Lessons from the Auto Bailout Controversy

This past week, the US Senate failed to concur with the House of Representatives in passing a bailout package for the nation’s large domestic automakers. This bailout had the support of the Democratic leadership in Congress as well as the Bush White House. Already, doomsayers are bemoaning this lack of financial infusion from an already depleted federal budget. However, I applaud this decision as a victory for principle over pragmatism. Hoping that conservatives will learn from this effort to continue enlarging government, consider some lessons from the bailout controversy.

Teamsters to Uber: If we can’t beat you, we’ll join you

DC Taxicab Protest

As hundreds of cab drivers ensnarled traffic in downtown Washington, D.C. this morning at the behest of the Teamsters Local 922, the Council of the District of Columbia passed trailblazing legislation that “[embraces] innovation, [supports] consumer choice and [empowers] small business owners,” according to a post on Uber’s blog.

From the BuzzFeed account:

The controversial bill [B20-753], dubbed the Vehicle-for-Hire Innovation Act of 2014, has been heavily opposed by the taxi unions for not creating a level playing field but praised by Uber for codifying safety standards they say have already been in place.

The legislation “could be a model for the rest of the country and maybe the world,” said David Plouffe, Uber’s chief strategist and former aide to President Barack Obama, in a Q & A session with the Washington Post.

That’s great, right? A win for consumers, who are overwhelmingly pleased with Uber’s service, and entrepreneurs, who are clamoring to drive for Uber and other ride-sharing apps.

The legislation does create a stricter regulatory framework for UberX than the existing framework for DC cabs, as indicated in this side-by-side comparison:

DC Uber Regulations

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray must sign the bill before it goes into effect.

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