Obama's Dilemma: the Sequel

"Play it again Sam. If you can play it for her you can play it for me." - Casablanca

By Alberto Marrero Salas
Published on LatinoLA: April 3, 2009

Obama's Dilemma: the Sequel

Between a Rock and a Hard Place.

To start with let me say that I think that President Obama is doing one hell of a job in trying to get us back on the right track economically.

I supported John McCain. I voted for President Bush twice. Now with the exception of late term abortion and the Freedom to be Mugged by Union Organizers Act (card check) I support President Obana wholeheartedly.

I am irked by those on the far right who criticize the President for opposing performance bonuses for AIG. I am bothered by those who say that businesses that took bail out money have the right to compensate their executives as they see fit. If you own a business and you do not want government to tell you how much to pay your executives then its easy GIVE THE BAILOUT MONEY BACK.

You can't have it both ways. You can't decry socialism and at the same time ask for government money to bail you out. You can't be a stalwart supporter of unbridled capitalism and at the same time come to Washington hat in hand asking for bail out money.

The far right is also fighting regulations on financial institutions. I support the President in seeking regulating companies such as AIG. AIG could not fail as if it did the entire banking system of this nation and perhaps the world would have collapsed.

Another AIG must not be allowed to occur. No single company should be able to take on so much risk that the future of the country depends on that entity's survival. As my Jewish friends say "Never again."

Hedge funds and naked short selling (selling short without having to deliver borrowed shares) should also be regulated as the fate that overtook Lehman and Bear Stearns should not be allowed to occur again.

Back in November of last year I wrote an article under the title of The Obama Dilemma. In that article I stated that no other President with the exception of Harry Truman or FDR had come into such a difficult situation.

I mentioned that out of the 48 million dollars that big labor had contributed over 91% had gone to the Democratic Party. I had my doubts whether or not President Obama would do what was right for the country or what was right for the UAW.

In the last week President Obama has rejected the plans submitted by both GM and Chrysler. He also asked Rick Wagoner the chief of GM to step down.

The President has given Chrysler 30 days to sell itself. (Which apparently has been done with a merger with Fiat). GM was given 60 days to come back with a plan while assuring the American public that the government would honor all guarantees on GM and Chrysler autos thereby infusing confidence into the car buying public.

Now it appears that the President favors a quick bankruptcy for GM. A bankruptcy would allow GM to renegotiate all of its union contracts with the UAW. This would allow GM to become competitive by narrowing the gap between what it pays per hour in cash and benefits $73 per hour approximately to its workers versus the $48 average paid to US workers by Toyota, Honda and Nissan.

This would eliminate the $2,600 per car advantage that the Japanese auto makers have over GM.

Perhaps it is too much to ask for but apparently President Obama is choosing to be a statesman who thinks of future generations rather than a politician who thinks of the next election.

("A statesman is he who thinks of future generations. A politician is he who thinks of the next election." Abe Lincoln)

A big thanks to Abelardo and all of the people at LatinoLA that make this site what it is.
There is no other site that combines right, left and the middle as this one does.

About Alberto Marrero Salas:
Partner Nacara 2000 Immigration Law. Worked on Wall Street during the go go yuppie days of the 70's and 80's.
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