Roger L. Simon

Obama and GM: Just Say No

Reacting to the administration’s defenestration (read: canning) of General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner, Roger Kimball opines today in “Tectonic change,” Barack Obama and You: “it was an introduction to life in the brave new centrally-planned world with which the United States of Bailed-Out America is flirting.”

Well put (as usual).

But the problem, comrade, is “What is to be done?” Ironically, the best answer to Lenin’s famous question was championed by Nancy Reagan years ago in a very different context: “Just Say No.” Companies like GM can change (note the word) the growing government intervention in our lives by “just say[ing] no” to a government bailout, as Ford did. Sometimes that will mean swallowing the bitter and embarrassing pill of bankruptcy (already a government bailout of a sort) and restructuring. But so what? Business failure means you needed to be restructured. Do it yourself.

After all, giving Obama his due, he isn’t the first investor to demand his pound of flesh when rescuing an economically fragile company. Usually, however, it’s a private investor. This is our government with its own agenda. What is needed here is a Corporate Tea Party movement, which encourages the leadership of companies to find financial backing outside the state. It’s called capitalism.