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Obama and McCain both support $25 billion automaker bailout

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By Michelle Malkin  •  September 17, 2008 10:15 AM

The presidential nominees of the Evil Party and the Stupid Party both support a massive bailout of the auto industry.

Tack on another $25 billion to bailout-palooza. And forget conservative principles: Michigan’s electoral votes are at stake!

As I have said many times: God save us from bipartisanship.

If your blood pressure isn’t off the charts, you aren’t paying attention:

Among the few bills likely to actually become law before Congress closes shop for the elections is a plan to give struggling U.S. automakers $25 billion in federal loans.

Opponents criticize it as a taxpayer-funded industry bailout, but the legislation is steaming ahead anyway, buoyed by the support of both John McCain and Barack Obama.

It’s no coincidence that the legislation would help manufacturing states like Michigan and Ohio, whose voters could very well determine the outcome of the presidential election.

The loans would be used to help General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co., and Chrysler LLC retool their factories to produce cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles as required under an energy bill passed last year.

The automaker loan program was established — but not funded — under the same bill. That sets it apart from the federal government’s intervention to prevent the collapse of Bear Stearns and a subsequent takeover of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Funding is needed before any loans can be made. The money would subsidize the loans, provide a cushion for possible defaults and absorb the cost of permitting automakers to defer loan payments for up to five years. The Congressional Budget Office says the $25 billion in loans would cost the government $7.5 billion…

…For his part, McCain initially opposed the program, but reversed course after coming under assault.

“Our auto companies are rising to the challenge of building the next generation of American cars,” McCain said last month, adding that the government should “assist Detroit and its suppliers in making it through this difficult time of transition.”

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