A great idea

While the Democrats are intent on turning America’s car industry into an arm of the Welfare Office, some Republicans are much more recklessly trying to turn America’s military-industrial complex into such a welfare program, too:

The Weekly Standard
Throwing skilled workers out of a job in the middle of a deep recession…

Gates is preparing the most far-reaching changes in the Pentagon’s weapons portfolio since the end of the Cold War, according to aides.

Two defense officials who were not authorized to speak publicly said Gates will announce up to a half-dozen major weapons cancellations later this month. Candidates include a new Navy destroyer, the Air Force’s F-22 fighter jet, and Army ground-combat vehicles, the officials said.

We need to signal cooperation, not rivalry, with the People’s Republic when it comes to arms platforms. Much better to roll back the F-22 program, and put the proceeds into armored vehicles used for guarding Chinese copper mines in Afghanistan.

Obama v. NAFTA

Obama, fresh from signing two buy-American laws and quoting from the Book of Revelations, tried to put a rest to the confusion in the West Wing by giving our trade and diplomatic program a clear direction: protectionism and unilateralism:

Mexico Imposes Tariffs on U.S. Amid Trucking Dispute (Update1) – Bloomberg.com

March 17 (Bloomberg) — Mexico set the stage for the first trade war of President Barack Obama’s administration by slapping import tariffs on $2.4 billion of U.S. goods in retaliation for a ban of its trucks from American roads.

The tariffs, on about 90 items from 40 states, were imposed by Economy Minister Gerardo Ruiz Mateos yesterday after the U.S. suspended a program to allow Mexican 18-wheelers to deliver goods across the border. U.S. Republican lawmakers said Mexico, which didn’t provide details, would impose tariffs on farm goods such as rice, beef, wheat and beans.

Long-time readers of this blog know that fear of the latin boogey-man is an animating force in Democratic Party politics, and so should not be surprised.

While George Bush spent his last days in office trying to sign a trade deal with Colombia, Obama spends his force by rolling back one with Mexico.

Why not just have the Department of Health and Human Services build cars?

Calculated Risk links to this Wall Street Journal article about how the Obama administraton is trying to help GM and Chrysler avoid bankruptcy.

Avoiding bankruptcy means less court review of the company (so less chance of criminal investigations), as well as not having to break the UAW (a major union that supports the Democratic Party).

If we really wanted to have make-work for UAW members, it would be more in keeping with our system of government to simply have the HHS build cars and suvs.