Barack Obama gave GM and Chrysler some tough love yesterday. Too tough, or too much love? Here’s what the papers are saying:
- Obama “delivered a believable, sharp, and necessary ultimatum,” says the Washington Post. He rightly demanded union concessions, and put bankruptcy back on the table.
- But the Chicago Tribune thinks Obama should have gone straight to bankruptcy. “An ultimatum is more believable if you haven't just failed to follow through on a previous one.”
- Obama has put Detroit “on a new road of politicized industrial policy,” says the Wall Street Journal, and should have chosen bankruptcy instead. “From now on, GM and Chrysler are Mr. Obama's companies.”
- But bankruptcy isn’t a blanket solution, the Detroit Free Press opines. Just because a judge could tear up worker benefits doesn’t mean it should, and no judge can unilaterally make GM or Chrysler clean car kings—that takes changes in tax and regulatory policies, too.