Memo to President from Congressional Dems: Please Save Detroit


TO: President George W. Bush

FROM: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid; Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi; Congressman Barney Frank; and Senator Christopher Dodd

DATE: December 4, 2008

RE: Our Christmas Wish List — Please Bail Out Automobile Industry For Us

**As reported in the New York Times, the above congressional leaders sent a letter to President Bush asking him to save the auto industry.  I’ve secured the only known copy of the letter and published it below.**

Dear Mr. President,

Merry Christmas, we hope that you, Laura and the kids are having a wonderful holiday season.  It must be really weird to be considering your last holiday season in Washington. 

Its been quite a year, amazing how fast the time flies.  Oh geesh, it sure has been busy since Labor Day.  We all got back from vacation and the Olympic games, and wow, there was this huge financial crisis that’s kept us all so busy.

Anyway, we wanted to reach out and wish you a happy holiday as you and Laura .  We also wanted to see–in the spirit of the season–if you might be willing to do something special for us.  Would you be willing to unilaterally just ‘give’ $30 billion give or take to the auto industry?  Think of this as our Christmas wish to President Santa. 

See, we’ve been meeting with the auto execs, and we know we need to do it to keep Big Labor on board with us, but it sure is unpopular.  As you’ve been so willing to do unpopular stuff unilaterally, we thought that it might just be a whole lot simpler if you did it. 

We know we haven’t always been that good to you, but if you could forgive us and just consider all the good things we talked about, then you’d probably see that we deserved some kind of present.  If you could give us all just this one thing for Christmas, that would be great.  It’d be even better than the free-range buffalo jerky from Plano that you sent us last year. 

As you know, saving the auto industry is super critical to the entire economy. 

Don’t listen when your advisors tell you that the average worker in the Big Three is making around $80 / hour to make a car, don’t focus on that, whereas their competiors have the same workforce at about $30/hour.  Also, your advisors will tell you that neither investors nor Congressional representatives have the will to do this.  Don’t worry about that either–investors may think this is a suckers bet, and we in Congress know its unpopular, but we’d implore you to realize that this is exactly your kind of move.  Here’s what we mean:

  • It’s an ill-conceived plan, hastily thrown together
  • It does not have Congressional support, so you’d act unilaterally
  • There’s no data that shows that action will lead to the result we desire

In short, it’s right up your alley!  It’s got the Bush Doctrine written all over it.  As we’re getting a lot of heat, we’d really appreciate it if you could consider doing this for us. 

All our best to you, Laura and the rest of the family.

Go Longhorns!


PS–Seriously, if you did this and gave us what we wanted for Christmas, we’d be really thankful.  We’d say nice things about you.  We’d call it statesmanlike, forward-looking, compassionate, and maybe even environmentally friendly.  We’d even probably say a thing or two nice about you personally.


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