About those 'foreign' cars

About those 'foreign' cars

August 7th, 2011 in Opinion Free Press

The head of the Democratic National Committee made a bizarre, contradictory statement not long ago in defense of the improper federal bailouts to some U.S. car companies in 2009.

Criticizing Republicans who opposed the bailouts, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., told a group of reporters, "If it were up to the candidates for president on the Republican side, we would be driving foreign cars; they would have let the auto industry in America go down the tubes."

But what Wasserman Schultz did not mention was that she herself drives a Japanese automobile, a 2010 Infiniti. Its parent company is Nissan. The license plate even proudly bears her initials, The Hill newspaper reported.

She also failed to mention that many so-called "foreign" cars are actually manufactured in the United States. We need look no further than Chattanooga's own billion-dollar-plus Volkswagen plant to realize that. Volkswagen may be based in Germany, but it is building its Passats right here, employing thousands of area workers in high-paying positions and adding immensely to our local economic growth.

We're not even certain exactly where Wasserman Schultz's "foreign" Infiniti was built. Japan-based Nissan has a number of manufacturing plants in the United States, too, including two here in Tennessee -- one in Smyrna and one in Decherd.

At any rate, the line between "foreign" and "domestic" cars is blurred, to say the least, with the presence of numerous "foreign" automobile manufacturing plants in the United States.

And bailouts -- which protect poorly performing companies while indirectly punishing those that perform better -- are not a proper function of government.