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November 14th, 2008
04:58 PM ET

Is General Motors worth saving?

 Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

As GM goes, so goes the nation...That's the old motto anyway. Financially neither one is looking so good right now. And General Motors, along with Ford and Chrysler, is looking for some help from our already cash-strapped government to get back on track. Estimates are if the Big Three go belly up, unemployment could hit 10 percent.

But doubts about a bailout for the auto industry grew yesterday on Capitol Hill as Democratic leaders conceded they don't have the votes to get a measure through in next week's lame duck session.

Watch: Cafferty: GM worth saving?

If General Motors fails– and it would likely be the first of the Big Three to fall because Ford is in better shape and Chrysler is a much smaller company– the impact would be huge. It's not just the hundreds of thousands of jobs at GM that would be lost, it's literally thousands of smaller companies all over the country that sell their products to GM. It's highly likely many of them would fail as well.

As Time Magazine's Bill Saporito put it quote, "The decision that Washington has to make is whether we pay for G-M's survival or for its funeral."

Because whether G-M gets help from the government or not, as taxpayers, we are on the hook. We'll have to cover everything from lost tax revenues and higher unemployment costs to G-M's hefty pension obligations.

Here’s my question to you: Is General Motors worth saving?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Ann from New Jersey writes:
Yes. Besides hundreds of thousands of Americans losing their jobs, we will be keeping other countries in business by purchasing their cars. The American dream is slowly dying.

John from Rohnert Park, California writes:
No. We are not buying their cars now for good reason. How would temporarily bailing them out help? We're not going to buy them next fiscal quarter either for the same reasons. They need to learn to win in the marketplace as the foreign cars are doing and sell cars that people want.

Jackie from Dallas, Texas writes:
Normally, I’d say no, let them die. However, with the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of jobs that are tied to them, I can’t see that we can afford to let them go under. Instead, put strings on the money: accountability, no money going to executives in bonuses or perks, immediate retooling to hybrid or alternate fuel vehicles, a significant percentage going to the development of alternate fuels, and a repayment agreement.

Kerry writes:
If we can re-tool our automobile industry to compete with the rest of the world and save hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs, it would be a huge mistake not to save it.

Joanne from Minnesota writes:
Absolutely not. It's throwing money down a rat hole. They need to restructure via Chapter 11, and the top executives need to be fired.

Jim from El Paso, Texas writes:
Absolutely not, Jack. The government wants to bail out all these companies to keep things going with no real plan. Who's going to bail us taxpayers out? I'm not far from heading under myself along with many others and no one is coming to our aid.

Willy from Michigan writes:
Did the world end when American Motors folded?


Filed under: General Motors • US Economy
soundoff (596 Responses)
  1. Michael in Boulder

    No. Creative destruction is the definition of capitalism. They make products no one wants to buy. While their competitors have spent years investing in smaller engines, more efficient cars, and better quality products, GM has spent years shoving 8,000 pound SUVs down our throats. They invested in the wrong product and lost. To the winners go the spoils.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:19 pm |
  2. Brett in Oriskany,Va

    We saved AIG and they went to a resort, we saved Wall St. and they are giving out 16 Billion in bonuses. Who is going save us? I lost 1/4 of my retirement account and no one is talking about saving me. GM screwed up,they didn't plan ahead for fuel economic cars, even though the handwriting was one the wall as far back as 1973. Why do we have to pay for their mistakes, when we, who have not made mistakes and worked hard are losing our monies.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:22 pm |
  3. JD in NH

    American auto makers, as well as other businesses, would not be in trouble if they weren't on the hook for the cost of healthcare for their employees and retirees. Rather than a bailout for one sector, why not government sponsored, single payer, universal healthcare for all? And don't call it socialism after $700 billion taxpayer dollars have been sent to Wall Street. Employee healthcare is a major reason why many American companies have put citizens of this country on unemployment lines in favor of workers in countries that provide healthcare for their citizens.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:23 pm |
  4. April

    I was waiting for this question from you Mr. Cafferty.

    I once believed that the government should let Ford and GM die the slow death they are dying now – this coming from someone who drives a Chevy! But after hearing the other side, the side that not having any American car companies doesn't sound very good for the US, it makes me want this country to save Ford and GM. But this has to be on certain conditions. They have to build more fuel-efficient and overall better cars than the Germans and the Japanese for crying at loud! We all know that Ford and GM are in bed with the oil companies, but it shouldn't be so obvious. Also, the unions need to rework their promises to their employees. My healthcare, retirement, and pension (yes I still get one) have all changed dramatically over the years. The unions need to keep with these uncertain times like the rest of us.

    April
    Hoboken, NJ

    November 14, 2008 at 1:26 pm |
  5. Molita inTX

    Jack, are you asking if it is worth the taxpayers money to save a car company? Absolutely NOT. Give American workers a livable salary & stop this nonsense with bonus & outrageous salaries for non performers.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:28 pm |
  6. Bob D, Morristown, NJ

    Jack,

    Absolutely, we have no choice. We cannot sustain our quality of life by selling each other hamburgers and junk bonds. We have to return to making stuff the world wants.

    In addition to the 3 million jobs that would be lost, the credit market would totally shut down if all of GM's creditors were suddenly stuck without recourse for repayment.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:29 pm |
  7. George

    Who's to know, but one thing for sure if we don't try to do something to help us save the automobile industry it would be a crying shame. We invent the most things in this country, and all out of greed, some Americans see fit to go to other countries, and make deal to produce them there, and all for more profit. If that is not anti-patriotism what is?

    November 14, 2008 at 1:30 pm |
  8. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    Yes. Maybe not GM itself for its' own stupidity but many others businesses are associated with it. Millions of jobs would be lost forever if GM shuts down. I do think that there should be stipulations on the monies directed toward GM. No more big SUV's and they must use the money for development of hybrid and fuel efficient cars. No more outrageous contracts with the auto unions that the industry will not be able to meet. Workers are going to have to understand that a cut in wages is better than no job at all. As the old saying goes,"A half a loaf of bread is better than none!"

    November 14, 2008 at 1:30 pm |
  9. Joe in VA

    Yes, but with conditions. Government loans repaid at a fair rate of interest, streamline the numbers of divisions, get retirement and other entitlements under control, produce more fuel efficient cars and trucks. All of these may be too much to expect. However, lest we all feel too smug in our judgments of GM and also Ford, recall that 3 years ago they could not have sold many small cars if they had lots full of them. We, the American driving public, wanted big – big trucks, big SUV's, big engines. Even the foreign manufacturers jumped on the big wagon – witness the most extreme SUV – the Porsche Cheyenne. Too many jobs at stake to let GM fail. Also, want your tanks and Humvees built in China?

    Chatham, VA

    November 14, 2008 at 1:31 pm |
  10. Susan Levy

    No, not in its current form. The big three should go through a Chapter 11 and reorganize into a format that works, including much less power by the UAW. They can't compete in their current iteration and there's no point in throwing good money after bad...there isn't an enless supply of money (contrary to what most of Congress obviously thinks) and we are going to have to make some very tough decisions in the coming years, including whether or not this country can – or should – continue to support losing ventures like Detroit.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:31 pm |
  11. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    Why save a company that refuses to save itself?

    November 14, 2008 at 1:33 pm |
  12. Art inTX

    Hey Jack, why should we bail out General Motors? Where does it stop? And WHO is allowing these bailouts anyway? Who makes that decision? Who is handing out the money on this, please Jack, who????

    November 14, 2008 at 1:35 pm |
  13. Burt, Sun Lakes, Az

    I'm old enough to remember the saying "how General Motors goes is how the country goes." Well GM is almost bankrupt and I have the feeling the U.S. isn't far behind so what the Hell we have helped the banks and all the rest of Bush's wall street cronies, why not help an American icon such as GM and while their at it why not print up another hundred million tons of money so that it will take a pickup trucks worth of money to buy a loaf of bread when inflation takes over.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:36 pm |
  14. marti thompson

    No, let them go chapter11, get rid of the $50.00 an hour broom pushers, market the product at a reasonable price and everything will be fine.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:37 pm |
  15. Ken in Seattle

    Yes. General Motors is largely made up of the same hard working middle Americans who have been trampled on by the Bush Administration. There have been many bad management decisions in our auto industry, but their problems do not arise out of the greed and corruption that caused Wall Street and banking problems. If we can reward the crooks who got us into this financial mess with hundreds of billions of dollars then the least we can do is throw the auto industry, and the millions who depend on it for their lively hood, a life line.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:37 pm |
  16. Esther M. Akron Ohio

    as far as i am concerned i say let the car companies die. let them just fall away as the relic they produce and sell to us. nothing is going to change about the mentality which got us into this mess. over the top cars sold who could not afford the payments and the gas and the enviromental carelessness of all big three. we needed 35 years ago a new attitude but were side tracked and bamboozled into thinking we were invincable and immune to everything cause we are america. time to wake up and smell the coffee and get back on track being america and making things happen and change the world

    November 14, 2008 at 1:37 pm |
  17. Donovan Miami,FL

    Jack, all of the big three are worth saving, but if the federal government is to bail them out, there should be some strings attached such as increased fuel efficiency standards, and OVERSIGHT in how they are going to spend the money, something Hank Paulson could use since he has no idea of what to do with $700 Billion.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:38 pm |
  18. Jan Davis, Knoxville, TN

    Yes, because so many other industries would be affected. If they go down, a lot more people will become unemployed which might lead us into a real depression. If the Government gives them money, however, I think the President should send someone in as a "car czar" to help GM figure out how to save the company and repay its debts.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:38 pm |
  19. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    Only if they immediately drop the gas guzzlers and re-tool for hybrid or electric.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:39 pm |
  20. Mari Fernandez, Salt Lake City, Utah

    YES! It is worth saving, if only because, 1 in 7 Americans work for the Auto Industry. If we let them fail, how many millions will be unemployed?

    Sadly, we are facing an Economic disaster and we will need to help out this industry or face a 10% unemployment rate, which would signal a true depression. God help us!

    THANKS BUSH/CHENEY!

    November 14, 2008 at 1:40 pm |
  21. eddie in NC

    YES--- With that said allow me to bend your ear GM has put themself in this situation and they are souly to blame, greed of upper management, unions demanding to much and an over priced gas guzzle that has no resale value. But you can't throw out the baby with the dirty water. The impact on the economy would start a downfall that we my not be able to stop.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:41 pm |
  22. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Although they have made mistakes do not see that we have a choice in taking steps to make sure the auto makers do not go under.
    We are talking about millions being added to the unemployed
    and our counttry simply cannot survive that.
    Whatever is done, it must be accomplished with much insight,
    many regulations and complete monitoring.
    It cannot be conducted as carelessly as the financial bailout has.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:42 pm |
  23. Shirley -AK OHIO

    Worth bailing out? No. General motors will save itself, just as the financial market would have saved itself if it was not bailed out by the taxpayer. This world is restructuring itself and we all just need to sit back and watch. Some people will gain and some will lose during its restructuring. This world is changing to include everyone, not just the rich. My plan during this restructuring is to get my children educated so that will be able prosper once the restructuring is complete. I myself have nothing to lose because I never had any riches so this transformation will probably be easy for me.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:42 pm |
  24. Elki Issa

    We can't have another 4 million Americans in the unemployment line. The bailout of the auto industry must be done with MAJOR strings attached. There should be an oversight committee that forces GM and other auto makers to produce greener, more fuel-efficient cars that will help us compete wth foreign markets. We have the innovation and technology, let's use it.

    Elki
    Modesto, CA

    November 14, 2008 at 1:43 pm |
  25. Festus, Montana

    Yes Jack. When the auto goes, so does the country. Besides, Four
    wheels beats two heels.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:44 pm |
  26. Rowena NC

    No. Let them smash all those gas guzzling SUV's and sell them as scrap metal and keep employees on payroll making more sensible vehicles. There would likely be enough scrap metal leftover to fund research for alternative engery sources.No more car company bailouts, period. Full stop.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:44 pm |
  27. Pat in MIchigan

    GM is as much worth saving as AIG was………only if we save GM there should be conditions that have to be met……..starting with the opening of more plants here in the US and the hiring of US workers……the unions may have to back down on all the bells and whistles in the contract and just let American Auto workers make a decent living again. Let’s save the Auto Industry but only if it comes back home to the Country footing the bil

    November 14, 2008 at 1:46 pm |
  28. John

    Jack: Yes, General Motors is worth saving. The unemployment rate is now 6.5%, and if General Motors collaspes it raises the unemployment rate to 12 or 13%, and it will happen quick. The governmennt is bailing out AIG, and the banks; why not help auto makers who employ millions of people. The auto makers are not asking for a bail out they asking for a loan. Japan, South Korea, India, and other nations aid automakers with tax dollars for years, why not the USA.

    John
    Alabama

    November 14, 2008 at 1:46 pm |
  29. Ron, Centennial, Colorado

    Peoples jobs are worth saving. New jobs and new industries will take time and effort. But GM as well as Ford and Chrysler ignored what was happening in the world of transportation and failed to take a leadership role. Any financial assistance to them should require a change in management. We should not give or loan them money without this requirement as the same old leadership will simply perpetuate the same old failures in the future. They had a huge lead in the world automotive industry years ago and foolishly gave it away. Simply blaming unions and the high cost of benefits is a cop out. They continue to build products that clearly do not meet market demand.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:46 pm |
  30. Chris P.

    Well are good paying american jobs worth saveing? That's the question right? If GM goes so does thousands if not 100's of thousands of good paying jobs. What will that do to stimulate the economy? What good is it to bail out the banks now if no one will have the money to pay their bank loans a year from now?
    I'm currently laid off. I can tell you we don't need a 100,000 more americans as broke as me. So I say yes GM has GOT to be saved.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:46 pm |
  31. Lois Camp

    Jack –

    Maybe GM could borrow from ExxonMobile; keep it all in the
    family, so to speak. Of course, then GM would have to pay
    back the loan.

    Lois
    Birmingham, Al

    November 14, 2008 at 1:47 pm |
  32. Ike

    No.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  33. Glenn in California

    Jack, the answer is most definitely YES because of the large number of workers, not only with the company, but with all the suppliers and other automotive related companies. HOWEVER, if the government is going to bail them out, it must be with the condition that there be a seismic shift in the cars they build to be much more fuel efficient and in the major development of alternative energy vehicles. There can't be any more 13 mpg gas guzzling hogs put on the road. Our country and our planet can't afford it.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  34. F Machado - Connecticut

    I think GM is worth giving a chance, but not Chrysler. Chrysler had its chance and failed again, sol let it go.
    If GM cannot make it, next time they get in trouble, let go. The mess GM is right now is because of the Union impositions. It was/is a big burden. The other problem is the "quality" of the product. They need to invest in quality and innovation to get people credibility back again.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:50 pm |
  35. L.

    Yes. Even if you're not in the auto industry, you still feel frustrated hearing layoff news every day. You feel as if your industry will come next at some point. Having said that, I think the auto industry should be bailed out with some conditions.

    Pullman, Washington State

    November 14, 2008 at 1:51 pm |
  36. Molita inTX

    Jack, why just General Motors? Why not all of them? Can I jump on that band wagon too? If the "government" would pay the bottomless pit of a student loan that is taken out of my salary I would be able to stop working 2 jobs.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  37. Stewart Webb, Qualicum Beach, BC Canada

    Yes, but on the firm condition that they totally re-tool their vehicles, overhaul their management pay structure and organization, and re-negotiate their union contracts – and absolutely no golden parachutes.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  38. mac from traverse city Michigan

    In a Market economy the weak, the lame, and the lazy fail and the stronger businesses pick up their market share. It would be tragic if General Motors fail but if Ford, Toyota etc. are efficient enough to survive they will pick up GMs market share. \If people are buying vehicles somebody will be making them. If people aren't buying we don't need a bailout is futile. Sadly we should let GM go.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  39. jon hoffman

    Yes It Is: Although it was easy for them to spread their money to pensions and high union salaries when things were good and Americans were demanding big gas gusslers, despite the prognostics of oil, energy and very negative trade balances. I am sick and tired of blaming everybody but us; Also it is National Security: Our military equipment in Iraq and elsewhere is almost worn out and will need GM/Ford/Chrys to make new better ones within the next 2 years.
    Jon in Calif.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  40. Janis, Lafayette, IN

    We already have 3.9 million people currently on the unemployment rolls and that number is only documented by those receiving unemployment benefits. There are many more who are not documented. If GM and others are left to fail, another 3.5 million Americans will join the unemployed. The question here is not whether to bail out these auto-maker giants, but who should bail them out. I don't feel it is my responsibility as a tax payer to do it. I feel it is the duty of those who have earned a good living and gained a comfortable retirement through their loyalty and hard work that should bail them out. Let the members of the unions and company management pool their resources together and bail their own company out. An employee buy-out, if you will. After all, they are the ones that have everything to lose or everything to gain.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  41. Frank from Peterborough

    General Motors in not worth saving BUT inspite of this my answer would have to be yes the government needs to step in and help but with serious oversight and reform in the top managerial roles.

    People blaming the union are uninformed as the Union has been accepting concessions from their members for years now but management misused these concessions and filled their own pockets with the money the actual workers gave back to the Company.

    It's time for people to quit blaming the people who do the work for the corporations to make the money. I am not aware of any hourly rated employee making any decisions on types of vehicles to be manufactured, marketing strategies or facility locations.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  42. Joe in DE

    GM has been stupid and poorly managed showing no real insight to the future, However, the auto industry is the last big manufacturing operation in the US. We need to keep it and try to direct it toward innovation.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  43. Richard, Enoch, Utah

    Mixed feelings! On one hand there are so many jobs related to it across the states. On the other hand, they should have started making smaller, more fuel efficient, cheaper vehicles along time ago. So let them get themselves out of their own mess.

    November 14, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  44. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Out of compassion for the millions who will temporarily suffer I want to say yes.

    But I believe we are in the midst of evolution, not only an economic evolution where there are new businesses and possibilities on the horizon and the old must die out, but a human evolution where we each begin to go inward and reach our authentic power where we align our souls with our personalities, not live our lives through external power of control and money.

    How does that bible passage go, to everything there is a season?

    November 14, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  45. Dave in MO

    You would think that companies this big could hire enough smart people to figure out away to save themselves. But even if they could why try when they know they can get a hand out!

    November 14, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  46. Chad N.

    THe big three are not worth saving. Even by the governments own figures each time a business goes out another steps in to take its place. Besides, right now who are the big 3 going to sell cars to anyway, nobody can afford them or get financing for them. Bailing out the big 3 does mean that those that work in the auto industry will have jobs for a little while longer, but since they cant sell what they produce the cuts will eventually come anyway, so why would I want to make the payroll for the auto industry when I will end up not benifiting from giving them my money.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  47. kate

    Jack – I agree that this money would need conditions, but given how well the bank bailout is going, I can't imagine that working.

    On the other hand, if we don't do something to save them, where are we going to buy our new green-initiative alternative energy cars? Japan? China? Korea? Argentina? Brilliant idea, guys! Do away with the last vestiges of American manufacturing! That will show them!

    Charlottesville, VA

    November 14, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  48. Tony in Michigan

    Yes, here in Michigan everytime we lose an assembly line job we lose three more with it (teachers, nurses, patrs suppliers, etc.). Letting GM go under would have a huge ripple effect across the nation. I'm not a proponent of a large bailout but there are other ways the government could help them such as tariffs or tax breaks. Letting a corp. like GM fail will hurt America more than most people realize.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  49. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    If GM were worth saving, it would have saved itself!

    AIG wasn't worth saving. Fannie Mae and her brother Freddie Mac weren't worth saving.

    None of these companies were worth saving. The question is whether we will save them anyway!

    November 14, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  50. Carl d. in Illinois

    Jack.,
    The answer is no to bailing out general motors. Why should we help them, they have been allowed to reap huge profits for many years now. If i'am not mistaken, don't general motors out-source about 50% of the manufacturing of the automobiles to Mexico and Canada. If they need help let them go to Mexico or Canada.
    Carl

    November 14, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  51. Larry in Florida

    I think it is. Do you realize, and I'm sure you must, how many jobs are related to the auto industry? Auto industries are a huge part of the work force back bone. We need the big three and I hope Obama agrees, which I think he does. It's the Bush cronies that think the only things we need are banks and oil.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  52. Dennis, Cleveland ,Ohio

    They have FAILED to innovate. Like most major companies that think of themselves as the ONLY Game In Town, they soon discover that competition has PASSED THEM BY!

    November 14, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  53. chuck

    Sure! What else is left for BUSH and CHENEY to kill?

    November 14, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  54. Anj in CA

    All I can say is that I've been buying cars for 40 years and have NEVER been attracted to one made by GM. Never. For those of us who buy based on the combination of styling, drivability and reliability, I don't think they have a product. I suspect that's too big a part of the market not to serve. Money won't fix that.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  55. Fred May WA

    Jack, Should General Motors be saved? Yes GM should be saved.
    It's not the employees that have caused thier problem, it's themanagenent. There has to be forward thinking people running things. Thirty five tears ago we had a gasoline problem. Instead of trying to make more efficient cars they went the opposite direction. They started the SUV vehicle. More weight ,less milage. If a product is not offered there can not be a demand for it. Where is the need for all the gimmicks now offered in todays autos. Autos are for transportation. I remember when there was no radio, no heater. Today every thing but the kitchen sink is in them. Every pound of extra weight in an auto reduces the milage. Should GM be saved,Yes, just get some people more interested in a better car than filling thier pockets. Thirty five years wasted. The USA put a man on the Moon and brought him back. If the same effort had been put into research for a fuel efficient auto we be driving gasoline free cars today.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  56. walt lang

    Jack, where was the bail out for the steel industry? I am from Pittsburgh and saw many family members and freinds lose everything when the steel industry went belly up, and yet they have survided and made Pittsburgh a better place. Just as the steel co's had to learn to compete and make a better product at a fair price. That's what needs to happen to the auto industry , where were they in the 70's when the gas shortage hit the U.S. ? That's when they should have started looking at fuel minded cars just like Japan , Korea and the other auto makers did. Goverment has no place in the public market. Let the strong survive. We will be a better country for it . Maybe there won't be the BIG 3 who knows maybe we don't need a BIG 3..

    November 14, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  57. Paul Round Rock, Texas

    Well Jack to use one word YES. Look at all the countries we give aid to that really hate us. We should review our foreign aid and support U.S. companies with strings aid to a company is not for Bonus money or to buy out other companies and foreign aid should have at least some strings that money is not to be used to store in some dictator's vault to insure that dictator's power for the future. That money should go to U.S. companies to rebuild or retool to a new product. In that way the money would be used better than it is now.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  58. Richard McKinney, Texas

    Only time will tell on this one Jack. GM has to start thinking outside of the box and build for the future and design for what resources we currently have available which become even more limited by the day. If they don't then GM will become extinct just like the dinosaur. . It is their choice.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  59. Russ in PA

    Why on earth would one want to save GM? You can't save fools from themselves. Just look at all of the lame politicians – Fran, Dodd, Kennedy, etc – that got voted back in. People will never learn...

    November 14, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  60. Joe in MO

    I don't know about General Motors, but I do know about all those jobs. It would probably be easier to bail out GM than to have to employ all those people in a new Civilian Conservation Corps or something. The base of this country is a fairly paid middle class. George W. Bush and his rich buddies forgot that. I pray to God Barack Obama doesn't.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  61. Jenny Rome Ga

    Jack,
    So long as they do not party afterwards, why not ,we are saving everybody else except the middle class guys and gals.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  62. J in ALT

    Sure, why not and whose next?

    November 14, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  63. Paula

    About 3 million soon to be unemployed workers sure think so. I wonder how much bailout money will be left for Obama to use for his plans. 67 days is a long time... especially the way Paulson keeps handing out cash to his banking friends... I vote for saving jobs...

    November 14, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  64. Roger from Espanola, New Mexico

    Yes! They are worth saving if the bailouts are been used for what they are intended. If taxpayer dollars are being supplied, it should be taxpayers in general who benefitn not company larders and executive's bank accounts.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  65. Tom in Desoto, TX

    Maybe, but only if management and labor realize the cow is out of milk. For decades the automakers have continue to lose market share and have not made changes to compete with foreign made cars. Asian vehicles were not around in the late 1960's or early 70's. Other foreign car manufacturers built cars in the U.S. and make a profit. Any bailout of anyone should include there will be no bonus'.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  66. MBG (NY)

    Yes it is, whether we like it or not! I don't like it, but now is not the time whose fault is it or not, we need to take action. I got an idea, why don't the banks who received the bailout money, lend them the money at an extremely low rate or make an investment. That way, the American people are not funding another bailout, Ford gets the money it needs and the banks are actually participating in getting out of this mess instead of hoarding money.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  67. Joanne Buck

    Absolutely not...it's throwing money down a rat hole – they need to restructure via Chapter 11, and the top Executives need to be fired.
    Many of us recall writing E Mails 5-7 yrs ago to change the type of cars and MPG that you are manufacturing...American people are just as bad as they buy large trucks to drive around cities as though they lived on a farm. A Fad that has cost GM, Ford and Chrysler. Fired CEO of Home Depot that drove stock down at that company was hired at Chrysler...that is hilarious.
    Joanne Buck
    Minnesota

    November 14, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  68. mitchell ,arkansaw

    only if any 'bailout' is directed solely at retooling their factories for the enrgy efficient cars of the future. no more gas guzzling SUVs! any 'bailout' should be included in president barack's 10 year plan to reduce our dependence on foriegn oil,and fossil fuels.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  69. Jane (Minnesota)

    I think they are worth saving BUT – the way they operate has got to change. Both management & the autoworkers union need to join the 21st century marketplace & be able to provide innovation to consumers at a competitive price. Both sides appear to feel they are entitled to all the benefits they receive – even when the companies are failing. Energy efficient alternatives must be developed and marketed instead of business as usual – producing inefficient vehicles. Both management & Labor are greedy & need to give up their perks for the good of the company. America's wasteful behavior has also contributed to this problem too. I think America does need to help as long as the help goes toward change. Besides – if they fail a number of additional supplier businesses will no doubt be in jeopardy of failing because of them; and so on.....and so on......

    November 14, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  70. Meg Ulmes

    Jack–
    I don't know if GM is worth saving or not. I do know that the first bailout of the financial institutions has become a monster. I don't think I'm in favor of any more bailouts until the government puts some checks and balances in the place on phase one. As for the carmakers, if they want taxpayer money, they're going to need to get on track producing more energy-efficient autos. So far, Detroit has not been willing to change its ways–one of the main reasons that foreign carmakers are leaving them in the dust. It's time for some control over the money that we're so graciously handing out.

    Troy, Ohio

    November 14, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  71. KarenB, Florida

    It's sad state of affairs in general. If company goes under, jobs are lost and economy is screwed up ... if the company stays in business and makes more and more vehicles that sit on lots and don't sell because people can't afford them, then dealers go under and people lose jobs and on and on. Neverending cycle/circle.
    Before anymore are "bailed out", there needs to be some severe accounting for what's already been doled out in the bailout and some kind of "control.".

    November 14, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  72. carol in Oregon

    Where are we getting all this money? Do we have a printing press in the basement of the Congress.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  73. Ed

    We bailed out the banks so they could loan us money. GM produces things which we could borrow money to buy. Yes we need GM.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  74. Bill Ricci

    Why doesn't the oil industry provide the loans to bail out the auto industry? Why does the taxpayer have to do it. The oil companies are dependent on the auto companies to sell their products.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  75. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    If we don't save General Motors then take back the money given to the banks. I can see Japan and China laughing their way to their banks with bailout money used for the purchase of foreign made cars because we are stupid enough not to save our own. Enough is enough.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  76. TWIMHOFF

    Jack, if we bail them out, who will buy the cars they build?

    November 14, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  77. Pat in NM

    GM is worth saving for the employees, not the management that ultimately should take responsibility for where the company is at today.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  78. sherry in OHIO

    I do not see any other way, more jobs will be lost if we do not, sales will continue to go down, and it could make for a recession longer. In ohio we already have a unemployment problem, if we continue to lose jobs in ohio, not sure what will become of us.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  79. Ron in Oregon

    No! I used to live in Motor City when all those hot shot employees of GM and Ford bragged about their high salaries and great benefits. I was a public school teacher making way less than they were. It is time for them to wake up to the fact that times have changed, the economy has changed, and they need to bite the bullet. Let them go into bankruptcy and maybe they'll learn the hard reality most families already know: You can't live beyond your budget.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  80. Gary NC

    If any US company is worth saving it would be GM. Like many auto manufactures they may have seen the writing on the wall. Reducing or eliminating the likes of the Hummer and getting ready to produce a "REVOLUTIONARY" vehicle the Volt with ~150 miles per gallon. We'd be fools not to support this group; although not without preconditions.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  81. NANCY , Grand Ledge MI

    We won't have a middle class in this country without a manufacturing base. GM symbolizes manufacturing in America. We have to save it, but with new management and no executive bonuses! The problem isn't the workers, it's the upper management!! If workers were allowed more input, it would be a better run company! But no one ever listens to the peons! They just pay the price for the bad decisions of others, and executives get bonuses for failing. Things have to change.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  82. Don in Fort Gratiot MI

    Yes, there are far too many jobs at stake for us not to. But conditions must be added, such as improving vehicly safety, fuel economy, and keeping jobs here, and not in Mexico. Next time anyone out there buys a car, ask yourself one question. Where was this car made?
    Fort Gratiot, MI

    November 14, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  83. ajks

    No. They used their big bucks to pay their CEO and for lobbyists to urge Congress to keep the country from improving gas mileage requirements. They chose to make things that were not in the best interest of all Americans and are crying because nobody can afford to buy them or pay for the gasoline for their products. Just let them do like every little corporation has to do that does not plan well. There might be a ripple effect, but the new administration should be implementing new jobs for infrastructure, etc. That will take up some of the slack for lost jobs.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  84. josh, minneapolis

    no way. Americans have spoken with their pocket books,and have bought other cars. ya snooze ya lose

    November 14, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  85. Barb New Port Richey Fl

    Well, if we don't regulate these bailouts where is it going to end? Main street is starting to look like a ghost town already. Are we that spoiled, that we can't pull back, tighten our belts, and go without so this country can get back on its feet again?

    November 14, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  86. Tina (Ft Worth)

    No but Ford is. Gm will not shrink their cars nor their line up. They all have way too many cars too choose from. I for one would love to have a well made car that gets great gas milage and to be able to park some where and be able to see to back out of the parking spot without getting killed because I am the only small auto wedged between two monsters.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  87. MICHAEL

    Paulson said the reason for not bailing out the auto industry was because it was of their own mismanagement. These financial businesses were going under because of their own mismanagement, so tell me again why we had to bail them out.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  88. Bill, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    For years the American car makers produced new jobs in other countries while not producing any new jobs in our own. In fact we seen a job loss in the auto industry in our country over the years. Along with all of this they continue to make cars that the American people did not want. With rising oil prices they continued to make gas guzzling vehicles. The only way I would approve a bailout loan for companies who operate in this matter, would be to have written assurances and not promises that these things would change.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  89. Scott - Kansas

    Good companies adapt and survive, bad companies die. That is the basis of the free market economy. If GM dies, another better prepared company will pick up the slack. And life goes on...

    November 14, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  90. Concerned Citizen

    GM is definitely worth saving. It directly provides jobs and those employees are consumers which keep our economy going.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  91. Howard M. Bolingbrook IL

    Saving the Auto. Industry is as important as saving any business venture in this country. We must maintain some forms of manufacturing for over a century that industry has been the back bone of this country. A country that is not strongly involved in manufacturing is a country that is dying.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  92. Don B. from Houston

    GM is not worth saving but the JOBS at GM are worth saving. If GM is bailed out, get rid of ALL the top level executives and bring in a new group dedicated to the making GM the "Apple" of the auto industry-innovative, customer oriented, quality dedicated and goal oriented to a fleet mileage of 50 miles per gallon within 5 years.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  93. Hope , michigan

    You bet. I cann't 'believe all the people that say no. If it goes under so do the part suppliers, dealerships, small businesses and so on. People need to wake up. It will end up affecting them down the road. You don't hear about them going on a retreat for their ceo's. Oh buy the way if we didn't buy so many foreign car's maybe they wouldn't be where they are today.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  94. Alex in Seattle

    Yes, because the taxpayer will end up paying either way. If they go bankrupt, they will dump their pensions into the federal safety net. If they stay viable with government help, the workers keep their jobs, they can continue to support the economy and America continues to make things. As our manufacturing base continues to shrink, it becomes a security issue. Too many weapon systems have parts made overseas!

    November 14, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  95. Willow, Iowa

    Yes, on the condition that the big automakers put every penny of assets into fixing and retooling the company for hybrids, electric and/or LPG, and CNG. When every penny of their money is invested, then we should help them out, but keep our thumb on the money to watch where it is invested. If its a loan, they pay us back, if its a bailout, we get the profits. No more "seminars" or massages for the CEOs at a tropical island. Its time to spend every penny before getting help. Then watch where the money goes.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  96. El, NY

    I have my own redistribution of wealth plan. We take the profits from the oil industry and give them to the auto industry. The auto industry uses this money to build advanced fuel efficient cars. They now sell millions of new fuel efficient cars, thus cutting into the oil industry profits. The auto industry then returns the profits to the ailing oil industry and everyone is happy!

    In fact Exxon Mobil may even want to consider buying GM.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  97. don in naples, florida

    Not with any sort of bail out. We have already seen how some of the last bail out has been handled– Executives take off to lush resorts. Let them all file bankruptcy, and then hopefully they can figure out how to dig out of their own mess. It's not like the the unemployment rate is slowing anyway. We just borrowed 700 billion+ dollars and the jobless rate is skyrocketing. No more bail outs, enough is enough.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  98. ST

    I'm sorry to say, but yes. There are too many jobs at stake. I do think that if the government bails out GM and Ford, there needs to be conditions and oversight. The companies need to make fuel efficient cars and also make them affordable to mainstream America. There needs to be a commitee to monitor how the money is being spent and to ensure the conditions are being met. Also, the money will need to be paid back to the government within a certain amount of time. No bonuses, raises, or lavish vacations.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  99. Annie, Atlanta

    Only with a complete overhaul toward green technology.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  100. Diane Glasser

    Only if they are willing to "change" to fuel efficient cars and trucks and they must pay back the loan. There must be strict guidelines that state they must start producing these cars within 6 months.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  101. Kevin, Punxsutawney, PA

    Well, it could be worth saving. There's an awful lot of capital and infrastructure there that could be valuable for any automaker. It's just that the management's short-sightedness and labor's inefficiency are an albatross. Out with the old executives (mayve, engineers, too), revamp the labor agreements on wages & benefits to make those more in-line with the market, and emphasize safety, reliability, fuel-efficiency and comfort in its vehicles. And, oh yeah, style is always nice, too.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  102. Jackie in Dallas

    Normally, I'd say no, let them die. However, with the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of jobs that are tied to them, I can't see that we can afford to let them go under.

    Instead, put strings on the money: accountability, no money going to executives in bonuses or perks, immediate retooling to hybrid or alternate fuel vehicles, a significant percentage going to the development of alternate fuels, and a repayment agreement. Instead of giving themselves bonuses if they can come back, the money gets repaid with interest back to the government.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  103. Pugas-AZ

    Yes if they transition into the 21st century: cut salarys, reduce benifits, outsource more work, etc. In general go lower as the rest of the world rises so we have that level playing field that we all have been rooting for. Welcome to the new world. I think I'll take my ball and go home.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  104. Marie Ontario

    Government assistance for General Motors makes more sense than bailing out financial institutions. As an example the Bank of Canada lowered it's prime rate by .5% but the banks only reduced their lending rates by .25% and still tightened up their lending practices.

    The same philosophy seems to be the pattern with U.S. financial institutions that took money and spent it on their share holders and executives or mergers.

    At least giving General Motors some assistance by guaranteeing loans or something along that line will eventually result in the Government getting their money back and millions of manufacturing jobs being maintained.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  105. Scott Miller

    What have they done for us? Continue to promote huge SUV's and drag their feet on alternative fuel cars? And surprise, now they need help? If it wasn't for the lost jobs I'd say late them pay the ultimate price for their disregard of reality. We'd be fine and have better choices. Scott Miller, Tucson AZ

    November 14, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  106. Nitarshan

    NO! The taxpayer should not be bailing out a company, it's not how capitalism works! GM, for the past 10 years, has consistently failed to move with the times, continuing to make huge gas-guzzlers, catering to the oil companies. As well, they have bowed down to employees, paying them outrageous wages, on average $25 higher than jobs in other countries. GM will keep coming back for more and more money, $100 billion couldn't bail hem out!

    November 14, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  107. Betty/Ontario/Canada

    I heardd one of Wolf's guests say the following 2 days agol. "When I first heard aboout digital cameras; I sold all my Kodak stock short. The car companies all knew about oil shortages long ago. Why then keep producing gas guzzlers. I'm afraid its Chapter 11 for GM or Ford at least.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  108. Terrence , NC

    Yes Jack, General Motors is worth saving because the number of job losses could further weaken our economy. I would sugest that all union contracts, and payments to executives become null and void so we can renegotiate a reasonable plan to rebuild our auto maker. An affordable well made automobile, with good milage and made in America is also needed.We need to find a new CEO and excutives who can lead this company into the future and pay them a fair wage.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  109. hugh ~ tracy, california

    Jack,
    They should pick themselves up by their own boot straps. Isn't that what we're always being told by fiscally responsible minded politicians? If we bailout General Motors I can see the future like Nostradamus.
    Headline: GM Executives Use the Bailout Money for Extravagant Vacations and Billion Dollar Bonuses!
    Forget it, we've been duped once before and once is enough for me.
    "Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me!"

    November 14, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  110. Nick - Cary, North Carolina

    Jack,

    One of the big 3 need to go or else the big 3's cars will become a comodity like air travel. GM is one of the companies worth saving. They have experience in electric cars, hybrids, and diesels all technologies needed for the future. Once the employees who make up that experience go, the experience is gone too. The management however needs an overhall. The same rebadged cookie cutter poorly built pushrod engine driven cars are not the future. The government is not the only facet of American life that needs change.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  111. John in Arizona

    It has long been said that as General Motors goes, so goes the nation. That's more true now than ever. Both General Motors and the country are bankrupt ,and both now need to be rebuilt in a new paradigm with a new vision.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  112. Simpliticus

    Yes, it is worth saving, from Economics 101, but is Goldman Sachs, AIG,Morgan Stanley, and Chase worth saving? Ravi Batra had the simple idea of buying GM stock at below $3 a share and simply give it to the workers as a kind of ESOP or the like after which these determine a new management team that can build cars to the likes of a demanding public rather than cars that were once profitable but are no longer despite current management trends to maintain the SUV mantra that cannot fly!

    November 14, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  113. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    No they need to fail. If I owned a business and ran it as poorly as they have then I would fail as well and if there were 20 people working for me then they would be out of jobs and benefits. It may be the example that we as a society needs to wake us up that the competition if real and taking our jobs because of our own greed and poor management.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  114. Steve Allbright

    Jack, Unfortuately we must. Not for just the jobs on the factory floor, but for all the downstream jobs that will be affected. The price to pay for any "constructive destruction" is too high to pay in the current environment.
    However, to allow the boards and current management of any bailed company to remain is unthinkable. Their absolute failure to look forward is a direct result of the hide bound system from which they sprang. American industry must be managed by people who value the contributions of all and have the ability to look past the current 5 year plan and do what is best for generations to come.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  115. Michael Eggebrecht

    Gee Jack

    Lets see , at 3.50 a share , GM is worth 3 Billion. Yet the Big Three figure they need 25 Billion or more to retool and stay afloat. Sounds like a topic for " Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader "

    Mike
    Genoa, Wi.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  116. Rex in Portland, Ore.

    Not so's you'd notice, Jack. At least not by the taxpayers. We should disguise their eventual "bail-out" – read bankruptcy and reconstruction – the cost of which will be borne 100% by the consumer, not the taxpayer, the difference of which eludes me at the moment.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  117. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    Yes, but with conditions. There are far too many smaller operations that depend on the Auto Industry. Allow the American Auto Makers to fail might be for their own good, but it will gut our economy even more. But the Auto Industry needs to stop being 4 years behind the rest of the world. They learned nothing over the past 30 years. Care more about MPG instead of MPH. Create alternative fuel auto's that will spur on more growth within the US.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  118. Greg in Cabot AR

    Jack, it is imperative that we save GM and any other US manufacturing jobs that are facing extinction. We cannot allow anymore manufacturing to go off shore.

    GM is in the pickle they are in because of the American consumer. General Motors designed, built and sold what WE wanted. WE wanted the giant gas guzzling SUVs, extended cab 4×4 pickups and decked out muscle cars….until the high price of gas gutted our wallets….now we want to blame the automakers for not building what WE needed instead of what WE wanted……save General Motors or the US will turn into a service based economy where we will all have to resort to garage sales or mowing each other’s lawns to survive.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  119. James S. Lenon - Chuckey TN

    We need to save the manufacturing jobs and capability that the big 3 represent.
    But in doing so we need to operate with the assumption that any CEOs worthy of their inflated salary packages would have prevented such a situation. Fire them all and replace them with executives who understand that greed and stupidity are bad for business.

    We also need to recall that unskilled labor, even in the auto industry, is unskilled labor and not compensable at salaries higher than those of teachers, nurses, and other professionals.

    We are engaged in an economic war for national survival. Corporate and union execs have played a large part in causing this war. It is time for them to face the consequences the rest of us have been dealing with since 2000.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  120. B.E.Lahmon

    Yes it's worth saving but GM just like everybody else need to produce cars that can compete with everybody else or get out, to make a long story short they need to stop pouring most of their money into gas guzlers and that's just a couple of things they can do.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  121. Bryan Colorado Springs

    Jack,

    At this time I would say no, however if they would approach america
    with a plan to cut there costs and to build a more competative product
    I think that would show every one that they are serious about doing
    something to help themselves. If they want goverment assistance I think its only fair they try to help themselves as well. Until then they
    are only asking for a hand out that will only prolong there eventual
    demise.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  122. Eileen, Peabody MA

    Good Question Jack. This is a double edged sword.

    First side of that sword....will these executive (those collecting billion dollar salaries even as this company was bleeding profits) get with it and begin to produce products consumers will buy? Because if they don't....we will bail them out only to continue producing cars that aren't selling.

    Second side of the sword…If we don't bail them out, as a corporation, they have no soul or interest in their employees. The executives who made these business decisions will close GM's doors and continue to enjoy the billions of dollars in accumulated salaries for the rest of their lives. This bailout has to be directed in saving the livelihood of the workers who are essentially going to be left out in the cold. If this means requiring NO SALARY at all for executives...so be it. But we all know that won't work because they will leave and sail off into the sunset leaving the dirty work to some smoe.

    Perhaps this is the time to take a look at corporate law and make some changes so these huge corporations become responsible for the business in good times and especially in bad times.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  123. Sean - Fairbanks, AK

    Jack-

    The American auto industry needs an enema. They have too much overhead and are too inefficient to remain competative in a global economy. The big 3 don't have the US market cornered anymore; if they want to stay competitive, they need to rise above the global competition. Americans want to buy American cars, but at this point, there's nothing in it for the consumer: American cars are consistently outdone when it comes to reliability, efficiency, and build quality. Let the big 3 go into Chapter 11 where they will be forced to streamline and realign. Dump the vehicle models that don't turn a profit. Start investing in efficient, alternative energy vehicles. There is a completely untapped market in alternative energy vehicles just waiting to be harnessed. Let's rebuild the auto industry around the future.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  124. joe

    Jack, we Americans aren't stupid to see what is going down in the auto industrial complex. I prefer to see something done, similar to what Chryser Corp. done in 1983 to keep them going. Mr Iacocca had the foresight & astute knowledge to examine the problem & didn't want a bail-out from the Federal goverment. What he got was a LOAN from the govererment, & in less then 5 years had Chrysler up & running again. I don't like the Federal goverment to have any holdings with in our capitalistic society, & I'm sure alot of Americans don't want that either. I prefer a federal funded loan for General Motors to get back on track. A bail-out is a mistake which leades to alot of blunders & possible mismananagement to correct the real problem. Think of it this way. "An error doesn't become an mistake until you can correct it".

    November 14, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  125. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: For the workers, yes...but then again, if you bail them out, you will only be giving the same GM management the funding to see if they can do the same thing again. Tough question, however, no simple answer.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  126. Lynn, CA

    If the tax payer is going to be thier investor, then YES with strict oversight – a clear plan must be formulated and enough government regulators breathing down their necks to make sure they must use the money to keep their employees working while they re-tool for greener more efficent vehicles, not for corporate nest building and parties – it is time the guys at the top did a little sweating.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  127. Ed

    The General has been around along time and has had many opportunities to remake itself into a viable and worthy competitor in the market place. It has failed time and again to advance a business model that is worthy of savior by our tax dollars. I feel the money spent on saving GM would be better spent on retraining their workers for the new marketplace sure to emerge from the smoking pile that is now our economy. If we saved every business from its ultimate fate we would still be using buggy whips. Let the market place be the judge.
    Regards, Ed
    Branchville, NJ

    November 14, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  128. Hello America - Canton, MI

    GM is worth saving. We are in this economic mess because of government policies (outsourcing jobs, unfavorable trade agreements), so it is only logicial that they should help out!

    November 14, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  129. CJ in Atlanta, GA

    GM is just too big. There are only so many ways to rebadge the same car and sell it on different lots. The Chevy Traverse = The GMC Acadia = The Buick Enclave = Saturn Outlook. Give me a break!

    Let's save them if they promise to shed a little of the fat and allocate those resources towards building a product on par with its competitors for a reasonable price.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  130. Julie in Lansing, Michigan

    A lot of supporting industries rely on General Motors for their own survival as well as the people the smaller companies employ. It's going to be mass depression if the auto industry goes under as it will affect nearly everyone. I think that's what the general public doesn't understand. When I think of the past 25 years when General Motors paid their workers full wages to do community service it makes me cringe to hear people in the community say, why bail them out. They forget that G.M. gave thousands and thousands of dollars to the community by having these employees work for the community without any pay from the city. General Motors payed it all which in turn gave taxes from the employee to the city and federal government. So in short, the answer is yes. We should definitely bail them out.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  131. John ILL.

    Gm and all car manufactors need to start over from scratch and build smart economical cars. Their own greed brought them to fail. GM is worth saveing only by retooling and new mangement!

    November 14, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  132. Karen McCullough

    Hi Jack,

    Yes, General Motors is worth saving. We have lost nearly all of our factories to foreign countries. If , however, we bail them out, the workers should be willing to sacrifice their bloated salaries and pay more for their benefits and the executives should bypass their salaries until the company is self sufficient again.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  133. odessa

    yes if they help out all the union leaders and workers too..all the folks who are making the cars belong to a union...they are putting the supply and demand..i want more oversight as well restriction for the ceos because they want to have all the power and money for themselves..union leaders and workers are doing all the work: they need to support themselves in the process..it's time to put a restricition on ceos for once because rich is looking out for the rich not the working class at all...my idea is to stop charging high prices on importing and exporting for u.s. cars because most countries are paying dirt cheap prices all the time for delivering cars in their countries..

    November 14, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  134. Mary - California

    No! Like the "little boy who cried wolf" – nobody believed him when there was a wolf. Prior bailouts have ended up in disasters and the money has gone to bonuses and parties. Maybe the Auto Industry would utilize bailout money properly, but we cannot believe that. Let them file bankruptcy and reorganize.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  135. Sarah Louise

    Only if it can be overhauled. I know a lot of jobs are at stake but there's no point 'saving' it now if the company cannot change it's business strategy. At the moment it's a poorly run company making '20th century vehicles' which cost to much to make and buy. If it can't (or isn't prepared) to completely change a lot of it's business practices a bailout will just be delaying the inevitable.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  136. Zach Bayonne NJ

    It seems like every 28 yrs we are bailing out the auto industry. Back in 1980 the gov bailed out Chrysler. These drove themself over the cliff. They lobbied to keep producing these low mileage non-green cars.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  137. Ann, Newton, New Jersey

    Yes. Besides hundred of thousands Americans losing their jobs, we will be keeping other countries in business by purchasing their cars. The American dream is slowly dying.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  138. christine, Toronto

    Jack,
    Americans missed the wake-up call in the early 70's and didn't learn the lessons that they needed to learn and start to drive smaller more gas efficient cars, or to cut back on foreign oil consumption and the need to find alternate energy sources. Instead gas was cheap and they chose to go to large gas guzzelling SUVs and the big three auto makers provided what their customersdemanded. Who is to blame for the problems they are facing now?

    November 14, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  139. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Jack, they don't deserve it based on their own merit, but letting them fail would harm many others who depend on the auto industry. If we do bail them out we should impose the following conditions:
    1. Executives and union workers can't get paid more than their Japanese counterparts until the loans are fully repaid. And NO bonuses
    2. Fuel mileage standards are raised to 30 MPG average in 2010 and 35 MPG in 2012.
    3. Each company must offer an electric car for sale by 2010.
    4. All cars will have a standard 10 year warranty on everything

    November 14, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  140. Doug in New Mexico

    Jack; think of all of the lost jobs. Think of all of the lost jobs at the subsidiary companies. There would be thousands and thousands of jobs lost, and not just at GM. If that isn't enough, just think where the money is going to go. It will go to Japan, Korea, and Germany, and any other country making autos. People will continue to buy cars and trucks, and if they can't get an American product then the money will go overseas. I guess that will do a lot for the economy and the trade deficit.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  141. Bruce St Paul MN

    They don't deserve it, but it does not make sense to create more unemployment while we are trying to find ways to boost employment.So save them, but make their execs work for free until they are solvent, fire their board of directors, move the country to national healthcare to make everyone more competitive, then bail out the insurance companies. Just kidding, nobody would vote to save the insurance industry. Force GM and Ford to be the leaders in green technology. The auto makers need a good bumper sticker. How about "save the dinosaurs"?

    November 14, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  142. Jude from Rohnert Pk

    Jack,

    The only people we need to bail out is the American People. Here's an idea. Why can't the government reduce everyone's mortgage to 3%. The home owners will have extra money in their pockets, in turn start spending money, which belongs to us anyway. I might think about buying a new car with some extra dough, so might others, thus saving the car companies and more impportantly the people who work for a living.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  143. Michael and Diane Phoenix AZ

    Of course it's worth saving. Just get some new "blood" in charge and get back to the basics of bringing REAL VALUE back to this country.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  144. Caroline, Hamer SC

    Why not we can save all the Banks, and their CEO’s. But we can’t save our auto industry, give me a break.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  145. carol in Oregon

    Since you gave us so little information. I first need to know... who are making the parts for GM are they made in the USA or outside the country? Are there any cars made in the United States? or just assembled. If these cars are made in the USA yes. If not why should we bail them out.

    November 14, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  146. Tim in Texas

    'GM' isn't worth saving, but the millions of jobs that would be lost if it goes under are. Concessions, however, will need to be made by the execs, the investors and the unions. Moreover, the auto companies need to get back the Henry Ford's principle that the people who worked for him should be able to afford the vehicles produced by the company. That means skip the flash and build small, safe, fuel efficient vehicles that will get people from point A to point B without costing them an arm and a leg.
    Tim in Texas

    November 14, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  147. Ray [Maryland]

    No way! If they can't give the customer what they want then to bad. Also how com Honda can build a state of the art engine plant for $154 million, and GM needs $25 billion to retool. NO BAILOUT!!!!!!!!!

    November 14, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  148. Larry D

    Jack,

    I don't think america made cars & trucks are worth saving really they don't sell as fast as the european cars or other foreign made cars & trucks. We need to regroup and build cars that can be energy effiecient and good for the environment, We need to stop relying on other countries car manufacturers and build our own cars that are top of the line right here in america. simply go out with the old companies and bring in new ones. Gm always goes down hill and they should stop producing and close there plants so new ideas for america cars & trucks come into play.

    Albany NY

    November 14, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  149. Marc in Canada

    Jack

    The fairest and easiest way to save GM is for the government to advertise the benefits of shopping for American made products. Explain how buying American made products actually helps Americans stay in their homes and keep their jobs and how buying foreign made products cuts jobs and reduces the value of real estate. Americans have to start thinking of the big picture. Buying Chinese made products may save a few dollars now but will cost jobs and equity in the future.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  150. Louis Ruchser

    Yes we must save the jobs for the workers. However, what ever happened to a well managed company? The clowns running these outfits had better stop being so greedy or they should get run out of town!

    November 14, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  151. chris south bend Indiana

    Dear Jack: I feel that GM and the other big three are worth saving with no doubt. I myself don't care if people want to call it socialism, we can not afford to loose them its an Independent thing[ and National Security as well] , they just need to realize that we the people in the heart land depend on them jobs, just look they the big three outsourced all them jobs that started this problem. all the fab shops, tool and die, and the list goes on, so I would suggest we will bail them out if they start rehabilitating its work force here, ware it belongs in the good ole USA bring them jobs back and we will see a booming economy again.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  152. Cliff, Front Royal,VA

    .They need to save themselves. By the government to provide money just to pay off the Unions won't do it. Something needs to be done for them to provide vehicles that the public will buy so they can make a profit. They probably need to be restructured

    November 14, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  153. Annie Florida

    NO...let them go under and reorganize. Someone needs to hold their feet to the fire. They have always been greedy, selfish and unable to compete on a level with Toyota. They need to do that. Get rid of the fat cats, the fat perks, the fat company benefits. They are not called for in this economy.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  154. Rose in Az

    Sadly I have to say no. I feel sorry for the workers at GM but they have not managed their business very well, they have had more than enough time to rise to the level of foreign made cars and have done nothing to compete. If Congress gives them the 25 Billion they are asking for it will only sustain them for a short time, they have cooked their own gooses. I say let them fall, no more taxpayer bailouts.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  155. Ray, Florida

    Well something has to be done!

    If GM goes under it will hurt main street big time Jack!
    Alot of the job's lost will be blue collar job's,sending the unemployment rate's up even higher.
    8% unemployment is just a number,unless your part of that 8%,
    Then it's just devistating!

    November 14, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  156. Tom B Pittaburgh Pa

    No ... let Toyota take them over, build cars that get 50mpg fire those stubborn "Detroit Steel" minded but heads, and build cars that work, that last and are worthy of "Made in the USA" once again. Such a shame that to buy a car that will last 10 years we have to look to Japan. Sad but true.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  157. Garnet, Corning, OH

    Of course, save our companies, but with a few strings attached. First, all of the CEO's get fired, who caused this mess, Don't give away million dollar bonuses, to anyone. Do as the foreign companies do, follow tighter measurements, and if something isn't just right, start over. I know, I worked for one. Make something that will last after it is paid off. I had a Nissan, made in Tenn. with 166,000 miles, the windshild wiper arm broke. They had to get me one from who knows where but it would take a few days. Guess what, they offered to rent me a car until the part came in! And Honda will repair their car seat covers for seven years. And what would GM, Ford, ad Chrysler do? As I now know, I have a F150, tough! Make a good product, we will buy it. But this is my moey, the company is wanting, now do as I say.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  158. Terry from North Carolina

    Jack
    Yes it is, however it needs a serious overhaul, as my ten year old Chevy Malibu also needs.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  159. Lynn, Boise ID

    I have been arguing with myself about this very question for a while. On one hand, GM employs thousands of americans and I'd hate to see them lose their jobs. On the other hand, if we want to have a true capitalist society, we need to let badly mismanaged companies fail. What boggles my mind is how we praise capitalism as a glorious thing when times are good, but when a recession hits and major corporations start to fail, we panic and jump ship. So, it's a choice between socializing yet another corporation to save jobs or accepting capitalism's down side. Quite a conundrum.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  160. Susan in Maine

    Yes, government needs to help GM and top it off with some I can't believe it's not socialism sauce! What gaurentee do we have that it won't happen again?

    November 14, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  161. Roland

    I would say yes, because the auto industry is a pillar of our economy, but with the caveat that the U.S. must be willing to heed the advice of other countries who have gone through similar crises where the governments have had to step in and bailout industries and then re-privatize them later as free market conditions improved. Sweden's successful rescue of its financial system of the 90's comes to mind. If the U.S. Government gives GM any federal dollars, I expect it to be for a hefty stake in the company with some sort of a governing position on the board of directors (even if it requires a special committee within Congress to oversee the project), and the bailout must be contingent on a 5, 10, 15, or 20 year business plan that includes full repayment with interest, and GM becoming fully self-sufficient and finally owned once again by private shareholders. The idea here is to use the power of our government to preserve our capitalist system, not to replace it with communism.

    Roland
    St. George, UT

    November 14, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  162. Bill in Las Cruces, NM

    I'm not sure that a bail-out would fix their problems. I think they should be forced to reorganize and concentrate on new, efficient vehicles like the Chevy Volt. But, they probably won't, even when the handwriting is on the wall. Remember they killed the EV-1 which was probably the most innovative vehicle on the planet after the original VW beetle, and before the Prius...

    November 14, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  163. wally Ruehmann las vegas nv

    NO , they could have changed course 30 years ago, and didn't. how many billions a year do they spend on t.v.adds, golf tournaments, nascar, athletes ceos on and on. then i hear about union wages being the problem, that's a lame excuse for poor management, and rubbing elbows with the oil companies.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  164. Marilyn

    No. Let them go bankrupt and be forced to reorganize. The handwriting was on the wall in the '70's and they refused to adapt to the changes everyone else knew were coming. It's their greed, arrogance and stubborness that got them into this. Let them dig their own way out. And I say that as a former GM auto owner who got stung with some pretty lousy products and vowed never to drive another American car again.

    They just don't get it.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  165. Sonoran Desert DT

    Yes! They are just another smokestack industry with over paid workers that did not keep up with the times. If the government bails them out, they will simply burn throu it or use it for something unethical like the banking industry did.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  166. arlene rannfeldt

    they did it to themselves although i do feel sorry for the people who work there. it would seem greed has caught up with general motors also..If you ask me it dosen't matter if you bail them out or not, they will take the money and change nothing. the same way wallstreet does business..anyway they want with no one to make them conduct above the board business practices.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  167. Kerry

    If we can re-tool our automobile industry to compete with the rest of the world and save hundreds of thousands of US jobs it would be a huge mistake not to save it...

    November 14, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  168. g ontario canada

    allready bailed out the rich why bailout middle class jobs send every jobto china put up the chinese flag and be done with it

    November 14, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  169. Jim El Paso Tx.

    Absolutely not Jack....the Government wants to bail out all these companies to keep things going with no real plan. Who's going to bail us taxpayers out. I'm not far from heading under myself along with many others and no ones coming to our aid. Remember...trickle down crap doesn't work!

    November 14, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  170. Stacy from Loudoun County VA

    Jack, I am all for throwing them a cement life preserver! Seriously, GM can be part of the solution if they allow American taxpayers to be investors and not “the sugar daddies”. They should allow the government scientists, along with colleges and universities, inventors in their basements, and other businesses to come in and build the cars of the future. We should also work with the unions and ask them to swallow some “hard truths” in order to compete as well.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  171. Dennis In Washington State

    If they can not offer a product that gets better than 45-50 mpg
    and is eco firendly or produces low emmisions, why should WE the taxpayers bail them out.... The technology is there and these vehicles already exist.
    Cut the ties with the oil companies!
    If i opened a business selling polished turds, and it fails... should you bail me out?

    November 14, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  172. Ray Kinserlow

    It should be completely about the jobs they hold. General Motors has only itself to blame for its current difficulties. Perhaps, a federal "car czar" is in order to oversee the auto industry. This official would dictate gas mileage and the kinds of cars Detroit could build.

    Ray Kinserlow
    Lubbock, Texas

    November 14, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  173. kay

    Yes we need to save the US car companies.If you can bail out the airlines ,why not these corporations.You can bad mouth the unions all you want but they have given wages and benefits back to save their jobs.The ceos and other white collar workers get the big pay,bonus and other perks.
    Bring all the out sourced jobs back.Don't you idiots have any pride in American made.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  174. D. R. Texas

    Yes I think so,but they should comen down on the price of their cars & trucks.......................

    November 14, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  175. Kevin Lunenburg MA.

    Yes, I think we should prop up the auto industry for all the good reasons that we've heard. BUT, we need a new business model. That starts with new managment and Boards of Directors. It's as if they're asking us to get into a cab with a blind driver and when he drives it into the ditch, they pull the cab out of the ditch and dust it off, and want us to get back into the cab with the same driver. That just sounds wrong to me.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  176. dan in massachusetts

    Yes.What does AIG make? What does JPMorgan manufacture? Citigroup? Wells Fargo? Think of how many GM automobiles are on the road and now imagine none. How can we let another industry that actually makes something in this country disappear.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  177. Laurieann Petker-Huffman Willits, CA

    Absolutely Not!! Enough is enough, the poor have given more than they have, and honestly the economy will worsen if we don't bail out the driving force of America, which the government has forgotten is the little people that they have robbed for so long, that the middle class is no longer, and we are all at poverty level now. The Big 3 need to bail themselves out, and if they can't so be it. I understand wanting to save the jobs, but what about all the others whom have lost theirs already, they did not bail them out, and it just isn't fair!!!

    November 14, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  178. John in Santa Barbara, CA

    We are at a pivotal point in our economic history. Everything we have done lately represents a government takeover, and our economic entities are more than willing to let this happen. Business as usual is a free capitalist society, but business as usual can't sustain itself anymore. I don't want to see nobody starve, so I guess I have to agree with the bailout.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  179. lynnej

    As much as I hate to say it when the lives of 3 million employees rely on the industry, NO. They don't deserve to be saved because they've had 35 years to get more fuel efficient cars on the road and ween us off of foreign oil.

    Why not just take over the companies employing the top execs from the foreign car companies (Nissan, Toyota, Hyndai, Kia, Suzuki, etc.) and let them have a go at fixing Detroit's mess? Apparently, we could learn a thing a two about efficiency.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  180. AZ Arnie M

    I worked for a company that purchased their fleet from the big 3. I drove all american cars, a new one each year, for 17 years. They were in the shop with warranty repairs on a regular basis. Fast foward to my retirement vehicle, a Toyota Camry with 116,000 miles on it. Never in for any warrantee work, only replaced the brakes, new tires, and a battery. Don't tell me that "they" didn't know they made an inferior product. ...............Chapter11 and start again from the ashes.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  181. Barb @ the beach

    Our economy has a trickle down effect. So much of our corporations are managed poorly. I can see why they need bailing out. First, they need to disband retirement pensions – how many companies pay pensions anymore? Healthcare after retirement?– that's obsolete as well. If General Motors and anyone else for that matter show on "paper" they will be accountable then let them "borrow" money. I'm still concerned about the "bail out" money - if tax payers will ever see that money again. I will be surprised. Hopefully, Mr. Obama will require accountability. Some things he can change, some things not.

    Virginia Beach, Virginia

    November 14, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  182. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    The Jobs are. I would not loan them a dime without preconditions. That is what should have been done with these banks.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  183. John, Fort Collins, CO

    In addition to employing, directly and indirectly, over a million people, General Motors has the by far the best research and design capabilities among the big three auto makers. Their 150 mpg plug-in electric car, which will be a major breakthrough for the environment, is the closest to mass production of any manufacturer. We would lose too much to allow them to fail.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  184. Les Oklahoma

    Not with out a change of direction GM placed their future in the ideal that we would have abundant oil for ever and did not look to the future. The thing that made GM and the other auto companies the best at one time in past they made a better mouse trap cheaper with American know how until they develop this type attitude again they will continue to fail

    November 14, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  185. monica von berndt

    All the car companies are worth saving they are a part of our nation that represents prosperity and with so many long standing financial institutions that have represented the American monitary dream going under there isnt much to hold onto anymore in the way of bringing our superior economy back. These are American made products, and if the Bush Bunch waits until President Obama is in office its only going to cost many more people unnessary financial problems. There should be the stipulation that these jobs stay here in America Jerome Idaho

    November 14, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  186. Tom Ft Lauderdale

    Jack
    We survived the colapse of Packard, Studebaker,Willy's, Kaiser, Maraton Checker and these companies were manufacturing in the USA. with American workers. Name plates Desoto Plymouth Oldsmobile Edsel Continental vanished since 1950. America is afraid to go forward and clings to the last century. The colapse of GM is the opportunity for new fortunes to be made. If they can't take the heat then get out of the kitchen(Harry Truman) ..If GM seeks a bailout perhaps they should ask Germany Korea Mexico and China where the cheap labor is plentiful.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  187. Kerry Diehl

    Yes, the American domestic car companies do need a bailout, but this will only be a band aid applied to a major wound. Given our economy and future outlook, buying new cars will be very low or non-existent on consumers’ list.

    Perhaps a tax incentive for all of us purchasing GM, Ford or Chrysler products would prove more effective. If we could be tax credited the interest on new car loans for these three companies, perhaps more people would buy American again.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  188. Rick Shultz

    Jack,

    The 'ripple-effect' of a GM failure is so wide-spread, it is nearly incomprehensible. If we can spend hundreds of billions of dollars to salvage the financial industry, (so they can buy each other, throw lavish parties, and pay their executives amounts most Americans cannot fathom,) it would seem reasonable to invest a fraction of this amount to save millions of jobs.

    The question is not 'should we save GM?' The question is 'should we protect what's left of this economy?'

    Rick Shultz, Medina, OH

    November 14, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  189. Susan A from Rochester

    No more rewarding inept management. Let them be acquired by Toyota and Honda and Hundai, with restrictions that the businesses not leave the country and employ American workers.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  190. Sandra fromTexas

    Not only are the automakers worth saving, they absolutely must be saved. We have to make things in this country. GM going under would not only be devastating for an enormous number of Americans but the sheer symbolism would be just really demoralizing to many, many more. We need help out here and we are not getting it from these incompetent lame ducks. Somebody needs to start doing something NOW.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  191. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    When the Detroit auto execs are canned, and the unions are voted out, then maybe there will be something there worth saving.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  192. Bill from Maine

    General Motors has failed, as have most US car manufacturers, to keep pace with the social demographics that characterize the middle class. As a consequence, it finds itself in the unenviable position of being unable to compete within the world automotive market - or at least as effectively as companies like Honda, Toyota, and Nissan. Saving General Motors means saving jobs and that, especially in the current economy, is a good thing.

    A blanket bailout without governmental oversight would be inappropriate and potentially wasteful. If we're going to prevent General Motors from insolvency, we've got to be willing to accept a certain measure of government involvement in its financial operation. If this is "socialism," it's the result of the failure of our own citizens to wisely regulate their own capital growth. Government oversight becomes necessary when we fail to act in accord with the best interests of the people as a whole. It's either that, or let GM pass into history and its employees join the ranks of the millions already standing in line for food stamps. Personally, I'd rather avoid that prospect.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  193. JW Georgia

    No. GM has been just plain dumb for thirty years. Since the Vega, GM has been doing anything but engineering transportation of the future, but rather has been engaged in engineering whatever makes the most immediate money. The CEO of GM owns private jets, helicopters, denies any global warming possibilities, and GM even today produces gasoline hawgs while the Prious and Toyota takes an ever greater market share. GM had thirty years to get it right. They had billions, the good will of a customer base, a wide dealer network, a nation anxious to be proud of a domestically produced product, and they chose simply to be dumb. Let them be dumb and broke. They earned it.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  194. laurie michigan

    Why would we want to bail out the workers who buy the commodities here in America? What's another 2.5 million people without jobs? It only means continued unemployment in all sectors of the country. We'll lose high tech jobs, service jobs. The failure of the auto industry will definitely put us in a depression, worse than 1929. AIG should have been left to go under, not companies that provide jobs to the average workers. NAFTA was a huge mistake by not having protections for American workers built in. The love of money by the shareholders of these companies is what has caused problems in our manufacturing industries. Build it in Mexico with cheap labor and sell it in America at inflated prices to make huge profits for shareholders. The list goes on.

    Why blame it on the unions? Without unions, we'd still be working in sweatshops like in China and Mexico. Even if you aren't a member of a union you have still benefited from the work they have done. Just take a look back at history.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  195. Shannon Wadding, St. Paul, MN

    No. General Motors is slow to innovate new products we need for a global economy, in which case automakers should go back to the drawing board.

    Nobody thinks towards the future until we are smack dab in a crisis.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  196. Bodo, Ann Arbor

    If the Big Three had not resisted all calls to go green and kept producing gas guzzlers, they would be better off. Toyota started years ago producing millions of hybrids. The Big Three should be forced to produce ONLY hybrids and natural-gas powered 16-wheelers. Only then they would deserve our support.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  197. SYLVIA

    i am for bailing out the auto folks but not the savings and loans or the banks.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  198. garrick

    hi jack
    yes we need cars made in the USA but likt honda and toyota and if they will change then we need to help people keep their jobs we already have over 3 million on unemplyment we dont need anymore people not paying taxes,or not being able to pay the rent,
    bay pine,fl

    November 14, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  199. Carol c.

    Absolutely! How can anyone be so selfish as to not think of the millions of people dependent on the success of the major car makers. It is not just the people making the cars, it is trickling down to dealers, parts makers, etc. Would we be willing to put our neighbors and friends out of work? Does there need to be oversight to be sure they are re-tooling, yes. But I pick up my granddaughter at the private school she attends and I promise you the people who are judging the most are the ones who wanted bigger vehicles–huge SUV's. Eight out of 10 cars in that lot are SUV's.

    So let's get back to basics and buy smaller, drive less, and buy American!

    Knoxville, TN

    November 14, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  200. Justin

    It's not worth saving in it's present form. It needs help with leadership and planning as much as it needs money.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  201. Daniel Ambrose

    Jack,

    Yes and No. Yes, because it will further prevent the thousands of faithful employees of the compnay to continue to have a job, 401K and quality of life; and No because GMC didn't do their homework in looking ahead. They must get out of the stance that the government will come to their aide in their dire time of need.

    Daniel Ambrose,
    Atlanta, GA

    November 14, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  202. MR-Pennsylvania

    No. GM has not changed the way they run their business since the last bailout. Nothing will change after the next one. They built their cars to use the most gasoline possible. Maybe the oil companies should bail them out. It's time GM learned that tax payer money cannot teach them to run a business, but can only patch a hole in a bad one.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  203. Bruce Kallenberger-Oregon

    The problem with our economy is simple. With roughly 3% of the population holding 78% of the wealth, their only option is to promote credit cards to induce those with few resources into spending money they don't have in their cathedrals of consumption. There is no American Dream. There simple are not enough real resources left. Yes you can elbow your way into the top 3%, but someone already there will have to leave.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  204. Kay Matlock

    Two questions: Can you give me an estimate amount that a union member assembly auto worker makes per hour. It has always been rumored that that amount is close to $70.00 per hour . I don't know how car companies can survive paying workers that much on an assembly line.
    Then...we have a good number of automobile companies. Why not reward the well-managed companies with some stimulous monies from the tax payers rather than put more money after already bad management. Let's get real folks...$70.00 and hour.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  205. Ray in Nashville

    Why not? GM has been giving the American public the cars we've asked for. We do that every time we walk on the lot and pick out a large SUV or a full size pickup instead of buying a small car. Now we turn on them because they cannot change their lineup overnight, the way we have change our minds.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  206. John in Rohnert Park

    NO! We are not buying their cars now for good reason. How would temporarily bailing them out help? We're not going to buy them next fiscal quarter either for the same reasons! They need to learn to win in the marketplace as the foreign cars are doing and sell cars that people want and stop trying to force us to subsidize unsold junk cars that we've already rejected.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  207. Jolaine from Iowa

    GM needs saved, the same way every other business needs saved. Good management and cutbacks. In a small business the owners take hits, they get less when less is available. The CEO's of GM need to remember where all that padding in the wallets comes from.

    The middle class, that they and others, have piddled on for so long so that they can have so much- don't have it to give right now. America's giants, the banks, the autos, AIG, have all but killed the workhorse, and it's name is middle class. Nay.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  208. Sandi, Chicago

    Yes – because if we don't there will be millions (more) Americans without jobs. Should GM, Ford and Chrysler have to pay back the money... absolutely, with a higher interest rate and sign a contract with America that they will do R&D for more fuel-efficient cars – unlike the last time they were given money from the Feds.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  209. Bill from Michigan

    Absolutely. GM is American and when they are healthy they contribute directly to our own economy because their profits stay here in America. They are vital to our National Defense not only for production for wartime needs, but because of the security that comes with being American. As much as we may not like how they have been managed, GM is American and almost the last big piece of it, and when that is gone another big piece of America will be gone forever. I'm afraid that someday soon that all we will have left to identify ourselves as who we are, is our flag and a large debt from foreign goods.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  210. Michael from Greenfield, Wi.

    Unfortunately NO! It is just more good money that we don't have after bad money that we don't have. Maybe GM can go to that secret financial sector for the money. They are the ones with trillions of our dollars that we don't have that Paulson gave them, per Cheney.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  211. Lorna, NY

    Jack, I have a good idea. Cut all the CEO/executive's salaries. This will save the company and the tax payers.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  212. Kevin, Chester Springs PA

    Let 'em eat cake! You know, GM has done a lousy job of managing their company since the gas lines back in the Carter administration. Enough is enough already. Let's use the billions of federal dollars to re-train and help the folks who will lose their jobs when the company fails instead of saving the butts of the management team who drove the company into this hole. And then let's invest in an auto industry that will produce green cars. It's time to move on!

    November 14, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  213. Bruce H

    Before we "invest" tax dollars into any more companies, we should be presented with a business plan that the executives and unions sign off on. Only they can we determine if we are making a reasonable investment, or just throwing good money after bad. GM is burning through $7.5 billion per quarter. How will giving them $25 billion do anything but prolong the agony?

    November 14, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  214. Neatha in Kansas City

    No not really, but 3 million jobs lost would be more than our strained economy could bear. But I would put a ton of restrictions on them, like fire the management, make cars people need instead of huge SVU's or hybrids that are way too expensive. And retool their factories. They like Ford need to get with the times, as usual they are way too far behind our international neighbors.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  215. Fort Lee, VA

    Yes, GM is worth saving AIG, banks and credit card companies are not.
    GM has over 300,000 hard working employees that contribute, and drive America’s economy
    AIG, banks and credit card companies are the reason America is in this present economic crisis. The above mention “CON ARTIST” (Lending Institutions) Want more of tax payers dollars to give Bad loans to people who do not need them or who can’t afford them.

    While hard working people with good credit scores and pay their bills on time every month., can’t even get a dept consolidation loan to help survive through the crisis these companies created. ???????

    November 14, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  216. Jan from Delaware

    I suppose everyone and everything is worth saving but how does these corporation learn from their mistakes when they are bailed out? What is tragic is that most people don't understand bankruptcy. Corporations can stay open and do business while they are reorganizing. When I make a mistake, I have to fix it or live with the consequences. They need to do the same.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  217. Carlos Harrisburg PA

    Hello Jack.
    Well one thing how many times we are going to give GM money.
    If I am correct this is not the first time. Is time for GM to start thinking of maybe builging better cars and stop making gas hogs.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  218. Jonathan in San Antonio, TX

    Yes but the government needs to lend them the money and tell GM to make fuel efficient vehicles to compete with foreign car makers. I want to know why this wasn't part of the bail out?!?! I would have rather paid GM to make cars than pay for people who knew they couldn't afford their mortgages when they signed for them and banks who knew they couldn't afford them as well.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  219. Mike - Hot Springs, Ar.

    Perhaps it may be better for the economy in the short run to keep it going for a while but eventually it will die. There is nothing much we can do. Life support may work for a while but we are going to have to pull the plug as soon as it is determined that the brain has stopped functioning.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  220. Sky in Seattle

    Jack, as much as I am not a big business fan....I still believe that saving the car manufacturer is imperitive. There is an entire generation of youth who have not been trained in the jobs that have been in their families for generations.These car manufacturers need help changing over to clean, green vehicles. We need training positions, jobs handed down for generations that support entire towns. Products that we make ourselves so that we know they are healthy and necessary.
    If you had a farm, would you buy your wheat and your eggs and your milk from someone millions of miles away? We used to be a totally self sufficient country and we were healthy well fed, well educated people. Greed took that away. Keep the car manufacturers here.....protect them...and help them move into the future.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  221. Kenney N Conconully WA

    In 1995 after years of leading their industry, Smith Corona went BK. They too were manufacturing a product few consumers wanted. Let GM file, then go and think of a plan to try and come back as a lean, mean auto makin machine. Or not.

    If the Govt. wants to be in the auto biz. lets buy Toyota or Honda. They already make great products people want and the tax payers would get a better return on investment.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  222. Honest John in Vermont

    Lets say we "bailout" GM for the workers. Unfortunately, it will be just like the Wall Street, AIG and the bailouts and the first order of businesss will be for the GM executives trying figure out a way to give themselves better bonus packages and the workers will get a ...layoff. Corporate greed is a disease.

    November 14, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  223. joan ca

    Just the way Oldsmobile went, never to be heard again, reminds me of the Do Do bird, extinct. As we taxpayers will be if we have to bail out another mistake of big business.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  224. Pat

    Not with my tax money.

    GM and the rest of these auto giants have had over 30 years to come up with fuel efficient cars–but have not done so because of their greed and their alliance with the gas lobby.

    They brought this all on themselves and should be ashamed to ask the taxpayer to bail their sorry rear ends out.

    Pat
    Barnwell,SC

    November 14, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  225. John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt

    Unfortunately we have to save them. Once we finish bailing all the big companies out, i hope we are able to rebound ourselves and not make the same high dollar mistakes. People get so inundated with greed, it kills the quality of life. Sad and sickening!!

    November 14, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  226. Jay-San Antonio

    No Jack, it is been high time that we allow companies to fail. No company should be above Capitalism, no company should become so important that it cannot fail. Companies fail and we learn. The plants will still be there. What we need to do is get the plans up and running and producing the cars of the future, but hey wont be GM cars, they will be somebody else. Maybe Ford or Chrysller.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  227. GM from Mankato MN

    Unfortunately yes. However the Fed should by capital in GM, so they can get through this rough patch. Once improvements are made and the outlook is much better that our Fed investment should then be sold to private investors hopefully at a nice profit.

    Letting GM fail would bring further consequences than most would imagine.

    The bail outs are needed but the funds should be replenished by selling off the capital that the funds are used towards in the months and years ahead.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  228. Will K from San Jose

    GM isn't worth saving as-is. If we have companies that are "too big to fail" then they are just "too big". GM's management has shown itself unfit to run such a large company and we can't create a situation where they continue to get the benefits and prestige of running a massive company while relying on the federal government to bail them out of each poor business move.

    Split the company into each of its individual brands and let the strong ones survive. That way we can maintain jobs in the near term, but send the message to corporate executives that tax payer money comes at a price.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  229. McCain Independent, Happy with Pres. Obama

    No No No....give the American people what they NEED....47 million people without healthcare and our foolish cogressmen want to bailout a sinking ship no one is purchasing from anyway??? Take the money we might have wasted on the car companies and put it toward universal healthcare.
    Jenn, Chicopee, MA

    November 14, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  230. Carol in Durham Maine

    Let them file for Chapter 11, and reorganize like we made the Airline industry..
    OR merge with another company. We don't need 8 or more auto industries.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  231. Margot, Northern California

    It would be good for the economy if their infrastructure could be absorbed by another corporation. If some of the factories could be retooled, workers kept on, sales chain, etc. Many lives would be adversely affected, not just a handful of executive wrong-doers.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  232. Spencer, Newport News, VA

    Yes. The federal government can not allow GM or any american auto manufacturer fold. These companies employ too many people. If GM folds alot of people are going to be out of work. The auto industry needs to begin investing in making more fuel efficient cars. The only people I know driving around in Suburbans, Yukons and Hummers are rich people. The average middle class american can not afford to fill up that kind of tank .

    November 14, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  233. becky

    gotta have manufacturing, so:

    fire the top exec's,
    cut loses, revamp product (hybrid in all formats)
    we drive a Metro, gets 40 mph, not made in America.

    any lost workers in the restructuring, have them retrained to work at infrastructure sites of refueling stations. we have "gas" stations, we need to re-tool how we power the vehicles, not just how they're made.

    oh, btw, i live in Texas. go obama!

    November 14, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  234. Dee PA

    NO Im so sick of scare tactics. If GM goes under so does all the suppliers. What suppliers its all made in China look under you hood.
    No one came to bail out the company I worked for 15 years it just went under. Maybe let it go under due away with these hi paid union workers and re build with hard working people for a workers salary NON UNION.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  235. Mike - Nashville

    Saving GM (and the others too) is not as easy as the decision to save various financial institutions. The auto industry has different considerations and knowledge of running such a company is needed to decide on a solution. Can anyone say for sure that GM is hurting because of the economy, because of its products, because of its management? I note that the foreign automakers are suffering, although to a lesser degree. Why is this? One's gut says to save them. But doing so should require a road to success and a fair expectation that the government would get some or all of the money back, along with a potential profit. We need to see more specifics than just "company A and B and C and D and E will fail." Is it possible that it is time to dump the unions? Details, please.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  236. AJ De

    Well Jack, honestly no but if we don't thousands of innocent Americans will be out of a job, and during these times that's the last thing we'd like to see happen

    November 14, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  237. Pete, Fla.

    Are people's jobs and families worth saving? There's your answer.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  238. David from Los Angeles

    What's worth saving about GM? They hedged their bets for the future with light trucks and cheap oil, and they lost. The American public has decided GM's fate with their wallets. If we won't trust GM with our own money, how on earth does the government think an infusion of public dollars will be a game changer for the failing car manufacturer in the marketplace?

    November 14, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  239. CJ from Kansas City

    I think the various branches of GM should be divided into smaller companies and sold to interested buyers. That way, it won't be a "failure" but rather will be able to ride the storm better. These bailouts are the cause of the recession, and the only solution is for money to exchange hands by the sale of goods and services. Also I think GM and FORD have gotten too big for their own good: they cannot even produce good quality, good looking cars to compete with the European and Asian cars. So they shouldn't complain when Americans don't buy American-made cars!

    November 14, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  240. Jerry from Jacksonville

    Let them fail, they will never miss a beat. The only thing the bailout will do is pad the pockets of the executives just like the banks and lending companies where we loaned two companies 10 billion each and they are paying their leaders 6.7 and 6.1 billion each for bonuses. What a damn joke. The only thing here is that the american taxpayers are getting screwed.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  241. SD,Michigan

    Absolutely it should be saved, 50 billion of 700 to save a major industry it's not that much. Last thing I wanna hear about is 3 mil people without a job, a whole State going to implode and unemployment going maybe up to 10% nationwide. It's ridiculous.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  242. FreeNLovIt

    Every company in America is worth saving if the company just needs to be re-tooled for success, so jobs can stay here. In addition, it is worth saving financial institutions that will help stabilize cash and credit. For example, is it worth saving AOL? No. It doesnt need to be re-tooled because other competitiors in the US already exits. Think long-term and you'll find your path to the yellow brick road.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  243. Ed from Durango, Colorado

    Please, give me a break. It seems that every business that is mis-managed wants a hand out now. High paid executives without any imagination, overloaded mid-management, looking only for immediate gratification without any foresight..... i say that maybe it is time to let the dinosaurs die.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  244. mccarthy29

    No, they should not receive tax payer back support. I'm still fuming over the banking bailout.

    Why should GM, Ford and Chrysler be bailed out? Also, how will a $50,000,000,000 bailout save them? IT WON'T!!!!!!!! Analysts already state a 4,000,000 drop in total production next year. That's $100,000,000,000 expected loss based on the purchase of a $25,000 vehicle.

    They have spent the last two decades investing in 20-inch chrome rims, 6.2L v-8 engines and heated steering wheels and air conditioned seats while the Japanese manufacturers have built fast, economical, long lasting and safe vehicles that are assembled here in the states.

    I don't see how we are supposed to bail out a failed business plan. We have a nationalized banking system. Whats next?

    THE PEOPLES CAR?

    Come on! Enough is enough. The United States outsourced our future years ago and today, we are expected to pay for the bad decisions made by the top executives concentrating on Coach leather seating instead of a fully carbon fiber 4000 lb SUV?

    Bye-Bye Detroit!

    November 14, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  245. Don, Streetsville

    The only way to save GM is to let them go into chapter 11. The court appointed administrater can sack the board of directors, cancel the bloated salary contracts for the senior officers, alter the pension scheme to an affordable pay as you go plan and who knows, they might even get the company to produce high qualty, high efficiency smaller vehicles.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  246. Susan Canada

    Jack, I was a barely a teenager when Oral Roberts announced in January 1987 that if he didn't raise 8 million by March of the same year the Lord was going to take him home... I was young and naive and hoped he raised the money – which he did... I am older now and hopefully wiser. I like many people am growing tired of blackmail tactics by the car manufactures..."We need money by the end of the year" or something bad might happen..... I think most of us know that putting a band-aide on a gushing wound is useless... They have become addicted to money and greed- more, more, more at any cost. Surely they saw where high priced gas guzzling vehicles would get them...maybe it's time for newer ideas and better management. I don't support blackmail and I also refrain from giving addicts their "fix"

    November 14, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  247. Michael watching from Canada

    Jack,

    I was an engineer with General Motors for 10 years. Two major reasons why I left the Company was (1) Detroit's resistance to working with those of us outside Detroit for developing globally competitive fuel efficient vehicles, and (2) management that would rather build empires than reward hard work. These and other fundamental issues related to long term growth will never be addressed by a financial bailout.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  248. bj hewlett

    no its is not just like the other major corps...if we bail them out they will continue to be picky with car financing why should they if they want to make sells and boost the economy also small towns depend on the local manufacturing plants for the local economy and what do they ship production cross the border because of cheaper labor....if they want help start by helping america first then in return they should get help. im from virginia and we had a major f150 plant here for years and out of the blue they pull the plant, lay hunderds off etc all for cheaper labor

    November 14, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  249. marina in NC

    In its current form – no, it's not worth saving. But the jobs are worth saving. We should help GM (and the other auto companies) on the condition that the monies go to retool for energy efficient vehicles and their accelerated production.

    I have no interest in paying to keep their old ideas afloat, but I'd convince myself that there is value in supporting their transformation into a company will, eventually, be a 21st century player.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  250. Jeremy Albany, NY

    GM is a poorly managed company that has no long-term vision, as evidenced by the fact that they continue to produce inefficient, inferior vehicles, all the while killing the electric car and lobbying Congress and the EPA to fight increases in fuel efficiency standards. The American auto industry has made its bed, now it is time for them to lie down in it.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  251. FreeNLovIt

    To figure out who we need to help, we need to think about how which companies we can retool in America. If they are retoolable, they will create jobs for Americans. If they provide stability to finance system, we should help them.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  252. I CARE

    Not this time. Free market !!! Tear it apart, sell it off whole or in pieces, and let innovation start up, refurbish the factories, and make things that are usable, practical for tomorrow, and good for our planet.
    I thought we were supposed to be leaders...

    We have gotten so far behind hanging on to the past.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  253. Jolly Potter, NY

    Yes..if they make more fuel efficient and price competitive cars that create jobs in the process – otherwise we might as well outsource it to China.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  254. The Trippster of PA

    Jack, you might as well ask the people who work for GM if they wany to keep their job. We won WW II only because we had a strong industrial base. If we don't help them now, we might as well kiss our behinds goodbye.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  255. Ben

    YEs, save them with these conditions:
    1. hybrids and other eco friendly cars and trucks are required, period.
    2. NO bonuses for the executives- NONE, ZILTCH, NADA
    3. Management ALL takes a paycut for their failures. Only supervisors on the assembly line should be spared cuts
    4. Advertising budget, training budget, all budgets not directly involved with that assembly line should be set in stone and that's ALL they have. Set annually.
    5. NO entertainment/travel perks. Hotels must be budget, not ritzy.
    6. NO travel except coach. They don't deserve first class when they're LAST class for their screwups.
    7. NO pay raises, and there should be a hiring freeze.
    8. Union must agree to all this.
    9. Retirement packages must be cut for upper management.
    10. US government takes ownership of whatever amount they provide- if we give them a million, we get that paid back FIRST before ANY payraises, bonuses, retirement packages are given or increased.

    These ten things are a MUST or they should kiss themselves goodbye. And so far as the companies supplying them- they CHOSE those businesses. I am a business owner and I take full responbibility if I chose a risky business. Bet those businesses enjoyed the good times while the rest of us might not be getting customers- well, choose another business if the tide turns!

    November 14, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  256. Elle from Pullman, WA

    I think they might be worth saving until Obama can get sworn into office. Remember his plan on incentives for our US auto makers to make more fuel-efficient cars, and for Americans who buy them? That may be a winning solution for everyone – short-term bailout so they can start the process of getting more fuel-efficient vehicles on the line in anticipation of more consumers buying them. GM is saved, few jobs are lost, and we consumers receive additional tax breaks for buying their cars.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  257. Kevin, Ohio

    If we GM do not get cash from the taxpaers we will fail and so will a lot of other businesses. What a line, what an incentive to build better cars. My answer, everything is falling right now for a reason and I think as painful as it may be we will come out better. Good bye GM, Ford, Chrysler.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  258. Danny

    Jack; The automakers are in this mess because they are not selling cars. How will the bailout change that? If they would "drastically reduce" the price of cars now they may sell. Chrysler did it back in the 70's. Where is Lee ioococa when you need him?

    November 14, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  259. Darren

    One in ten jobs is tied to the automotive industry, can we really NOT afford to give them a lifeline as well Wall Street bankers who helped sink our once prosperous economy.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  260. Nick in Worcester, MA

    Yes they are worth saving because of the ripple effect that would result from their failure. But GM is a perfect example of Capitalism gone wrong. America needs to apply micro-brew economics to the auto-industry and federally fund the auto start ups in California and other parts of the country. This would provide the consumer with more choice, fuel further competition and innovation, (rather then the hyper-consolidation that kills competition and innovation), and would yield a number of smaller companies whose failure would not result in an economy wide malfunction.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  261. Jamie Gemmrig

    Why do the taxpayers have to pay for all these failing businesses? Many business fail and no one bails them out. Who's bailing out the taxpayer? The only choice we have is filing bankruptcy and paying the consequences for that. Why didn't the automakers take a look at their situation a long time ago? Why didn't they consider lowering their vehicles prices, spending less on expensive meetings, fancy offices, etc., and paying executives less? All businesses have to consider all this, but maybe they don't have to because since the government is issuing and offering bailouts to all big business at taxpayer expense. There are no consequences for them. They don't care. Why care since their irresponsibility is being rewarded. The government should stay out of bailing out businesses and stop trying to scare the taxpayer. It's ridiculous and I'm angry.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  262. manuel Rodriguez st. cloud fl.

    when you take from the rich and give to the poor is welfare . what is call when you take from the poor and give to rich?.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  263. lisa from FL

    Jack....I really don't know. What I do know is this....How do we stop the bleeding? Does the government have to put their finger in every dike that springs a leak? Where does this end? I just don't know.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  264. Ruie - Michigan

    Living here in Michigan, it's hard to find a business that is NOT touched by the car industry. It would be a National nightmare if GM or any of the Big Three went under. You only have to watch Michael Moore's "Roger and Me" and see the devestation of Flint Michigan to see just a glimpse of what would happen over a Tri-State area. Yes, they have waited too long to begin changing their design – many employees have begged them to in the past .... but still, our country could not survive the failure of these companies.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  265. Jack Dermody of Phoenix, Arizona

    I've never understood Detroit's inflexibility. American cars still self-destruct at 100,000 miles. Foreign cars not only last longer but get better mileage. I call the vehicles owned by my extended family The Japanese Fleet - and proudly so. Unless Detroit adapts really fast - and honestly so - then maybe the industry should crash and burn so another group of savvy entrepreneurs can make use of natural American can-do and start over.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  266. Wm in BURNS TN

    The loss of 2.5 million jobs or more is just the easy part of the equation.

    Fact: There are millions upon millions of us around the world plus the USA that drive GM cars. Where are the parts and service going to come from if GM goes down?

    Oh, just get another car. Sure and what would a good working GM car be worth in any trade in situation or sell by owner.

    It's true, "What is good fot GM is good for America".

    November 14, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  267. Jack

    Let's see.... bailout the financial institutions but credit is still hard to come by and then bail out the car companies but consumers are not purchasing new cars. Yes that sounds abour right. It's Einstein's defintion of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  268. Carrie in Idaho

    I already subsidize GM in the form of repairs on my husband's GM vehicle, which is in the shop depressingly often. By contrast, my import never needs repairs and runs on much less gas. We were talking about how American cars should be more efficient 30 years ago when I was in junior high. I have owned probably 10 GM cars in my life and I can't afford to help GM any more. GM lost the business fair and square, I don't believe they deserve a hand out.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  269. Ty from MI

    Let them file Chapter 11, get rid of the gross overpayments, Govt then secures 75% of their restructuring loans (just like other businesses in the US can get) with limitations in place for the guarantee (since it will be above the normal guideline amount)

    Making vehicles in the US with only US made parts, made with US materials by US workers – not these immigrants that are being shuttled in by corporations

    The big 3 should pay reasonable wages – not $30 an hour to people showing up drunk, sleeping on the job and I'm sorry, but $30 an hour for pushing a broom? Gimme a break!

    The big 3 must also fast track vehicles that aren't dependent on oil.

    The biggest recent mistake of our Govt was Congress giving Paulson a blank check to take care of Bush's buddies one last time before he left office. Where do the bailouts stop? Paulson is the fox guarding the hen house – none of this is good for the U.S. but I guess it's helping them implode the dollar so they can introduce the Amero.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  270. Dieter

    GM and the others did everything to destroy other smaller auto makers, like Tucker, to make a living, their greed has gotten to them and they should be allow to die.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  271. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    General Motors and the rest of the American auto industry has been so badly managed that I don't see any way to turn it around. I remember when GM made iconic and great vehicles that were of high quality and design and were vehicles coveted by the whole world. The vehicles that are made today show no imagination whatsoever because GM decided to cut the money for R&D. Only a newly formed business run by creative entrepreneurs can bring any hope of a successful automobile industry back to the United States.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  272. Ken in NC

    In the Imortal words of Vice President elect Jo Biden in Democratic Primaries in 2007.....NO

    November 14, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  273. David, Tampa, Fl

    Jack. GM as a company with workers and investors could well be worth saving. The management and executives over the past 50 years or so aren't worth much and need to be replaced with fresher, more insightful, honest and above less self absorbed and greedy people. Otherwise, let this little sucker go belly up. I'm not fond of what is going on with the utilization of bail out monies by companies that are getting it. Now another bunch wants its hand in the country's pocket to rob as much as they can. Enough is enough.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  274. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    I had my heart set on an Oldsmobile or Nash or Studebaker or Packard or even a DeSoto or Plymouth. I must have waited too long.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  275. John

    Yes, unfortunately. Think of the impact this loss would have. It would ripple through our economy making a bad situation worst. More people out of work, more homes going to foreclosure. I do however think there should be certain things enforced, like; a certain percentage of a car company has to offer alternative fuel vehicles, and unions need to quit holding a gun to the car company's heads. Part of the affordability of competitors like Toyota, who builds vehicles in the U.S., is due to the lack of union influences. We now only really have the big 2. Let's work with them, if they want to work with us....the public. I'd rather save these car company's rather than saving an airline. Saving the airlines....isnt this really where this all started....years ago?

    November 14, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  276. Alan, Buxton Maine

    Time for a reality check. This is a capitalist system where businesses succeed or fail on their own merits. GM has pursued a failed policy of providing gas guzzlers at a highly inflated cost and at a lower quality than their competitors. Their collapse would be a disaster but propping them up to continue failing would be worse in the long run. Let the market decide not the government.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  277. John in Lake Placid.

    Darwin's Theory applies to the business world too. No bailout, No special loan packages, if they can survive on their own fine, if not, so be it. I have owned only Japanese and German vehicles since my Ford broke in the late 70's. I have not found a worthy product car or truck from the big 3 when I go vehicle shopping. I even have paid more for the foreign models because they meet what I want and I can trust their performance to be of superior standard.

    With that in mind if I won't risk investing in a single vehicle why would I want to risk in the whole failed business quagmire they call the big 3. They need to go bankrupt, they will regardless even if they get money, then they can consolidate, reorganize and hire some Toyota & Honda executives to teach them about engineering,management and quality.

    The world will need the same number of vehicles with or without the big 3. I am not concerned long term over the jobs. It will all work out.

    No bailouts for zombie companies!!!!!!!

    November 14, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  278. Andy L

    I say the auto industry should have had the intelligence to keep up with the times, and learned from the Japanese and how to compete with them. Maybe that would have happened but I suspect they were in bed
    with the oil companies, just like this administration. Now I suggest those in the American auto industry, get creative and go to work for the Asian auto makers so they won't be out of work. If we keep bailing out the stupid or corrupt, we will have to keep on doing it ...Ya think?
    Andy from Encinitas Ca

    November 14, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  279. Alex

    Jack, new businesses have always been created when other buisnesses have gone out of buisness. Nancy Pelosi and others on Capitol Hill need to take a chill pill. It's not the end of the world. Instead, the beginning of a strong economy will occur soon.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  280. FreeNLovIt

    In a great economy like the 90's, I will let it go through the natural cycle of extinction. In a BAD economy like this one, where our economy is in a COMA, I will attempt to retool every business that has a great chance to live and create more jobs :)

    November 14, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  281. Linda in Peoria

    Pprobably not – we'd be better off in the long run if we let it die and encourage development of a new car builder with better vision.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  282. Yvonne

    A couple of years ago the warning of subprime loans was largely viewed as hyperbole. Now, its a reality. It is just one of the factors that contributed to our current economic problems. The reason fewer Americans see the country as divided is that more Americans are in the same boat or sinking ship. Many have been affected by this economic catastrophe either by a plunging stock market, home foreclosures, or job losses. Hopefully, a new administration will bring the necessary changes to get our economy moving again.

    Yvonne

    Houston

    November 14, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  283. Richard Green

    Jack,

    GM is more worth saving than the damnable investment banks and their hedge fund cronies. The question is, what is the best way to do it? Instead of giving money directly to GM to be hoarded or mismanaged, how about loaning $25 billion to GM employees to be used only to purchase GM stock in the name of the employees? That way the employees would become a major voting block in how the company is managed and they would have a bigger stake in productivity improvements as well as improvements in the vehicles produced. Plus, the taxpayers would be repaid for the loans [low interest or no interest or a sliding scale...].

    Rich Green
    San Clemente, Cal.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  284. Jay, Niagara Falls, Ont

    No. I thought the capitalism that gets the right wing all fired up dictates that weaker companies should be allowed to die off. Then the same folks say the country will implode if GM doesn't get a welfare check. Here's a clue...stop letting companies get so big that they become invincible. You already proved communism only works on paper, but you are starting to do the same with unchecked free market capitalism

    November 14, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  285. DAWN

    None of them is worth saving, we need to start all over again. Their problem is that they give their ceo's and top exez. a hell of lot too much bonuses, that's where it needs to stop.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  286. Daniel, Indiana

    Is America worth saving? The middle class? Or the economy? Yes, it is needed to save the automakers, which is unfortunate. If we don't save the automakers, what good was it to save the financial institutions? How many people will lose their homes due to lost jobs, if the Big 3 collapse? More than would have without the bailout. Do we want the American economy to collapse? No. It is unfortunate that this must be done, but it must.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  287. Jim Rogerson

    GM is another failure of US businesses to recognize the need for smaller vehicles that are energy efficient. I do not think that we have enough money to bail out the company. $25 billion will be just the first installment for a failed company. How many people wish to buy a car that they cannot be certain will have parts to service it in the future. GM is finished. Let's invest our money in companies that already have energy efficient and profitable cars. A share of Toyota, Hyundai or Nissan?

    Jim of Charlotte

    November 14, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  288. ED

    Jack;
    The US auto industry dug their own grave, by maintaining status-quo light trucks & SUVS, "all huge profit items" vs fuel efficient models.
    They also spent millions on marketing these "climate -killers."
    The foreign car companies thought long term, and we see the results, in spite of the world economy crisis.
    Let them all fail. Money given would fall into a black hole. They got their "bail-outs" , with legislation, thanks to their lobbys, for continuing to make this country a world class energy abuser.
    RI

    November 14, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  289. Anna

    Yes we should bail out GM. We should have not bailed out AIG because those fat cats do not get it that they are the ones that caused all our problems. We need to protect labor unions, good paying jobs and made in America products otherwise we will have Chinesse type economy and all will be working for 200 dollars per month.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  290. Charlie

    Are you prepared for the costs of the resulting unemployment from GM's suppliers and dealerships? As the suppliers fail, so too will Ford & Chrysler. Who will loan money to GM when they are in Chapter 11, if no one is willing to do so now, when they aren't?

    November 14, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  291. Ted

    Why not let Halliburton and Exxon Mobil bail them out? I bet they have some extra cash laying around.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  292. James Conn

    Tough question, Take the bailout money and give $25,000 to all those who will lose their jobs due to the big three failures. Then let the big three start over again and hope they get it right. They will definitely be more frugal if they don't get their hands on the bailout money.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  293. Bryan, Indianapolis Indiana

    Just let it go. Japanese cars are a lot better anyway.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  294. Gigi in Alabama

    If the government can keep on bailing out AIG, then of course GM is worth saving. Give them a loan with stipulations as to how it is to be spent, and make them pay it back with interest.
    Wall Street is no more worthy than Main Street. . . and GM is manned by middle class Americans.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  295. Ken M . Millington MI

    Hello Jack. Great question, being from Flint mi Where general motors started i have mixed emotions. My entire family worked for the auto industry. My grandfather was a sit down striker in the 30s.With that said i believe that GM has made some disastrous decision first and for most outsourcing jobs to overseas and mexico paying cheap labor . With out work who can afford to buy their high priced gas guzzling vehicles. The UAW has also contributed to the demise securing high pay for only a few privilaged employees while working to shut down small non union shops that supported GM.However, if GM goes under it will mean some lean hard times for millions of american so i'm torn between Bailout and having alot of people suffer.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  296. Janet American in Canada

    GM Management should be hung out to dry! They are the ones who put the coffin in the ground. They saw the writing on the wall and just kept taking the money an running.
    Just like the other bailouts, the money should never put in the hands of Management, its like putting a lamb in the lions den!
    This is what trickle done means, "THE BILLIONS STAY ON THE TOP FLOOR!"

    November 14, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  297. Jeff from Minnesota

    I don't think people realize the total impact that a failure of any of the 'Big Three' automakers would have on our economy. And the likelihood that the failure of any one of the 'Big Three' would lead to a failure of another, is just too high. And those failures would hurt too many people and likely cause a real tailspin in unemployment and lost taxes.

    While I don't like the idea of a buy out, we did bail out Chrysler in the 1980s, so there's a precedent in providing assistance. We just need to make sure that any assistance also gives us a pay back somewhere down the road.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  298. sandee from Portland

    Yes, they should be bailed out. The impact on our already high unemployment would be devasting. The american public has, in the past, demanded SUV's to purchase as status symbols so the car companies were merely manufacturing what the public wanted to purchase. For years, our auto makers have been making fuel efficient cars and were not allowed to sell them in the US but did sell them overseas. You can blame our government for that decision. Part of the reasons Audi and other foreign cars are selling better, is their governments have been subsidizing their auto industry in realtion to their fuel efficient cars. The american public, however, has been hell bent on gas guzzlers. So, in my opinion, it's not the auto makers fault, but the greedy general public.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  299. George Romey, New York, NY

    A number of car companies went out of business in the 1950s and 1960s (Hudson, American Motors/Rambler) and some how the industry survived.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  300. Pam

    Absolutely not.
    What really matter is after we save GM, can GM save themselves?
    The main problem about GM is they are making cars that nobody wants. So we save them, cash injection, government loan..., then what? Still no one buy their cars, unreliable quality, high cost to name a few.
    How long should we throwing money into a pit? no, no, make it a black hole? Even government should make sound investment instead of lousy one, trust me, saving GM is a bad investment.
    It's time for them to go into bankruptcy and reorganize themselves. Get rid of all the old baggages, start from scratches and reinvent themselves.
    I say don't let GM drag all the American tax payers into the mud.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  301. Robin in SC

    Yes, but with LOTS of stipulations.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  302. Mark A McNeil

    Jack, all of these corporate fat cats are in trouble. This makes them vulnerable to bankruptcy or takeover(?).
    Rather than let them eat at the taxpayer trough (again), the government should act in a business-like manner and buy distressed companies' equity. Only those that are viable! This way the taxpayer has the potential up-side of recovering taxpayer dollars, plus cost of the operation, plus a small profit. Oh! and let's get civic minded Warren Buffet to run the operation.
    I can't believe the Fed obtained "verbal guarantees" that the banks would use the funds as they were intended – to extend loans. They have the nerve to hoard the cash to buy up other distressed banks and to pay bonuses? Like they new what they were doing before?

    November 14, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  303. John Fitzpatrick

    The ability to manufacturer vehicles is a matter of national security. Allowing GM to fail means allowing the company that makes HumVees to fail.

    That said, I don't think we can afford to keeping doling out cash to every company that has it's hand out. What we need to do for companies like GM is to help them get out from under their retirement pension and health care obligations. We should fold the health benefits for their retirees into the federal system Obama wants to provide.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  304. Jason

    The American auto industry as a whole needs to fail. The monstrosities that we currently have on the road are sickening. Hopefully if they all fail that will leave room for companies like Smart Car to grab a bigger foothold in the American market. A better use for the money would be to invest the 50 billion dollars in question into public transportation systems. I have been to cities such as Boston and Philadelphia and they all have great public transportation, but once you get into the suburbs there is nothing. I live in metro Detroit and if there is a public transport system besides a couple of buses, I don't know about it. I was in Toronto and noticed a subway pass costs $100 Canadian dollars per month whereas my car costs $300 per month on top of what I pay for gas. I don't even want to know how much people pay for Hummers!

    November 14, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  305. Mark from Yuba City, CA

    I grew up in Detroit and I come from a family that has the auto industry blood. Incomeptence, greed, short-sightedness were part of the culture when I grew up. While they appear less so now, clearly the mistakes of the past will be forgiven in the proposed bailout.

    The problem in making the Big Three wards of the state is that they will continue to hang onto the federal bailout dollars similar to what Amtrak does today. Sooner or later the day of competitive reckoning must come. If we do this, the amercian consumer and taxpayer will be expected to buy their products and help drive the companies to recovery and profitability. What if the government mandated and supervised products and management fail? What do we do then?

    On balance we should help them. But we need to ensure the day of reckoning with American consumer is not forgotten. Bad products and bad management deserve to sink companies. The failure of GM, Ford, and Chrysler are too big a hit to the economy. save them, but not for long.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  306. Emeka

    There is an aspect of this economic crisis that's often neglected – the fact that the mortgage crises came about in the first place because people lost their jobs and could not keep up with their mortgage payments. The GM or Detroit's collapse would probably be the last nail in the coffin of the American economic domination of the world. My dad always says that you cannot cut your nose to spite your face. You cannot let these companies die rather congress should find a way to let them survive and split them up into 5-10 auto companies. The problem is that we allowed them get too big to fail.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  307. StevieT

    The Auto maker problem is exactly the kind of thing we hired Obama and the Democrats to figure out. Stand back, give them room and save the second guessing for a later date.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  308. Michael in Alabama

    No, GM is not worth saving. Let's just say that competition killed them - because it did. And as far as the argument that they were not building the right kind of product mix for the United States buyers, well, who is at fault for that? The US buyers? OR GM? Who cares!!! GM builds the right kind of vehicles in Europe and is doing pretty well over there. Some of them even are Fuel Efficient. Why don't they bring those cars over here? Oh! I forgot! We Americans like our vehicles over-sized to match our over-sized physiques. The problem is greedy corporate executives, who wanted to make more money from SUVs and pickups.

    If GM is worth saving, then how about the average consumer who as this bailout continues to unfold is still not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel? Giving more money to companies and executives won't fix the economy - it would just encourage reckless behavior.

    So, please, let GM fail as a lesson OF WHAT NOT TO DO.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  309. Derek in Seattle

    Jack, it's an unfortunate situation, but GM is more than a car company. It's an American icon. Besides the multitude of both direct and collateral damages a GM faliure would mean, we'd be losing a piece of American culture to the likes of apple pie and baseball. There is a line to be drawn, but US automakers should be on the safe side of that line. I'd rather see 10 AIGs collapse than 1 GM.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  310. I. B., Rocky Mount, North Carolina

    There was a serious failure to adequately respond to the financial crisis in a timely manner. But, there was also a serious failure to adequately set some basic ground rules and regulations for the financial institutions that were bailed out. So they gave themselves half million dollar parties with taxpayer bailout money. Before additional taxpayer bailout money is loaned to General Motors, some basic ground rules and regulations must established. The CEO needs to be told that GM is in receivership and the company will be administered by agents from Treasury, I.R.S., F.B.I., and Congress. If they are still willing to accept the terms and conditions of the taxpayer bailout loan, then there will be no golden parachutes, bonuses, dividends or raises until after the loans have been repaid. They will also be required to build fuel efficient and green vehicles.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  311. Bala

    No. Time to buid a museum for the big three. The US auto industry will thrive, like it did earlier in the last century with 10 or more vibrant new technologically savvy auto companies. No need to spend non-existent tax payer money on a company that's already dead.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  312. David, New York

    GM is the face of 21st century America. HIgh medical costs and union wages makes it impractical for GM (or any other producer) to manufacture things for a global market in the US. Rather than deal with the fundamentals that cause this problem, we all choose to burry our heads in the sand and actually contemplate subsidising a business that has failed for decades. We need big changes in the fundamentals of our economy, not propping up ghosts of the past like GM.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  313. Michelle, PA

    Which will be more likely to provide a long-term benefit to the economy, letting GM go down the tubes or using taxpayer money to prop it up "hoping" they change their ways? Both sound bad to me, can we have another option?

    November 14, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  314. Jim/NC

    By way of background, my entire family is conservative/moderate democrats. If any of you think that taxes are high now, just wait! You all are in for a big, huge, large, and gigantic surprise. Whether GM joins the ranks of the bailouts or not, we will pay dearly. I don't think any of us know the answer, but if we do bailout GM, in my opinion, it will be one tremendous disaster...one after the other over and over again.
    All one would have to do is look at the failure of the bailouts thus far...AIG, Fannie and Freddie, etc., etc.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  315. Richard in Colorado

    I don't feel sorry for a company who for 40 years has built second and third rate automobiles, while Japan has obviously given us what we really wanted.....cars that will be reliable for ten to twenty years. On another note, we probably should bail them out because of the jobs they create. This should be done with demanding creation of electric cars which we have had since the 1920's. I lived in Denver during Eisenhower's administration and often saw Mamie and her mother driving their electric car to the airport to meet Ike. It is idiocy that they have not improved on that in almost 90 years.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  316. Sharon, Rockford, IL

    If we can bail out Wall Street and all their excess we can certainly help the auto industry. Part of the reason they are in this mess is because people can't even get car loans. GM and the other auto companies are worth saving. We need to make things in this country and autos are one of the few things we still actually make. Secondly, besides all the people that would lose their jobs, there are many retirees who could lose their retirement. Combine that loss with what they have lost in this crash, we could have a lot of seniors in poverty. They deserve better. Seniors spend a lot and their lack of spending would be felt every where. I see help for autos as a chance to start Obama's "energy independence goal" if its structured right.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  317. Sue/PA

    Jack,

    Yes, we should save GM. With restrictions on the money loaned. retooling, effeciency, battery cars etc. 23 million jobs will be lost if we dont help.

    My question to you Jack is ..... The republicans dont believe we should help out GM...citing that the company management "mis-managed" the company.(that is the short of it), and they should fall flat on their faces for their errors. So tell me again why the republicans (current admin.) are bailing out the banks, the same ones that mis-managed their business and cheated millions of Americans?????
    We are homeless and jobless now because of the greed in those banks.

    PLEASE EXPLAIN why jobs and homes are not worth saving according to the current administration. someone PLEASE explain this??????

    November 14, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  318. Victor, Macedonia OH

    Jack,

    Not really; but if we must bail them out to spare more american jobs, I say give GM the money under one condidtion: the executive management must go -through the bums out!

    Victor

    November 14, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  319. Beverley, Fredricksburg Va

    My heart goes out to all those whose jobs are in or related to the car industry – but the answer is NO GM Bailout. These companies have spent years lobbying the politicans and squeezing out the little guy who wanted to get into the market – instead of making safe alternative fuel or high mileage vehicles for the future. We should start a GREEN WAR and offer the federal vehicle contract to the first two companies that can create alternative fuel vehicles or vehicles that can go 45 miles per gallon. Then we should give taxpayers a healthy tax credit for buying one.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  320. Carl

    I'm originally from Michigan, born and raised, and plan to move back (from Arizona) next year. What no one seems to realize–probably because they're not from Michigan–is that if the Big Three fall, so does the rest of the state. Michigan, for better or worse, is tied to the fortunes of the car companies. The government might be bailing out the companies, sure, but more importantly, it'll be helping people keep their jobs. Everyone (and I mean everyone) in Michigan either works for the car companies, does work for a feeder company, or knows someone who does. Michigan is hurting badly enough; the mentality of "let 'em fail" ignores the literally millions of people in a single state who will be adversely affected if the Big Three go under.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  321. Simon L, Illinois

    No. GM is not worth saving as it is a failing company for many years. It has too much baggage and needs a fresh start. Filing for bankruptcy may purge many of these baggage and help turn this company around as a smaller and more efficient auto manufacturer. Bailing GM out is like throwing good money away. It will come back for more.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  322. Steph

    Majority of those commenting here are saying to let GM fall but I wonder how many of them have jobs indirectly tied to the company and they're not aware of it. I wonder if they'll be saying the same thing when they're on the unemployment line due to GM?

    November 14, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  323. Happy in Arizona

    The only reason they are worth saving is the loss of jobs that could occur not only with the autoworkers but all the manufacturers involved in car parts. American autoworker upper management, never got it. They just never would build the higher milage cars, the smaller cars, the cars to save our environment. Will they wake up? I don't think so. All they think about is themselves. If we do bail them out, I recommend the CEO's, CFO's, higher management lose their current contracts, their salaries are reduced, and no perks whatsoever. If they don't like it, they are free to leave without any benefits whatsoever. It is time this government, Bush and Chaney stop allowing bonuses, perks, stravigent severance and salaries to the idiots who did not do their jobs in the first place.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  324. Todd

    If GM could not survive in the low interest rate, overspending public, going into debt up to our eyeballs economy. What make you think they will survive in this new tougher economy?

    We should spend the money ONLY if we can guarantee that the company coming out of a forced restructure will be able to survive in the long haul. And that means 50% smaller and NO unions.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  325. aaron from minneapolis

    I say let GM fail. The government under Obama can take care of Ford. That would be great if the govt. made money by selling electric cars and not have any competitors. the public is ready to buy up electric cars. And the fact that they can be made cheaper and smaller to today's current automobile will have them flying off the shelves. People want to start hugging trees and get off of oil. It's time to roll and if the govt has their hands in say, Ford, they can make sure transportation is off of oil.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  326. Sherri

    No I don't feel a government bailout is a good idea because its like putting a band-aid on a gunshot wound. GM was told several years ago to concentrate more on smaller fuel efficient vehicles and less on the SUV's but they didn't listen. I think chapter 11 bankruptcy would be better, that way they can restructure and renegotiate with the Unions to adjust & correct many of the over inflated payments to employees & retirees that GM has been paying for. The foreign car Industry here in America knew that the big cars and SUV craz, would be short-lived and starting building more smaller, compact, fuel efficient cars several years ago NOW they are in the black. Strange how quickly the Stimulus package bill was put on the back burner for this GM bailout bill. What about the 1.2 million jobless Americans, they need help and they didn't mismanage anything like the American Auto Industry did?.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  327. Joe B

    Jack,
    GM at this time must be saved!! Otherwise–
    1.The spin off into the machine and tool and die industry would be immediate!! It will take years to remake the industrial infrastructure
    that builds the machines and tool and die operations that build our tanks, transports,vehicles and on and on that are vital for our national defence-I do not think the Chinese will do this.
    2.Job losses-250,000 directly- probably into millions as suppliers
    and support jobs are lost.Even Toyata USA would be shut down because they utilize many of the same suppliers.
    3.Social upheaval,housing foreclosures are bad now -they would increase exponentially, and crime will dramatically increase!!

    November 14, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  328. Kev - NJ

    Not that I think it should, but if it's not assisted in some way, it will create a domino effect. Thousands will lose their jobs, then their homes and so on. Not only that, but what about the suppliers that GM purchases their parts and such from. That would have a great impact on them also. SO we have a Domino Effect Disaster

    November 14, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  329. Nate in Minneapolis

    They are only worth saving if they can provide a plan of how they are going to produce better product than Toyota and Honda, and VW and Audi while they're at it. They need to produce cars that people want.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  330. Veronica

    No. When I was in financial trouble and needed GM's help, they only sent helicopters over my residence to look for the vehicle and investigators to my residence or workplace to pick up their vehicle. After, shipping all our U.S. jobs overseas, why should I a taxpayer bailout GM.

    LoLo
    CA

    November 14, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  331. peggy

    If the country and the government had done more with the energy crisis, then GM, Ford, and Crysler would have made cars to fit the nations lifestyle, (which is really what they did) the demand was their for those big vehicles and no one was actually pushing them to do more in the econnomic way. The people bare some responsiblity for this, instead of demanding that these auto makers change their way, they just started buying foreign cars. The American people should do more to support AMERICAN MADE, I have never owned any thing but an American automobile.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  332. DA, Maryland

    Jack,
    No, they sell a product that is not energy efficient, and now, that the public has turned their backs on this product, they want tax payers to bail them out. The CEO's of the big 3 were always happy witth the status quo while foriegn automakers strived to do better. The sad part about it they still are building large gas guzzling cars. If the Government gives them money then we the people should demand they retool their cars to be energy efficient and demand that cars coming off the assmbly line in the next 5 years run of something other than gas!!! Otherwise they should all be left to fail!! PERIOD!!!

    November 14, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  333. Gerda Edwards

    Kind of funny how the GMs, AIGs, Circuit Citys, etc. of the world had no qualms about squashing their smaller competitors, including mom and pop establishments, completely out of business. As an aggregate, they were worth saving, but they don't hold political clout.

    So DON'T bail them out. But when the Dems do, at least place a condition that the entire Board of Directors, CEO, CFO, and all VPs get axed with no severance pay.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  334. Craig, Ocala FL

    With so many people that can be impacted by the downfall of GM it does make sense to help them. If we do this the other question will be who is next, and can we continue to do this. Airlines, railroads, etc. Jack my answer has to be no, God help those people as it trickles down thru the cities of America.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  335. Paul, Riverside, CA

    Let them die just as they let the the EV-1 die. GM could have been at the forefront of fuel efficient vehicles, but instead decided to cower to Big Oil.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  336. Jimmy from NC

    In terms of the company, no, they decided profits were more important than the future with their focus on the SUVs and not on efficient or hybrid cars.

    Yes for the economy, the tentacles of the supply chain and all associated business that support the auto industry are huge and we think unemployment is high and stock market is bad now.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  337. mithra5

    Only if they use Toyota management from now on.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  338. dennis ky

    Why not? No since stopping bailouts now. It's just money we don't have. What do you call the BIG BANG BAILOUT? Is it not spreading the wealth? Here we have communism-take from the poor and give to the rich and greedy. Have the CEO's made an honest day's pay? Ever? Why do they think they DESERVE a bonus anyway. Now every sinking business has a hand out wanting a piece of EASY MONEY. If most Americans are like me I think one more outrageous bonus or a wild weekend using our money will be a breaking point. We will not ask Congress to step in- we will do it ourselves. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. America needs to go on strike. NOW.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  339. Dan

    Bought my last "Big 3" auto in 1999. I took very good care of it but it didn't take care of me. Sickened by the experience.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  340. Tony

    Who killed the electric car? The american auto industry did. If they weren't so short sighted and greedy, they would be leading the world once again and the entire US would be benefiting from better technology. Save them only if we can throw out all the bums from sr management all the way up and only if we can re-work the labor union rules.

    What's that old saying, "You get what you deserve."

    November 14, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  341. Cathy, Los Angeles, CA

    Yes and No.

    GM failed to innovate and build vehicles to meet the demands of the new century. Their Japanese competitors had no problem doing so.

    That being said, the US auto industry and it's vast supply chain, provide jobs vital to the well being of many communities and our overall economy.

    They should NOT get a bailout, but loan guarantees would be okay IF GM agreed to certain performance measures. The Chrysler deal would be a good model to start with and build from there to put together a good agreement for these times.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  342. Jed in Texas

    Yes they are worth it Jack.If we had universal health care like Japan, south korea,europe and other car making countries we would have a level playing field.This is all about destroying our jobs and middle class.The car companies knew this was coming and want to go back to slave labor like the good old days.They want everyone working a labor job in America to make no more than minimum wage.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  343. Scott

    I'm not an autoworker or a corporate exec, so I don't see why we should bail out GM. Also, I don't want my tax dollars wasted putting out that fire on the first floor of my building, because I live in the penthouse! Scott B., Tigard, Oregon

    November 14, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  344. Angel

    It is sad but we may have bailed out the wrong organizations. AIG should pay back what it was given and then we need to use that money to bail out GM.....from what i read on CNN.com, it stated, and i parapharase, that GM spends at 31billion from at least 2,100 suppliers...if GM goes under, so does these small businesses....so AIG needs to pay up, at least the money spent partying, so we can save a company that really needs help. Because we all know in life, nothing is certain but what's certain is, America will not survive if GM goes down.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  345. John from western PA

    Did Pittsburgh survive the closing of the steel mills? Yes of course it did. In fact it is now a better place. Let them get the fate they have earned.

    Maybe the Union will buy a hefty portion and save their jobs. I doubt it.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  346. Derick G.

    In a word: no. It's survival of the fittest out there, and GM's management was unfit to lead it through these tough times.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  347. L.M.,Arizona

    Emission controls went into effect approximately twenty years ago Japan,Korea,and other countries adapted GM didn't so I say there is a lot of jobs at stake,but we can adapt and someone else will come up with a better idea and what we need to do is give the people who run GM our moral support but not money.

    L.M.,Arizona

    November 14, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  348. Andy, Redmond WA

    Yes, but with the string attached that they stop shipping jobs off to Mexico. It's all well and good to say that they employ millions of Americans, but they've also been shutting plants down in the States for years. Any "saving" of GM needs to be under the assumption that the US benefits, not Mexico.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  349. Brian - Trinidad

    If GM goes down,the working class goes down and the country will go down with it.Old saying,you never miss the water until the well runs dry.Many pundits will say 'so what' if GM goes down,market will adjust blah blah blah.Not true.GM goes,start learning how to grow your own food.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  350. Dan

    Here's another thought... I just spent two years in the UK. GM manufactures the Vauxhall brand over there with diesel engines (and petrol) and Ford manufactures vehicles over there as well. Both brands seem much better than the autos they dish out here in the US. Why can't we get the same kinds of autos (smaller, more efficient, seemingly better quality) over here. It's not like they don't know how to do it (?).

    November 14, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  351. Ramon

    The problem isn't the Big 3 don't build good car the problem is gas prices. If gas prices go below to 2 bucks we're back in business.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  352. vern-t anaheim,ca

    i believe we should save general motors because they employ many people whose lives would be ruined by their fall but something must be done to avoid the mistakes in bailing out aig which was a fiasco.new guidelines must be imposed in order to save gm and they must accept them or go under

    November 14, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  353. Christine - Florida

    Let the oil companies bail them out – they're the ones who want the auto industry to keep making gas guzzlers and the oil companies have made huge profits. Let them bail their own out!!

    November 14, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  354. Tomika, Charlotte NC

    If we keep bailing everyone out who bails us out.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  355. Jeff Crocket

    Why do foreign car companies maintain profits currently?? Because they sell a better product, at better prices, with less maintenance, and fuel cost!!!

    Why can't Detroit???????? Since the 60's and 70's giveaway to UNIONS UAW, their labor costs are impossible to handle!!

    A huge marketing campaign and enormous sales of trucks and truck chasis SUV's (while al Gore was silent) kept Detroit in business until the gas price rise!!

    They must reorganize and kill current union contracts!!!!!! OR die!

    November 14, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  356. Glenn

    Great question. I believe GM must be saved but with strick conditions similiar to what "Ben" below stated...a great answer...they've got to focus on Quality high mileage vehicles that are reliable and give the German and Japanese auto makers some competition!

    November 14, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  357. JRE

    GM, Ford & Chrysler have simply done a terrible job of running their businesses. Why is it that foreign car companies, headquarterd thousands of miles away, have been able to forecast and build what our domestic markets need?

    I say let them file for reorganization under the Chapter 11 Bankruptcy laws....just like the air line industry companies have done over the years in response to the pressures of deregulation and fuel increases. Out of that will come a leaner, hungrier and stronger domestic car industry.

    JRE

    November 14, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  358. James Kansas

    Save them, they have made their beds years ago by continuing to make gas guzzling SUV's for America, while making 7 different models of vehicles in other Countries that don't even run on gasoline. GM has helped other Countries get away from foreign oil and manufacturing them in foreign Countries. The big 3 has done nothing to help our Country with our dependence on foreign oil and continue sending American jobs overseas. My wife and I will not buy a vehicle from GM, Ford or Chrysler until they make vehicles that run on natural gas. The United States has a huge natural gas reserve and that would help our economy, National security and climate change.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  359. Spider

    Of course we bail them out. We have to. There is truth to that old saying, "As goes GM, so goes the nation."

    But, unlike the Wall Street bailout, we put on some strict and enforced conditions. Create us a new generation of transportation, a new, replenishable, non-polluting way to power our vehicles. If we bail you out we no longer want to purchase our vehicles, nor their fuel, from foreign countries. Otherwise, we let you go bankrupt, and, the money we WERE gonna bail you out with, we spend it on a government program to provide jobs for American citizens to research, develop, build, maintain and fuel this revolutionary new vehicle.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  360. Sam

    GM should be saved. They made mistakes, but they did not cheat.
    Bush's economic policies and war in Iraq made Exxon, Hulliburton and Wall Street super rich, and Detroit poor.
    Banks and AIG should have not been given a dime. We all will lose our jobs very soon because of them. Let them be the first victims of their own greed.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  361. Steven

    yes because they hold too many of american jobs to let them fail imagine how bad this recession would get if the big three fail.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  362. David in Raleigh

    General Motors is like the dinosaur. It's a victim of evolution that's been beaten by it's foreign competitors.

    I won't buy an American made car after my experiences with a 2001 Ford. It was a maintenance and repair disaster. While my Honda and Toyota have only had scheduled preventive maintenance.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  363. Daniel Miami, Florida

    Yes, Jack, let's bail them out but they're better be iron-clad conditions attached. First hire a financial trustee or judge to oversee where and how the money will be divided. Judges are hired Financial hearings are held for people who declare bankruptcy so why not GM?

    Second, only bail out GM if there's a clause in the financial package which states they MUST start to overhaul and phase out production of gas guzzlers like the SUV and start serious investment in eventually producing hybrid gas-electric cars and solar-powered ones as well. Tell GM they have a 15 year deadlie to jump on the environmental bandwagon or next time, the goverment won't give them a second chance.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  364. Pam Williams

    no it is not worh saving. GM was bailed out before and hasn't done anything to correct the problem. It the US bails out everyone .... there will not be a tax cut for the middle class or anyone. How about a bailout for main street. Let's join together and picket at the treasury asking for a handout also. If main street refuses to pay its bills (or get into too much debt) it all goes against our credit. Since times are hard, why not whipe main streets negative credit reports. If Congress says they are doing this for the people.... well we are waiting for the benefits too.

    November 14, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  365. ian-madison, wi

    The obvious answer is YES!!!!
    The rumifications of a GM-like failure is unfathomable.
    However the aid would hav eto come with strings attached.
    1. GM has to pursue the manufacturing of fuel efficient cars aggressively.
    2. They need to get back to the table with the employee union and renegotiate the outragious deals they made. The fact is they will have to choose between an having a job or having no job.

    We can't let GM fail. If GM goes, so does Ford, and there goes the MI economy. And the local car dealership down the street, the supply shop, the warehouse that stores their parts, the truckers that transport the parts. The trains/trucks that transport the cars.
    The dominoe effect is unimaginable.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  366. DALE NEW MEXICO

    NO! General Motors and Ford should not be bailed out with tax payer’s money.
    Because they are poorly managed companies that have made bad decisions to stay with big, heavy vehicles.
    Their vehicles rattle and squeak and have built in problems so that you will pay to have them fixed to support their parts industry. There also designed to last for so long speculating you get so disgusted with the piece of junk, you'll go buy another one.
    They keep saying, they are working on new technology that will improve gas mileage and reliability.
    That is a lie, their research departments already have this new technologies it has been sitting on shelves for years.

    Yes, it will be painful for the economy, let them go bankrupt. Get rid of these fat cats, and get some new blood in place and rehire all of the factory workers as soon as possible.

    Dale New Mexico

    November 14, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  367. Benjamin, American in BC

    Umm... That is my answer... umm. They have stubbornly dragged their feet toward modernizing into higher fuel efficiency or smaller vehicles. The behemoths they have pushed and advertised until the brink of disaster are their legacy. They had all the warnings in the world but refused to change. On the other hand, that many jobs cannot be allowed to disappear. The economy will be pulled down even further by gm's failure. It could be a great time to leverage huge changes toward greener cars. Maybe now they'll listen. So my answer again... ummmm.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  368. Thomas - Yo.town, OH

    Nope, GM is not worth saving. The company and it's employees are what lead us into part of this situation where we are today. Refusal to give us a economic fuel vehicle to drive, caving into high union demands of pay, health insurance, and pensions at the expense of the average middle and lower class american citizen. Couple that with your typical government (federal, state, county,local) employee,
    those unusually high wages and benefits for doing a typical 8 hr job is outrageous and constitues the raping of the lower and middle class American who doesn't have the union or the government to spoon feed them. Now that's what I call welfare.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:01 pm |
  369. george c paree

    If any of the big three go under you will see the worst unemployment ever they keep three other workers tn support companys for ever auto worker.I for one would hate to see it

    November 14, 2008 at 5:02 pm |
  370. Roy - Chicago IL

    The sad part about this is that for years the lobbyists have stopped congress from forcing GM and others to make more fuel efficient cars, making GM not able to compete against the Japanese car makers outside this country. GM has helped make the bed they are in now, and should share responsibility for its own demise.

    GM should be made to sell off some divisions and become leaner, and immediately stop making Hummers and other gas hogs. Other unprofitable divisions should be left to creative destruction and not salvaged. What remains might start out smaller but would be better positioned for the years ahead.

    By the way I drive a Saab......a division of GM.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:02 pm |
  371. Pablo, Charles Town, WV

    No. I cringe at the thought of what precedence these bailouts are likely to set – get big, lobby for special favors, get in bed with the oil industry, promise to your employess benefits you havn't allocated for in the books, and give your CEO's immunity from poor performance. And when things go south, don't worry, taxpayers will bail us out. Where is the accountability? Where is the initiative do what is right for your country, and not just what is convenient for the bottom line?

    November 14, 2008 at 5:02 pm |
  372. Joe

    Jack, I feel for all the people who have lost their jobs not only in the auto industry, but in other fields of work as well. I do not think the government should use anymore of the taxpayers money to bailout these companies for the idiots who mismanaged the operations of the business. I don't see the government knocking on my door asking me how can we help you. The people in our country need to open up their eyes.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:02 pm |
  373. Mike, Houston

    GM and Ford have profitable operations overseas that they should sell to re-tool the US base. They need to break the union contracts and get their costs under control.

    As for Chrysler, they were just acquired by a Private Equity group. Since when do we bail them out?

    Congress is going to bankrupt this country in less than 18 months.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  374. Holly

    Of course we need to help GM, but it needs to be structured so that the company emerges stronger, leaner, and with a real plan to take us into the future. My husband is a salesperson for a Chevy dealership, and it has been a crying shame that the company hadn't forecasted properly to have an adequate supply of fuel efficient vehicles available. He could have sold many many more Cobalts and Aveos this past year to willing buyers when gas prices went way up.. And in spite of what some of the people that post here have said – GM vehicles have become better quality over the past several years. I will NEVER drive a Japanese or German vehicle. My grandfather's generation sacrificed much in a war against those countries – why should we reward them now by surrendering our auto industry to them as well?

    November 14, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  375. h.w. sierra

    Zero bailout monies for automakers that do not guarantee a 100% focus on building non-fossil fuel vehicles, built in the U.S. by American workers! The oil era is over. We need to prioritize and focus on a new way of powering our transportation. If not now, when?

    November 14, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  376. tom in Iowa

    Saving the auto industry is the only bailout that makes sense to me. There are millions of jobs related to the auto industry (the assembly line, the dealership, the repair shop, and on and on). Allowing the lose of those jobs will leave our country in such a bad way that it may never recover. That said, I personally think that we could have done without all the other bailouts .

    Tom in Iowa

    November 14, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  377. Glen in Los Angeles

    I owned a Saturn before the brand became another "fine" GM product. But I will never buy a GM car again. Give me Lexus, BMW, Toyota or Nissan. Those are well-put-together cars. If GM's in trouble, if it hasn't got what it takes to be a going concern, let it fail. Maybe a company that can compete with the German and Japanese big boys will rise out of GM's ashes.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:06 pm |
  378. Brian Becker

    I don't think they deserve it. Rather than give them piles of cash, why don't we use that money to extend unemployment benefits to the auto workers who will lose their jobs, retool their factories to make solar panels and wind turbines, and retrain the workers to make them? The people who work for the auto companies aren't to blame for their poor business strategy over the past two decades, so they shouldn't be the ones to suffer when they go under.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  379. Den in Gwinn, MI

    Sure- by filing Chapter 11; just like any other mismanaged business.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  380. dwain majak

    more worthwhile than the $2 trillion to Wall St and the tens of billions to AIG.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  381. Daphne Philipson

    Use the GM plants and workers to get working on green technology for the future. However, get new management.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  382. peter reilly brevard,n.c.

    Yes,but hire someone from Toyota to run it.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  383. Paul Ribniscky

    No Jack, not worth saving due to things like still producing hummer, new faster bigger vehicles, etc. When are we going to let capitalism really work, you make it okay, you dont you fail it is the American way.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  384. The Real Jack Cafferty

    Yes, Jack, let’s bail them out but they’re better be iron-clad conditions attached. First hire a financial trustee or judge to oversee where and how the money will be divided. Judges are hired Financial hearings are held for people who declare bankruptcy so why not GM?

    J.C Princeton, New Jersey

    November 14, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  385. Steve, PA

    No. They got rich on capitalism, let them go under the same way. Give me $20 billion and Ill make a car company (Same logic).

    November 14, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  386. Linda in Bisbee, AZ

    If we bail out the banks, we should loan GM the money it needs to stay operational. After all, they at least make products. What do the banks do? They're not even lending the money we gave them.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  387. don

    Jack, yes its worth saving, no one has mentioned
    the bond market travesty. That is in the billion alone.
    You really want to mess up Wall Street. Let GM go
    bust. If you thought Lehman was bad..Try GM

    November 14, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  388. Annick H.

    GM is worth saving IF, and only if, they convert their production to fuel-efficient cars exclusively.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  389. richard ross from new mexico

    no. if they had lowered the price ot there cars they would not be in this mess and all the bonuses that were given to the share holders . to bad let them go belly up

    November 14, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  390. Kevin B

    Are 3 million jobs worth it to the American people should be the question. However we shouldn't blame GM for the position it's in. What about the unions? What about the customers? When they wanted SUV's... GM gave it to them.... When the unions wanted more Money, GM had to give it to them so that they could keep producing cars...

    The question should be are we to blame for GM's downfall and are 3 million jobs worth it to this country?

    November 14, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  391. David of Bellingham Bay

    In the short term, a limited aid package to the auto industry may be necessary to buffer any massive dislocation of employees that bankruptcy of one or two of the big three would result in.

    But in the mid & long term, I see consolidation/merger within the U.S. auto makers as a natural and healthy reaction to mismanagement of assets and business resources.

    Further, I propose that the facilities and remaining work force dislocated in the process be retooled and retrained for the production of Wind Turbine generators, Solar Panels, and or other alternative energy sources.

    Funding of such an effort by taxpayers via government incentives (preferably as part of the current bailout package) would keep jobs in those areas hardest hit by the loss of manufacturing jobs and would be an investment in the future of our energy independence by creation of this much needed manufacturing expertise. If done well, it could serve as a model for the conversion of other idle manufacturing capacity, and bring our beleaguered workers back to the workplace with new skills, leading to new wages, and renewed domestic spending.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  392. robert in raleigh

    in a word "yes"

    November 14, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  393. Al in Florida

    No. Saving GM would tell other poorly-run companies that they don't need to change what they are doing. We keep this up and we'll end up like the Soviet Union.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  394. G.C.

    simply no we the people cant afford it we simply can not save them we will be digging our own graves as a nation

    November 14, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  395. Darrell Wayne

    Jack, GM is not worth saving. Let some billionaire buy GM and Ford and restructure them. Pay lower wages, better benefits, and stop production of all the gas gusslers. Ford and GM knew over a decade ago that they were going in the wrong direction. If we bail them out, they will be back for more billions. I've been out of work and going through my savings for over a year. Where's my damn bailout or should I say, Handout!

    November 14, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  396. John

    NO – Bailouts undermine the free market system, the real issue with the economy is the Federal Reserve and the practice of fractional reserve banking.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  397. Lucy, Miami, FL

    We could loan them money that would be to retool for hybrid autos or natural gas trucks. No more gas guzzlers. Nothing less would do.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  398. Louie

    So, suppose we "save" them. Will they keep producing cars? Who will buy the cars? Are they just going to give them away? Shouldn't we have saved the buggy and whip industries in the early 1990's? I bet they had a lot of employees as well. Would that have helped stop the Great depression? Let's stop the insanity.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  399. Antwan

    The question is not if GM worth saving, the question is will the executives prudently allocate the funds to save to the company. General Motors is one of America's bedrock of financial stability. With good oversight, the government should do all it can to save General Motors.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  400. Ryan from Darien, IL

    I think that GM is worth saving! They are a cornerstone to the economy and what would our economy be look if American made vehicles were to stop?

    November 14, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  401. Mike T

    It looks to me like the government has or should I say had a choice – save the white collars or the blue collars. Intersesting enough they choose the white collars of the financial industry. The backbone of america – the blue collars has been left "a day late and a dollar short"

    November 14, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  402. Pat in Atlanta

    I am divided on this one. Hopefully, someone smarter than me has the answer. On one hand, it is an important part of our culture and our economic stability. On the other hand, it's a dinosaur. The products are dated and their workforce is bloated. How do we save as many jobs as possible and retool the company at the sametime? Boy, I'm glad I'm not Obama.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  403. Tony Tortorici

    Yes, GM is worth saving... through bankruptcy. Let them reorganize and emerge strong, like the airlines.

    Atlanta, GA

    November 14, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  404. John Sawyer, Rocklin, CA

    GM is probably worth saving, but with conditions. It's not enough to simply throw money their way, and tell them it's OK to keep what they've been doing, since they'll just expect us to bail them out again some time down the road.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  405. Matt Augustine, New York

    Listen, if you can't compete it's not my place as a tax payer to bail you out. There is a reason people are buying Toyotas and Hondas, bailing out a company is only going to reward bad management – let this force them to reorganized, or go out of business like any other company. Remember how all those nationalized companies in England did under Thatcher? Yea, we're heading in that direction, and I for one will pass.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  406. Chris

    Absolutely not! They were forewarned several years ago to change from the SUV'S gas eating vehicles to the fuel efficiency, smaller and compact cars but they didn't listen. The Unions have a hold on them to so Chapter 11 Bankruptcy would be the way to go because they would able to restructure and readjust the payouts to the employees & retirees which is over inflated and has been for years, and do what they should have done 10 years. Look whats going on with the $700 Billion dollar bailout with the banks doing what THEY want to do. This is crazy Jack!. Remember what happen with the Airline Industries after 9/11? They went thru some serious rough waters and survived too. What the Senate and the Auto Industry is doing is trying another Scare tactic just like they did with that awful $700 Billion bailout fiasco!!!!.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  407. Edgar Diaz Huntington Park, Ca

    If we save them they will continue their awful business practices and they will still see plummeting sales. People will still not buy from them if they don't have the money. If we save them it will only take longer for them to fail.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  408. Michael A. Minerva

    No Jack, the question is not should we but can we. What good does it do to pump money into GM if no one will buy the cars they produce?

    November 14, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  409. Richard

    No one ever mentions the United Auto Workers Union that is the principal source of increasing the obligations of the Auto Makers.
    They are a WEALTHY Union. If the taxpayer has to contribute to the
    bailout....................The UAW should be contributing Millions.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  410. Linda

    Yes, they are worth saving if the company is willing to have the government checking all of their expenses and decisions. If they are not going to agree to that type of oversight, then they should put themselves up for sale like any other company that is going under. When is the whining and begging going to stop? No one cares if I can't pay my bills. Why should a company, no matter how big, be allowed to bungle their finances and get a bailed out?
    .

    November 14, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  411. Costanza from Ohio

    GM and Ford produce the worst cars anmd that's the reason they are suffering. The Governtment should ask themselves how come the German and Japanese car companies are not complaining about going bankrupt?

    November 14, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  412. Bill from Kansas City

    Yes. Without bailing General Motors out the U.S. will plunge into its second Great Depression.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  413. Will Atlanta

    GM made their own funeral, but not changing with the times. Look at all the trucks and suvs that they make. All they are are gas hogs. So we are supposed to literally pay for their mistakes, come on they are still stuck in the 90's. Where are there Hybrids? A suburban hybrid are you serious. I know they are investing in electrics and fuel cells down the road, but its too late for them. Cheap cheap cars....

    November 14, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  414. Zennie Abraham in Oakland, CA

    Jack, the U.S. Auto Industry is directly and indirectly reponsible for about 7.8 milllion jobs and $346 billion in economic impact. GM accouns for about 50 percent of that. So, if GM were to collapse, that alone would cause not just unemployment to soar to 8 percent, but make President-Elect Obama's health care bill that much higher. Save GM if only to save our own tax payer costs down the road.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  415. Joshua from Pittsburgh

    It would not just be the Big 3 that fails – car dealerships, parts suppliers, truckers who deliver materials, etc. would all suffer as a result. The amount of people who would lose their jobs is outrageous. However, we should require the automakers to start producing fuel efficient and hybrid cars. We can help kill two birds with one stone – boost the economy and start the fight against global climate change.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  416. Ben

    No, are all these educated bussiness idiots so blind that they didn't see this coming? I have a small construction company and I'm always aware of the unseen. Let them do a little swimming.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  417. bigbird

    Jack, The gov. should buy the car mfg. stock then sell it to the employee's at a cheap rate, then let the empoyee's make the decisions and run the bussiness.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  418. Scott

    I thought the recent bailout for the banks was to ease the "Credit Crunch" and allow the banks to loan money again. If so, Why can't the big three get a typical loan from the banks?

    Scott, Dallas Texas

    November 14, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  419. Dale

    Hi Jack,

    As General McCarther once said, Old solders nevert die, they just fade away. Let the "Old General" fade away.

    Ford and others will be happy to pick up the slack . . . If there is any.

    Dale
    Michigan

    November 14, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  420. Naromie

    NO, NO, NO. Who's going to bail me out! If we don't put an end to this bailing out every company who comes knocking, we will go broke. I haven't heard anything on bailing out main street.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  421. Dwayne from Maryland

    No, AIG is one thing but to bail out a automobile maker is ridiculous. A vehicle is a luxury item not a necessity, what's next bailing out cell phone providers?

    November 14, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  422. kathy

    Yes, under the following conditions...
    freeze all salaries/bonuses/compensation packages for 5 years or until all monies are paid back with interest

    removal of 401 K matching pension fund and other benefits

    no change to union contracts for 5 years or until all monies are paid back with interest.
    Forced rationalization/merger/consolidation to improve effiiciiency and product lines

    Newtown, PA

    November 14, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  423. Mike Sloan, London, Ontario, Canada

    There is a lot of talk in America about patriotism. Well, patriotism is more than wearing an American flag lapel pin. Buying the products made by GM, Ford, and Chrysler would go a long way to helping the American economy.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  424. Bill Kirby

    If you're incompetent, you should perish.

    Bill Kirby

    November 14, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  425. Dan Weisman

    Not with my tax money I could use for food. They built their business on these massive gas guzzling wrecks and helped drive America off the economic cliff. They are the problem. If we want to do something, how about taking that proposed bailout money and starting a new automobile company that responds to our national needs and global responsibilities and not to their corporate stupidity and greed..

    November 14, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  426. Alex Walker, Co

    We have a unique opportunity with General Motors right now. We've wanted more fuel efficient cars for years, and we've got GM right where we want them. I say give them the money if they promise to release the most fuel efficient cars on earth, a 100mpg car by 2010, and completely transform the auto industry as we know it.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  427. Gay Crosby

    Maybe it's time to look at some "bargain hunters" buying up GM. Rich executives to assembly line workers. Let them pool their funds and save GM and their jobs. If union wages are too high, as I keep hearing commentators say, then maybe as owners those union members would forego some of their paycheck for a stake in the company. Besides, the average assembly line woker is probably smart enough to know GM should be making fuel efficient cars and as owners, maybe they could have some say in the direction the company takes. Somebody with some common sense and a feel for the future should be put in charge or the company should be put out of its misery.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  428. Paul in Rio Rancho NM

    A bailout for them to continue business as usual is a NO! They must be allowed to go into bankrupcy, reorganize, come up with a realistic business plan for success then and only then can we consider helping them out. While they are in bankrupcy we can still buy cars from them and employees will continue to work and get paid.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  429. Alan Kassirer

    GM is worth saving but not with a traditional bailout. Instead of cutting GM a check, the government should announce a plan where consumers can buy fuel efficient cars at deep discount prices. The government would make up the difference between the purchase price and a discounted retail price that still allows GM a reasonable profit. That way the public benefits from lower car prices, the dealers benefit from increased sales and GM benefits from an inflow of cash. This is an opportunity for a rare win-win-win solution.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  430. Brian Dieffenbach

    The government should definitely not be saving companies. Just like mother nature culls the weak, sick and stupid animals from a herd, the marketplace will eliminate those who cannot make a profit. It is painful but healthy and we should stay out of it. If those auto company CEOs spent more time building better, more fuel efficient cars, and less time lobbying the government for handouts, we would all be better off.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  431. Anne

    GM may not be worth saving, as they most likely have mismanaged funds monumentally, however the Americans who RELY on GM ARE worth saving. The catostrophic reverb that will hit those hard working people must be avoided if possible. I just worry that this is more a bailout for the UAW as opposed to GM.
    At this point, Jack, we have spent so much money on AIG and the financial institutions...we might as well just get to the lint at the bottom of the pocket, it's inevitable anyway.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  432. James W. Blevins

    Parts. The culture and upper management of GM have negative value - by all means, let them go. The infrastructure, machinery and especially the workers of GM are very valuable. Let it go into chapter 11, put the people in charge of the Chevy Volt in charge of the company, give it money to develop modern cars and you will have something of real value.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    November 14, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  433. John

    The is should we bail out the big three and GM? well the way I see it these companies are at fault for some of there own pain. I would like to ask would any of these companies bail out the average joe who is now struggling to make end meet. I say no there comes a time in life when you have to move on to bigger and getter things and maybe this is the time for GM!!!

    November 14, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  434. Andrew Sloan

    Yes, the consequences would be disastrous for the nation. However, I would require concessions from the Unions as well as replacing the management and board of directors. Also, in the spirit of bi-partisanship, I would offer the Automotive Czar role to Mitt Romney who has demonstrated his business leadership skills.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  435. Chris Bethmann

    Jack,

    Sure GM is worth saving but have the Japanese manage it. At least then we could have a car company that actually produces cars and trucks that people would buy.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  436. Liz

    Hey Jack,

    What if we took the money, that some, want to use to bail out the big 3 automakers, and use it to seed a universal health care program, the auto employees could be the first participants in the plan, and remove an expense from the automakers, at least something more real than just passing money around might happen.

    All I know, is I am sick of being financially raped by our government.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  437. SSchoolcraft

    Yes, I don't think there is a question. We can not afford the effects of the big 3 going under. This is a loan they are asking for with payback including interest. Noone mentions the Chrysler paid back the last loan with interest and I believe early.
    Are the bank bailouts and insurance bailouts paying back with interest??
    SS

    November 14, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  438. Douglas, Los Angeles, CA

    Unfortunately, I think that the reprecussions of losing GM would be devastating to the already weakened economy. I support a bridge loan until 2010 because of the strong product lineup they are promising in that timeframe on the conditions that it is high interest, the insane union strings are cut, and that the management of the company gets thrown out. Listening to Rick Wagoner refuse to even consider downsizing unprofitable brands only confirms that existing management would continue to destroy the company.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  439. Steve Tonozzi

    They should let them die. after all they crushed the electric cars in califorina. If they had them now they wouldn't be in trouble.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  440. Jared New Jersey

    GM is NOT worth saving. GM has good plants and good people that need to be reallocated to other tasks and used by other more visionary companies, the monster GM and its overhead however needs to die. Imagine what a company like tesla could do for electric cars with one of GMs production lines. -Look what GM has done. The failed EV1.

    What good is more money when your going to make more cars that run on more forign oil Americans dont want to buy?

    November 14, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  441. John Fleetwood

    Absolutely General Motors must be saved. The government bailout has given money to those companies who made money by causing this economic crisis, instead the government should give the money to companies that have been crippled by current economic conditions. At a minimum this will help prevent massive layoffs of more Americans.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  442. Paymon Shariat, 13 Boise, Idaho

    Jack
    There is no clear-cut solution to this crisis. If we don't bail out the auto industry then hundred's of thousands of american jobs will be lost, on the other hand if we do bailout the auto-industry then we are sending a horrible message to the rest of the corporations out there. The real solution would be to bail them out with conditions. Condition one is to require at least one electric car model that sells for less then 20'000 dollars. Condition two is that within 5 years all cars must be able to run at or above 25 mpg.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  443. Sally

    Your question is overly simplistic. If they dont get a bailout, the car companies won't die. Instead, they will go through bankruptcy, which allows them to restructure debts and get rid of the overly burdensome labor agreements that have contributed to inability to compete. Several major airlines went through bankruptcy and are in better shape as a result. Car companies can do the same.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  444. susan pharris,alabama

    yes, lets save the auto industry. Lets do something for the the working class of this country for a change. I'm sick to death of bailing out the upper class. It's an idea who's time has come, helping the people who actually make this country .

    November 14, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  445. Blend Sairany

    Save General Motors?
    Of course not, why should we save them. GM and Ford haven't been trying to modernize their vehicles and focus on making their cars energy efficient. It won't be long until ford follows as well. I would rather invest in creating cheaper vehicles instead of providing support to power hungry companies. Since we bailed out the banks, I don't see whats wrong with providing another few billion dollars for these companies to spend on bonuses for their ceos.

    -Blend Sairany [atlanta georgia]

    November 14, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  446. Pamela

    I don't understand – we are there to bailout other countries; we are in Iraq spending billions to rebuild schools, jobs, infrastructure..why wouldn't we bail out the industry that employs so many Americans. With the bailout however, there should be caveats – no jobs sent over seas, cars that meet the needs of our pocketbooks and the environment (i think the car companies promised this before – and didn't deliver); in otherwords, accountability – all the way.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  447. Emily, Canada

    NO! It's like trying to save the buggy-whip and carriage manufacturing industry of 100 years ago. Transportation has and is changing. The US auto industry just hasn't kept up to date with the NEW requirements, so let it go. Invest in hybrids, or electric cars or.......

    November 14, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  448. Denise Brown

    No, no, no! There should be no bailout of GM or any other automotive companies. Enough already. We taxpayers will be stuck with the bill one way or the other. So why pay for bad business decisions and greed at our expense. GM continued to make gas guzzling trucks, SUV's and cars. They refused to implement green technology and more fuel efficient vehicles. What makes people think they will change their way of operation with a bailout? If I made bad business decisions after the indicators were evident that the economy was going into recession, no one would come to bail me out. Enuf Said!

    Denise from Brooklyn, New York

    November 14, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  449. Connie

    Yes! If we don't save the auto industry the government is going to still have to doll out millions to pay for our welfare payments here in MI. Make sure there are strings attached, they must change their menu to offer a better fare to their customers.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  450. Billy Joel

    Save them, but on the condition the workers union is abolished.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  451. Robert Mack

    The government should lend money to the auto industry, but only on the condition that the auto companys bring jobs back to the U.S. Get tough. Those jobs making products off shore should be returned to the U.S. or there is no deal.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  452. Connie

    So many people seem to think an auto springs from the line with just the well paid auto worker having done the entire build. But there are mirrors and wipers and glass and lights and handles and anti freeze and tires and the list goes on. Each of these things represents real people...and real jobs that will be lost. Bite the bullet Congress and give GM and our country a break !

    November 14, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  453. Steve Ollinik

    Why can't GM be sold to Toyota or Honda? Could they not cut a deal with the American and Canadian Governments to keep the industry and jobs alive in North America?

    November 14, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  454. Dean Woodard

    GM needs to survive even if it means going through chapter 11 to get rid of some of the union obligations. As GM goes so goes America.

    Now Cafferty he can go any time and I sure wouldn't miss him!!!!

    November 14, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  455. pete cole

    We need to let the Big 3 auto makers go bankrupt and restructure so they can compete financially with the rest of the world. As with AIG, any handout WILL be misused. It is not the responsibility of the taxpayers to patch up the mistakes of private sector businesses. Survival of the fittest.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  456. Donald Long Beach CA

    Yes, GM is worth saving! Has everyone forgot what the Auto Industry did during WWII ? We need to maintain our manufacturing base if we are to continue, and preserve our way of life.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  457. Jeffrey from LA, California

    General motors is a big brand name auto company and I always see people driving GM cars. I feel it is worth saving, its just going to take a lot of work to do. GM provides cars and jobs for the American people. How is that not worth saving?

    November 14, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  458. Ajay Shah

    Yes, GM is worth saving because there are too many lives at stake and they didn't do anything wrong. They were making cars, trucks that their executive management decided to make, i.e. SUVs.
    I would fire entire management and board of directors before lending any money to them.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  459. EVAN Hanna

    No we should not bail out GM... What have they done for us besides raise the prices of their cars and trucks over the years and it's hard for people like me who need a new car and can only afford a used one. Is GM going to have better prices or discounts if we bail them out? NO

    November 14, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  460. John Koning

    GM is not worth saving. They have only themselves to blame. Arrogance and complaisance. The service on my Cadillacs got worse and worse and didn't compare with my wife's Toyota. The last straw was when the dash board fell off in my lap and I was told that the extended guarantee didn't cover it. That's when I went elsewhere.
    John Koning
    Corona, CA

    November 14, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  461. Greg, Hollywood

    Why doesn't the oil industry bail-out GM? They're the only ones with any money right now, mostly because of the irresponsible products Detroit has been making for decades.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  462. Bob

    Let them fail as a consequence of their poor decisions and for letting the unions run the US auto industry. I cannot accept my tax dollars paying for a union member to receive health care for life and to receive full pension benefits. If the government does bail them out then I want a piece of the pie for my hard hit company as well.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  463. linda in Columbus, Indiana

    No, don't save GM. Same management, same results. With each door that closes another one opens. I think a new and better car industry will evolve right here in America. One that suits the needs of today.
    Linda

    November 14, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  464. Charles

    If there was a way to punish management without the government investing in GM, I am in favor of that option. I have spent time in the Midwest. We can not afford to abandon as many as 3 million people. GM failing would decimate the economy. We need a well thought out investment plan that drives the correct behavior (green mindset) and efficiencies.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  465. Wayne Heidel

    No; There is no way that my retirement should be sacrificed to salvage the retirement benefits of the GM employees. Their out of date and exorbinate benefits are partial cause for the fall of all of the automotive giants. Let the bankruptcy and consequential restructing run its course. We did not bail out the airlines and they still operate daily.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  466. MARY ANN MILLIGAN

    If the government gives GM a grand heave ho funeral that the US is doomed. What s up with that one of the backbones of the US industry. We have divereted enough oversees. How come we can bail out AIG, Airlines, Banks but not our great GM?????

    November 14, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  467. Trucker Jim

    The free market philosophy means that we're free to succeed ... and we're free to fail. There's little evidence that GM, etc won't be in the same situation in 3-5 years from now. They obviously have a management and vision problem. If they fail something better will arise from the ashes. As you say, we're paying for it anyway. Let the free market do it's thing or stop belly aching about socialistic policies.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  468. George

    Bad management and bad union contracts have priced GM out of the market. Let them go belly up and the remaining workforce and management will learn an inportant lesson. Prop them up and you will create a zombie industry that will never be viable.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  469. Jim in Dallas

    Of course we need to save GM. One in every 10 jobs is tied to the auto industry. I'd personnally rather see us take the money we gave AIG and use that to purchase stock in GM, Ford and Chrysler. At least that way we we profit when they come back.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  470. Terry

    No...GM is not worth saving and if Congress does use my tax dollars for a bailout, I swear never to buy another US made automibile as long as live.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  471. Sly, Alpena, Mi

    I say, "Let GM go", The Federal Government can not every 10 years or so keep Bailing out one or all three of the Auto Makers. Just let them file for Bankruptcy, then those CEO's will realize that they can not keep running to the Federal Government very time they can't get their financial house in order.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  472. Anthony Smith

    Yes, they are worth saving and so am I. I expect my bailout check for 1 million sent via UPS tomorrow. After I spend it, I'll be back for more! PATHETIC!!! Bounce the politicians and the bailouts!

    Wildwood Crest, NJ

    November 14, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  473. Sam

    Yes, its worth it. only if the company re-directs their agenda. Offering more fuel efficient ,design forward, and very reliable vehicles. There is a reason why Toyota & Honda are the top sellers, thats because when you buy one, you know that it holds its value and will last for years!! Not to mention they look Good!

    November 14, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  474. Ed

    Understand that GM is not asking for a "bailout"......it is asking for a loan, just like Chrysler got in the early 80's. Chrysler paid back that loan with interest with jobs saved in the process. Isn't this much better than having GM go down and have the national economy suffer in the process?

    November 14, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  475. michael chauveau

    No, it's not worth saving. Should it be? Absolutely, with a complete change of leadership. There are surely enough bright people available who could bring new and profitable ways of doing business there. Come to think of it, it's kind of like kicking out the Republicans and replacing them with the new team led by Mr. O. Can't fault the way he's starting out.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  476. Mark C

    GM makes bad vehicles and has union labor. It is doomed to fail, so let's get it done and over with already.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  477. Lucy

    Yes it is worth saving. Besides all the jobs and businesses effected how about all the banks, pension funds (both private and public – like states) that have invested in GM that will suffer grat losses. How will that hurt the economy?

    November 14, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  478. Marcus Toronto

    Is the "Heartbeat of America" worth saving

    November 14, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  479. Gov5225, Fremont, CA

    Congress should save GM but with strings. Part ownership could be used to force the changes needed to move us from gasoline to LNG powered cars. It is not that hard to build the infrastructure needed. Natural gas is everywhere.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  480. bob

    I think we should let them go under and then a new company can open up. A company that does not have to pay way so much in wages to these workers. Go to a state that has a right to work law like Texas and you don't have to worry about unions. They are what is breaking the backs of these car companies. Pay the workers a wage commensurate with the difficulty of the task. If they are not happy with that wage then they can find some other job that pays what their worth. But... that would be even less wouldn't it.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  481. Linda from Huntington Beach, CA

    Our automobile industry has been struggling for years. They've resisted progress and increased CAFE standards. They are out of touch with consumers and their competition. Now we want to bail them out because they don't know how to run their businesses? Let's create a new auto industry. We'd be better off.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  482. Elmer H. Hartmut Hayes

    Absolutely not ! They never learned their lessons in regard to frugality, environmental sanity. They claim that Americans wanted big cars..but never will they admit that they spend millions in advertisements touting big, gas guzzling cars to be the way to go....we were brainwashed by them. Look at Toyota, BMW, Mercedes, Nissan, etc that are building cars here.. they had restraints in going largesse and build limited inefficient cars.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  483. Steve-- Doctoral Student Economics

    I am liberal, but I am very against this auto bailout. The money could be better used helping employees transition into more appropriate US industries. Another idea is to put the money towards the ailing infrastructure (roads and water system). These public works projects are a necessity for US, and will also create jobs. The US auto industry makes an inferior product, and therefore supporting US auto firms is supporting an already sinking ship.

    Albuquerque, New Mexico

    November 14, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  484. Nancy, Tennessee

    It's hard to think about no more Chevy Camaro's being made, but GM has not saw fit to come up with more gas efficient cars or thought of a way to market Hydrogen fueled cars. BMW in Nashville, TN is selling hydrogen cars with a hydrogen refueling station. First, I cannot afford a BMW, next Nashville is too far away for the weekly fuel up. If they can do it, why hasn't other automakers done it and made a plan for refueling. I think the American people would jump at the chance to own a Hydrogen fueled car. Unless GM goes with what the people need, it should go down and make way for companies that see fit to help our environment and lessen our dependency on foreign oil.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  485. Chris Wolford

    More so than the banks, at least GM produces some useful things unlike the banks, who are using their bailout money for executive bonuses and buying up smaller banks. Unfortunately, the bankers will escape justice for their illegal and unethical activities that helped create a financial crisis. By bailing out the banks, Congress is throwing away money that could have been sent to taxpayers, who would have jump started the economy through spending. Any federal help should be contingent upon GM developing and marketing fuel efficient automobiles and honoring their contracts with unionized workers.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  486. Patt O'Neill

    Detroit automakers have for decades resisted changes that would have been beneficial to everyone. They resisted making cars more fuel-efficient. They resisted safety measures. They resisted cutting down on carbon emissions of their vehicles. They have resisted the market's demands and people - in droves - bought cars from offshore automakers that DID listen. The arrogance of the people in charge of the Big 3 is unbelievable. To put it on the taxpayers of this country to be responsible for the short-sightedness of these executives is outrageous. If we the people have to bail them out in order to save all these jobs, then we the people should own these companies and have a say in what their products will be in the future.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  487. Shelley Czeizler Clarkston, Michigan

    I'll have to ask the people I know who work for GM, a GM supplier or a GM related business – or depend on retirement checks from one of the aforementioned groups. That would be my brother-in-law, his family, my son-in-law's parents, most of my friends, most of my neighbors, me, my husband, pretty much all small business owners in Michigan, several hundred nationwide car dealerships, their employees, their families, the small businesses they buy from, etc., etc. As goes GM so goes the rest of the country? Believe me...you don't want to find out.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  488. Harry

    Ignoring the big three, seems like a good idea, but they are all connected with the transplants, via common suppliers. These suppliers have a very low profit margin. It would only take a very small handful of suppliers to go belly up and the entire North American Auto Industry will come grinding to a halt. That would include the transplants.

    Harry
    Ky.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  489. Rick J Bryant

    OK. Let us say we give them the bailout...does that mean they give all of us their unsalable SUV gas hogs and Hummers. You know, clean out the dregs of their bad decisions and give them the incentive and the room for highly efficient new technologies to get us off foreign oil. And no bonuses and lower salaries for management. Some firings at the top are definitely in line!
    Well, I gues then, the answer is a big fat NO!

    November 14, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  490. Don - New Jersey

    No industry or entity is "too big to fail". We should never have started the bailouts to begin with. NJ Congressman Scott Garrett had it right from the start in observing that if you bail out one, the multitudes will come forward with hat-in-hand, telling the government that they too, are "too big to fail". Let the laws of natural selection take place. Where one will fail, another will rise.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  491. Valerie

    Absolutly Jack, Even more so than The AIG's, and other big banks. I mean why doesn't the GOP and congress get it? It is not rocket science, do the math. If a small town citizen like me can figure math that simple, maybe we have the wrong people in congress. If GM goes down, It will be the blow out to this recession weve started.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  492. Robin, Illinois

    Absolutely!! The number of jobs lost would be huge. I think GM needs to restructure, but I believe it would be a huge blow to our ecomomy if GM we to go under.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  493. Jason - Tampa, FL

    Jack, If this company truly is as they say "too big to fail", why shouldn't the fed just step in and take it over? Some might call it socialism, but the way I see it its a mark better than this perverse trend of corporate welfare.

    It's time for the people in charge just to accept that these problems that we are facing are only going to get worse rather than fix themselves. It's time for the government to get it's head out of the clouds and face the reality that it is going to have to make some tough decisions. Running the money press into overtime and doling out money to the richest just isn't going to cut it this time.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  494. Nick in Indiana

    Attempting make these American auto manufacturers competitive in the global market of today is not a feasible idea. We need to let the companies shrink into specialty producers and train their workers for different jobs. The entire US economy is moving away from the manufacturing sector because we just cannot compete anymore. Our comparative advantages lie in other sectors of the economy.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  495. John in Columbus, Ohio

    Jack:

    As disastrous as it may be to our economy to allow GM to go under, the hard truth is that they willingly dug their own grave and now it is time to lay down in it. All three of the automotive big boys, GM, Ford and Chrysler, have refused to adapt to a changing economic and ecologic environment, and the UAW has only made matters worse by negotiating unrealistic salaries for its members. Federal assistance at the tax payers' expense has to stop and stop soon...I say let's start now. No one is bailing me out.

    John in Columbus, Ohio

    November 14, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  496. TC

    Of course it is!! It is worth more to this nations economy than AIG or JP Morgan Chase. I cannot even comprehend what would happen to this country if we lost GM let alone the others. Millions of families would be affected and the housing market, retail spending, etc would be affected so much that it would make the Great Depression look like a little bump in the road.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  497. Dee

    Has anyone ever heard of "survival of the fittest'? Where does it end?

    November 14, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  498. JR in KY

    Yes. During the campaigns, the debate was whether we should save Wall Street or Main Street. Well, with 1 in 10 households likely to be directly impacted by the failure of the Big Three, this is clearly a matter of Main Street!

    Good grief! You're not saving GM; you're saving both the little guy AND each and every Joe the Plumber businessman in America. Both sides of the aisle should be chomping at the bit to figure out a rescue plan that rebuilds this industry.

    Yep. They saved the suits, but they won't save regular folks. Figures.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  499. Stephen

    No. We shouldn't reward businesses that are failures. The auto companies were in trouble prior to the financial crisis because they had built and designed product using outdated and inferior technology. One of the inherent values of our American system to date has been the ability to let companies fail that need to fail, and out of that failure new industries and developments are born from American Ingenuity. Believe in HOPE! YES WE CAN! Even without GM.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  500. jeffd

    GM has designed and built inferior cars for decades. Their management has failed miserably. I resent having my tax dollars bail out the auto industry for their bad business judgment.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  501. Mark in Canada

    I find it shocking how willing people are to let GM die and millions go unemployed in the name of capitalism.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  502. Mike Melton

    Bail them out only on the condition that they cut employee pay for all employees by 50% and subsidize the bail out entire with funds procured from a new "tariff" imposed on ALL imported automobiles motor vehicles immediately.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  503. Thomas Russo

    No bailout. GM will ultimately fail because of their inability to plan energy efficient cars in a timely manner. They will burn through our tax money as fast as their cars burn gasoline.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  504. Romulas

    Yes- The blame can not be laid only at the feet of the union or management. It is also at the feet of the American consumer. You have not been forced to by the big SUV's we built them because you bought them. That being said we should have had high MPG vehicles soon but right now we have more cars with 30 mpg or better but people kept sending there money over seas by buying foreign cars so they followed the money and sent jobs over seas.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:37 pm |
  505. Tim

    Yes , most definately . We need to rebuild our nation"s manufacturing industries and not continue to let them continue to go abroad or fail. It should be a loan with iinterest and not a bailout.. They need to become diligent about truely competing with imports not only here but abroad as well. To just let the failure of Gm and possibly Ford and or Chrysler would end up being the most devastating game of dominos ever played ,think about it ..........really think who else could fall if they fail. .

    November 14, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  506. Pam

    Since they saved AIG, they need to do the same for GM. The fallout from the failure of GM would have a much bigger impact than the failure of AIG.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  507. Tony C. Mechanicsburg, PA

    I think we should only bail GM out if the current CEO gets fired that day, with no bonus money to save his butt. They need to make cars that are fuel savy, they need to start making small diesel cars that can easily get over 50 mpg like Volkswagen currently does. Ford already sells small cars in Europe that burn diesel, why can't we get them here. Make them retool, scrap the SUV concept, make station wagons again. Get rid of the union's. They promote laziness and encourage outsourcing.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  508. Ed

    If the automakers are allowed to fail at a critical time such as this, the American people will endure a hell like they have never seen, worse than the depression, there will be no economic recovery. America will become the empire that used to be. All of the other manufacturing industries have already moved over seas. The country simply will not be able to sustain itself as a group of executives, bankers, paper shufflers, and wal-mart workers. A solid industrial manufacturing base is essential.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  509. Tyler

    Jack:
    Is America worth saving? GM is an institution that everyone living in this country today has grown up with. A GM failure will be followed by a lot fear and lack of confidence in US industries and our economy in general.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  510. gael

    Why can't they just file for bankruptcy?

    November 14, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  511. Jose from the Bronx, NY

    Jack,

    How is it that our government can continue to subsidize all these pathetic, profit-seeking at all cost beehemoth companies and not be concerned for the millions of Americans that continue to struggle everyday with sky-rocketing medical expenses and the lack of affordable higher education? Our government is so concerned with saving the gargantuans of this country....well how about the little guys who are just looking to make it day to day? I guess that's a bit too much to ask!

    November 14, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  512. bob starkgraf

    Today's cars get about the same miles per gallon as the cars 40 years ago did! Should the taxpayers save a company that has made no improvements in almost half a century?

    Thanks, Jack
    Bob in Sarasota, son of a GM retired factury worker

    November 14, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  513. Ron

    NO, Give the money to the people, let the people bail out GM with the money we receive. As it is right now cars and trucks are so overly priced that we the people can not afford to purchase them anymore. Auto companies have put their products so far out of reach with pricing that it is just not practical to buy a band new car anymore. Why should our hard erred TAXES always be used to bail out these godforsaken miss management companies, when does it end?

    November 14, 2008 at 5:40 pm |
  514. Nick

    The only bailout any US company should receive is an endowment to the employees / retirees pension fund.

    I'd tolerate a bank bailout because without them, this crisis could crash the whole system. The individuals responsible all need to be fired, though. They broke no extant laws, but they acted irresponsibly.

    I'd really like to see CEOs of failed companies made personally liable under civil law for breach of contract for anyone who loses a job or (esp.) a pension. Take it out of the CEO's compensation/severance package!

    Sweet justice!

    November 14, 2008 at 5:40 pm |
  515. j/NJ

    Is General Motors worth saving?

    Yes but not by the American taxpayer whose indebtedness to these automakers keeps them in business 24/7...corporate automakers are after all directly responsible for their own demise...frankly GM is no different than any other American corporation, it is motivated by greed and exclusive profit, nothing else matters so why should consumers care?...perhaps if GM led an effort to slash prices on all future automobiles substantially, the American people might support solvency in this dysfunctional 21st century economy...

    November 14, 2008 at 5:40 pm |
  516. Woods

    If GM files bankruptcy the only losers will be the stockholders and the management. The latter deserve nothing better than total loss of face, the former cannot be saved by bailout. The creditors will divide the remains and a new company will emerge, more competitive and less arrogant. Giving them money from taxpayer sources merely pours good money after bad.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  517. Chris, Thousand Oaks Ca

    No – they are a dinosaur. They have had 35 years to get their act together and they haven't. Why should we think they'll make good decisions with bail out money? Better to let them go belly up and offer an eincentive for a Japanese car maker to take over their plants to make cars for North America in Detroit.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  518. Douglas Banfield

    As soon as GM and the UAW agree to cut all salaries and wages by at least 25% we could consider it. Otherwise, what would be the difference between their current incompetence and tomorrow's incompetence except that the taxpayers would have prolonged the inevitable death of a morbitly obese fat cat.....
    Doug, Elmira, NY

    November 14, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  519. Tuan from Detroit

    GM did not try to save us at the pump by creating better fuel efficient cars and now it wants to be saved because of a lack of cash. And if they are given the money then what? You are giving money to the same people that did not listen before. So let me see you want to give money to the same old people expecting different results. Sounds like a gotcha moment to me.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  520. Anita of georgia

    Jack, General Motors is definitely worth saving. A lot of families are depending on this company to survive. If General Motors closes their doors it also will effect surrounding businesses and the lost of jobs will be great in number. It all so will have a huge effect on the economy. It also will put more people in the percentage of not having health insurance. The government role for paying unemployment insurance will increase all. So save the company, keep their employees working.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  521. David Pickett Janesville WI

    It is time to pull the plug and let American ingenuity run its course.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  522. perry jones

    No let them go under it is time to say no and this is the perfect one to say no to , it tells management to wake up an it tells labor to wake up this will effect more than any other company out there that could fail

    Perry jones
    Council Bluffs Iowa

    November 14, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  523. Tamara, Bedford, TX

    Jack,

    Yes we need to save General Motors! Are your readers crazy? Why are they blaming the downfall of GM on the Union and its workers? We are not the ones making millions of dollars in bonuses those are the CEOs. We ARE the middle class and we are struggling to KEEP our pay so we CAN earn a living wage. People seem to think we are making an exorbitant amount of money but we are not. Half the people I know wish they could work at GM just so they could earn a decent living for their families working one job instead of 2 or 3. Don't penalize the workers who are the backbone of GM for the mistakes of the corporation's leaders. Also, don't hate on the workers who have earned the right to their wages for the work they do that most people would not be able to do or could not do. Not everyone can be a factory worker. I have seen that first hand.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  524. Charles

    GM's existence is justified by the potential for job loss if it fails? Is that why they arrogantly make and market vehicles that symbolize the excesses and indifference of our society? Its products are a huge reason why we are so dependent on foreign energy sources, reeling from high energy prices and enriching unstable countries. GM equals Grand Mayhem. Finding an alternative to the company's irresponsible line of products is a long overdue shift in our culture.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  525. Joe B

    Jack,
    If GM files bankruptcy it would probably force Delphi (one of GM major suppliers currently in chapter 11) into further reorganization with the possibility of liquidation.
    With out Delphi Gm would strugle to stay afloat-hence bankruptcy is not an option!

    November 14, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  526. Mary

    ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! I think the company should be dismantled and sold in pieces to other companies with a better business plan. Then maybe we would not be buying foreign cars!!

    November 14, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  527. Chris in Keller,Texas

    No more Bailouts! The reason your in this situation is because nobody likes products. I recomend that we let these three auto makers fail and from the ashes new and better cars are built.We can't continue to bail anyone out while we're two trillion in dept. If we bail them out what then...they still go back to building stuff nobody wants. It takes many months to design new cars that will sell. At this point your product is just okay but apparently it's not a Toyota Carrolla. Why don't you ask us what we want and will buy.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  528. Vince

    Probably not. They had plenty of warning and several chances, but they always went for a short-term strategy, while for example Honda's strategy is long term. What makes it egregious is that automobiles have a virtual monopoly on transportation in this country, unlike Europe and Japan that have rail, cycling options, and often the practical option of walking. So, in a country where you MUST purchase a car, it begs the question: why are the big three always struggling?

    November 14, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  529. Richard C. Pratt

    Major US manufacturers, like GM, are vital to our national security. At the beginning of World War II, America had only a small army equipped with antiquated weapons. With goverment help the rapid switch of auto companies from passenger cars to making planes, tanks, guns, and other implement s of war during a time of national crisis was a major reason the Allies prevailed over Hitler and Japan. If it weren't for GM and the auto industry, Hitler would have won, and the free world would be slaves of the Third Reich.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  530. Jude Duval in Brooklyn

    If we have to ask whether to save General Motors at this point– then maybe the Axis Powers won the war [WWII] after all. It's unfortunate that baby boomers chose not to support the Big Three even when they started producing much better products. It was GM, Ford and Chrysler that made Baby Boomers possible way back when.

    Boomers should make GM possible today.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  531. David from Long Island

    Lest we not forget. We do have a triving auto industry in the US. It is just the Detroit based companies that are in trouble. There is a growing auto manufacturing base in the South. Toyota, Honda, et al. Let GM, Ford, and Chrysler go Chapter 11. Let them reorganize like many of the airlines. Finally, it's not like giving them bailout money is going to have a sudden change in their fortunes. It is going to take years and years and years for the companies to turn around. If we give them bailout money now, we the taxpayers will be doing it again and again and again.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  532. Chris V, NM

    We can only blame our selves. We are the ones that bought these large escalades and hummers thats why the manufactures kept producing them. I will say this, American Autos are better than people give them credit for. I have owned Hondas, Volkswagons Fords and Chevys. I have to admit my new F150 and Fusion are better made than the previous honda civic my girlfriend had and far better than a toyota camry that my boss owns(same year). So its not all the automakers fault. Have some fatih and we will get out of this mess. We really have no choice but to bail out these companys. –Regards,

    November 14, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  533. Ryan-Texas

    if General Motors falls then comes the tidal wave with it, 3 million jobs will be caught in this massive tidal wave making are nations unemployment rate 10%. we cannot let this happen to America as a nation we stand for one another then rather deni help to one another . i think it would be a wize choice in the long run to bailout General Motors but their needs to be some standards set and met if America follows through with this plan. i could not image a America without GM, Ford, or Chrysler.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  534. Joe

    The government needs to leave GM and the others to their devices. Their failure to build for the future is what got them where they are today. Had they produced more fuel efficient vehicles, maybe their sales wouldn't have tanked as bad as they have. I think GM should be smart about this and seek Chapter 11 restructuring. This would help them thin out their herd of brands, renegotiate a more reasonable contract with the parasitic UAW, and forge ahead as a stronger company for the future. Will people lose jobs? Sure will. Will taxpayers be on the hook no matter what? Yup, one way or another, we're gonna pay. But at least with a Chapter 11 and some smart restructuring we could be paying for an ultimately better company instead of throwing our money to them to continue business as usual. And we all know that GM's business as usual has been an epic failure.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  535. Joesmith705

    Since I graduated in the early 70's I knew it was better for me not to own an American car.. I have saved $1000's over the years not having to pay for early repairs and thebenefit of having cars last 10 years or more.

    I waas ridiculed even as my friends continualy took their American cars for repair.

    Why is it so hard to find other Amercans that realize this truth?

    November 14, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  536. TC

    Pretty selfish Evan. And we wonder how we got here.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  537. Colleen @ Saginaw, Michigan

    Many folks who do not obviously live near the auto industry sure seem quick to scream NO. Wonder if they would be so quick to turn their backs if they lived in Michigan, Ohio and other major plant locations.... If GM dies, it will cost all citizens a vast amount of money. We would be looking at the collapse of states, cities and local school districts. My auto worker neighbors sure aren't going on fancy trips like the bailed out AIG big shots.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:47 pm |
  538. Jim

    Let GM file for Chapter 11. This is what it is for. General Motors has been mismanaged for the last twenty or thirty years. They have failed their long time stockholders by not planning for the future. All institutions must change with the changing times while adhering to fundamental principles, and General Motors did neither.
    Most of GM executives should hit the unemployment lines without any pensions, separation salaries. Many no doubt have savings, or huge mansions they can sell, in order to get by.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:47 pm |
  539. Mona - Chicago

    Well if GM fail, than Ford and others will have to build more cars and trucks to meet the demand of GM's former customers. Job growth will happen again because of demand.

    No more bailouts, the government can't fix capitalism. CEOs need to stop with the crazy, off the chart salaries and instill some sound business practices!

    November 14, 2008 at 5:47 pm |
  540. Gloria Ziller

    In one word, NO. However, it may be necessary in order to protect those who have not already unduely profited by all the unnecessary high priced inefficient low quality cars that the US Automakers have been stamping out – namely, those who actually work for a living . . .

    November 14, 2008 at 5:47 pm |
  541. Dave Walker

    No.
    It is time that the US stops rewarding incompetence. It doesn't matter if they are politicians or business leaders let failure progress to its natural end.

    Bush is the only president to hold a MBA. So much for our business schools including Yale.

    Let a corrupt system fail. Perhaps then we have a chance to rebuild even if it is from scratch.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:50 pm |
  542. Joe - Chicago, IL

    Lets subsidize failing companies and do nothing for companies who are doing well. Thats a great way to foster innovation and a competative market place. Last thing we want is for companies with a good buisness models to dominate the market place and make it effecient.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:50 pm |
  543. mjt

    Unfortunately yes, if only to prevent unemployment numbers breaching 9.2%. Great idea give them a loan and charge them 22% interest like credit card companies do.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
  544. Jim

    The only reason GM needs bailing out is because they don't build cars that people want to buy – a fundamental problem that's due to to poor management, poor design, and poor quality of their product. Why would any taxpayer want to subsidize and enable more of the same?

    These companies have failed in the marketplace and that's no one's fault but their own – management and workforce They should fade away. America's a big place with a big economy and we'll get through this. It's time to move into the twenty first century with green energy, a new infrastructure, universal health care, and better education for our children. That's where our tax dollars should go – into the 21st century, not back into the old, dying industries of the 20th century.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
  545. margaret

    NO!!! Consumers still will not buy a GM car. Where will taxpayers get their return? I didn't support the Wall Street bailout either. It is all smoke and mirrors.... a false sense of a working economy, one step closer to a communist economy that does not work! and no one prospers except the power of the government machine!

    November 14, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
  546. John Fortune

    Of course GM is worth saving! If you think things are bad now just let them go under and it won't we long before we will be in a depression not a recession. I swear some people can't see beyond the end of their nose.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
  547. Chris

    We should bailout the Auto Industry. The last thing we need is a projected 2.5 million more jobs lost. Everyone who critisizes this idea needs to realize this will affect you as well. Whether you like it or not, government intervention is needed because we've had a lack of it over the last 8 years.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
  548. Wayne Fortnum

    There are reason, for some to want, GM to fail ( Competitors ) and there are reasons, for some people, to want the recession, to last (republicans).
    After all If the economy turns around under the Obama administration then they're are sure to get re-elected.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
  549. Joe

    No, let it die. They have built nothing that the consumer wants for years and as such do not deserve to be in business. If I start a horse and buggy operation, can I ask for a bailout too?

    November 14, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  550. Michael from Arizona

    No bail out money without big changes designed to make the big 3 competitive in the REAL world economy...First move, all previously negotiated wage and benefit agreements with the United Auto Workers are out the window...Next move, get a CEO that cares about the company not his personal bank account.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  551. Dan Fitzgerald

    We should not put any money towards extended pensions and retirement of any union employees.

    I have no guaranteed retirement except what I put in the company's 401K plan.

    Why should we bail out GM, Ford or Chrysler – who are not profitable because they are now healthcare companies.

    Toyota and Honda seem to be doing just fine.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  552. Michael

    It's time to tell GM that "We, the people" are not going to bail them out of their financial woes. Lending or giving them money now will only lead to another plea for help within a year. General Motors should go bankrupt and let someone else use their assets to re-organize and downsize their operation. People will lose jobs, but new jobs will be created in companies that create the type of "green cars" people now want and need.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  553. Paul - Seattle WA

    Absolutely no bailout! That is what a chapter 11 bankruptcy is for. The cost structure of the big 3 with their bloated pensions and healthcare obligations makes it impossible for them to be profitable. A bankruptcy re-organization is what the big 3 need in order to correct their cost structure to a realistic level. A bailout does not correct the fundemental problems with the big 3.

    November 14, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  554. justin

    absolutely we should help them out. as long as the big wigs dont host luncheons at expensive resorts. and to those Who say we should need to realize that a failing auto industry hurts more than the hundreds of thousands of jobs, it will hit home as well. and i heard earlier on cnn that the majority of people say they wont buy cars from a bankrupt company! what sense does that make? the car drives the same, looks the same, and will probably cost less. get it together america, it is a new day!

    November 14, 2008 at 6:03 pm |
  555. Michael

    I have no problem with the bailouts because the economy is in pretty bad shape. I DO have a problem with golden parachutes and bonuses for C.E.O.s included in the bailout plan. As far as GM goes, they fell behind in quality and innovation. And what the HELL were they thinking building Tahoes and Yukon XLs when gas prices were rising to record highs???

    November 14, 2008 at 6:03 pm |
  556. David from Gilbert, AZ

    GM is NOT worth saving.

    Let the Market do its job and stop tinkering how it works!

    Yes, at first, it will be very painful, with higher unemployment, communities decimated, livelihood destroyed. However, in a long run,a new company will rise from the ruins of the old to become a more lean, mean, competitive, eco-friendly, high-mileage mode of transportation.

    GM, has artificially survived for decades. It should have died a long time ago. There is no place for GM in today's global marketplace. There is place for the Union (UAW) in the world of skilled worker.

    The American people need to look at the health of the United States and not GM! Why? because what is good for GM is not necessarily good for America!

    November 14, 2008 at 6:03 pm |
  557. Jim, Pa.

    Everyone is saying that GM made bid suv's that nobody wanted. For the last decade before our last year of high gas prices every family wanted one! Even Toyota started making a full size truck and full size SUV! Toyota realized they started this as the truck market started declining but not before spending billions of dollars on their developement. It was the public that demanded these vehicles. The turnover to small cars as a big demand only started after gas hit $4.00 a gallon and even now with gas at $2.00 a gallon some people are starting to look at SUV's again. The reason that car sales have hit the skids is that most families have outspent their earnings on credit and now have nowhere to turn but to give up some possessions, autos, homes. I see this every day after 25 years in the automotive retail business and most families cannot even get a loan if there credit score is less than perfect now.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:04 pm |
  558. Daniel Zurgilgen

    Saving GM would be like saving the company that makes black and white TV's. Let them file ..... restructure and with a little bit of luck we will get a much better company back then we had before.

    PS
    Allways enjoy your comments!

    November 14, 2008 at 6:04 pm |
  559. Ericc39

    Free market dynamics should definetely be allowed to prevail and let GM fail. The money would be better spent stimulating new businesses that offer a product that the market wants. However, in the increasing socialistic envrionment of Obama and the democrats we wil save something that is not worth saving and soon our industries and out store shelves will look like the old USSR under communist rule.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:04 pm |
  560. Dick Seng

    Any company needs to stand alone without interference from the government, GM and the banks included.
    Let them all fail if they haven't done their homework.
    Yes, we all will suffer for a minute or two but eventually the businesses will get the message that if you want to be in business, make products that actually sell at a reasonable price.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:04 pm |
  561. bill

    Don't just bail them out. Force some change. Close plants over seas, reduce wages and get rid of the UAW. They need to change what they are doing. Bailling them out and leaving things like they are will do NOBODY any good.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:04 pm |
  562. Rick Todd

    It would be in the interest of our country if GM could become competitive with the other car manufacturers, particularly those abroad. Loosing GM would open the door for more imports. What GM would have to do is find a Lee Iocca to overhaul the entire operation, and produce cars better than what are imported at a lower cost. The worst thing we could do is prop GM up, put protective tariffs on imported cars, and continue to take the American market for granted. GM needs to address the real problems of why the public is purchasing imports. Could better reliability have something to do with this?

    November 14, 2008 at 6:04 pm |
  563. trev

    The only way it makes sense to bail them out is if they break the union or the union agrees to substantial cutbacks for the employee's salaries and benefits. If they don't do that then there is no way they can compete and we might as well burn the money they get.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:04 pm |
  564. Dougie Robertson

    I've been pondering a lot on this question, as I hope have the powers at be, and it's no slam dunk either way, But, I think that they should be let to go into chapter 11, then come out again as some other entity. After all, it's not as though we're all going to jump on to the public transit that we've been investing in the last 30 years!!

    November 14, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  565. Dan, CA

    As a citizen of the World. Let them die. I'll do just fine. I'll make good money at my job. My job won't be outsourced. I can buy cars from other countries.

    As a citizen of the U.S. I have to ask how can this country go on without creating wealth. This country will literally be owned by foreigners (Indians, Chinese, Saudi Arabia, etc) before the next decade has passed. It has to happen. An our poor class will be like those in China and India. It's a flat world after all.

    I think most elites, Democrat and Republican, want us to be citizens of the world and don't give a damn about the working blue collar and white collar worker in this country who actually makes something.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  566. John KC

    Bailing them out would be a great way for us to buy their cars without having to actually own, insure, maintain or drive them.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  567. Eric Bracke, Fort Collins, CO

    The Treasury Department is not an investment bank. If the government lends the automakers money without require a major change in the business model, then this is no more than a folly and the money will be wasted.
    The entire bailout process has been a joke. To assume the government can actually manage the financial markets when they can't even manage the federal budget is a joke.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  568. Al Montana

    Let all of the american auto companies fail and then when the wars that this ecconomic crash come, we can buy all of our military equiptment from industrial power houses like China.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  569. Joseph - NC

    No and here is why. The reason they are failing is a lack of leadership and the fact that they are holding on to the oil industry. We need a change in this country and we need cheaper and more reliable transportation. It is not in a our best interest to bailout a company that does not know how to operate. This is a reaccuring theme isn't it?

    November 14, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  570. Jerry Mulder

    Jack:

    Why bail out companies that out source? My Toyota was made in KY. Parts came from hard working Americans in this country. LET THEM SINK a country other than ours will take over the BIG 3 and give them a job.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  571. Peter

    We don't have another choice, many americans would go to the streets without a job, but I would do it with the codition, that many of the Board members (or all) have to go first, they don't deserve any help, their lack of vision caused the problem in the first place.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  572. John M.

    Amazing. In 1975 my father bought a brand new Chevy Camaro Rally Sport for $3500. That same car today is $20,000.

    Even though this country is in sad shape, I will never buy a foreign car, I wil ride my bike first, even though it's made in China.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  573. Bill

    No. I think its time that America wakes up and figures out a way to adjust. Yes, it will be a rough road. I guess poor America will have to budget their money and not live beyond their means. The gov should take over GM, boot the executives and pump money into fuel efficient vehicles. In the meantime, America will have to build smaller homes and drive used Hondas.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  574. J Parnell Alabama

    The question of saving the American auto industry is simple. These American companies quit making cars from 1942-1944 to make weapons for our military to protect us and the rest of the free world from attack. Where would we be today if they turned their backs on our country? Yes, I am an ex-American auto worker who now prays for our country as well as another job! If these companies are lost 25% of our country will be unemployed without question! Just ask yourself are you really prepared for that?

    November 14, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  575. Shadowmag

    Let them go bankrupt. Then they can shed the union contracts and get their costs in line with profitable auto makers. This is another case of union greed and management stupidity causing the failure of an industry.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  576. Modesto Phil

    GM, as well as the other auto industrials, is the base for our national defense production. I suppose if we think that we will never fight another conventional war then let it and the others go. But if we get into another WW2 then plan on heating up the Nukes early, or plan on speaking some other language.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  577. Fred

    If these companies go bankrupt it does not mean that they will disappear forever along with all of the jobs. It merely means that the stockholders will lose their investment and the ownership of these companies will be transferred to the debt holders, in other words to the banks and investors these companies borrow money from. This is not the end of the world. A lot of jobs would be lost, but all these companies would continue to make cars and employ people – they would just be smaller and have different owners. There is really nothing to lose and everything to gain by letting them all "fail".

    November 14, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  578. Stephen Dufresne

    Hello, Seems to me we already bailed out Chrysler and they sold the company to a German company. Perhaps if we do help bailout the auto industry again it should be based on a viable plan to sell environmental and economic vehicles. The thought of bailing out a company that builds and sells Hummers is outrageous. Remember when Toyota sold trucks that were work horses and gas friendly too, now they have one of the biggest full size pickups available. As consumers and taxpayers we need to be responsible.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  579. Rodney

    Instead of dumping billions of dollars into GM, Ford and Chrysler, dump it on Americans. The government could give us money it would hand out to these corporations to replace older, gas guzzling cars with newer, more efficient models. We get it on a sliding scale, if you have an older car, have a lower income, you get more money. You can use it to buy a new car from GM, Ford or Chrysler if it gets (let's say) 25 mpg highway or better. You have to trade in your car, they go to the federal government, are sold for scrap, and it gets back some of the money it put in. We consume less gas, the air's cleaner, our foreign debt decreases. Just propping up these companies won't result in people buying cars.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  580. byron in reno

    Absolutely not! In the long run it will be better for GM and the US to not bail them out.. If we give the bailout money, they will continue to do business as usual....with execs stealing the money in bonuses. Don't count on our government to police the company. We have already seen how that works out. If they go to Chapter 11, then a bank can oversee and restructure the company....getting rid of all that exec fat and negotiating a sensible agreement with the UWA. They will return to profitability quicker and once again be a viable company. If we bail them out, when that money is gone they will be in the same shape...only worse. It is also not fair to the competition. My Toyota was made in this country by American workers. The only difference is the profit does not go to a bunch of fat cats at the top. The profit goes into the development of new technology........hybrid, plug-ings, fuel cell, etc.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  581. Emily

    I'm afraid that if they do it will be only with a few moderate "provisions" which I doubt will be met.

    My instinct is that we need to come up with truly effective compromises. We can't go back to the way things were, that much should be clear to everyone, yet we seem to be throwing money at this in an attempt to normalize instead of actually correcting the problems. We're all trying to embrace change right now, aren't we? If America wants to grow its economy long-term we need to embrace innovation again. This is our opportunity.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  582. Eric Lang

    Just think about it. If GM dies, Toyota might buy them up. They would still bring lots of jobs here. The vehicles might finally have some good quality, too! This might also be the end of the UAW which is partially responsible for this situation as well. If my little business goes belly up, nobody comes to bail me out! GM has long been a sleeping giant while Honda, Toyota and Nissan have been up late doing their homework.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  583. Don Chapman

    Don in Chicago;

    Absolutely not.

    I do not want to subsidize union healthcare. I am not on the government dole.

    Toyota, Nissan and Honda seem to be doing OK.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  584. Carole in California

    No, no and no. It is through their own management inefficiencies, lack of innovation and creativity and inability to move forward except at a snail's pace that is, for the most part, the reason for their predicament.
    So, so sorry that so many would lose jobs.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  585. Winston Powell

    Now that the we, the taxpayers, are saving companies several alarming issues are clear. There is no accountability in regards to what is being done with OUR money and the line of companies looking to be saved continues to grow. The greed of big business is shameful and now we are being asked to pay for it again and again. How much are these CEO's, executives, etc., willing to cut from THEIR paychecks, bonuses, perks to save their own company?

    November 14, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  586. Henry Hill

    GM spends more on health care for retirees than it does on steel, level the playing field and they will compete with anyone. The rest of the world has national health care, and these new foriegn transplants do not have retirees yet. Maybe the big three should cancel healthcare for all active and retired employees and let the government pay for it like wallmart does

    November 14, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  587. MH in Ky.

    Yes!!!! If these auto companies fall- then their suppliers may fail also leaving many more unemployed- then there will be much less money to spend, adding to the economic decline. Then we will truly know the results of trickle down economics!!!!

    November 14, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  588. vicki

    GM may not be worth saving, but those thousands of people that will be out of work are. GM employs a lot of people, and a lot of smaller businesses sell their products to GM. So basically if one falls, they all fall. The main problem with that is everyone is dependent on everyone else. So if those people loose their jobs, then they can’t pay their bills, they loose their homes, and they cut back spending even more. This in turn causes the rest of the economy, which includes the everyday store clerk, or waitress to loose their jobs. Why?? Because no one buys anything, no one eats out anymore. It's just a big mess, with a huge domino effect.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  589. Debra Albert

    Easy solution to the auto industry bail out. Let the BIG oil companies bail them out! They certainly have the money to loan.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  590. MEP in Toronto

    GM is no AMC.My family has been involved with GM ever since the twenties and it is a lot more than just another faceless company to me. It has kept cities like Windsor and Oshawa whole and has taken care of its workers. This financial failure is partly due to rising health costs for workers. GM also gives important jobs to all of its suppliers.GM is about a family- oriented approach to big business and perhaps now GM will have to pay the price. I am proud of my association with GM whatever happens. If GM fails, what American company can stand?

    November 14, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  591. Bill

    No. How many times are we going to bailout this losing company?? Honda and Toyota should buy GM, phase out the gas guzzling production and focus on building fuel efficient vehicles. Yes, people will lose their jobs...but in the end jobs will be created and our environment will be cleaner.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  592. Carol Trejo

    At least fire the Ceo's and let them go home with their billion dollar pensions and try to buy groceries like the rest of us!
    Silly yes, but really...what do they need all that money for?
    Can't anyone be "satisfied" anymore?

    November 14, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  593. Crystal, M

    NO WAY!!! I think this is a wake up call for americans especially when it comes to our products and services. I am sure everyone has heard the term you're paying for the name and not the product. There are alot of Companies raping american consumers by charging us ridiculous amounts of money just cause they can. Competition has a new definition GREED big wigs want to impress people with money and big houses i want to impress people by feeding my family and paying my bills on time.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:26 pm |
  594. Dave IA

    Just like any company, let the market decide who survives....wait a minute, where am I going to buy my parts for my 5 year old Chevy when they go under???

    November 14, 2008 at 6:26 pm |
  595. ngonzales

    I stopped buying American cars 40 years ago. Why, because after 2 years they broke down and had to be replaced. GM and the UAW colluded to cheat the consumer and now GM and the UAW are reaping what they sowed. To rescue these economic thieves is a grave mistake. GM deserves to go into bankruptcy, disavow those sweetheart deals with the UAW, and begin again. Let GM pull itself out of their mess by intelligent management and production. Let the UAW realize that it must not only be responsible for its members but to the consumer and taxpayer. Quit feeling sorry for GM and the UAW. The taxpayer and the consumer deserve justice. No Bailout.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:26 pm |
  596. James Smith

    GM should not be saved in isolation or without oversight into how the money is used. Most mention forcing them to develop more into green technology. Duh! Electric cars are fine, but no one is talking about government incentives and support of establishing a hydrogen fuel-cell transportation system. We have gas stations across the country and they could be re-tooled to provide hydrogen fuel. Several car companies are working on hydrogen fuel-cell cars, but there is no infrastructure to support such vehicles...thus the progress is limited. Government could invest in such a technology and then the enbattled car companies could produce a product which fits the economic/environmental realities our country faces.

    November 14, 2008 at 6:27 pm |