December 3rd, 2008
03:03 PM ET

Auto Industry: What's the right answer?

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

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

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Auto sales have hit new lows. Since November of last year, GM is down 41%, Ford is down 31%. It's not just the American automakers who are suffering. Toyota sales are down 34% and Honda is down 32%.

This news comes as the Big 3 make another plea to Congress tomorrow for a $34 billion dollar bailout.

Ford, which is asking for $9 billion, seems to be "getting it." Yesterday, the company said it would sell five of their corporate jets and cut its CEO's salary to $1.

Watch: Cafferty: Answer for Big 3?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says auto industry bankruptcy is not an option, and if the cash doesn't come from a new loan, the industry will get money from the $700 billion dollars already approved to rescue banks. I must have missed the part where they put Nancy Pelosi in charge of all this.

A CNN/Opinion Research Poll out today finds a majority of Americans, 61%, oppose a bailout of the auto industry and 70% say it's just not fair to taxpayers. They also don't think it will help the economy.

Here’s my question to you: When it comes to the auto industry, what's the right answer?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Pinky writes:
American taxpayers should not bail out the auto companies. The union and top management knew this was going on for years. The ride is over for them and I'm in no mood to pay for their bad judgment and greed. I, too, wonder when Nancy Pelosi was put in charge of the bailout. She should go and sit in her seat.

Dave writes:
How is it fair to me to bailout AIG, and the other financial institutions that made stupid, greedy loans to half-wits that thought they deserved a $300,000 house on a $30,000 annual salary? The auto workers are being hit by a credit crunch not of their own making. GM, Ford and Chrysler are asking for a loan, America. Don't treat them as the whipping boy for your frustration.

Glenn writes:
GM had something like 75% of the market roughly 30 years ago. Today they have about a third of that amount. GM, Chrysler and Ford have all been stupid for decades. Honda, Toyota and others have seized the momentum, built quality cars that people want, and Detroit continues to churn out junk. Let them go through bankruptcy court. Let some other company buy up their factories, and start anew. They screwed up. Just desserts.

Kathy writes:
Jack, I really don't see why we should bail them out. The way the economy is right now, most normal people would have to be crazy to try to borrow money to buy a new car. So if they get the bailout to stay in business, who is going to buy their product?

Jim writes:
If it hits the fan, can AIG or any of the 'faux' money industries build a tank or military cargo truck? I didn't think so. Let's bail out the companies that are part of the defense of this country.

Jann writes:
The answer is a resounding "No Bailout"! What would happen if all 3 disappeared? We'd have Honda, Toyota, Subaru, Kia, and not a single Hummer. Now this is what I call change!

Filed under: Auto Industry
soundoff (273 Responses)
  1. sully,,,,, forest park ga

    they need it i say give it to them with interest of course.

    December 3, 2008 at 1:21 pm |
  2. Don in Fort Gratiot MI

    Only room for two of the three. One needs to go.

    December 3, 2008 at 1:26 pm |
  3. mere

    We gave out to almost or just over a trillion to Wall Street who produces hot air and hysteria, and to the financial corporations and banks, and all those CEO's and executive officers are the benificiaries of those four +plus bailouts. So my question is, wouldn't it be good to finally bail out a company which does product a real product?

    December 3, 2008 at 1:26 pm |
  4. Charles, Lansing, MI

    The auto industry must get these loans. Three to four million jobs are related to the American Auto Insustry. The banks were bailed out so they could make money available for loans for cars, etc. Instead they used most of the money to buy up each other. This certainly is nothing new. The sugar industry has been subsidized since World War II. Even with the loans their will be thousands of jobs lost at auto dealerships. Whether y;;ou call it loans, bailouts, stimulus, subsidy, tariff, or anything else, the taxpayer has to pay for it.

    December 3, 2008 at 1:28 pm |
  5. Lori, Cincinatti, OH

    I do not think there is a right answer here. (dammed if you do and dammed if you don't)
    But I do not want to be played a fool, by these Exec's stating they will drop their pay to $1. When everyone knows their bonus's are 10 fold what their pay is. If they would drop the bonus and keep their pay. THAT would be impressive.

    December 3, 2008 at 1:28 pm |
  6. Tom, Avon, Maine, The Heart of Democracy

    The CEO's must swear off stupidity.

    Their compensation needs to be tied more to performance than getting good old boys on the corporate board.

    December 3, 2008 at 1:29 pm |
  7. Allan Hanson Cameron Park Ca.

    I guess I would say yes. Before they had foreign competition and they all had to pay the same wages and benefits they gave the store away rather than fight. Now they Are having to pay the piper.
    All car sales are down not just the big 3, and most get subsidized by their countries. Why should we be any different?
    As to them seling gas guzzlers, they just sell what people will buy, but they can't adjust as fast as people change their minds. So don't blame the for the SUV's, Its what people wanted.

    December 3, 2008 at 1:30 pm |
  8. Mike S.,New Orleans

    If the U.S. automakers want to succeed in competing with foreign products, they need to quit paying their janitors six figures, and kiss their annual million dollar bonuses for failing CEO's goodbye. And please, stop trying to sell the same car under six different brand names.

    December 3, 2008 at 1:30 pm |
  9. Rod Weiss

    Ask the people in the former comunist countries if the government control they experienced was best for them, or is the free market/capitalism that they now experience best. Then ask yourself, can I survive without a car made by a company in the US?

    Free market / capitalism believes in survival of the fitest. Its obvious that the big three are not "fit", nor are the contracts to do business that they are tied to 'fit" for free market society.

    December 3, 2008 at 1:31 pm |
  10. Jane (Minnesota)

    If something isn't done I'm afraid the ripple effect in other industries will cause more job losses. So help them – but oversee the help & make sure they improve efficiency please. Don't let the oversight be like the financial sytem bailout oversight (or lack there of) please. Can't we force accountability anymore?????

    December 3, 2008 at 1:31 pm |
  11. fred N.C.

    Simple solution? Don't know if there is one BUT.... a good start would be salary caps for exec's [both junior and senior] of say 250,000 per year with bonuses ONLY if profits support it. Step 2... tell the unions to take a hike! Everyone takes a cut in pay or they shut the doors and ya gits nuthin! Compete with the rest of the world automakers in price, economy and quality. If every one of us tightens the old belt a little we can be a world power again! American workers deserve to have our own manufacturing base. We can no longer tolerate outsourcing of our jobs! A global market ONLY works if its a level playing field. Right now it isn't.

    December 3, 2008 at 1:31 pm |
  12. Dave

    If they have a business plan with a clear path to success, they deserve a loan with interst and limits on CEO compensation. What I would like to hear though, is why the oil companies are not being held responsible for this mess? They are the ones who gained from not developing alternative energy. The auto companies simply caved in to pressure. Just follow the money!!

    December 3, 2008 at 1:31 pm |
  13. Jason, Koloa, HI

    Take the obscene profits from the oil industry that have puppeted the auto industry since its inception and use it to give the auto-makers a green face-lift. There is no reason that billions of dollars should be expected from taxpayers to bail out auto companies while oil companies walk away with outrageous profits for polluting the environment.

    December 3, 2008 at 1:34 pm |
  14. Marsha

    why does congress get the right to decide to save the few while the rest of us are left out in the cold with no home no food no christmas just invisible people hurting for real instead of the auto industy people and all their jobs oh well no one just bailed us out

    and they are making us pay for their mistakes (bail outs) bah humbug
    something here is very stinky and it is the congress and whole policiticians

    throw the whole bunch out and put in honest hard working americans that think beyond theirselves. god forgive them i can't washinton one of the highest taxed states and cost of living exceeds most other states !!!

    December 3, 2008 at 1:36 pm |
  15. Katiec Pekin, IL

    With stipulations, massive budget cuts and constant oversight, feel we must bail out the auto industries. There are too many jobs and spinoffs involved and to not do so would be another major diaster. Our country cannot handle too many more.
    They have mismanaged and made many mistakes. But there has not been fraud, greed (except for the executives) as with the financial institutions. Why were not conditions laid out to them and why are
    they being allowed to continue with business as usual?

    December 3, 2008 at 1:37 pm |
  16. Martyn Bignell

    The American auto industry is frankly a mess, the worst of these being GM, during the 1970's back in the UK they had a huge corporation called British Leyland. This company could only be described as a huge giant, consuming huge amounts of cash, it never worked and was one of the biggest government follies ever.

    If I was the CEOof GM I would dismantle the whole operation, first I would get rid of the brands that are out of date and do not sell, this would also result in plant closures I am afraid. I would then re-brand some of the makes GM produce, bring teams of designers from Europe and start designing better vehicles.

    The re-branded makes would re-gain their former identity, I would look at the new designs to ensure they could match the quality of Audi and BMW, in conjuction with the volumes needed to maintain good residules. These companies could also attract new investment from companies in Asia etc, I could go on and on, however, the bottom line is that the people my heart goes out to is the factory workers who have been let down by very poor management with no vision; suffice to say though I blame their union representives as well, as they also have zero vision.

    December 3, 2008 at 1:37 pm |
  17. Nicole

    I cannot imagine letting them fail. But I also cannot imagine leaving the same people in charge. They need to get rid of the people who helped run these companies into this situation. If you really think they are smart...just think back a couple of weeks ago when they each flew private jets to Washington ........ are you kidding me? And I agree with another comment...they say they'll give up salaries or reduce them to $1 – like was said, the bonuses are where they really make money they should give up all compensation if you ask me – show them the door!

    December 3, 2008 at 1:37 pm |
  18. Daniel Ambrose


    For the sake of the employees at the big three, they should not be victimized by the poor decisions that the top big three cheeseheads has made in years past. So in this rare case, the govt. should come to their rescue, BUT I emphasize that every dollar given to them must be repaid and accounted for and their so-called lay out plan must be honored. This should be a platform of an example of poor management by the Big 3.

    Daniel Ambrose,
    Atlanta, GA

    December 3, 2008 at 1:38 pm |
  19. Barb New Port Richey Fl

    I'm confused Jack; why are we even questioning weather or not to help the auto industry? How much has the government spent on the bank bail outs? Is it working? Did we put restrictions on them? Damned if we do; damned if we don't

    December 3, 2008 at 1:40 pm |
  20. Bill, Quarryville, Pa.

    I do not care about the auto industry but I do care what is best for our economy. We need written guarantees that the auto industry will create jobs here in the United States for the taxpayers who bailed them out. They need to get lean and better prepared for the future of their business. They need to stop making gas guzzling vehicles and start concentrating on being green. That is what is in the future and if they don't know that by now, only a fool would lend them money. The union should also realize that it is better to have a job with less benefits then it is to have no job at all.

    December 3, 2008 at 1:42 pm |
  21. James Michael Collins

    Change has been the biggest American issue this year, so let's dump the U.S. auto industry, and bring back the buggy whip days. At least it helps us to get off of foreign oil.

    James Michael Collins

    December 3, 2008 at 1:43 pm |
  22. Scott - Kansas

    First: Let them fail. It's what happens in a free market economy.
    Second: Unions go away. They have too much power, and they use it to try to control all aspects of a business. I understand that they beleive everyone needs benefits, and a decent wage, but those should be the businessmen's decisions, not the metal workers.
    Third: The companies that take the place of the big three should be proactive, not reactive. The failure of the auto industry is because they didn't see the big oil problems coming. If they had, they wouldve been ready for this years ago.

    They are to blame for everything. Don't give them an easy way out.

    December 3, 2008 at 1:44 pm |
  23. odessa

    let's see here..give the big ceos nothing from the package, get rid of old managment and bring in new management with reasonable pay..also give the union workers a raise so they keep their jobs and new contracts from their unions..don't give ceos nothing; let them suffer like the middle class do..they want to beg for money instead making hugh scarfices such as cutting their salaries and bonuses..as far as i am conern, the big giants need to shut up and think about other solutions..

    December 3, 2008 at 1:46 pm |
  24. KarenB, Florida

    let them file bankruptcy and reorganize, they keep on "going"

    December 3, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  25. Marie Ontario

    The right answer is definitely not reducing the hourly worker's wages as some people seem to think is the main problem with these companies. The idea to bring all the working class wages down to those that a greeter at Walmart gets is the height of stupidity and the Conservative way of doing business.

    America needs decent paying jobs so people can afford the goods and services that keeps the economy solvent. When people suggest workers should take wage cuts it just translates into them wanting everyone being at or below the poverty level.

    The only feasible action is to guarantee the auto industry loans until they can recover from the Conservative created recession.

    December 3, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  26. Brian Kennedy- North Carolina

    I am originally from Detroit, and there is a long history of automakers in my family. My Great-Grandfather was one of the original people who worked with Henry Ford. That being said, I think that if the government is going to bail them out, then we should get something in return. In the 1970's when we were having that other energy crisis, technology was invented that would be useful now. I say, the automakers need to go back into their vaults, look at some of the companies that they swallowed up to avoid competition, and give only us SUV's that get 80+ MPG and cost under $12,000, then sell their jets. If they want the money bad enough- then let's go back to competing globally and being leaders of technology and innovation instead of following foreign auto-makers. Alternative fuel- here we come!

    December 3, 2008 at 1:51 pm |
  27. Laurie in Lawrence, KS

    Let them file bankruptcy and restructure. Their business model is outdated, the make/sell cars that no one wants. They deserve what the mess they are in.

    December 3, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  28. Denis Duffy

    History tells that if you fail, you go down. Congress doesn't care about history. None of them want to be blamed for not doing "the right thing". So they will ignore history and bail out the auto industry with our money. Not their money, mind you, their money will be the contributions and bribes they receive from the auto bureaucrats and union whiners. Why does free market always have a price tag?

    December 3, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  29. Annie Naples FL

    let them straighten out their own mess as we all have to do without bailouts, faulty loans, government incentives...they have had a gravy train for years and years now it is time to take responsibility and let bankruptcy take over so they will be more responsible and accountable.

    December 3, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  30. David

    The right answer? Get a bike.

    December 3, 2008 at 1:53 pm |
  31. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: This level of cluelessness–culminating in private CEO jet flights to Washington to beg for money–is hardly random. It took 50 years of really bad management to get here. Both bankruptcy and bailout offer the same dismal prospect: a zombie-like return of the same poor thinking that made Detroit the East Germany of American business. There can be no rescue for an endemic mindset like this. It must be broken up. Incompetence on this scale and depth demands nothing less. The suppliers and workers of the US auto industry are the biggest victims here–but we cannot afford to use the sclerotic bureaucracies named GM, Ford, or Chrysler to be the agents of rescue. They just don't know how.

    December 3, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  32. Donald Andrews

    Ever hear the saying, "Make a rich person poor and chances are he or she will be rich again. Make a poor person rich and chances are they will be poor again ? This is because they haven't changed the habits that made them that way. You can't bail out the auto industry without first changing the things that got them where they are in the first place. Big oil should contribute to the bailout since they are the ones that profit the most from the high horsepower gas guzzling cars.

    December 3, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  33. Terry from North Carolina

    There is no clear answer to this question. A good business plan going forward, approved by the lender. Reduction of the headcount throughout the company both union and management. And lets have some givebacks from the UAW, there hands are not clean in the mess. When you can build Toyotas in South Carolina at a cheaper labor rate than you can in Detroit somethings wrong.

    December 3, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  34. JIM

    The Big 3 should get the loan. After all, congress bailed out the finance and Insurance companies with no strings attached. The circumstances that led to the problems with the automakers was a financial crisis. Toyota sales have dropped by 34%. It isn't that they are making cars buyers don't want. The one condition congress should ask for is major concessions from the unions or allowing the Big 3 to eliminate the unions. That would put them on an even playing field with the foreign car makers in this country. If they fail to get the loans, the big 3 should file for bankruptcy. Then they can eliminate the union.

    December 3, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  35. Jim, Kansas

    The Big 3 need to merge into one giant company. This would allow
    them to cut 2/3 of their management positions and become competitive. You wouldn't keep all those million+ dollar a year jobs
    after a merger.

    December 3, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  36. Ron in Oregon

    To me it's really quite simple. Let the supply and demand of capitalism treat these businesses as it has treated so many others. If they fail, they fail. The free market can't support them...oh well. Maybe they need to fail. Maybe we don't need three of them any more. Besides, they have not met the demands of the people like certain other foreign owned auto companies have.

    December 3, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  37. Larry in Florida

    The right answer is help them but help them make a car that saves fuel and our air quality. They have the know how so now is a good time to make them use it. We need the big three to get back to work because they effect so many jobs across the country. Help them to help us get back so many lost jobs. Between the auto industry and getting to work on our infrastructure, which is in desperate need of repair, the economy will once again thrive.

    December 3, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  38. Ed Reed

    At this point in our economy, they cannot be allowed to fail; however, there needs to be a plan approved by management, the union, creditors, suppliers, and the taxpayers which allows them to survive and succeed.

    Ed Reed
    Port Aransas, TX

    December 3, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  39. CJ in Atlanta, GA

    Obviously the US automakers have lost touch with what consumers want. The only way to get them back on track is to mandate what they must do:
    1. Management must regularly drive a Toyota, Honda, or Mercedes.
    2. Management must regularly drive a GM, Ford, or Chrysler vehicle.
    3. Management must compare and contrast, and then fix all of the product issues that make US vehicles seem cheap in comparison.

    Let's just say that you see a lot more old Mercedes Benz on the road than you do Buicks. That ought to tell you something.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  40. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    I believe I can solve this problem all by myself.

    About 8 years ago I bought an Oldsmobile, and soon after that, GM stopped making Oldsmobiles.

    I then bought a Pontiac Bonneville, and they stopped making Pontiac Bonnevilles.

    All I have to do is to buy a Hummer, a Saturn and a Buick, and they will stop making Hummers, Saturns and Buicks.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  41. Steven of Wellesley MA

    What I don't understand about the hearings for a bailout is why are there only three executives there. The fourth, who actually has control over all three companies, is the head of the UAW, Gettelfinger.

    How can the industry be reformed or even attempt to reorganize when the UAW bears a large part of the blame for creating an industry which can no longer compete. The auto-executives can tell any cock and bull story about reform, but without the UAW being part of it it is just wishful thinking.

    There is no question that the industry and the unions went off down the road to mutual self destruction.

    Either the UAW opens the entire master contract and local contracts, or we should just allow the bankruptcy laws to set it straight.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  42. Sandi, Chicago

    CEOs/Management and employees, as well as retirees need to cut their pay, cut their benefits and cut their annual bonus. Yes, that is right – as of 2007, and possibly 2008, retirees were receiving bonus checks too. Their retired! This is fact because I saw my aunt and uncle's bonus checks, and the neighbor down the street from them. The bonus check was about $900. for each of them AND THEY ARE RETIRED! What did they do to deserve a bonus??? They get their pension, they get their medical benefits, they get their social security – why do they get a BONUS CHECK? Especially, when the companies were losing money!
    Do I feel sorry for them? Nope! Do I believe Americans have to bail out the auto industry – yes, begrudingly though.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  43. Joanne Buck

    GM needs to go into Bankruptcy as it appears they have the worst Management by far.
    We are not a Capitalist system any longer when the Corporations run the USA – Corporations take the American people's money and bribe the Politicians, then keep alot money for "self"; and when they get in trouble because of their greed and incompetence their buddies the "Politicisans" rip the poor good decent honest American off again.
    There will be a reckoning down the road however.
    Joanne B

    December 3, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  44. Tony in Michigan

    The government needs to raise tarrifs on foreign made autos and lower taxes on US made autos as a start. Then we need to get the Big Three a bailout package with stipulations including capping executive pay and benefits, repayment schedules, and guarantees that the money stays in America. Another idea may be to freeze their stock prices for 6 or 12 months to let them reorganize, drop a line or brand name possibly, without taking a huge hit. The one fact in this is that too many jobs are on the line to do nothing.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  45. Craig

    Well Jack, if the so called big three are so big why are they in so much trouble? Can you say," bad management." If these companies get billions of our money, where is my share? The bailout will help them only in the short term. A billion dollars would help me in the long term.
    At least I could afford to buy a new car "made in Japan."

    in Oklahoma

    December 3, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  46. hugh ~ tracy, california

    Union automakers are overpaid, that being said, CEOs are more overpaid, so if the corporate execs expect union workers to renegotiate their contracts they should do so as well. Give out no bonuses, no raises, and force the CEOs to take a 50% cut in salary for the next 3 years, then regulate how much they can make in the future, otherwise no deal.

    It is time to end the practice of exzuberant salaries for CEOs. These overpaid people born with a silver-spoon in their mouths are fleecing America. I'm quite aware that no one will listen to my ideas, because they make too much sense. There are too many Americans who feel helpless, hopeless, or smart enough to challenge the way wallstreet operates, so let the economic lunacy continue.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  47. Marc

    Hey Jack i Know that this auto bailout will not work because 1 WE are Broke! 2 Gas prices keep changing And 3 Because the Auto Exs Are greedy. if Anyone should get a bailout its should be us the hardworking US taxpaying Citizen am i right? Let me Explain Why!! If i was to get A (stimulus) package i buy a new car pay off my House pay my debt also the simple stuff i buy would circulate around the System and also pay taxes if we would have got a bail out instead of those greedy investment banks etc we would have saved alot! let me explain if i would have got a bailout we could of put our money in the banks and do this the right way instaed of making the rich richer and the poor just get poor and mad thats why Crime is So high We have No money but if we would have got a bailout companies would have still profited because we would have spent our money on there product dosent that make sense? Well i hope you guys read my Blog And set an example for these stupid congress people etc thanks Jack!!! By the way Cnn is My favorite News station!!!

    December 3, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  48. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    Let the chips fall where they may so our country will wake up and tell Congress to stop allowing our good manufacturing jobs be shipped over seas. Let them fail if that is what is needed. Over 60% of our country believes that they shoud fail and then maybe we'd get rid of the unions.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  49. Michelle, MI

    No amount of regulation is going to stop the big three from messing up even if they receive these loans. But you can take it to the bank (no wait, I guess you can't) that if the big three do file bankruptcy, then Michigan will become a ghost state. Just tell the last person out to forget locking the door.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  50. Janis, Lafayette, IN

    Let them restructure under our bankrupcy laws and if they can't make it then, then let them fail. There will be others to take their place. Our economy will survive, but they may not.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  51. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    The right answer is to let them fail just as they would and have let me fail. They are the one who subscribe to the “free market system” which turned out to be free only for them and even with all the breaks and protection they get from government (read the us taxpayer) they are still a bunch of losers. When is it my turn.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  52. V.K. Raman

    I like to see UAW surrender atleast 5% of its attrocious Retirement Trust fund of $ 100 billion for bailing out the employer they work for. This is the least the employees of Auto Industry can do to save the employers.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  53. mac from traverse city Michigan

    Jack I think the "bailout" must be in the form of a loan and it must be co-signed by the UAW. It should be spread out over some period of time with each installment dependent on the industry meeting certain criteria and conditions to continue receiving money. The union must agree that the taxpayers are not responsible for the automakers huge legacy costs as we were not part of those past negotiations. Finally congress must be realistic. If the economy is so bad and the cars are so expensive that the industry can't sell enough of them then the bailout is folly and congress must turn their attention to healing the aftermath of the demise of one or more of these companies.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  54. Mickie

    How about putting some restrictions on the use of the funds and force these companies (whichever ones are bailed out) to operate on a balanced budget. I don't want to hear that the CEOs agreed to $1 salary - was that permanently (I rather doubt it). They will find some loophole as they always do to give themselves either stocks, bonuses, retirement packages, etc. If I don't do a good job, I not only don't get a bonus or a retirement package, but I get the boot out the door without any warning. No bailout without strict restrictions.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  55. Christine, Edmeston NY

    To support a thriving and progressive automibile industry is simply the right thing to do. But how do we make the auto execs understand the right thing to do? The shameless greed of our corporate leadership is what puts the nasty spin on all of this. Americans are a generous, decent lot who really like helping out other Americans, but it's in our nature (since the 1770s) to raise our hackles at fattened aristocrats who exploit our labors.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  56. Sarah

    From a purely business viewpoint the right answer is bankrupcy. Unfortunately, due largely to the mess our economy is in, we cannot really consider this option unless we are prepared to accept disasterous consequences. So the only option left open is a bailout, unless we want to see if we can create a bigger depression than the one in the 30's.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  57. Lisa in Huntsville, Alabama

    It's tempting to say that the automakers should lie in the bed they made, but Congress forked over tons of cash to the financial sector with very little pressure to reform. If we bail them out, why shouldn't we bail out some of the very biggest employers in our country?

    December 3, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  58. Jerry from Monroe Co., WV

    Jack, this is one of the toughest questions you have ever asked. There are so many considerations, such as, free enterprise, existing union contracts, job losses, additional requests on a quarterly basis due to there being a recession, and the enevitable recriminations if there is a bad outcome. My best guess here is to help and hope, protecting the taxpayers with first debs on assets should they fail.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  59. Linda in Bisbee, AZ

    Give them a loan. Make them pay it back. Have some oversight. We can't let them fail.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  60. joyce

    Sure bail them out. But, they must start making cars that get 50-60 miles a gallon. They technology is there, it used in other countries. O

    December 3, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  61. Bill from Medford, NJ

    Concerning the Big Three, up to recently I was for a bailout - with clearly drawn-out conditions - in order to prevent the domino effect to our economy of losing them. The first fly in that ointment was the "corporate jet caper:" if I was more worried than the execs, perhaps that should have told me something.

    Now I find that they are contemplating massive lay-offs by shutting down a substantial part of their operations. I hear nothing about new, fuel-efficient, green product lines that will actually help the country and help the earth.

    It sounds like more of the same: give us some money so we can pad our own bank accounts during these hard times. As for the workers who created our wealth, we have no new jobs to offer them building more competitive products - they're on their own.

    This week I say to forget the bailout: the only people who will gain by it are the executives and the big investors who have been far too comfortable all along. They don't care about the workers, the economy, or the country. To hell with 'em.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  62. Greg

    No bail out! Do not reward failure! No banks, no automakers, no one!

    December 3, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  63. David of Alexandria VA

    I think that the lemonade in this lemon is if the car companies can commit and deliver on the world's next-generation of personal transportation. This will take resolve, and maybe some bridge money. McCain had it right - when manufacturing jobs disappear in the US, they never, never will return. We can either let the Big 3 fail and go through 10 years' of industrial realignment /unemployment, or try to leap-frog the world in the next 2 years and be exporting as much green technology as we are importing black gold.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  64. Marsha

    LET THEM FAIL. From the ashes a better company will arise and serve the needs of America better than throwing billions toward the existing failed greed of the failed business.

    NO way so they fail it will open the way for real change that is needed for a product that these auto industries have failed to face. washington state

    December 3, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  65. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Possibly we should look at the corporate culture in general as yesterday it was banking, today it is auto, tomorrow it will be electric and gas utilities and a host of other corporation based enterprises.

    Since Machiavelli there has been the concept of patriarchal leadership. What this does is prohibit imagination, creativity, and denies all human emotion except fear.

    We not only must come together as a global community, but first we must unite as individuals wherever we come to pass. It is the functional steps, not dysfunctional, of independence, interdependence, and finally integration that will begin to repair this tattered society and affect all that we do.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  66. Karen McCullough

    Hi Jack,

    We need the auto industry, but we don't need the greed from everyone involved. The workers need to downsize their expectations as well as the CEO's. Screwing in one bolt on an assembly line isn't worth the $70 an hour that the workers receive. The company needs to be realistic about salaries. I'll bet if they advertised jobs at $15 dollars an hour, they would have thousands of applicants. Being frugal is the way to save the industry.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  67. David, Tampa, Fl

    I just finished contacting my Senators and Repersentative to urge them to vote against this bill. I'm tired of the wealthy getting bailed out while the average American gets something else. I feel sorry for the workers that will be hurt but these people need to deal with many issues within their companies. Employees and management need to work together for a change and not against each other. The big three have had decades to develope need technological innovations but opted not to do so. The executives acted in self interest and the taxpayer shouldn't be forced to bail them out.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  68. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    Give them money to build the next generation of transportation. If they use the money for anything else, they spend their lives in jail. Giving the auto industry a future makes more sense than maintaining the present.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  69. Erik

    In a truly capitalistic society, no business will survive forever. As a business becomes outdated or obselete, it either evolves or is replaced by something more efficient. Either evolve to survive in the new economy or disappear into the history books. Or, in layman's terms, "It's the economy, stupid!!"

    McDonough, GA

    December 3, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  70. Ann from S.C.

    No matter how painful it might be, the auto industry needs the financial help they are requesting. If they don't get it, the consequences will be catastrophic with so many peripheral businesses being affected. At the same time, the auto industry needs to clean up its act by becoming less wasteful, by phasing out the retirement expenses they are carrying, by negotiating union contracts with more reasonable pay scales, by developing fuel efficent cars, and by weaning the American public off their desire for gas guzzling SUVs.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  71. John

    Weren't some of the same companies bailed out before? If they get bailed out, maybe it would be smarter to take a hint from the importers that are taking over the market, instead of looking at short term profits.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  72. Karl from SF, CA

    The right answer is both the auto companies and the UAW have to jointly take out the loan and be equally responsible for turning the companies around. If the companies go under, the union is worthless and it needs to step up to the plate and work to get past this hard time. Also, no bonus' for anyone until there is a profit and no salaries bigger then the US President's. The party is over.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  73. Rod from Allentown PA

    The right answer? Who knows, but bailing them out is not the answer to our economic woes. Logic dictates that a person making $72 per hour can't sell his merchandise to the poor schmuck earning $20 per hour. Let's do the math and force the workers and companies to be more economically responsible! If they can't; well then start driving Toyotas.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  74. J0 Ann DANIELS

    I believe the companies should be bailed out so that the innocent workers won't suffer. Something they had no part in creating. But once they are helped, must abide by all rules and regulations. I think it will work because they have had the scare of their lives. Jo, Fort Worth, TX

    December 3, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  75. Lee in TN

    Why would you drop your pay to $1.00, when you will probably still get the same perks,etc.? If I can not do more than this,then what right do I have to ask you to help pull me out of my hole that I dug myself into with my own selfishness, greed and the likes?

    December 3, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  76. Tom

    If the U.S. government were a car company, it would be deep in the red and have god-awful customer satisfaction ratings. Many of the issues the domestic Big Three are suffering today are the result of current and past federal government policies (they are doing fine outside of the US). If government assistance is given, it is important that the domestic carmakers be allowed to conduct their business based on the dictates of the American consumer, not the politicians.

    Germantown Hills, IL

    December 3, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  77. cristina

    declare chapter 11 for for chrysler and ford
    chapter 7 for gm
    1. fire all the execs
    2. fire the union
    3. get rid of any and all un-neccessary holdings
    *sell all the hummers to saudi arabia*
    ...and start from square one
    it's inflicting pain selectively...hurt some or hurt the entire country...

    December 3, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  78. Billy G in Las Vegas

    unfortunately we have two very bad choices, Jack

    we can give them the loans, mostly to keep the millions of workers associated with the auto industry employed, and hope they repay sometime in the future like Chrysler did in the early 1980's OR see a massive spike in unemployment which will probably cost even MORE money in unemployment insurance, food stamps, medicaid and other state or federal social programs.

    the old saying about "rocks and hard places" comes to mind.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  79. Melanie in IA

    You can give the big 3 all the money they want, but the middle class still doesn't have the money to buy the cars. Getting the middle class consumer some help is where the focus should be placed.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  80. Bob in Lincoln NE

    Do nothing for the auto companies per se. Let's make two of them subsidiaries of Toyota and Honda. Let the firm in the worst shape sink and disappear from the horizon. This option permits us to save some of the jobs and the two surviving firms will be efficiently managed and will produce quality autos.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  81. Winton from Alaska

    Hire some executives from Japan's auto industry to straighten out the mess made by execs from the Big Three.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  82. Dave in Saint Louis

    Sale the big 3 to Toyota or Honda or whoever. Make it somebody else’s problem. It appears they do a much better job running these companies than we do. It is a win win situation. We don't have to bail anyone out and nobody but corrupt Executives will lose there jobs!

    December 3, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  83. Troy

    Jack, the auto industry is one of our top industry. And there is no question they should not fail. The auto industry is what made this country great they have been here longer than some of us. we now have more than one million people out of work. We don't need 3 million more.

    Earle, Ar.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  84. Howard M. Bolingbrook IL

    If the big 3 offer up a reasonable plan, then make the loan. They should be given this chance.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  85. Quinton in San Antonio TX

    The right answer is not even being adequately discussed by the media. These companies should be required to have as a large part of their technology update a car that would be comparable to the EV1 that was crushed by GM in 1998. That car had a acid lead battery with a 140 mile range! Now GM is trying to sell us the volt with a 40 miles range . What happened to the other 100 miles GM?. I tell you what happened. Rick Wagoner and others got a hefty under the table boost in their income from big oil!! Don't let these companies go down! Kick the CEOS' out , let the government take over, and finally re-release the EV1. Who do these oil cronies think their fooling? Such deplorable selfishness is what is wrong with this country and always has been.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  86. Jay in Atlanta

    The auto-industry warranty is up and their motor is frozen. I suggest the same courtesy be given them as they would offer you under those same circumstances. Let them fail or survive on their own. Eventually a leaner, innovative, more consumer aware company or companies will surface to fill the need of the times. I note that this is the second time Chrysler has pushed to the front of the trough. You can bet the other two will come snorting back if those hogs get slopped with easy public money....which by the way.... we don't have.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  87. Tom, Switzerland

    This is the opportunity to turn the US auto industry around and make them go "green" for the benefit of the country, foreign oil independence and protecting the global climate. All loans given to the auto industry should be rigorously conditioned on developing and making the most fuel-efficient, hybrid and alternative energy vehicles, as well as producing vehicles for mass public transportation. If they don't accept it, let 'em die and go on the trash heap of history.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  88. Ray Kinserlow

    omg, another damned if you do and damned if you don't conundrum. I don't envy Barack!

    Ray Kinserlow
    Lubbock, Texas

    December 3, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  89. Ray in Nashville


    I think Mitt Romney had the right idea when he suggested a 'managed bankruptcy.' The so called Big 3 have become too big and unwieldy to function well in todays market. It's not that they haven't been producing vehicles that Americans wanted, it's that they weren't able to switch production over in a decent amount of time. They are also hampered by the UAW, who still think a job for life is a guarantee in the world. Let them trim some fat in both white and blue collar jobs. Let them retool to produce vehicles that get higher mileage and emit lower emissions. Let the government up the CAFE standards and create a cylinder tax on any engine above 4 cylinders, so that consumers who still demand performance have to pay more.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  90. Katty OR

    When I read polls, etc. where the question is "should we bail out the Big Three" there is always a huge NO.
    I think people need to consider the repercussions of letting them die. There is more to it than just the auto industry....just think of all the business that depend on them. If we let them just fade away we'll see unemployment, failing business, all across the board. It will destroy the US lives as we know it.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  91. Roger from Espanola, New Mexico

    The auto industry should be assisted only if the government makes sure that they use this chance to become competitive in the international market aa well as create a product for the future. We need to stop screaming about government "socializing" our financial and business sectors. Who would you rather have take care of us and our economic future-the governent that we have elected to act on our behalf or greedy CEOs?

    December 3, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  92. William Watson

    Apparently GM and Ford are not in as bad financial shape as they say. IT has been reported by NASCAR that the auto makers have committed to continue to provide support to NASCAR. Same for our government who has been sponsoring multiple race teams for the past eight years, one for each branch of our military. I've read that the price tag to sponsor a team is 40 million. Our taxpayers should be proud of the prudent use of thier money.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  93. Phil P. in NJ

    Jack, the right answer is either get with the program or you are out. The big three auto makers either devise a workable plan that will take America into the 21st century or no money. Simple as that. I feel any bail out should be contended on firing the top three executives and bringing in new blood with new and innovative ideas. Also, the union should be willing to give some just to keep their jobs. I guarantee this, if congress does not recieve a workable plan and they still fund this industry, then it's just a matter of time before they will be either back like AIG asking for more money or just go under. Giving money to these arrogant individuals who for years have had their heads in the sand is like putting a bandaid on the titantic. It's just a matter of time before they go under.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  94. Maggie Muggins From Selwyn

    The fact is every country in the world subsidizes industries including the U.S. so if you aren't going to help out an industry that would throw 3-4 million people out of work then they should also insist on all the other subsidies like farm aid et al.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  95. Jacob Weinberg

    Jack this is a very tricky situation. The 3 major automakers can edit their budgets to save some money but that would not cover all their expenses. If they cut union workers pay and benefits that will send a ripple through this country that all companies can cut union pay and benefits. this would be the death of labor unions since the unemployment rate is going up by the hundreds of thousands every month these companies can find people to employ for cheaper if the unions refuse to work in those conditions. We do need to set an example that taxpayers will not pay for mistakes made by appointed officials. These officials and CEO's are supposed to be able to be trusted and they are supposed to be educated to not make these mistakes. The government is losing the trust of it's own people every day by taking tax payers money for one thing and then spending it on something totally different. We do need to give the automakers some money but not as much as they are asking for. This money needs to be given to them in the form of a loan and there needs to be interest on this loan so that taxpayers can be able to make their money back plus more.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  96. Anthony Smith

    The right answer is to let them correct their wrong answers. When things were going good, I don't recall them giving money back to the government and taxpayers. They, just like the government, have been reactive instead of proactive. They have been making mistakes for years and now will have to pay the piper. The industry needs to bottom so we can start with fresh people and fresh ideas.

    Wildwood Crest, NJ

    December 3, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  97. Pushkin

    Hello Jack,

    My suggestion for the auto industry is for all three, Ford, GM and Chrysler, to merge into one auto industry. They can produce small, gas efficient cars up to large trucks-and be competitive with foreign auto makers. Why does America need all three-competing with each other. Get the automobile industry's "act together" and compete against inports with a great range of vehicles at great prices for the US consumer. Otherwise, all three are "goners' in this economy-and well deserve to fold!

    December 3, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  98. Pamela - Ohio

    Let's see. If the government were to give all the people who file with the IRS the money they have lavished on the bailout recipients we could then inturn pay our bills, buy groceries, repair our cars, and jump start the economy.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  99. Annie, Atlanta

    I read somewhere this morning that it would be cheaper for the government to buy out big auto's stock than it is to give them what they "need." Let's socialize it, clean it up, and keep Americans working, why don't we.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  100. Rachel in Raleigh NC

    People are giving these guys way too much credit when they say they are poor managers. They are purposeful deceivers. This should be painfully obvious after they crushed the EV1 in 98. Why should anyone trust them now? Let these companies go bankrupt. Although, I know it will never happen because Congress and the Senate are also in the back pockets of big oil. Wake up America and smell the carbon emissions!

    December 3, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  101. C from Eatonton, GA

    Let them go to the oil companies for money – after all they are co-dependents and co-defendents in this economy...

    December 3, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  102. Beverley, Fredricksburg Va

    1. Give them the LOAN but make them build hybrid or alternative fuel vehicles.
    2. Give the best two American companies a contract for the federal fleet and then give taxpayers tax credits for buying these new vehicles.

    If the cars don't get brought – all of this is for naught and we might as well throw our money don't the drain.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  103. John from collinsville, Illinois

    Auto makers must stop produceing gas guzzeling junk go green and produce more jobs so people can buy cars again. " Simple "

    December 3, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  104. Tom Schaad


    The auto industry seems to be playing a game of bluff with the congress and the american people. Chrysler is the worst – no real plan, and a threat from on of the executives to throw the country into a "Depression" unless they get a handout. This is a privately held company, for heaven's sake! They aren't listed on the stock market, and the only people who will be depressed are the fat cat money mamagers who will see their investment go up in smoke when the Chrysler goes under.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  105. Bob D, Morrisown, NJ

    The US economy has abandoned or outsourced electronics, computer manufacture, programming, steel. With the subprime debacle our preeminence in finance is in jeopardy. We cannot sustain anything close to our standard of living just by selling each other fast-food burgers and junk bonds. We need to sustain the auto industry as much as we needed to sustain financial markets. The consequence of failure of this industry will be just as dire to the credit market as the failure of Lehman Brothers. Millions of additional unemployed workers from these companies, their suppliers and corollary workers will cost tax payers even more in already strained unemployment benefits, with no possibility of those funds every being repaid.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  106. Katherine, Escanaba MI

    The auto industry is not asking for a bailout - its asking for loans- you know- those things where you use the money for a while and then pay it back– with interest. Its a business transaction- and now that there is actually some answer to the question as to what will be done with the money (something any lender would want to know) I think its appropriate to approve the loans.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  107. Tina (Texas)

    It is wrong to blame the union workers. Any one with any sense wants a good paying job with benefits. That used to be the norm to get a job with benefits. Now you are expected to pay full price on everything. I don't think there is a simple plan. America is sinking to what China used to be.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  108. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    Take them over like the government did with ConRail,get rid of the corrupt,incompetent management and let the rank and file run GM,Ford and Chrysler. I guarantee you they will do a much better job.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  109. Stacy

    Why Should they get help,they don't seem to care about their customers when they are having problems. It does not bother them to repo vehicles. The People are the ones who need the help.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  110. kathy

    I really don't see why we should bail them out. The way the economy is right now, most normal people would have to be crazy to try to borrow money to buy a new car, So if they get the bailout to stay in business, who is goin to buy their product?

    December 3, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  111. Michael from Greenfield, Wi.

    Hydrogen powered vehicles. They can also build the fuel processing plants, and for that matter the filling stations too. You know our so called energy company's won't do it. Clean and powerful, Obama green. And I'm talking about the money that can be made.

    December 3, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  112. Kathy in Chicago

    Romney is right. The answer is Bankruptcy court. The UAW is going to have to give more concessions than they are willing to now. If we bail them out than the union keeps their contract and we all have to pay for it. It's a bad deal for the tax payers.

    December 3, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  113. Mari Fernandez, Salt Lake City, Utah

    1. Give them a loan, with strict restrictions.

    2. Fire all their CEOs & CFOs. Hire new ones.

    3. Insist they built quality fuel efficient vehicles.

    4. Freeze wages, and no bonuses or golden parachutes.

    5. They must pay back the loan with interest.

    December 3, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  114. Larry C. Houston, Texas

    Jack – I will be surprised if you print this one....

    They should file chapter 11, simple.......and go through what other Businesses do, is to restructure / downsize, & etc.....If other's have done it, then they can do the same....

    There are way too many vehicles that are rolling off the production lines right now, as we speak, in several states in the SOUTH......and the workers are getting around 20 bucks an hour, NOT what GM employees are currently making .... ( + benefits)

    Houston Texas

    December 3, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  115. Steve in California

    Chrysler was already bailed out once and they gave the company and the bail out money to the Germans, did all ya'all miss that one ??

    They are just going to give the money to the unions anyway and with dems taking over the entire government, why not the bailout, it will grarentee their relection.

    December 3, 2008 at 3:07 pm |

    I think the workers should be able to stay, but get rid of the CEO'S. The workers do not make $72 dollars an hour!!! Someone is adding on the insurance and retirement. As a UAW worker, they deserve what they earn. Who would do the job cheaper and not send the money to Mexico etc.? We better keep our own country going and keep these people working. NO PAY, NO TAX MONEY!!

    December 3, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  117. Chris from Buffalo, N.Y.

    There are a number of "answers" but there is only one right answer and that is to let capitalism work. These failing businesses have to either turn a profit or be taken over by other enties that can. In some cases, a managed bankruptcy would be the best, and possibly only, solution. The worst answer would be for the auto companies to continue to function by the taxpayers subsidizing their losses. That game can only be played for so long. It is not a long-term solution.

    December 3, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  118. John in Arizona

    Jack, it seems like the congress is actually getting it right this time: Helping out the auto industry, as every other industiral country has done with their automakers, while requiring a recreating of the industry to ensure responsible success in the 21st century.

    December 3, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  119. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    The big three need to convince Congress that they will give big parties, bonuses to CEO's, and ask for more in the near future and Congress will give them what they want on a silver platter hand delivered on their corporate jets.
    Why should Wall Street be the only ones getting all the money and perks? Its the republican version of share the wealth. Give tax dollars from the lower income and middle income taxpayers to the rich with no strings attached or the world will self-destruct in five seconds.

    December 3, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  120. Debbie

    I believe in the next stimulas package, they should give auto vouchers for a substantial discount when purchasing a new vehicle. This would assure the money goes to help stimulate the economy and help out the struggling big three.

    December 3, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  121. Larry from Oregon

    A few steps would be necessary:
    1) All employee compensation above $200K would be entirely in their company stock that must be held for 12 months.
    2) employees must pay for 30% of their benefit packages (that will help in excessive demands)
    3) Across the board 10% salary cuts
    4) Tie employee salary adjustments in the future to profitiblity instead of strike threats.
    5) Make their retirement compensation similar to their competitors.
    6) Dramatic increases in the required fleet mileage standards.
    This would give everyone in the company an incentive to make the company profitable.
    If they agreed to these types of requirement I'd be in favor of a loan package, although it isn't up to me.

    December 3, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  122. Carol c.

    What I don't understand is WHY there is a question of helping! Of course they should be helped. Look at how many million people will be forced out of the work force. Think the banks are going to give them any of the money we turned over without blinking!!!! Shame on the government if they choose to turn their backs on the working people. I have no problem with accountability, but frankly the people who are yelling the loudest are the ones who demanded the big SUV's. And these people have the McCain-Palin signs on their cars!

    Keep America working–buy American and let's restore credibility to the working man and woman!
    Knoxville, TN

    December 3, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  123. Pat Nochton

    What the car industries need are some fresh ideas for car designs that are geared toward saving money for the consumer. Here is an idea that I've had ever since someone crashed into the back of my 1980s Toyota, & miraculously caused no damage (at least not to my car). The big, thick black rubber was the saviour. So, why not
    put a bumper like that one ALL AROUND the car – like the "bumper cars" at amusement parks? No more fancy fenders, but no "fender benders" either. A recession is a time to be practical. Let's stop building cars that are ridiculously expensive to repair. We'd all save money on reduced insurance rates.

    December 3, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  124. Ralph, Corpus Christi

    The right answer is probably the direct opposite of whatever the 3 stooges of the auto industry claim they need.

    Ralph- Corpus Christi, Texas

    December 3, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  125. bob, oshawa, ontario

    Jack, the right answer might be to ask the automakers to see what they can do on their own to make their individual companies viable without asking for bailout money unless absolutely necessary. It would require a creative plan for each of them and would put to good use all the clever talents of their current staff. Some form of auto industry geared for Americans is vital to the economy. Now is the time for them to provide this positive step and show us what they can do.

    December 3, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  126. KCLaw

    Limited loans with verifiable conditions of use to retool production.
    Market forces.

    December 3, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  127. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    Why the furor? Thousands of jobs are at stake here. At least they have a business plan, and have indicated a desire to do what is right for the country. No more private jets, or golden parachutes. That is more than I can say for the greedy u-know-whats on Wall street. Granted, how they got into this position in the first place should be looked at carefully, and the loans should come with some very short strings attached.

    December 3, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  128. mitzy from NY

    The auto industry should take a good long look at it's past. Once they were on top of the world, then the japanese auto makers over took them. They should ask themselves now "What did they do to beat us?" If they figure out that really good cars with really good gas milage which are well built and last are the kind of cars people here in America like to buy, then maybe try to make cars like that.

    December 3, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  129. John, Fort Collins, CO

    General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler should be forced into structured bankruptcies with the Federal Government providing financing to the companies as debtors-in-possession. During the reorganization, business operations would go on and suppliers could continue to be paid. As approved by the bankruptcy judge, they could revise union agreements, reduce retirement benefits, cleanup their dealer networks, and otherwise reduce costs as necessary to become profitable at low sales volumes. And the captains should go down with their ships.

    December 3, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  130. Wayne Steiner, Highlands Ranch, CO

    Bailing out the big three auto makers would be a classic case of throwing good money after bad. If we want to do something to maintain automobile production in the USA why not give the $34 billion to the winners rather than the losers? An investment in Honda, Toyota, and Nissan, with the stipulation that they invest in USA design and production, would be a much more effective use of our money. Has anyone in Washington even thought of that? I haven’t heard anyone else raise this idea.

    ….and what is the deal with “Bankruptcy is not an option”? The auto makers keep saying that. Is this actually a veiled threat that if we don’t give them the money they will just go out of business? How dare they make threats? This is another example of the arrogance that has “bankrupted” them in the first place.

    It’s time they go.

    December 3, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  131. Diff in Maryland


    The right answer is to merge all 3 companies into one Giant Company supported by the US Government. Call it USA Automotive and keep GM, Ford and Chrysler as the brand names. Retrain the layed off workers by creating a jobs program that deals with Energy and the Environment. There should be a trade off. Fire the CEO's and elect proven leaders to re-engineer the industry. Get Jack Welch out of retirement and have him run it.

    December 3, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  132. william fitzwater

    Many of our industrial competitors support thier industries. They in turn compeate with us the US. If we admit we live in a world economy and it is ok to keep compittion is ok. Then we either admit the US auto industry cannot compete unless we do two things.
    One we lower our standards of living . This will make us competive. The last administration done a good job of this . If we learn to live like a third world country and accept wages that is equlevent to what our copetitors are we should be a able to competate .
    Two understand we live in a global economy . Understand that some jobs will be lost but investing in our auto industry is right. Manufacturing has to understand the new reality that they are not the dominate players .
    We as consurmers needs to be educated about the choices in our purchases.

    December 3, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  133. Arnold,WV

    Let the Auto industry lower prices and have the consumers bail them out.Go back to the K-cars,roll up windows,manual mirrors, give them a map instead of GPS,build a good cheap car that buyers can afford.

    December 3, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  134. Eli, Oklahoma

    Hey, the're are other auto manufactures out there. We can lose 3.

    December 3, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  135. Gerry

    It's a world wide bige three problem, the world should step up and help out as well as the USA.

    December 3, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  136. just me

    Fire all CEOs since they have proven they cannot competantly run a company. Hire competant CEOs who make no more than the president of the USA with no perks or bonuses as well as decrease the number of executives. Stop terminating the ordinary workers. Stop outsourcing our jobs. All employees receive the same benefits. the taxpayer should not bear the bill for the incompetance of the current CEOs but you and I know congress will give away all the money everyone with an open hand wants except to the middle class who needs the help the most!!!

    December 3, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  137. Gina in Racine, Wi

    I don't think the USA can afford to lose any more jobs.....if we don't bail them out.....the job loss will be horrific.

    The CEO's walk away fine.....heck, they will get a big payout on the way out. But the workers who devoted their lives....sometimes generations in the same family, to their jobs.....will be devastated.

    Can the American workers take any more devastation?

    If we can bail out Freddie and Fannie, Citibank and AIG, etc,etc.....why can't we bail out the auto industry and save "Joe the automaker's" job?

    December 3, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  138. Steve of Hohenwald TN.

    If we`re going to own it, it should work for us, like our government is supose to. We all have to change our idea of what we think we need. I think we will do just fine without Hummers, SUV`s, and the like. These guy`s have been our enemy. Teaming up with big oil to destory the electric car, and other advancements. Hopefully captalisam as we know it is on the way out. The auto industry should be more like a utility, providing what we need.

    December 3, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  139. Tripp Mechanicsburg, PA

    Why not have the government just buy them out? Uncle Sam couldn't run the industry into the ground any worse than these corporate elite have and he might even be able to turn a profit. Maybe we Americans could vote for the kind of cars we want Uncle Sam to produce. With the Obama "change" movement in full swing, I'll bet Uncle Sam's hearing is getting a lot better than it was with Bush and the Republicans in charge.

    December 3, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  140. Amy

    Bailout the auto makers...no! Just this week they began discussions about cost-cutting, downsizing and renewed emphasis on higher-mileage cars; now that their future hinges on a bid to win support for a federal bailout. Until now they focused on making profit and not looking to the future. When was the last time you saw a commercial for the Ford Escape Hybrid? All I’ve seen is a Hummer trotting around the globe. Their inability to take responsibility for their contribution to the economic downturn is ludicrous and should not be awarded with bailout dollars.

    They should call Wal-Mart for advice on sustainability and cost cutting!

    Bentonville, Arkansas

    December 3, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  141. carol in Oregon

    Now that they have made their list and the US goverment will bail them out. Before they sign on the dotted line, they and Congress each need to be asigned a mission or soup kitchen to work at during the next years Holidays and pay for the cost of running the program. I believe Obama is asking us to give back to our country and our people are in trouble thanks to them. This pay back to your country should begin with the rich.

    December 3, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  142. Mobolaji

    Well i believe the right answer should have been no. They look like beggers with choice. You are coming to beg for money and choose to come in three private jet. If it were up to me, i will so no and tell them to come back in year. That way i will see which of the three CEO comes in a private jet.


    December 3, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  143. Ginger H -- West Melbourne, FL

    Let them fail. We're all too fat anyhow. Nike stocks will soar.

    December 3, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  144. Bruce St Paul MN

    Get concessions and make the loans. We do not want to be left out of the transportaion industry of the future. Put a national health insurance plan in place to relieve all businesses large and small. That would take a big bite out of their employee and retiree costs. Don't try to figure out if they deserve it. They don;t. But we will only hurt ourselves if we let them fail.

    December 3, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  145. Chris Kambhampati

    Hi Jack,

    Why can't the Exxon-Mobile with their huge profits, buy out the three auto giants. this way one feeds the other and also an American company is buying out another American companies, ONE BIG AMERICAN FAMILY.

    Chris Kambhampati

    December 3, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  146. JannW

    The answer is a resounding "NO BAILOUT"! What would happen if all 3 disappeared? We'd have Honda, Toyota, Subaru, Kia, ... and not a single HUMMER. Now this is what I call CHANGE!!!

    December 3, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  147. Ana

    Easy! Exxon reported over 2 Billion dollar profit in one quarter early this year. Send those 3 CEO's aka automakers to Exxon for a loan.

    Attleboro, MA

    December 3, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  148. Pugas-AZ

    Let's be careful what we do now in terms of aiding the auto industry. Once thing pick up again we could be sorry we didn't extend some help to a critical industry. In the case of the present industry less, would be a lot better than more. Lean and mean is the name of the game. But if we miss the train another one might not come along.

    December 3, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  149. Jay in Texas

    I believe the right answer to the auto dilemma is to refuse to give them the government assistance they are begging for and let them get that help through private sources. Maybe Big Oil would loan them the money because, after all, without autos there is not much need for gasoline or other oil products. Maybe the major automakers should slim down and reduce the price of new cars so they are more affordable for the average American buyer.
    Brownwood, Texas

    December 3, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  150. Roy - Chicago IL

    -Drop unprofitable brands
    -Sell a brand or two (like Volvo) to raise nmore capital
    -Increase MPG standards by 25% in three years
    -Stop obscene executive payouts
    -Start new divisions of these companies focusing on GREEN technology in cars and beyond, train their workforce accordingly.
    -Receive only enough of a bailout to implement THESE steps, any more money is contigent on success in these steps.

    December 3, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  151. F Machado - Connecticut


    Chrysler should let go.
    They had their chance and failed and they will fail again because the brand is dead.
    GM and Ford should be given their last chance, having that "there is no more space in the new world to losers".

    December 3, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  152. Alex

    If Congress were to give the Big Three money, it would be like giving a drug addict more alcohol. Both are the wrong types of medicines. For the addict, going into rehab would be the right medicine because it would allow him/her to restructure. For the Big Three, filing for bankruptcy would be the right medicine because unlike congress, courts have the power to force the companies to restructure.

    December 3, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  153. Paula (Indiana)

    I know what the right answer isn't... The right answer should not include anything in which workers loose their pension. NW Indiana steelworkers lost pensions when steel mills closed due to bankrupcy. Workers lost pensions and the CEO's and execs walked away with full pensions, benefits and servrence packages. Whatever is decided, I hope someone looks out for the average American. It's sickening to watch corporate American steel from the American workers.... It's sort of the reverse of Robin Hood which goes something like this, "steel from the poor to give to the rich". It has to stop! Let the multi-million-dollar CEO's cut out some of their ludacrous salaries, benefits and perks!

    December 3, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  154. Don (Ottawa)

    When it comes to the auto industry there is no right answer. I say we should go back the horse and buggy days. In terms of job creation, there are veterinary services, barn building, hay and oat production, buggy making, and the pony express, not to mention manuer collecting, organic fertilizers and glue making. Don't forget the possibility of romantic sleigh rides. And, in addition I understand horse meat is tasty and nutritious.

    December 3, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  155. PaulinNM

    Very Simple Jack, Chapter 11. The pensions and healthcare for UAW retirees is unsustainable.

    December 3, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  156. Tom in New Hope, MN

    The big three need to get the loans with significant strings attached. Contrary to the free money Paluson gave the banks with no strings attached.

    December 3, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  157. Myke...Yakima WA.

    In the effort to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, President elect Obama has committed to make the government's vehicle fleet more fuel efficient. It makes sense, in a collaborative effort with the big 3 auto makers to retool and provide these fuel efficient vehicles to the government as part of the financial "loan" package. At least we will get some tangable assets for the taxpayers money.

    December 3, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  158. don in naples, florida

    BANKRUPTCY... the bailouts only help the overly inflated pockets of the ceo's.. it does not ensure the companies success. Firings, or lay-offs will still take place, even with the bail out. Socializing debt is not the answer.

    December 3, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  159. Sharon, Rockford, IL

    I don't think those Americans who oppose the loan get the total ramifications of letting the auto companies fail. Do people realize that it is the auto companies who make tanks and who have helped with the space program? Do they want all their cities to buy foreign cars for their police departments? Don't we sent enough overseas already? Then there's the obvious trickle down for all other related and unrelated companies. We've allowed banks to hoard their bailout money, not lending or buying up other banks so they get even bigger. The logic of giving Wall Street unconditional money and not "loaning" to companies who employ blue collar workers makes no sense.

    December 3, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  160. Liberal in Los Angeles, CA

    Dont bail them out!!! The bailout needs to go the true problem. Foreclosures and Mortgages, stupid!!

    December 3, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  161. Aaron G

    Give me the 34 billion. I will use the money to buy 1 million cars, and then distribute these cars to my friends and associates. Theres a Ford Explorer in there for you too, Jack.

    December 3, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  162. Mike - Hot Springs, Arkansas

    Time for a merger and put together a solid leaner company. The bailout money if any should be used to get rid of these abnormally high benefits given to the auto workers by negligent managers over the years. New contracts for workers similar to those of Toyota and other profitable auto makers should be drawn up. Time to get real. Also the mangers should all work for $1 a year with a bonus only if they make money. That used to be the old way of doing business. Managers did not get paid if they did not make money.

    December 3, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  163. tlobe, montgomery, al

    No bail outs period. If Big Three auto makers and financial "wizards" on Wall Street are too stupid to keep their companies profitable, they deserve to fail. This country became stronger and more prosperous following every recession we've ever been through. Government aid and intervention did not solve the Great Depression, despite all the myths of FDR's brilliance–many say he made things worse. US did not get out of the depression until the early 1950s because of FDR's incompetence and US involvement in two wars (WWII and Korea).

    December 3, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  164. Rodney

    The real question is this: Do the execs and employees want to save their jobs and the furture of their companies or do they want to keep receiving the same pay, benefits and bonuses? I'd gladly accept a pay cut and give up any bonuses if it meant saving my job. They can divvy out bonuses and raises when the company thrives again.

    December 3, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  165. Paul Fletcher (Davenort, Iowa)

    Having a hard time to afford a new car at those outrageous prices. Lower prices, better milage, cars that have roomy back seat and leg room, like the vans have. Give stimulus package of $1200, spread out over 12 months to those on social security. And CEO's don't need those jets, huge estates, and learn to live within their means.

    December 3, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  166. Bob from PA

    We may not like to bailout the auto industry but there has to be a few things considered. It's not just the million jobs directly related to the companies, and it's not just the 2-3 million jobs working for the parts manufacturers that will be lost if they are allowed to fail. It's also the 1-2 million households living on UAW pensions and UAW healthcare that will also be thrown back into the mix. Not much said about them but if the auto companies fail, the domino hits the UAW and they can't pay their obligations and we're looking at 7 or 8 million people with no healthcare and no checks coming in. Think the states just needed 170 billion? Not after that – they will need a whole lot more!

    December 3, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  167. Terry

    The right answer to the auto industry. You created this monster now find a way to tame it.

    The industry failed because of greed. Car notes were too high for the average american to buy a new car just to get back and forth to work. Higher prices less customers equals over time a crash. Unless there are programs set aside to help fallen americans rebuild, let them eat the cars.

    December 3, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  168. Debra Fraser

    Why don't the auto industry execs get traditional financing from the banks that just had a bunch of money pumped into them. Since when has the government become a banking system to finance everything that is falling on hard times. We all are falling on hard times and unfortunately our government doesn't have any money to dole out. obviously they are spending our money and we don't approve. So GM, Chrysler and Ford hunker down like the rest of us. Get your house in order so that the traditional systems already in place for financing will see you as attractive companies with acceptable risk to grant a loan to. I'm sorry if some of the employees might miss some work till things turn around, but my husband has lost almost half of his work as a truck driver. We are trying to survive on the kind of wages we had nearly 20 years ago. It can be done, not pleasant but it can be done. Stop your whining and committ to surviving as we all must do right now.

    December 3, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  169. Matt Toohey


    If I had an answer I would be CEO of one of them but wait they don't have any answers either. The grim reality is that how they do business must change – lower personnel costs, lower production costs, and build cars that people want, can afford and will lessen pollution and dependence on fossil fuels.

    Rockford, IL

    December 3, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  170. Michael watching from Canada


    Nine years in the North American auto industry taught me that it (1) became too complacent, which inhibited innovation, (2) never fully recognized that it had be competitive on a global basis, and (3) lacked the will to challenge unions, thereby creating a huge burden it couldn't carry over the long term.

    December 3, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  171. Ralph Nelson

    Give-em the money ! I've known cars since I was 12 years old. I read all the mags. Ford is right on. GM is not far behind with Robert Lutz. Only Chrysler is a turkey and their Dodge trucks are excellant. If we do not save this industry, all we have left is Boeing as a major manufacturer and Boeing outsources much of its production to overseas. Give-em the money ! Do the smart thing, don't listen to the 9th graders (general public). Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    December 3, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  172. Daniel, Indiana

    Let's experiment, Jack. Let's allow one of the largest businesses in the world collapse and see how many Americans that it will devastate. Then, maybe, the American public that is against the bailout will see that it was the biggest mistake imaginable. Let's have millions put out of work, losing their homes and the Federal government ant the state governments of several states go into desperation mode because of the loss of taxpayer money. Maybe, these heartless people will then realize that compassion is what is needed in this world and not the attitude of "tough love"/hatred/greed.

    December 3, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  173. Nancy NC

    Jack, I just don't see how handing over billions of dollars is going to help the big 3 out of this mess..Didn't we try the same thing with banks? Is our governent EVER gonna learn that throwing money at a problem is NOT the only solution?

    December 3, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  174. Jay-San Antonio

    I think you have to have a major legal restructuring of the big three. They are total saddled with an industrial 20th century cost and benefit structure. They cannot compete under those terms. Also, they still make low end cars the shake terribly after 12 months and their employees are greedy and want more for such a sub-par product. We dod need them to survive but just as airline pilots, stewardess', and ramp people all took huge cuts to keep their jobs so must the UAW, the executives and they need to show some pride and improve quality by doing their jobs to the very best of their ability. Foreign owned plants in America still turn out a quality product why is that? Why do they big three come up short?

    December 3, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  175. Alan, Buxton Maine

    The right answer is to let them fail and let those who have good ideas and plans to build usable automobiles take over and start from scratch.

    December 3, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  176. Honest John in Vermont

    Lemme see here, we give Wall Street about a trillion and there are just a little few strings attached??? But we squawk like crazy about 30 billion going to the Big 3 automakers? None of this is making much sense at all. Seems we should be re-thinking Wall Street and the Banks while we are at it. Does Citi or AIG have any jets to sell off too? Maybe their CEO's should make $1 per year too. Whats good for the goose...

    December 3, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  177. Mel

    I am all for the big 3 bailout as long that they bail my business out at the same time..I need $15,000 before the end of the year or I will be forced to close..Are my employees not as important as the UAW???I think not...

    Delray Brach, Fl

    December 3, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  178. chad

    What the auto industry and america as a whole needs is to get back to the basics. Everyone don't need a new car. Especially ones that get 18 mpg and cost 38 to 45,000 dollars. America needs to wake-up, start saving more, and stop buying so much on credit. We can't expect the federal government to save our ass everytime a crisis comes up.

    December 3, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  179. Kim - Blair, NE

    If I knew the answer to that question, I would be a rich woman.

    December 3, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  180. Joe from Arlington


    Toyota and Honda now employ thousands of well paid US workers to assemble environmentally friendly cars in the US without government handouts. Forget the Big 3. The right answer would be to give the 34 billion to Toyota and Honda who already understand the future. Pay them to build new plants in Michigan and Ohio to employ US workers who used to build gas guzzlers. The only US workers who would suffer would be the Big 3 managers.

    December 3, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  181. wally Ruehmann las vegas nv

    iam not given any more advise until they bail out my electric bill of 130.00$

    December 3, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  182. jim Toronto

    Tough question, but here goes... and don't think this is far fetched.
    Everyone, and I mean everyone needs to go out today or tomorrow and buy a new car. a GM, Ford ,or Chrysler or any American 'built' car. That way all the workers keep their jobs, right?... the car companies don't need to borrow right?... that means all the workers and their families go out shopping, right?... that means all the retail workers (besides those in a Wal-Mart) keep their jobs, right? ... which means the workers at Westinghouse and the Steel mills, and home depots, etc, keep their jobs too. the domino effect but in reverse.
    Instead of giving the car companies the $25B, Jack, they give it to the people! Give it to them so they can buy these cars. Let them decide which car to buy and which or any of the car companies should survive.

    December 3, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  183. Ashlynn NC

    Jack, The answer is NO BAILOUT! Auto sales are not down because of poor managment.. it's the economy stupid! Giving the big 3 billions of dollars is not gonna change the fact that millions of Americans have lost their jobs. They can't AFFORD a new car..and I don't see that changing any time soon. If auto sales continue to suffer, how are the big 3 gonna pay back this money.. they can't till the economy recovers!

    December 3, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  184. Karyn

    The CEOs stating they'll accept a $1.00 a year salary is absurd – as anyone knows, they have millions in the banks (not to mention what they have in their off-shore accounts) to fall back on....

    And it is the union members and pensioners who will take the hit – as usual.

    Fire all these CEOs and let the workers run the place?

    December 3, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  185. Tom Ft Lauderdale


    Corporate welfare what a concept. How many people have felt this compasion when they were late on there car payment? Who made the rule we must bailout all three. I say let the best company left standing gets the bail out ,However full repayments to be made by the employees and the suppliers that bnefit. I also think they should rerwrite all of the High School Economics books and put Goerge Bush's picture on the cover. All of the current publcations descibe suppy and demand

    December 3, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  186. Willie from wisconsin

    Jack, We are missing the whole point here. If the Big 3 go out of business , what we will pay in the form of unemployment, help with foreclosures and job training for our new "green technology Jobs" and the other costs to our already wrecked economy will cost our taxpayers more than the 34 billion. We will also loose our biggest manufacturing centers , the very few left in our country. People keep wanting to blame the unions for this mess and the auto workers. If it were not for unions like the UAW most tradespeople in this country would be lucky to make minimum wage much less have a 40 hour work week, any kind of benefit package, health insurance or retirement programs. Let's put the blame where it really lies, UNFAIR TRADE POLICIES, that our government has let happen.

    December 3, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  187. Angel

    CEOs need to really look at ways to cut costs first then ask for money. The Ford CEO was on the right track by saying he will work for a $1..he can actually do that now by forgoing bonuses....a true leader does the right thing..Let us give them money only after they have tried their level best.

    December 3, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  188. pat

    i think that the oil companies should use some of their research and development money to bail out the auto industry... let them be partners and find a way home to their citizens

    December 3, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  189. chris south bend Indiana

    Jack the Auto industry is the bread and butter of the country if it goes everything else goes and we don't want that the crime rate will sky rocket worse than it is right know. If the car industry would start building them parts here in the states again we could afford to buy them cars, end this free trade it not working Jack

    December 3, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  190. Vincent

    As with any business, if the business is mis-managed it goes into bankruptcy to re-organize. In my lifetime I have seen DC treat the auto industry/auto makers with kid gloves and come to its rescue time and time again.

    This type of mis-management must stop. Will the bankruptcy of the auto makers affect the economy? Probably. Will the United States Auto industry implode and disappear? No. If anything, a stronger US auto maker will emerge and rise from the bankruptcy.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  191. David Holland

    If anyone is going to bail out the auto companies it should be the oil companies.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  192. robert

    Why are we bailing out the auto industry for the mistakes they made, what about the little guy. Are they willing to bail out the middle class who are having financial problems.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  193. Michael McClure

    The Problem with the big 3 is the fact that they just re-cycle the same engineers between them.

    We have NASA. – The big 3 should pay consulting fees and get those NASA Engineers in there to get some new brain power.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  194. Todd, State College, Pa.

    The problem is, nobody knows. If we don't give them the money nobody really knows how bad the actual outcome will be, and if we give them the money, nobody really knows if they'll be able to pay it back or if they'll be back for more money at some point.

    With that being said, they will get money this time around, so I guess we'll just have to wait and see if this is the right answer or not.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  195. Sarge

    I think bankruptcy and reorganization is the way to go. Why can't the auto companies do what the airlines did? They and Pelosi say that doing bankruptcy is not an option. Before We The People cough up that much money I would expect a more clearer expanation of why that
    bankruptcy would be a prescription for disaster.


    December 3, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  196. James W. Blevins

    Chapter 11. The very culture of the Detroit automakers must change - only chapter 11 has enough teeth to make that change.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    December 3, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  197. Jonh in Mich

    The auto makers haven't learned thir lesson yet so why should we give them a reward when they should be punished. I mean look at AIG! I know this will cause job losses but they should convert those jobs into alternative industries

    December 3, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  198. w.h.smith

    we have not choice, , too many people would be put out of work across this nation. car dealers, parts company, people who put together these cars, if you think alot of people are out ot work now . this would look like 1928.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  199. Darryl Edington in Eagle Point, Oregon

    The answer is to cut CEO pay, tell the unions they too will have to tighten their belts, and force the entire industry to start focusing on building the cars of the future and not the cars of the past with nothing more than a new facelift. If all else fails – they should simply copy whatever the Japanese are doing.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  200. N. Knox

    Forget the big three. They have forgotten the notion of innovation. Instead, bailout money should be issued to innovators like Tesla motors in California that have developed 100% sustainable electric cars. Use the funds to buy and redevelop the closed autoplants, put people back to work on the manufacturing line (so they can afford their mortgages), and offer consumers incentives to buy the new enegry efficient cars. No more foreign oil – no more need for war; good for all!

    December 3, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  201. Steven

    Let the automakers fail if they cannot find private backing in their current form. If this happens, competent business people will buy at fire sale prices, and begin transforming the business into one that will work. Many people will continue to be employed through the transition.

    The auto industry in general has already become bloated, due mostly to people financing new cars with home equity loans. The damage is done. A government bail-out will simply go toward continuation of a poorly managed business.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  202. Rita Gardner

    The auto industry is not looking for a total bailout, only a loan.
    If they bailed out the Financial Industry why in the world not the auto industry. Let's save this country some jobs. We will really be in bad shape if we lose those jobs right now. If it had not been for the gas prices the auto industry would not be in this trouble.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  203. Pat from Toronto

    A bailout for what?? They won't be able to sell cars in this market. Let them go down and another company will step in and assume the market position. The jobs we eventually be recovered with a different company. That's what democratic capital markets are all about.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  204. David from Chicago

    All I know is the UAW needs to shut its mouth. They are a big part of the problem. AIG and the other financial institution employees did not have any substantial input. Just shut them up!!!

    December 3, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  205. Bernice

    I think congress should bail the auto industry out because of the impact tat it will have on other industries if nothing is done to hlp them. Some of the people who are saying don't help probably have family members and friends that work for companies that make and/or deliver parts that are needed to build cars. Also consider businesses that have nothing to do with building the cars but deliver packages or have restaurants and other businesses in the areas where the auto makers are located, these companies will loose business and possibly have to close down as well.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  206. joey D

    Why is it when business is going great these companies want the free market to run things and the government to stay out, but when things are going bad, they want the government to step in? I personally say, let them go under. Yes some people will lose jobs in the short term but in the long term, someone will step up and fill the void. maybe it will be a car company that actually cares and will come out with a great product and everyone will have their jobs back. Just like with any other business, you fall, someone else will be there to take the torch adn run with it. no one was there to help my brother when his restaurant went out of business because of all this mess. and he had people who ended up getting laid off. Give them what they want....a free market. they get the good when its good and take the bad when times are bad. So be it.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  207. Jeanne Montgomery

    It would be easy to just say no to a loan to the three big auto companies. No one wants to do it but we can't just let them go under.
    Infortunately we have to take the medicine and lend them the money .
    It is a drop in the bucket compared to the banks.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  208. Steve Fantus

    We should allow the Big 3 to borrow what they need, as they will pay it all back ( with interest.... remember Chrysler under Lee Ioccoca?). The car companies will then be under a strict mandate to create fuel-efficient cars that are technologically up to speed, will make them concentrate on alternative fuels, etc. which will have the upside of being able to compete with imports long-term.

    I think a huge benefit would be that the CEO's would agree to accept only a $1.00 annual salary until they get their act together. I have one additional thought... if the Big 3 CEO's give up their dollars... we, as taxpayers they are beholden to... would be $3.00 richer.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  209. Nick from Tampa, Florida

    first of all they are going to lay off 30,000+ people and on top of they expect tax payers to bail them out! And if this administration is supporting them it seems that the government is only for the upper class and very wealthy and does not take the middle-class and small business owners into perspective.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  210. Richard Geisler

    I don't know if anyone else has realized this or not, but putting more money into the hands of the auto makers is NOT going to get people to buy cars. If these auto companies are in such bad shape, they need to figure out ways to get consumers to purchase their products. My solution? Lower the cost of automobiles so that people will buy new vehicles, rather than used. Sure you'll have to take cuts in profit for a bit and restructure your business, but I say the automotive industry can deal with their own financial issues and leave my tax dollars out of it.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  211. Dan Cierpik

    The American auto industry would get more credibility for an American taxpayer bailout, if they would actually make ALL their cars and trucks here in America. They are cause of this economic mess along with all the other American corporations that think it is OK to send all their manufacturing jobs to other countries. Now THEY are in trouble again, and asking the jobless Americans to bail them out. Forget it....let them ask the Canadians, Mexicans and the other countries who will benefit from their bailout.
    Dan, Colorado

    December 3, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  212. Penelope Flack

    Hey Jack! Get rid of all the top executives and the union and turn the companies over to the employees to be restructured under an independent supervisory board. On that basis, give them a loan. They should be motivated to make it work because then their jobs are dependent on their own decisions and management.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  213. Gregory Dulton

    Congress and the public insist on a transparent auto industry. We want to know how the Big 3 are being managed. Fair enough. How about the unions opening things up? After all, the workers will benefit from any tax payer funds lent to the car makers. Let's look at the amount paid in benefits, pensions and alike.
    Then we can really decide what the right answer really is.


    December 3, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  214. Maggie in NJ

    There is no "right" answer. I say loan them the money. Just keep on printing the stuff. That way when Social Security runs out they can just print some more and bail SS out too. At least I' benefit from that bailout. And how is it that when the government bailed out the banks and Wall Street, no litmus test was necessary? The thing that drives me nuts is that we (John Q. Citizen) just sit by and watch the parade. Where is the indignation? How about a national strike? How about we all stop paying taxes? Thank God for blogs.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  215. Pat from Algonac MI

    I don't understand the opposition to this loan. Doesn't anyone remeber how the textile, appliance, electronics and other industries went overseas? We cannot buy American socks, shirts, washing machines and ovens. We run to Wal Mart to buy from Communist China. Kill the auto companies and you'll be buying the main mode of transportation from offshore companies which by the way ARE state supported in a big way.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  216. ian from mesa az

    jack this is simple the tax payers should get 3,000 a month for a year the auto makers will build only a couple of cars or trucks and the empty plants will start making wind turbines and solar panels you can lay off some people to they get it figured out you can survive off of 3,000 a month

    December 3, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  217. Barry Himmelstein

    The federal government buys hundreds of thousands of vehicles a year. If Congress doesn't want to lend them the money, maybe they can just pay for a year's worth of cars in advance and get better pricing. If the industry goes bust, instead of 3 million auto industry workers paying billions of dollars a year in federal and state taxes, they'll be collecting billions in unemployment insurance and government subsidized healthcare. The cumulative lost tax revenue and increased government expenditures will make the $25 billion the industry is asking for look like chump change.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  218. Clem Bloom

    Jack – " bailout " has become a dirty word. Don't the big three make most of the parts for our military land vehicles? Make the money that they need a prepayment for those parts at a 20% discount to the tax payers for early payment. We'll save the money out of military appropriations so it would be a wash at worse and a 20% savings at best. Or is this too complicated for the brilliant minds in our two houses of government?

    December 3, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  219. Tamara

    Perhaps the CEO's should cut their salaries in half and put that money back into the companies if they are truly concerned about their industry. I think the bailout should be given to the tax payers to pay off their debts, which would put money back into the banks and to retailers as well as allow car purchases to be made. THAT would stimulate the economy and allow the actual taxpayers that will be taxed to pay off the debt some relief.

    Seriously, since the "mainstream" taxpayer is the one who will have the taxes levied on them to repay the debt that Washington is building up. Not the CEO's, the Large companies who get tax breaks to send our jobs to other countries and definitely not Wall Street.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  220. John from Mission Viejo, CA

    As much as I hate the idea of helping these guys due to their lack of fore thought and over sight, it seems that we will have to do something. I truly believe that there will be no accountability for these funds unless they are paid through a bankruptcy proceeding. It's balderdash to think they will suffer irrepairable brand damage. Look at the airlines!

    December 3, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  221. Robert in Louisville

    There is no right answer. This is just one of those situations where you make a choice and hope it works out. But if the government decides to help the American car industry, I hope they are smart enough to require concrete plans that make sense. You cannot let these companies make their own decisions any longer or it will mean more of the same - the wrong cars manufactured for the wrong reasons at what is certainly the wrong economic time.

    And by the way, is anyone going to give us a good reason why we should buy American when American corporations have all but destroyed this country in their quest for minimally taxed profits.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  222. Lee B

    Listen Jack, why doesnt GM change its name from General Motors to Green Motors, and start building affordable electric cars, nevermind the hybrid smoke and mirrors show, and keep their truck plants rolling. We need some real change! And on another note, the oil companies are still booming, they have a stake in the auto industry, why don't they bail out the auto industry!
    Lee B
    St Catharines Ontario

    December 3, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  223. carroll israel-Canton North Carolina

    We have already sent million of our industrial jobs overseas or to Mexico.We are quickly becoming a consumer nation not a produced nation.If we can bail out Wall Street then we should help the auto industry.I wonder what those 61% who are not in favor would say if it was their job?I am not a auto worker.
    North Carolina

    December 3, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  224. m j

    I find it hard to believe that people don't think the auto maker "bailout" will help the economy. I work at a GM dealership in a town that is very dependant on the auto industry. The main industry in this town is powdered/pressed metal, most companies of which have contracts with the big 3.... No auto parts for the auto industry, no orders for our numerous factories....That in turn means employment here goes down and no one is buying ANYTHING let alone a new car. It is not just here...it is all over big and small town America. I don't want my tax dollars going to them (Ford, GM , Chrysler) either, but the potential cost of NOT helping them is just way to high.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  225. N. Manetavat

    I don't understand why someone want to give you money(bailout money even it does not go to you directly), to say no. This is not tax money, the Gov't borrows it. You keep saying that the new generations will have to pay for this debts. When was the last time they do that. The Federal debts keep going up and Americans peoples getting richer. Remember, when the Gov't spends money, money goes to American peoples.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  226. Vicki from NJ

    Of course we have to loan the money to U.S. Carmakers. We are talking jobs, jobs and more jobs here. They aren't asking for a bailout, they're asking for a loan for God's sake. But, we stupidly gave a bailout to Finanicial Institutions with blank checks and no questions asked. And, we still don't know what's going on with that money we gave out already. I would rather invest my tax dollars into U.S. jobs via U.S. carmakers than banks who rob us both ways.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  227. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    Save them if they promise to make vehicles that consumers want. Supply and demand. Simple as that. Don't try to tell us what we want, make what we want. Force them to make cars that run on water or other fluids. That's what I want.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  228. Antonio

    Americans have spoken loud and clear, they are disappointed in the American auto maker and labor. Where was UAW to protest making inferior product? UAW has only taken a stand to increase wages for mediocre work. Stop protecting a bad business model, stop protecting a bad design, and actually LEAD innovation and start delivering more than a product– These automakers need to address their social responsibility if they truly want to be revered as the heart of American industry.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  229. Valerie

    I think they should take that money and invest it in Hybrid, Energy, Drilling or Change just pick one! Let the fat cats sit out without jobs for a while, for no one should be bailed out, let the chips fall where they may. Maybe there's a lesson here to be learned!!!!!!!!!! Don't keeping doing the same OLD way.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  230. David, NJ

    Jack, there is no good answer for this situation. No option will please everyone, and not doing SOMETHING is counterproductive. As a taxpayer, I would rather see my hard earned money be used to help save jobs, rather than pay for the massive unemployment that would result if this industry were to dissolve. It's an ugly situation, but that's life. We need to stop complaining and fighting, and actually do SOMETHING if we plan on recovering from this official recession sooner rather than later.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  231. Michelle

    NO WAY! Someone please explain to me why a nurse makes $30/hr and the auto worker makes $73/hr. I cannot even begin to see the equity in that!! It's not life or death! There needs to be some real examination of compensation for nurses and teachers while auto workers make $73 an hour.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  232. Sheila A. Hard

    Jack, as a national security issue, we need at least one domestic manufacturer of vehicles. As a natural security issue, we also need to end our dependence on foreign oil. And as a planetary security issue, we need to stop climate change

    I've heard that the same Chinese pictogram represents "crisis" and "opportunity". Compared to the problems, the Big Three "business plans" might better be labeled "business as usual" plans - simply trying to buy time and kick the problem down the road. We need ideas that will lead to fundamental restructuring of the industry. Maybe the economic stimulus should include taxpayer subsidies to purchase "green cars". Or maybe the government should directly subsidize their production.

    One thing seems clear - $39 Billion is an awful lot to spend on a Band-Aid.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  233. K. Davis

    I think the answer is loan them some money, to be paid back with interest, but not before ALL upper level management either lose their jobs or take pay cuts, the union workers should, like a lot of the people in this country, take less money and perks, nothing for those people who sit around being paid not to work, and the industry should come up with a new business model, one that is competitive. Maybe they could consult with Toyota and see how they do it. I do not think they should go bust, too many people will lose their jobs too, and this economy does not need that.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  234. Mario Tarver

    The answer for the Big 3 is to give them the money with ironclad obligations. The UAW will need to take a lot of concessions. Also, the Board of Directors, CEO, and senior leadership need to be fired. This talk about earning on a $1.00 for a year is bogus. All three of these companies knew the handwriting was on the wall for years. I personally own a foreign car and have now plans to buy an american car until they can offer cars with at least 50 mpg for all brands. I am behind a bailout of the Big 3 only if they pay it back in five years and only if they can promise that all their cars/SUVs/trucks will have 40-50 within 5 years. I want a complete reform from the past. The Big 3 has been declining since the 1970's why is it not that they are asking for help. If you take the taxpayers money, you need to offer a 15% discount to all taxpayers.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  235. Jim

    We should let the big 3 fail. However, we know they're going to get bailed out.
    So I suggest as part of the deal the CEOs take a job at their respective companies that represents the average salary of their work force and make them compete in a "Trading Places" themed reality show. Where they all live in a trailer park and face a paycheck-to-paycheck reality. The winner gets to keep new job and the other two get laid off.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  236. Loretta of Cody, Wyoming

    If there are no private investors who are willing to bail out the auto companies, how can they expect the taxpayers to do so–this is only rewarding bad behavior. These are the same companies which have been systematically outsourcing workers' jobs overseas, reducing the salaries of their employees, eliminating benefits, busting the unions which champion workers rights, etc., etc., etc. Furthermore, no amount of bailout money is going to reverse the fact that people do not have the earnings to pay for the cars which these companies insist they must continue to manufacture. What are they going to do with the excess inventory?

    December 3, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  237. Larry, San Diego

    Jack, for the life of me I can’t understand why we were silent when congress gave $700B to Wall Street and the banks without uttering a sound. Please tell me what value Wall Street adds to the work force? How many jobs have they created since receiving the first $300B? And, yes, let’s not forget that they got the funds with no strings attached. At least if we bail out the auto firms we’ll keep hundreds of thousand of workers on the job. Yes, we should give them a chance. It’s about time we give the little guy a chance to keep their jobs.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  238. J'Von Hicks

    This economic problem is destorying everyone! If i'm not mistaken. Thomas Jefferson stated that if the government is curropted, we the people can kick them out and create a new government to better protect our rights! I think that should happen NOW!

    December 3, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  239. Kirk Williams

    Well Jack, unfortunately the demand for American made cars is down, that is a fact. The auto industry needs to go the way of aircraft manufacturing in the US. Example, McDonald Douglass has merged with Boeing, and Lockheed has downsized to only military work. The auto industry needs a controlled bankruptcy. Then merge the big three into the big two. That would downsize output to demand. The other fix to their woes would be a universal healthcare system. That would relieve that burden from American business.

    Peoria, AZ

    December 3, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  240. Michael Vevera, Portland Oregon

    The answer is easy: they should have to deal with their long running inept management the same way that most other companies have to by seeking protection under current bancruptcy laws. GM is an outdated conglomerate that never was a viable business model for the auto industry. It only stayed around, here in the US, by being codled by the governement and allowed to produce shotty products and an oversized beaurocratic management team. It should come as no surprise that in Europe GM has long been profitable through lean management and the production of innovative product lines. It is time to pay the piper and GM deserves to reap the harvest of the seeds of gross mismanagement that it hass sown.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  241. Dmitry Tiumentsev (LA)

    HI Jack.
    I do understand that Auto Industry is crucial part of US economy..but why should we bail out Private company like Chrysler?
    Same for Ford and GM. This economic crisis didn't happened over night.
    They been doing wrong business for many years now. Let' em pay for it

    December 3, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  242. Gregory Middleton

    I thought that we operated within a capitalistic system where the strong thrived and the weak floundered and failed. Foreign automakers have been producing vehicles with better fuel efficiency and offering longer warranties than their American counterparts for years. I say let the the "Big 3" fail. Let them go bankrupt, reassess their methods and come back to the table in the future more competitive and offering a better product. If we must, lets bail out those folks who would lose their jobs due to the greed and ill-advised decisions of their employers. A stimulus package, at a fraction of the cost it would take to bail out the entire industry, should be created as a buffer to keep autoworkers afloat...

    December 3, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  243. Rich

    I don't think It makes much difference either way since the majority of the American people can't afford to by cars anyway. It is inevitable that they will go under. Everything about this failed economy goes back to
    companies outsourcing jobs and putting our people out of work.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  244. Gary Bullas

    Don't give the 34 billion to the big three. Use it to fund a government rebate program and pay the purchasers on new Chrysler, Ford or G.M. vehicles $2,000. each. That way the stimulus is started at the local level through the dealers and then to the auto companies, reducing their inventories making room for more production. If they get the money directly, it'll just evaporate!

    December 3, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  245. JD in NH

    How about we bail out the citizens? Send us all a certificate we can cash in on an American car. Tax free. It will keep Detroit in operation and appease the bailout-weary masses.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  246. John Vassiliou

    Very simple and pragmatic , let the auto industry go into chapter 11 reorganize and re-emerge as new, smaller and competitive. Better yet GM and Chrysler should consider merging to take advantage of cost saving synergies and better chance of survival. This is a free market after all. Enough non-sense and begging by lousy corporate stewards who only care about lining their pockets at the expense of taxpayers.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  247. Richard Green

    There is no single answer for the auto industry. They must get smaller. They must bring to America the great cars they build for Europe. They must understand that they are not as important to this gov't as the investment houses on Wall Street. Speaking of which, the Wall Street recipients of the no-strings-attached handout from Bush/Paulson are the only ones who can afford the jets the auto execs are going to sell. What a slap in the face to all of us.

    Rich Green
    San Clemente, Cal.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  248. Faye

    Auto industry needs loan. The fallout from not giving it is too great.
    But, I agree, it can't be bridge to nowhere.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  249. Bob Fister


    I think that Exxon Mobile should load the money to the auto industry, not the tax payers. They made enough the past several months!

    December 3, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  250. Brian in Marietta GA

    Jack, considering 1 in 10 jobs are related to the auto industry, the answer is to give them t he money. I don't fully understand this animosity towards our auto industry, when what they are asking for is a pittance up against the massive blank checks we have have already given AIG and the banking industries, who are far more responsible for our current economic woes than the auto industry. Does the auto industry have problems? Sure. But my family has already learned first-hand what happens when auto industry companies fail – my wife worked for one of the Bill Heard dealerships that went bankrupt. in September. We aren' far behind.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  251. Raymond Richter

    The big three makers should get the money that is requested, but the government should issue bonds for an equal amount to be given to the tax payers. These bonds could be cashed in at a later date, or used to discount a future purchase of an "American Made" car. This way the tax payer will get repaid rather than make a Gift.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  252. Peter Kolonias (United Nations ,New York)

    I'm against the auto bailout, however now that its official, we should prevent it from happening again. The Govt. should set up an oversight committee for every auto maker thats involved. Wherever theres money being exchanged, a govt employee should be there to monitor these transactions
    Taxpayers will be more comfortable knowing that this oversight will be in place and excess spending will be kept to a minumum
    These committees will also create more jobs that will also stimulate the economy.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  253. Art Bryant Southern Maine

    Perhaps they should consider simpler more cost-friendly cars, how do they expect customers to continue to pay $30-$40K for these green-energy cars when a large portion of the country is either out of a job or in a poor paying one

    Senior citizens need vehicles but very few have the means to buy one at even half of these prices. Are we supposed to only buy ten year old vehicles. Leasing is for the birds, with the excess mileage charges (not all of us drive under 10,000 miles per year) and all the other fees.

    For over twenty years the manufacturing base in this country has been reduced-this was evident from national manufacturing seminars I attended over the years-the machine tool industry is virtually gone etc.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  254. Sharon (Texas)

    Why call it a bailout. Give them a loan. Just like the banks and auto companies give us comsumers. Charge interest and don't forget the late fees and penalties if payment is not received on time. Lets see how they like it....

    December 3, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  255. Jenevive Bignell

    I would like to know how Honda and Toyota are handling this. Thier sells are down almost as much as the Big 3's are. Are they asking for a bailout from the Japanese Government? If not, how are thier business plans different from the Big 3's? Also, why can't the Big 3 make cars as reliable and efficient as the Corolla, Camry, Civic and Accord, or as forward thinking and successful as the Prius? Who does the Big 3 need to hire to engineer cars as successfully as the Japanese do?

    December 3, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  256. tom

    The big three want 34 billion dollars. If they get it, them promise to lay off more workers. How can they ask for money from the taxpayers and add to the unemployment numbers?

    Shouldn't we be creating jobs instead of more unemployment to working American?

    December 3, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  257. Richard from Michigan

    So, here we go again. From what I understand, it's NOT a bailout, it's low interest loans. The legacy costs you refer to are pensions and healthcare. All other countries building cars have some form of universal health care. So until you can compare apples to apples ... the big 3 need the help! Those 61% opposed are either Republicans or just don't care because they have jobs. The car companies didn't cause the financial breakdown; the idiotic, no regulations, administration caused this ... they have to fix it!

    December 3, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  258. m alexander sumter

    If we can bail out banks, insurance companies, and wall street all of whom produce nothing but paper money ; surely we can give our brothers and sisters in the auto industry a "loan" to produce a tangible product.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  259. Melissa

    They did it to themselves. Let them suffer. They've been robbing us blind for years, and now they want to do it again. No more.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:33 pm |
  260. Jack Myers Deland Fl

    Hi Jack What most people don't seem to understand is this is not a BAILOUT but a loan much as they did for crysler many years ago when crysler paid the loan back in record time. If we let the car companies fail the federal goverment (the taxpayer) have to take over the retirement plan and possibly the health plan of these employees. We can then turn the auto industry over to toyota, nissan,bmw and all other foreign companies in this country. We can' afford to let them fail.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:37 pm |
  261. zuby

    This points to some of the most basic problems with our absolutist beliefs in the most brutal form of Capitalism: Making as much profit as possible without considering environmental or social issues and for the Unions grabbing as much for themselves as possible and never letting anything go no matter what effect it has on the company they're working for.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:37 pm |
  262. carolyn skillingstad

    jack what makes the auto makers and the u a w so special and better than the rest of us? such arrogance. let them go belly up and see what it's like in the real world. for years they have been badley managed and unioned to death . there are other auto makers that do not expect to get paid if they don't work. i'll buy from them.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  263. Hadi

    Instead of having Big-3 Auto Industry, let it be BIG ONE... by mergering all three... Why should Big-3 exist if all three companies can't manage the companies...

    Instead of having us bailing them out, let the three auto companies merge... discontinue products that fail and invest into the future...

    Together, we are strong; separate, we are weak...

    December 3, 2008 at 5:40 pm |
  264. Holly, Albuquerque, NM

    Let the OIL COMPANIES bail them out.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:40 pm |
  265. Bob from Atlanta

    Definitely we are on the wrong track with the auto industry. We should not bail them out. There business plan has been wrong for the last 10 years or so. Businesses with bad plans go through bankruptcy, so should they. It would force them to work out a more reasonable contract with UAW. They would have to sell off certain non-profitable car lines, etc. Don't bail them out of this process.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:41 pm |
  266. Holly, Albuquerque, NM

    How about letting the OIL COMPANIES bail them out?

    December 3, 2008 at 5:41 pm |
  267. james Davis

    If we are a country of laws then the answer is simple. Its called Chapter 11 and they only need to contact the courts like eveyone else.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:41 pm |
  268. Russ Thompson

    I'll bet those 61% that are against the Auto bailout, worked for them they would change thier mind's very fast. I worked for Chrysler for 34 year's & enjoyed every minute. If they dont get the money & go bankrupt, I'll lose my retirement , medical, which I depend on VERY MUCH, without Medical I would have to stop taking my med's, & that's like sighing my death warrent. SO think about it. If you drive a foreign junk, go work in Japan, China, & other countries.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  269. Diana B.

    Jack, It upsets me greatly that people will not understand that, as auto wokers on the assembly line, we do NOT make $70.00 an hour. Not even with our health care figured in. Our last contract took most of that away. Please help get the truth out.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  270. dave cassidy in tampa

    Manufacturing made America great and will again. How do you think the Japanese got to have the worlds second ranked economy ;even though Japan is the size of New Jersey. You don't see the Japanese buying American and giving up their most important industry. They and their government support and subsidize their auto industry. We need to use the Japanese as an example of how real government subsidies and support of an industry can make it number one in the world! With our and our government's support we will maintain our leadership! Remember our auto industry is the last bastion of American major manufacturing!

    December 3, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  271. doug

    If my restaurant fails because of bad food and bad service ,my employes, suppliers hurt. Across the road, their restaurant is doing well . Who can I blame? ME! I should not ask to be bailed out

    December 3, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  272. Mike Wichita KS

    American Motors is gone. Didn't miss them. Chrysler has had their bailout, let them die. Give GM and Ford a loan with enough strings attached to hang them if they screw up. I don't trust any of those CEOs.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  273. g ontario

    seems like the only thing north american corporations can produce any more is unemployment

    December 3, 2008 at 5:45 pm |