As disastrous auto sales figures for November were reported this week, the Big Three auto companies–GM, Ford, and Chrysler–told Congress that they want government loans to keep from going bankrupt.
The pleas of General Motors and Chrysler were the most urgent. Ford allowed that its cash position was better and that it might get through 2009 without tapping the federal line of credit it seeks.
The Big Three, who less than a generation ago dominated the car business, submitted business plans on Tuesday ahead of scheduled hearings before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday and the House Financial Services Committee on Friday.
Should Congress authorize the requested loans of $18 billion to GM and $7 billion to Chrysler, and a $9 billion line of credit to Ford? How far should taxpayers go to rescue an ailing industry?