The American auto industry has been saved from a government bailout thanks to the greed of the UAW and the rare spinal fortitude of the Republican minority.

A bailout-weary Congress killed a $14 billion package to aid struggling U.S. automakers Thursday night after a partisan dispute over union wage cuts derailed a last-ditch effort to revive the emergency aid before year's end.

Republicans, breaking sharply with President George W. Bush as his term draws to a close, refused to back federal aid for Detroit's beleaguered Big Three without a guarantee that the United Auto Workers would agree by the end of next year to wage cuts to bring their pay into line with Japanese carmakers. The UAW refused to do so before its current contract with the automakers expires in 2011.

This non-bailout will give the American auto industry a chance to survive, hopefully after passing through a bankruptcy reorganization. The idea that the industry could be saved by taking money from competent taxpayers and companies and "redistributing" it to failures was idiotic.

What's more, Americans are solidly against an auto bailout. I own a Honda and a Jeep -- and I like both -- but I will never buy a car from a company that takes a taxpayer bailout due to incompetence and malfeasance.

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