December 18th, 2008
01:36 PM ET

Too Late to Save Auto Industry as we know it?



FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The White House continues to drag its feet on a bailout for the auto industry in the wake of failed attempts to get help from Congress. The impasse came when the United Auto Workers Union refused to agree to wage cuts.

This morning President Bush said he still hasn't decided what to do but his press secretary later said he's considering an orderly bankruptcy. Of course the point of the automakers begging for a bailout was to prevent bankruptcy and the collapse of the industry.

Chrysler announced plans to close down all 30 of its manufacturing plants for one month effective tomorrow. Their finance division says it may have to stop making loans to dealers.

Ford had previously announced their own plans to close 10 factories to cut first quarter production in 2009. In the meantime, the Wall Street Journal reports that GM and Chrysler are rethinking the possibility of a merger, although sources tell CNN that is not true.

Here’s my question to you: Is it already too late to save the auto industry in its present form?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Dave from Granville, Ohio writes:
No, it is not too late yet. But it will be if Bush persists in the "managed bankruptcy" madness. Do these ideologues bent on breaking the unions not understand that nobody, repeat NOBODY will buy a car from an auto company in bankruptcy, however "managed" it might be?

Tom from Avon, Maine writes:
I hope so. We want the auto industry we have been demanding for the last 30 years, one that is environmentally, strategically, and socially responsible. That isn't what we have right now. We have a monster dreamed up by big oil and created in the lab of lobbyists.

Ron from San Diego, California writes:
No I don't think it is too late. However, there should be good visibility as to how they are making changes. And there should be tight government control over how they proceed. I think the current CEOs and FCOs need to step down before any government assistance is handed out.

Anthony from Wildwood Crest, New Jersey writes:
Yes, and that is a good thing. The industry failed to be proactive and failed to adjust to the times. It sought profit over doing the right thing. Now that the ship is sunk, they want help? I don't think so! The auto industry needs to start from the beginning with new people and new ideas.

Ralph from Yakima, Washington writes:
This is why the President is probably delaying, the Katrina syndrome, where he passes the buck, ignores the problem, or blames others for his failure. How would you like the history books read you destroyed General Motors? It's completely irresponsible behavior and it's typical George W. Bush.

Cathy writes:
It is going to be too late by the time that President Bush makes any kind of decision. If Paulson can be given a blank check for his old company, why can't the car makers have $15 billion? The answer lies in the attempt to break unions that keep wages at a level that people can actually stay in houses and pay bills, and the benefits that more companies are cutting or eliminating. If these car companies fail, it will take this economy over the edge it's balanced on.

Filed under: Auto Industry • Auto-Bailout
soundoff (142 Responses)
  1. Kim - Blair, NE

    I certainly hope so. In it's present form is the problem.

    December 18, 2008 at 1:39 pm |
  2. Ron K

    Hi Jack:

    No I don't think it is too late. However, there should be good visibility as to how they are making changes. And there should be tight government control over how they proceed. I think the current CEO's and FCO's need to step down before any government assistance is handed out.

    Ron San Diego

    December 18, 2008 at 1:42 pm |
  3. Terrell Walker Escondido Ca.

    Jack why would we want to save it in it's present form? The Japanese got way out in front of us on building cars for the future that makes sense. We cannot compete with their labor cost because of the UAW. I am though for some sort of loan for the industry as a whole so that related jobs are not lost. But the Industry in it's present form cannot,should not and will not...survive.

    December 18, 2008 at 1:43 pm |
  4. Anthony Smith

    Yes, and that is a good thing. The industry failed to be proactive and failed to adjust to the times. It sought profit over doing the right thing. Now that the ship is sunk, they want help? I don't think so! The auto industry needs to start from the beginning with new people and new ideas.

    Wildwood Crest, NJ

    December 18, 2008 at 1:43 pm |
  5. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    Hopefully. In case you haven't noticed, its present form isn't a sound business model. They should declare bankruptcy and restructure. Then, and only then, should the government offer them aid.

    December 18, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  6. carson

    If they act right now then not late yet.

    December 18, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  7. Joe in DE

    The auto industry today is different from what we knew it as a while back. US firms have been strangled by a bureaucry more intrested in sel-advancement (bonuses, incenties) than in improving the product. They have steadily lost ground to foregin companies.

    If Us firms survive, there is no telling what the future will bring.

    December 18, 2008 at 1:51 pm |
  8. Frank from Peterborough

    No the auto industry can and will eventually prosper. The problem right now is the credit crunch and automobiles are big ticket items most can do without or put off buying for a while.

    The non union foreign automakers in the south are also having tough times but the individual states as well as the respective foreign countries are subisdizing these businesses.

    December 18, 2008 at 1:51 pm |
  9. theresa breza

    The patient is on the death bed with three million others connected to the same life support. Congress and or the President will determine wether they live or die. Is it too late? Almost.

    December 18, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  10. D. Texas

    Yes I think they should have took better care of theit busisness !

    December 18, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  11. Barb B Mpls

    No, it is not too late. After the white collar workers from the banks and insurance companies that we bailed out take their pay cuts we should have plenty of money for the blue collar manual laborers.

    December 18, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  12. Al in IA

    Why would we want to save the auto industry in it's present form? I just bought a new american car with a factory defect that the dealer can't repair under warranty because the factory isn't aware of the problem. It's hopeless and there is no point in using tax dollars to save an industry that is so unresponsive to the consumer; they are doomed to fail regardless.

    December 18, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  13. Chuck in Warren,Ohio

    Jack: It's not to late to save the auto industry, all Bush has to do is get off his (ASS) and do his job. The one he was was appointed to.
    The GOP does not realize that this will bankrupt 3.5 million people. I know, I'm one of them.
    The same suppiers that supply the Big Three also supply all the tras-plants too. I talk to people in the busness and most will not stay in busness until March.
    The real difference is trade issues and health care. then the field is level!

    December 18, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  14. Denis Duffy

    Jack, there is nothing to save in it's present form. When companies fail, for whatever reason, they should be allowed to fail. If the country needs strategic parts of these companies, they can save those parts.

    Pittsburgh, Pa.

    December 18, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  15. Hubert Bertrand

    The CEO's don't care about the american people,All they want is money,Bush will not be treaten,Now what will happen to us?????No one cares about us We;re broke, Now what???

    December 18, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  16. Conor in Chicago

    I know a few Southern Senators who have foreign auto companies with factories in their states that don't allow their employees to unionize but pay them union wages in order avert a union movement who want you to beleive this is true. If they convince all of you this is true and the Big 3 go under ask yourself if the foreign auto companies will continue to pay union wages when there is no union to compare it to? Think people, think.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  17. Chris

    Yes. The auto industry has had 35 years to pursue a viable strategy but chose to keep its head in the sand. I think Ford has the best chance of succeeding. They have a pipeline of products America wants. It is inevitable that the new US auto industry, with the exception of Ford, will be run by the Japanese and Europeans building cars in the US. The industry has no one to blame but itself.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  18. Don (Ottawa)

    It's too late to save the auto industry in its present form. The industry depends on American's changing cars every two years; a strategy of planned obsolescense. Those days are over Jack, and so are the car companies that depend on this strategy to make money.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  19. Terry, Chandler AZ

    Of course it is too late. The industry is so large and they have been doing many things wrong for many years. It will take several years to turn the US auto industry into a profitable industry that Americans can be proud of.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  20. JD in NH

    The Detroit auto industry will be kaput unless healthcare is addressed in this country. In fact, there are no industries that can compete on a global basis when all the nations we trade with have single payer, universal, government-sponsored healthcare.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  21. Sherrol in Canada

    Yes, it is, and that may not be a bad thing, after all change needs to rear it's head in their world too.

    If Bush makes the call for the partial loan (soon), the auto industry had better use the borrowed time, that money bought to firgure out a plan to make them viable.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  22. Gary Knowles

    IT'S NOT TOO LATE to save the good parts of the auto industry but
    it needs to be stimulated from both producer & consumer directions –
    (1) Allow import of Big three fuel efficient vehicles from Europe
    (2) Offer tax credit for buyers of new fuel efficient cars (see above)
    (3) Help Detroit gear up to build Euro Imports HERE
    (4) UAW must agree to match wages of autoworkers in the US Toyota, BMW, Hyunda plants
    (5) Subsidize research into alt. fuel vehicles – beyond ethanol

    December 18, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  23. William F. Browne

    Bushco could care less about the Auto industry – especially with its unon connections. It was 'too late' for the auto industry the moment the asked for a 'loan.' Bushco are liars; they have never cared about the people or the labor the people produce – if it effects or affects workers. They believe: There will always be auto products, so why care about their survival in their present form?

    December 18, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  24. dennis north carolina

    Major changes are needed in the car companies for them to survive in the world economy. bailout or no bailout if changes are not made they will fail.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:14 pm |

    The Big Three can be saved, should be saved, but they can not continue as they are. They need to simplify, with fewer brands and models. Part of their labor cost disadvantage is related to the number of retirees that they support. Toyota and Honda have not been building cars here long enough to have that problem. Universal national health insurance would go a long way towards alleviating that burden and would benefit the rest of us as well.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  26. Daniel Ambrose

    It's never too late, but there's no time like the present.

    Daniel Ambrose,
    Atlanta, GA

    December 18, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  27. V.K. Raman

    This time of the year, all the 3 auto giants shutdown their manufacturing plants for maintenance. Extended shutdown proves that they have larger than expected inventory.

    I believe giving the bridge loan even now is not too late to keep the industry floating.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  28. bob, oshawa, ontario

    Jack, yes. Even if they receive a bailout, it simply won't deal with a few important issues not yet addressed and that is to contend with legacy payments to retired union members as well as the huge salaries currently paid to company CEOs. The enormity of these costs cannot be met with a simple cash loan intended to allow business to go on as usual. Some new arrangement has to be worked out as to benefits and management wages to bring them into line with the new economic reality. How that is accomplished has to be the immediate focus.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  29. Simpliticus

    It makes one wonder If George W. Bush wishes to save the auto industry, why it is taking that long to get this bridge loan together knowing full well that $15 billion remains in the TARP for such a purpose? It appears that with the so-called stable transition toward bankruptcy, Bush actually wants to destroy the unions and to start all over again. I do not expect Bush to save the industry before he leaves office. This "SHIVA" will truly be the Destroyer of the American economy, once and for all! Might as well call Bush the Madoff of the Auto Industry!

    December 18, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  30. Erin in Healdsburg CA

    Is it already too late to save the auto industry in its present form?

    Yes. It's present form is unhealthy and has been for years. Time to try something new.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  31. Venia

    I find it amazing how the republicans rushed to save the banks yet stall on saving the AMERICAN AUTO INDUSTRY and its workers. I think the more time goes on the more damage however I don't feel it is too late. The auto industry is resiliant and knows how to protect itself.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  32. Chuck in Sheboygan, WI.

    Why on earth would we want to save the auto industry as is? They build cars that people don't want or can afford and that are still perceived as lower in quality than foreign competitors. They have been woefully slow to bring innovation to the market, and when they do the price is beyond the average buyer. All I continue to see is big truck ads and throwback muscle cars from the 70's being built.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  33. Jesse Carpenter II

    I do not want my taxpayer money used to reward bad business practices!! The big three executives and the union bosses new damn well since 1950 that they would eventually have to make affordable,fuel efficient and reliable vehicles for the public. Instead they chose business as usual instead of modernization. As for the unions,, I think they have outlived there usefulness. It`s time for them to go. Look at Toyota`s business model. They have changed with the times. They don`t have unions and they are doing great. I will stick with Toyota until the big three get there act together.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  34. Judie from St. Augustine, Fl

    It is way to late to save the auto industry as we know it. They have hundreds of thousands of new cars sitting on lots accross the USA. They have hundereds of thousands of repossessed autos sitting in lots accross the USA. No one is buying them and it is not just because credit is tight it is because money is tight to non existant. It is because people are losing their jobs It is because the autos are over produced and over priced that these albatrosses are sitting on lots . If you cannot sell something it is worthless, why in the world would you make more of something that you cannot sell. It's time to rethink the auto industry as a whole and start over with a better plan.

    St. Augustine, Fl.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  35. Tom Ft Lauderdale


    America is about to enter into a new age where people can go to the Post Office and by a car and get the financing all under the same roof. Amercas free markets are self cleaning only if their free. Corporate welfare is a tool to perpetuate the wealth in this country. I ask why nobody screamed regulation when property values, stocks and gas were spiraling through the roof. It's same old song . the only thing that truly changes is the name such as TARP ,WAR in Iraq,Bailout Nation or AIG.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  36. william fitzwater

    The auto industry will be saved. This is what I don't understand why are they (senate & the house) fussing so bad about giving 15 billion when they have 100s of time more to the finicial industry.
    I just feel for some of the Senater this was one last ditch effort to break the Union. The Senater put party first and did not look at the consquences of a auto industry failure would mean the the US economny.
    If the White house wishes to have some form of legacy then give a true Christmas present to the American people a bail out Detroit now. This will save job lively hood and some communities that are feeling the economic pinch.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  37. Richard Heriot Bay, B.C. Canada

    Until the credit crunch returns to normal auto companies cannot move forward regardless of management efforts to get back on a profitable track. Trade policies and tariffs for foreign auto manufacturers should be reviewed and adjusted to assure fair play for American workers and local economies. U.S. auto makers need to retool for fuel conservation and develop 21st century personal transportation solutions while legally protecting new proprietary innovations from foreign competitors.
    Auto trade unions will inevitably suffer. There is no "too late" to save millions of American jobs.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  38. Karl

    With all this talk about the governments from both sides of the border planning a bailout for the auto industry and now the commercial sales industry; I seriously think that the governments should include a bailout or survivability package for those of us out of a job and the ones unable to find a job in there field! I could certainly use a few million!

    December 18, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  39. Dean in Macungie,PA


    If the one million people that will be affected by the auto industry collapse are added to the unemployment rolls or even half of them, imagine what will happen, aspecially in the 30 states that are about to run out of funds for unemployment, wont the bailout be equal to or greater than what the big 3 are asking? Pay me now or pay me later!!!!


    December 18, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  40. Rhonda from Detroit

    Anytime a company runs into financial difficulty, the business as we know it changes. I think that this is already occurring in the automotive industry. By the way, what exactly is an “orderly bankruptcy”. Bankruptcy is bankruptcy. The White House needs to make a decision already. Stop floundering!

    December 18, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  41. David

    Yes, burdened costs have priced them out of the market for too many buyers, and 'the bailout' has raised fears and doubts among others.

    Dollars are ballots in any business, and the voters are speaking.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  42. Chris Kardoley

    This isn't something that just came about. How dare the CEO's of these three big auto makers come to Washington and try to bargin with our nations representatives for our fellow Americans tax payers money to bail them out of mismanaging their finances. How about all those bonuses paid out in the last five plus years. Come on, all you have to do is read the finacial news to know that American Car Manufactures have had declining sales for atleast 5 years plus – you don't have to be a CEO of those car companies to realize this – but if I was I would not have gotten in this situation in the first place. You know if these CEO's now want to reach out to the Politicians, who in todays economy crisis's are giving themselves a raise, they are way too late and barking up the wrong tree. How about these CEO's reaching into their pockets themselves and putting back into the company, since they had no problem taking out even when the times were not that outstanding. It is definitely too late, and now that these car manufacturers realize it, even though they lived the high life, now they look to American tax money to stay above water – I don't think so!

    December 18, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  43. Gloria Steinberg

    As long as the unions have a strangle hold on the auto industry, we will be bailing them out. They can only survive if the unions are forced into giving up the high wages and life time benefits that make American automobiles too expensive to build and sell at a profit. Built-in obsolesence is another fault of American cars. When America is bankrupt, and has no credit, then they will fail for sure, and so will the rest of us. Well, horse and buggy worked for our ancestors.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  44. Tom, Switzerland

    Yes. I needs to become an industry that weans us off oil dependency. I should make the most fuel efficient vehicles possible and advance mass public transportation technology and implementation.
    Or die quickly.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  45. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    We don't want to save it "as we know it"........we want to rebuild it in a newer, leaner, and more efficient model. It's not too late to do that if we act right away.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  46. Jackie in Dallas

    Well, the Japanese, Koreans, Germans, and auto makers in other countries are doing pretty well because they have already moved toward the green era.

    I think what you meant to ask is whether it is too late to save the American auto industry in its present form, the answer to which I'd have to say is YES. It isn't as if this situation is sudden and comes as a shock to the Big Three. They've been talking about alternate energy, etc. for 30 years. They just did everything they could to avoid it, and lost pride of place because of it. That means without major restructuring, including re-negotiations with the UAW who ought to be hung out to dry right now, they are no longer relevant, no longer solvent, and no longer innovative.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  47. Kathy in Chicago

    No, they just need to downsize. Much like government spending needs to be downsized. Restructure the companies and find a new vision for the future. The need to start producing better vehicles. The American people can't be expected to subsidize companies that are losing money. US Steel went down and the whole country didn't crumble.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  48. Moses @ Durham

    The question, no offense Jack, should be is it to late for many of America's industries. The way I see things, many major American businesses have too many suppliers, foreign and domestic, and not enough demand for the end product in America. Our government has allowed big business to "hustle" in this manner for quite some time while the value of the dollar continues to decrease. It is definitely becoming too late for the Auto Industry, which is creating economic instability in Detroit; The same can be said for the steel industry in Pittsburg, and the pharmaceutical industry in Durham. It is only so much hustling big business and government can do without hustling each other, and Uncle Sam doesn't like being hustled.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  49. Patsy

    It might be. I think President Bush is only promising to do
    something so the stock market will not completely
    collapse. He has no intention of helping them, or anybody
    else. He is so obsessed with his "legacy", he just continues
    to float around, defending his awful decisions. Maybe the
    automobile companies did this to themselves, but to keep
    holding out carrots, to save his own neck, Bush is just adding
    to the apprehension. Instead, he should be up front, (something he
    is not used to) if he is going to let this slide until January 20.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  50. mitchell, arkansas

    yes. and it should be. i'd rather buy one of those $2500 cars from india. put a 'lectric motor in it and go. why can't us aoutomakers build something cheap and energy efficient. why do they have to make them luxurious and expensive?

    December 18, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  51. Frank, Connellsville, PA

    It's so late that not only has the fat lady sung, she has left the building, filed for unemployment and is now fighting foreclosure.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  52. Mickie

    I'm not sure we want to save them in their present form. Why not use this opportunity to make them into something reasonably profitable. After all, they kept making Hummers, SUVs and other gas guzzlers and shoving them down our throats when there was better technology they themselves were even using in Europe. I'm sick of the companies (car, pharmaceutical, insurance) that think it is okay to rape the American taxpayer but manage to use better/economical methods elsewhere.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  53. Ryan, Galesburg, IL

    The auto industry in its present form is abominable. But for the record, it's the republican union-breaking that killed this deal, not the unions and their constituents.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  54. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Why would we possibly want to save the auto industry in it's present form? We need a leaner, more competitive auto industry. If the UAW would rather have no jobs than lower paying jobs, so be it.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  55. John, Fort Collins, CO

    No amount of bailout money can save the Big Three auto makers as independent companies. Their only hope would be to go chapter 11 together, then form one new company offering only the best selling models from each. And they would have to leave the UAW and all the legacy costs behind to be able to compete with the non-union foreign car makers.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  56. Ron from Colorado

    Why would we want to save the American Auto Industry in its present form. Its a dinosaur! The leadership in this broken industry has continued to make bad decisions and as a result they have "given away the ranch" which was the world leadership they had. It seems that our "best and brightest" are not steering the ship. The "good old boy" system is our achilles heel.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  57. Mike in St. Pete Beach, Florida

    I truly believe the best thing the U.S. can do is let the auto industry hit rock bottom. Planned obsolescence was a terrible business strategy and many, many car buyers became aware of it and are now too leery to trust a product that costs many thousands of dollars if they think it will be burning oil after 60,000 miles. Now it's coming back to haunt the Big Three. Right now they need pride, not just profit.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  58. Alissa in Wichita, Kansas

    I certainly hope it's not too late for the auto industry, but it probably is. Given how uncertain things are I can't imagine anyone wanting to take a risk on buying a car from a company that might not be around next year.

    December 18, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  59. Anna

    I do not think that it is too late to save auto industry. We have to stop bailing out gamblers and bail out the main street. If our government gave 700 billion dollars to main street and 600 dollars to Wall Street we sould be out of this recession. People would go buy cars and other goods and everybody would have money.
    Credit is what got us in trouble so how more credit will get us out of trouble.

    December 18, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  60. Sly, Mi

    Hi Jack, Out of all the things that i don't like about President Bush, I would praise him if he just let GM, Chrysler, and Ford just file Bankruptcy. We need to stop putting the taxpayers money into Dysfunctional Companies.

    December 18, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  61. JR in Norfolk VA

    Yes, so stop throwing (my) good money after bad. The greedy CEOs will lose their fat pensions and the greedy union bosses have killed their golden goose. Serves 'em right.

    December 18, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  62. Stoney Williamson

    No to bail out! I have worked with Union workers and they have a person to do every job. As an example to change a light bulb you need 1 to carry the ladder, 1 to set up the ladder, 1 to climb the ladder to unscrew the light bulb, 1 to screw in the new light bulb, and hope there isn't a problem because the supervisor will have to be called. They have created thier own mess, let them clean it up themselves!
    No to any more bailouts! America has to get out of this we have to bail them out, welfare type country we have become!

    December 18, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  63. Todd Oregon

    Why would we want to save the Auto Industry as we know it, the Industry as we know it hasn't worked or they wouldn't be in this situation.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  64. Bruce Marshall

    Yes Jack the auto industry in its present form is about 20 years to late. they are like the Republicans, the country moved on with out them.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  65. Steve Peach - Indiana

    The American people have spoken, and we don't want GM, Ford, And Chrysler to keep begging for money every 6 months or so. We also can't afford to lose them either, that would devistate this country far worse than Wall Street ever could. There needs to be some serious oversight with this one. That way when we do bail them out, the money won't be misused in a different way like the Wall Street boys have done. Either spend it like you promise, or pay it back plus 20% interest ASAP. That should get someone's attention.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  66. Gary Chandler in Canada

    A Republican proposal is to let them go to Chapter 11, but fund or 'guarantee' all of the warranties.
    This seems like the best balance of letting the 'free' market find its water mark, while giving consumers confidence in 'coverage'.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  67. Lone Draak

    Why should the government bail out the auto industry when they are laying all these people off that's so many jobs that will slow the economy more then keeping those people employed i mean if they want a bail out they should have to keep these people employed i mean instead of helping these companies bail out the people that are losing their homes because they are being laid off at lest that will help the economy because without the people there is no economy.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  68. frannie

    Saving it in it's present form isn't good enough, it needs to be rehabilitated into a modern version of what is once was.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  69. Chris

    I certainly hope so. They need to file chapter 11 and reorganize. Just like any other business in the country would have to do in their place. I don’t want to throw my hard earned dollar at a company that is so mismanaged.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  70. Jim

    Sadly yes, Jack. The automobile industry has suffered the same fate as 90% of the rest of the domestic manufacturing base in the United States. Years of neglect by management, skyrocketing costs of healthcare in this country (with no upward end in sight even now), and rampant consumerism without common sense or personal responsibility for one's own financial affairs. The government may have some role to play here, but for the auto industry, the rust has long since made the industry destined for the salvage yard. Also, the end of organized labor is also on the horizon.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  71. Russ Buza

    Of course its not to late. If the american public stops letting it self be brain washed by big money and big power. The public has been lied too about everything from Detroit quality ,fair trade,worker wages,and anything else that will speed up the race to the bottom we've been having in this country!!! Wake up America before it's to late!!!!

    December 18, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  72. Scott

    Yes it's too late now as it was too late 10 years ago. Let them fail and put the employees to work building wind farms. The gasoline powered automobile has had a nice run, but; just as the horse and buggy, it is now ancient technology.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  73. James W. Blevins

    I hope that no one wants to save the auto industry in its current form. Its form must be substantially altered before it is worth saving. It is desirable to save jobs and ancillary businesses - they can be saved with appropriate actions even in bankruptcy.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    December 18, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  74. Bob Hughes

    You can bet if the auto industry bail out affected the pocketbooks of those in congress or the white house personally they'd be moving a lot faster. Fascinating how fast they bailed out Wall Street with so few restrictions on the money they shoveled out to them. The Washington Elite know what affects them personally... and it's Wall Street and not the car industry. Don't look for them to act fast on anything so mundane and uninteresting as the paycheck of blue collar workers

    December 18, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  75. Jeff in NC

    Hi Jack,

    Why do the taxpayers have to bail them out? Why not Big Oil? Why not the Saudi's? Exxon? Somebody other than those that have already been screwed out of an extra $70 or so a week for a couple of years now just to get to work and the grocery store. The oil companies have all the money. That's the real reason the economy crashed. They took America's spending money and forced us not to travel and spend.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  76. Jason William Egroff

    I don't support any bailout of any kind. However, I find it very interesting that the bankers got an almost immediate bailout and the auto industry is being left out in the cold of this long economic and seasonal winter. We need to realize that the Federal Reserve is a privately owned cartel of banks and they are orchestrating all of this. A good start to healing our nation is repealing the Federal Reserve Act. Until then, we are a nation of slaves.

    The the U.S. auto industry must start producing cars that people want to drive. If this bailout happens, it will be the equivalent of flushing the money down the toilet.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  77. Jim

    I can't believe that anything will be done. This set of Republicans headed by this incompetent President seem more concerned with breaking the Union and keeping the wages of hardworking men and women to a minimum so they can keep them under control while at the same time lining the pockets of traders on Wall Street and running the country into a financial mess that is only getting worse by the day. Restoring confidence in the countries Economic System should be these idiots first priority but they have there own agenda's it just has nothing to do with the American People.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  78. Sandy

    GM said from the beginning that they only had enough money to last thru 12/23. Too late? Is it too late to impeach Bush? He and Hanky boy just backed up the truck and started shoveling money to the Wall Street boys – no questions ask and no plan to repay the American Public. The auto industry just wants to borrow 4% of what was granted in October. Why not try to save 3 million jobs. Wonder how Christmas will be in the mid-west?

    December 18, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  79. Leslie Landers, Kentucky

    Why should the Auto industry be saved in its present form as we know it? Isn't its present form what got them into this situation? Require major concessions from both Union, and Management, or get out of the Business!

    December 18, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  80. Clint

    Before we consider a loan to Auto-Makers, we as Americans really must understand how a developed country is run. In respect to that intervention with the economy is something most economists detest.

    Secondly, it's not Constitutional for the Federal Government to Nationalize any company they see fit using borrowed money from third-world countries.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  81. Dan


    What happen to capitalism. Letting these companies go bankrupt is the cure! Then the competent people can take the assets from the incompetant people and the companies will start with a stronger base. In the long run there will be even more jobs than before....Well run companies are rewarded with profits and poorly run companies fail...that's capitalism.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  82. Bob

    It's the 11th hour, and it looks like the republicins are going to let it die. I feel we are being punshed for not voting for them. And then thay wonder why we voted them out!

    December 18, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  83. Ray Wetta


    Anyone with half a brain knows that the big three brought all of the current problems on themselves. The American public demanded and deserved better than what they got.. I stopped buying American made cars 20 years ago because of all the trouble they gave me. I worked hard for my money and wanted to get the best quality I could for every dollar and that is just what the Japanese gave me.


    December 18, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  84. D.W.

    It was too late to save the auto industry before the media coined the term “outsourcing jobs”. CEO’s will measure their salaries in hundreds of millions while the American worker will be figuring out how to live on twenty dollars a day not twenty dollars and hour. Get used to being a third world economy.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  85. David - Sparks, NV

    I believe that it is too late for the industry in it's current form. This is why I beleive that they should be required to file for Bankruptcy prior to a Bailout. This will require the industry to open their books for ALL Americans to see where the money really ends up. Only after this shall the American people LOAN them Our money.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  86. Roger - Denver

    Jack, If the government has a stake in banks and now potentially the auto industry what will be next? It's not the government's responsibility to be Daddy's wallet for private businesses. We, as consumers, should've quit buying from these poorly run auto companies a long time ago. We need to learn to stand on our own two feet.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  87. Barry Pilatowski

    Yes. The solution is to unionize Detroit South ASAP! I'm tired of hearing the solution is to lower wages the American workforce for
    "fair" wage parity rather than rasing the lower wages. Unionize Detroit Soth so retirement and healthcare cost can be spread over amd shared with ALL of America's auto workerforce.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:19 pm |

    Either way, bail-out or bankruptcy, it's going go be a long haul back go business as usualy, and Bush's hesitancy is torture for those whose lives are seriously at risk. He needs to make a decision so those families involved can make plans accordingly. Bush's attitude of playing God with the people's lives is disheartening and cruel.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  89. Jamie P, MI

    It may be too late Jack
    I don't understand congress, the auto makers need a loan
    and they can't make up their mind if it's a good idea.
    The auto companies have good reason to get the loans,
    maybe that was their mistake telling congress what the money was for.
    If they had just asked for it, they would of got it,
    No reasons just lots of crying.
    Just like Wall Street.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  90. Christi from Newton, Iowa

    I thought the auto industry should call the government's bluff 2 weeks ago and lay everybody off indefinitely (until the gov got their act together and made a deal). The auto industry built the middle class which is the backbone of this country. It's time for the country to give something back. It's not too late. They should use the TARP because the auto companies have financial arms too and they can't get the credit to extend to their dealers and customers. When Bush decides that too many jobs are on the line he will give them the money out of the TARP.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  91. Elaine

    When are we going to bailout the blacksmiths and buggy manufacturers? ... hum, maybe they, also, no longer produced products that the consumers want ...

    December 18, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  92. Pat in new york

    I have owed products of each of the big 3 over the years. The ranged from problematic to just awful. I'm now the happy owner of two Toyotas (oh what a joy) It's time for the b-3 to die off and be replaced by new innovative companies that can build good cars that work.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  93. rick

    The only reason its going to be too late for the auto industries,is the republicans are willing too bail out wall street friends,but never the workers who they want a pay cut from. I wonder how many people know that the Germans who work in auto plants make more money then our plant workers.


    December 18, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  94. Joe

    I am afraid it is already too late for the American auto manufacturers. Our current Congress and President only care about bailing out the Bernie Madoff's of the world. Continuing of past practice demonstrates the rich only want to force the average citizen down to peasant levels. After-all this move to delay help for the auto industry is more about power and control than wanting to deal with the real problems of America.

    Does anyone happen to have $50 Billion (or AIG's $150 Billion) to spare? Does anyone have a shoe, I can borrow?

    Joe , Binghamton, NY

    December 18, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  95. Terik Ororke

    The Republican party and Administration were quick to come to the support of their rich friends in Wall street who continue to shaft the American people. So what if failing to bail out the auto industry puts millions out of work? They just do not care but what this does is to effectively kill the Republican party once and for all, but they like Senator Mitch McConnell are too stupid to see it coming.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  96. Barbara w

    IF it was a automaker over seas they wouldbail them out so lets help the usa.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  97. Stuart

    To use Obama's analogy, it is not too late to prevent the fire that is occurring at your neighbor's house from spreading to yours. Sure, your neighbor was playing with matches and it isn't surprising that he caught his house on fire, but you are going to be in real trouble if you don't prevent it from getting worse. Taxpayers need to realize that our economy is not in the best shape to weather a failure this large. Also, bankruptcy is gonna cost tax payers a lot too, it just makes sense to at least delay the bankruptcy to a time when the economy can handle it.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  98. Robert Garel

    Long since too late. For years now the big three service upper income people. The days when Henry Ford wanted everyone to have an automobile forgotten. The day when any of the big three really worked to get the cars to the people forgotten.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  99. Caycee Hawaii

    It shouldn't be saved in its present form. Management and labor need to make reasonable concessions that would make them profitable and competitive. They also have to start making affordable, diesel, ethanol, electric, and hybrid vehicles now. The days of ugly, oversized, over-priced, inefficient gas-guzzling machines is over. In case they haven't noticed it's all about affordable, sleak, lean, fast, green, and efficient machines these days. Witness the cell phones, mp3 players, and notebook computers (small and fast).

    December 18, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  100. DHS in Mass.

    Bush knows this is his last chance to leave his mark on the country, so he will break the auto unions come hell or high water. A kinder, gentler bankruptcy for the auto makers indeed!

    December 18, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  101. Chris in Florida

    Yes it is too late...

    A bankruptcy has been long over due for these mismanaged companies.

    What ever happened to all the money GM took from various investments, like Ditech.com a division of GMAC or Fords buyouts of Jaguar and Range Rover?

    There are just too many tentacles these companies have in ownership of other industries that one part should be allowed to be bailed out

    It is time for them to be restructured

    December 18, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  102. Christi from Newton, Iowa

    No, it's not too late. When the congress and the wall street workers take significant pay cuts then the UAW can take a pay cut and get a deal from the government too. Oh wait, congress and Wall Street haven't agreed to pay cuts but htey still got their money, salary, benefits, and handouts.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  103. Alan


    It was too late when the big 3's multi-million dollar bonused CEO's denied the reality that Honda, Toyota and Nissan were giving american consumers the fuel efficient cars they were asking for since 1979 and not the overpiced, gas guzzling monstrosities they kept churning out. Too bad the CEO's didn't think about taking those $1 per year salaries back then. What do you wager their families won't be suffering this holiday season? Once again, those who do an honest day's hard work receive the raw end of the deal.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  104. Kathie, Houston, TX

    Why don't we just bail out everyone Jack? That seems to be the in thing with this country. I don't believe these big 3 clowns need bailing out, any more than the financial industry did. The whole thing is just another big sham by congress and the administration to screw the american people once again. And once again, the american people and the media bought into it. Jeez

    December 18, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  105. okiewan

    The auto makers and dealers and emplyees have lived too well off our backs for too long. most people get robbed when they buy a new car, the dealers are always dishonest. I have bought six american cars and each time I was shafted.I will never buy american again. Besides every uaw strike finds us supporting the workers because the cost of their pay hikes and benifits are passed on to us through higher priced cars higher dealer repaires and higher parts for our old ones! We the poor are carrying the airlines the finacial sector and now the auto dealers,To me we support all those crooks and get nothing in return-you can still get a lower price on an import than ours and the resale will be twice as high when you trade it in! nick

    December 18, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  106. frank dileo

    no. they are too far gone at this point. the 14 billion will keep them going for a matter of months and an economic recovery many more months away. i think now the only choice is an organized bankruptcy. yes there will be damage to the economy in this case but throwing good money after bad will be even worse. use the money to create jobs in a growing instead of a shrinking sector

    December 18, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  107. Donnie

    I am not a union member nor do I support them.
    As a tax payer I feel that it should not be done as long as the UAW
    syndicate is receiving any monies from this.
    I don't think our government is a union so why should we (tax payers )pay union dues for the members.
    Let them all become "Right To Work" companies. Bring back the plants they sent overseas and the jobs that were lost due to this.
    Im sure the tides would turn and maybe humble those who think they are "untouchable".

    December 18, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  108. Mike McKibben, lady lake, Fl

    As we know it, the big 3 white collar worker and up need to change how they do things. It would also be a good idea for the next president not to give big tax incentives for the purchase of the big gas hog veh's like Bush did several years ago. You know, the one he gave right before gas prices hit the roof. (How about that Hummer......now?) This set the stage for the big 3 to continue with their high profit – high cost vehicle production lines instead of producing more "green" veh's.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  109. Mark

    The federal government gives and spends billions on projects and aid to other countries with no chance of any payback. Then there is this mob mentality to not give any loans to one of our last industrial manufacturers because they might fail. I would bet my money they will pay these loans back with better odds than the bank bailout money handed out. A lot of people in this country have really lost touch with reality on what provides national wealth and that is tangible goods produced in your own country. Manufacturing and production of goods is what this country needs to be strong again.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  110. Alan, Buxton Maine

    Why would we want to save the auto industry in its present form?
    Its present form is self-destructive and polluting. Gas guzzling SUVs and Hummers are not the cars of the future. The industry needs to collapse and be rebuilt on some rational basis that will serve the requirements of the 21st century.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  111. Deane Bailey

    Deane Bailey Las Cruces, New Mexico.

    Jobs. Priority Number 1. The Republicans are the most anti worker force around. They would like to return the days of slavery, and peonage. The Southern leaders have progandized for years. In the 1860's they said, "Come on men, we have to fight the Yankees to protect our way of life." Whose way of life. Yes, it was the Rich Plantation owners. None of the "men" had or could afford a slave.
    Now, once again, they are "ralllying the men". Against the auto workers who just earn good wages. But they don't "rally the men against the Rich White men, who are given Billions so they can continue their White Rich Man life style. They South is still prejudiced.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  112. Miles, Bellevue NE

    Let's hope so! The, "present form," of the US based auto industry loses billions of dollars every month. That's more than enough indication that they need to go away. When GM loses $34B and Toyota makes $17B while selling the same number of cars, it should be obvious that there is something terribly wrong in Detroit that a bail out just won’t fix.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  113. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    If anybody thinks the cost of helping the Big 3 is too high, let them fail and you will see more devestation than what happened after Katrina!

    Millions will be unemployed, Auto builders, suppliers, the towns where they are, foreclosures galore, bankruptcys too numerous to count, and the tremendous loss of tax revenue lost all over the country!

    Sound terrible? Just wait and see.....Stay tuned!

    December 18, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  114. Yogi from Nevada

    It may or may not be too late to save the big three American automakers, but the fact is that while fewer Americans are buying new cars, the ones able to do so will do so from some one. As a result, the Republican senators from states which have foreign manufacturing plants have a twofold mission: to bring the new car dollars which will be available to their states, and break the unions.
    This gives me a twofold reason to support an effort to preserve American car manufacturing. 1) I like American cars. They have served me well. 2) I hate to see the Union movement busted. Union wages and working conditions set the benchmark for all workers. Non union companies can't fall to far behind or they couldn't get competent employees. If unions fail, nonunion workers wil begin to see ther compensation and working conditions deteriorate.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  115. Tom, Bradenton

    Yes, becasue the way we knew them did not work.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  116. Terry Phoenix Az

    Jack, as Bush says" So What?"

    December 18, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  117. Tricia, Florida

    It's not too late, get rid of the individuals who are in charge; the one's who caused the company to be in the position they are in now. They obviously were and are too short sighted to see that change is necessary in order for the industry to remain afloat.

    New leadership hopefully will bring an influx of innovative ideas which will move towards lessening American's dependency on gas. They literally had many Americans over a barrel a few months ago, let's not prove to be short sighted again by putting out of work millions of workers who had the misfortune of having poor leadership.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  118. Gwen in Colorado

    No, I don't think it's too late, but it will be if President Bush doesn't get off his duff and do something right away, instead of dreaming about the day he can pass the problems of this country off to our new President.
    If we ignore the problem, it will cost taxpayers much more than it would if we were to give the auto industry the loan. I do believe there should be strict oversight, though, to keep them in line.
    To those of you who do not believe we should help the big three, let me ask you this: We are in a recession now, would you prefer a depression? Because that may well be where we are headed if they are allowed to collapse.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  119. Will

    The auto industry deserves nothing but we should give the something. When, and if, the U.S. economy recovers, we need to start completely redesigning our American culture. In other words, this country and this world can no longer afford automobile economies. An automobile economy is an artificial economy. It assumes endless supplies of petroleum, that the planet can absorb infinite quantities of pollutants and that mobile luxury and excess is a basic right no matter what the consequences.

    In the late 19th and early 20 centuries, the oil, rubber and automobile companies bought up and destroyed most of our mass transit to make way for the automobile culture we have today. It is time for all of us to muster the wisdom and common sense and do the right thing before it is too late. We need to save the most perfectly designed and magnificent vehicle of all time – the planet Earth.

    Will in Virginia

    December 18, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  120. Matt

    If they want to give the "Big 3" $15 billion dollars of the American peoples money they might as well give it to Benard Madoff. I heard he has a nice hedge fund to invest in; something like 1000% return!

    December 18, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  121. Sheri

    I do not understand why the auto needs a bailout? They are going to close their plants for a month, but pay their employee' 95% of their salary? The employees will make money on this. The auto company and employees will benefit greatly from this. The employee will not have to pay the expense to work, etc. The company will not have any expenses either. People like me have to work everyday with a minimin wage. Yes, we have to work or not get paid. They make more in a month than I do in a year. Let them work for min wages and find out what true life is all about.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  122. Phil Koechlein

    Bailing out the auto industry is putting money into a bad culture that cannot save itself. It began with confrontational fights between the company and the union, continued when strikes were the only way to solve an issue by hitting heads, and bringing up management under the "incest is best" mentality. Both sides will not change, especially the unions, unless they go to ground and start over.
    Have they considered not bailing them out but putting the money into funding the retiree costs at say 80% and removing it from the manufacturing cost per car like other countries around the world?
    Melbourne, FL

    December 18, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  123. JIm Watkina

    Jack it was to late 10 years ago to save the so called big three.
    The AUW priced the us auto maker out of the market along time ago.
    Toyota and GM had about the same sales in 08 with Toyota making about 18 billion and GM lost about 18 billion.

    Carthage, Mississippi

    December 18, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  124. Hugh

    I believe that the auto industry can and should be saved.But rather than rationalising company structure from the bottom up,cuts should be made from the top down.General operatives are not responsible for the gross and deliberate misdirection of these companies.The problem starts in the boardroom.The top brass have proved their ineptitute beyond all reasonable doubt.
    We also need to ask ourselves how it is that American auto makers readily equip europeans with well built efficient cars but here we are offered only gas guzzling hulks.
    Would it be too "out there" to suggest that the oil industry and the auto industry's relationship is in fact a cabal who's chief aim is to consume as much oil as possible in as little time is possible at the highest possible price?And they've simply gone too far with the scam.
    Perhaps the Oil industry could bail out the auto makers who burn so much of their product.Frankly,I'm surprised that ,out of self interest alone,the oil companies have not yet stepped up to the plate

    December 18, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  125. carol from PA

    The auto industry in its present form has no chance of resurection. They continue to build gas guzzling SUV's and so called "luxury cars" that get 10 miles to the gallon. We were warned decades ago that our oil supply was in peril. Instead of trying to design more efficient and comfortable low mileage vehicles, they chose to continue their downward spiral of manufacturing these goliaths. When gas prices spiked and sales plumeted, the big three came crying to the government to bail them out of a situation they themselves had created. They need to go belly up and be bought out by someone who has the common sense to design and manufacture affordable vehicles that get very high gas mileage and utilize alternative fuels – you know, like the foreign countries have been doing for the past 30 years!

    December 18, 2008 at 5:37 pm |
  126. Michelle

    If the automotive industry can survive until Obama is inaugurated then they will have a chance. Which makes their move to close some plants a good thing. Hopefully Obama will put some requirements for a LOAN that pushes them into the 21st century and success!

    December 18, 2008 at 5:37 pm |
  127. Tom M., South Carolina


    The purpose for the government loan is to prevent any bankrupt
    process. I hope President Bush do not mess this up like most of us
    expect. A question I have yet to hear is how much has GM, Ford
    and Chrysler has contributed to the taxes of this country since they begin making cars in early 1900's. I worked for American Motors/
    Chrysler for 28 years and every week I had deduction over $300.
    Add only this amount to over 1 million auto workers for 100 years.
    Have the congressmen forgot who help built this country.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  128. Philip R. Scott-Smith

    Jack, the auto industry needs a new job. We DON'T need millions of new cars; we DO need an efficient mass transportation system. Our best choice would be a fast, high-tech national rail system, supported by a system of "green" shuttle buses. Detroit should start to re-tool now and help build the trains, rail cars and buses our nation will need.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  129. Carol Florida

    Jack, Yes the American car companies can come back and will if given a bridge loan to off set the credit crunch and the price gouging from the oil companies. All these Senators from the right to work states aren't telling the truth. The UAW cut new workers salaries to $14 an hour and they will be given so much per year of service in a 401k and they will receive no pension, just like the foreign auto companies. What people don't realize is if the foreign car companies had been in business for 100 years like the Big 3, they would have pension obligations too and be in the same position as the Big 3. I have a question for Corker and Shelby, how about all the Federal, State and local taxes breaks and give aways to the foreign car companies. Maybe it's time to help one of our own, you know where the profits stay here in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  130. Paul

    that depends......if the auto industry is saved,what difference would it make,if,the average American can't buy their cars.seems pointless. if the average person could afford to buy new a car, the auto makers would'nt need bailed out!!!!

    December 18, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  131. Candice from Fort Worth, TX

    The auto industries brought this on themselves. If assembly line workers make $65 an hour (even "just" $45 an hour) for largely menial repetitious work and college graduates like teachers and others make far less, doesn't it sound to you like something is wrong? The industry needs to be overhauled quickly and then give them a helpiing hand. The US certainly can't afford to let the industry fail – there's just too much riding on this problem!

    Too late? I hope not.!

    December 18, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  132. Gene

    I feel that big oil should bail out the auto makers because the auto industry is the primary consumer of the oil. The oil companies have made billions and it would be a good investment for them to bail out the auto industry.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:56 pm |
  133. erinmontague

    Yes, it is too late. It is and has been unhealthy in it's present form for years and why on this good green earth would we want to perpetuate a cancer like that?

    Erin in Northern CA

    December 18, 2008 at 5:56 pm |
  134. Michael

    It's never too late, but banking equals campaign financing and political contributions; autos equal blue collar jobs. Which makes more sense to fund to a politician

    December 18, 2008 at 5:57 pm |
  135. sal

    it's just going to be a waste of money, Jack. I know I'm never going to buy a car from the big 3 ever again. I think we have enough cars already manufactured by them for the next ten years. What happened to supply and demand? The market correcting itself? Bad businesses going bankrupt, because that's what's supposed to happen in capitalism? I know what I would buy. The Volt. Too bad GM smashed its best product years ago. They deserve to go bankrupt after making the worst decision in American business history...

    December 18, 2008 at 5:59 pm |
  136. Gary Pietila

    Union greed is killing the auto industry. Go bankrupt & get rid of the unions, then start over.

    A bailout will only delay the inevitable collapse.

    Unions are bad for America, & the worst unions are the govt employee unions.

    Time for them all to go! Taxpayers unite!

    Stop this govt. bailout insanity.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:59 pm |
  137. Mark Grady

    Has anyone given any serious consideration to letting the oil companies bail out the auto makers? They've had a codependent relatiionship for decades.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:59 pm |
  138. Paul, Atlanta GA

    Maybe it time for the very profitable oil companies to bail out the American auto industry with loans and support in research since they are beneficiaries.

    December 18, 2008 at 6:01 pm |
  139. Jay R. Farone

    The auto industry should go into bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is supposed to be the way that a company does recover. The auto workers union president said the other day that auto workers wages and benefits are only 10% of the price of a car. Maybe that's still to much. What percentage is it for Volvo, for Mercedes, for Fiat? From what I understand, auto workers pay no co-pays for doctors visits, no monthly deductions for their medical premiums, nothing for their dental insurance, basically everything is paid for by the auto industry. I never had that benefit in my 40 years of working in a white collar salaried exempt job. Bankruptcy is the best thing that could happen, so that they can restructure and become viable companies without asking for handouts from the feds, just sign me Jay from San Diego

    December 18, 2008 at 6:02 pm |
  140. Kimi, from NJ

    There always is a light at the end of the tunnel. we just have to work our way to that light. That doesn't mean its going to happen as easily and quick as we'd like it to. Doing nothing is not going to solve anything either. It's better to try and fail than to just give up.

    December 18, 2008 at 6:03 pm |
  141. Lisa- Grayling Michigan

    I think that the United State should file bankruptcy with their creditors. So that we can keep our money in country. So that we can afford to by made in the U.S A. vehicle again and then the big three won't need bailouts.

    December 18, 2008 at 6:10 pm |
  142. Ann from Atlanta, TX

    Why would we want the auto industry to be saved in its "present form"?

    December 18, 2008 at 6:10 pm |