Crash Test

by Amy Ephron

Dear Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid,

You’ve been writing to me for months (years), now I’m writing to you.... Why are we bailing out the auto industry?

We have enough cars sitting in new car lots and used car lots across the country that nobody can buy.  Why do we really need to waste all that steel, rubber, leather, emit greenhouse gases for a product nobody needs.  What we need to do is figure out how to convert those cars to energy-efficient cars.  We can change a heart, how come we don’t know how to change an engine?

Yes, I know, that 600,000 jobs hang in the balance but wait, I have a solution.  Why don’t we convert all those plants to alternative energy sector plants, windmills, solar panels, solar batteries, bio-diesel, lithium batteries...put the UAW workers first in line for those jobs and turn that sector into a Union Shop.  It’s a win-win all around. 

By the way, how come whenever there’s a check, one of them gets the check.  Remember John Snow, our Treasury Secretary, who engineered the Dubai Ports Deal on a no-bid basis to Dubai Ports, a company he owned a $25,000,000 stake in from his days as a private citizen?  (No, that’s not girl-economics, I didn’t add a zero, by mistake).  Well, John Snow’s new company (now, that he’s back in the private sector), Cerberus Capital Management bought an 80% stake in Chrysler last year and purchased General Motors Financing Arm, GMAC – a concept I don’t even understand except it’s some version of “bundling” General Motors sub-prime debt which is part of what got us into all this trouble to begin with!  And, now Tony Snow is trying to turn GMAC into a bank holding company so he can access Henry Paulson’s bail-out funds.  Well, I, for one, say “no”. 

And, so does Ted Turner, quite slyly and eloquently on Lou Dobbs’ show yesterday (after which he roundly scolded Dobbs for his immigration stance).  General Motors is losing 1.35 billion dollars a month.  They don’t have a business plan that supports a bail-out.  They don’t even know how to make a hybrid.  They have a hybrid but I think it’s hand-made and whereas I’m all for being old-fashioned, this is ridiculous.  You know how many were available in August?  One. 

We have an amazing opportunity here for a New Deal – so I’m humbly asking, Please, Nancy, Harry, and Barney (Frank), take a minute – deliberate, get some expert advice, don’t just put your finger in the dyke, they’ll only be back again next month, we have a chance here for real change and a way to take the country in a new forward thinking direction. Please stop talking about halting Golden Parachutes (when John Snow’s standing under a windfall) and start talking about NEW jobs, CLEAN air, health benefits, fuel-efficient cars and houses, and while I’m at it, a reduction in the interest rate those people who bought the cars from GM are paying.  Really, it’s an opportunity for a win-win all around.


Amy Ephron


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