April 5, 2009

Michigan: Double standard for automakers

U.S. automakers receiving taxpayer bailouts are being treated more harshly than their banking industry counterparts, Michigan residents say.

Both Democrats and Republicans in the state say they are angry about the perceived differences, the Detroit Free Press reported Sunday.

There cannot be a double standard here, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm said last week. There has to be tough love with respect to Wall Street the same way there is tough love with respect to the manufacturing industry.

Anger has mounted in Detroit after the Obama administration asked General Motors Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner to resign last week, with critics saying the White House is not adhering to the same principles when it comes to executives of failing banks, the newspaper said.

When will the Wall Street CEOs receiving (bailout) funds summon the honor to resign? Will this White House ever bother to raise the issue? asked U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich.

But, the newspaper said, Michiganders are forgetting that the CEOs of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and American International Group Inc. all were let go as part of the federal aid, while other financial industry leaders have agreed to work for $1 per year.