November 21st, 2008
04:06 PM ET

What should automakers do to get aid?


Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Not now....Maybe later. That's pretty much what Congress told the Big Three U.S. automakers yesterday.

Executives from Ford, Chrysler and GM appeared on the Hill two days this week all but begging for federal aid. They said they needed a $25 billion bridge loan just to stay in business through the end of the year. Well it turns out Democratic leaders want to know exactly what they're going to do with that cash before they push through any legislation granting it.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said yesterday "Unless they show us the plan, we cannot show them the money."

Watch: Cafferty: Automakers get aid?

So Congress will return next month to consider this $25 billion bailout if, and only if, the companies come up with a "viable" recovery plan to present to them by December 2nd.

It’s interesting that Congress all of a sudden wants detailed plans for the auto industry. Since they forked over $700 billion for the financial institutions, there has been virtually no Congressional oversight on what's been done with that money.

Here’s my question to you: What should the automakers agree to do in order to secure government aid?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Chuck from Sheboygan, Wisconsin writes:
They should immediately agree to meet 35 mile per gallon CAFE standards within 3 years, 50 mpg within 10 years. They must agree to pay back the loans with interest. They must eliminate all corporate bonuses. Heck, I'm not getting one this year, why should they?

Charles from Lansing, Michigan writes:
First, they have to show they can market their product to the general public. These three yo-yos have shown they don't have a clue by flying into Washington, D.C. in separate corporate jets. Start with three new CEOs.

Rick from Miami, Florida writes:
Send a memo to the union that the new rate of pay to tighten a nut in an assembly line is 8 dollars an hour. It has mistakenly been set at 30 bucks per hour and above for years. They would still be allowed to keep the fortunes they have built through years of being insanely overpaid, but starting tomorrow it's over. The guy watering the flowers at the Wal-Mart Garden Center works just as long and hard, but I'm sure he does not hold out for 100 grand a year. If the delusional Union members don’t like it, let them take their High School diplomas and dubious marketable skills elsewhere, and good luck.

M.J. writes:
The question should be, “Can we afford millions more on unemployment?”

Susi from Tucson, Arizona writes:
They shouldn't do anything. They should declare bankruptcy and work on building a smart industry with eco-friendly and economical vehicles. While I have sympathy for the loss of jobs, surely this didn't just happen last week. It's been coming for years, and no one has done anything to change the direction of the industry. Sorry, but tough love is the answer.

Charlie from New Mexico writes:
Given the present executive corporate culture and the unions' cost, I seriously doubt if anything will keep the "Big 3" afloat for very long. In the not-to-distant future, I fully expect my 2005 Chevy to be as much of an "orphan" as my 1937 Packard.

Filed under: Auto Industry
soundoff (311 Responses)
  1. Daniel Ambrose

    Plain and simple. They must come correct with their plans on how the money they are requesting will be allocated and not mismanaged. These plans must include considerely cutbacks on the topheads and eliminate ridiculous perks, bennies and bonuses. Furthermore, they must make better efficent vehichle that will consist of better fuel mileage and better warranty.

    Atlanta, GA

    November 21, 2008 at 1:16 pm |
  2. Larry in Florida

    Sell their privite Jets. Take some of the millions, if not billions from their swiss bank accounts. Use the equity from their million dollar homes if they haven't been foreclosed. Have a rummage sale for their $1,000 suits and give up Cuban cigars. Back in business.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:16 pm |
  3. Clare Orlando,FL

    Let the big wigs sell those jets and commute in coach when they travel, they might not need the bailout. If we bail them out who will buy these cars? The economy is bad. Main street can't afford them.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:16 pm |
  4. Mike, Cleveland, Ohio

    The automakers should all agree that this is their last chance to ask for funds from the federal government. They also must agree to pay the funds back plus interest. If they can't revamp their failing industry this time, then they should close up shop, though hopefully it won't be during an economic crisis.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:18 pm |
  5. LYNDA in CT

    Do what the Japanese do, no unions.
    Sell their private jets, pay a reasonable salary, bring jobs back to USA.
    If all else fails, declare bankruptcy

    November 21, 2008 at 1:18 pm |
  6. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    cut back on thier private planes, show how they will retool and produce more flex fuel and alternative fuel auto's. Take the money as a loan, like Chrysler did, and give them a chance to rethink the horse and buggy ideas and enter the 21 st century.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:20 pm |
  7. Festus, Montana

    Next time arrive in Washington on a convoy of mopeds instead of private jets to let them know they're serious.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:21 pm |
  8. Tony in Michigan

    The exact same restrictions that the bankers had to agree to.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:22 pm |
  9. Frank from Peterborough

    What they need to do is to agree to restructure their entire management system but of course this won't happen so the next best thing would be to come up with a business plan that shows they are aware they need to change and limit their types of models to suit today's market demand.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:22 pm |
  10. Kyle- DuPont, WA

    I believe that the General Accounting Office should first conduct a thorough audit of their books to find out where they are leaking and then and only then should an assessment be made as to how much if any aid should be allocated. Begging for a bailout is one thing, but the fact is that the problem could probably be solved internally if the fat is trimmed.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:22 pm |
  11. Mike - Pueblo

    They should take a chapter from Lee Iacocca's playbook. When Chrysler was on the ropes in the 1970's, Iacocca presented a plan for restructuring and brought out the K car, and introduced the country to the mini-van. While by today's standards, these vehicle platforms are archaic, the point is that they have to break the mold they have been using, because it won't get them where they need to be. If they can't present a plan to congress that would turn their companies around, then they will be forced to develop a plan under bankruptcy protection. It would be morally wrong for our congressional leaders to hand over money without a firm, workable financial plan of action in place.

    – Mike – Pueblo, CO

    November 21, 2008 at 1:23 pm |
  12. Rose in Az

    I don't think they should get anymore taxpayer money, they have had plenty of time to get their act together and they didn't do it. We keep hearing buy American products, why should we, other countries provide the same things and are much cheaper and much more efficient. I hope Congress tells them no to the bailout but Pelosi and Reid will make sure they get it. They don't care what the taxpayers say.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:23 pm |
  13. Ray Kinserlow

    Congress has made it clear. Come up with an acceptable plan on how they would spend the money.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:23 pm |
  14. Bob D, Morristown, NJ

    Top management of the automakers should resign.

    The senate commerce committee should have approval consent re: their replacements.

    Their replacements should forgo all bonuses and have their salaries capped at $250,000 until the government loans are repaid (with interest).

    The industry must agree to CAFE standards of 30MPG by 2012 including SUVs, pickups, and vans.

    The companies must submit plans of how they will achieve gas mileage and price leadership in the industry using the retooling loans.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:24 pm |
  15. Anthony Smith

    When they were making billions like Big Oil, they didn't say, hey let's give some back to the government and the people. Therefore, in order to get any money, I suggest;
    1. executives and workers take a cut in salary
    2. NO bonuses or stock options the next 2 years
    3. hybrids, battery operated, and fuel efficient cars min 30-40 mpg by 2010
    4. the government tells them what kind of cars and defense vehicles to build
    5. must pay back loan in 5 years


    Wildwood Crest, NJ

    November 21, 2008 at 1:25 pm |
  16. Phil P. in NJ

    Jack, the automakers should approach congress the same way you would approach a loan officer at the bank. The automakers must come up with a detailed workable plan that will not only pay the bank back with interest, but will help them grow into the 21st century. They must show how the money will be spent. No sound workable plan, no money. Simple as that.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:26 pm |
  17. Bruce King

    It isn't so much what the automakers should do to get the money it's what the Government should do and that is make a plan and submit it to the big 3 with an 'adopt it or forget the money' ultimatum. After all it was the lack of business acumen that got them into trouble. If the boys in Washington can't formulate a plan then select a panel of succesful business people to do it and have the same panel oversee the day to day adherence to the plan. I would like to see Lee Iacoca on
    that panel personally. What do you think Jack?

    November 21, 2008 at 1:26 pm |
  18. Tom in Dubuque

    How about they come up with a solid business plan on how they will use the money; Just like anybody else asking for a business loan? The idea of the taxpayers just handing over the money with no plan is "just plain nuts".

    November 21, 2008 at 1:27 pm |
  19. Jane (Minnesota)

    If they can produce a plan to cut costs (such as the jets & the excessively high mangement & labor costs) and to develop better quality & more fuel efficient cars AND some person or entity actually has oversight to insure the changes are made then yes. That is pretty close to Chapter 11 bankruptcy. I would say the bankruptcy route would actually insure the big 3 would make an attempt to change. I don't see Congress being able to insure they try.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:27 pm |
  20. Tony from Torrington

    They should be allowed to file for bankruptcy. Union contracts should be put aside, salaries and benefits should be adjusted so as to be more in line with other auto manufacturers who are showing profits. Some might consider that unjust or unfair, but it's better for those workers than being unemployed. At my age I've purchased and paid for quite a few cars, and still have one that I'm paying for. I think I've paid enough. No bailout.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:29 pm |
  21. Philip from Toronto Canada

    Park all the Jets immediately!
    Cut all executive salaries to a maximum of 10 times the lowest paid employee. No bonuses until the loan is paid back.
    Negotiate with the auto workers to get an average wage of $30-50 an hour, in line with Honda and Toyota.
    Demand that the Government immediately institute a National Health Care plan (like Canada's, Yes the place that John McCain mocks)
    Demand that the Government remove the many mandatory emission features on US cars for five years.
    They are too important to the economy to fail. 3,000,000 out of work would create a ten year depression!!!!!

    November 21, 2008 at 1:29 pm |
  22. John in Rohnert Park

    First all the current upper executives need to agree to resign with NO golden parachutes as they are total failures. Second, they need to present plans for an immediate re-tooling over to ALL electric and hybrid cars (we are not going to subsidize failing and unwanted gas guzzlers anymore). Finally, they need to provide solid guarantees that we are going to get our money back with significant interest.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:30 pm |
  23. Nuria

    Selling their private jets would be a start. That might bring in some cash. Then perhaps they can take a cut in their pay. Really, unless you have invented some cure for disease or time travel you don't deserve to make $20+ million a year!

    Agree to make alternate energy cars and more fuel efficient cars would be helpful too! They've held their breath for years not wanting to make cars with higher MPH and priced way more than what they are worth. They are sewing what they have reaped.

    Making the US responsible for keeping them afloat when we are the very people who they have ignored is an insult.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:31 pm |
  24. Colleen, Charlotte, NC

    Apparently they came to Congress without even a plan on what the requested $25B would go towards. It seems that they will need more than the $25B closer to $50B so they need to come to Congress with a plan on how they will repay the $50B and how the $50B will be divided and spent between the three automakers. They need to present a plan for change and a plan for profits. Yes, It is unfair that AIG and others on Wallstreet are getting their bailout with what seems to be little oversight or management, but the buck has got to stop somewhere.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:33 pm |
  25. Don from Portland, Oregon

    Agree to sell their corporate jets if all the congress people and pundits agree to sell their Hummers and Escalades. It’s hard to watch the gaggle of congressmen and congresswomen, who didn’t have the guts to increase CAFÉ standards for thirty years, and the free-market pundits on the cable networks, who have been lecturing us for years about the folly of government regulations and the wisdom of markets, now clamoring to get atop their high horses to condemn the U.S. auto makers for selling Americans what they wanted – big, gas guzzling SUVs and pick up trucks. I wonder if even one of the pundits or congress people who are demanding that the automakers go into chapter 11 is willing to put their job on the line and join the unemployment lines if bankruptcy does scar away buyers and sends the whole industry down the tubes? The hypocrisy is so thick it makes you want to choke.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:33 pm |
  26. Lisa in Ga

    I think they should agree to make energy suffiecient cars by a specifc time or have to pay double the money back... I will use one of Sarah Pain's words... I " betcha" they get their act together then.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:33 pm |
  27. Cori from Colorado

    Return those huge bonuses, sell their jets...bail themselves out.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:34 pm |
  28. John

    Jack: The CEO's of the big three need to eat some humble pie. Then they need sit down with their smart people an come up with a plan for recovery of theAmerican Auto industry. The plan should have production cars with high MPG's and affordabilty as hallmarks of the plan. They should state how much money is required and where it will be used to create a competitive business. The plan should require updates by big 3 every 6 months to Congress.


    November 21, 2008 at 1:35 pm |
  29. Michael watching from Canada


    The automakers should clearly illustrate the downside cost if they have to shut down operations. There are estimates that show that the cost of unemployment and lost taxes for the 3 million directly employed in the auto industry would cost the government tens of billions of dollars. They should also highlight the cost of lost opportunity in that the future of new hybrid or alternative fuel vehicles will never be realized in the US.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:36 pm |
  30. JD in NH

    Automakers must agree to stop outsourcing jobs immediately and to use only American-made parts in their vehicles. The industry will never be revived if automakers expect $8-an-hour service industry workers to buy their products. The same goes for any other American manufacturer that has outsourced good-paying jobs. If they don't repatriate jobs so Americans can afford to buy their products, they deserve to go out of business.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:37 pm |
  31. Jeff in Connecticut

    Being someone who believes that the punishment should ft the crime, I'd fire the entire Board of Directors and void any severance packages they have. I'd re-hire new upper management at under $1 million a year. Bonuses would only be given on merit. Then I'd re-negotiate the union contracts. Gone would be the guarantee of a life-long job. Gone would be the $30 per hour for entry level labor. I think $17/hour is right. Gone would be pay raises based on senoirity. Merit raises only would apply. Bonuses would be offered for ideas that develop into increased efficiency of production, increased sales, increased fuel efficiency or safety. Fair is fair. Take it or get in the unemployment line.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:38 pm |
  32. David, Tampa, Fl

    Jack. Two things of importance: 1. renegociate Executive/management contracts to get rid of their culture of excess and renegociate worker contracts to make them more realistic for the company to be able to pay for. 2. Design and build a quality product, looking to future technology to power new cars. If we could replace cars with feul cell or electric we could stop paying through the teeth every spring and summer for oil. Fire senior management and executives.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:39 pm |
  33. Ron K


    My perspective is that they shouldn't get any federal aid. The auto makers have been grossly overcharging for vehicles. They have been selling tham at these inflated prices for many years. So I do not believe they are broke. What I think they need to do is uncover all of the money they have been and still are hiding and save there own hide. As an American tax payer I do not appreciate my tax dollars being used to replace funds that will be mis-used. The US Department of Justice should investigate what is occuring. Where is the US Attorney General? What is going on here is very inappropriate and most likely unlawful.

    Ron San Diego

    November 21, 2008 at 1:40 pm |
  34. Devon - Alton, Ilinois

    Not fly in on private jets and ask for 25 billion dollars!

    November 21, 2008 at 1:40 pm |
  35. cy gardner

    The GOP has once again demonstrated their ingrained hypocrisy by demanding serious concessions before they will consider loaning the auto industry 25 billion dollars while giving AIG and other white collar grifters a blank check for six times that amount. It's okay for AIG to hold parties and give out half a BILLION dollars in year end bonuses to the genius' who got them so far into the red. But saving auto industry jobs, part suppliers jobs, trucker's jobs, etc, etc. THOSE people just need to suck it up, it's a market correction. The GOP are hateful and hypocritical. They just want to punish areas of the country who were smart enough not to buy their poison and lies and keep voting for those losers. We need a manufacturing base and the economy can't stand the loss of auto making. Concessions may be a great idea, but let us not let the Republicans get away with this double standard between the way they treat real jobs and the way they treat their rich con artist buddies. cy gardner arlington va

    November 21, 2008 at 1:41 pm |
  36. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    If they restructure, reinvent, reorganize, and re-engineer their businesses, lose the arrogance, egos, and narcissism, and live up to their words from the 1970's oil embargo and produce highly efficient cars, there probably would be no need for a bailout.

    The possibility of merging to create one U.S. auto company to compete in a global market should not be out of the question, and might also prevent a bailout.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:41 pm |
  37. Steve Peach - Indiana

    Get rid of the UAW, plain and simple! I was raised in a union houshold, my dad was a member of the Plumbers and Pipefitters local. Before he died he would always say the UAW is going to kill this country, and he wasn't that far off. All they want is pay raises, paid benefits, and other perks that the avarage American can only dream about. They work only about 20 hours a week at a 40 hour job, and they can go in on Saturday's and play cards and get overtime doing it. Neither Toyota nor Honda pay rediculous wages to their employees, and they are all doing pretty well without union representation. Get rid of the UAW, and maybe then the American people will take your bail out request seriously.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:42 pm |
  38. David Heberling

    Nothing. The money would allow these companies to go bankrupt at a slower pace. Over a period of say two years they would slowly restructure themselves out of existence thus preventing another abrupt shock to our economy and allowing their labor force to be slowly absorbed by others.
    Assuming there will be others in a couple of years.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:42 pm |
  39. Curt W

    The automakers should not have to do anything. Every other government that produces autos subsidize their auto industry so they are more competitive with us. We as a government and a country should buy American and they should be subsidized so they are more competitive with foreign automakers. Forget about the product, every car maker has good quality and values in their lineup of cars. The simple fact is that foreign cars are cheaper and therefore more attractive. This should be about protecting our way of life. BUY AMERICAN!

    November 21, 2008 at 1:43 pm |
  40. Joe in DE

    Cut salarys of top ececitives and no bonus to management at any level. The head of Toyota makes about 1 million, that's a good standard.

    Focus production on fuel efficient or alternative fuel models.

    Accelerated developement of electric & hydrogen.

    Reduce the number of models.

    Come-up with a plan to make the retirement system viable.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:43 pm |
  41. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Hi Jack: The auto makers can do some obvious and symbolic things immediately such as sell their corporate jets and stop using them in the meantime; suspend the stipend paid to board members, elimate the bonuses for anyone earing over $100K, skinny down the number of dealerships in the US, re-negotiate the contracts with the unions, provide a minimal margin on the price of the cars, committ to have X number of hybrid and high efficiency cars available within a shortened time and most importantly – get ride of the current leadership.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:44 pm |
  42. Annie, Atlanta

    Sell the private jets (that one really got to me the other day – they were clueless in front of congress), get rid of top management (because of said cluelessness), and make their operations and their cars as highly efficient as possible, for starters. Of course if no one can actually afford to buy a new car, we're out of options at that point.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:45 pm |
  43. Al, Iowa City, IA

    I dont' think the US automakers need aid, they just need to sell cars. The real problem is, nobody out here who really needs a car can afford to buy a new one. They're stuck in a used car market where they will pay more for interest and repairs while the well-to-do get their $5000 tax deductions for their Hummers. This is the best our representatives in Washington can do?

    November 21, 2008 at 1:45 pm |
  44. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    They need to stop flying around in corporate jets when their companies are about to go bankrupt. They should have a detailed plan on cars they plan to make to get better gas mileage to compete in today's market. In other words they should not walk off of a corporate jet with just their hands open and expect $25,000,000,000 to be placed in them with very little questions being ask.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:45 pm |
  45. Karen - Nashville

    Maybe someone should have a serious talk with the unions.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:46 pm |
  46. Todd

    Their plan should be to have two lines of vehicles. Trucks and electric cars. The trucks should be on an aggressive plan to become more and more efficient. The electric cars should be a product line that will revolutionize the personal transportation market to the point that people in Japan and China want one. For anything less, they shouldn't get a dime. Also, this new plan would require all new managment across the board.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:47 pm |
  47. Katiec Pekin, IL

    They need to start making cuts from the top down. Like many
    big corporations am sure they are top heavy. They need to
    be sincere and fair about their restructuring.
    It amuses me the politicians pointing fingers and making demands
    that they would never consider theirselves, ie:
    Their perks, benefits and outlandish pensions.
    Their uncontrolled spending.
    Their accumulation of large staff.
    Their lack of checks and balances.
    No accountability.
    Raises when country is suffering.
    Refusal to downsize and tighten the belt.
    Doesn't this bring a smirk to your face?

    November 21, 2008 at 1:47 pm |
  48. Conor in Chicago

    Donate tons of money to the Republican and Deomcratic party. That's what Wall Street did and look how it turned out for them.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  49. Greg in Cabot AR

    Pretend to be Republican Bankers......worked on Wall Street, didn't it?

    November 21, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  50. F Machado - Connecticut


    Everyone talks about quality, fuel efficiency and technology. People talk about the unions that helped to screw Ford, GM and Chrysler.
    In fact these are all part of reality but what they don't get is that the last two generations are influenced by the "word of mouth" and "social media" and the cars are perceived as "bad" cars.
    What they need, besides improving quality and efficiency is to restore the confidence of people in buying american cars.
    I think the image of these companies for the last two generations e the new ones were damaged and it is playing a big part of the problem.
    It is not just get money, improve quality, technology and efficiency. It is what I would call "dying brand", influenced by word of mouth and social networks.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  51. Honest John in Vermont

    They have to be reigned in before they are helped. They need to be overseen by some credible entity or it will be "biz as usual." They will need to have a solid business plan which can pass muster. They will need to cut costs and all upper level high salaries and bonus plans and stock plans and be pt on a no-frills budget, like no more private jets for "security" reasons. They should have to report monthly on their progress and it should be verified. They should be on a barebones budget if our tax $$ are going to bail them out of their own malfeasence and ineptitude. In short, the taxpeyers are the stockholders and if Detroit wants the money–they must change their ways.

    This should have been done with Paulson's Wall Sreet Bailout of 700 Billion. This is something we should revisit and correct. It is not too late.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  52. Matt in ABQ

    1, Increase production of hybrid & electric cars.
    2. Increase MPG rating on all vehicles to a minimum of 40 MPG (including puck-up trucks & SUVs) within 3 years.
    3. All employees (executives included) forgo any bonuses, stock options or other incentives awards.
    4. Reduce the pay of any & all senior executives, that is currently paid $100K (or more) annually, be paid no more than the prevailing minimum wage and no deferring of pay.
    5. Have the oil industry match the federal "loan" dollar for dollar.
    6. Design vehicles that are built to last, instead of “designed to fail” 2 weeks after the warranty expires.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:50 pm |
  53. Dale

    Put a solid business plan on the table; replace top management who got them into this mess. If they cannot survive after this, I cannot support them any longer. There are other auto manufacturers out there in the world that run more lean than any of the Big 3 ever did. The Big 3 were driven by huge profits generated by selling gas guzzlers even while they watched gas prices skyrocket. Now that those high profit days are done and over they have nothing to fall back on because they did not plan or anticipate as they should have. And considering the outrageous salaries and bonuses that they are paid, they should known better and planned accordingly. So, if they go under....too bad, so sad.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  54. Engels (Philadelphia)

    For auto makers to secure government aid, they must agree to build fuel efficient cars and that their cars will be able to compete with those from Japan and/or Europe. They must also have a time-line to pay any interest to the government, I would suggest anywhere from 5.5 – 6.5 interest rate for any money given to the auto industries.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:53 pm |
  55. Bob Gaffrey in Southfield, MI

    Lobby for pre-Reagan trade laws and ask George W. Bush why he's thrown a $10 billion a month war that has lasted going on 6 years and hasn't utilized American industries to support it. Doesn't anyone remember Rosie the Riveter?

    I'd have to say there's a little bit of premeditated deconstruction going on there.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:53 pm |
  56. Tiffany

    File for Chapter 11... they could use the oversight and restructuring. Plus, it is not as though filing tarnishes some stellar reputation– it's no secret the Big Three are in the kind of trouble that will require fundamental change.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  57. Happy in Arizona

    Top management should resign without any benefits, perks, enormous salaries. Then a reorganization of the union along with new managemet and new design for the auto of the future. If a loan is given to current management, then a new contract is written whereby they can have a 1M salary, no options, no severance packages, no perks. Take it or leave it. Corprate planes should be sold, and no perks whatsoever for the benefit of top management.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  58. John in Santa Barbara, CA

    If the car makers go under, three groups will be effected and so far we have only heard from one of those groups the, CEOs. The investors who risk losing thier stocks need to be heard from and need to make consessions, the Union Laborers who stand to lose their jobs must also be present and make consessions. The auto industries stockholders, the management and labor have all contributed to this failure and they should all stand to lose the status quo, if we bail them out.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  59. Allan Hanson Cameron Park Ca.

    The jets are an important part of doing business. This has been terribly overblown.
    The big problem is that when they had no competiotion they gave the store away to the labor unions, they all had to pay the same wage and so being the weaklings they were they gave the store away.
    If you want to see chaos let them fail and see millions on unemployment and welfare.
    Limitations have to accomodate the "loans".

    November 21, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  60. Jenna Wade

    What should the automakers agree to do in order to secure government aid?

    ALL 3 CEO's should forego their pay and all bonuses until the loans are paid in full. No Golden Parachuttes.

    All executives should take 10% paycuts and forego all bonuses.

    All managers should take 5% paycuts and forego all bonuses.

    ALL 3 Automakers should commit to produce alternative fuel cars and cars/trucks that give 30+ mpg in the city/40+ mpg on highways and they should be available within 12 months

    This would be a good start.

    Roseville CA

    November 21, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  61. Steve of Hohenwald TN.

    Nothing, they need to get out of the way. I`m shure there are some bright young companies that would love 25 billion to get the`re twenty first century vehicels in the market. These guys are just like the GOP. The had there chance, and blew it. Time for change, not just in washington.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  62. Charles, Lansing, MI

    First they have to show they can market their product to the general public. These three yo-yo's have shown they don't have a clue by flying into Washington DC in separate corporate jets. Start with three new CEO's and get the UAW to start acting responsibly. And forget about gas guzzlers!!!

    November 21, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  63. D. R. Texas

    Cut back on the modles&trucks they make & cut the CEO's bonuses & saleries back

    November 21, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  64. Mickie

    Get rid of their overpaid, underworked CEO's, sell off their jets and other luxuries and get somebody like Buffett in there to restructure the business and start producing environmentally friendly vehicles.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  65. SAM in NH

    Like any other business, they have to show that they are a viable business. I would demand the following:

    retool the management
    renegotiate labour contracts–if you don't there is no future
    refocus technology-green goes good...
    restructure and consolidate-take costs out and combine to maximum of 2 companies.

    recycle the jets

    November 21, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  66. Aaron G

    I never thought I would agree with Romney on anything, but he was right: let them go bankrupt. Bankruptcy is an established tradition in America with predefined rules. The only aid congress should be offering is to back the warranties of these companies in order to protect consumers.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  67. Ann, Newton, New Jersey

    Sell those jet airplanes, cut salaries with no bonuses for executives, make alternate fuel model cars, have workers pay into health plan like a lot of other companies and get rid of the models that are not selling.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  68. Tom in Desoto, TX

    I have not owned a U.S. made car since 1972, (although many times I wish I still had my 1968 GTO, even if it did get 10 MPG). You pick the industry, be it automobiles, medicine, or buggy whips U.S. manufactures across the board incur costs much higher than international manufactures when the product is made in the U.S. There is something drastically wrong with the U.S. though process. Look what the other guy is doing and follow their example.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  69. Ramon Lebron Colon

    Jack, in sport if the teams are not performing well,coaches get fired. Priority number one,throw the bums out and start from there.


    November 21, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  70. Billy G in Las Vegas

    fire all the top "executives" and give them NOTHING going out the door. in fact, the shareholders should SUE THEM for their gross mismanagement. THEN hire some new fresh out of B school kids with NEW ideas on how to build cars and trucks and deal with labor.

    after all, that's what the voters basiclly just did with the Federal Govenment.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  71. Charlie in New Mexico

    Given the present executive corporate culture and the unions' cost, I seriously doubt if anything will keep the "big 3" afloat for very long. In the not-to-distant future I fully expect my 2005 Chevy to be as much of an "orphan" as my 1937 Packard .

    November 21, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  72. Jackie in Dallas

    o Take personal pay cuts and eliminate bonuses until the
    company is in the black again
    Reduce perks of upper management
    Sell the corporate jets or take over the costs themselves
    Restructure the financing of their companies to where the emphasis is on development of energy-efficient vehicles and alternate energy solutions
    Renegotiate with the unions. I think that the unions, faced with the financial ruin of the industry or taking cuts, will do the responsible thing. If they don't, submit it to binding arbitration through the bankruptcy courts.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  73. Richard McKinney, Texas

    Jack some of these employees are making 70 to 80 dollars an hour plus benefits for assembly line work. They go on strike to force the Auto makers to pay them more and more. Now when the auto makers are in trouble because they can not sell the gas guzzling automobiles they manufacture after being told for years to improve MPG ratings they want other Americans to bail them out. Sorry jack. No auto maker ever gave me a discount on any car I ever bought because they felt sorry for me. The government needs to save the money for a bail out to pay for longer term unemployment. That is coming and coming fast to a city near you.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  74. Rhonda from Detroit

    This did not happen overnight and a solution will not come that way either. I suggest that they start with a plan and be prepared to revise it as they go along. Form yet another committee to over see the spending of the loan funds. Maybe the Big 3 becomes the Big 1!
    I can't help but wonder if the PBGC (Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp) will be able to deal with all of the pensioners coming there way without running out of funds!

    November 21, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  75. Jim, Kansas

    First of all, all 50 somethings who are drawing a full pension must
    go bach to work for their checks. Then salaries for everyone including CEO's must be trimmed a little.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  76. Elaine, Michigan

    Cut the pay and bonuses for excutives and come to Washington with a plan on how they can retool factories to make fuel efficient autos. They made a BIG mistake doing away with the Oldsmobile brand–bring them back. And while Congress is at it they need to have AIG and the banks that got bail out to also submit a plan as to what they have done with their bail out money and cut their excutives pay also.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  77. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: Since I'm and the rest of the Americans are going to have to pay any bailout, if there is any, they need to demonstrate how they are going to restructure their organizations; how they are going to be more competetive; and "exactly" how they are going to spend the funding–that is if a bailout is apporved. And if they deviate from their financial plan–they don't pass go; they don't collect $200; and they go directly to jail–without a "get-out" of jail free card.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  78. Jim in Puyallup

    They should propose to liquidate their existing stock of cars to the government, at least we'd get something for the money. 🙂

    November 21, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  79. Rob , NYC

    1- all 3 CEO's and top management to resign before anything can happen
    2- innovate now - become the Mac of the auto industry–great design – bring in Steve Jobs or his caliber to run the co's
    3-fuel efficient cars or no cars–thats all the choice they have
    4-sell all planes and use money from them before any mention of a bailout
    5-no bonus for anyone without business
    6-cut in all salaries on all levels

    November 21, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  80. carol in Oregon

    Apply for a refinance loan like the rest of us do. If that doesn't work declare bankruptcy. Sell off your assets pay of your debt as far as it goes then you can honestly ask for wellfare.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  81. Thomas in Pgh. PA

    No, plain and simple. Why should we be left with the bill for their stupidity? If they wanted to be successful, they would have been more competitive. Too bad for them.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  82. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    Submit a simple one page plan so Dopey and Grumpy, Pelosi and Reid can understand it. That they, the auto industry, are going to implement LEAN manufacturing, which is a way of life at all Japan's companies because it works. And come out with two models that are both fuel efficient and that all of the executives will work for $1 per year for the next 5 years and fly commercial and stay two people to a room when they have to travel. Hopefully they won't make men and women stay in the same room unless they want too.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  83. Dennis North Carolina

    They should file chapter 11 so that they would be supervised on a 10yr business plan that the government could loan them money and hold them accountable. you can not loan money with out controls and rules that make people pay for mistakes.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  84. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    If the automakers want our money, they have to come up with designs for the next generation of automobiles. I'm talking 100% commitment to electric cars. If they do that, I'd be fine with giving them every last penny of the bailout package.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  85. Ken - Hudson Florida

    Jack, first of all, sell the private jets, then stop spending millions on concept cars that will never be production models. and come up with a plan to build more fuel efficient engines. why are we still driving with 25 to 30mpg when that is what the average car in 1920 had.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  86. Chuck, MI

    Henry Paulson didn't have to do anything. Why should the automakers?

    November 21, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  87. Keith - Ohio

    It's more common sense, Jack.
    – With the unions'... cut all retiree's med. benefits;
    – Cut production of 40% of large SUVs that they had to keep building;
    – Agree to no bonuses for mgmt.;
    – Top mgmt. take a 25% cut in pay;
    – Make the unions come up with a 25% cut in costs;
    – Start making fewer models, but better quality & mileage;

    We have no visionaries today, Jack... Not in business, congress, or in the capitol..... Just reactionaries.

    Let's just wait until the horse is out of the barn, then close the door.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  88. Karl from SF, CA

    How does file bankruptcy and get their own act together sound? They have the technology to do what needs to be done on improved mileage and alternate fuels and they need to quit letting the oil companies influence their decisions. Also, get real and sell the jets, cut salaries, no more bonuses until they are earned, as in the company is actually making money, and stop whining.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  89. Chuck in Warren Ohio.

    Jack: I retired from GM after 38.8 years. I have seen both sides. The GM side and the Supplier side. GM needs to change the way they price parts and how and where the parts are produced. The auto makers can no longer have 60 to 92 days of parts in the supply chain.
    They will have to change their Management to a leaner more proactive system. They can no longer ignore the floor employee they are the one's that make it all work. They can no longer ignore building the vehicles the public wants to drive. Electric and fuel cell is the way to the future. They also have to stop listening to Wall Street. What do they know about building vehicles. If they make a buck Wall Street thinks they should make ten bucks.
    If GM goes under I would loose 20% of my income and I will file bankruptcy too!

    November 21, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  90. Jay from PA

    I think they need to file chapter 11. The bankruptcy court can then set aside the contracts that have made them uncompetitive. The unions should then demand that executive pay be tied to wages on the floor. No executive can make, say 10 times what the lowest paid floor worker gets.

    Next they need to start listening to and bringing to market products their customers want to buy.

    Sounds like a very slim chance the big three will survive.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  91. Michael, Pensacola, FL

    Leave now and walk from Detroit to D.C. for the next meeting!

    November 21, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  92. Larry in Texas

    Jack, please remove my last remark, as I've added another comment, on this one. Thanks L.C.

    # 1. They should sell their Jets & fly commercial.
    # 2. They should forfeit any bonuses /perks / til the Bailout is PAID back in FULL.
    # 3. Take a CUT in PAY, such as around 10 thousand dollars ABOVE the typical worker, that is on the Factory Floor.
    # 4. They should eat their "Luch" at the same table that the typical workers use, on the Factory Floor.

    THEN, Congress should “Think about it”

    Houston TX

    November 21, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  93. Marie Ontario

    Free Trade of course is the devil in the details but the elite won't allow any changes to this pact and will suggest the workers should be the ones to take it in neck.

    Bringing the workers wages and working conditions down to the 3rd world standards should not be an option but the bulk of people not directly involved won't see the point of this remark.

    About the only alternative that might be agreeable to all is a new business plan that reflect building vehicle models the public will buy in today's economy.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  94. Harold from Anchorage,AK

    Get their loans from Exxon-Mobil, and other oil companies: they all have record profits and stand to lose if the automobile industry fails. Or OPEC companies, same rationale.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  95. me46

    Like the rest of us they need to survive. It would be great if they could build a safe, fuel efficient, robotic-driven vehicle that people can't live without, but it won't happen anytime soon. Poor management is not the reason they're in trouble now. Chalk this failure up to the government. Tom

    November 21, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  96. David in Granville, Ohio

    Get creative. Come up with a plan that:
    (a) Shows an effective financial transition
    (b) Demonstrates a vision for the most advanced gas free vehicles the world has ever seen.

    That way not only can the auto makers have a bright future but they can become world export leaders and combat climate change in a big way.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  97. ED in NK,RI

    They have to realize that the future is now! Stop selling SUVs and 4X4's, especially in Florida and other southern states. It's unfortunate that gas prices have tumbled over the last few months, because
    they will be tempted to continue their wreckless manufacturing of "trucks for America", where they already made huge profits over the last decade.
    I sympathize with the employees, but have no good feelings for the CEOs and management that brought these companies to this point.
    These US auto industries remind me of the GOP, with their lack of foresight, and denial of reality!

    November 21, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  98. Richard Sternagel

    The automakers should immediately slash their CEO's salary drastically.After all,the thousands of autoworkers cut their wages substantially to help keep their jobs. Finally the UAW needs to cut their demands so the auto industry can be compete with the rest of the world.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  99. Ryan, Galesburg, IL

    First, they should apologize for decades of lobbying for laxed emission, consumption, and environmental impact standards. In return for help, they should agree and be held to revamping the industry for the betterment of our country, rather than for their personal stake in the company for which they work.

    These guys have been so greedy and shortsighted, I'm not sure they're up to the task. After all, they killed the electic car just when we were about to turn that corner.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  100. Debra Rich, Washington, DC

    What the auto makers should do is think long and hard on what is most important; short term greed or long term sucess. They need to think about their empoyees and their families, instead of their private jets and summer homes. They need to think about the tradition of the American automobile industry; how it has always been the pioneer and leader in the auto industry. They need to think about how their greed has corrupted the very industry that made America the leader in production in the world. They need to think about the day the dollar became more important to be in their hands, and less important in the hands of their employees.They need to find their conscience.

    I know they have the technology to make better and more efficient cars. They have had this technology for years. They have made engines that last for lifetimes, how do I know....I have a furnace that is most likey 105 years old (my house was built in 1923); and that furnace is a Chrysler. Yes, Chrysler in the early 1900's made furnaces, and mine is still running. Like I said they need to find their conscience.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  101. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    They should do like the banking industry, hide the real numbers and make sure to throw parties and give big bonuses to CEO's. I mean, big billions were given to the banking industry with no questions asked. Why are they so tough on an industry that means millions of jobs for Americans? Haven't the big 3 been padding the pockets of these politicians?

    November 21, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  102. Michael from Greenfield, Wi.

    First of all, they need to bring their salary's in line with the rest of world since that is what they want from the worker. That means a salary that is 40 times the average worker, not 400 times. Second. They need to be revolutionary. They need to commit to the ultra clean, and powerful Hydrogen vehicle by not only building the vehicle, but by building the the generation and distribution facility's also. This is an idea that could quite literally transform our economy, and catapult us into a new manifest distiny. This makes too much sense, doesn't it!

    November 21, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  103. Kel in Auburn, AL

    Jack, They need to:

    1) Negotiate with the unions to get rid of these ridiculous pensions that laid off employees get and lower their extremely high salaries

    2) They need to design fuel-efficient vehicles that are designed to last and make use of already-existing parts. That would ensure long-term marketability and low cost

    3) They need to trim the fat at every level in every department, and come up with a detailed plan on how a bridge loan will A) Ensure profitability and B) Be paid back to the taxpayers, with interest.

    Then I'd give them the money, and not a second before.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  104. Pugas-AZ

    Establish a plan for sucess which includes the realities of the 21 st century. There is too much auto building capacity in the world , with more to come. Something has to give. We might be beating a dead horse by trying to stay in the auto industry. Let's go in some new directions and reestablish our manufacture abilities that have provided so much to the world. How about moving people around in some other fashion?

    November 21, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  105. J.C. from Raleigh, NC

    They need to convince Congress, the public and the press to avoid being drawn into "gotcha moments" such as the hubbub about corporate jets. They should also make it clear that the Big Three CEOs should not be lumped together. Mulally has done a fine job in the short time he has been at Ford. Wagoner at GM is the most culpable and should go. He was instrumental in making their electric car disappear.
    In addition, senators like Richard Shelby who are raking in the dollars from Asian and European auto companies in their states should be reminded that they live in the United States, and a time will come when they need to be bailed out.
    Finally, the auto execs should vow to take all gas guzzlers off the drawing boards and only design hybrid, electric , battery and hydrogen cars. They need to marshall the same efforts that were made during WWII.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  106. Irv Lilley

    Jack, They should fire all the greedy people running the companies. Two , they should hire people who will find ways to lookk after the
    workers and treat them fairly. Three , produce more efficient and better built autos.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  107. Simpliticus

    The lesson of flying around in corporate jets appeared very egregious in light of requesting bailout money, how dumb was that! These guys are so out of touch that simply asking doesn't jive with the intent. It appears like demanding because of who we are alone! Still, the auto industry should get help!

    November 21, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  108. Mary - Boerne, TX

    When the "big 3" execs go back to Washington with their plans for restructuring, they need to bring the UAW representatives with them. Why are they not being questioned about any of this? They, too, have some explaining to do! I truly put the bulk of the problems of the American auto industry squarely on the shoulders of the unions. They demand everything under the sun, take no accountability for employees poor work performance, and expect guarantees for everything in their lives to be taken care of from birth to death. The unions, along with the outrageous wage/benefit packages for the executives, are the reason they're on the skids.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  109. Karen McCullough

    No pay for executives until the industry is solvent again, dissolve the union contracts, and cut wages for workers–$70 an hour for putting one screw in place all day is excessive. These people shouldn't be paid more than teachers who make considerably less than they do.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  110. Sandra -- Oklahoma

    They should show a plan that has provisions for retooling their plants in prep for building cars that are competive fuel-wise and be prepared to build vehicles that use alternative fuels. They have to get into the 21st century or they will be history. I have always been a Ford freak myself and dearly wish I had hung on to my old ones. They are worth a fortune now and I paid less than $500.00 for each of them.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  111. Russ in PA

    The auto companies should go through Chapter 11, as the market demands. And the American people need to start holding politicians accountable for decades of interference, and attempts to control free-market enterprises.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  112. hugh ~ california

    All executives should take 50% paycuts and forego all bonuses for three years. If they want us to sacrifice our money to bail them out of the mess they created, they should do the same. Their incompetence and greed got them where they are in the first place. If they demand too much give them nothing. They need to change the way they do business and produce quality vehicles that America wants to buy.

    They should limit the production of vehicles in quantity but increase their quality, otherwise they'll never get out of the mess they're in now. They must make more fuel-efficient and flex-fuel vehicles. If they fail, the new cars they produce will just sit unsold in parking lots in massive numbers like they are today.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  113. Mike in Colorado

    I have heard the Chinese would be willing buyers.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  114. Caroline, Hamer SC

    Give up their CEO’s pay sale their private jet’s, and make it on their own like the rest of us have to do. Make do with what you have not what you want. The fat cats have got all the money out why shouldn’t they bail them self’s out. I’m sure they have plenty money put away for a rainy day, unlike the rest of us.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  115. Ray, Florida

    Instead of filing chapter 11, they should go right to the judge to file chapter 7,and that day while Wall street is taking a 1000 point nose dive, the congress will be falling over theirselves to lend them the 25 billion! Republican's and Democrat's both!

    November 21, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  116. Barb New Port Richey Fl

    Close all their out of country plants and bring them back to the U.S. for starters. Restructure and get rid of all t dead wood at the top. No CEO shuld make more than their highest paid employee!!!! Re-negotiate the union contracts. Sounds like a plan to me!

    November 21, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  117. John K, Davidson, NC

    Oops, I forgot. If Chrysler keeps Nardelli they deserve to die. He ran Home Depot into the ground. He should be fired before he gets back to Detroit; no severence, no company car, not even cab fare for the walk home. He's a mess.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  118. Lorenzo, TX

    William Clay Ford Jr. can burst through the doors of congress and
    hold Nancy Pelosi hostage until she gives him the combination to the

    November 21, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  119. NANCY , Grand Ledge MI

    For starters, they should drive to Washington in one of their cars!
    Then they should refuse any pay or compensation until they start making profits!. But since Congress ( with their lack of oversight), and the greedy bankers and financial institutions, got us into this mess, they should have the same restrictions!!

    November 21, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  120. Donna Wisconsin

    How about stop build that SUV plant in Russia? Sell the jets, no bonuses, no raises, top management work for $1.00 a year for 2 years, pay us back with interest and lastly, build safe fuel effient cars like Toyota and Hundi are already doing right here in the US. Oh and maybe the unions ought to consider taking pay cuts and less benifits to help with the costs. Lower paying jobs are still jobs. And for most folks out of a job, $20 an hour would be a godsend!

    November 21, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  121. OBDAG in Appleton, WI

    I agree that the automakers should provide specfic detailed plans for why they need the money or loan and details on how that money will be spent. The plans need to provide deadlines for when certain actions will be completed and describe the penalties they will pay if the goals are not completed in a timely manner Obviously after this week one goal for each is to sell the corporate planes and eliminate all staff that currently support the planes. I would also want elimination of limo's no would the firms provide free rides or cars to anyone. CEO's need to buy their own cars at a dealership and then drive them to work. No maintenance could be performed on those vehicles by the firms either, only the dealerships. CEO's need to live like the rest of us.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  122. John, Fort Collins, CO

    Just like any other company applying for a loan, the "big three" should provide a funding request proposal detailing exactly how they plan to lift themselves out of the mud and become profitable. It is unbelievable how they just showed up in Washington this week, poker faces and all, saying "give us $25 billion, or else". It was great to see congress call their bluff.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  123. Ralph, Corpus Christi

    Carpool to Congress next time with specific plans, timelines, and assurances for accountability.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  124. Lynn, Boise, Idaho

    They should cut salaries for all executives at the top (not just CEOs), sell their jets, ask their employees to come up with and implement cost-saving measures throughout, restructure their businesses to reflect their current situation, and re-write their business plans in a way that is better for the environment and their american workers.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  125. JIM

    The Big 3 should all go Bankrupt. That will break the unions and American Taxpayers will have to take on the burden for all the existing pensions and health care benefits. The $700 billion bailout for the insurance and finance companies did not require the present a plan to recovery. Why should the Big 3? I believe they are asking for a low interest loan not a bailout. Remember the foreign carmakers in this country do not have pensions and health care benefits. . They produce a vehicle for at least $1000 less than the big 3. The Big 3 are producing fuel efficient vehicles. The demand for them only increased when the price of gas went over $4.00 a gallon. If the demand was there, Toyota would have sold 5 million Prius's by now. Car buyers were not willing to pay a $10000 premium for it.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  126. George

    There isn't any way for them to offer a guarantee, because if they go bankrupt there wouldn't be any recourse except seize any thing that had any value. Putting up some type of collateral, such as buildings, machinery, and other tangible property would be a better idea., It would also give them more of an incentive not to squander the money as they have in the past. The bailouts have already gone far enough, or even too far, but they should stop. DO NOT, let me repeat DO NOT ask taxpayers to reward people for their past bad judgements without their vote of approval. No one gives me my money back when I lose on my lottery ticket each week. They took a gamble and lost just like I did.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  127. Bev, Los Angeles

    Not a darn thing. They asked for no restrictions on AIG or the banks now all of a sudden they want strings to save more than 3 million jobs. What a bunch of hypocryts! Barney Frank was right. When it come to those of us who are factory workers they want to take more and more including our jobs. The UAW took a ton of concessions. Our health care payments doubled. New workers now start at 1/2 of our pay. We got less vacation, less personal days and less money. What more do they want. I want to know how much sacrafice AIG workers went through in the last two years. If there are any concessions to to made management MUST MAKE THEM! CUT THEIR PAY and benefits not ours! The union has given way more than we should with our putting out more production. ENOUGH!

    November 21, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  128. don in naples, florida

    they shouldn't get aid. this is a dumb issue.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  129. Nancy from Indiana

    First sell their corporate jets. Then decrease their salaries by half or more. Bring in some outsiders who are not CEO's but just ordinary smart people to sit on the board and listen and/or help them use common sense about how to make a reasonable costing fuel efficient car of the future. They don't seem to be in touch with the "real world yet"! Start retooling to make these cars and sell off or recycle everthing else in their plants that are not useable or needed. And I think that should get them started going towards a better future for everyone once they quit talking and start doing and finally understand what the rest of the country wants and expects out of them. If this doesn't work then fire them!

    November 21, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  130. Kevin Lunenburg MA.

    I guess I'd want to know 2 things

    How will this loan be used to build products that compete and return the company to profitability. The designs are there, how do you get them to market?

    How much of what they've got are they putting up. After all if they don't have any skin in the game, why should I?

    November 21, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  131. Jess, Ohio

    The absolute ONLY way these Auto Makers should get aid would be for the top Executives which also includes the UAW Representatives that played a part; to relinquish their positions. If they've been hard headed for the last fifteen years, why assume that all the sudden they are gonna change? These guys are only there now because our economy is tanking. Lets think about this, if the economy was sound, the CEO's wouldn't be pleading to Congress, they'd naively continue to make their gas guzzlers and go on thinking that everything is pancakes and puppy dogs.
    If Steve Jobs were heading the American Auto Industry, I guarantee there'd be an ICAR in less than a year!

    November 21, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  132. Chryssa

    Submit a thorough and believable business plan, complete with break-even and ROI projections – just like the rest of us when applying for business loans.

    Boise, ID

    November 21, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  133. Tina (Ft Worth)

    Fire the top tier ceos and give the job to a man who is willing to make better cars that will get great gas mileage.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  134. wally Ruehmann las vegas nv

    nothing, file bankrupt, fire the cream at the top, sell off the outrageous perts, start over. it would be like me going to the pawn shop and paying my light bill.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  135. Glenn in California

    Jack, the first thing they need to do is to agree to fire Moe, Larry, and Curly, and the other senior management at the Big 3. The display of cluelessness they displayed when asked about their separate trips on their corporate jets was appalling. At least if they'd travelled together, they could have actually worked on a plan together on the way back. Nothing at the Big 3 will change unless the entire senior management team is replaced. Drastic change requires that drastic changes be made.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  136. Janice Pound

    All three cos. should fire their CEOS. Start making a supreme effort to retool for smaller eco-friendly cars. It used to be you got a bonus when your co. was doing well- since when do you (CEOS) get bonuses when your co. is in free fall? Guess I'd have to walk a week in their shoes to find out exactly what they do to earn xsuch exorbitant salaries. BMW is already testing a mini-electric car on Cal. Highways.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  137. Josh in Sylvania, Ohio

    As long as the executives don't get bonuses and make more fuel efficient cars. These executives and CEO's at these factories should take an 33% pay cut and use it to help keep the auto companies. No more Golden Parachutes.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  138. R.W Graytown Ohio

    You know, my kid comes up to me for $10.00, I want to know why he needs it. And he's able to tell me right then, what it is. These grown men knew what was in store for them. Yet they come looking unprofessional, and unprepared. Let 'em stew, listening to more of our gripes, it will be educational for them.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  139. Ronald Moretti

    In past history when the auto industry was having problems, the government changed the depreciation rules for writing off the cost of a car to businesses to a three year period. This then encouraged businesses to purchase vehicles on a much shorter scale than present.
    Under the current method of depreciating vehicles, for a vehicle in the $20,000 range, it takes practically 6 to 7 years to write off the cost of a vehicle.

    Ron Lake Geneva,Wis.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  140. Mike Glen Rock PA

    They can start by cutting out $28,000,000 per year salaries for the top executives. After that I don't think congress has any choice but to do it, from coast to coast peoples lives depend on the big three and loosing them would be a deep wound for many.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  141. Paul Round Rock, Texas

    First off Jack they need to tell the truth on why they need the money and how it will be used it's that simple.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  142. Melanie in IA

    Cut the FAT at the top and quit blaming the assembly line (union) workers. If they are sincere they should reduce their wages to $1.00 more than the workers building the cars, the same pension and health care benefits as the assembly line workers. Sell the jets, no bonus' for any Executive EVER, no stock options. No one is worth that much money, NO ONE!!!

    November 21, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  143. ANGIE IN PA

    Sell their Jets,Empty their bank accounts, and NO GOLDEN PARACHUTES and Make better cars with Better Fuel Mileage and cars for the 21st century!

    November 21, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  144. Lynn, CA

    If they are taking taxpayer monies they need to tighten their Corporate belts until they pay it back – restructure the executive pay, no bonus, no perks – just hard work for their salaries; they need to re-negotiate with the unions, protecting their benefits while lowering their salary scale if necessary until the money is paid back – keep jobs and retool for more effiecient vehicles – and no more private jets!

    November 21, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  145. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    They need to take a vow of poverty as they have helped to cause a lot of poverty in this country. When you’re on welfare, they don’t let you drive around in chauffeured cars and live in multi million dollar mansions. Since they want to be on the public dole, the jets must go and travel should be coach, like the rest of us losers. Then they have to provide a rock solid plan to fix the stupid decisions they made over the last few decades. If their plan doesn’t pan out they should have to resign. Maybe they should just resign, now that I think about it.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  146. Bill from MI

    It appears that in order to make the Bush Administration and the Seante happy; They may have to shoot the retirees, hang the CEO's, put shackles on the workers, and send the repayments to our friends in the banking industry with no strings attached. Maybe they should just ask Canada for help.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  147. Don (Ottawa)

    First of all they have to get rid of the CEO's that think they are Gods. Then they should break up their companies into small easily manageable businesses. Then they need to start production now of models that are fuel efficient. The technology is there, just do it.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  148. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    Chapter 11. Chapter 11. Chapter 11. Trim the fat, re-structure pay plans, and get the employee involved. The best ideas come from the plant workers and not the front office.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  149. Al quinn

    If the automakers expect the government to help with taxpayer money, they must show some humbleness, and that they have blown all their financial ammo to keep the company afloat, lay off some executives, administratives, sell the flatscreen if they have too.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  150. vern-t anaheim,ca

    make better cars,the japanese cars are better than ours

    November 21, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  151. Buster in Poughkeepsie, NY

    Dear Jack, When each one of these hot shots can pull up in front of the Capitol Building in a hot, little sassy prototype coupe that comfortably seats 4, gets 100 miles to the gallon on flex fuel, has an unconditional 10 year, 500 thousand mile warranty and lists for about 8 thousand dollars, then perhaps we can negotiate some kind of deal. Then put me on the list...I'll take the first two models that roll off the assembly line.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  152. Bruce St Paul MN

    They should demonstrate a commitment to short-term austerity, just to show they "get it". The actual business plan won't matter, because who in congress would be able to tell a good one from a bad one? No plan is going to succeed unless we find a way to get some moolah back into the middle class. We have no cash, no savings, no credit. So we should buy a car with what?

    November 21, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  153. lynn

    Here is the way I see it. 9 billion missing in Iraq, no questions asked by congress or the media. Wallstreet gets bailout no questions asked.

    I hear that there are 3 million Americans so: 3 million americans=3 million dollars a piece problem solved with Billions of Bailout money left over. Are the Iraqis and the millioniares and billionaires more important than WE THE PEOPLE...

    November 21, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  154. Erin in Healdsburg CA

    I don't think they deserve any aid at all. If they had been doing a better job and been less greedy they wouldn't been in this mess in the first place.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  155. Roy - Chicago IL

    Well if they take our 48 month aid package, they can get it at 6.9% interest, or try our 60 month aid package at the 7.2% interest. Otherwise they have to talk to the Finance Manager!
    And, sorry, no trade-ins on private jets with too many miles on them.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  156. I. B., Rocky Mount, North Carolina

    I think they need to tell Congress that they will restructure, Chapter 11 bankruptcy. But wait, I'll check with the manager to see if I can get them a better deal. How about chapter 7 bankruptcy.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  157. John in Arizona

    The automakers are asking for a bridge loan. If you or I were asking for a loan, the lender would expect us to show them a plan – a realistic plan for repaying the loan. That's all an appropriately skeptical congress is asking for.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  158. Geri Britt

    Jack, we went to China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and other countries for the two to three trillion dollars we have borrowed this year to bailout banks and Wall Street, I wouldn't be surprised if one of the trade-offs is to allow the big 3 automakers in Detroit to collapse in favor of say. . . . .The new chinese car plant the Chinese are building on the other side of our border in Mexico and, isn't Toyoto's Camry the number one car in America? Only 45% of the vehicles we buy now have an American brand name on it, and many of the parts aren't made in America even on these cars. The CEO's said that their companies overseas are doing far better selling their cars than they are selling them here. To keep their plants running in America is a bad business decision for them and a bad decision for the American taxpayer.

    Geri – Mead, OK

    November 21, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  159. Howard M. Bolingbrook IL

    I think the automakers should do what any other business would do to in financial trouble. Formulate a plan. (1) Cut all overhead that does not contribute directly to the making or selling of the product. (2) Review all of those steps for efficiency. (3) Review and adjust salary structures, where possible. (4) Eliminate perks. (5) Review and adjust product mix. Follow the business plan. Then ask for monetary loan help, to complete plan.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  160. jon hoffman

    Jack: You ask the best q's
    They should be treated as if they were already in BK and present a viable reconstruction/reorientation plan that would satisfy the Federal Judge. This would include exactly what I have to do when getting a regular small business loan or making presentations to potential investors. The plan must include how, with the 25 B 'staying alive' money; they will use the 25B in re-tooling for energy efficient cars. One thing: To use the re-tool $25B for 'staying alive' defeats the purpose of energy efficient cars. Then they continue to make the same old products Hey Jack; its our fault too by demanding these gas gusslers. Last year Ford d/c'd the small hatchback focus suv since no one wanted to buy it. It is a urban liberal myth that US cars are inferior. MBZ & BMW don't report recalls. my mbz m320 almost broke me in repairs. My 96 c280 is on its 3rd head gasket. (defective OE) Bought Ford Edge in 07; bigger than m320 and 24mph hwy. Best car in years. Buy American new technology. There is nothing 'over there.'
    Jon in Calif.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  161. Tom, Bradenton

    Nothing, let them go bankrupt.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  162. Joyce in Florida

    They shouldn't receive government aid. "Government aid" is taxpayer money and right now, taxpayers can't get the loans to buy the vehicles.

    Why should we pay to bail out companies that don't have the collective sense to simply reduce expenses like the taxpayers from whom they would get the money?

    November 21, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  163. Ed Reed

    They need to come before Congress with a plan, agreed to by their suppliers, their lenders and the union that offers the best opportunity of making them viable again.

    Ed Reed
    Port Aransas, TX

    November 21, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  164. Chris, Centennial, Colorado

    A total change in management. Anything less would probably mean they would repeat the same mistakes.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  165. Marjorie Lominy


    November 21, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  166. Sarah

    There's very little they can do given the timescale involved. Congress wants a viable plan within 2 weeks when they haven't managed to formulate one in the years that the companies have been in decline. The only way the companies are going to be viable in the long term is if there are management changes, massive infrastructure changes and a totally new business plan. Sadly this won't happen unless they are forced into filling chapter 11.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  167. garrick

    hi jack
    fire all 3 that came to the meeting in jets,let them ride off into the sunset and hire japanese management to get the autos headed in the 21st century

    November 21, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  168. Terence

    Jack, The big three car makers should sell all their corporate jets first.
    Then cancel all raises and bonuses for themselves.Then they should bend over and start praying for money from the us tax payers to bail them out. As for the corporate lunch room they should brown bag it as we have to do that in order to pay our bills. They can name the new hybrid car (the stimulis). Now thats a catchy name!!!
    Terry Gaffney, Piscataway, NJ

    November 21, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  169. Jay in Atlanta

    1. Reduce all union wages and union related expenses by half.
    2. Design and build cars people can afford to drive.
    3. Remove any executive unwilling to work for 500k per year or less, including private jet use.
    4. Produce a 4 passenger electric plug-in that will sell for less than 35k, go 65mph for one hour including hybrid assist, or can move solely on battery for 40 miles minimum.

    This all should have done this 15 years ago. Sympathies are no longer with them. Don't like the above? Go bankrupt.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  170. Frank from NYC

    Make a better quality car. I own foriegn because the last two cars I rented which were American were junk.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  171. Diana, wintering in Managua

    Since its my bucks they're asking for.... I'd suggest driving to Washington D.C. for a starter.

    In order to ascertain if they breathe the same polluted air as me, or are on the same page as I am, ask them a couple of questions:

    1. How much did you pay to fill up your family car today?
    2. When was the last time you actually drove your car?
    3. When was the last time you personally purchased groceries in the supermarket?
    4. How much does your doctor charge you for a visit to his office?
    5. Do you know what a Business Plan is?

    Depending on their answers, I would 'loan' them accordingly.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  172. Anna Jesse

    Management has to "man up" and admit that the real reason their operations have failed is not the working stiff on the assembly line, but their top heavy management strategies. How much weight can you put on a roof before the foundation buckles under the weight? Megamillion salaries and golden parachutes can't be justified when the industry is slipping down the plumbing. How many assembly line jobs and benefits could have been funded by the salary and fringe benefits of just one of those corporate chieftans who have brought the industry to the brink of failure?

    Nanticoke, PA

    November 21, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  173. perry jones

    they should get nothing from the tax payers , chapter 7 or 11

    perry jones council bluffs iowa

    November 21, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  174. Surafel Sacramento, CA

    They should get help sooner than later – they hold ~3 million hard working american – that is a big chunk of American economy! After the bailout though those CEO's should be fired and cut their salaries in half or a bit more than half for the new chief executive.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  175. Liz

    Sell the jets, give up their bonuses, and make an agreement with the unions for lower wages.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  176. Liberal in Los Angeles, CA


    November 21, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  177. J. Scott in Alabama

    Not without a full disclosure of all their assets and other measures designed to put a cap on their CEO's salaries and benefits. Further action should be made to insure concessions by the UAW which has grown fat and lazy and overpaid and compensated in terms of benefits which most americans don't have. Finally, they should have an detailed business plan on how the money will be spent and they should be held to it.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  178. Ryan (Toronto)

    Alan Mulally, Robert Nardelli and G. Richard Wagoner Jr. should step down first of all. They should find a way to force Ron Gettlefinger and the UAW to cut wages, since they are the root of the problem. They got greedy and priced themselves out of a job. Further they should not get a bailout until they claim bankruptcy. That will force them to clean house the way that is neccessary. Thanks Jack, keeping asking the important questions.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  179. Bill, Hartford, CT

    Step 1. Guarantee the salaries and pensions of every hourly employee.
    Step 2. Sell all corporate jets and cancel all high-level corporate retreats.
    Step 3. Cancel all executive bonuses and golden parachutes.
    Step 4. Pay back the loan.
    Step 5. All executives resign their posts, effective immediately, and must be forced to live the next 10 years on $10 an hour, driving gas-guzzling SUVs that the industry refuses to improve, and wondering how to make ends meet, just like the rest of us.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  180. Hubert Bertrand

    It looks to me as if there was any cash on hand, They get a percentage.Or a paid vacation..There is something about (CEO's) that don't make since. It looks like they are over paid (PR's) They don't know anything about the job. OR work.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  181. Jim


    Announcing plans are easy as the auto industry is always announcing plans but somehow failing to follow through.

    So, there must be measurable milestones/benchmarks that must be hit by the auto makers. If these are not met, there should be a procedure for calling the loan.... with accrued interest. Perhaps a penalty should be added for wasting our time.

    Jim in Texas

    November 21, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  182. Terry from North Carolina

    Things have to change in Detroit before any of the so called big three get any bailout dollars. The executive perks and big expense accounts have to stop, along with the huge year end bonus's. The give aways to the UAW are over these companys should be on austerity. Oh by the way lets make sure the corporate jets are up for sale and these guys start " brown bagging it ".

    November 21, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  183. Jerry,OK

    Jack, The auto makers should merge with AIG...problem solved.

    Jerry Tulsa/OK

    November 21, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  184. Ed North Carolina

    Bottom line here is that Americans should support Ford, GM and Chrysler by buying their cars. For one I am tired of this foreign car snobbery that exists. Honda, Toyotas, Subarus or whatever are not better than American made vehicles at least based on my personal experience. I have owned two Toyatas, several Chevrolets, a Chrysler, a Ford and a Buick. None was any better than the other, none lasted longer or got better mileage. All automakers should trend toward more energy efficient vehicles and perhaps the foreigners have a bit of a lead, but not one that cannot be overcome. Have faith and purchase American and keep your money in this country.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  185. Anthony Maffia Brooklyn NY

    The big three are suffering from a fickle consumer. We want to have a SUV in the driveway parked next to the hybrid car we use for commuting. Now that gas has gotten so expensive we all have a conscience and want fuel efficient cars, and in true fickle fashion we are pointing fingers at someone else. I think the big need to split off their truck divisions and make them more boutique, much smaller than they are now. And implement the Pickens plan.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  186. Tim

    I feel for all of the people that have worked so hard for these companies over the last 50+ years only to have three boobs who have an inflated sense of self and no plan for the future run their companies into the ground. All three should be fired and forced to leave with no payout, no benefits, and that with which they came – no skill and no common sense.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  187. pat Green

    At this point, who cares about what they should do...they aren't going to do what they say anyway. As soon as they get the money, the CEO's will do their company expenses for the jets they flew to DC in and the $600 per night hotels they slept in. I think the government is making one big mistake after another.....I say give the $700 Billion to pay off our personal bills and give us a little extra to go shopping....I have holes in my jeans!

    November 21, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  188. Kevin, Punxsutawney

    Take a cue from the CEO of JAL, one of the largets international airlines. He cut his own pay to the equivalent of less than US$100k and cut his perks. USA executives' pay is way outta line. They take no risk and reap outrageous rewards. I've worked in Compensation long enough to know that this isn't fair.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  189. ejmounsey Granville Ohio

    resign. EJM Granville Ohio

    November 21, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  190. bob, oshawa, ontario

    Jack, they should agree to step aside and let new management take over, otherwise, nothing will be done because they have proven themselves incompetent over decades of granting to unions generous wages and benefits as well as themselves exorbitant salaries. This plus the failure to produce vehicles that are much more fuel efficient has come back to debilitate their ability to compete in a global economy. Everyone deserves a fair wage and benefits but management was too careless in how profits got distributed. Their attitude displayed at the Congressional hearings hinted that the CEOs couldn't be trusted with an additional bailout.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  191. Sid...Texas

    Sign a pledge to build a vehicle that is at least worth the price that they are asking for them. Cut Management and labor wages. But, make sure the cuts are reasonable. Put more steel (USA) in their vehicles. Pay executives for peformance. No bonuses unless everyone earns and gets one. No frills for management or labor except for awards and holiday parties. Share profits, and take good care of all if their employees from top to bottom..

    November 21, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  192. WILL COLLINS florida

    Only use American labor & parts Revamp Managment, Revamp &
    make more energy effecient cars,
    Ford are made in Mexico now, Open the hood, Battery made In mexico
    As are spark plug wires] Its not the Big 3 anymore ] Wr cant foot the bill for foreign cars,

    November 21, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  193. Joe, Arlington, Virginia

    Please note that Toyota and Honda which employ thousands of US workers in good jobs are not begging for bail outs. That is because they have a business model built on sustainable profitibily and high milage products. The Big 3 should be required to adopt the Japanese business model and abandon 10 mile per gallon SUVs before the government even speaks to them.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  194. Lorenzo in Atlanta

    the automakers should be knocking on the doors of Exxon and the other oil companies with record profits. The reason these companies got that way was because of these american made gas guzzlers produced by GM. While the rest of the world was thinking green and better gas mileage, GM was thinking Big Trucks and big profits. Well, they made the big trucks and Exxon got the Big profits. So they should share the blame and share the profits. Exxon should bail out the automakers not me. I don't have one of those trucks, but I did pay Exxon for gas.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  195. Thelma Gable

    Let the Oil companies bail out the auto industries.After all the
    oil companies caused this whole mess in the first place.Look
    at the price of gas coming down now. This should tell you that
    the oil companies excuses for the rise in gas were just a bunch
    of lies.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  196. Mike Plummer

    I would not give them a dime. At the cost of a new car or truck you would think that they would have their act together. No one is loaning me anything to help me so why should i help them with my tax dollars when they have had the means to help themsleves.Something does not smell right with this.

    Mike in Sacramento,Ca.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  197. Dave from Orlando

    One of the dumb decisions they made was to crush all the EV1 electric vehicles. If, instead, they continued with the car and had been doing battery R&D over the last 10 years, they would probably own the world by now! Had they done that then we would probably have battery technology to rival a gasoline car in range and power by now. If an idiot like me figured this out a decade ago, why can’t these geniuses. I even wrote them a letter pleading not to crush the cars and why.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  198. Alabama Angel

    i haven't been able to afford airline tickets anywhere in a decade - so I'd suggest driving the cars they make to DC for these meetings. Of course, they'd probably have to learn to drive first because they most likely have chauffeurs. They should have to drive this distance with a fixed amount of cash in their pockets for gasoline - so they'll see how much it costs average people to drive their gas guzzlers. Then, they should actually create a business plan - one that includes drastically cutting their own inflated salaries first.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  199. Mark B. Detroit, MI.

    Cut their million dollar salary. It would be nice to see these CEO if they care about Auto Company so much to take a pay cut and make better product.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  200. Jon-Colorado Springs, CO

    Along with a detailed plan CEOs should offer to quit without a retirement package if the plan fails. That way they at least have something at stake too. Then when it comes time for hearings the CEOs should stay home to save the cost of a private jet and let the people from the manufacturing communities show congress and the country the faces of those who will truly suffer if these companies go under.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  201. David

    It's simple like anybody who's trying to get a business loan show them the business plans.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  202. Joe in Hawaii

    It'd probably be cheaper for the Government to buy the entire US auto industry than to keep bailing them out. If Congress gives bailout money now it'll probably be used just in time to cover the management's golden parachutes as they all resign. Let the industry go to Chapter 11 and reorganize for new green machines.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  203. Karl

    I am self employed and now unemployed, but because of self employement I can't draw unemployment. The unemployment due to economic slow down. loss of hauling contracts. I am a small independant shipper, now who's gonna give me a bail out.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  204. Bob in Seattle

    Do their JOB! ..............

    November 21, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  205. Nick from Florida - Age 12


    November 21, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  206. Karl

    How come the fed keeps lowering the interest rate? It doesn't effect me, the little guy. The banks won't lower their rate to me, so why should the fed give them any money. The fed should impose that if a bank wants money from the fed or tarp or what ever, that it has to in turn, turn around lend the money to consumers at 4%. no if ands or buts about. Now , wouldn't that help jump start the economy:?

    November 21, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  207. Lucy

    Why don't the oil companies bail out the automakers? They have lots of money. They can't live with out each other. A match made in heaven.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  208. Erik, Seattle

    Show what vehicles they plan to bring to market if the survive, how and where they will be made and how profitable they will be. Give some details on projects for hte future, alternative fuel ideas they have planned. Fly coach class back to washington and take a huge paycut!

    Do this and I hope they will be saved, two million plus jobs depend on it....

    November 21, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  209. Darren

    Too bad they can't just hold out their hand and get a bailout, like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and now the Wall Street bankers.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  210. Adam Vasquez

    They should invest that money into fuel efficient and electric cars, so they can stop selling us these gas guzzlers and help us to kick our addiction to oil. Two birds with one stone.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  211. Al from Greenville SC


    To get the Money auto companies should fire all their managment and hire Japanies managment from Toyota and Honda to fill in their postions. These folks have been making nothing but mistake for past 70 years...

    November 21, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  212. Harry

    I'll be the oil industry has a few bucks to spare... can you say "symbiotic relationship"?

    November 21, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  213. Kev Manning

    Why don't they have the CFOs come to Washington, instead of the CEOs?

    November 21, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  214. Steve

    Clean up their act and see what successful auto makers are doing.

    Apollo Beach FL

    November 21, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  215. Joe from Ohio

    1. Improved quality
    2. Fuel efficiency
    3. Alternative fuels
    Nuff Said.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  216. Nate Coombs

    They should present a plan that simply says that by 2010 all of the big three will be cranking out zero emission fuel cell cars, hopefully by the hundreds of thousands. I'm saying essentially that U.S. auto industry leaders have not made a solid decision since the assembly line.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  217. Peter Cohen

    $40,000 (Avg car cost) given to the taxpayers ( 625,000 of them via a lottery) with the caveat that they had to buy a car from the Big 3 would funnel $25,000,000,000 to the auto makers and REALLY stimulate the economy on ALL levels.

    Pete at the NJ Shore

    November 21, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  218. Barbara

    The first thing these CEO's and Board Members should do is RESIGN, and receive a pension paid to the rank and file.

    Then we can talk about $25 billion.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  219. mark gerlach

    floor mats for everyone!
    mark from las vegas

    November 21, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  220. Terry

    Well let's see, uh stop paying ridiculous wages and benefits to the unions, stop paying huge salaries to the management and start making better quality automobiles.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  221. Chris Dalrymple

    Make them prove they have done everything they can to save themselves. Proof that they have sold off all their corporate planes, cars, condos, floor seats, etc would make their case more compelling. If people in the company are making millions with millions more in bonuses then they aren't doing EVERYTHING they can to save themselves.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  222. michael , Las Vegas

    They should all agree to firing themselves !

    No more of our taxes spent on bailouts !

    Also congress should consider having their heads examined.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  223. Mary New Orleans

    The big 3 should come up with a plan to merge and create a company that can produce the better hybrid cars and consolidate workers and have a independent group select management. The guys in charge now don't have a clue NO money should be given without this sort of plan

    November 21, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  224. Tiffany from Philadelphia, PA

    They need to come up with a plan as to how they can compete with foreign automakers and make more fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly vehicles. There's no use giving them money to continue the same practices that got them bankrupt in the first place.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  225. Kaye Dunaway

    Jack, they should agree to either step down as CEOs or have their salaries cut in half to supplement the gov't portion of the monies being handed to them. How can they ask for help when they have million dollar salaries? I just don't get it!

    November 21, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  226. Mark Pemble in Arizona

    Well the first thing the Auto Makers should do it cut their ties with BIG OIL COMPANIES and start building cars that give us Americans hybrid vehicles that aren't 10k more expensive than the pieces of junk we see on the road today !! HYBRIDS SHOULD BE CHEAPER !!

    November 21, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  227. Daniel Coleman

    Build electric cars, damn it!

    November 21, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  228. Patrick

    The automakers should be mandated to make ALL their vehicles Flex Fuel capable by 2010 to include all new hybrid vehicles. This can be done for under $100 per vehicle and will go a long way toward weaning us off our outright addiction to oil. We, as the motoring public, need to have a real choice between dirty gasoline and clean, renewable alcohol fuel (ethanol) at the pump. Having all new cars sold in the U.S. flexible-fuel capable will provide a strong incentive for a large percentage of the 170,000 gas stations around the country to carry E85 (85% ethanol blend). Congress should mandate 30% of gas stations carry this renewable fuel and move us toward energy independence.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  229. Luis Angel

    They should all agree to fire themselves and sell the company to real people that are going to manage the company fairly and not give themselves bonuses and pocket change just because there CEO's thats what should happen.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  230. Jim Nolan

    They can start by selling off their fleets of multi-million dollar jets. The CEO's can do their part by taking drastic cuts in salary, none of them should receive more than 1/2 milion is salary and perks. They can quit making the gas guzzlers and begin making something comparable to the Toyota Prius.

    Jim, Boise, ID

    November 21, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  231. Steven Kay

    Simple! They should tell the government to fine every anti-American, foreign car-buying traitor 10k to give back to them... instead of punishing us patriotic tax-payers.

    Steven Kay
    Detroit, MI

    November 21, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  232. Hans

    1. Pay normal wages
    2. re-tool and make fuel efficient vehicles.
    3. get rid of excess brands and models
    4. pay executives reasonable salaries
    5. QUIT!

    Herman, MO

    November 21, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  233. Manoj Chopra

    Have them invest significant share of their net worth in each of their respective stock so that they feel the same concern as we do as their financer. Have the unior workers do the same.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  234. Mike, Batavia, Illinois

    Have each president drive his company's most fuel-efficient car from Detroit to Washington to present their plans. There's nothing like a road trip to give these guys a taste of what they're selling instead of taking refuge in their corporate jets and limos.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  235. steve

    The Big 3 need to do nothing less than replace senior management, cut wages, and make the leap to replace gasoline vehicles with natural gas cars and trucks in all 50 states.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  236. Ken

    Cut the top salaries; cut out the bonuses to top management; get rid of the corporate jets; start designing cars that the American public will buy; and come up with a plan as to how the money is going to be spent and how they are cutting costs.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  237. Jerry Illinois

    They should give every member of Congress a new American
    made car so when they go on their free 'junkets' then they
    will have something to drive.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  238. Rami

    Jack, plan is simple. they need to produce Quality and Fuel Efficient cars, Cars that people would want to actually buy..they need to compete with Honda, Toyota and Nissan, again all it is is quality and fuel efficiency, Look at the Japanese they produce reliable and smaller engines that are more powerful and fuel efficient

    November 21, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  239. Samantha

    I think they should declare bankruptcy, restructure, come up with innovative ideas that are good for the environment and what today's market is looking for. They need to stop foloowing the foreign car companies and return to be leaders of the industry. When they have shed all the chains from contracts that were made from the past and have a legitimate plan to move the companies forward, then the government and ultimately the taxpayer could loan them money in order to pursue their goals.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  240. J.Franklin

    The plan should have 4 main components
    1. Create create only Hybrid and or Ethanol cumbustion models.
    2. Lock interest rates to be in line with the Federal Reserve rate
    3. Ensure that every tax payer.. can get a new car
    4. Make sure retired auto workers can get medication and health care

    November 21, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  241. John - Houston, TX

    First of all, fire all their current CEOs. We can not give money to the same incompetent guys who didn't see this situation coming, or have created this.
    Second, cancel all the contracts with the Automaker Union Workers. With out it they wont be able to be competitive in the current market.
    And, for last, build cars that people really would like to buy. With good gas mileage and good quality.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  242. Ken- Alpharetta, Georgia

    The government should spend 25 billion dollars, not to bail out the automotive companies, but they should invest in them.

    I propose that they buy 25 billion dollars worth of "green" vehicles from the 3 companies and sell them to states, localities, and private citizens at reduced rates. This allows the companies to keep most jobs and make still products along with stimulating state and local governments and our American households. It would also be an environmentally friendly idea.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  243. Alex Newark, CA

    Automakers should provide the following to get aid:

    – 8 quarters forecast of profitability targets
    – 2-4 Years of Engineering programs. (Non-Cancellation policy on these programs)
    – Estimated sales by product class showing their commitment to Green Technology (2 Years)
    – 2 Years of Cost reductions & investment programs
    – Commitment to beat EPA standards/targets on fuel efficiency and safety by 10%
    – Cooperation in government programs for green mass transit

    November 21, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  244. Sean


    I find it interesting that the Ford, GM, and Chrysler seemed to have no trouble finding a congressional audience to voice their pleas. Yet, they are not the only companies facing bankruptcy. Circuit City, Linens N Things, and a countless number of small businesses (what American politicians call the "engine" of the American economy) are going out of business. So how is it that the Big Three got all the attention from Congress? Perhaps the automotive industry of America should focus more on making cars that people actually want to drive, instead of spending their resources lobbying the U.S. government.

    Athens, GA

    November 21, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  245. Bia

    Automakers need to agree to a "makeover" to higher efficiency and alternative fuel vehicles to qualify for any bailouts, and we should use a portion of the bailout to the Banks, since THEY won't even tell us what they're using our money for. (and the NEXT tax incentives should go to people buying THESE, instead of Hummers!)
    On the other hand, if we take that money and create a nationalized Health Care program for everyone, the auto-makers may be able to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, since they themselves admit health costs are their biggest obstacle.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  246. Britt from Alberta

    Jack, it doesn't matter how much or when the congress does or does not donate money. The culture of bloated big business is too deeply entrenched in these three and nothing but the most severe austerity measures will affect their future. If there is to be any chance at all for these companies they must first be restructured under the rules of Chp. 11. A complete upper management cleansing must take place immediatley and the economy must turn around. Any monies lent to these companies before all of the above has taken place is a complete waste of taxpayer's money and congressional time.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  247. chris

    The auto execs need to resign. Get new leadership who will sell the planes and develop cars people want to buy, and develop a competitive business plan that will involve the unions and retirees benefit cuts/concessions. Then maybe we will talk about loans.... as of now they would just burn through any amount of money with no guarantee that it would ever be paid back.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  248. kathy nc

    take their pay, sell their probably many homes, sell the jets, take half of their retirements, and this includes upper mgmt. all jobs must remain and come back to the USA

    November 21, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  249. shawn

    Being from an airline and we didnt get a bailout and help i say we should have them go bankrupt like us and restructure and start all over again. I feel bad for them but getting a bailout is just another ticket for failure again in the furture, but they need to present to congress and the senate a business plan for the next century how they will fix their problems and help the industry grow.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  250. Craig Hederson

    It's congress falt to some degree when ther was a big tax insentive to buy big suvs and fullsize trucks that get crappy milage but its there falt to be building Humvees and large suvs and got stck with them when fuel went up! My car gets over 100 mpg "It is time for the Avion"

    November 21, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  251. Mike

    Among other qualifications posted, Congress should require auto makers to design future cars so the owner/s can do basic maintenance needs such as change oil & filter, spark plugs, fuel filters, batteries, distributor cap and rotor and air filters without having to take them into the dealers auto shops where they are charged an arm and leg to do these basic periodic maintenance needs.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  252. betty

    Congress is putting on a show because they handed over billions to the banks with no oversigh. tNow they want to put the Auto Makers on trial. Wrong. Betty, Virginia

    November 21, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  253. Natalia, Albuquerque, NM

    Simple! First, sell everything that is not critical to their business. Their corporate jets would be a good start. Then, take a drastic pay cut to $250K per year maximum. Since these executives mismanaged their respective companies, they do not deserve their multi-million dollar salaries and bonus packages. Lastly, if any of these scoundrels decides to leave the company within the next two-four years, starting yesterday, then they forfeit any "golden" parachute or retirement plan. If the rat jumps off of the sinking ship, they get nothing for their disloyalty! Afterall, without the bailout this is what they are telling their loyal employees and retirees they will get.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  254. Elsa, Canada

    Get rid of the unions, they are no good for the economy, don't you get it as yet. look at the companies without unions they have very little problems. Wake up!!!!! Cut down the extravagent salaries.
    it is wicked to give these people money and the are arrogant about it.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  255. Joshua, Santa Barbara, CA

    The Big 3 employ many thousands of people and cannot be allowed to fail in an already failing economy, but they should not be bailed out for problems of their own making. A Newer Deal is needed to reduce unemployment. The economy is best stimulated by steady paychecks, not a single payout.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  256. Lorenzo, Lawrenceville, GA

    Come up with a plan that would create more efficient cars. They did it years ago. They can do it again. They know what they need to do. The question is. Are they ready to make a commitment to give the American people better cars?

    November 21, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  257. Jay in Calgary


    Next time they should agree to take one private jet. These guys just don't have a clue. I think you should add 3 more to the unemployed list for this month.


    November 21, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  258. Brett in Oriskany,Va

    If they sell their jets! Now everybody wants our money, AIG,Wall st, Detroit, public mass transit. What about the common citizen who didnt do anything wrong? If we took all this bailout money, divided in evenly among citizens paying taxes, we' just start the economy quickly.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  259. Ven Lee

    Let it go Chapter 11, Government provides car warraties
    Chapter 11:
    1.Change the incompetent CEO's and their incestuous Board.
    2.Get rid of UAW
    3. Reduce the number of dealerships

    Lee, Los Altos Hills, CA

    November 21, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  260. Tom PA

    Fire the heads of all three. They have the tech and the engines, they just have them in Europe. have the big three offer biodiesel hybrids. Then they need to sell their vehicles at a lower profit margin even the nice ones they overcharge us for now.
    Maybe then, Congress will try to covert the tabacco industry into a furl production industry.
    Or hey could just come up with a vague set of ptinciples that no one can enforce make lawmakers look tough.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  261. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    Whatever Congess wants. Let them decide what they need to do. Afterall, Congress is the authority on these matters. Aren't they? What a tragic joke.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  262. L.M.,Arizona

    If it was my money which it is there is nothing they can do to get my money.


    November 21, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  263. Jim McRae

    Responding from a little town in Ontario Canada – New hamburg

    According to friends of mine who work for GM here in this area, GM has developed at least 8 models of cars that are quality rivals of the imports including great gas mileage.

    My suggestion to GM.... Separate these models from the rest of the GM pack, (right now they're lost in the whole mess), create a new company subsidiary and aggressively market this new entity. This smaller, cleaner subsidiary could go after less funding than for the whole of the disfunctional GM regime and regain customer confidence as a financially stable group with a great line up of cars.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  264. david in indiana


    I for one, don't have a problem borrowing GM & Ford a bridge loan if they present a reasonable case. I think Crysler is a totally differnt case altogether. They are owned by Cerberus Capital, a hedge fund that has financed a huge number of companies. They should not have problems finding private equity money like they always done. That is their expertise and if they have a viable case for saving Chrysler then they should not seek taxpayers help. They are very private in their business practices and don't want any government oversight so why should we bail them out now just because they bit off more than they could handle when they bought Chyrsler.

    David in Indiana

    November 21, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  265. Mike, Syracuse NY

    1. Cut all salaries and benefits for execs and union workers alike to those of the US Toyota and Honda plants
    2. Suspend any bonuses until all the bailout money is paid back with interest. Interest rate to be 1% above that they charge in their own financing.
    3. Raise 2010 fuel efficiency average to 30 MPG going to 35MPG in 2012
    4. Extend the warranty on all new model to 10 years to force reliability improvements
    5. Commit that 10% of the money be spent on R&D for fuel cells, electric cars, etc.
    6. Suspend importing any foreign made cars or parts for cars.
    7. Mandate that all business travel be made on commercial airlines at coach fares.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  266. Bruce Robbins

    Require the top levels of management at the Big 3, the UAW, and all congress members who vote for the 25 billion bailout sign for the loan – personally. If we can't design profitable cars at least we can engineer true accountability.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  267. Christopher From Illinois

    Beg, all you want you ain't getting any money.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  268. Art Joyce

    I have an idea Jack: maybe they could get a loan from a BANK. After all, we've already paid to those, right?

    November 21, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  269. Doug Helena, Montana

    They need to file for bankruptcy and reorganize. The union needs to be realistic on wages and benefits to become competitive. Otherwise they will go the way of the Studebaker.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  270. AL Cooley

    The airline industry unions and the electrical construction unions both yelded substantial pay reductions recently. They decided they would be happier with a lower salary than with no salary. Avoiding bandruptcy requires more than lip service by any industry.that is up against the wall. You obviously must include the Detroit managementt team as well. (or replace them).

    November 21, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  271. Bryan Ceja

    Shocked is all I can say. My question is why doesn't the senior management at the Big 3 ALREADY have a strategic growth plan to share? How do you ask for a loan without a plan? Did these guys go to business school at all? It's not like their decline in market share is a big surprise. It's been happening for years. Something is critically wrong at these companies and giving them more money is not going to fix that. Instead of bailing out all three of them, I would pick the one company that comes up with the best plan and is best positioned to execute it and succeed and give that one company a loan. The other two, with inferior outlooks, should then be allowed to sink or swim on their own.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  272. Mike


    They must produce a realistic business/project plan with measurable milestones and deliverables. The $25 billion loan should be broken down by milestone and as each milestone is achieved, a portion of the bailout$ is then paid. This negates the need to pay the full $25 billion upfront.

    Montreal, Canada

    November 21, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  273. Steve Mcloyd, Greenville, SC

    The Big 3 should give detail account of how the money will be used. They should also make cuts on executive salaries to save money. The Big 3 can, and should raise their own money. Sale stocks, and any other items that can help them gain capital.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  274. JosephThePoet

    If the big three want to borrow money then they should have to pay it and the interest back with next generation vehicles, not any gas powered vehicles, within a specified time frame. The federal and state governments have fleets that are always in need of replacing, and this will force the companies into the future vehicle market.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  275. Annette of Aurora, CO

    They should do what others do to failures – fire themselves and each board of director member should resign. Bring in a whole new management team and board. This new team needs to (1) define the problem (2) develop a plan of action to correct the problem with expected results and responsible parties (3) implement the plan (4) regularly check results and make adjustments as necessary. Congress should only give them so much money with each accomplishment in the plan and no money for not meeting the objectives. It is that simple and if they can't master this, then they all need to go home, including Congress.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  276. Nick, Wallingford, CT

    The automakers should make many, many, many fuel efficient cars that get 70+ MPG. If they don't, don't give 'em money. Give 'em a shrug and say "This is the 21st century. Get with it."

    November 21, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  277. A. Watkins

    I don't think they should bet a dime until the restructure from the top down. Top CEO's of each company has demonstrated greed and a lack of leadership and should go.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  278. Tony Marquez

    Present a strategic plan that will incrementally grow production and research on electric and hudrogen vehicles. Additionally, place caps many of the executive salaries, exotic benefits and stock options.

    I also would like the government structure controls over unions especially since they are also part of the "greed" problem. And, leave the option open for potential loopholes when discovered.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  279. shelley

    the automakers need to do exactly what michael moore said on larry on wednesday night. They need to start making vehicles that people can afford, that are built to last and affordable on gas. They need to start building for the future, hello the HYBRID. Otherwise this bailout will be a catastrophe,

    November 21, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  280. Sam from LA

    The automakers job here really isn't that hard. What they need to do is show the American people that they are willing to do what it takes to save their business. The most effective first step for them to take in order to gain credibility with the American public is to cut the salaries and benefits of the executive board. The public needs to know that those executives are going to share in the financial squeeze that will undoubtedly be felt in millions more American homes as the depth of this financial crisis reveals itself.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  281. Alan, Buxton Maine

    Start making cars that are affordable, get 60mpg and don't pollute the environment and they won't need a bailout.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  282. Ken

    I think the automakers have seen this coming for awhile now. I do not believe that we as taxpayers should bail them out period. The greed that these companies have had over the past eight Bush years and Republican reign has finally caught up with them. The fact that these CEO's fly in on private jets demonstrates that either denial of their money problems or their absolute arrogance. I as a taxpayer would rather see them go bankrupt and hopefully rebuild from the top down although they will probably go sfter the workers on the floor first.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  283. Doug

    From top to bottom, management and labor. Cut everyone's wage & benefit package by 50% including retired folk. Then Congress will help out when the industry shows it is willing to share the pain. They got themselves into this fix. When the companies are in better shape, they pay back the US taxpayer and only then incrimentally bump up wages.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  284. djh

    (1) First FIRE upper management with no compensation.

    (2) Sell off unneeded real estate.

    (3) Restructure labor agreements and compensation packages.

    (4) Build a better quality automobile that customers will buy.

    (5) Show a plan to move away from gasoline automobiles to alternate energy automobiles with 40 MPG.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  285. Ty from MI

    I think everyone knows by now that Bush purposely imploded the system...and if you don't, well shame on you. But the big 3 killed the electric car, had money to build a new plant in Russia and now a new on in Brazil once they get the money from us taxpayers......soon we'll have the Amero. Welcome to the new America

    November 21, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  286. Tony

    Tell us how your average fuel economy will increase, how you will build cars that don't rely on gasoline, how there will be fewer recalls of the products you produce, in short, how you will make Americans proud to buy American cars again. Tell us how you will manage your labor costs, how you will not be the last group in the world to grasp the latest economic trends, how you will be more financially responsible, in short, how you will be better managers. Then tell us why, given your dismal track record, we should believe you're competent to do any of this. Finally, if you convince us, promise us you'll never darken our doors again.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  287. Daniel, Indiana

    Cutting executive wages and pay packages is a must. Then, make them get rid of the corporate jets and other frivolous perks. They must agree to begin major changes in their auto lines and they must be made more fuel effecient and/or green. We must see to it that there is a serious move to end our dependence on petrochemicals and all carbon burning in automobiles. There is a possibility that some union concessions will be necessary, but they mustn't be raped and broken in order to reform the companies.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  288. Glenn

    use cost cutting measures to insure the future of the company.
    build other products ike buses and lightrail trains

    November 21, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  289. Ed from Durango, Colorado

    Groveling would be good. Showing some shame from their greed and mis-management would be good. Coming forth with a viable plan on how they plan to spend 25 billion would be good. Having a plan for economic, fuel efficient ,hybrid, electric, flex fuel vehicles would be good. Cutting all the mid management waste would be good. Having the unions come up with a plan to help reduce their wages would be good. And looking to the Japanese auto makers for ideas on how to actually be efficient mangers would be good. The CEOs taking a huge salary decrease would be good.

    Then maybe we can talk LOANS and when and how these LOANS will be paid back to the American taxpayer .... with interest!!!. Please no more "bail outs".

    November 21, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  290. Lew

    How about everybody in the Big 3 auto industry ( top to bottom) take a pay cut to save their jobs and retirement. A little sacrifice on their part should be in order. Let them put something into the tin cup too.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  291. N. Spengler

    The automobile companies should present a business model (reconstruction plan) that addresses the unions hourly compensation, CEO compensation, golden parachutes for executives, future vehicles, to name a few. The tax payers also want to know how the money is repaid, and when. Without drastic cuts and a new way of doing business any bailout would be pouring money down the drain.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  292. andrew

    a thought for consideration. if the auto makers were to file bankruptcy, would this releive them of their contract with the unions? if so wouldn't that be a choice for the workers to make? have a job for a lesser wage or be unemployeed. we must remember there are more jobs to be lost other than the direct employees. have we considered the overall economic problems if the auto companies fold. we must also consider the effect on all of the foriegn car companies that are partners with the big 3. lets be smart and hold these companies to very frugal standards including executive bnus. THERE SHOULD BE NONE. THEY ARE ULTIMATELY RESONSIBLE FOR THE FAILURE.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  293. Dixie Owens

    1. Cut the number of models they manufacture and enforce fleet standards with a minimum of 35 MPG.
    2. Retool plants making inefficient cars to make passenger and cargo trains.
    3. Their boards should include a member of the Senate, a member of the House and a member from a consumer organization (i.e. Consumer Federation of America, etc.)

    November 21, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  294. Stacy Hopkins St.Augustine Beach, FL

    If we give them money demand that the CEO's and the board of directors step down. We replace them with some Japanese people that know how to build cars that will sell.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  295. Ms Eusebia Aquino

    Enough is a Enough! No taxpayers handout for the auto industry.
    Tell them to sell thier CEO's jets and pay the bailout themseleves.
    As a hardworking taxpayer stick a fork in me .I am done!
    Eusebia Detroit USA

    November 21, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  296. Damian Minczeski

    Show lawmakers what operational and financial steps are required to break even at the estimated annual unit sales of 11 – 14 million, including an analysis of industry consolidation. They'll need a lot more than $25 billion if they continue business as usual and manufacture the same brands at the same volumes that our economy cannot absorb.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  297. Robyn Webb, CTS....Richmond, VA

    Two things:

    First, the entire upper management staff needs to be terminated immediately without severance packages or continuing benefits. It is plain to see that their errors in judgement are what landed the “big three” where they find themselves today. A GM, Ford or Chrysler employee who makes a mistake resulting in a loss of $100 is likely to be fired. Upper management, as employees of these companies need to be held to the same standard.

    Second, use the cash to retool for manufacture of hybrids, electric cars and development of affordable fuel cell technology. These manufacturers’ short sighted view and refusal to devote sufficient resources to developing these technologies is another factor here. Not one nickel should be devoted to the development of a new luxury SUV or modern day muscle car.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  298. joe Ontario

    One other thing Jack, Toyota and all the other Japanese company produce cars in the US and Canada and although there are not Unions representing them, they do make similar wages as the Big Three, so don't blame are Unions for demanding big wages and benefits packages for the Big Threes financial woes. Lets face it , Gm believes more in quanity and not quality, Period.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  299. Bill in CO

    Jack the answer is simple build cars that American's consumers want to buy. Gone are the days of SUV's and Trucks that get 10 miles a gallon on the highway. They need to build cars that rid us of our dependence on foreign fuel sources. Wait wait the answer is coming to me NATURAL GAS HYBRIDS. We can build American cars that are fuel efficient and run on an American produced fuel source.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  300. Dennis

    Use the money to prop up the pension and health care for the auto workers in order to allow for them to become more competitive.
    Has anyone stopped to consider the effect of a national health care system on the operating costs for not only the auto industry. Maybe Congress should be more focused on the bigger picture rather than simply reacting to each new crisis.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  301. Marilynn

    The Chief Executives and the Board of Directors of these Companies should accept a $1.00 total compensation for the length of the loan. Also the Company private planes also have to sold.
    The money saved should be used for retooling, research, and some compensation for workers.


    November 21, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  302. Ronald L. Tarwater

    Congress must exact three things from the auto industry before the auto makers get any government handouts or loans: (1) abandon the fleet of cars and trucks now on assembly lines and produce European-style small cars with minimum 50 mpg (2) simplify all future cars eliminating high end bells and whistles on most models (3) Reduce the salaries of all management by 25% and eliminate all management bonuses exceeding $10,000 a year.

    RT of Elmira, NY

    November 21, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  303. Jim

    They should be required to show their patriotism!So far they have done little if nothing to show their desire to do their part to help get america off the oil.GM had the EV1,a saturn product! which in it's last days got 300 miles to the charge.They scrapped that saying the people wouldn't buy it.They ignored the fact that they had thousands of people throwing deposits down to lease them.The waiting list was over 20,000 names long.They chose to side with one of their major investors-BIG OIL..Make em produce some of the tecnology they have buried,like 300 mile per gallon carbouraters and such,or get big oil to bail them out!

    November 21, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  304. Tom Riddick

    Across the board 10% pay cuts for all employees making more than $40k. Executive compensation tied to increase in profit or loss reduction. This should handle the $25B without any job loss or large reduction in benefits for workers. Other than that perhaps a crash course in Japanese is the only way to go.

    Indian wells, CA

    November 21, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  305. Mary Martin

    I would approve loans and help for Detroit ONLY if we, the taxpayers/lenders were assured that we will get affordable fuel efficent/green cars within 2 years at the most. If they can't or won't, let them die. Enough with the Hummer mentality!
    Obama should also ask the oil companies to help bail out Detroit.
    After all, aren't Oil and Cars the best of friends? We've been told for the past 30 years that the market could take care of itself. Let's see them take care of each other then!
    Imagine if Detroit had started building fuel efficient cars in the seventies during the oil crisis! Our car industry would be on top of the world today.

    M. Martin, Connecticut

    November 21, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  306. Jeff, VT

    This is a man on the moon situation. The United States needs to spend the money to change the world forever. Our 25 billion dollars needs to be a 2 fold operation. Get the auto industry through the period of time it takes for them to change into green machine making companies.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  307. Renee

    I am not excited about this bailout. However, there are million of people that stand to lose their jobs. We can't assume that these people (worker bees) want a free ride. They should fire the upper management and get some new thinkers in there. The Government should bailout the industry with many strings. And they should also revisit their previous "bailout" buddies. They need to have strings imposed on them as well as some strong punishment to their actions. If we can bailout wall street–why not the big 3. People seem to forget that if they were put in a place where their employer had to let them go, they would be wishing for a bailout!!! The real "interviews" should be the people (approx 3 million people) who may be losing their jobs. This isn't a hand out but a hand up for people to keep their homes and employment. Smack them on the hand for wanting to work for bad employers-but never forget how lucky you are to still be employed!!!

    November 21, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  308. Mel from Chicago

    They can give a detailed explanation of what was done with the $25 billion in loans that they received this past September. Let's see how they really managed the money. Was it spent on corporate travel or other like excesses? If so, they don't deserve another dime.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  309. karen

    1. Go back to Congress via coach just like the rest of us,
    2 Absolutely, positively no ridiculous salaries, bonuses, or
    parachutes. Those who don't perform to plan are fired without
    compensation just like the rest of us.
    3. Have an detailed plan on how the companies will now focus on
    hybrid, energy efficient vehicles with timetable
    4. Promise not to outsource any jobs..
    5 Renegotiate with labor unions
    6 Money should be given quarterly , if they haven;t met their
    expectations for that quarter...no money.
    7 If they can't meet these requirements, they can go bankrupt,....just like the rest of us.

    November 21, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  310. Jerry Moore

    St. Louis

    GM, Chrysler, and Ford should borrow the money from the gas companies. They probably have more money than the government!

    November 21, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  311. bejay/texas

    Jack, the auto industry must submit plans for success that they obviously have because of their existence to this point. I don't see them as beggars, I see them as a vital industry trying to stop the dominoe effect of a global recession. They need to explain the need to use corporate jets ( for security purposes, promptness and the ability to provide themselves as bandaids to their ailing plants who need the presence of hope
    I hope our legislators can see the historical role they are playing in helping this industry

    November 21, 2008 at 4:47 pm |