I urge you to oppose any bailout of the auto industry, whether by taking existing funds from TARP, revising any previous loans, or making new grants.

The auto industry is lobbying hard for taxpayer money when they should be entirely focused on restructuring their companies and recouping their losses. There is no guarantee that a government handout will have any positive effect. In fact, just the opposite: Once the Big 3 receive a bailout, there’s no need for them to make any improvements to the way they do business.

Because a bailout will only delay the economic consequences of the Big 3’s current predicaments, Congress should allow the market to work so that the fallout can be dealt with and overcome as quickly as possible.

Instead of handing out more of the taxpayers’ money and moving farther away from the free market ideas that made America great, I ask you to:

  1. Curb regulation: The auto industry is already one of the most heavily regulated industries, and a bailout will bring more government regulation and additional costs. Alleviating even a little of the red tape would free up resources for them to address their financial situations, save jobs, and produce quality products to jump-start sales.
  2. Cut taxes: Cutting corporate and capital gains taxes would give these companies immediate funds to put toward their problems. Cutting individual income taxes would return much-needed money to workers and consumers, strengthening their financial positions and purchasing power during these turbulent times.

Taking just these two steps will save the industry far more in the long run than the amount of the currently proposed bailout.

Additionally, because the Paulson TARP plan has abandoned its originally stated purpose of buying toxic assets, is not holding up its promises to be transparent, and has not been properly accountable to Congress, no further expenditures should be authorized until the Treasury Department presents a full accounting to Congress of how it has already dispersed TARP funds.

Since the election, Republicans have talked of returning to their limited government message. This is a chance for you to prove your commitment to free-market capitalism and the freedom philosophy by demonstrating that the Republican Party will be worthy of our trust in the next Congress. A vote for another bailout will send the signal that, despite any lip service paid to limited government principles, Republican talking points of defending them are cheap and little more than campaign rhetoric.

The answers to our economic problems cannot be found in further government intervention. As your constituent, I urge you not to put my tax dollars on the line, to vote “no” on the auto industry bailout, and to get the government out of our lives.

Greg Raven, Apple Valley, CA