Wisconsin Lawmaker:State Representative Christine Sinicki, a Democrat from Milwaukee, issued the following statement on May 25. She represents Assembly District 20 in the Wisconsin State Legislature.
Use GM, Ford To Rebuild U.S.
Our nation's automobile industry is now in a serious crisis. The recent downgrading of the credit rating of the premier automakers, General Motors and Ford, to "junk bond" status puts the question of the future of the auto industry in serious jeopardy.
The issue on the table is not that the automakers and their parts suppliers, such as Delphi and Visteon, are going to be headed into bankruptcy, but what kind of bankruptcy is now the real question facing us. It is particularly important for us here in Wisconsin, and in Milwaukee proper, as we have a significant number of auto plants within our jurisdiction, including the GM Assembly plant in Janesville, and other factories. The future livelihood of our citizens, their families, and our cities is now in the front seat.
We cannot let financial vultures like Kirk Kerkorian, who destroyed TWA Airlines years ago, decide the fate of GM, by cutting up and demolishing the productive elements of this critical institution.
Recently, economist Lyndon LaRouche issued a call for Emergency Action by the U.S. Senate, where he calls for urgent steps to save the machine tool capability and production apparatus of the nation's premier industry, the automobile industry. I concur with much of what he says, and wish to quote some of that here:
"The international complex of machine-tool physical production, as typified by the presently troubled General Motors and associated enterprises, is now at the verge of not only financial bankruptcy, but also, the threatened physical dissolution of the machine tool and other essential physical economic elements of production.
"The role assigned to the U.S. Senate, of providing advice and consent to the Executive Branch is presently, the most appropriate instrument for setting into motion the indispensable steps of remedial action.
"Our constitutional system, of the power of the Executive acting in concert with the Senate and House of Representatives, can create vast masses of long-term credit for the immediate and long-term expansion of our national economy. The outpouring of debt-based long-term credit must be used to create expanded productive employment in basic economic infrastructure, manufacturing, and agriculture.
"We can convert sections of the automobile industry that now lie idle or underutilized to producing the infrastructure apparatus we desperately need. We can use the expertise of the machine tool sections of this industry to retool for a massive increase of domestic infrastructure projects, that have languished all these years.
"This kind of wartime style conversion of sections of the auto industry to infrastructure production, making, for example, rail systems, power systems, building and repairing schools, and other essential elements of our economy, can both save the auto industry and rebuild our cities and the state. We did this during World War II, when the auto industry built planes and tanks to win the war, and we can do this now to solve the massive unravelling our economy."
I call upon the Federal Government to take the lead in this bold enterprise. I specifically call upon my two senators and members of the Wisconsin Congressional delegation to take the lead in introducing emergency legislation to save the auto industry intact, most emphatically its productive capability.
As for the mostly useless debt accumulated over the years by GM and Ford, that now amounts to nearly $500 billion, that is a matter for the bankruptcy courts to decide. We must save the manufacturing capability of these companies in their entirety, protect the pensions of the workforce, and their health care, and launch a great industrial recovery to rebuild our state and our nation.