October 24, 2014

Glass Houses

Executive Director Bob Bixby has a timely (in light of today's Congressional hearings) Op-Ed in this morning's Washington Post that analogizes congressional pressure on the big three automakers to come up with a sustainable, long-term business model, to the pressure that should be put on Congress to come up with a similarly forward-looking plan for the federal budget.

Here are some excerpts:

After hearings last month to consider the plight of the Big Three automakers, Congress's warning was clear: no plan, no bailout. It was a tough-love message, but it rang a bit hollow coming from lawmakers who have no plan of their own to avoid a fiscal debacle that could be many times more serious than anything the automakers face...

In these circumstances, it is worth asking what might be demanded of Congress by a special guardian appointed to safeguard the interests of today's youth. A good place to start is the letter written to the automakers by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid...

Pelosi and Reid declared that the American people "deserve to see a plan that is accountable to taxpayers and that is viable for the long-term," with "significant sacrifices and major changes to [the automakers'] way of doing business."

These sound conditions should be applied to the federal budget as well. Unfortunately, though, there is no special guardian of future generations to make such demands. That job belongs to our elected leaders. They, too, must demonstrate significant sacrifices and major changes to their way of doing business. After all, they share responsibility for the nation's future just as the Big Three executives share responsibility for the future of the auto industry.

For the full column click here.

--Josh Gordon