Jon Stewart on the Detroit bailout

As usual, he nails it, at least a significant part of it:

Again, I remain ambivalent about the whole bailout thing, mainly because I hate rewarding incompetence. On the other hand, the economic devastation that would result gives me pause, the reassurances of some commenters that it wouldn’t be such a huge deal having utterly failed to convince me. However, there is one thing that irritates the hell out of me, regardless of the relative merits of this bailout versus the financial bailout, and that’s the grandstanding and amazing hypocrisy of some truly annoying politicians–especially from states with foreign auto plants who would stand to gain if the Big Three fail and from New York state, one of whom (Carolyn Maloney) asked why her constituents should bail out the Big Three when automakers fought state laws designed to lower greenhouse gas emissions. Well, I would ask why taxpayers from my state should give bankers and speculators on Wall Street 20 times as much money when they fight both at the national and state levels any laws to regulate them more closely, laws that might have forestalled the economic meltdown that is due in a large part to their own greed and incompetence?

I’m not saying that just because we bailed out Wall Street we should bail out Detroit. Rather, I’m saying that Wall Street is just as guilty of opposing laws and regulations that would have restrained them and potentially benefited society, both at the federal and state level, and they got a handout more than 40 times as much without nearly so much pontificating and tongue lashing of their executives. Heck, the first version of the Wall Street bailout was only one page long and gave the Secretary of the Treasury essentially carte blanche to distribute the $700 billion however he saw fit!

The hypocrisy of Congresscritters never ceases to amaze me.