Andrew Davis writes at LP.org
On Dec. 10, the Libertarian Party put out a press release calling the logic behind the auto bailout, "insane." In it, we stated that "it’s insane that we keep going back to the taxpayers to bail-out struggling corporations who, for lack of good management and sound business practices, have become unprofitable."
We also said that "the Libertarian Party favors letting these companies file Chapter 11, instead of risking taxpayer dollars for promises of reform."
The Kansas City Star, a McClatchy publication in Kansas City, Missouri, was rather offended with our assessment of the situation:
In case you missed it, the nation’s largest third party also opposed appropriating $14 billion of taxpayer money to bail out the American automotive industry.
“It’s insanity,” said Libertarian Party spokesman Andrew Davis. Instead, the Libertarians favored letting the auto companies file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, taking down the U.S. economy with them.
Now, that’s sane.
The Libertarian Party — founded in 1971 as an alternative to the two main political parties — proudly stands for smaller government, lower taxes and more freedom.
The Buzz says the party also stands to lose just about every election its candidates run in.
Given that the KCS is one of the newspapers that has suffered quite a drop in circulation, its snide tone with us seems a little out of place.
However, this was our response:
It’s nice to know that editors of the Kansas City Star are putting the interests of grossly mismanaged corporations over that of taxpayers (this might be part of the reason its circulation numbers are in dramatic decline as of late). In Friday’s edition of "The Buzz," the KCS took offense to our insinuation that the recent auto bailout was based on insane logic. Instead, the newspaper chose to side with the White House and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson—who still won’t reveal where $2 trillion of taxpayer money went in the last bailout. It’s not that the Libertarian Party is oblivious to the economic impact that a Big Three bankruptcy would have, but we simply recognize bailouts don’t work and their long-term consequences of are much worse.
The bailout of the American automotive industry will do nothing to fix the problems that got them into their current situation: grossly incompetent CEOs, destructive union contracts and an unwillingness to keep up with automotive trends. The only sane, long-term fix is for these companies to undergo massive restructuring that dump incompetent leaders and redo unprofitable contracts—which won’t happen through a slap on the knuckles supplemented by a blank check. If the bailout occurs, as is the hope of the KCS, we will see no change in Detroit, and you can bet the Big Three will be back in Washington in a few months asking for more time, and more taxpayer money.
This is what the KCS calls the "sane" option? The Libertarian Party, and a majority of American taxpayers, respectfully disagree.
If you would like to send your own response to the Kansas City Star, please email them here.