Spin Control

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 18, 2009, 3:02 P.M.

Minnick to auto industry: Yer grounded

Well not exactly. But U.S. Rep. Walt MInnick did repeat his call today for "tough love" for the auto industry as it seeks federal bailout.

By that he means they need to submit reorganization plans to a bankruptcy judge, rather than coming to Congress. Go inside to read more of his comments from an appearance down in Lewiston.

Aww dad, does that mean we can't borrow the car, or that there will be no car to borrow?

Go inside the blog to read his official statement.

Lewiston, ID – Idaho Congressman Walt Minnick today decried plans by U.S. auto makers to seek billions more in “bailout” money from U.S. taxpayers.



“This is worse than throwing good money after bad – it would be throwing borrowed money after bad,” Minnick said. “The U.S. auto industry does not need funding to do what it should have done months ago, and what I suggested back in December. They need to go through a pre-packaged bankruptcy to restructure their companies for a new era and with new business models, and they need to do it in an organized way so as to have a minimum impact on our already-suffering economy. They have not yet proven that they are willing to change, and they should not receive one nickel of taxpayer dollars until we know the taxpayers will get some of that money back.”



Minnick also said that companies demanding federal money are tone-deaf to the realities facing many Americans. He spoke out today from Lewiston, Idaho, a town in the state’s central region, which has been hit hard by the recessions. Many communities in the region have had double-digit unemployment rates since last year.



“Idaho communities aren’t served by the federal government propping up bloated, failing companies,” Minnick said. “These auto companies must do the responsible thing by restructuring their organizations and turning over their plans to effective managers who can keep people working while producing new, efficient automobiles.”



In an editorial published late last year, Minnick called for “tough love” to force the U.S. auto industry to change its ways. Minnick’s plan would have utilized impartial and experienced bankruptcy judges to approve each company's reorganization plan after weighing objections and suggestions of those affected. The plans would force each company to scour the world for the best new management, and then force each company to restructure its balance sheet.



“Bailouts to prop up bloated, inefficient big companies are what other countries do,” Minnick wrote in the editorial. “It's what caused socialist systems to fail. We must do better.”



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