All too often these days, big corporations have taken the profit when things go well, and counted on the government to bail them out when things go wrong. Recently we have seen huge bailouts of big banks and U.S. automakers. The automakers got huge loans, and at least GM has paid theirs back. I’m OK with using the resources of the Federal government to help out when there is an appropriate social need to meet, such as saving the jobs of all those auto workers. But I cannot accept bailing out corporations without expecting repayment.
Which brings me back to what prompted me to post on this topic today. The headline reads:
So BP wants DOD to help solve their problem. Great. No problem. As long as DOD sends BP a bill for every single dime their involvement costs the U.S. taxpayer.
I am really tired of seeing major corporations taking unreasonable risks knowing that they will be bailed out (at no cost to their bottom line) if it goes wrong, and no sharing of the profits if the risks pay off.
What’s the right answer? A good start is to require payback with interest of every dime the government pays out to save a corporation’s bacon. And beyond that, let’s require that those costs go all the way to the bottom line. Don’t let them deduct the costs from taxes, or pass them on to consumers. No price increase due to any costs associated with any event that results in a government bailout.
If the corporation wants to take the risk, it should be required to pay the bill when the risk doesn’t pay off.