Big Three Automakers vs. My Parents

Thu, December 4, 2008

Moms & Politics

Dear Congress,

Have I got a deal for you!

The CEOs of the big three automakers keep asking for billions of dollars in handouts and “emergency bridge loans” from you, well, actually from me and about 300 million others like me. I can see both sides of the bail-out vs. Chapter 11 bankruptcy argument, so I’m not trying to make light of the bad situation that thousands upon thousands of Americans would be put in if they lose their jobs because Detroit manufacturing goes under.

But while you’ve got that big ol’ checkbook out, I just want to put in a few words for my parents — Grammy & Grandpa PunditMom!

No, they’re not Wall Street titans or tone-deaf executives — they’re small family farmers. And even though they don’t say this and they don’t complain, they could really use a little help making ends meet.

I understand there’s a whole philosophical thing about whether the government should come to the aid of big businesses — the ones that have gotten “too big to fail.”

But I’d like to say a word about the families and businesses around the country that are too small to fail. That’s right, too small to fail.

If you save the big guys but all the little businesses go under, who’s going to be there to buy the products and save the money? Someone once told me that I was so vigilant in getting reimbursed for business expenses that I could turn $1 into $1.05! Lots of people, including my parents, are like that, but I’m afraid that the extra nickel isn’t going to go very far anymore.

You’re all very concerned, as you should be, about the state of our economy and how to keep us from descending into another Great Depression. But you’re a little too busy patting yourselves on the backs for staying in Washington, D.C. in December so those auto CEOs could test drive their hybrids halfway across the country.

The stock market tanked in 1929. The depths of the Great Depression didn’t come until 1933. It took that long for the bad things that happened to the big guys to trickle down to the rest of the country.

So, as my parents are in semi-retirement, but still working a couple jobs to make sure they have health insurance and something extra for on the table at the holidays, don’t be so focused on the guys in the suits who are giving you their best pity-party spiel.

After the Wall Street guys and the Detroit executives get their inevitable handouts, please see if you’ve got a little something left over for my parents and others like them, especially since they’re the ones who are helping to put the food on your holiday dinner tables, too. And try not to make it one of those stimulus things that are really just early tax refunds in disguise. Something real would be nice that would give a boost to families, both financially and emotionally.

I’m sure that’s something your constituents could get behind, especially as they’re trying to finance their own holiday gatherings with all the trimmings while still trying to have a little something left to tide them over to the New Year.

Thanks so much in advance. I know my parents would thank you, too.

Sincerely yours,


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7 Responses to “Big Three Automakers vs. My Parents”

  1. motherjonesrn Says:

    Remember the Christmas list that we wrote to Santa when we were little kids? My parents use to tell me that Santa's bag was only so big, so he didn't have room in his sled for everything on my list. That line worked for my parents, so maybe Congress should try using it, too. Sorry big car guys, you're out of luck. Santa has to take care of all the little girls and boys, and not just you.

    God bless the Grammy & Grandpa PunditMoms all over the United States. They all need a little help from Uncle Sam.


  2. Holly Says:

    if the gov is going to help the automakers, they also need to think about .why. they went under. They need to do something to make the economy better….like lower the prices on some of those flipping cars. $30,000 for a car? Come’on folks. I am not going to pay that kind of money on a new vehicle, I’ll just keep driving the one I have and the big auto makers can suck it up like I have had to.

    they also need to be responsible for making the cars more environmentally friendly (and I do believe that our new President elect is working on this), and I think they need to look at helping out students who have graduated from a program that addresses this, hire them and help them to pay off their student loans….so those *employed people* can then buy the cars they design and keep th economy moving.

  3. Brown Man Says:

    Pundit Mom, this whole thing is getting me so mad I am slipping on my political commentary – but if my friend says “legacy costs” to me one more time, I’m going to call his mothers retirement plan and tell them to cancel her “legacy cost” monthly retirement check, because she really wants to relieve the company of the burden she’s causing by having worked for them for 25 years.

    What’s even worse than this bullshit is that we buy it, lock stock and barrel because some powder faced son of a biscuit eater reads this foul drivel off of his teleprompter like he actually knows what he’s talking about.

    Links to my commentary on this whole thing so far:

    Foot Soldiers With No Guns And No Bullets

    Big Spenders Forget To Tip The Help

    Also, I always liked the name of your blog.


  4. miranda Says:

    The sad truth is that Grandma and Grandpa PunditMom haven’t been making large donations to re-election campaigns and sending gifts through lobbyists. And we the people have become — in large part — an electorate that does not think critically about our choices. Congress may be asking for a plan from the Big 3, but it won’t be too particular, and the CEOs will tell us how they’ll only take $1 a year. It’s a big show of public humility to get us on their side. But, really, those CEOs have plenty to live on already, so the $1 salary isn’t a big deal, and members of Congress have to get re-elected, to they can’t alienate their biggest financial backers.

  5. PunditMom Says:

    Miranda, You’re so right. And even those of us who give small donations have no say. I am hoping that the size of political contributions won’t speak as loudly in an Obama administration, but I guess that remains to be seen.

  6. Kelley Irish Says:

    There is a huge difference between the automakers requesting bridge LOANS and Wall Street who got money for basically passing bad paper!

    While everyone is in a huge hurry to blame Detroit-lets remember they onlymade the cars that everyone asked for. Why do Detroit cars cost more-let me see-how about the cost of the clean air- In China you can’t breath but they can produce cheap everything-no clean air standards-and let’s face it slave labor. American cars imported overseas are slapped with HUGE tariffs while we let anyone and their brother’s products in here.

    If American’s do not have jobs- there will be no one to buy the cheap imported products.The CEO’s have offered to work for one dollar. The union reopened their contract and gave back the job bank money. The autoworkers-the people-the little guys-the blue collar workers that built this country are going to the wall to save an industry.
    Do we really want to become a country where we don’t make anything or sell anything?

  7. Moobs Says:

    Your grandparents should move to Europe. Farmers have been consistently subsidised by the EU for over a generation. We have intervention pricing to ensure a minimum price and even pay farmers not to grow food (it’s called “set aside”)

    We keep import tariffs high to ensure food gets sold and emerging nations don’t get access to our markets.

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