• WisBusiness

Monday, May 11, 2009

Not the change Kenosha was hoping for


By F. James Sensenbrenner
The "restructuring" of jobs at the Chrysler Kenosha Engine Plant is a prime and realistic example of why I voted against the bailout funding, the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and the other mass amounts of spending Democrats have done over the last few months in the name of "economic recovery."

Since the spend-a-thon started, i've held many town hall meetings. At each of these meetings I hear how the people of Wisconsin are fed-up with their hard-earned taxpayer dollars being spent on subsidizing failing corporations. In my opinion, no corporation is too big to fail.

But now, the President has added insult to injury. Despite many vocal objections, the Obama administration approved the restructuring plan with Chrysler's bankruptcy filing on April 30. What this means is that the 800 employees of Chrysler's Kenosha Engine Plant will face "restructuring" (read: lose their jobs), AND they, along with their fellow Wisconsinites will be paying for their jobs to be relocated to a facility in Mexico.

Yes, you read that correctly. Chrysler is asking for an additional $8 billion from the government, on top of the $4 billion they've already received, to help implement their plan in Mexico, despite the proper resources already existing at the Kenosha Engine Plant.

Now, outsourcing jobs in a terrible economic market is really bad governing; but then having those workers help pay for their jobs to be outsourced through taxpayer bailout funds is a slap in the face and absolutely appalling. This is not the economic recovery Wisconsinites hoped for and expected.

Last Thursday, I sent a strongly worded letter to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner asking him to deny future bailout funds to Chrysler if it goes forward with outsourcing American jobs to Mexico. I know others in the Wisconsin delegation continue to take similar actions with the administration to bring about a positive resolution for the people of Wisconsin. Under no circumstances, should we be rewarding these types of action with more money. Let's hope the administration reaches that conclusion as well, before it's too late.

I guess when the president says that it's time for change -- he should really talk to those 800 employees who are about to experience some real life change.

-- Sensenbrenner, a Republican, represents Wisconsin's 5th Congressional District.

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