now...there's a sensible approach to solving our economic issues.

Posted by: flarick | November 20, 2008 2:34 PM

flarick - so are you saying that the government should NOT cut their pensions and pay? Are you saying that they should NOT cut spending too? Did you fail to read the point that I said they could pay the workers less? Why could they pay the workers less? If the workers' income taxes drop, then they don't need as much money, right? What does that have to do with corporate tax rates and McCain?

If I gave you 100k and taxed you at 30%, you'd have 70k.

If I gave you 85k and taxed you at 15%, you'd have 72.25k.

You'd probably rather have the 100k taxed at 30% eh?

Posted by: mrrockman | November 20, 2008 2:30 PM

Before retorting, Find, and read the Op-Ed.

It was from the 18th, but can be found at the Treason Times site of today.

The Structure proposed, is the structure of the Foreign Owned Plants! All, their employees are Happy! :-)

Burger King BTW, is a British Firm! :-(>

LOL! Only "King" they have! ;~)

Posted by: SAINT---The | November 20, 2008 2:20 PM

Oh my God mrrockman and some others on this board actually bought McCain's claim that we pay the highest corporate tax rate in the world!

Yes the percentage may be the highest, but so are the deductions. At the end of the day, most coroprations get away with paying less money than we do as individuals because of corporate deductions. Why do you think Warren Buffet the "Oracle of Omaha" said its ridiculous that his secretary pays a higher tax rate than he does?

Does anyone really believe that if its profits increase through tax cuts or for any other reason that corporate America will let that money "trickle" down to the little guy? Hah, no way. Why if they did how could they pay for $400,000 weekend junkets? Oh lost my head they'll use taxpayer dollars from a bailout scheme. Silly me.

Incorporating is nearly always a good idea. By incorporating, you alter the actual tax you pay because of deductions, tax credits, etc. added to the tax code over the years. Incorporating is good advice whether you have a sole proprietorship or 1,000, 1,000,000 or three million employees.

If you don't hit corporate America where it hurts, in the wallet through union collective bargaining or taxes, we'll ultimately see what happened in Guatemala in the early twentieth century happen here. Workers will be working under conditions similar to slavery, buying what few goods they can afford from the company store (sound like Enron) while corporate big whigs send millions to their own accounts under the United Fruit (today's Chiquita Banana) banner.

Nope, people may work hard to accumulate their wealth, but they're even more reluctant to part with it. And, greed is a funny thing. The more you have the more you want, look at GE's Jack Welch and his golden studded shower curtain!

Posted by: flarick | November 20, 2008 2:20 PM

Bankers,CEO's,Investors,Media,Hedge funds and Republicans (Mitt Romney)are all getting rich off our labor and hard work and if we want a decent pay and health care we are horrible people draining the company ,fools workers rights are American.It won't matter much soon anyway.When we let the big 3 die which is the fault of white collar not blue collar.We will all either slowly make the wages of 3rd world countries or the 1 billion of China's communist slaves will take over everyone's jobs like they are now,even Mexico,Honduras,and Malaysia are losing their jobs but hay the quality of goods is going up right,oh yeah it isn't.

Posted by: faeyth | November 20, 2008 2:14 PM

Union workers don't get $88\hr,it more like twenty something when you been there for years.2nd the health care benefits were signed before health care tripled in cost.Why is when workers get paid well they are evil ,but the CEO's and executives getting paid more than any other time in history is Okay?The problem is workers in other fields and others states don't understand they are the ones getting Robbed.

Posted by: faeyth | November 20, 2008 2:07 PM

Walmart redux is what Romney's plan sounds like. Let's get rid of the unions and cut wages to the bone and by the way we don't offer benefits. Retirement, it's your problem. Life insurance, same answer. Health care, hahaha, get what you can at $8 an hour. While you figure it out, I'll go by the bank and cash my $1 million bonus check. Think I'll deposit it in the account where my $50K weekly salary is directed deposited.

Nope, someone needs to mediate the whole labor and management thing, to ensure there is a level playing field. Walmart couldn't get Americans to work for $7 and hour so they hired illegals and haven't been indicted for it once. Burger King refuses to pay a $.01 cent a bushel increase for migrant workers picking its tomatoes. That's American business at its best, or at least at its best supporting Wall Street instead of Main Street.

Now we can leave the labor management disputes in the private sector and let the unions get decent wages and benefit packages for their members. Or, government can step in and set a really high minimum wage, a sufficiently high wage that people can put some money away for retirement, buy their own health insurance and life insurance, etc.

Either way it doesn't matter, but someone whether it be unions or government has to mediate to level the playing field. Otherwise the gap between rich and poor will keep growing until it reaches a tipping point (I fear it already has) and workers react collectively and violently.

With 5% of the population holding %50 of the wealth we know who's going to lose on that deal. Only it won't be an electoral vote count but a body count. One only need look to the bread riots that occurred before and during the French Revolution, the slaughter of Russian serfs, and any number of revolutions that started because of greedy neocolonial American companies in Latin America for a lesson from the past.

As for Romney's notion of letting the Big Three tank. Well that's a lesson to be applied across all of business. It's the Darwinian principle at work in the corporate organism. If an organism is unable to adapt to a new environment or unable to do so in a sufficiently rapid manner then it should become extinct as it no longer fills a viable niche. But, that lesson would include Wall Street as well as the Big Three.

Once the Big Three are extinct then some new life will grow in the fields left behind. New companies will be able to get a start without having billion dollar portfolios to underwrite their ventures. They'll be smaller and more agile companies that can respond with vigor to market forces and demands instead of corporate monoliths that can't get out of their own way.

Posted by: flarick | November 20, 2008 2:06 PM

SAINT - Just imagine how much less money the auto industry would have to pay their workers if they could cut taxes in HALF. Let's start at the top and cut the costs of the government!

Posted by: mrrockman | November 20, 2008 2:03 PM

Bulldog6- Have you read the Editorial?

Mitt gets into the burden placed on Retail by the DIFFERENCE between the Toyota/ Nissan and other Plants in America, Vs. the Big Three's!

Pensions on Detroit's Vehicles, is over $2,000 MORE, a Vehicle! To sell at the same price, Detroit is leaving $2,000 worth of Options OUT!

That, is why American Cars seem so Spartan-They ARE!

THAT, is WHY they are Losing!

Find, and READ the article! Good-Stuff! ;~)

Posted by: SAINT---The | November 20, 2008 1:49 PM

Bad News! The Congressional Clowns are going to protect the UAW!

After all, they donated a couple of Million to the Dimocrat Effort!

That's GOTTA be worth $25 Billion of Tax-Payer's money!

Four VERY Long Years!

But Keep trying Mitt! In Four Years, there is a Prize waiting, then, Hopefully;

We WILL get some "Change"! ;~)

Posted by: SAINT---The | November 20, 2008 1:40 PM

How about the government show Detroit how it should be done. Let's cut all government pensions and pay as well. I think we'd all agree that if most American's can't have a pension, then neither should the government. I think we'd also all agree that the pay for politicians is way too high. How did those politicians get to Washington? Did they fly on coach class? I doubt it. No more private planes for any politicians. From now on, coach class only! I think Detroit would then have no problem following the governments lead. It would seem reasonable. I mean, the government is nearly insolvent.

Posted by: mrrockman | November 20, 2008 1:34 PM

Gee, lots of people talk about labor costs, but how many hourly employees work in all of those GM skyscraper towers that we regularly see on television?

You can focus on labor unions if you like, but just imagine the savings from corporate deadwood. We're losing 2,000 to 3,000 hourly folks from the plant in Janesville, WI, by the end of the year. While those were considered good jobs, how many of those workers made $1,000,000 or more per year like the white-collar folks in those GM towers? Those salaries cover a lot of those retiree health benefits.

Posted by: bulldog6 | November 20, 2008 1:31 PM

Isn 't it amazing that, when we think of bailouts, it's only for mortgage companies, AIG, national banks and now the major auto companies.

How much for the real taxpayer who is underwater in his mortgage? Sorry, no money for you, or for the retirees who have seen their funds depleted, thanks to the economic crisis.

So what Paulson/Bernanke/Bush is saying is that we use the people's money to bail out poorly managed companies and the management who performed so badly. Sure makes Republican sense, I guess.

And, oh no, we're going to limit auto execs to salaries of $2 million/yr? Of course, thanks to financial manipulations (stock options, etc.) , that's just the beginning--much like the corporate jets and expense accounts. Where are the board directors exercising their fiduciary responsibilities?

And so far as I know, the unions haven't forced management to sign any of the contracts now deemed so onerous.

Posted by: bulldog6 | November 20, 2008 1:15 PM

Towards the end of his Op-Ed, Mitt talks about his suggestions(Surprised they were not mentioned!):

"It is not wrong to ask for government help, but the automakers should come up with a win-win proposition. I believe the federal government should invest substantially more in basic research — on new energy sources, fuel-economy technology, materials science and the like — that will ultimately benefit the automotive industry, along with many others. I believe Washington should raise energy research spending to $20 billion a year, from the $4 billion that is spent today. The research could be done at universities, at research labs and even through public-private collaboration. The federal government should also rectify the imbedded tax penalties that favor foreign carmakers.

But don’t ask Washington to give shareholders and bondholders a free pass — they bet on management and they lost."

Look! I found $20 Billion! ;~)

Posted by: SAINT---The | November 20, 2008 12:27 PM

am11231- What Color is the sky in your World?

First, Presidents, can't SPEND A DIME! They can try to regulate spending, but it is Congress that allocates it.

Second, Where is Mitt Romney saying the Industry is going Away?

Re-Structured, means JUST THAT!

IF, you mean $88/ Hr. to work on an assembly line...

Welcome to the REAL World Pal!

Posted by: SAINT---The | November 20, 2008 12:04 PM

Here in Michigan's primary, John McCain had the honesty to say that these jobs were gone and nothing could be done. Mitt Romney promised if he were President he would come back with $20 Billion and help the auto industry. Mitt Romney won the primary. John told us the truth. Mitt lied, and I believe will say anything - look at the newsclips and record.

Posted by: am11231 | November 20, 2008 11:46 AM

Folks, open your Ears(Eyes)!

What Mitt Romney is saying, is the Industry needs to take a step Back, before it can then take two steps Forward!

IF, it doesn't, then it will trip and Fall!

The Union's wages are not out of line-Except when compared to the Real World! While they kept getting fair raises, the buyers of their Products were over-run by twenty Million wage destroying Invaders who took Millions of once Tax-Contributing Jobs-under the Tax Table!

But, in their Ivory Towers, they looked down, and failed to see the foundations cracking!

Chapter 11, is there for a REASON! The Airlines went that route and survived! Reduced Pensions?
How about-None at All-Because GM does not exist anymore?!

Sorry if the Truth hurts! But Mitt will speak the Truth!

Gotta Love it! :-)

Posted by: SAINT---The | November 20, 2008 11:33 AM

Thank You Mr. Romney! :-)

About time we started getting a Leader in this mess!

In Detroit, and much of Michigan, I have heard that if you are "In" the Union Crowd, life is sweet!

You have all the desperate others to take advantage of!

Personally, I Hate Unions. Once they served a purpose, now, they reek of Organized Crime, and Socialism!

I Hope and Pray, we hear Much More from Mitt Romney, about Un-Lawful Employment being allowed due to a Lack of Federal action, The Actions that need to be reversed to correct our Financial Institutions, and ways the US can stimulate OUR Economy, by reaching out to Friendly Countries in THIS Hemisphere!

And More!

After all, HE Should have been our President!

HE, is about REAL, Washington OUTSIDER;

"Change"! ;~)

Posted by: SAINT---The | November 20, 2008 11:07 AM

If the government allows Detroit go broke, then we should let all failing financial institutions Go broke as well.

I see nothing constructive about Mitt Romney's position. It's untimely and especially cruel to the population of Detroit and Michigan. The Republicans really don't care for the working man and my sentiments are proven by this draconian proposal of Mitt Romney.

We don't need to break the auto workers union or shrink hard working retirees pension benefits, especially since the government has injected billions of dollars into AIG and other institutions in financial world.

The Financial community started the unraveling of our economy this year, yet they continue to collect money from the government. Wall Street playing fast and loose with our money is not a reason to abandon the working class during this time of deepening recession.

Posted by: rnmina1 | November 20, 2008 11:06 AM

I don't know what benefits auto workers in other countries get from their governments' policies regarding health care and pensions. I suspect that they may be supported in ways we are not. In this country, since we have no universal health care or insurance, people are fortunate if their companies provide them. Rather than point to the workers' expectations and benefits as the problem, why not try to bring all of the country up to a higher standard. The problems in the economy are complex, but using them to strip workers of good pay and benefits is not a reasonable response.

Posted by: Kayen | November 20, 2008 10:51 AM

A deregulated airline industry re-invented itself thru the chapter 11 process---Detroit deserves no better.--If the unions survive fine, if they don't fine.--If tax payer money is doled out to any extent, executive salaries should be capped at $1,000,000. period.--Ford seems to be doing the best job and they brought in someone from Boeing I think. A. Warstler

Posted by: jwarstler | November 20, 2008 10:24 AM

****Fact Check*****: Gov. Romney has a great amount of turnaround experience but he didn't gain that experience at McKinsey. Mitt Romney worked at Boston Consulting Group prior to advancing his career at Bain Consulting.

Posted by: mcgrawdevin | November 20, 2008 10:16 AM

The fact is the so called big three car companies, why they're called that anymore I'm not sure, can't make a competive product anymore. With overly generous wage an benefits being paid to their union workers, they pay twice as much as the Japanese car companies plants in the U.S., and their huge legacy costs, more GM retirees earning pensions and health care than there are current workers, they are at a major disadvange. The thing that covered up that disadvantage was the reliance on big SUV's and truck which had huge profit margins. GM, Ford and Chrysler can't build small fuel efficient cars in their union plants in this country and make money. Unless the U.S car companies figure out a way to cut their labor costs they are going to go out of business and the only thing a goverment bailot with out major structural reform will do is postpone the inevitable.

Posted by: RobT1 | November 20, 2008 10:12 AM

Romneys criticism of the Auto industry are understandable given his ties to the banking industry and wall street. Bailing out the wealthy to the tune of $700,000,000,000. is all well and good but bailing out an industry that has provided many good paying jobs for working americans is unacceptable because it threatens his profit margins? Many Americans are upset because the auto industry unions have attempted to keep the wages and benefits of their workers on the same planet with managment and investors. Well they failed and so did the auto industry. Who do you blame, all of us. As long as we point fingers rather than accepting our share of the blame and understanding how all of us have unwittingly contributed to this problem we will not come up with a permanent fix. We need the auto industry if we are going to have a strong middle class.

Posted by: tryreason | November 20, 2008 9:55 AM

Romney may not be totally wrong but his approach is untimely. When it has come to the point it is called RESCUE it is already late. The automobile execs ran to the wrong person for rescue, Congress for bailout. They should have gone to the Banks who have received billions to help them move the inventory off the lots at car dealership across the nation, ask for ease on credit and leases, that would generate some cash flow to sustain them for a while, in the mean time work on a long term plan for operations - new design and assembly.

Why are we fixated on the morgue anyway instead of on the living. why not concentrate on whhat we know how to do best and have competitive edge on, our "OIL", Boeing has back orders of some hundreds of aircraft that it can not fulfill, let's take those billions give them to Boeing and help them speed up the delivery of those aircrafts, may be later with the cash generated Boeing can buy some stakes in the automobile industry, retrain some of the workers from automobile industry to aircraft assemblies, trade bolts for rivets.

Posted by: ar58 | November 20, 2008 9:02 AM

Here's Mitt's business model:

1) purchase a business at reduced cost
2) pare down expenses through layoffs and outsourcing
3) if the business starts to grow again, use the glossy financials to sell it to some other firm.
4) if it doesn't show the required growth, break it up and sell off the pieces.
5) move on to the next business.

This whole process can't take much more than eighteen to twenty-four months, because the bank notes start to come due.

The idea: hit a few notable home runs that more than make up for the failures. Speed is of the essence; no time for collective bargaining process. Chapter 11 is a way around that.

Sort of sounds like his approach to Detroit, doesn't it?

Posted by: Samson151 | November 20, 2008 8:21 AM

Mitt Romney made his millions not by running a company, but by managing a hedge fund which bought up interests in companies, and then purchased the competition and shut their doors- thus putting thousands of workers into the unemployment line.

He is a bottom scavenger of the worst kind. The retired workers earned their retirements and should not be stripped of them to make someone's balance sheet look better.

Basically, the auto managements are at fault and should be replaced with people who will deliver products that are good for the environment as well as good for economical transportation.

Detroit was allowed to avoid the fuel efficiency cafe standards for thirty years by manufacturing gas hog SUV's under the guise of the exemption for light trucks. This was as much Washington's fault as it was the corrupt management in our auto industry.

Mitt Romney is anti labor- and that is what his op ed piece is all about. I think he is irrelevant- now and in 2012. He should audition for a hair oil commercial, certainly not as a leader who has credibility or any real solutions.

Posted by: Luke2 | November 20, 2008 12:16 AM

What do Detroit and New Orleans have in common? Both have their flaws and are / were wiped out by a predicted and destructive storm. Both are / were abandoned by government leaders. Are we citizens becoming more like "W"?

Posted by: tigman_2 | November 19, 2008 10:09 PM

Mitt Romney meet Paul Krugman - THERE is a conversation I would love to see. Can someone please explain the role of business vs government? And that they are actually fundamentally on opposing sides? What are we trying to do: save a company or prevent a large scale ripple effect in the overall economy that may put some small businesses down, dump more into the already growing unemployment count, leave us vulnerable to pricing of external markets (possibly) ... I agree with Romney - they DID mismanage ... what I don't understand is why can't the government ask for restructuring in its agreement for a possible bailout? Dumb non-economist that I am ...
Here is another thing that I don't understand - why is the solution to our energy issues ONLY production of energy? Why aren't we looking at vehicles that may be conceived differently ... plates that wiggle about and give better forward motion - isn't this the opportunity for real design innovation? Roads - why can't we re-think roads? How come we cannot use stealth technology for sound redistribution in trucks and planes? We have hideously designed houses going up at a rate (mortgages aside) that badly use space as an efficient manager of energy. But not only do the companies probably need 'restructuring' (which only seems to amount to screwing the workers) but the whole idea of what a CAR IS seems to need restructuring.

Posted by: amrit46 | November 19, 2008 9:58 PM

Consolidation of the big 3 under new management and leadership with union partnership and concessions could potentially save the auto industry.

The irony of this, is the name of the company Romney's father rescued was called American Motors. That should be the name of the new consolidated auto company. Congress should develop a framework of conditions:

1. One Board of Directors for the big 3.
2. Wipe the slate clean of retirement and health care obligations.
3. Specific targets and goals for 50 mpg cars.
4. Reinvest 80% of profits in R & D for 20 years.
5. No executive can earn over $2,000,000 per year.

These conditions should be met before one more penny goes to Detroit.

Posted by: alance | November 19, 2008 9:55 PM

In many cases we would agree with Romney - but this rejection of the auto makers smells more like an attempt to break the unions than defense of archaic ideology. There are real ethical conundrums. ..........

Posted by: glclark4750 | November 19, 2008 9:42 PM

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