Bailout for automakers?

November 17, 2008

automakers

As Congress debates legislation to help struggling automakers, many Americans say they are uneasy with the plan, arguing that while it may save jobs, it would reward companies for pursuing bad business practices. Some even question whether automakers will be viable, even with support.

“They need to restructure. If they get bailed out they are not going to do it,” said Eric Smith, a paint contractor interviewed in Chamblee, Georgia, on the outskirts of Atlanta.

U.S. automakers say federal aid is vital to their survival, and there could be devastating ramifications for the broader economy if the sector is not stabilized.

“This is an issue of the whole auto industry, if that becomes under severe pressure, the impact on the whole U.S. economy will be devastating,” GM Chief Executive Rick Wagoner said in an appearance on a NBC-affiliated television station in Detroit.

Retired Gen. Wesley Clark says that a rescue of U.S. automakers is important both economically and for national security. In a New York Times opinion piece, Clark wrote that the U.S. auto industry has played an important role in successive military campaigns, from World War II to today, and its ability to continue to develop new technologies is imperative for national security.

Some are calling for executive shake-ups if it would ensure congressional backing for a bailout. “If it was the difference between getting this kind of support or not, obviously the management should consider resigning,” Carl Levin, a staunch industry ally, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

As Democrats finalize a rescue plan, the question remains: should U.S. automakers be bailed out?

(Pictured above: G. Richard Wagoner (R), chairman and CEO of General Motors, testifies next to Robert Nardelli (2nd R), chairman and CEO of Chrysler, Alan Mulally (2nd L), President and CEO of Ford Motor Company, and Ron Gettelfinger (L), President of the United Auto Workers union, before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs in a hearing on “Examining the State of the Domestic Automobile Industry,” on Capitol Hill in Washington, November 18, 2008.  REUTERS/Molly Riley)

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184 comments

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yes the auto big 3 should get help.they are the backbone of our country!!!!

yes the auto big three should get help!!!!

Automakers should not be bailed out!!!!! They were working on the red numbers before recession hit us. Its like trowing tax money to the waste!!!! They are not efficient why give them money? Let them solve there problems by themselves!!! US should stop playing nanny to private business. Maybe they will get to grow up!!

Posted by Nina | Report as abusive

Several weeks ago I saw a picture in the newspaper of a group of soon to be laid off UAW auto workers leaving their jobs. For the most part they were overweight,middle aged men smoking, needing haircuts and a shave, wearing sweat shirts, track pants and baseball caps on backwards.
These guys were making $35.00 or so an hour and pissed at their employer.
Gee, I wonder why the industry is in trouble?

HELL NO! it will only prolong the inevitable. the big three are run like they are still in the 1950s. let them fail, deal with the results and a stronger country and economy will come of it eventually

Posted by richard kadel | Report as abusive

Why bail out a company that has huge manufacturing interests internationally? GM is hardly a solely American company any more. The 2003-2009 Monte Carlo, Impala, Grand Prix and Buick Regal were all manufactured in Canada. Holden auto of Australia now manufactures most of Pontiac’s line and many of the Vauxhall vehicles sold in Britain. Many of the engine blocks are now cast and machined in Mexico. GM is already investing heavily into SAIC of China. GM is not going anywhere but out of the USA. The UAW pension program is the crippiling factor for their bottom lines. You can bet the big three no longer have interest in supporting big labor. Instead you will be doing nothing but propping up a retirement program on the rest of Americas back. Let the company fail.

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive

No. This trend toward national socialism is getting way out of hand. Rather than a bail out as a vital industry to our economy and to prevent massive job losses, they ought only to make loans which are no different than the companies would have gotten from a bank.

This industry made mistakes that were easy to identify a few years ago when they decided that making the more then profitable trucks and SUVs were preferrable to correcting the product mix to reflect the growing reality of international competition and energy issues. If they are to go bankrupt in order to effect the necessary restructuring to make them into competitive businesses the government is in no position to interrupt the capitalist market correction. Major airlines managed themselves through bankruptcy and Delta went on to acquire one of it’s competitors. This is unnecessary government intervention.

Posted by Ray | Report as abusive

I see the auto workers are going to end up being shafted thanks to the incompetence of their bosses. History repeats.

In the late 60s and early 70s the US automakers didn’t start making small cars….and when the oil shocks hit they were badly caught out. OK…maybe that time it really was a surprise. But this tmie it wasn’t.

I – me – saw this coming 5 years ago. Bush’s war and tax cuts would SURELY lead to huge deficits, higher interest rates and a falling dollar. In economic terms, this is like can you spell “D’uh”? The new element compared to past cycles was “peak oil”…which isn’t really peak oil, but a lag between racing demand winning out over lagging ability to discover and supply. Plus all those US refineries shut down over the past 20 years to support higher prices by creating seasonal bottlenecks.

Never mind all that – did the US automakers plan for smaller,more fuel efficient cars? Did they back laws that would recognise the need to use less oil – for the environment, national security and to support a move to smaller, more efficient cars in advance of higher oil prices?

No. They built SUVs and Hummers and all sort of things no one in their right mind outside the US would ever buy…..and no one at home would either once oil became more expensive…and as it SURELY would.

These people don’t deserve saving….but I can certainly understand why the Unions are wondering why THEY have to pay for their bosses’ incompetence.

No, No, No, After the President of the Auto Workers Union said that they were not willing to make concessions to help out I say let them stew in their own juices. If the auto makers file for bankruptcy how much do you think they will be forced to cut. Just look at the airline workers after the airlines filed. The bankruptcy couldn’ say yes fast enough to the airlines to cut wages and benefits.
The US Auto makers have screwed the consuming public for decades by putting out poor products with poor designs ever since I can remember and that goes back to the 1950′s meanwhile the Japanese have captured the market buy producing good auto with good design that the public wants.
I’ve only owned 2 foreign auto since I bought my first one in 1962, but my next one will be foreign unless the US makers make a 360 degree change.
By the way I am pro-union and pro buy American but I’ve simply had enough.

Posted by Phil | Report as abusive

From reading the early comments …most seem driven by nationalism … a thing of the past … such pride, like religion, is often the cause of many of the world’s problems. We are no longer in “Kansas” … we are becoming part of one world … like it or not. Assistance is needed, but with restrictions … no bonuses, no raises for labor, and no dividends for stockholders.

Posted by John | Report as abusive

NO, NO, NO, the auto industry cannot be bailed out. They have resisted change for the production line. They continued with the gas guzzler cars, and now, they refuse to make concessions. Yes, the unions backed Obama, but we should have to pay for a bailout. The vehicle and parts are not even made in this country too many times. Let the strongest survive or sink. Stop the dividends and high bonus and benefit packages. Stop paying someone just to show up for work. They must change like the rest of America.

Posted by Mim | Report as abusive

approve of keeping the automotive industry viasble as a matter of national defense and fiscal policy.Mass unemployment must be avoided.

Posted by sid millman | Report as abusive

Exactly when did making cars become vital to national security? These dinosaurs should be forced to close plants, cut costs and lay off workers the way any other business does in a recession (Citigroup, Circuit City). Adapt, evolve or stop making cars. 25 billion dollars just gives them more time to fail, and the sooner they fail, the faster they will be acquired by another multinational competitor who will retool the assembly plants, rehire valuable employees and start ordering parts from suppliers. Sure some people will lose their jobs-they’re going to whatever happens-but the US auto industry will not disappear. And if pension plan health care costs are included in the acquisition, the retired autoworkers are protected. Crisis? What crisis?

Posted by Robert Bornhorst | Report as abusive

They should not be bailed out. They are part of an \”old\” economy based on perpetual growth in consumption. This economy must eventually be replaced by a more sustainable model, and before we can get there we have to scale back seriously.

The sooner we start scaling back the better of we will be in the end.

If they get bailed out now, how much time does it buy before they are in even deeper sh*t?

Though the consequences of them failing now will be severe, no matter we do, they will fail anyway. Its better we deal with the consequences now rather than later.

Posted by picoday | Report as abusive

The auto industry has spend a lot of valuable financial resources lobbying for lower safety and fuel standards than investing in technology to get out of the funk like the Japanese companies are doing. This is remniscent of of the Pinto Days when the US automakers lobbied heavily against car safety standards rather than fix the fuel tank issue. This industry has had a poor record of survival and will use the tax payer money on lawyers (to lobby) rather invest in technology to become profitable.

Posted by Anant | Report as abusive

yes but the end product must be improved and unions must backoff from excessive demands and control

Posted by Pete Perry | Report as abusive

I can’t believe how stupid, blind and idiotic most of the american people are showing themselve’s to be! GM is not asking for a free handout like your wallstreet buddy’s! GM wants aloan to not only save it’s self from distruction, but try to save alot of american jobs. If you forgotten what that is. I bet most of you probably shop at Walmart!!!!!Sending most of the american money to where you ask????? chinia…not the U.S.! THIS IS NOT INTIRELY ABOUT THE AUTO WORKER , IT’S ABOUT EVERONE IN BETWEEN. The steel’glass,rubber,plastic,Bank’s Sear’s the locale carpenter,the locale mechanic, your locale home heating & air conditioning maint. Guy, just something as simple as going to your personal Barber.Not to mention where would the healthcare go with over a million job’s gone?with no one buying healthcare, because no one has a job!!!!! But maybe we could go to chinia, for healthcare!! If you thought the Great depresstion was bad with only almost a 30% unemployment rate, Try about 80%+ out OF work lost there pention’s medicare, medicde, S.SUCURITY BECAUSE THERE WOULD’NT BE NO ONE WITH A JOB LEFT TO PAY SS.I can’t believe this great county we live in, after 911,,,,,were like lamb’s being led to slauder!!! And an other thing It’s the dam GREED OF THE CORPARATE CEO’S THE REASON YOUR AMERICAN CAR’S & TRUCK’S COST SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s not because of the laber cost like the ceo’ make us to be. It’s the fat cat’s ceo’s sitting in there Ivory towers squeezing the life force out of there LABOR, BECAUSE THERE TRYING TO MAKE A FAIR DAYS WAGE! Why can’t you (americans) see it!!! WAKE UP PEOPLE! It was the auto worker, carpenter, janitor,electrition ect.ect. working 12 -16 hour shifts so the son’s & dauters could go to collage and get so SMART…..Now you want to trow us to the curb? Wake up !who set you up on your way to your Ivory tower? And what type of job did your mom & dad have. This is Truely the (ME GENERATION) NOT THINKING OR CAREING ABOUT THERE AGEING PARENTS,OR THERE GREAT,GREAT GRAND kID’S….I only hope and pray this new PRESIDENT CAN LEAD US TOWARD’S NEW PROISPERITY & UNITY AS AMERICANS. HOPEFULLY WE CAN TURN THIS COUNTRY AROUND AND START EXPORTING MORE THAN WE’RE IMPORTING! AND CHARGEING A FAIR EXCISE TAX FOR IN COMING IMPORTS. THE WORKING CLASS PEOPLE HAVE GIVEN & GIVEN&GIVEN, NOW HOW ABOUT THE FAT CAT’S TOP 20% START GIVING???????? FOR A CHANGE.

Posted by MARK | Report as abusive

It’s imperative that Ford and GM be bail out as soon as possible and let Crysler merging with another foreign auto maker to unclog our economy.

Posted by Lewis Chavez | Report as abusive

Yes, let’s bail everyone out. Where is our American Spirit? Let the big 3 sell their Gas Guzzling SUVs at cost. They really should’ve been making Fuel Efficient Autos (Years Ago). I think Bush should just “give” every Man, Woman and child $25,000 (Tax Free) then I can buy a new Vehicle. That will help Bail ‘em out and we’ll all be stylin’. Also, give every Family $250,000 (Tax Free) so we can all buy a new Home. That will end all the Fore-closures. Come on Guys, just fire up those printing presses, who cares what the rest of the World thinks!!!

Posted by Zeppelin | Report as abusive

So $700 billion for the finacial sector is alright, but not a meer $25 billion for the auto industry? Unfortunatly, we have to bail out the auto industry. Say the entire world is against us and we are at war, how will we manufacture the equiptment we need to defend ourselves, idiots? The same reasons we don’t want to rely on the rest of the world for oil apply here.

What needs to be fixed is the way the auto industry is run. Unions need to be out – that way we are not paying someone $35 an hr to literally watch paint dry while also funding a 100% pension.

Also, do we really want to lose another 200,000 jobs? You may think yours is safe but for every job lost, losing yours becomes closer.

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

Will $25B enough to let the Big Three survive and come back? Don’t fool ourselves. There have been no short-term and long-term plans workable for a long time. The only reason we are considering the rescue plan is that we can not afford letting them down. The point is that $25B will not turn things around. $25B will just let us wait for several months to hear another amount needed. Special case needs special means to handle. Unfortunately, the very critical and best solutions will normally be put aside for political and regional(or group)-interest reasons until we are forced to abide by a natural and worse selection. This world needs visionaries with lest self interests in the businesses.

Posted by Juns Fuller | Report as abusive

I’m a proud American. I’m not proud of how this country wants to have its cake and eat it too. In our capitalist society, not only in business but in our daily lives, where over 40 million of us cannot afford health insurance, we accept that the strongest will survive. Detroit has for years been behind the foreign competition in quality and management. It is the reason why millions of Americans drive foreign cars. It would be a crime to bail out the inept domestic auto industry while millions of people in this country are lacking the most basic human rights, such as health insurance and affordable education.

Posted by G | Report as abusive

Oh, by the way, once these Gas Guzzling Hogs are cleared from Inventory, It’s time to learn from Honda. I drive a 2003 Honda Civic LX (with a 5 speed) It averages 36 MPG. I used to drive nothing but American for almost 30 years, I am sticking to Honda. As far as the UAW, you guys live in an unrealistic world. You are way overpaid vs. the average Manufacturing Laborer (By at Least 100%). Deep inside, you know this. You push for higher “EVERYTHING” due to watching the OUTRAGEOUS Profits your employers make.The American consumer keeps getting into longer and longer LOAN TERMS (60 and 72 Months) to pay the (Higher and Higher Prices) for your overpriced junk.
Since Detroits Housing Market is in the The Toilet, what happened to all of your outrageous Paychecks???

Posted by Zeppelin | Report as abusive

Mark, should we also negotiate with terrorists? That is what you are insinuating here. Let’s bail everyone out because we have become this Reckless push everything to the Max country. Because we are American we are under the ILLUSION that it is our God Given Birth Right to have anything we want. We are through!!! We are going to suffer GREATLY for the next 10 years, to pay for the last 30+ years of Reckless Abandonment. We are heading for another Great Depression, whether you think so or not. The New “Debtor Nation” is now owned or will be owned by the Countries Corporate America Advanced. How Ironic that China sit on $2 trillion of what was our Wealth… We Globalized the World, at our expense…

Posted by Zeppelin | Report as abusive

you know I have to believe there are Smarter people out there writeing a lot of these POST’S….It truely amazes me at all the ignorance there is….why do you slam the little guy makeing *$25.00* which is afair day’s pay for afair days wage. my husband, father in law father ect. all worked probably just as, or more than likely harder than most of you. There’s alot of you that do not even come close to working as hard AS THE AUTOWORKER’S AND NONE OF YOU HAVE GOTTEN INJURED AS THEY HAVE AND ARE NOW!(THANK GOD YOU DONT HAVE TO)! ALOT OF YOU WOULD NOT LAST THE DAY!!!! UNTIL YOU KNOW PERSONLY THE PAIN & HARDSHIP’S THAT COME WITH THAT BIG $25.00 AN HOUR…. I WOULD KEEP MY MOUTH SHUT!

Posted by Joanne T. | Report as abusive

It would be criminal to give the automakers money and a free pass. There needs to be some very strict restrictions put on the money given to them.

Management needs to be changed. They should be required to submit their plan to Congress as to how they will change their business plan and the steps that they will undertake. There must be penalties for them if they do not abide by the plan.

Contracts need to be renegotiated and they must bring themselves into the 21st century and make automobiles that people would actually like to buy.

Cars need to be better designed and to be more fuel efficient. Further, GM has spent over $1billion to lobby Congress each year. Are they going to continue with this madness. Why are we rewarding them for wrecking the US auto industry?

Madness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. They have been running that company into the ground for the last twenty years with completely unsound policies and bureaucratic thinking. Why are they being rewarded for their atrocious management.

Throw them out , without any perks and golden parachutes.

So…why are we not hearing people screaming about the lack of financial assistance from the OIL industry to the AUTO industry?

I mean, after years of outrageous profits and without ever an offer to help even the poor pay for their ever increasing cost of oil & gas; isn’t now the time for big oil to come to the aid of one of it’s biggest users, i.e. the U.S. auto industry?

Or…does “big oil” not care if the auto industry fails?

Do we (you-me-Uncle Sam) once again have to step up to the plate to pay for the stupidity and excesses of executives who care only for themselves?

Ned H.
Chicago. IL

No, they shouldn’t be bailed out unless the goverment will bail me out.I have to pay my bills and so should they. I would consider a loan with stipulations as to where the parts are made and where the cars are assembled. This could be done in such a way to create jobs and stimulate more exporting rather than importing things from other countries that put Americans out of work. The negative start for America and jobs was when a past President pushed a NFTA law through.

Posted by Ron | Report as abusive

The United states automakers should be helped.

First of all, regarding SUV and gas guzzling cars versus small cars is based on supply and demand. Look at 10 years ago, if everyone was thinking conservation, it did not show! Consumers purchased SUV’s and trucks because that is what the demand was! No body wanted small cars and they did not sell as well or obtain a good profit. The profits from these sales of SUV and trucks translated in distributed profits to all including me as automotive engineer working for a suppler. I used this money to purchase a house, buy furniture and distribute the wealth onward. Second of all, trucks and SUV’s are not going away simply because there will still be a demand for them. Think about it, if you want to go on a trip with the family of 4 or 5 are you really going to cram everone into a pint size car? or better yet buy two of them to make sure everyone can go on the same ‘s trip? Waste of more gas, money and a bigger carbon footprint. Family’s will purchase a truck or a suv no matter what. Also, keep buying Honda’s and Toyota’s. They set up plants here and most of the money is sent back to Japan. How come the U.S. cannot set up shop in Japan to make Ford Fusions, Chevy Colbalts or Dodge Nitros? Japan does not want it and they shut down thier ports to U.S. exports. Also, U.S. carmakers design, manufacture and ship a product within the United States. What else is left in the United States to design and manufacturing? Not much as lot of imports come from China and so forth. Just think about it.

Posted by Jim | Report as abusive

I’m not for saving the automakers, although I have heard some arguments that are very valid such as Gen. Clark’s which is as much a scare tactic as anything else.
Unions are easy to attack which I’m all in for… but there is also a deeper more significant problem than just the unions and that is heathcare. As of 2004 $1500 of every car built, by GM specifically, went to pay for employee healthcare. Now are the autoworkers crazy for wanting heathcare? No, but framing this issue in a small perspective won’t help us any. This is a multi-facetted problem stemming from high oil prices to unions.

Posted by Nathan Rockman | Report as abusive

No, they\’re dinosaurs and subject to extinction. I grew up in mid-Michigan, the heart of US automotive country, and witnessed these titans of arrogance first-hand my entire life. While the boomers and earlier generations collected fat wages and benefits even while not working (pension? what\’s a pension?) – their gen x/y children were left out in the cold. Our ideas, innovations and educations went to waste and were squashed by the greed and corruption of our elders. The jobs and ways of life these industries promised to us growing up never materialized, and for 30+ years these companies (as well as so many others) blatantly refused to acknowledge consumer needs and the technologies needed to strive forward into the future – while every single social and economic warning siren blaired shrilly in their smug faces.

Do they have a super-secret-awesome car hidden away that they\’re going to sell to us if we bail them out? No. They purposely and with malice squelched every idea offered by their peers, science and even their own internal units dedicated to research on the subject over the past 30 years. They spent billions suppressing new fuel efficiency legislation and with their ever-willing buddies in the UAW created a mess of their own industry. Let\’s ask them all: what happened to the steam-powered car? Yeah, I thought so.

When I graduated college I was forced to move out of Michigan to the American Southwest in search of work and a chance at a career – as the Big 3 offered nothing but grey skies and a bleak future to the generations now eating at the barren table they themselves set for us.

Bail out the Big 3? Why? Why not bail out the Vegas Casinos while we\’re at it? They also, without question, support millions of jobs in the economy at large and have taken a massive hit. The Nevada unemployment rate now matches Michigan\’s. No casino bailout? Then screw Detroit, too. Welcome to Free Market 101. Welcome, Boomers, to the sinking ship you were warned about for the last generation (or more). You made your bed – time to lay in it. Go ahead, gnash your teeth – goodness knows your children are. We can even all do it together – since we\’re moving back in with ya soon – ya know, since our houses have been repossessed and our educations were (apparently) for nothing. All thanks to this impressive economy ya\’ll layed out for us. Good job! Well done!

BTW: I am also a lifelong auto enthusiast. I have owned, restored, raced and enjoyed more grand-daddy (US) autos in my 31 years than most 50+ year old UAW members can boast. I have enjoyed this hobby my entire life. But I will also be the first to admit the technology \”stinks\” (at best) – and there\’s only one car I\’m \”happy\” to have in my driveway: my trusty Honda Civic. The rest are now, for all intents and purposes, several tons of scrap. Hey GM/Ford! I got some cars you can buy back from me for pennies on the dollar! Heck, I might even PAY you to get \’em outta my driveway.

No, no bail out. No way. Bad for the US, bad for the free market, bad for the generations who will be left holding the massive bill when the inevitable tumble happens despite any potential bailout money. Welcome to you New World Order. Oh? This isn\’t what you had in mind? Oh well. Suck it up and move on like the rest of us have had to. Let the Big 3 fall, their day of reckoning has come.

Posted by Joel | Report as abusive

$38,954,972

GM CEO’s compensation jumps 64 percent in 2007

http://www.companypay.com/executive/comp ensation/general-motors-corp.asp?yr=2008

Sure! Let’s bail them out.

Posted by Will | Report as abusive

What happened to the entrepreneurial spirit and the opportunity to build a business in America? Remember when businesses could rise or fall on their own merits? Even today, over 75% of new businesses fail within the first two years of their start-up date. Was the Federal Government there to bail out a bad idea? No. There is no question that men and women who have an “idea” or a “vision” and have invested, barrowed, and devoted a lifetime of sweat equity to make their dream a reality were aware of the risks and the rewards of their venture. The risks can be disasterous but the rewards can be great. At one time, the rewards didn’t include a “bailout” by the Federal Government to further failing businesses. If companines got big enough they could go public or issue bonds to entice investors. If companines were to survive they had to offer a marketable product to deminish the risk faced by the investor. The question to be asked is: shouldn’t it be the same for the auto industry? Currently, the leadership of the auto industry hasn’t provided a product that entices the American investor. Why would the Federal Government step in to prolong the inevidable and disrupt a system that has been in effect for over 150 years?

Let’s look a the poor union workers. If it were not for the captains of industry willing to face the risks of surviving a grulling education, building businesses and creating opportunities; union workers, especially those feeling so lowly employed and being abused for profit, would have never had the opportunity to work in the first place. Unfortunately, union members have relied on poor leadership that serves their own self interest to the point of “hell with the company” let them fail we deserve more. All at the memebers’ expense. Read Obama’s Audacity of Hope. Go to school. Get an education. Get a good paying job. Create a skill set that isn’t dependant upon a shop steward’s whims for employment and promotion. In many areas of the United States today, Chinese, Indians, Latinos, Japanese and just about every other ethnic group in America are here working hard for their chance to get family members educated and schooled in hopes of realizing the American dream. Families work hard late hours in 7/11′s, local laundries, landscaping, resturants and any number of menial jobs to support the education efforts of family members. Unfortuantely, the union mentality of our workforce starts with those first jobs; we have American born kids who wouldn’t think of taking a job at McDonal’s for $10.00 an hour because it is beneanth them. Nor will they spend the time to seriously apply themselves school or after graduation to obtain a better paying job. Prime fodder for the labor unions. The tenured union elite will be spend efforts unionizing these young people, preying upon them and guaranteeing them jobs from cradle to grave. All at the expense of some poor bastard who believed in the American Way of life, built a business and risked everything she had to reach her goals. Does she deserve to be bailed out? No; and most of her peers don’t expect to be bailed out either. But she should have the right to seek the best way she can to build her “widgit” with limited government interference and taxation without some self serving union boss closing her plant down all in the name union benefits.

Those on both sides of this issue need to open their eyes and walk in one anothers shoes. It is going to be painful. Pray to God our new president can provide the leadership we have been lacking. it is not red, it is not blue; it is an American problem. We need to come together to solve this huge delima.

Posted by Steve Smith | Report as abusive

I have a Maquilia foundry in Mexico a few weeks ago we were asked if we would do work for a newly planned Chrysler plant that will be built in central Mexico at a cost of 1.9 billion dollars. Why waste our tax money on companies like this that push work out of the US? GM built 3 times the capacity it needed in China, if they survive they will bring cars to the US eventually, made in China! The car companies treat there vendors horribly, predatory pricing policies that drive many out of business. Those that live by the sword should die by the sword..its there turn..dont help them until they are in bankruptcy then the government can back the warrantee’s and help the leaner company they must become.
Thanks,
Dean

Posted by Dean | Report as abusive

Absolutely not. They need to restructure, and will not do it unless required. The business, and the economy, will be healthier in the long run. A bailout will only preserve a decayed system.

Posted by Sue Young | Report as abusive

The ignorance I see in some of these posts is amazing. You call for the collapse of the big 3. If that happens just wait and see how much worse we will be. I’m for a bailout of the big 3 but with conditions. I feel management needs to be replaced with fresh individuals with fresh ideas. I’ve always driven a GM car and I’m proud to say that I buy american. The ripple effect of a big 3 collapse will be far reaching and for the ignorant ones that say collapse just wait until the ripple gets to you.

Bail out the auto companies? Absolutely not! Shouldn’t be bailing out any company, including the banks.

Posted by Hugh | Report as abusive

No Bail Out – No Way!

Bottom line: GM, Ford and Chrysler make horrible cars.

I switched to Toyota after 20 years of trying out Chevys, Chryslers, etc. AND spending many hours in and out of dealerships for repairs.

The quality of the Toyota and Honda cars put our American autos to shame!

Build a crummy product – no customers! No Bail Out!!

Posted by Cat Smith | Report as abusive

Shame on all of you naysayers who pay lip service to refusing help for GM. It was the greed of some of the real estate and financial community that has brought us to this extreme difficulty in money flow. We gave the financial industry money and they have parties, vacations and increased dividends with our money! Have most of you forgotten that it was the auto industry that gave up some or their profits to the banks after 911, by introducing 0% financing to jump start the economy after the Twin Towers fell? The real estate and financial monoliths did not do their share to ease that burden and yet we bailed them out, courtesy of two of their own: Paulson and Kashkari. That is like asking looters to watch your property during a natural disaster. If GM is allowed to fail, then all of the millions of people who supply GM and their billions of people who supply them will also fail. This is the core of our economy whether you like it or not. Letting GM down will be worse than any natural disaster or terrorist act, and helping GM survive deserves to be considered a national state of emergency.

Yes, sell ‘em.. to the Saudi’s.
UK just sold a big chunk of one of the biggest banks to the oil rich.

Posted by Sueco, London | Report as abusive

I don’t really agree with saving the companies. They couldn’t make money in the best of times so what’s propping them up going to do? But I feel we have to. Imagine the impact to the economy. Imagine another 2-3 million people with decent paying jobs being out of work… bad news, unemployment poverty of epic proportions, death of towns, separation of families… What does need to happen is that the sweeeet deals that these workers have been riding $70-100K per year to work on a factory line, mad benefits, pensions, overtime they gotta go simply. Auto workers union strong arm tactics gotta go. Simply doesn’t make sense anymore.

Posted by J Tirmandi | Report as abusive

The automakers knew they were in trouble long ago & yet,
while losing money, they kept on giving their ceo’s & top
executives millions & millions of dollars in bonuses, which is inexecusable. This is true of just about every enterprise that asked for bailout money. I know there will be a tremendous & awful ripple effect if the government does not step in. However, there must be a way to retrieve some of the bonus money that was given to these top executives.

Posted by R Citron | Report as abusive

I left GM almost 40 yrs ago because I could not stand to make poor quality products. They would ship a car to a dealer and leave him with the problem to fix. It has improved since then but they still have their mind set on large vehicles. Wtihout a quality small engine and an appropriate light weight body, the Big 3 will not be competitive. My son was an engineer for Cadillac Hamtramick. When we would talk about automotive he reminded me that…. “I should not be familiar with his present design, assembly, etc. problems. What he was saying is that the system has not changed in a generation. Detroit’s day has gone. Lope off their heads and get on with a new day and design!

Posted by boobyprize | Report as abusive

Bailouts

Bail out the Student Loan People.

If you bail out the Student Loan People and remove the disgusting debt, then they cn stary buying stuff again, including cars.

Yeah, Trilion dollars for the gambling bankers, and the opportunity for bankruptcy. But no money for the people that invested in education and only DEATH can get you out of it.

Cancel the STUDENT LOANS and free-up Amerian SPIRIT, millions of dollars, and happiness from suffocating debt.

A few points…

Many of you here like to bash American cars, saying they’re horrible because you owned a bad one 20 years ago. Obviously you haven’t read recent critics reviews (see Consumer Reports…Edmunds…anyone) that indicate that many of them run with the best.

And no fuel-efficient American cars? Hello…all make fuel-efficient small cars that meet or eclipse the fuel efficiency of the Civics, etc. that some of you seem to think are so unique.

Instead of bashing American cars, why don’t you educate yourselves instead of regurgitating what mommy said 15 years ago.

Also, those of you in pursuit of “fairness” should research how many jobs the industry provides, and then think for 2 seconds about the effect its collapse would have on your lifestyle.

Posted by Andy | Report as abusive

Give the auto workers union a federal loan to buy the automakers at distressed prices, the loan to be paid back by payroll witholding from the rank and file. Then they can negotiate with themselves! Also, try modest fiscal incentives for them to make competetive and responsible cars. Vehicles are a huge import item, and if we don’t slash imports it’s just possible that you’ll be blowing your nose on $20 bills because you don’t have enough $20 bills to buy a box of tissue!

Posted by Kurve Ball | Report as abusive

I think a mix of the two proposals should be considered. The US auto makers desparately need to reorganize, replace management and corporate boards. The required change in culture can only hapen from the very top! On the other hand, just allowing them to enter chapter 11 runs the grave risk of their markets disappearing altogether. After all, unlike the airline industries which are protected from foreign competition through ownership limitations, there is plenty of Asian and European companies to fill the remaining void. To prevent a total collapse and dump another 2 to 3 million people onto the unemployemnt role, the government should remain the lender of last resort in the case that the private sector will not step in with debtor in possession financing to assure thatn companies can continue to operate during the reorganization process.

BAIL THEM OUT! Wouldn’t it cost more in the long run through unemployment, food stamps, medicaid, not collecting income taxes, not collecting sales taxes, list goes on and on!

Posted by Lorenda | Report as abusive

I’m generally against the bailout. I don’t see why we should reward companies with bad business practices. The Big 3 for too long have been dinosaurs unable to keep with foreign competition. Let them go into bankruptcy and restructure. It worked with the airlines, why not the auto industry?

I think for the Big 3 to be successful, they’ll need to stop letting the unions have so much power. Unskilled American workers demand high wages and cushy benefits just because they were born in the US. Foreign workers will do the same job for much less. However, the unions have been dragging down the Big 3 for too long. American workers to get the skills to compete in the global job market. The Big 3 shouldn’t pay a premium to Americans with a sense of entitlement.

Posted by CJ Burgbacher | Report as abusive

Sorry to say the American auto industry is is need of systemic overhaul, from their willingness to feed the public’s gross excesses in vehicle design to the corrupt and out of control union behaviors. Sending them bailout money will not force the changes needed.

Posted by Fred Wilson | Report as abusive

Let the Oil Companies bail-out the Big Three. That’s who the domestic car makers have been in bed with all these years. Building gas guzzlers that keep us addicted to the oil companies, instead of sensible alternative cars the public wants, like Prius.
Just look who GM sold the patent to it’s original electric-car battery…..Chevron, the OIL COMPANY. And that move deprived everyone of electric cars for the last decade. Use oil company profits to bail them out, not taxpayers money.
F#CK GM.

Posted by Greg | Report as abusive

To Andy

Concerning you comments Posted below…..
People bash domestic because the are mechanically, sylishly, ergonomically and technically inferior.
1) the “fuel efficient” Domestic cars are in-fact
RE-BADGED IMPORTS from asia and korea. Obviously you need to get your facts straight.
2) domestic car makers are selling inferior cars RIGHT NOW…and 20 years ago. How many Chrysler mini-vans need new transmissions in the first year?
3) Gm can’t even get it’s ridiculous MILD hybrids (what a joke) right, having recalled ALL the batteries in ALL OF THEM.

Posted by Greg | Report as abusive

Let start by balancing our nation’s checkbook ! We should immediately start cutting goverment jobs at the national,state and local levels 33%. The benefits, salaries and cola’s can not be sustained and should not be sustained at the expense on all of the rest of America’s employeed workers. Military spending must be cut dramatically 50%, and we need to close all foreign bases and bring home all military personal, if we have any hope of trying to balance our national debit load.

I feel the big three auto makers should be helped, but how much is the problem. They have set still for too many years on their research and develop on alternative fuels and other unconventional ways to power their vehicles. I know they will say their customers dictate what they build because of the market. But they have been so busy paying their executives and management for non-performance their R&D budgets have suffered.

Some proponents of the “bailout” has said to put restrictions on Executives pay require them to do more research. That was brought up years ago and they resisted because they could sell what they built. They have shown they only care about profit. When hearings are held they will say other wise, they will be lying.

When the Congress started bailing out the financal institutions they started something that will lead to a horrorable recession and possible a depression. The lending institutions have for years made it too easy for businesses and individuals to borrow money. When money is borrowed without proper collateral bad things happen. For many years banks have been lending too high a percentage of the amount needed to buy a home or product and the American cunsumer is spoiled.

A change is needed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Posted by Clay | Report as abusive

the companies should produce some prototypes of green technology and detail plan to get to the green technology before getting a single cent.

The taxpayer should be buying if any at all tangible goods and IP rather than giving away money base on faith that the companies will actually pursue and create green feasible technology. Remember this is not the first time these companies had asked for and received help.

Posted by Cassandra | Report as abusive

TO WHO IT MAY CONCERN, I AM A FORD RETIREE. ITS ALL THE UPPER MANAGEMENT FAULT. WHO IS THE UPPER MANAGEMENT? OF COURSE ITS FORDS CEOS,BUT WHO IS THEIR UPPER MANAGEMENT? THE US GOVERMENT IS THE UPPER MANAGEMENT. WHO IS THE US GOVERMENTS UPPER MANAGEMENT? WHO IS REALLY CALLING THE SHOTS RIGHT NOW. GUESS WHO. THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION. PLEASE DONT BLAME THE POOR FACTORY WORKERS AND THE UNION. YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW HARD I HAVE WORKED ALL MY LIFE, AND ALL AUTO WORKERS. I HAVE A RIGHT MAKE A STATEMENT. I DONT KNOW WHAT MY LIFE WOULD HAVE BEEN LIKE WORKING AT THE FORD MO COM WITHOUT THE UAW. THEY PROTECTED MY RIGHTS AS A HUMAN BEING. BELIEVE YOU ME I EARNED EVERY PENNY I WORKED FOR. AN HONEST DAYS WORK FOR AN HONEST DAYS PAY. GO NO FARTHER. SINCERELY,LANA GODSEA

Posted by LANA GODSEA | Report as abusive

Detroit makes junk cars that get poor milage and turn into a puddle of rust in a few years with prohibited repair costs. Hey Washington! Look at what people are saying in these commemtaries. You will not be re-elected if you don’t! John

Posted by John Dinneny | Report as abusive

GM pays their USA workers $73/hour, is not profitable and is asking for a bailout

Toyota pays their USA workers $42/hour, is profitable and is NOT asking for a bailout.

Just think about it …

Posted by California Kid | Report as abusive

The problem with auto makers can’t be fixed by $25B or any amount. Yet it’s as simple as 3 letters – UAW. Unfortunately America can have auto industry or UAW – but not both.
Just think: semi-skilled workers are paid college grad wages with executive level benefits and public sector-like pensions. It was hardly sustainable when the Big 3 had the US market almost exclusively for themselves, and a good chunk of it around the world. The money that could’ve been spent for R&D went to line the pockets of UAW bosses. Instead of hiring scientists, engineers, and designers, the auto makers had to keep on the payroll the workers of idled plants. The competitors meanwhile were not standing still, cutting in both perceptions of US-built cars as the best, and the market share.
It used to be that foreign car buyers were either too poor or too eccentric. “I can’t afford a Chevy” was stamped all over Toyota or VW Beetle – the original one. Caddy and Lincoln were the symbols of luxury and prestige. Mercedes? Only if you must have something no one else on the block does. These days? It’s Ford and Chevy screaming “I can’t afford a Toyota”. The new Beetle is luxury European import. It’s Caddy trying to compete against Europeans, and Lincoln largely relegated to limo service and rentals.
Now that the Big 3 are not so big, and their share shrunk, it’s not sustainable.
Just think: foreign auto makers are opening new plants, one after another after another, and make good business. What’s the difference between Alabama and Detroit? Just one – no unions down there, and the foreign auto makers want to keep it that way. One of the reasons for Daimler to part their ways with Chrysler was the UAW demand to open Mercedes plants to them.
The funniest thing is, one way or another, UAW will die anyway. If they bleed to death the Big 3, they will also go into oblivion because their remaining manufacturing base – Caterpillar and who else? – will be too small to sustain them the way they are. The bailout will just prolong the agony.
The Congress can help. Not by throwing good money after the bad, but by legislating dissolution of UAW. If it could be done to air traffic controllers, it can be done to any union. Yes, the membership will suffer. But if we let UAW to stay, the price will be to high for everyone, including UAW members. If we help the Big 3 to hire hourly workers directly, there will be jobs – not as lucrative, but still decent jobs. There will be benefits – yes, the workers will learn the meanings of HMO, copay, deductible, and coverage limits – just like most of us had to – but still better than no coverage at all. If most of us regular employees can survive with only 10 days of paid time off in a year, the auto workers also will. And the retirees… I feel for them, but they’ll have to make do with Social Security and Medicare, just as all non-union retirees do. Anyway it’ll happen to them if the industry goes under.
Too bad unions, and especially UAW, are the sacred cow for the Democrats, and Republicans will be in minority for the nearest foreseeable future. But even the Dems will eventually have to decide, if they want to have UAW or the industry. There seems no way to keep both. Just as there’s no way to have the cake, and to eat it too.

Posted by Anonymous | Report as abusive

Speaking of bailouts…how much is iraq costing us? Pocket I mean chump change. Bail out the automakers.

Posted by jim | Report as abusive

These companies wd be solvent if America had a Federally sponsored, single-payer health insurance system, and a similar basic pension scheme. Although they’re behind on developing fuel-efficient vehicles, they’re catching up, and they’ve already improved quality to the point even I’d consider buying. What’s killing them is egregious pension and health benefits, the costs of which wd be much lower if the U.S. cd ever drop the albatross of ideological opposition to this so-called ‘socialism’. Every other developed country dealt with this sixty years ago. It’s bizarre that America ranks 28th in life expectancy in the world, and yet has the highest health care costs per person on the planet.

Posted by Tatvam Asi | Report as abusive

The US automakers should know how to make a better car but no they just keep on building junk! Hondas’ and Toyotas’ they are not! Honda is the company that has the highest rate of happy customers in other words they buy Accords over and over again. Even in Arkansas there are many a family reunions where the Accords cover the lawn! Just ask a person who drives a Toyota/Honda and they will tell you that they will buy another one over and over! They offer the highest resale too!
HUM WHY do thousands of Chevy, Ford, and Chrysler dealers go to auctions praying for the chance to buy a used Honda, or Toyota does this tell you something about H& Ts? They last forever with very very little maintenance other than oil changes ect. The US auto makers should go bankrupt instead of asking for bailout money for their poor products and miss management! Ford dealers could not survive without all the shop fees the Fords bring in $$$$s! Ask a Ford man if he has ever had an modular go out- and how many times he has had his car in the shop. I bought a new Corvette once and the rear end went completely out on it on the way to be serviced and with less than 100 miles on the unit! My brother in law bought a New Corvette and believe it or not the door come unhinged and fell off!!!!! A friend of mine has a 70,000 mile Chevrolet SUV with the transmission out on it, he will not buy a GM product again! For pure satisfaction and resale put your money in a H or T and have some fun for a while!!!

Posted by Mike Crowell | Report as abusive

I like drfixu’s comment earlier today. I understand that the Federal Government employs 1.2+million people. Surely we can cut that by 33% and not miss a lick. Like drfixu, I think we should close ALL military bases outside the US, bring ALL our troops home and let western Europe, maybe France for example, police the world for a change, and thereby cut our military budget by at least 50%. I’m tired of the job, for as the old saying goes, ‘no good deed goes unpunished.’ Let Sarkosky get the chaos under control and we’ll just kick back and criticize for a change.

Posted by ken whitley | Report as abusive

Since it is not enough to solve the problem and can’t effect the eventual demise…I say NO now and save that 25 billion. Each and every Americans portion of our debt is about $175,000 already and its not looking good down the line…use that money to retrain the workers or prolong unemployment benefits or some program to the benefit of the worker only(they were offered $186,000 each for early retirement a few years back weren’t they?) Now is the time to be solution oriented and not prolong this to the benefit of who? There are still millions of autos that will need parts and servicing down the line, so many of the suppliers will still be able to continue. Its similar to the housing crisis…the builders want concessions…well why not rehab all that existing inventory instead of building new? Isn’t is a supply and demand thing? If they build more now won’t that inventory just compete with the existing supply? Decrease the existing supply and the demand will follow. I am puzzled though about how oil got to $140 a couple of months ago and is now $56….did someone locate some lost oil? Finally, I heard Paulson state that the money wasn’t needed where they originally intended to put it but I also remember he said the financial system would shut down if it wasn’t done that way….well it wasn’t done that way and it didn’t shut down…maybe we should see what the auto industry bosses can do, those guys are supposed to be the best in the business(being paid as they are)and I think they should be reminded that its their job to locate those billions.

Posted by Kath Olmstead | Report as abusive

I do NOT favor a taxpayer bailout for the automobile industry. GM and Ford have heard the ‘wolf’ scratching at the door for years and have done nothing of significance in response. Chrysler simply does not have a place in the automotive future. Technology and design have moved on and GM and Ford are stuck in the mud. The US auto industry failed way back when the future was obvious. The taxpayers of America should NOT be called on to reward ineptitude. Again I do NOT favor a taxpayer bailout of the automobile industry, and particularly the UAW.

Posted by ken whitley | Report as abusive

These automakers (and also the banks) are businesses, not charities. Why would they need to survive on taxpayer’s money when they can’t run their businesses efficiently? Lets not forget huge pay packet for some of their Chief Executives who are proven to be very good at extracting huge pay packet for themselves, but not good at all in running businesses. And now, they one bailout from taxpayers’ money! What a fuss!!!

Posted by Sad | Report as abusive

I can’t imagine giving a bailout to the automakers after they had produced a viable electric car in 1996, the EV-1, and then proceeded to recall and destroy them all in 2003 due to the extremely short-sighted policy of selling more profitable gas-guzzling Sport Utility Vehicles. Imagine how well those electric cars would have weathered high gas prices, or how the technology might have progressed had the program continued.
Although I don’t relish the thought of so many workers in the auto industry and related industries losing their jobs, the Automakers most certainly DO NOT deserve a bailout.

Posted by Molenaar | Report as abusive

The U.S. auto industry has for a long time needed an overhaul. Yes, the economic situation has caused a great deal of losses, but that is not the core problem. The auto industry has not changed its basic business core, even as other major sectors have, realizing that they needed to in order to compete with the global market place. Unfortunately one of the main problems has to do with there workforce. Pay and benefits are still based on times in our past that only 1 person worked in a family and 1 stayed home to raise the kids. A time when the American Dream was running full steam. This is no longer the case and has not been for many decades. The unions have served their purpose to get the workers the best possible, but reality is that this level of pay and benefits are not sustainable. Not in this economy, not even before this collapse. The auto industry has to look long and hard on how to make these companies into something they have not been in a long time, strong, lean, a focus on quality, service,and a very close watch on the current consumer needs and wants, and based in reality.
Unfortunately the only way to make the changes needed in current law and contracts is to file for bankruptcy. With bankruptcy they can do the reorganizing that is greatly needed to transform these companies into the icons they truly are. If the government is to give the auto industry or any industry or company any financial help, they owe it to all tax payers to expect, NO demand the changes needed in order to help them survive now and to prepare them to be able to build their futures and ours, not on sand but on solid ground from the bottom up.

Posted by sky peterson | Report as abusive

Although taxpayers helping private business is unpallatable to any American, we have to realize that we are in danger of loosing the largest domestic manufacturing base we have. Further, the human, social, and real dollar cost to every one of us of failed domesitc auto companies will absolutely be catastrophic. This will damage evereyone in America, not only those who are employed by the industry.
We must prevent the unorganized an uncontrollable failure of this industry in America and we must act immediately. Any plan must have an exit strategy for the taxpayers, and the taxpayers must earn a return, but this is only possible if we have a domestic auto industry. Failure to do this will leave us all picking up the pieces of 2 million plus lost jobs and the attendant catastrophe in all corners of our economy.

Posted by Paul | Report as abusive

Sometimes an alternative, while not a good thing, is the best of two evils.

The late Maurice Chevalier once said;

” While growing old is sometimes depressing, the alternative is much worse “.

” While aid to the Big 3 auto companies may not be too popular, the alternative is much worse “.

Some, many, have predicted that if the big three were to collapse, five million direct and at least another ten million supplier jobs, in the US and Canada, would disappear overnight. As well another million and a half retirees would suddenly be left with no pension income and no health plans.

22 % of the total North American GNP would be instantly gone!

We could then be very close to an out and out depression!

I respectfully suggest there is a way to help these companies to immediately sell hundreds of thousands more new and used vehicles, AND NOT ONE PENNY OF OUR public monies would be injected directly into GM, Ford & Chrysler to pay pensions and health plans for retirees and multi million dollar severance packages for executives.

This is how I would suggest this be accomplished;

The US and Canadian governments grant anyone – individuals and company fleet vehicles alike – a $5,000 tax credit for each new and up to 3 year old used vehicle that they purchase.

This tax credit would be a direct deal between the governments and the buyers and the buyers could still cut other deals with the auto dealers like “ thousands off “ and “zero percentage financing”.

NO PUBLIC MONEY GOES DIRECTLY TO THE AUTO COMPANIES!

This initiative would result in the immediate sale of hundreds of thousands of vehicles – which, after all, is the main objective.

AND other positive spin-offs – hundreds of thousands of less “green” and some unsafe vehicles would be taken off the roads immediately thus adding to a cleaner environment and a little less dependency on foreign oil.

To those in the auto industry who may complain of Government subsidies and protectionism – while you have a point, drastic times call foe drastic action.

Respectfully submitted.

Posted by Ted | Report as abusive

I think that GM, Ford & Chrysler should go to Toyota & Honda & ask for 25 billion & see how much help they get.
Get rid of the Unions & maybe the US Govt. will loan the money. Congress should look at the Auto Industry hard before they shell out that much money or read what the public has to say. Read what the public has to say is not in their(congress)vocabulary.

No, they should not be bailed out, they should be jailed for ripping off the american people and made to sell everything they have and then get a 8:00 to 5:00 job and live off less than 400.00 a week like a lot of us. that bail out money should go to help people losing their homes and paying their bills.

Posted by sage | Report as abusive

The most important thing is to make sure workers are compensated at the same level as the competitors — Toyota, Honda, Volkswagon, etc. Executive compensation should also be in line with that of those companies. The companies do appear to be concentrating on green vehicles. That also must be a part of their business plan. If bankruptcy is needed to achieve these objectives, so be it but how will bankruptcy affect the no. of jobs and the saleability of the autos. With the right kind of advertising they may be able to convince the public that all the cuts in salaries and wages will mean bargain autos. They may also need a written guarantee from the government that spare parts and service will continue to be available.

Posted by Gordon Johnson | Report as abusive

Reduce hourly wage and benefits to level of competitors. Reduce the ratio of executive compensation to hourly compensation to the historical low.

Posted by ultima | Report as abusive

No bailout under any circumstances. The mess they are in is entirely their own doing. Unions are not at fault. The lack of health care reform is not at fault. The companies themselves are at fault. They talk like capitalist, until the butcher’s bill arrives. The companies elected to make the same ol’ product because they thought they could get away with it. Clearly, their model does not pass the sniff test in the market place of ideas. As Roy Batty said, “Time to die.”

Posted by Mike Nomad | Report as abusive

Why not everybody go bankrupt?
Erase all jobs. Then what?

Posted by why not everybody go bankrupt? | Report as abusive

I am a GM retiree and I would like the Government to bail out GM and Ford’s. Chrysler borrowed and paid back the government once before. I depend on my Pension check.
Our people of USA should be buying ‘Made in USA’ products, but everywhere you look products say ‘Made in China’. If the government bails out GM and Ford then a credit could also be given to the American people to ‘ONLY BUY’ the ‘GM, FORD, CHRYSLER CARS’.
I worked for GM 35 years and I need my pension check – I deserve it!
Granted the auto companies listened to some bad advice along the way – just like our government – EVERYONE makes mistakes.

Would you pour water into a glass cup that had a crack on the bottom of it? Will pouring more water into it solve the problem??? That is essentially what you are doing if they decide to give money to the big 3.
We should not reward bad decisions and greed.

If you sell Doughnuts but no one wants to eat them because they found other shops that sell doughnuts that taste better than your…then you either sit there and hope…until you go out of business or QUICKLY find a way to make your doughnuts taste better than the competition. This is the way things work. Unfortunately, the big3 did not choose the latter.

Posted by James Choi | Report as abusive

Listening to all this, I (your basic professional woman who owns cars made by Honda and Acura) think no amount of money can save these companies while they are obligated to pay the pension and health benefit obligations on their books. If I were running one of these companies, I would dash as fast as possible to file for Chap 11 relief in order to get out of or reduce these obligations, and go on with life. Frankly, I would be much more inclined to buy that corp’s stock (as opposed to the non-filing companies) since I don’t believe that any amount of retooling will make them stable if they don’t reduce those obligations. Contrary to the nonsense I have heard about consumer reaction to a Chap 11 filing, I would buy a car from that company if I otherwise thought the car was a good car. And since the oil companies depend on these guys making it, if my Chap 11 company throws in 6 month’s worth of gas (gratefully provided by an oil company of the consumer’s choice), I will probably be less fussy about the car.

Posted by map | Report as abusive

“All three CEOs – Rick Wagoner of GM, Alan Mulally of Ford, and Robert Nardelli of Chrysler – exercised their perks Tuesday by flying in corporate jets to DC. Wagoner flew in GM’s $36 million luxury aircraft to tell members of Congress that the company is burning through cash, asking for $10-12 billion for GM alone.

It is one of eight luxury jets in the GM fleet that continues to ferry executives around the world despite the company’s dire financial straits.

Wagoner’s private jet trip to Washington cost his ailing company an estimated $20,000 roundtrip. In comparison, seats on Northwest Airlines flight 2364 from Detroit to Washington were going online for $288 coach and $837 first class.”

GM CEO’s compensation jumps 64 percent in 2007

http://www.companypay.com/executive/comp ensation/general-motors-corp.asp?yr=2008

Sure! Let’s bail them out.

Posted by Will | Report as abusive

I fear the government will pay to keep 3,000,000 people or so working but the product will pile up with no buyers. Cars need customers with money to justify their production. The auto makers can shift production to build trucks and construction equipment for government make-work projects as part of a real bail out. Giving the same old auto executives more money to continue business as usual will do more harm than good.

The auto market has people who don’t need cars and people who can’t afford to finance cars.

Posted by Christopher | Report as abusive

The Goverment has a limited role – Guaranteeing the pensions and health insurance for retirees and displaced workers.

Reorganizational bankrupcy is required so the Big three can emerge with cost structures competative with forign competition.

Posted by Andy | Report as abusive

and just where do people think this pay back money will come from!! the people need to take a stand and not put up with it, if all would stand together it Could be done…america needs to wake up, and all the CEO’S should take a short walk to a jail.. we the people will pay for it, just like all the rest of the crap our taxes go for and we have no clue what they spend it on.. they could have made cars that cut fuel cost, They did not want too..

Posted by rain | Report as abusive

Unfortunately, the auto industry has been running hard for years just to stay in place and hasn’t been able to. If the companies were worth anything someone would have stepped in and bought GM for cheap at $3.00 per share. Everything sells at a price if it has ANY value. GM isn’t worth the debt obligations on it. A prebankruptcy government loan is a transfer payment from taxpayers to GM’s creditors and employees. Like the airlines, once one of them goes through bankruptcy and comes out a competitor without all the baggage, it will make it more difficult for the others to avoid the same fate.

Posted by Mark Simpson | Report as abusive

“During a hearing Wednesday before the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., asked the three auto chiefs seated at the witness table before him to raise their hands if they had come to Washington on commercial airliners. No hands went up. Then he asked if any planned to sell their corporate jets. Again, no hands went up.

Sherman and Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-N.Y., told the auto executives they were having a hard time justifying to their constituents bailing out companies whose chiefs fly around in expensive private jets.

Ackerman said there was “a delicious irony in seeing private jets flying into Washington D.C. and people coming off them with tin cups in their hands.”

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive

Absolutely Not!!!
This is not a bailout of the US automotive industry. It is simply a bailout of the UAW who destroyed the US auto makers in the first place. Palosi and Reid would never have survived their pathetic political careers without the unions or the mentality associated with it, “create a sense of protecting the little guys,and we can exert tremendous political power unfettered and our greed will go unchallenged by the masses”. The Dems want the continued support of the unions and will do and say anything to get that support. Are the unions going to get something that the Dems promised them again,this time around? Do the Dems shake in their shoes thinking maybe they can’t deliver to the unions. And now that the Dems have won this election, skewed by the MSM, will we also be hearing bail-out requests from the Main Stream Media? Probably, since they are having such a hard time selling their liberal rags and are themselves failing financially. What about free enterprise and competition among all entities of the WORLD. We no longer have even one US auto manufacturer who is in the top ten rankings of auto producers. Let the dinosauers die. Let free markets rule.

Posted by Thomas | Report as abusive

The tree company that I’m working for is struggling right now, can we get a bailout?

Posted by Dan G. | Report as abusive

Back in the late sixties – early seventies, companies like Honda, Toyota, Datsun began to compete with U.S. auto makers with cars that were affordable and offered very high gas milageage per gallon. Why should we bailout companies like Ford, G.M., or Chrysler for not competing for thirty years? why are they even making “Hummers” or SUVs period? And then charge us just as much for it as an imported vehicle? Let them fall, they have already failed and put only the workers on welfare instead of the CEOs and entire industry.

Posted by Dave | Report as abusive

Arguments for and against any manufacturing industry assistance program is a moot point for the next 2 months. Paulson has made it abundantly clear that he intends only to bail out Wall Street while the rest of the nation waits for the trickle down. No one will miss him when he is canned in January.

As for US automakers, they have no excuse for their incompetence. Their product portfolio for the North American market is shameful, with only a handful of vehicles that achieve over 25 miles per gallon in mixed city/highway driving. Now that they can no longer sell their oversized gas guzzlers and retro-muscle cars, dramatic changes are needed. This would be nothing less than a complete reorganization of the auto companies, including not only major divestment of plants and employees at all levels, but also substantial change in corporate mission and operating procedures. One could argue that it doesn’t matter who does this (federal officials, the bankruptcy court, or new private investors), it will be painful and expensive for everyone.

But events in the last two weeks should alert us that asking for assistance from the Bush administration doesn’t gain you anything if you aren’t in political favor with the administration. What’s more, any bailout architected by Paulson would throw money at the problem-makers without forcing solutions to the fundamental problems. Paulson has done more damage than good so far with his “TARP”. He as actually made matters worse. The bailout money that has already been blown on the likes of AIG has gone toward everything but what it was advertised to remedy, instead being funneled into stock buyback programs and executive compensation. Has anyone at AIG been fired for their shady dealings? Clearly any plan that allows the Bush administration to manage assistance for automakers is a recipe for more disaster.

Let us hope that world leaders lay out regulation and incentives that help private industry create long-term value for everyone rather than volatile short-term paper wealth for the politically connected.

Posted by Michael | Report as abusive

Didn’t the Airlines file for Chapter 11 a few years ago? And did the economy collapse because of it? Even Mitt Romney, known for his ability to help companies in distress, has said the auto industry needs to file Chap 11. They need to clean out those overpaid, uncreative minds that can’t see beyond their perks! They need to bring in new people with ideas other than more gas guzzling SUVs.

Posted by Roger | Report as abusive

OK, if the bailout is granted, is the “top management” willing to take a 80% pay cut or take home a meager pay check like that of a shop floor engineer?

Posted by Larry | Report as abusive

Let e’m go, they do not deserve a bailout. They are ignorant and can’t change thier old ways. Coming to town to ask for money without a future plan for viability is like coming to a shoot out with a pistol and no bullets.
Send e’m home to work it out amongst themselves and may the best man be left standing.
First question they have to ask is “why have we lost market share, doh”

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive

Given that the CEO’s have collectively stated they are burning cash at a rate of 8 billion a month, the proposed package will buy them a further 3 or 4 months. Where is the plan to say how they will restructure so significantly that this will be reversed? I don’t believe it is possible for that to occur in that timeframe.

Perhaps the US should have a look over the shoulder at what happened in the UK when they tried to rescue the car industry there. Most of those companies wound up nationalised, then collapsed anyway.

It cost hundreds of millions of pounds, and achieved nothing.

You have Chapter 11 in the US – they should use it to rebuild a competitive industry.

Posted by Warren | Report as abusive

Mike posted an excellent comment! I couldn’t stop laughing.
How about they sell the jets, all of their real estate, and more assets they all have combined, and they will come up with the money they need. If all three companies sold all the extras they have and do not need,no, we should not have to bail them out.

Why didn’t they design the smaller, more fuel efficient car 10, even 15 years ago, when Toyota was on the rise?These idiots don’t know how to compete I guess.

Japan must really be laughing at us now. Hey, maybe the Japanese will come over here and take over the auto industry.

Sell your assets!!!

See, this is where a life style of GREED will take us.

Posted by Cindy | Report as abusive

Every employe of Big three should consider themselves as owner of their company with highy motivated without any expectation regarding their salary by great sacrifice by reducing their monthly salary, benifitis by 60 % of their cost to the company. It should starts from the top to bottom. Big support needed from unions, directors should relenquish their salary to 60,000 dollars maximum. The challanged can be met by combined efforts without giving any unfair advantages to the HR department, suppliers, directors. Great organisations cannot built up without great sacrifice, emotional attachement to the company, determination.*

As a person who would be affected by the bankruptcy of the auto industry, you might say that I have a vested interest in their survival. Well, I do. It is true that the auto companies should have been making hybrids and alternative fuel vehicles years ago, instead of the SUVs and trucks that are currently manufactured. And as is the case, when the public’s requirements in new vehicles changed, the auto companies were slow to respond.
As I said, I do work in the warehouse of one of the auto companies. I do this not necessarily by choice, but by neccessity. The area where I live has high unemployment due to a lack of jobs. I drive 50 miles each way every day to work. Again, not by choice, but because I have to. It’s the only game in town, so to speak. It’s easy for senators and others who don’t rely on the auto industry for their livlyhood to say “Let them go under”/ perhaps you’d feel a little bit different if you had to depend on these “dinosaurs” to support your family and to survive.

Posted by Rick | Report as abusive

Today, these 3 auto giants are before the committee and tomorrow, there will be a thousand more Companies big and small who will line up for bail-out. And what about those individuals who lose their jobs? Who is going to provide the bail-out?

Posted by Sunit | Report as abusive

Is there only two alternatives??? 25 billion bridge loan or Chapter 11 ? Is that all this world leader of a nation an come up with? Come on, we are smarter than that! I am sure there are many plausible alternatives besides those two that might be far better alternatives. Our legislators can put together a package of anything that they want – they have the power to put pass a temporary emergency legislation law bill for automaker assistance.
One senario might be: structure a bridge loan to each automakers need with tight conditions on that loan. Loan conditions being: During the loan and until the loan is fully paid back (1) Senior executive management compensation will be reduced by some percentage. (2) Middle management compensation reduced by some percentage (3) Union workers compensation and benefits reduced by some percenage. (4) An agreed upon independent audit of the company to review operations and make recommendations that would lead to future viablilty of the company- possible cost reductions -reduction company model lines, etc.
Also, an assigned tight government company/loan oversight board uring the loan period to ensure that the company is following guidlines duringthe loan period. The oversight oard wouldhave the responsibility of making timelyreports to congress /american public. Any future assistance would be dependent on progress of the company to progress in becoming more financially independent.

Posted by Alan Greber | Report as abusive

Hi
i think that somebody will have to take the poison pill and let ford and gmc fail and then see what appears on the other end of the tunnel But i don’t think that current management of both these company’s have the courage and the balls to take that action with all the money spent rescuing these companies we could start from scratch and have maybe 5 or 10 smaller companys but more specialised and more dinamic.

Posted by harrison | Report as abusive

Why not ask everyone that has a job tied to the auto industry to pony up some bucks. Will any of the retirees or current workers be willing to throw $2-5K of their money into the companies to keep them going? I worked at GM in Kansas City back in the late 70′s. I couldn’t believe the mindset of the unions back then and the horseplay that went on. Heck on friday nights, there was whiskey bottles stuffed in carberatuors, there was apple cores and trash stuffed inside fender wells, I watched a union worker shoot long screws through the roof of cars mounting dome lights because he was out of the right length – it wasn’t his job to get the right screws. There was no sense of ownership by any of the union employees. I was paid over $18.00 and it was 1978. That’s what the current Alabama Hyundai workers are making today. Yeah the money was good back then, but as a young man I didn’t think the industry would survive with people like that. So I left and 30 years later guess I was right. The industry is on the verge of collapse. I worked 20+ years for Honeywell in the maintenance department for a non-union plant. We could send 1 maintenance man out to change a pump – something our counterparts at union plants couldn’t do. They would have to send out an electrician to unwire it, a plumber to unhook the plumping, a mechanic out to remove the pump, a laborer to clean the area, and then do that in reverse to install a new pump. We would send one man out and do the job in just a couple of hours. The unions have structured the jobs in detroit with such stringent guidelines it’s a wonder they all have had jobs this long.

Posted by Roundup_Logan | Report as abusive

Hey – I haven’t seen one of the Big 3 send out a memo and ask for help and support from the employees, retirees, and the UAW. I haven’t seen the labor/management sit down at the table to see what the 2 can work out between themselves. If it’s such a good thing, then why aren’t they scrambling internally to make things work. They just want to keep the status quo and believe they all “deserve” what that is. High wages, protected jobs, luxury benefits, etc. etc. I think there’s other alternatives to this problem than just throwing my money at it for them to keep doing the same thing. I believe it was Einstein that said the definition of insanity was to keep doing the same thing and expect different results.

Posted by Roundup_Logan | Report as abusive

Absolutely the US auto industry should be bailed, no question about it. The bottom line is what matters, millions of jobs lost, millions more families destroyed, an American icon our auto industry folds and the cost to the US economy ifs far greater than this bailout. The main thing to get this done correctly is to put alot of conditions on it and make sure none of these big execs get any of the money. This should be for the industry to survive and the auto workers that build the cars along with the thousands of suppliers that supply the industry that would also fail. This is not just some hand out for the CEOs of the industry, this is to prevent further unemployment and an American industry.

Posted by Democrats 08 | Report as abusive

GM has many assets it can sell to help obtain cash to help their situation. They must do what ever it takes that includes top brass removing the glass slipper.

Posted by anonomis | Report as abusive

I liked what Rep Sherman said as this tells me he is not one of the ones in his field that uses a helicopter to go to work himself. Yes help them but only if they are willing to kick in themselves. First drastically reduce the perks at the top and second you have to take down the workers pay as it is way over average. It’s sheer folly for the leaders of Ford and the UAW to beg to congress both totally unwilling to do a trick for food. If they won’t let them go. We’ll get over it.

Posted by Bob Arkansas | Report as abusive

Roundup Logan has it right.
The key is the Unions. Hello anybody!
They must make concessions. They are the reason why the Big 3 cannot be competitive.
People forget that for the longest time there has been a fine line between turning a profit and losing money. Only by big volume were they able to survive.

If the UAW does not want to play ball, the Big 3 must play hard ball. Even at the point of filing for Chapter 11-Chapter 13.
Then somebody else like Tata Motors or VW will step in to pick up the pieces of these behemoths.

But it is not up to the tax payer to bail out, what was causes by uncompetitiveness and which can be resolved by normal market forces.
Let them go. And they will be resurrected into profitable mean, lean and competitive companies.

But Dems of course are in the pocket of the Unions so I am not holding my breath. And so we will see a bailout, and 3 months down the road again, 6 months later again and again and again.

Posted by rudolf | Report as abusive

I am for a large bridge loan to the car companies. BUT with the exception of Nardelli, the other three came off as clowns. When asked if they would forego their salary until the businesses became profitable, Mullaly and Wagoner balked, but Nardelli said unequivocally “Yes”. They all refuse to admit their part in the failure that has occurred, and instead talk about which of their recent changes seem to be successful. The UAW has offered to give nothing, instead saying “we cut our retirement burden by 50% two years ago”, as if to say “we did our part, don’t look at us.” The Execs should forego salaries at least until 3rd quarter 2010, and the UAW should agree to a cut in all benefits by 10% during the same time, and Congress should change the quota system, which has up to now permitted the car companies to produce large gas guzzlers and small dumpy cars. And THEN, Congress should bail these guys out.

Posted by John Inc | Report as abusive

First to agree that seeing the big three go down the tubes. If that happens, who do we buy tanks from when we go to war?
These guys in the top slots in all most all industries being paid 15 million dollars per year? Insanity, stop bashing the unions, Regan broke the backs of the unions when he fired the air traffic controlers.
If you think its bad now, what do you think its going to be like, now that the great divider, G.W. Bush has turned the reins of the economy over to the E.U.? Which he has done, according to an articile by Dick Morris, who all so stated, with friends like G.W. Bush, who needs enemies?
The USA is going to be dam lucky to surive as a free nation, since China now owns more of our debt than Japan.
IF the big 3 is bailed out, it needs to be done with strict oversight, including how much the bigs shots get paid, as well as the guy screwing the bolts to hold on the fenders.
Let face it, now that all these wonderful free trade orgs. that have sucked the jobs out of the USA are in place, can we as a nation afford to see another 3 million jobs go down the sewer pipe?
If the bail out takes place, the forward thrust needs to be in cars that get 40 miles per gallon, no how many GPS toys can be installed, lets face it, do you really need a 10 disc, quad sound, a.m., f.m., GPS guide bemoth to drive to the train station to go to work? Or take the kids to the ball games? Or go to the super market to take home the food, grown in Mexico and Chile? Since we do dam near nothing except consume in the USA any more.
Hooters and Wal-Mart cannot support the USA own their own.

Posted by james sexton | Report as abusive

Complex issue with tremendous ramifications for sure, why is it “The Democrats” are finalizig a rescue plan? Where are the republicans?

Whatever is done or not done we will all live with what results and a bipartisan approach going in would at least promote a spirit of cooperation for the long struggle that lies ahead.

Posted by John | Report as abusive

No bailout, bankruptcy. Ralph Nader should then be appointed to the federal bench specifically to serve as the bankruptcy judge for the immanent reorganization of the auto industry. Who could be better than Ralph Nader to oversee the transformation of Ford, GM, and Chrysler from profit-hungry wasteful dinosaurs to lean and green transportation production outfits? Ralph is a lawyer (qualified to be a judge) and already knows all the ins and outs and legal snares that will have to be unravelled in the labyrinth of Detroit executive organization. The car company lawyers will have no chance of manipulating Ralph, nor can they intimidate him. Once Ralph is through with the big three, you won’t recognize them and they will be producing vehicles that are safe, practical, and efficient.

If the Obama government does not want to go through a bankruptcy with the automakers, then it can use Ralph in another way. Why not buy up all the auto stock and simply take over the companies and hire Ralph as CEO of GM? The price of all the outstanding shares is so low now that the cost of simply buying the companies outright would be far less than all the loans being considered now, Fire the current management and with Ralph as the new head of GM, he could lead the green revolution that the auto industry has so long avoided. One could not imagine that Ralph would keep on making gas-guzzling rollovers or that he would brutally screw all the pensioners and slice off workers’ health care. We know Ralph would not require excessive compensation; he could be a model for the next generation of corporate managers.

Barack Obama recently made a big show of pledging to work together with John McCain, Hillary Clinton and other political rivals for the common good of America. Old foes working together to forge a new and better future. What better opportunity to prove this position than by putting Ralph Nader and the auto industry together in a common cause. Detroit has been asking for this for over forty years. America is ready for it.

Posted by eddie zawaski | Report as abusive

NO BAILOUT (yet): Severe structural changes are required for long term success and they can be achieved in Chapter 11. Later, the government may have an important role to play in providing DIP financing to avoid Chapter 7.

It’s easy to say that “It’s management’s fault”, but that doesn’t make it untrue. And although manifest hypocrisy doesn’t prove anything, management did claim credit, in words and in sinfully large amounts of money, when things were going well.

Let ‘em go bankrupt… it’s the best thing for the companies, the country as a whole and for the workers, as long as it’s Chapter 11 and not Chapter 7.

Posted by DaveF | Report as abusive

A Japanese company ( Toyota ) and an American company (General Motors) decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before
the race.
>
>On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile.
>
>The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat. A management team made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action.
>
Their conclusion was the Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the American team had 8 people steering and 1 person rowing.
>
Feeling a deeper study was in order, American management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion.
>
They advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing.
>
Not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to prevent another loss to the Japanese, the rowing team’s management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 3 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager.
>
They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 1 person rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the ‘Rowing Team Quality First Program,’ with meetings, dinners and free pens for the rower. There was discussion of
getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses.
>
The next year the Japanese won by two miles.
>
Humiliated, the American management laid off the rower for poor performance, halted development of a new canoe, sold the paddles, and canceled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses and the
next year’s racing team was out-sourced to India .
>
Sadly, The End.
>
Here’s something else to think about: Ford has spent the last thirty years moving all its factories out of the US , claiming they can’t make money paying American wages.
>
TOYOTA has spent the last thirty years building more than a dozen plants inside the US. The last quarter’s results:
>
TOYOTA makes 4 billion in profits while Ford racked up 9 billion in losses.
>
Ford folks are still scratching their heads.
>
IF THIS WEREN’T SO TRUE IT MIGHT BE FUNNY

Posted by gaella | Report as abusive

The Big 3 domestic automakers must be bailed out. First of all if the so-called taxpayers think they are footing the bill, it is not a bailout, it is a loan, to be repaid with interest. If the loan is not made it will force GM and Chrysler into almost immediate bankruptcy. Their bankruptcy will then force suppliers into dire straits and their collapse will bring down Ford as a result, as they will not be able to secure the parts needed to build their vehicles. Then also as a result, Honda, Toyota, Nissan etc risk collapse of their North American operations because they use a lot of the same suppliers as the Big 3 do. North American auto production will vitually cease for a year or better. The imports may rebound in time, but in the interim the demand will far exceed the supply of autos and the consumer will pay more for the product. Parts for all those who currently own a domestic will be sold at premiums as they would no longer be produced and you would have pandemonium. Secondly, you as a result will now have about 5.5 million people applying for unemployment benefits and another 2 million in addition applying for medical benefits. The State of Michigan would be in collapse and need Federal assistance because of the lack of property, sales and income tax that would no longer be collected by those individuals and corporations. In short the federal bailout of all these people and the State of Michigan would far exceed the 50 billion that they are asking for, so the taxpayer in essence would be in worse shape.
Also, we have spent the last year harping that we need to rid ourselves of our dependence on foreign oil, but it’s ok for us to be dependent on foreign cars? That doesn’t make sense. The Big 3 is our largest manufacturing base, we cannot continue to survive on credit default swaps to fund our economy. The collapse of this industry will certainly effect us all in a very negative way. Traditional economic ideologies do not apply in this situation, the consequences are too dire.-

Posted by Mike Sur | Report as abusive

To get the scope of this solution, begin by looking at what GM and Ford are currently offering in Europe, look at the quality and mpg they offer:
http://www.vauxhall.co.uk and http://www.ford.co.uk

They both are manufacturing a wide range of cars and trucks that get 50+ and 60+ mpg.
These autos all meet the EU regulations on safety and emissions; these are fine autos. While I haven’t looked, I’m sure that other manufacturers are also making equally fine automobiles for both the asian and european markets. This is current engineering and tried and true manufacturing efficiencies. Why the difference from the US market? Lots of reasons… but we are looking for solutions to our current problem with GM and Ford so lets continue. However, remember these levels of efficiencies are what we are looking for in the far future. They are available now in a win-win solution!

But first:
GM, Ford, and Chrysler want the tax payer to bail them out of their problems. They indicate that the costs of loosing one or more of them is more than the bailout request of around 25 billion dollars, or more. GM at least is saying that bankruptcy is unacceptable to them, even though history and the very intent of the law says otherwise. I believe Chapter 11 is the only way they can shed their higher legacy costs, a step that is needed in today’s competition. I also believe that giving them money will not secure the employment of workers. We need to have sales to prop up production, that is the only way to ensure employment.

Chrysler is owned by Cerberus, a private investment firm; they also own half of GMAC. I see no reason to support a private group with tax payer money. Any production or labor lost with their collapse will either be taken up by the remaining firms or is a level of over capacity that will be lost anyway.

Here’s what we can do:
Production / Employment support:
-Allow them to go into a reorganization plan if that is the result of their missteps.
-Contract with them for production of those same cars that they currently make for the european market at say 50+ mpg for cars and 30+ mpg for trucks. Use that 25 billion to buy over a million autos… adding nearly 20% to their current production levels.
-Allow these “World Cars” to be made with their current engineering and manufacturing so that development costs will be nil to only slight costs. All the EU rules offer a safe and efficient, and low emission auto. We need to work to minimize costs of production everywhere, and this is a swell way to truly present a world car and truck.

Distribution:
-Re-sell these autos to retailers, financial markets, car rental, lease, and temporary alternate transportation firms such as “Zip Cars”. Offer them at discounts and on a consignment basis, thus negating flooring costs.
-Consumers will be able to least, rent, purchase them at discount, but only with a “disposal agreement” for recycle of an old auto that had less than say 25 mpg; trucks 15 mpg.

Result:
-Real stimulus by a large order to produce autos so that employment will be supported. Forecastable & controllable cost at a net amount, say 2 to 5 billion.
-GM and Ford will be able to obtain bridge loans or DIP loans to maintain them through re-organization and re-tooling. Likewise all their suppliers would have contracts in turn from GM and Ford to support any needed borrowing they might require.
-Public purchase of these discounted and efficient autos will occur, and we will want additional cars – once they have been produced and on the roads. The complaint from the auto makers that they were only fulfilling the market demand with large pick-ups and SUV’s is specious. The public demanded them because of advertising and marketing. Let them earn a living from economical cars as they do in Europe and you will see demand quickly shifting.
-These highly efficient autos happen to be diesel. This will give a kick start to bio-diesel and alternate fuel production, that will in turn give us additional support in the drive to cut petroleum. We’ll not only reduce consumption by increased mpg, but will further cut imported oil with alternate fuel. While we want to quickly go to electric power, this can be in that same path; and with a very efficient hybrid (diesel/battery), a system currently being beta tested in Europe by several manufacturers.
-Emissions will decrease; petroleum use will decrease; financial activity will increase.
-We will also demonstrate that we can work with foreign countries in obtaining economies by acting in concert with them in auto regulations. We can drive to Bretton Woods in our new World Car!

dump the union turn every thing over to the ceo’s at toyota and they will educate them .toyota can make any thing that the big three can make.

Posted by gene | Report as abusive

US auto makers are Troglodytes. Out of date, out of touch. Destined to die. No amount of cash will save them. For the simple reason that smart, talented people do not go into cars any longer. Let Koreans and Chinese take over and give us cheap, reliable, cool-looking automobiles.

Posted by ginger | Report as abusive

Bailout will NOT save jobs. OK for only 1/2 year maybe. Is it worth it? NO, NO and NO: the amount of money available for investment is limited, throwing 25 bil down the crapper means 25 bil less for viable (profitable and growing) projects. The automakers in the US will not change because: talented and clever americans don’t go into cars. Only stupid and unambitious do (just look at those 3 faces at the hearing – imbeciles all)

Posted by Millicent | Report as abusive

Absolutely not!!! let them use the courts, file for Chapter 11., get their act together so they can go ahead in the world for the 21st Century. We cant bail out every Tom, Dick and Harry that wants a handout.

Posted by Lee Bane | Report as abusive

Lee Iacocca went with no salary when he negotiated Chrysler bail out. These guys have been paid millions for their mismanagement and won’t give up anything???

Folks are being laid off in the thousands in the financial industry. Non big-three auto workers earn far less in pay and benefits. And these workers won’t give up anything???

If putting them out of business is undesireable, then at least make any aid contingent on serious concessions by both executives and employees. Anything else would be a complete sellout of the electorate by the government.

Posted by be_tough | Report as abusive

No!! We cannot bail out every Tom, Dick and Harry who wants a handout. Let them file for Chapter 11, regroup and go forward in the 21st Century to compete with the world

The majority of the opinions against the bailout of the Auto industry revolve around the fact that union employees cost more than non union employees of foreign companies located in mostly Southern states. This is where wages of any kind are welcomed because the alternative is minimum wage jobs at Wall Mart. Essentially the American worker is again being told that globalization is good for him and that in order to keep his “new living wage job” he should work for less and that he is lucky to have a job that pays like Mexican, Korean and Chinese workers and be happy! Of course no one remembers that the 8 hour work day, 40 hour work week, paid vacation, paid holidays, retirement pay, health insurance, work rules and many other progressive workplace benefits taken for granted, were not the result of corporate benevolence or globalization, but of hard won concessions fought for by unions. These benefits are one of the cornerstones of what has become the middle class and we are now asked to lower our living standards in order to survive. There is plenty of blame to go around and the government is one of the biggest culprits because for the last 40 plus years they have promoted the interests of the few at the expense and detriment to the many. Our trade policies are the laughing stock of countries like Japan, Germany, China, Korea and many others because we opened our markets to their products but they have not reciprocated. How many cars made by American union workers do we sell to any of these countries? Yes we sell Boeing airplanes and Caterpillar tractors and even some microprocessors to these countries but all these items have increasing local content as a condition for their purchases. And ultimately they will be made entirely of local content because their goal is to capture high valued items so that they can create high, by local standards, paying jobs for their immense population. This problem needs serious attention that has been lacking in the last 50 years, from all parties, labor, government and corporations. Here is a statistic that is worth pondering in 1953 75% of the cars made in the world were made in the USA, today it is likely the reverse of a much larger market. But no one in their right mind then would have believed that that situation would last forever. The trick obviously has always been how to get from there to the new reality without marginalizing a large segment of the population namely the middle class. If foreign workers are happy to work for serf wages that does not mean that American workers should compete with them on a race to the bottom.

I totally agree with Mike Thomas’s suggestion below…the American auto companies know exactly what kind of cars to make to attract American drivers…they just don’t want to spend the money to re-tool their ancient, sprawling factories. However, I believe this bailout –in the form of loans– should be accompanied by massive government oversight, so much that the CEOs and other executives should go to sleep in sweats every night…not unlike many other suffering Americans. The Iacocca standard should be gladly adhered to by the executives: 1$ a year in salary until their butts are out of the fire. That also means flying Southwest and eating at McDonalds. Also, FIRE THE OLD DESIGNERS. Nobody buys lumbering, inefficient Buicks anymore.

Posted by Dylan | Report as abusive

They need to take advantage of the Chapter 11 bylaws, etc. Under Cap 11 they can regroup and eliminate the practices that have led to this disaster!

Then come out with the changes needed to compete in todays and tomorrow’s market!

If they need a loan after reemerging, then the Gov’t (taxpayers) could possibly grant a loan. To loan money satus quo – will not solve the problem!

Posted by randy | Report as abusive

Absolutely no bailout of any kind. The Big 3 are the epitome of leaderless, mindless, trend-following, obese & cost ineffective companies in the world. Even Chapter 11 is to good for them but it’s the only hope of purging the terrible union hold on manufacturing and mindset in the companies. After Chapter 11 and resignations by all senior management, then, and only then, should the taxpayer think about buying into the carcass.

Posted by Chief Elf | Report as abusive

Mark my words… This bailout will not do anything other than buy the automakers time to come up with another proposal for aid in ten years . Don’t do it!!!

Posted by ubu | Report as abusive

Although I believe that the situation the auto companies find themselves in is entirely their own fault, (in 2005 GM purchase Hummer and closed their EV electric car production one month later. The EV could have save the company this past year – See “who killed the electric car”), We are past the “let them eat their own stupidity” stage and we need to give them the money for Tax Payer self interest and the over all health of our economy. That said, It’s clear that the companies and unions need a full restructuring and to focus on the fastest way to build / market/sell alternative energy cars and that’s to bring back the EV program by mandate if they won’t do it on their own.

Posted by Kevin C. | Report as abusive

Here’s and idea! Let Chrysler die, and give GM and Ford $50Billion but only AFTER they file for Chapter 11 so the market will know they will emerge an emerge strong. That way they won’t die while in the courts. This will send a strong message of support while they “clean house”.

Posted by Kevin Chase | Report as abusive

Absolutely, we should provide goverment financial support for the U.S. automakers. They are critical to our economy. However, any suppport should be conditioned upon a complete re-negotiation of the labor commitments of the automakers, reducing those commitments in terms of wage rates, pension commitments, health insurance, termination protection and other items to levels which make them specifically comparable with other major auto manufacturers, particularly the Japanese. Without that change, any bailout will fail and should not be given. Also, both senior and middle management should be required to accept long-term cuts in basic compensation at the level of around 20%, with future benefits to be based on corporate performance focused on profitability.

Posted by Steve Merrick | Report as abusive

Cerberus Capital Mangement must be doing handsprings of joy that the US Gov’t is saving their A–, Now the taxpayers have put a safety net under the automakers so they can continue their corporate culture of “What’s good for General Motors is good for the country” Not so, wish our Congress would bit the bullet and let them go bankrupt so they could reorganize in some intelligent mode. Is that too much to ask?

I just read the last four posts and they are all excellent. A few days ago I emailed my Senator, Patty Murray, and told her “Let them go bankrupt, don’t spend my tax money to save them.” The American auto industry has insisted on making cars that were planned to fail at around 98,000 miles, as did my 1982 Buick Century. After that, I never bought an American car again, and my family had always been a GM family. Let them go through bankruptcy reorganization, get rid of the dead weight, and start making cars that will last and that are eco-friendly. Get rid of the corporate jets and the huge CEO salaries, and reward innovation and the employees for making a great product. If they can’t do that, let them all go and instead spend money to help retrain the people who used to work for them. No one would bail out any of us if we operated the same way the American auto industry has!

Posted by Nancy Boddy | Report as abusive

The American auto industry is well worth saving, for many reasons. One reason is that for the past decade Detroit has made heavy investment and steady progress in improving its competitiveness, what it calls “altering the DNA” of American cars. US automakers spend $22 billion annually on plants, equipment, research and development. Breakthroughs are at hand in developing alternative fuel propulsion systems, and our national well-being and security depend upon seeing them through to completion.

If we allow U.S. automakers to go under out of anger, resignation, or ideology, it will only mean all the work and investment of the last decade will be ceded to our foreign competitors instead of being plowed back into the U.S. economy.

Another reason is the industry’s importance to the job market and the wider economy. Automobile manufacturing directly employs a quarter of a million workers and indirectly about one in ten U.S. jobs are related to some degree to the automotive sector, according to GM estimates. So the effects of a collapsed U.S. auto sector would not be limited to Detroit – they would be magnified as the ripples spread to related industries.

If we allow U.S. automakers to fail, millions of retirees depending on auto company pensions will be at risk and auto manufacturing jobs will disappear. The ripple effect won’t end there; millions of jobs in related sectors, such as U.S. manufacturers of steel, aluminum, iron, copper, plastics, rubber, electronics, and computer chips, will also feel the pain.

Worse yet, the promise of a meaningful future for American manufacturing would fade. As that promise dims, the role played by manufacturing jobs as a passport to the middle class would likewise disappear. Simply put, we can’t have them fail now. Alexander Shlepakov

Posted by Alexander Shlepakov | Report as abusive

What is wrong with the US,
You want your Government to give your money to obscenely rich business people, when you can’t even go and see a Doctor in your so-called Democratic country. Give the 25 Billion to small enterprising Business’ that employ many more people and might come up with some new revolutionary ideas. Don’t forget Henry Ford. The belief that large organisations create more jobs is a myth you gullable people all fell for. Take a minute and have a good think about it. Who employs & supports most of middle America? It’s not the corporations, it’s the small business’. Remember the small butcher, baker, fruit shop. How many families did they employ, many more than your mega stores of today. Remember the bulk of a corporate profits go to shareholders & company executives not to the workers. Why bail these fools out, let them sink and give other people a go. Do you realise that corporations usually pay less than 10% in taxes, while the individual or small business has to pay 30-50%. These bail outs are just a redistribution of wealth from the small business & taxpayer to the mega wealthy, and let me tell you many of the owners of your corporations aren’t even Americans. Don’t be fools.

Posted by brad | Report as abusive

This is getting absurd. Congress, and more pointedly the Democrats are dragging this on trying to find a good excuse to get this bailout through in order to save their relationship with their bed-fellows the unions. If these companies file Chapter 11 they can restructure and reorganize and come out better in the end.
The Big 3′s problem is years of extremely bad management and equally bad marketing of their products combined with too much government influence and regulations and union demands all of which has only made them non-competitive. If anyone doesn’t believe this then explain to me why the Japanese can produce cheaper in U.S. than Detroit can, and actually produce in Japan and sell here cheaper.
Congress can’t admit that their trying to solve the auto industry problem is really just addressing the symptons and not the disease. The reality is that the disease is the credit mess plus the excess number of unsold houses which if that isn’t solved they won’t have to worry about Detroit, they’ll be history. Without solving the credit issues nobodys going to buy cars regardless where they are made, or buy anything else for that matter.
Paul
Butler PA

Posted by Paul | Report as abusive

Talk about credibility, Nancey presides over congress who is over a TRILLION dollars in debt and has the gull to question the CEO’S of the auto industry. She will get on her 747 and fly to Cal. every weekend. Yep, typical government austerity program.

Offer the auto companies workers substantial unemployment benefits. Offer the companies limited funding while they redesign more environment friendly vehicles; executives get the same compensation as the workers, no bonus plan, no stock options. Benefits fall gradually and drastically after three years. Spend a large portion of the bailout on construction of roads, bridges, etc., and another large section for innovative uses of solar and other alternative sources energy.

Posted by john shelton | Report as abusive

Yesterday, Nancy Pelosi says bankruptcy is off the table. Today, Obama said that he wants a form of “structured/revised bankruptcy” for the Big 3. I didn’t vote for Obama, but I applaud this position. It is a shrewd and effective one. Also, it tells Pelosi that he, and not she, is running the show. Anyone who squashes Nancy Pelosi will get my support. Do it, President-elect Obama.

Posted by Above Average Citizen | Report as abusive

Similar to the banks and financial entities, greed is the business model. Why should we, the taxpayer, continue to save these arrogant shysters, with nothing to show for our efforts except depleted portfolios and increased taxes? I agree with Jubek, let the auto industry enter into a structured bankruptcy and no taxpayer bailout. Enough already!!!

Posted by Janet Calhoon | Report as abusive

we need to wake up and start supporting our country!Eevery other country in the world has pride in their industries like japan does in toyota.We need to take notice before all of are industries gone in the U.S . We need to support and protect our country. Unlees we want to start living like a third world country.Where their is no industries only hand outs from the U.N !

Posted by cilo | Report as abusive

Everybody, you gotta read the post by somebody named gaella, 11:47 on Nov. 20th. Humor like that really sums it up. Congrats on a great little piece of writing, and thanks for the grin you brought to this reader’s face. The last line in Roundup-Logan’s piece, 7:01 a.m., was another that’s right on the button. Way to go, you two!

Posted by June | Report as abusive

If the CEOs are culpable of mismanagement, and they may very well be, at which point do we ask investors to take responsibility for their poor investing?

Posted by Mary | Report as abusive

The USA central bank is the enemy… What are they thinking?
No stimulus yet? – Screw the people, protect our money.
Selling housing debt forward? – Screw the people, lets make a quick buck.
Huge US debt? – Screw the USA, let’s make a quick buck.
Bail outs? – Same banks that own your FED.

Why is this all happening? – Because Americans do not own America.
USA take your central bank back, they are screwing you blind.
Look at who owns your money, the shocking truth will show itself.
They sold and are still selling America!
The worst is still coming, Americans are now going to be asked to fight for their central bank!
WAKE-UP!

Wake up America!
Your businesses are failing because your central bank is being mismanaged.
Think about this… you have two wars running and the dollar is still very strong?
What country gets richer when its fighting wars?
If the strong dollar is killing your auto industry, believe me when I tell you, you are next.
Don’t fight the auto industry; fight the absolutely rotten banking system that is now actually your proxy government.
Don’t spend money on banks, they add no value; spend money on your REAL economy.
You need STIMULUS PACKAGES, yesterday.
Until they there, you the voter insists that EVERY REAL economy company is bailed until the central banks fix monetary policy.
Business is breaking because-non-US shareholders own your central bank.
They don’t give a damn about the USA they are UK and Israeli shareholders.
Take your central bank back and make these rotten bankers pay for every US business they have broken.
You can end up with just one nationalized bank, banks are easy to fix, but you WILL NEVER EVER get your car industry back.
Listen to your politicians on the FED (foreign ownership) payroll and you really will be a third world country.
FIRE THE BANKERS
Did you know that the FED and Paulson changed the USA law so that housing owners could be screwed… yes its true, the old law would not have allowed it to happen. You US treasury is now trying to fix what he broke, along with the war mongering FED shareholders, that are using the USA to fight another countries battles.
WAKE UP AMERICA – the enemy is sitting in Washington.

Posted by Johnny | Report as abusive

Auto manufacturors from foreign lands manufacture and sell their cars under the same legal restrictions as the Ford’s, Chevy’s or Chrysler products.
Management must have had knowledge of the trends and did not submit and even obstructed them. Let the companies reorganise under the bankruptcy laws. They are outmoded.
There will be changes but the auto industry will not die on the day for the application to the bankruptcy court.
Even the dinosaurors died out. But we have oil !
Buffet may be interested in buying those stocks or may be not for reasons of obsolescence.
Are the pensions of the workers fully funded ? I remember the fiasco with US Steel.
W Moller
San Jacinto,CA

Posted by w moller | Report as abusive

Who killed the electric car and how President Obama can save it right now?

**************************************** ***************************

In 1996, electric cars began to appear on roads all over California. They were quiet and fast, produced no exhaust and ran without gasoline………..Ten years later, these futuristic cars were almost completely gone.”

‘Who Killed the Electric Car’ is a documentary which unfolds a complex set of events around the development and demise of modern electric cars stemming from California from the early 1990s to 2006. The film maker, Chris Paine, has woven together interviews and archival footage of over 65 people involved with the events.

The movie starts with a brief history of the first electric cars created in the early twentieth century, and how they were killed off nearly 100 years ago as gas powered cars became cheaper. The movie then paints the current picture of gas car problems being smog and related health problems, CO2 emissions, global warming. Later, the use of the US Military in the Middle East is also mentioned, but the loss of life and financial costs are not mentioned.

The film then moves forward to 1987 when General Motors, with the SunRaycer, won the World Solar Challenge, a solar electric car race in Australia. GM’s CEO Roger Smith challenged the same design team to build a prototype practical electric car which became known as the ‘Impact’ when announced in 1990. The project expanded to small scale production vehicles with the aim that it would give GM several years lead over any competitor car companies.

The Californian Air Resources Board (CARB) saw this as a way to solve their air quality problem and in 1990 passed the Zero Emissions Vehicle Mandate. The ZEV Mandate specified increasing numbers of vehicles sold would have to be Zero Emission Vehicles. “For the car companies there were only two options. Comply with the law or fight it. In then end, they would do both.”

The movie continues to reveal what the car companies and other participants did to kill the concept and reality of the electric car, plus the efforts of EV supporters to save their EVs.

GM started leasing small numbers of the production car, called the EV1, in 1996. Other car companies also produced electric vehicles by converting existing production models and then leased them to drivers. But the GM board of directors never really wanted the car to succeed as they didn’t think they would make profit from the car. They saw losses from development costs and the virtual absence of maintenance and replacement parts which, for gas cars, bring in ongoing profits. They were worried that the popularity of the cars was growing and that other US states were considering ZEV Mandate laws which meant that they may have to convert all their cars to electric drives which represented even bigger losses.

GM initially installed poor quality Delco lead acid batteries in the EV1 and produced advertising that, it is argued, was aimed at repelling public interest.

Car companies argued that using coal for electric power would produce worse emissions than using petroleum. In the film, these arguments were casually dismissed as false indicating that there were studies showing overall emissions would reduce. Emissions would improve due to the increased efficiency of electric cars over gas (plus no idling, & regenerative braking), and the ability to control emissions from hundreds of power plants in ways not possible for millions of vehicles.

The car companies then argued that they would not be able to technically and financially meet the requirements of the ZEV Mandate. Car companies, oil companies and the Federal Government sued (The Justice Dept. joined the suit on Orders from George Bush and his Oil Family) the State of California to overturn the Mandate. The Justice Dept. joined the suit on personal orders from George Bush and his Oil Family. The America people should put George Bush on trial for TREASON.

From 1999 to 2004 Alan Lloyd was chairman of CARB and he presided over changes to the ZEV Mandate. He strongly influenced the weakening of the Mandate’s requirements on the automakers and gave favor to unproven hydrogen fuel cell technology in place of battery electric vehicles. Four months before these decisions were made; Alan Lloyd became Chairman of the California Hydrogen Fuel Cell Partnership. You talk about a conflict of interest and a crooked deal.

Some Members on the CARB board said this was a Bait and Switch tactic proposed by George Bush, GM and the Oil Companies. They said no one wanted the Plug in Electric car (even though it was proven and available right now) and they want to push Hydrogen Fuel Cells, even though all the experts said was at least 20 to 40 years in the future at best.

The film then shows how the Federal Government and oil companies put forward hydrogen fuel cells as a better alternative to gas and battery electric cars. Interviews with two hydrogen experts gave details why fuel cell vehicles are not likely to be available for another 35-40 years, if ever, whereas battery electric technology has been rapidly improving since the mid 1990s and is cost effective now.

One of the concessions that CARB gave the automakers was that they would only have to keep making EVs to meet public demand. Of course, automakers were already obstructing public demand through poor advertising, using an inexperienced sales team and exaggerating the limitations of the car to potential leasees. They argued that the cars had a limited driving range of 60 miles per charge and that consumers would not want to pay more for a car that does less. These arguments were disputed by others as the average daily commute is only 29 miles and the battery technology rapidly improved to increase driving range to beyond 100 miles per charge. Mass production of the cars would further bring down the cost of manufacture.

In 1999, having won some initial concessions in the Mandate, US automakers started shutting down their EV programs. GM bought the rights to manufacture the Hummer, as they saw it would make them money. In 2002 the maximum Federal tax credit for an EV was $4000. In 2003 the same tax credit for a 6000+ lbs vehicle was $100,000. Of course, many members of the US Federal Government Bush Administration were former employees of oil and car companies.

In 2004, as EV leases expire, car companies started recalling back all of their EVs and sent them to crushing facilities to, it is asserted by EV advocates, remove any record of their existence in the minds of the public. The film maker takes a helicopter and flies over GM’s ‘Proving Ground’ in Mesa, Arizona, to get photos of some of the crushed EV1s.

From 2004 to 2005, there are many emotional and rational public protests against the continued crushing of the EVs. Seventy-eight EV1s were found in a GM back lot in Burbank waiting to be sent away for crushing. Protesters put together a list of 80 buyers for the EV1s and offered GM $1.9 million to put them back on the road. GM did not respond to the offer.

The film maker gives a verdict on who killed the electric car:

Poor Battery Technology – Not Guilty
Oil Companies – Guilty
Car Companies – Guilty
Government – Guilty
CARB – Guilty
Hydrogen Fuel Cell – Guilty.

Although the EVs of the 1990s were killed, the concept and technology could not be killed. The film ends detailing the current environment where the future is being reshaped and new electric and hybrid cars are gaining popularity.

Higher oil prices, further entanglements in the Middle East and the increasing threat of global warming are increasing the pressure to reduce the US dependence on crude oil.

General Motors Chairman/CEO, Rick Wagoner was the main guy who pushed to recall all the EV1 and destroyed everyone of them. At this point in time GM owned a small battery company that had the only PATENTS on this SUPER ELECTRIC BATTERY Technology that the whole world has been searching for many years.

Rick Wagoner with all his infinite wisdom sold this little Battery Company along with the all patent rights to manufacture this SUPER SPECIAL BATTERY to Chevron Oil Company. Rick Wagoner conspired with Chevron to purchase these battery patent rights because he knew that Chevron would never let anyone use these Batteries in a Plug in electric car. That’s exactly what Chevron has done. I understand that these Battery Patents will not expire till 2015. America can not wait that long for this Special Battery.

I would like to propose that President Obama and congress never give the automobile industry one penny until they fire all the top management and insist they make a really cheap plug in electric car that the American people can afford.

President Obama should instruct the Justice Department to file an “Eminent Domain” suit against Chevron Oil Company and retrieve all these Super Special Battery Patents that are needed to build the plug in electric car and the American Government should retain the sole title to these patents and then let the American Automobile Industry lease or use them. That way no one else can interfere like Chevron has done to screw the American people out of this much needed battery technology to produce a cheap plug in electric car.

Then the next thing would be install Solar Panels on your House Roof to charge this Super Great Electric Car Battery for Free. I understand that this new battery can drive an electric car well over 100 miles on a single charge and has a battery life of well over 100,000 car miles. Then America can save well over $700 billion dollars a year on imported Oil from the Middle East and then tell them to fight their own wars.

Please go read to youtube.com and view this movie
“who killed the electric car” :

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid= 5871495968130273402

Most of the American has no idea what the problem is with the car companies.

Before you people give to much HELL to the UAW Unions:

The American Automobile Companies pays for the UAW union employees and retirees Medical Benefits just like every other large companies in America.

The cost of these Medical Benefits are outrageous because the American Politicians have allowed the American Medical Ass. and American Pharmaceuticals Ass. to rape the American people year after year. Plain and simple our political Leaders are being bought and paid for again, same as usual.

Prescription drugs cost, on average, 30 percent to 50 percent more in the United States than in Europe. But the difference in doctors’ salaries is far larger, Dr. Goldman said.

Doctors in the United States earn two to three times as much as they do in other industrialized countries. Surveys by medical-practice management groups show that American doctors make an average of $200,000 to $300,000 a year. Primary care doctors and pediatricians make less, between $125,000 and $200,000, but in specialties like radiology, physicians can take home $400,000 or more.

In Europe, however, doctors made $60,000 to $120,000 in 2002, according to a survey sponsored by the British government in 2004.

Why in some Foreign Counties all Prescription Drugs are sold right over the counter without a Medical Doctors request.

Why in some Foreign Counties anyone can go to the hospital and get a x-ray without a Medical Doctors request.

Why in some Foreign Countries anyone can go to a Testing Laboratory for tests without a Medical Doctors request and pick up the results within 60 minutes.

In fact most of the American politicians are totally against any Americans crossing into Canada to purchase cheaper Drugs. They have passed a law making it a Criminal offense to purchase Prescription Drugs in Canada.

Then you have GM back in the 1990s made a Plug in Electric Car called the EV1.

General Motors Chairman/CEO, Rick Wagoner was the main guy who pushed to recall all the EV1 and destroyed everyone of them. At this point in time GM owned a small battery company that had the only PATENTS on this SUPER ELECTRIC BATTERY Technology that the whole world has been searching for many years.

Rick Wagoner with all his infinite wisdom sold this little Battery Company along with the all patent rights to manufacture this SUPER SPECIAL BATTERY to Chevron Oil Company. Rick Wagoner conspired with Chevron to purchase these battery patent rights because he knew that Chevron would never let anyone use these Batteries in a Plug in electric car. That’s exactly what Chevron has done. I understand that these Battery Patents will not expire till 2015. America can not wait that long for this Special Battery.

I would like to propose that President Obama and congress never give the automobile industry one penny until they fire all the top management and insist they make a really cheap plug in electric car that the American people can afford.

President Obama should instruct the Justice Department to file an “Eminent Domain” suit against Chevron Oil Company and retrieve all these Super Special Battery Patents that are needed to build the plug in electric car and the American Government should retain the sole title to these patents and then let the American Automobile Industry lease or use them. That way no one else can interfere like Chevron has done to screw the American people out of this much needed battery technology to produce a cheap plug in electric car.

Then the next thing would be install Solar Panels on your House Roof to charge this Super Great Electric Car Battery for Free. I understand that this new battery can drive an electric car well over 100 miles on a single charge and has a battery life of well over 100,000 car miles.

Then America can save well over $700 billion dollars a year on imported Oil from the Middle East and then tell them to fight their own wars.

The Big Problem was GM’s Management, Large Oil Companies, President George Bush and the Bush Oil Family.

Please go read to youtube.com and view this movie
“who killed the electric car” :

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid= 5871495968130273402

Don’t give the anything let them earn it the old fashon way let the Ceo work for a living not beg from the tax payers.We already are flush with taxes and debit . When will we relize that one cannot live by bread alone.

Posted by steven | Report as abusive

Bailout seems to be the buzz word these days. Maybe a sentence that says “keep the slaves in their place while we change the rules to benefit us” would be better. Maybe then, the citizens of the country, and their masters would take notice that bailout is not a flowery term of “assistance” but an unconstitutional removal of sweat equity from the pockets of the slaves, and that deserves notice, maybe even a revolution to keep the jerks in power sensitive to what they are doing. It doesn’t look like the rest of us will ever be thought of as nothing but slaves, unthinking, unwilling to take a stand! Stop these thieves from getting the bailout dollars, let them make or break on their own. If they receive anything, make them PAY IT BACK WITH INTEREST!

Posted by mray44 | Report as abusive

Do the Math! Divide 25 Billion, the amount of the proposed auto industry bailout by $20,000, the average cost of a new car. Result 1.25 million cars.

Send 1.2 million vouchers to taxpayers who actually pay taxes. Do this by lottery.
They must buy a car within the next 12 months. That way the taxpayer benefits from companies receiving tax dollars. Car companies do what they are suppose to do – build cars.

Use the same concept for bank bailouts. Tax paying citizens would own shares by lottery. This way everyone benefits and the government / corporate megaliths do not end up owning everything. Power to the Folks.

Posted by Grayson | Report as abusive

They should fail, after failure someone will pickup some of the pieces and build a really strong auto company, maybe even two or three really strong companies that can compete in the real world because they are not owned by old money and family ties that no longer work. The unions have the money to buy at fire sale prices at least part of the assets and if they are as smart as they think they are the Union car company could be one of the real winners.

Posted by john koonce | Report as abusive

NO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by RICK | Report as abusive

The US Automotive industry has been myopic and arrogant, presuming the rules of a global marketplace do not apply to them. They are wrong. Bailing them out enables and rewards the ongoing introverted sense of entitlement which permeates these firms, and enables them to sustain their dysfunctional organizational structures and cultures. Rick Waggoner’s 2007 compensation package was valued at approximately $16M. This was compensation to “reward” him for the $37B record loss posted by GM during this same period. Get real. They contend customers would not buy a car from a firm in bankruptcy. I contend that I would not consider buying a car from them unless they file for bankruptcy. A comprehensive reengineering of these firms from the bottom up and the top down offers their only chance for long term survival…and by the way, they would need to produce a vehicle on parity and competitive with those being produced by their competitors in Germany and Japan.

As I look over the comments left here I need to wonder if the powers that be are listening. Maybe “We the people” should have a bigger VOTE on what happens to all the hard earned money we have given. No one is giving me 25 billion dollars. I understand our government doesn’t want to be in the automobile business or any other business, so to speak. So if we need to be involved (our tax dollars)let the returns on investment come back to the American people not the CEO’s or any other executive. Hell I can run those companies into the ground and take a muti-million dollar salary and bonus.

I read an interesting artical the other day. Simply put. It says let them file chapter 11, produce a verifiable plan, reorganize and then support the loans needed to fix them. In this way the bail out loans would be 1st to be repaid. I like this idea.

All the comments listed above are all relevant to how the general population feels. Maybe its time for OUR government to listen.

AJ

Posted by AJ | Report as abusive

Auto companies bailout – Any “Bailout” must end the retiree’s health benefits, have them use the governments part B and part D like the rest of us. I do not want to pay for their health insurance; I have trouble paying for my own. If the union doesn’t like this let the companies go bankrupt, a quick reorganization would take place and more benefits could be cut, executive pay restricted, and the end of bonuses (if the pay is not enough they should get another job). The unions and the companies’ leadership are both to blame; there is NO reason why the taxpayers should bail them out. Any money that they get MUST have the retiree health benefit cut, salaries and bonuses restricted, and a potential for a HUGH government profit. And no more $31 an hour for workers to NOT work, let them get unemployment like the rest of us.

Posted by Richard | Report as abusive

Absolutely not!!!! In bailing out big business you are rewarding bad behavior with the little guys money. North American auto makers have been more than arrogant and have been shafting the public for too long with poor quality vehicles. I have no sympathy for them and thier grossly over paid work force. If they want to survive, it is time for them to get lean and mean and begin to build a quality and progressive vehicle that is in touch with a new generation. Thier “UNION BUILT” beer burp mentalitly does not fly with a well educated and savy generation. People want quality and fuel economy, Honda and Toyota realized that long ago. North Americas big three dinosoars have made thier own bed and pissed off a very angry pubic. Politicians beware, stop using our money to reward the fat cats.

Posted by Jim McCullough | Report as abusive

NO,NO,Nada,Nien,Nyet,Hindi.The 700Billion is too much already,we need as shareholders to restructure our corperations,the bonuses,salarys for ceos,executives is way out of hand,terribly OVERPAID,year after year,it multiplys,and is,has gotten out of hand,and is part of the problem!!Come on corperate america wake up.If we dont stop this “GREED”,our society as we know it is going down the “tubes”.This younger generation is too “materialistic”,they cant forsee that we are not headed for an recession,but an DEPRESSION!

Posted by Col.J D Dwyer | Report as abusive

yes, If they downsize and make better motors and longer lasting autos and trucks

Posted by Jym McCready | Report as abusive

Prepackaged bankruptcy, strip out legacy costs and close half the plants. David Hardie

Posted by david hardie | Report as abusive

No bail out — the worlds’ No.1 auto industry CEOs & exec bonus years should have been spent on research & dev — forging ahead with the new, not selling the obsolete to each new generation!

Back-up plans should have been in place for times of economic crisis to hold their No.1 market position — has the theatre not been one of GLOBAL economic shifts?
So why was there NO back up plans?

They suck as the strategists and protectors of the US auto industry.

Bonus pay? – you must be kidding.

R Hyodo

Posted by Rodger Hyodo | Report as abusive

I think the American public is to blame. We think we are ‘owed’ without having to work. We snear at domestic products because they arent trendy. We buy foreign products and then complain when our jobs are shipped to foreign countries. We watch Oliver Stone movies and then spout ‘facts’ about conspiracies. We’re too fat because of corn syrup rather than admitting that the only excersize we get is with our fork. We complain about gas prices but we leave the car running while run into the store. We complain that foreign companies dump products here but continue to buy at ‘mou-mart’

Posted by Eric | Report as abusive

Americans better wake up and realize what is happening before they find themselves living a 3rd world life. We have lost one industry after another in this country and our way of life is coming to a end. One only need look at our deficits, trade and fiscal to see that things can not continue on this path for long before a severe price is paid. We let countries like Japan, Korea, and China take one industry after another.

For example Japan and Korea ship millions of vehicles into the U.S. every year all while they keep their markets closed to American products. Ford thought they would crack the Japanese market by building a plant in Japan to get around their closed market policy. They had the land bought and at the last minute the government of Japan said no. They said they didn’t think it would be in the best interest of Japan.

All this while their industries are subsidized by their governments through direct and indirect subsidies for example like national health care. Where as domestic companies like GM provide health care for over a million Americans.

I can’t say that Americans won’t get what they deserve. Americans love to bash domestics even though their quality is on par or even exceeds that of the import brands. Ford is the current leader in the quality arena but many Americans are slow to catch on to the reality of the matter. We are our own worst enemy. People just can’t seem connect the dots as to why their standard of living is declining. Those millions of vehicles imported into the U.S. every year are billions of dollars that being sucked out of our economy and the decent jobs that go with it. It is not just auto jobs that are being effected by this.

Posted by lynn | Report as abusive

Oh and for those of you that say its the unions fault and the workers need to take cuts only shows your ignorant kool aid drinking mentality. I would think 50% pay cuts and giving up pensions and health care benefits were quite a scarifice. This is just another example of a declining middle class for America. Yes these one way trade deals have worked wonders. It just wasn’t for Americans. Just keep drinking the kool aid folks. They love pitting slave against slave.

Posted by lynn | Report as abusive

This de-industrialing of America is all part of plan of the Bilderberg group to destroy the middle class of America. Nixon didn’t agree with this and paid the price for going against them. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of “The Bilderberg Group” book and you will get a better understanding of what and why things are happening the way they are. The loss of our steel industry, textile, and now the auto, and housing industry are part of their plan to destabilize our country so we will fall into line with their master plan of a one world government. You might not believe in this but it is happening right before your eyes and all one need to do is open them and look at what is going on around you.

They want you to believe that it is the unions or this or that are the cause of the problems. The elimination of organized groups would only make their agenda that much easier to accomplish. They have sold you a bill of goods that there is a free market. There is no such thing. I find it amazing how many people just buy into this globalization crap and accept it to their own demise.

The aircraft industry will be one of the next to go. China has already targeted several hundred billion dollars to dominate this industry with all those dollars you sent them the way of Wal mart. They have forced Boeing to share their technology with them in order to do business there along with many other industries that we used to dominate. You can kiss the good ole US of A gone as the great country it once was. What kind of future do your children have. Pretty bleak at best. Just keep buying those imports and playing musical chairs with your future.

Posted by lynn | Report as abusive

I would also like to ask a question for those opposed to giving the domestic auto industry a loan to get them through these problems much of what has been brought about by our own government policies. Where is your outrage at the tens of billions we are spending rebuilding Iraq all while the Iraq government has a $70 plus billion oil revenue surplus? I might add that the tens of billions of U.S. tax payers dollars are going to Bush and Cheney’s cronies companies with contracts that have no over sight on the cost. You complain about giving loans that would help American workers and tax payers but where is your out rage on being fleeced by Bush and Cheney in Iraq. Something is not right with this picture. Just keep drinking the kool aid fool.

Posted by lynn | Report as abusive

Nature has a well established mechanism for dealing with systems that fail to adapt to their ever-changing environment. It may not be pretty, but it is effective, and has enabled our ancestors to obtain for us a position at the top of the food-chain. Yes, there have been times when altruism and co-operation have been more effective at promoting our species than pure competition for scarce resources. But, the fact that we are here today speaks to the wisdom of those who were able to discern when making sacrifices for the greater good was in our best interest, and when it was time to abandon the irredeemable.

It is now time to adapt to the new environment.

Yes it is quite apparent that Europe and Asia have done a much better job of nuturing their industries through their protectionist policies while the elitist have sold the avaerage American citizen a bill of goods with these so called free markets theories that don’t exist in reality of the true markets. Wake up people!

Posted by lynn | Report as abusive

JUST SAY NO to those arrogant hot heads. They think that they can blackmail the American taxpayer. Particularly those GM bosses, they think they are gods above the universe. It will be a crying shame on the U.S. government if they hand over huge billions as extra Christmas stuffings for the likes of Waggoner at GM. Let them crash and burn. Maybe, just maybe, then they will listen to us consumers. Wake up America !! If we succumb to this extortion, then what next? These bosses need to learn that they too can live on less than $50 million/year. What if they set an example by reducing their pay by 10%? Is it possible that one could live a decent life on $20M – $30M/year, even for just a couple of years? I know it’s a sacrifice, but they wouldn’t starve, most of us make less.

Congress: SEND THE DUDS BACK HOME TO DETROIT.

Posted by Errol Thomas | Report as abusive

The auto industry suffers from excess capacity, too many automakers competing for a limited pool of buyers means less factories and less jobs somewhere.

Planned Obsolescence, building cars that are hard to repair and have a limited life-span has been a strategy for US manufacturers to be able to build and sell more cars. Ultimately this is wasteful of labor and materials and inefficient. Cars should be designed to be more easily repaired and built to last longer.

The principle of interchangeable parts was promoted by Eli Whitney and made possible the industrial revolution and moderm manufacturing. The US Auto industry has virtually turned this principle upside down and designs and manufactures virtually all new parts for every one of too many similar models. I can evision the remote possiblity of cars & trucks being designed with “standardized” parts somewhat like the working so of computers are standardized and somewhat like “Big Rig” trucks are standardized. Such standards might be applied to (agreed on by) auto manufacturers that grow so large, they have the economic impact of small nations with smalled manufacturers left to innovate. With standards in place, large manufacturers could compete beased on efficiency, quality of product and ultimately price.

If cars are manufactured to be repaired and to last, jobs lost in manufacturing will likely be more than made up in repairing.

My first car was a 1937 Chevrolet. It weighed about the same as a new Monte Carlo and got fairly good gas milage.
If “bolt on” improvements” as fuel injection were available, I would be happy to drive that car today.

Saving the industry as it is configured is almoste certainly a waste of taxpayer money, unless some of other non- Manufacturers are going to go belly up.

the auto executives are morons to put it simply. they have let the strongest industry in this country go into the crapper because of ignorance of the changing market and refusal to go head-on against the UAW. Its absurd what UAW employees make and the demise of the US automakers should NOT be bailed out by taxpayer $. We have been paying exorbidant prices for US cars and now we have to fork over more $ to bail their dumb asses out of financial collapse? Are we crazy.
First order of business – FIRE EVERYONE IN CURRENT MANAGEMENT OF GM & FORD they are all incompetent, greed driven idiots.

Posted by Rich | Report as abusive

If the workers really believe that they are viable and have a future then use their pensions to support the companies first. Rob

Posted by robert h | Report as abusive

I say the auto industry wants a bailout? Maybe they shoudl get it from the oil companies they’ve been in bed with for decades who are STILL posting record profits. I don’t want them to have a single red cent from the government coffers. It is lunacy to think that bailing out companies who have proven themselves time and again to be uncompetative in the marketplace. Let the fail and let true capitalism work for a change.

Posted by James | Report as abusive

no. period. let the oil companies with the record profits based on any excuse they can give to raise the price bail out the soft bellied fat jawed cigar chomping idiots that knew this was coming. Maybe the unions will now understand that they can live on less money.

Posted by handa | Report as abusive

Wow. Where do I begin? First off, the idiots in congress required NOTHING of the banks to receive bailout money. No oversight to speak of, no one answering to anyone. Just give ‘em the cash.
Next, they stated that maybe the CEO’s should all be thrown out and replaced with “outsiders” and also take pay cuts. The problem with this? Chrysler’s and Ford’s CEO’s are already outsiders, Chrysler’s from Home Depot, and Ford’s from Boeing. Ford has been dealing with impending collapse since 2002 or so , and had already done the necessary legwork for their recovery. Chrysler was on the way until those same bakns pulled the rug out from under them.
This leaves GM and Rick Wagoner. This guy needs to go.
As for the EV1, I was a service manager for a large Saturn dealer from 1996 to 2002. Saturn was given the job of servicing and maintaining the EV1′s. I got a chance to drive one in Spring Hill at Saturn’s HQ. It was impressive for its time, but nothing truly cutting edge beyond the high pressure tires and inductive charging system. Lead acid batteries in a lightweight body. Technology easily done today. Why was it killed? Pretty simple actually. All of these were leased vehicles, meaning GM maintained ownership at all times. They were meant as research vehicles to gauge public reaction and also to get real world data as to how real people would operate them. Nothing more.
So why wouldn’t they sell them? Government regulations require an automaker to maintain sufficient spare parts for years after the production stopped. These parts would have been very expensive as all of these cars were heavily subsidized by grants. To repair one would be extremely expensive in the case of a failure. They were basically hand built . I once heard a story about a prototype Ford Escort sustaining damage by a tree falling on it in a storm, doing millions in damage. That $1.9 million for those 80 cars wouldn’t have come close to covering the actual cost of those cars .
The second reason? Liability and unforseen lawsuits arising from what is essentially unproven technology. Why open yourself up to unnecessary litigation?
As for the “super” battery technology, that’s total BS. If it were true, they could have licensed that technology to laptop makers, cellphone makers, etc… the possibilities would have been endless. That just makes no economic sense.
Besides, the new Volt will be an infinitely better and far more practical car.

Posted by tbird635 | Report as abusive

Forgot to add something… If I were a an “outsider CEO” and I was being recruited by an automaker forced by the US Gov’t. to hire an outsider, what idiot would take that job for $1 a year?
You want results from a CEO, you have to pay him what he’s worth. Ford and Chrysler have done just that. And Ford’s seems to be doing all the right things.

Posted by tbird635 | Report as abusive

No bail out. No loan. No nothing. Companies should not be rewarded for failure. These executives don’t seem to be giving back the money they took over the last 20 years when business was great. They should have taken less and saved more so they could weather the downturn. If congress bails them out with MY money, it will signal to everyone that when times are good you can take advantage of your employees and customers and when times are bad you can take advantage of everyone else. I may think differently if GM gives me a full refund for my 1979 cutlass diesel (my last ever American car and a real piece of junk), but I doubt it. I’ll vote out anyone I can who approves the automakers requests under any condition other than the complete bankruptcy of the companies and the personal bankruptcy of the executives.

Posted by Jim B | Report as abusive

Also, I don’t think I have ever heard anyone dumber than Westley Clark. The technology developed by these companies was not developed for the military. My duce and 1/2 did not have keyless entry, tinted windows, three position 10 way electric seats, a computer made in china with hatasahi chips, a bose stereo, plastic wood and chrome. The developments in Detroit have not been in the areas of reliability or usefullness, the developments have been in fluff. I might add that we recently spent a few billion with GM to develop a better armored vehicle and the entire program was overcome by the terrorists with a couple extra pounds of high explosive. Just another example of fixing the wrong thing and throwing good money, MY MONEY AND YOURS, after bad. Finally, I live in Los Angeles and wonder why we even need more cars there are sure a lot on the docks that can’t be sold now. This is not an “if you build it, we will buy” problem, this is a “you lost out to the competition problem” and now that times are hard people will buy only the good stuff or fix what they have. Lots of automakers have gone under over the years. What’s a couple more. Let those who are left fight it out among themselves by building things that don’t break, things that don’t cost much to run, and things that cost less than the competition. This is a situation where less is more.

Posted by Jim B | Report as abusive

No bailout or loan. Let the companies fail and the profitable parts be bought and run by other companies with the non-profitable parts be discontinued.

Why aren’t the foreign car companies among this group of CEO’s asking for help when they also build cars in the US and employ US citizens?

Here’s another reason why not: I will be buying a new car within the next 3 months and no American car company is on my short list.

Why? Quality, reliability and resale value.

Please note that I didn’t mention price.

Posted by new car buyer | Report as abusive

THIS IS NOT A BAILOUT FOR THE AUTO MAKER’S IT IS A LOAN. IT WAS A BAILOUT FOR THE BANK’S AND AIG. I GUESS THAT’S BECAUSE WHEN IT COME’S TO BANK’S AND INSURANCE COMPANIES IT IS HITTING THE POLITICIANS POCKET’S, THAN THEY GIVE MONEY NO QUESTION’S ASKED AND BY THE WAY DOES AIG, CITI BANK AND THE REST OF THE BAILOUT FOLK’S FLY IN PRIVATE AIRCRAFT? GEE NOBODY ASKED THAT QUESTION.
AND I BET MOST OF THESE POLITICIAN’S DRIVE FOREIGN CAR’S TOO. THE AUTO INDUSTRY IS PRETTY MUCH THE LAST IN THE UNITED STATE’S TO PAY A DECENT WAGE AND OFFER A DECENT BENEFIT-AND THE GOVERNMENT WANT’S TO TAKE THAT AWAY, I GUESS BECAUSE THEY WOULD LIKE US TO BE THE SAME AS MEXICO YOU ARE EITHER RICH OR YOU ARE POOR NO MIDDLE-AND YOU CAN STAY POOR BECAUSE THAT’S THE WAY THE GOVERNMENT WANT’S IT.

Why is it that the Sentate and Congress do not see the big picture. If this country let the big 3 go under it will cause the biggest ripple effect that they have ever seen.
This country cannot afford to lose more jobs, more tax revenue, more depression. If you want to help the economy wake up and see the big picture.
Does anyone up there have any common sense???????????????

Posted by Diane Miley | Report as abusive

I believe we should help GM and Chrystler, but only with a restructured plan with all of the Executive perks taken out, and a plan to manufacture and sell electric and solar vehicles. As for Ford, they have another plant already in Europe putting out a car this year that gets 60 miles to the gallon of diesel. Why doesn’t Europe bail them out? And why doesn’t our country allow us to have clean burning diesel vehicles? Ford has said that they won’t be selling any of these vehicles in this country because our government will not allow them. I understand that they burn cleaner than the traditional gas burning vehicle, so what is the problem? I think we should let the government know we want these cars in our country. We should bail out Ford, although I believe that Europe should help bail them out. Europe is getting the most benefit from Ford’s staying in business.

I also agree with prior comments, we need to look at the big picture. We spend more money rebuilding Iraq, Afganistan and other Middle Eastern countries than we spend on rebuilding ours. Who ever said that when we go in and blow something up, we have to then rebuild what we destroy. No other country does this. The Middle Eastern countries have plenty of surplus money from the recent rise of cost in oil to rebuild their on countries. Didn’t the Americans go to their countries to help them? We have already spent enough money in their countries by supplying the military support they needed. Why do we then have to spend more money on rebuilding their country, when our own is in desparate need of repair. We need to bring the military home and rebuild our own country. If you have not seen the I.O.U.S.A. video you should. I went to the Countrywide broadcast at the Theatre. The basic point of the whole thing is that we need to buy American!!!! For this country to survive, we need to buy American!!! I’m not saying that Walmart is at fault. It is our fault for sending our manufacturing out of this country. And it is not all China. When I went to buy envelopes yesterday, they were made in Mexico. It is getting harder to find items Made in the USA. I believe that the government needs to invest in new start-up companies that will begin to manufacture more American made products in this country. At the same time they also need to help the manufacturing companies that still remain here to keep their businesses going. Although, that all depends on you, the consumer, to Buy American!!!

Posted by Kamaria | Report as abusive

U.S. Automakers and UAW must take heed from the foreign Automakers that are manufacturing cars and trucks in the good old U.S.A. and apparently making money. I have not heard of any of them asking for a rescue loan. It is common knowledge: American autos are as good as any automobile manufactured in the world. The Big Three were strong in the SUV and truck market because there was good strong demand and limited completion from foreign companies. However, providing small economical cars with a good safety rating in this current environment seems impossible. Let us face it; with “the Cost of Sales” generated by both labor and management and competition of the foreign companies makes profit margins very small. In the case of the Big Three, they are non-existent. As we know, at this time large SUVs and pickups are very hard to sell. What can be done?

The U.S. Automakers need a large loan from their Uncle Sam, and they need the loan right now! However, before that can happen, they must provide a plan of action. For both the Big Three and the UAW to show good faith and reality adjustment, they must cut wages, benefits or both for labor and management to show America and the Congress they are intent on long-term survivability. Some people say, “Let them go under”. Some say, “The UAW is bad and we do not need unions anymore.” Without the standard of living that unions have afforded America and working conditions they have improved through legislation, America would be unfriendly and unfair to the worker. Fact remains that unions as well as manufactures must change with the times or goes the way of the dinosaur. If the Big Three go under, we could see a loss of as many as 14 million jobs* in this country. It is my understanding that without that 25 billion dollar loan the Big Three will go into bankruptcy. I think I can safely say that being the highest paid unemployed manufacturing workers and managers in the world without a job is not as preferable as being a worker, manager or CEO with a somewhat diminished but livable income. I think that it is time the Big Three to step up for America and themselves. I think Americans would appreciate a similar sacrifice by all the upper management of the many financial institutions that have received rescue payments from the U.S. Government. I believe it is said, “Self sacrifice is good for the soul” and it is also good for our economy right now.

I know that giving part of ones’ earnings back to stay in business and remain employed is a good strategy because, in 1980 I was a union electrician whose market share was suddenly being reduced through a large influx of non-union electrical contractors going after industrial construction projects which were the union contractors forte. We took a 40% wage reduction in wages and benefits to stay competitive. Believe me, it was a difficult period, but our union and our jobs survived and we eventually regained our market share by keeping track of what the competition was providing and proving our value. It’s time for the U.S. Automakers to do the same thing.

*Rampell C. Economix: How Many Jobs Depend on the Big Three? nytimes.com November 17, 2008, accessed: 12/01/2008.

Posted by david pear | Report as abusive

This is a very simple case. The three automakers will never be competative with the noose of the UAW and its outlandish contracts around its necks. The only way this makes sense is to allow each company to reorganize under bankruptcy protection, disband the union, drastically reduce its pension and healthcare liability to all of its retired workers and then, get financial aid from the American Taxpayer. With a clean slate and cash on hand, the US Automakers have a chance to survive and thrive. Otherwise we are postponing the inevitable. We all know the US Government will take the easy path and just give them the money even though any sane individual knows bankruptcy is the right course of action.

Posted by Len | Report as abusive

By the way, those that comment that allowing bankruptcy will cause a big ripple in our economy is mistaken. Look at the airlines, they all reorganized under bankruptcy and people still flew their airlines during the reorganization. Nothing will change the moment they file. The dealerships will still sell cars. They will still service them. And, the automakers will continue make them. The only thing bankruptcy will do is allow the companies to eliminate big liabilities, namely the pension, healthcare, and the unions. Listening to Rick Wagner testify that a consumer will not buy from a bankrupt company is bull. I for one will purposely buy American if they file bankruptcy even though I haven’t bought American since 1999. I would do it because I would be encouraged that the automakers could finally compete now that the unions were dead.

Posted by Len | Report as abusive

For years the auto industry (manufacturers, unions and dealers)has led the way in overcharging for its product and over compensating its employees at the expense of its customers, parts suppliers and stockholders. And they didn’t start to provide good quality, more fuel efficient products until foreign competition forced it. Now they should continue to reap the rewards of that behavior even though it has turned negative for them. I would not support a bailout unless and until I see sufficient contrition demonstrated by the actions they take in their restructuring.
(For example, how would you evaluate an executive giving up one years salary against what he has already been paid in salary, stock and bonuses over the years and against what he will gain if the company survives and the stock goes up?) Don’t you think those whose actions caused the problem should pay (or at least help to pay a large part for the correction?

Posted by Ed Sand | Report as abusive

Asian car companies invest for the long term. Japan finaced Toyota and Honda with low interest goverment backed loans. Loosing money for decades was OK as long as it helped eleminate the competion. Lately southern states aided asian car companies to the tune of over 4 billion in incentives, not loans but free money if they located in thier states. Add that to the billions already loaned and it only seems fair to help our local auto companies. Countries around the world are helping automakers in thier countries because the industries are so important to local economies.

Posted by kev | Report as abusive

Let the bad quality auto makers go under. Then, buy out the foreign automakers who are successful and conduct business as successfully as they do. After all, this is the U.S.of A. Why should bad products be celebrated and protected? As far as the employees are concerned, if they are good they can find jobs elsewhere.

Posted by Nick | Report as abusive