Let’s assume for the moment that there’s a case for bailing out the automakers, if only to avoid the inefficiency of Chapter 7 bankruptcies, and even though the UAW refuses to make any concessions.
Is there any case for giving the stockholders and bondholders any of the benefit? Shouldn’t the bondholders be paid off at the current (extremely depressed) prices of the bonds, and the the stockholders mostly wiped out, as AIG’s were?
And how much money could we save by requiring the companies to fire all their lobbyists and end all their contributions to right-wing causes? If the executives want to fund global-warming-skeptic propaganda out of their own pockets, that of course is their First Amendment right.
It’s worth recalling that the Big Three would be solvent today if they hadn’t had to worry about retiree health insurance costs, and that one reason Hillarycare was such a bad plan overall was that it had been torqued around to benefit Detroit. But when Newt Gingrich and Grover Norquist ordered the companies to oppose the plan that would have saved them from bankruptcy, the executives remained loyal to their side of the class war and the ideological battle rather than to their stockholders and employees. If they are to be spared the bankruptcy they have so thoroughly earned, at least they should be prevented from getting into any further political mischief.