UPDATED: Carter Was Indeed Better
Hmm. Does the WSJ‘s Holman Jenkins, Jr. read The Rhetorican?
Barack Obama is no Jimmy Carter. The latter really did face the unraveling of an indispensable industry. Mr. Obama faces not a collapse of the domestic auto industry, but collapse of two companies…
In Mr. Carter’s day, bankruptcies were scything through the railroad sector, hurtling toward a rendezvous with nationalization.
In 1980, Congress passed the Staggers Act, ending a century of federal regulation and leading to the railroad industry’s renaissance. Leo Mullin, then a young Conrail veep, would later look back and praise all involved for having the fortitude to recognize that salvaging the taxpayer’s investment in Conrail meant more than fixing a single broken company — it meant fixing a defective regulatory environment.
That fortitude is exactly what’s missing today, as it was missing from Mr. Obama’s statement on Monday, which attributed GM’s failure to sins by everyone but Washington.
UPDATE: Related content from Ed Driscoll, here.