The Senators who voted against this stated that American auto workers are to blame for their failure to vote in favor of the bailout because they declined to take a wage cut and pay more for their benefits. Please see Sen. Mich McConnel's statements: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/12/12/politics/politico/main4664978.shtml
As part of the bailout, the auto workers agreed to end the job bank. As part of the contract negotiations finalized in 2007, the auto workers took on managing at least part of their own pension packages, they agreed to mandatory retirements, and agreed to lower wages for the new employees that would be replacing them.
Frankly, I don't understand why the ordinary, joe/ jane worker is being blamed for not only the mismanagment of an entire industry, the economic issues that have further devestated that industry, AND for the government's failure to respond to the national implications of the downfall of that industry. In other word, I don't understand why the men and women on the line are blamed for the failure of the American auto industry to realize that the oil industry barons would bleed car owners driy and therefore more fuel efficent vehicles would be needed. The men and women on the line don't determine company policy and direction. I don't know why the line workers are being blamed for the dismal car sales that have pushed the companies to the brink this year. After all, I thought that the Wall Street bailout was going to free up credit so that individuals would have more purchasing power to boost the economy. I also thought that the Wall Street bailout was going to free up money for the banks to loan to companies like GM, Chyrsler, and Ford. Instead of more money being available, banks are making it harder to borrow money for individuals, small businesses, and big businesses. The requirments are tougher and the interest rates are higher. Finally, I don't understand whey the Senators are blaming the men and women of America, the very same men and women who pay taxes that pay congressional salaries for them (the Senators) voting against the bailout. Why should these hard working Americans take a pay cut AND pay for their own benefits out of this lower salary when SENATORS vote to give themselves raises EVERY year. Senators give themselves raises while their business, the USA is operating at the highest deficit in the history of the country. The Senators have not taken a pay cut. The Senators are not paying for more of their own benefits. And the Senators are have not proposed one single plan for bringing their business, our country, into the black. Why don't they not take a salary until their company is not owned by China.
You know as well as I do that each Senator brings home more than any one person working on the line. The UAW represents men and women of middle America on Main Street, who go to work every day and bowl and are trying to put their kids through college.
So, when Congress takes a pay cut so that they can balance their budget, then maybe I can hear them demanding that other AMERICANS take a pay cut. But until then....
Saving the auto industry saves Main Street. It protects Middle America by ensuring that the ordinary joes and janes of the world have jobs - line workers, engineers, secretaries, and small business owners that supply food, parts, and etc. to the auto industy. When Wall Street, AIG, and etc. came to our government for help they got it. Their CEOS weren't required to arrive in DC by an acceptable mode of transportation. They weren't required to take pay cuts, they weren't told that their businesses would have to report to the government (a bank Czar or an Insurance Czar or an investment company Czar) to make sure that they didn't continue to act up. But the auto industry, the industry of Middle America, not Manhattan, has to jump through so many hoops.
I'm completely disgusted!