We know that the Bush administration has been offering tax incentives to encourage production and sales of big, gas guzzling SUVs. Unfortunately, Bush administration incompetence in appointing FEMA management, and Republican failure to institute long term plans to free the US from dependence upon oil as the primary energy resource have made SUVs less and less attractive, even with tax incentives. So GM has built itself into a pickle-- with too many factories designed for making gas guzzling unwanted SUVs, manned by workers receiving prohibitively costly health insurance.
If the right wing republican leadership in the congress and whitehouse had seen the writing on the wall, which was very visible, they might have bit the bullet and taken the approach every other major industrialized nation has already taken, and moved the country to nationalize health care. That would have eased the burden on our country's strongest industries. Currently, they are at a huge disadvantage, since all those other nations subsidize the cost of health coverage for workers. And the World trade organization allows this form of subsidy. They failed to take these absolutely necessary, inevitable steps because they owe too much to the Pharmaceutical and health insurance industries. You can start by looking at Bill Frist and his dirty, corrupt investment dealings and conflicts of interest.
If the right wing republican leadership in the congress and whitehouse had taken a different approach to SUVs, encouraging the discontinuation of their use, by giving tax breaks for energy efficient cars, hybrids, etcetera, gas prices might not have hit GM so hard. If they'd taken steps starting in 2000 to free the US from dependence upon oil, foreign oil in particular, they screwups in the gulf, in response to Katrina, might not have had as severe an impact on gas prices.
Now, 30,000 American workers will lose their jobs. Those jobs will go to workers in other countries. GM will cut its US manufacturing ability by one million vehicles ad part of their seven billion dollar budget cut. They're doing this "to deal with global competitors."
GM stock hit a fourteen year low last week. One segment of the Republican party will rejoice at this news. The wealthy tax dodging parasites, as I call them will buy the stock and wait, while GM outsources its manufacturing to other countries. Thirty thousand working people and their families will pay the price for the profits that these wealthy folk will gain.
Thirty thousand people will have to go out and find lower paying jobs, probably without health insurance. And the U.S. moves a little closer to third world status.
Let's face it. Bush's poll numbers are down to 28% approval now. For over ten years, I've observed that that number-- 26-28% is generally the statistic that represents the fundamentalist base of the republican party. COnnecting the dots, right wing extremist fundamentalist Christians are providing the political base that has enabled the Republicans to gut the USA of its most valued industries. They have empowered the republican extremists running the white house and congress to hobble our energy policy, to keep working an archaic model that is now punishing all of us, with higher gasoline and home heating costs.
They are supporting the people who are taking away money from the poor, money for food. They are supporting the right wing extremists, led by the Vice President for Torture, Cheney, in making the use of torture an official policy of the USA.
This is not about religion. THere are millions of Christians of all faiths who have not drunk the Koolaid, who still see that the right wing has rejected the principles and teachings of Christianity.
These extremist evangelicals go to churches that now receive billions in funding from the federal government, thanks to the Bush administration's erasure of separation of church and state. These evangelicals are regularly exhorted by their ministers, fattened with US funding, to support the right wing republicans who fatten them. They use abortion, homophobia and the "rapture" as the issues which galvanize them. But be assured, these people are selling out America. With total hypocrisy, they allow the poor to hungry and to die from lack of medical care. They allow the extremists controlling congress to pass laws that weaken environmental protections, that allow increasing pollution of the environment that is already causing increased deaths among children (already born) and adults.
These extremist hypocrites allow the continuation of a war that was started based on distortions and lies of omission-- a war that has killed tens of thousands of innocent civilians, a war in which the US has used chemical weapons of mass destruction.
It is time to stop treating these people as just another political persuasion. They are hypocrites, led by corrupted religious leaders-- corrupted by money and power. THey are misled, but that is no longer enough of a reason to tolerate them. THey are endangering the stability and economic future of the United states.
They money the churches have been receiving must be cut off. It is time to end the tax exemption for the megachurches they have been building with the US funds the ministers are whoring for, by invoking their flocks to support right wing politicians. A megachurch has little in common with the churches most Americans are familiar with. They do not add strength and integrity to a community. They are insular institutions which sow division and separation from the community. They are a threat to the American way.
As we watch GM begin to dissolve as a major US company, we should keep in mind that it will not disappear. We can expect to see it be acquired by some international conglomerate, just as Chrysler was. We can expect to see GM shifting its manufacturing to outsourcing nations where cheap labor is readily available.
It is time the US finds an alternative to the WTO, which is a bad solution to globalization. Yes we are in a globalized world. But the WTO's open borders policy is not working. It is killing us. Put it together with the damage the right wing is doing to other aspects of this country and the GM plant closings are frightening harbingers of what the right wing will do to the US in the years to come, with Bush in the white house for three more years.