Hearings Update and Looking for New Ideas on the Auto Aid

Two items, one linked to but now sufficiently highlighted yesterday, the Detroit Free Press editorial, “Hey, America: Detroit’s automakers are asking for a loan“:

Can we get something straight between Detroit and the rest of America?

What the auto industry is seeking in Washington is a loan, L-O-A-N, as in something you borrow and then pay back — with interest.

This is not a gift, a grant or a handout. It’s a loan, the kind of thing financial institutions used to do before they all had to scurry to Washington for their own bailouts, which have been far bigger and subjected to considerably less scrutiny than this loan that the auto industry desperately needs to keep operating — and keep millions of people employed.

And an interesting suggestion from Hugh Hewitt, law professor, radio host, Republican, blogger, “Should the GOP Bargain On The Bailout?

If the GOP’s leadership in the Senate calculates that it must go along with the bailout of the Big Three because of the overall weakness in the economy, I hope they at least bargain for some concession such as a giant tax restructuring for Michigan and Ohio, a demonstration project on the economic effects of tax reform.  If the UAW and industry supporters are going to succeed in opening a fiscal lifeline to Detroit, couldn’t the GOP at least demand that all of Michigan and Ohio provide a demonstration of what a lower corporate tax rate can mean for an economy.  Call them Irish Zones, after the tax policy of the Republic of Ireland, and declare that companies headquartered in Michigan or Ohio will pay 12.5% corporate tax, as all corporations do in Ireland.

Related story: The New York Times runs a post-mortem on the Saturn experiment at GM.

The Detroit News has live reports, as well. So far the news is Sen. Dodd’s support for federal aid.

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