BusinessWeek: Detroit Execs Abandon the GOP

Consumers matter...

Detroit's White House Problem
The UAW has always voted Democratic, but as the current Administration continues to alienate Detroit executives, will carmakers abandon the GOP?

Relations between the Bush Administration and Detroit have grown so frosty that some Motown executives privately say they are looking to the Democrats for help. In some cases, they are even supporting them.Perhaps we are seeing a change of heart.
Under President Bush, working-class Americans have lost 3 million manufacturing jobs. While Bush pushes through tax cuts for wealthy people, inflation, rising energy and health-care costs, and higher interest rates are squeezing the middle class. Under Bush, average household income has declined 4% and household debt is now 120% of after-tax income—the highest level of indebtedness in history, says the Washington-based Economic Policy Institute.

All of those factors have conspired to squeeze average middle-class families—Detroit's core buyer. More-affluent folks tend to buy cars from Honda, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW. Some Big Three marketing executives say the financial weakness of their core buyer has hurt sales.

I believe some smart guy said something similar two years ago:

It has been said that what is good for business is good for America. I disagree. I believe that what is good for Americans is good for business. The main consumers and producers of our economy are the workers and the middle class. You can sell neither product nor service without a vibrant, empowered marketplace and consumer base. If you want to support business, support the consumer.


GOP Activist That Blames Lost Jobs to High Taxes Actively Works to Raise Them:

In this press release by WMC, Todd Lohenry of LoPresti Aviation blames Wisconsin's tax environment for jobs being lost (jobs that never existed - Xoff has the fishy story here):

Manitowoc County lost 300 high-paying manufacturing jobs when LoPresti Aviation, an airplane manufacturer, announced Wisconsin is out of the running for a new plant. The reason: high taxes and less-than-friendly business environment.

“There is a snowball’s chance in a Wisconsin summer of it landing here,” LoPresti business development manager Todd Lohenry said.

Well, we can thank Lohenry for the rise in taxes - look here:

A grassroots campaign by the Yes Committee over the past three months played a role in the YES vote for the Algoma referendum at the ballot boxes, according to Chair of the group Todd Lohenry. The referendum asked voters for permission to exceed the state-spending limit by $355,000 for the next five years. That will mean a bump in taxes for everyone living in the school district.

I'm ok with school referendums and educating our kids, but come on Todd, you can't have it both ways...

UPDATE: Xoff has more here


Great Cartoon

Ben Stein's Money Is Where His Mouth Is

For those that do not know, before he ever said "Beuller? Beuller?" Ben Stein was an economist, speachwriter for Nixon and remains unapologetically Republican.

That said, in a column today writes this open letter to Henry (not Robert) Paulson:

May I respectfully suggest that in this environment, ending the estate tax is not a major sensible priority? May I suggest that having the lowest taxes in 65 years on high-income taxpayers is not really as prudent as it might be if we were not running stupendous deficits, with far worse in the future?

I know you are a Republican, and so am I. Now and then, scornful fellow Republicans ask me what kind of Republican I am, since I'm for higher taxes on the rich. I tell them that I am an Eisenhower Republican, the kind who wants to leave a healthier America to posterity. That includes an economy not headed for the status of a banana republic's economy.

While Plants Close in Wisconsin, Green Parades With Canadian Paper...

Grumps at the The Happy Circumstance has the scoop on Green's parade activities:

Team Green had lunch-size bags for the kiddies to put their swag in (and the swag at Oregon was plentiful and rich. The hockey organization was pitching pens. At least two groups had freeze pops.) The Green swag-bags were a little lightweight but you wouldn't expect heavyweight from Green to be given away. What did surprise me, though, was that Team Green was giving away Canadian-made and printed paper bags. A quick search on ThomasNet shows a dozen or more Wisconsin bag makers listed, a fair share of them in the 8th Congressional District.

"A conservative in America, in short, is someone who advocates ends that cannot be realized through means that can never be justified..."


Alan Wolfe in the Washington Monthly:

Why Conservatives Can't Govern

12 pages long and worth every bit.

Quote of the Day - Privatization Edition

Frnak Rich in the NYTimes:

Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration, the very model of big government that the current administration vilifies, never would have trusted private contractors to run the show. Somehow that unwieldy, bloated government took less time to win World War II than George W. Bush's privatized government is taking to blow this one.