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I am a self proclaimed coffee addict and Executive Director of a non profit missions agency working primarily in the Mexican cities of Oaxaca, Guadalajara, and Ensenada. I've been married for over 30 years to Chelle, and we have one grown son, Joseph, a graduate of Auburn University in Alabama.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Solution I Can Live With

Almost daily we hear the drumbeat out of Washington that we must do something about the U.S. auto industry. I confess that I am conflicted on this.

Look, let's be honest. Big auto here is a dinosaur. They are slow to change, and like most institutions, resist it at every opportunity.

While Nissan, nee Datsun and Toyota were busy building market share in the gas starved 70's, Detroit was still making inferior gas guzzling cars. Those early Corollas, B210's, and Celicas were just better cars. Better mileage, better quality, and at a better price.

And it continues today. Does anyone really believe you can abuse an American car like those foreign models and it'll still run properly? I used to go almost 25,000 miles between oil changes on my 1986 Nissan truck. I sold it a few years back with over 280,000 miles on it. I doubt you could do that with any GM product.

But that is beside the point. The US auto industry needs help. If we sit back and do nothing, thousands of workers could lose their jobs. It is said that over 10% of the US work force is connected to the auto industry.

So here is my solution. Let's start with the 25 Billion issue. Face it Detroit, we're not just going to give it to you. Philosophically, we are against straight handouts to save failing businesses. But here is what we can do.

We should give the poorest 5 million US taxpaying families a car voucher for $20,000.00. That's right. Just give the money to the taxpayers. So they can buy a new car. But only a car.

Here is how it'll work. The voucher must be used to purchase a new American made car from either Ford, GM, Chrysler or their affiliates.

To encourage fuel conservation the car must get at least 30 MPG based on EPA estimates. There are many choices, but one you might choose is the one of those new smart cars [pictured here actual size] that can fit in your purse.


To qualify, the new owner(s) must also agree not to use the new car as collateral on a new loan. The objective here is to get money into the system, and stimulate the economy.

By targeting this at the poorest folks, we can be sure there will be a need and the money will make its way back into the system. Now if you do the math, that puts our cost at about 100 billion dollars. With the upcoming stimulus the Dems will be pushing for in January, will be spending that money anyway.

The bottom line is that whether we like it or not, we are gonna write the check. So since that is a given, let's get something out of it.

The beauty here is that the American people can vote on the quality of Detroit with their wallets. If GM, Ford, and Chrysler products are as good as the Big 3 say they are, they'll do okay. If not, they had their chance, and we will still have put a gigantic stimulus into the economy.

What are your thoughts?

[ps. enjoy the new look and check out the new links]

Comments on "A Solution I Can Live With"

 

Blogger Pastor David Curtis said ... (10:55 AM) : 

If it means that I could get a new car with free government money then it sounds good to me.

I don't think Detroit or Washington would buy into the idea because it seems too practical and not wasteful enough.

 

Blogger Dave Miller said ... (11:15 AM) : 

David, you'd probably qualify. And i am sure the Asmussens would love it as their business would boom!

 

Blogger Patrick M said ... (3:29 PM) : 

I know I'd qualify for one of them checks. But what if I want a Honda (as American made as the Bad Three)?

Seriously, though, while this would be marginally better than pouring money into the sinkhole that is the Big Three, it's still a bailout in some way shape and form. And it will only carry them a little farther without forcing them to address the problems that make them as competitive as a gasoline-soaked, legless chihuahua in a flamethrower fight.

Yes, it will cost jobs and it may mean the Big Three goes down to two. But the alternative is to keep pumping hydrogen into a lead balloon while smoking a doobie. Not too smart, not really effective and most likely to end badly.

 

Blogger Dave Miller said ... (4:06 PM) : 

Patrick, the reality is we re going to do something. So as they used to say in the old Fram oil filter commercials, you can pay me now, or pay me later.

At least this way, a big chunk of middle America gets something out of the government sinkhole.

And no, Honda does not qualify. They ironically get penalized for being a well run company.

I'd love to see it be for an American made car, regardless of the company, but that'll never fly politically.

 

Blogger Robert said ... (7:41 PM) : 

Dave, thanks for dropping by at conservativeconvictions.blogspot.com

War Eagle to your son! Would be interested to know how he got to Auburn and where home is!

Come back and visit often!

 

Blogger Dave Miller said ... (6:44 AM) : 

Robert,

His uncle said to check out the place and he has a cousin who also went there. Once he saw the campus and the city, he fell in love.

And we all live in about 350 days of sun each year in Las Vegas.

Thanks for stopping by Robert. I hope I am not to much of lib for you.

 

Blogger James & Emilee said ... (9:10 AM) : 

Dave, I think I am going to vote for you for President in four years.

David Miller ´12. Running mate?

 

Blogger Dave Miller said ... (10:02 AM) : 

James, I want Bill Richardson.

Don't you think it would really help to have a couple of folks in the White House who speak the same language as a majority of people in our own hemisphere?

We'll call it the common sense ticket.

 

Blogger James & Emilee said ... (10:21 AM) : 

Sounds good. You´ve got my vote. So far you´ve got two practical solutions to two problems the US has:
1. Immigration. I LOVE your immigration reform.
2. Auto-Industry Reform. Also great.

Now you just need a commen sense solution to a bunch of other stuff, and you need about a couple million to run your campaign.

The Common Sense Ticket. Sounds great.

 

Anonymous Arthurstone said ... (9:25 AM) : 

I could live with this:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/16/opinion/16sperling.html

...One way to do that would be to establish a price floor of $3.50 per gallon on gasoline. If the price drops below that, as it recently has, the federal government would impose a variable tax to bring the price up to $3.50. If the price goes above $3.50, then the tax disappears. The money raised by the variable tax would be used, at least in the short term, to provide loan guarantees to the auto companies. (To ease the burden of higher gasoline prices on low-income taxpayers, some of the revenue would be provided to them as tax credits or vouchers.)...

 

Blogger Dave Miller said ... (9:55 AM) : 

Arthur, it does look reasonable. The question is do you really think the gov, once they get the tax revenue, will do the right thing?

 

Blogger roy said ... (12:30 PM) : 

I like this idea Dave. Let's see if we can make it go viral.

 

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