|Drum Major Institute 2008 House Scorecard description
The automobile industry is a critical comp … The automobile industry is a critical component of the American economy. Motor vehicle and parts industries employed over 700,000 people directly as of September and each job in the auto industry supports about 1.7 additional jobs in industries as diverse as textiles and retail. The Economic Policy Institute predicts that a worst-case-scenario shutdown of the entire U.S. auto industry would eliminate 3.3 million jobs—many of them solid middle-class positions. Most experts agree that bankruptcy in the current liquidity crisis would be devastating to the auto manufacturers: already weak sales would be exacerbated by consumers frightened to buy from a bankrupt manufacturer, and lending institutions normally accessible to bankrupt companies are now unavailable. As an alternative, this legislation imposes reasonable restructuring requirements, while ensuring that middle-class jobs are preserved in a period of deep economic crisis. The bill will prevent the short-term failure of the automobile industry in the United States and makes a leaner, more energy-efficient Detroit possible. An auto czar cannot make the Big Three automakers profitable. But the czar’s influence—backed up by the capacity to speed loan repayment and impose bankruptcy—and the thorough restructuring guidelines laid out by Congress can ensure that the American automakers do not once again fail to confront environmental concerns and recalcitrant management. ntal concerns and recalcitrant management.