Mark Souder, ever the champion of austerity – except in his support of his salary increases – railed against the bailout of the Wall Street financial institutions yet broke with his own party to vote in favor of saving Wall Street’s hindquarters. Now he claims to be “looking for reasons” to support loans to the Big Three auto companies.
How about this one – GM and many businesses that rely on the auto industry are located in the Third District. Their economic impact and financial condition hit much closer to home than the Wall Street fiasco. I recall that Souder championed the importance of the RV industry to the Third District in his campaign commercials aimed at Third District voters.
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Souder’s own congressional website describes the Third District’s auto industry as playing a major role. Here are his own words (or those of his writers – either way they represent his opinion):
The auto industry plays a major role in our economy. Fort Wayne is among the nation’s leading manufacturers of pick-up trucks. The region produces tires, suspension systems, steering wheels and a plethora of other auto parts.
Now that the Big Three – and derivatively the local GM and other Third District businesses – are in dire straits, Souder can’t come up with a reason or reasons to support loans to the Big Three. During the campaign cycle Souder argued that the bailout – and likely other forms of intervention – were necessary to avert disastrous consequences and, perhaps, even greater federal intervention.
He acknowledged that even though expansion of government control of the economy was risky he was more scared of an economic collapse. Apparently, an economic collapse in his own district takes back seat to the doings of corporate heads on Wall Street who mismanaged their corporations.
As of December 5, 2008, the total number of financial institutions applying for the hand-outs is 149 and the total amount committed $243.49 billion. Wall Street moguls must be grinning all the way to the bank with their deposits. The Big Three’s request of $34 billion pales in comparison to Wall Street’s abuse of the bailout.
Souder now indicates – after a couple of meetings with auto leaders – that he is edging closer to a vote in favor of the Big Three but only if they can come up with a plan to show that they can be successful despite the fact that he voted for unsupervised Wall Street access to bailout funds. Could his reluctance possibly be tied to the fact that the unions gave thousands of dollars to his opponent in the recent election cycle?
His posturing is absolutely ludicrous, and he should now come down from his high horse. Congress should rightly ask for conditions on the loans to the Big Three, but it should also vote for the package. And Souder shouldn’t even have to think twice as to why he should support an action that is anticipated to benefit this region, his own district, its businesses, and its citizens – his constituency.
Whether you support the Big Three loan package or not, failure of the Big Three will have an impact on our district – surely Souder has to know that – or not? If Souder chooses to walk away from assisting the Big Three, the voters of the Third District should exercise their right in the voting booth to walk away from him in droves in 2010.