May 28th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Is the government getting too involved in the auto industry?


President Obama's 'car czar' Edward Montgomery tours a GM plant in Flint, Mich. in May. (PHOTO CREDIT: BILL PUGLIANO/GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

When it comes to restructuring the auto industry, the Obama administration is knee-deep.

General Motors is expected to follow in the footsteps of Chrysler, and file for bankruptcy in the coming days. It would be the largest industrial bankruptcy in U.S. history.

G.M. says a committee of bondholders has agreed to a new deal offered by the government. It would erase GM's unsecured debt in exchange for company stock.

If the deal goes through, the government – which has already lent GM close to $20 billion – could have a 72% stake in the company and provide billions more in financing for General Motors to keep operating while being reorganized.

The administration's goal for G.M. is to return to profitability. The White House reportedly wants to play "as minimal" a role and "exit" the investment as soon as they possibly can. But the risks for taxpayers are huge, when you consider U.S. auto sales are near their lowest level in 27 years.

Not everyone is sure the level of the Obama administration's involvement is a good idea.

A poll taken in Michigan by Detroit News/WXYZ shows 42% of those surveyed say the president's role has hurt the domestic automakers, while 39% say he's been helpful.

Here’s my question to you: Is the government getting too involved in the auto industry?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Rosemary from New York writes:
There will be no auto industry if Obama doesn't step in. Previous administrations had conflicting interests and blocked fuel efficiency, mileage requirements, etc. This is the last hurrah, and Obama is the first president to step in.

Greg from Cabot, Arkansas writes:
The auto industry will be ok as long as the government plays the role of a referee and stays out of design and procurement. I don't want to see a "multiple-use-transportation-system" vehicle with an $800 toilet seat that needs to be repaired with a $300 hammer.

Robert from Florida writes:
The government should not be involved AT ALL in the auto industry… Has anybody though about that fact that government intervention in "private" corporations is what is causing this mess and making it worse? Let bad businesses do what they would normally do in the normal business world: fail. Let other businesses take their places.

Peter writes:
No, it is not. The auto companies screwed up long ago. They were out of sync with the environment, customer needs, and energy efficiency and were driven by selfish greed. The government is refocusing them now that they face bankruptcy. They need adult supervision.

Steve from Florida writes:
Personally, I think the American companies had every opportunity to avoid the ditch they're in. As we speak, I'm watching GM and Chrysler dealers close down while they're building a brand new VW dealer on the same block. Corporate heads should be rolling somewhere in this process. This situation was all due to pure negligence and lack of foresight by management.

Remo from Austin, Texas writes:
Yes, it is. I really don't want to deal with "Obama Motors.” Frankly he's the last person I'd want to buy a car from.

Filed under: Auto Industry
soundoff (240 Responses)
  1. Jayne

    What happened to the "free" market and sink or swim? To add insult to injury, GM is closing American plants and outsourcing American jobs. If the government continues to underwrite this operation, they need to attach a few strings that would keep jobs in this country. It's not rocket science. If we don't have jobs, we can't buy their cars.

    May 28, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  2. DaBird

    YES, why does this Socialist President think that a UNION should have ownership in anything?

    May 28, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  3. george

    Does anyone else have a better solution, the solution that we are now using is the Democrats solution, and I haven't heard any other suggestions, but believe me they will come out if it all falls through. The other party is just hoping, and praying that the Democrats blow up, but don't believe that is going to happen this time.

    May 28, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  4. Tony from Torrington

    Not if you believe that we should be a socialist or facist country. The government wants to control everything in the eyes of the left wing. Maxine Waters said it during the hearings against big oil. She wants to socialize it...those were her words. Obama's actions pretty much show his agreement.

    People like you Jack, and my dad when I was a youngster, who believed in John F. Kennedy and the Democrats, are almost afraid to admit that the Democrats of today are not the same people as those during the time of JFK. The Democrat party has gone so far left that you can't tell the difference between them and the early left wing Communist party of the thirties.

    May 28, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  5. Mark, Bradenton, FL

    Jack I said last year that no matter what the government is doing they will fail. We gave billions of tax dollars to Chrysler and now they are in bankruptcy and we will never see the money again. I will never buy Detroit trash again. I lost so much money with my Buick and Dodge and on top of that I had to give tax money to these scumbags.

    May 28, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  6. Melissa

    At this point, not a bit. The auto industry is getting their just deserts. Though I think the gvt needs to cut them loose before they get dragged down with these spoiled rotten greedy companies.

    May 28, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  7. Jack Martin from Boynton Beach FL

    Of course they are but can they do worse then the overpaid incompetents who have been running the show? I would be happy to take over for about ten percent of what those corporate "leaders" have been getting paid.

    May 28, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  8. David Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    Waaaaay tooooo involved.As our best and brightest told them long ago NOT to do this with the people's money.It just didn't matter they TOOK the people's money anyway for yet another loss.Owning 70%
    of an auto industry that was SO mis managed and the people who mis managed it got fired and walked away with millons in bonus.
    Just another waste by our do nothing serve self first congress.

    May 28, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  9. David of Alexandria VA

    They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. From a very short-sighted perspective, the government stepped in to save a bunch of jobs when our economy was hemorrhaging badly. But, time will tell if they were pumping blood into a dying patient. The question is - what will they do now? The smart thisng would be to get out of the business ASAP.

    But, I feel they will Inevitably pour more money in. They'll change the competative landscape by subsidizing GM over Ford or the foreign companies who also employ US workers. I predict that the US will put in over $150B before it's done and it will be a major embarassment for the administration who doesn't know squat about cars.

    May 28, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  10. bob z.from pa.

    they should be doing more for jobs not every thing else.

    May 28, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  11. Jenna

    Is the government getting too involved in the auto industry?

    The banks and brokerage houses weren't held to the same standards for bailouts as the automakers were.. and if you give to one industry you have to give to all..

    I say, if we live in a REAL capitalist society, as all the right leaning talking heads claim that we do, then the government shouldn't be bailing out ANYONE. Right?

    Roseville CA

    May 28, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  12. Rob of Brooklyn

    well , maybe someone needs to. They don't seem to know what kind of product to make. What they need is a Steve Jobs to run them & a Johnathan Ive ( he designs the ipod / iphone / mac ) to design them. Now there is a home run

    May 28, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  13. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    The government it too involved in all industries. It should never have bailed anyone out. All we did with GM is to throw billions down a rathole. AIG got a free ride and is now getting more of one, thanks to the ill advised bailout. How do I know it was ill advised? It was another idiotic Bush idea.

    May 28, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  14. David in San Diego

    No, the clowns who have been governing (Board of Directors) and operating (executives) the US auto industry have proven to be incompetent protectors of a delusional business model. The only adults in the room are from the Obama administration. With their guidance, there is a chance US ownership can still make cars.

    May 28, 2009 at 1:28 pm |
  15. kerry diehl

    Given the Governments history of management, spending and "efficiency" capabilities – GM and Chrysler are in some deep deep do-do! We thought THEY did things wrong before, just watch as the circus clowns comes to Detroit.

    May 28, 2009 at 1:28 pm |
  16. Charles

    Yes, I think the goverment is too involved, but what choice did we have. The last administration had such a hands off policy ( or worse) that industry did itself in. The Republican party so wants to blame the current administration for their involvement, when we wouldn't be where we are if the last administration had do any thing, except get us in a war, and tell us how hard everything is.
    They could have stopped the housing bubble 4-5 years ago, when I saw it and got out of housing.
    They could have inproved the car issue, by not holding the energy so low for so many years.
    They could have helped the balance of trade problem, by resolving some sort of balanced trade agreement between countries.

    Things are not Black and White there are many shades of gray


    May 28, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  17. aden

    Coulter,Cheney,Rush and company what a role models!! any one with
    a brain know how sick they are.this is what the GOP has to offer.
    GOD HELP US!!!

    May 28, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  18. Terry from North Carolina

    Yes the government is getting too involved. I used to believe that how General Motors is doing financially so goes the country. Not anymore if this company is headed towards bankruptacy then let it happen and lets stop bailing them out, we have gone far enough with the auto industry they have done this to themselves, we are not to blame for their misfortunes.

    May 28, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  19. Greg, Ontario

    Only government could have saved that industry. Who else was going to do it? The Banks? Yeah right. Americans have chosen not to buy inferior American cars and that is the bottom line. As much as it was going to hurt they should have let them go under.

    May 28, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  20. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    First off, don't take this as a partisan comment, I know this all started while the Republicans are in power. It's just that the Democrats are no different. Our government has a money problem, and to solve that problem, they're taking our tax dollars to pursue hostile takeovers of our companies.

    When a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce us under absolute despotism, it is our right, it is our duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for our future security.

    May 28, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  21. Steve of Hohenwald TN.

    No! We should never let any industry get to big to fail in the first place. When something has you by the gonads, you must step in and do somthing about it. I suggest we take better care of the family jewels in the future.

    May 28, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  22. Paul Austin, Texas

    I do not think so Jack. If what is left of the auto industry is aloud to fail it will hurt this country a great deal. Also if our Unions are not willing to deal with management like the Auto Workers Of Canada just did they will fail. I hate to say that as a life long union member but the unions must remember not to stop negotiations when it can mean failure of your employer. If our Auto Workers do not make deals in the U.S. then we just may be buying more cars built in Canada and this is not an anti Canada statement it is praise that they are trying to make it all work.

    May 28, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  23. Ryan, Galesburg, IL

    Whatever it takes to update and streamline the industry, let's do it. We had our chance for a good electric car and other technologies, which the Bush Oil Cartel helped to dissemble. It's time to reinvent the wheel, before all of our wheels are made in China.

    May 28, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  24. Venia PA

    No, something had to be done. Why is it that we can bail out the banks but can't bail out American staples like the car industry?

    May 28, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  25. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    The government should have gotten involved when the auto industry endangered the nation environmentally, strategically, and economically by producing gas guzzlers.

    When and if the auto industry can demonstrate no further reckless endangerment, the president can let it take the wheel again. He has enough to do without holding CEO hands.

    May 28, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  26. John from Alabama

    Jack: The government only owns 70% of General Motors. But I bet when its all over the bond holders will have wish they neogiated with GM rather than let them go into bankruptcy.

    May 28, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  27. Casey

    Yes, Jack, it does. Unfortunately far to many GOPers continue to be influenced by sad over-hyped has beens (Limbauth & Gingrich). They will never understand that all they are really doing is stiring the hate and distrust pot and perpetuating the insistance that there can never be co-existance or harmony among peoples of different ideas. Hate mongering drives the fund raising and that is all that matters to them.

    May 28, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
  28. Billy in Las Vegas

    when the federal govenment first gave money to GM, the argument was "we need to save American jobs". NOW it turns out that GM wants to close plants in the US and send those jobs to China.

    is this "stimulus" supposed to be for American or Chinese jobs? IF it's for jobs in China, I say let the ChiCom govenment "stimulate" them.

    May 28, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  29. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    You bet. They are also too involved in banking, and every other industry they are trying to bailout. The economics law of the jungle says that the weak need to be able to fail for the strong to get stronger and grow. By propping up failing businesses, the Administration is just ensuring a weaker economy overall.

    May 28, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  30. Adam Thousand Oaks, CA

    Depends on what you think the goal is. I think the goal our government is to make everyone the same financially, so running a car industry, overpaying the workers, and taxing the rest of society to subsidize the uneconomic government run industry makes sense until the money runs out. If the goal of our government is to have a capitalist, free-market society, then they have already overstepped their bounds and flushed billions down the toilet. They should have been allowed to go through bankruptcy last year. They are fundamentally broken and need to fail otherwise, we are just throwing good money after bad.

    May 28, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  31. Harry

    Government must be involved in Auto industry. Otherwise, nothing will change.

    May 28, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  32. Joe CE

    No, the auto industry is one of the few areas of manufacturing not exported, The problem is not only poor design and low quality but is rooted in heath care costs and inadequately funded retirement costs. WE need heath care that covrs everone and thst does not strain employeers.

    May 28, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  33. Kim in Dodge City, KS

    The govenment doesn't run the country any better than Detroit runs the auto business. The two of them together is an example of the inept leading the incapable. The Big Three thought they had built the perfect cash cow, and now they are finding out it doesn't work. I can't wait to see how much cash these guys walk off with.

    May 28, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  34. Tina Tx

    If you don't want the government involved don't go to D. C wanting a hand out. They have no one to blame but themselves by not thinking ahead of the curve and start making cars smaller with better gas mileage. If I wanted to drive a tank I would join the army.

    May 28, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  35. Brian Riback - Waldwick, NJ

    I don't think the government is too involved...I think it's just too little, too late. Our government, unfortunately, can do whatever it wants financially but the US Automakers don't make the same quality car as Toyota and Honda do. Consumer Reports, a US Magazine technically agrees with this claim based on their reviews. I think the question, Jack, needs to be...is it WORTH saving? I mean, what are we saving? We didn't save our companies when we stopped producing electronics and/or computers...what's the difference? Jobs were lost then too. Jobs were lost when customer service reps here lost their jobs so I can talk to people in India and not understand a world they are saying.

    May 28, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  36. Pablo in Tejas

    It's Hobson's Choice, Jack.
    Let GM ands Chrysler go down and risk the collapse of Ford and probably a second Great Depression;
    Get in and try somehow to salvage 2 of the big 3 and hope they can build back to a stable financial basis.
    If it was you, which would you choose? Either way the working stiff gets it in the shorts!

    Arlington Texas

    May 28, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  37. Eric

    At the rate this belligerent, out-of-control administration is going, I expect to see Obama in Mr. Goodwrench's overalls by the end of the week.

    The secret is out... we now know what Obama gave up for lent... free market capitalism.

    May 28, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  38. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Our country would not survive the failure of the auto industries.
    I think our government has to make sure this does not happen.
    Are they getting too involved? I do not know the answer as it will
    take someone much smarter than I to resolve their problems.
    There have already been positive moves made due to government
    intervention and, hopefully this will continue.

    May 28, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  39. Michael

    Sorry apparently we are not enough involved, I just saw on the news GM is exporting jobs to China to build automobiles like the Volt which was supposed to be built here. So we bail out the auto industry and every week they are closing plants, laying people off and now giving those jobs to China, I guess Americans are the biggest suckers in the world.

    What we should of done to help the industry out, is spent the 20 billion in actually buying cars so we actually have something for our money. You could of spread it out over 3 years and bought strictly Ford, GM, Chrysler products made in US, not imported. I know there are a ton of government positions that us government vehicles, lefts overs can go to Driver Ed classes at public schools.

    May 28, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  40. Eric

    So what will the administration name their new homage to the Trabant? The O'bant?

    Good God, wake me when this socialist nightmare is over. It will take generations to rebuild the industries and wealth this man has destroyed in four short months.

    May 28, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  41. gerry In Toronto

    The real question Jack, is did they have a choice and the answer to that question is no. The ailing auto industry is one of the many massive problems left to this administration to fix by the last one.

    May 28, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  42. Anthony....Swedesboro, NJ

    It's all about National pride Jack. We always led the world in innovation and technology. That other countries finally surpassed us in the automotive field is a hard pill to swallow. But American consumers made their choice a long time ago. Our only hope is that a remnant of our car manufacturers remain through government intervention. Maybe starting from scratch will bring back dominance and pride instead of greed and complacency.

    May 28, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  43. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    That ship as sailed Jack. Reagan's administration bailout our Chrysler in the '80's and Chrysler drove it back into the ditch along with GM. As the great Forrest Gump once said, "Stupid is as stupid does". The government tried to save the auto industry but the industry refuse to change. There is just no saving some.

    May 28, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  44. Sabrina Royal Oak, MI

    Yes and not exactly in the right way. Sending more work and power to Communist China is not the answer. As long as the media rants about how much money is "given" to the American auto industry while failing to mention the constant funds to help our neighbors and helping all the foreign business in this nation or overseas to succeed at the death traps of our citizens shows the "help" to the people of this nation by continuing to be a mouth piece against us; taxpayers, citizens and Americans whom have helped create and sustain this nation. Too many business' have thanked us opening doors of promise to lead us to the highway of hell of bills and stealing our futures. These new small cars will complete the death of our jobs and lives when being trampled by the huge trucks with the imports that flood the market with goods we no longer make.
    Ahh the global economy...it is the constant commercials on tv, America is the land of opportunity, just not for born here citizens.
    This is a crime what has happened here in this nation, and it is not about the auto worker or unions, this is no longer about the people of this nation

    May 28, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  45. John Webster, Aldergrove BC Canada

    You bet, Jack. The failure of the big three to foresee and adapt to today’s fuel, resource and environmental issues is their own short sighted fault and their present predicaments should be dealt with in the market place. The taxes of a fuel efficient micro import owner shouldn’t go to help the manufactures of greedy Hummer and SUV manufacturers.

    May 28, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  46. Ken

    No - it owns GM (Government Motors) now.It's calling all the punches including bankruptcy, cheating bond holders, taking benefits away from Union Workers, benefits from retirees. How much more can Obama and his 20 Bankruptcy lawyers become involved. They own the banking and credit card industry, are going after health care and education, so there's not much left.

    May 28, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  47. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    Getting too involved, they already are too involved and need to let them fail and the sooner the better. My opinion really doesn't matter much on this or anything the government does since they don't listen to me anyway but I like being able to vent.

    May 28, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  48. J Atlanta

    You mean apart from the taxes built into the product? And the fuel taxes to make the product go? And the sales taxes paid when I buy the product? And the ad valorem taxes I have to pay annually to own the product? And lately the taxes I pay to bail out the companies that produce the product?

    May 28, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  49. Alex in Seattle

    Yes, very much so. I'm for government loans like the one that helped Chrysler back in the days of Lee Iococa. But not firing CEOs and other forms of micromanagement.

    May 28, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  50. Simpliticus

    No! The government is doing what it can to sustain the industry while protecting needed jobs. It is only an interim methods and will be over shortly!

    May 28, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  51. Gerald Klaffke

    Let me see. The government will own 72.5% of the "New" GM and the unions will own 17.5% on $10 billion of debt owed. The bondholders are owed $27 billion and are given the ultimatum of accepting 10% of stock or losing it all if they object! The bondholders aren't taking a haircut, they are being raped! I understand that Obama wants to suck up to his union Democratic voters but the injustice being done to the bondholders is outrageous! Just as the legacy of George Bush has been the Iraq war, the legacy of Barack Obama will be the total destruction of the American automotive industry.

    May 28, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  52. Kevin , Fl

    This is not a quick answer question.....Simply because the Government should be involved in certain instances in ALL Corporations , when those interests do not serve best the People of America.........However besides a strict Regulatory and Job Protectorate System , total Government control over all aspects of OUR EVERYDAY LIVES ........is out right Communism , and as some wise Ol Soul once said ......Better Dead Than Red!!!!!

    May 28, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  53. Jim from Chicago

    No, Jack, they should have gotten involved a lot sooner. In most of the other countries, the auto industry is a partnership between the auto companies, labor and the government. Seems they learned a long time ago that it is one industry where cooperation is a necessity, not a nicety.

    May 28, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  54. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    The answer would have to be yes to your question. Especially after bailing them out with U.S. tax dollars they will end up making cars that President Obama wanted to be made here in the United States, being made in China, leaving more American workers in the unemployment line.

    May 28, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  55. Nancy, Grand Ledge,MI

    They had to help or it would have been a disaster, but they have castrated the union, and not looked out for the working people enough! We need to stimulate a manufacturing base in this country.
    Most large corporations, banks and governments have way too many chiefs and not enough indians! Give the workers more input.

    May 28, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  56. Jim


    No, the government is doing what they have to do to ultimately preserve at least some fragment of the U.S. auto industry. As soon as that industry is back on its feet, the government will back away. Obama has made it clear that he wants nothing to do with managing the auto industry and will be overjoyed to walk away once they come off of life support.

    Reno, Nevada

    May 28, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  57. Michael

    Simple answer, yes. If I had wanted to invest in a US auto maker, I would have bought stock. Now I, and every tax paying US citizen are becoming, essentially, stock holders though bailout money. Maybe if they made a product that isn't crap, they would not be in this position.

    Thank You,
    Ft. Mill, SC.

    May 28, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  58. Bob in Indiana

    Yes Jack they unfortunately are. The short term may save the industry from a total makeover (which doesn't seem unreasonable), but the long term places the burdon of managing the auto industry, which is something that becomes scary. Government has trouble managing anything.

    May 28, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  59. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: Pretty soon the government will manage and owned everything-–and believe me if you thought the auto industry was in trouble being managed by the private sector--wait until the government starts running the car industry.

    May 28, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  60. John in Virginia

    Government should not be interfering in any industry – period.

    May 28, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  61. Bruce St Paul MN

    Once they decided the industry was worth saving, the rest was inevitable. Reaganomics has led us to a world where capitalists are devouring each other in the hopes of being the last man standing. Now we have to save them in order to save ourselves.

    May 28, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  62. Jeff in E. Lyme, CT

    No Jack, it's too little too late. For decades the problem has been ignored, just like Wall Street. The folks screaming "Socialist!" now were the first to cry about losing all their profits. Even though I identify mostly with the Democratic party, I've got to say they really blew it with their carte-blanche support of unions all these years. No factory worker should ever be paid $80,000 a year. We've lost our steel industry & now our auto industry to union demands. They should stick to what they were created for, Worker Safety.

    May 28, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  63. Don (Ontario)

    Yes, I would say so. GM got themselves into this mess, let them get out of it on their own. If you gave that money to all those in the auto industry that lost jobs including the suppliers and repair shops, you not only would set them up for life, but would have money left over for their kids and grandkids.

    May 28, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  64. Lou from Fayetteville, NC

    I don't know that they have a choice other than to get involved since GM couldn't manage their own stuff.

    May 28, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  65. Pugas-AZ

    It appears that they do not have an alternative. They are in it up to their ears already and with promises made cannot back out. Whether it's the right thing, only time will tell. With world competition as it is, large corporations such as GM will find it more and more difficult to go it alone. Welcome to the 21st century.

    May 28, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  66. Russ in PA

    The government got to involved decades ago. Government intervention is the kiss of death to an industry. Just wait and see...

    May 28, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  67. Greg in Cabot Arkansas

    The auto industry will be ok as long as the government plays the role of a referee and stays our of design and procurement. I don't want to see a "multiple-use-transportation-system" vehicle with an $800 toilet seat that needs to be repaired with a $300 hammer.

    May 28, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  68. Tea from Florida

    With billions of taxpayer dollars invested - THEY BETTER!

    May 28, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  69. jack frost in vermont

    Lemme see here. The economy is a mess. The auto industry is a mess. Wall Street and the banks are a mess. Real estate is a mess. And we all know our government is a mess. How in the world the government is going to fix the auto biz is beyond me.

    They didn't do too well with Fannie and Freddie or Wall Street or the banks and now they will fix the car business? Cheesh!

    May 28, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  70. Brad, WA

    No. The goverment barely plays a role in managing the mess aside from being a major investor. Politicians get large donations all the time and they rarely say who those specific donors are. If the auto industry can't support itself, then they should find ways for banks to be more willing to finance customers. A good chunk of of the reason they aren't making sales is because the customers can't get the financing even when they try for a new car.

    May 28, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  71. Doug - Dallas, TX

    The government should back off and let the market dictate what happens to the auto industry just as it does with every other industry. If the auto makers can't change their business models to compete in today's market then they deserve to go out of business. It isn't like they didn't have years of warnings that they ignored.

    The government should not be running any business because they have proven time and again they are not capable.

    May 28, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  72. Eleanora Feucht, Mt. Laurel, N.J.

    I thought this was supposed to be a government BY THE PEOPLE and FOR THE PEOPLE. Notfor the GM and the FORD.

    May 28, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  73. Danielle

    I'd like the government to be involved enough to get rid (with no golden parachute) of the highly paid incompetent clowns (CEOs and execs) who have been "running" these Cos and drove them over a cliff. The auto workers are always punished even though they don't make the decisions. The CEOs get paid way too much even when they make poor decisions, which is most of the time. I will never buy an american car as long as people like that are in charge because I feel my money would go straight to the undeserving CEOs instead of the people who actually do the work

    May 28, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  74. Cori

    I think the government needs to focus on other serious issues, and let nature take its course with the auto industry.

    May 28, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  75. Darlene Austin texas

    Yes certainly we are. President Obama is taking a huge risk. Actually we all are taking a huge risk if this doesnt pan out one of the largest employers in the U.S. will be gone. Unfortunitly I think it is a risk worth taking I would like to see this country be competitive and have made in the U.S.A. mean something again. What was the alternative? lower taxes and let them go under?

    May 28, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  76. Jack - Lancaster, OH


    First, the actuality of the issue is that the taxpayer (his progeny) has been made too involved with the auto industry, the Government is just the money distributor and in this case it was against the will of the people. Government, as the cliche goes, "fixes" things until they are broken, and I might add at a grotesque amount of money. Thus, the bailout for GM has produced a high probability of it's bankrupcy. Thanks govt!

    May 28, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  77. Rick McKinney, Texas

    You bet it is. Now GM who has taken billions of dollars in tax payers money is going to file bankruptcy and move its car manufacturing business completely off the continent and support another countries economy with those billions. They will then bring those foreign made cars back into America and sell them to us while all the jobs stay in another country. Jack all I can say about this is America just got screwed royally by our own congress.

    May 28, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  78. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    The government is the only one that can help them if we want to keep any US industry here and they'll be able to influence them in making more environmentally friendly vehicles. The more involvement, the better.

    May 28, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  79. nelson

    Jack, yes!

    May 28, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  80. Tom Mytoocents Fort Lauderdale Florida


    What happened to " To Big To Fail". Remeber a year ago when the Fed gave them our money from the Toxic Asset Releif Fund .Bankruptcy was not an option then. Billions later both Chrysler and GM are on the couthouse steps. Don't anyone tell Henry Ford he will not be happy......

    May 28, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  81. Rick Medina,OH


    Yes, the American taxpayer is now 'knee-deep.' But, consider the alternative. It has been widely reported that the liquidation of either Chrysler or GM would trigger a chain reaction that is nearly unfathomable in terms of job loss. (That includes the guy who runs a small deli across the street from the GM dealership where I work.) And with that staggering new layer of unemployment comes loss of payroll taxes at all levels. One could argue that the investments made (and still needed) have protected the American taxpayer from much larger losses. If the restructurings work, taxpayers could conceivably profit from their investments.

    Rick, OH

    May 28, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  82. Mike in Albuquerque,NM

    They want to take our money, but they want to continue running the companies into the ground? As the auto makers new shareholders and owners I think We The People should have a proxy to represent our interests. Over half the nation voted for Obama to represent us in the whitehouse. Hecan represent us in the automakers boardroom also.

    May 28, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  83. Denny from Tacoma, WA

    Historically they government has always been too involved in the auto industry with bail outs, etc. The new government involvement of getting the auto industry to change their ways to produce more competitive products will have better results. This would never happen if the Republicans were still in control.

    May 28, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  84. SHARON: Anchorage, Alaska

    ABSOLUTELY. The too big to fail scenario has gotten too big in itself. The bankruptsy should have been allowed to happen last year, without a dime from the public coffers. Since we've invested heavily in GM; when will OUR vote on further investment take place or when should WE expect payment on OUR dividends? As a taxpayer that owns a piece of the pie now, I demand my say in the whole process.

    May 28, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  85. Jay in Texas

    Well, Jack, if you will remember it was the automobile corporations that came begging to Congress to give them all those billions of dollars a few months ago. That money was apparently wasted so now the government has gotten itself into another mess and must take its share of responsibility in regard to the future management of those corporations. I don't think government should finance "private enterprise". That is called corporate fascism.
    Brownwood, Texas

    May 28, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  86. Christine from Edmeston, New York

    I hate the idea of our government knee-deep, as you say, in the auto industry. But I think I hate it more that our auto industry has sunk so low in every possible way that it now has to turn to the government (i.e., the taxpayers) for solutions. The debate over this can never be easy, because in every scenario, the hapless pawns are the same: the American auto workers and the American auto consumers. Well done, GM & Chrysler, you dirty industrial dogs.

    May 28, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  87. Simon/Orlando

    Yes, if tax payers have to keep shelling money out to keep them in operation. No, if they can finally cut labor costs to become competitive with foreign makes and turn a profit.

    May 28, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  88. Chris in Philadelphia

    Yes. A government owning 72% of an auto manufacturer is a little much. We are holding the reins to a company mismanaged to the point of ruin, are owed $20 billion and few are buying cars. Oh, and the auto maker is slashing jobs by the thousands anyway.... wasn't the purpose of the move to keep the auto makers solvent so jobs weren't lost?

    May 28, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  89. Nancy, Tennessee

    Maybe, and some of the signs might be: New cadillacs with their new hood ornament – a replica of the Presidential Seal. A camaro with white letters on its tire that says – 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. A new Chevy pickup with a slogan that says "like a Barack".

    May 28, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  90. Linda in Arizona

    We'll find out someday. I couldn't possibly tell you now.

    May 28, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  91. Martin in Shoreline, WA

    Yes they are. I knew that when politicians started throwing money at the industry, we would never get that money back. You just don't throw money at companies that refuse to adapt to the market. You let them die to maintain a healthy economy. Culling the herd, so to speak. Survival of the fittest. I'm not convinced bailing out AIG was wise either, though these are different situations.

    Americans need to stop throwing money at those who do not contribute to society. That goes for everything from GM and AIG, to homeless bums who do not wish to work.

    May 28, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  92. william fitzwater

    The US has to be involved . It is better to give aid to the US auto indusry rather than having them sink immediatly into bankrutcy as would have happened six months ago. The current apporach allows a orderly bankrutcy if it has to happen.

    May 28, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  93. Josh from Chicago

    I don't think the government is doing enough. GM want to make cars in China and ship them here. My taxes are allowing that and it's not right. GM cars should be made here in America. "Buy American" is not just a right-ist idea anymore.

    May 28, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  94. Doug Beazer


    The answer to your question is most certainly yes; however, what would be the outcome without government intervention? The government is literally taking over GM, but if the government refuses to step in and accepts the conservative argument that free-markets will always prevail, how many will lose their jobs, homes, cars, and other secured debt items? Will this not cause an economic collapse even greater than we have anticipated since the Great Depression?

    Think about it, it will not just be manufacturers losing their jobs, it will be service employees, salesman, parts manufactures, mechanics, etc. If this happens, how many will have their homes foreclosed, their cars and belongings repossessed, and be forced into bankruptcy? It seems that doing nothing has more dire consequences then being too involved.

    May 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  95. John in Columbus Ohio

    We gave them a chance to fix it on their own and they didn't. If there was ever an industry that needed strict regulation, outside of the nuclear power industry, it is the automotive industry.

    May 28, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  96. Remo .............. Austin, Texas

    YES IT IS!
    I really don't want to deal with "Obama Motors". Frankly he's the last person I'd want to buy a car from.

    May 28, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  97. Mike

    No. In fact, if I hand over my money to these guys I want somebody watching over them. Look what what with these other companies, they took the money and gave bonuses.

    May 28, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  98. steffan christensen

    Had the government been involved in mandating EPA standards and funding alternative fuel technologies, the US car makers would be making the very cars we need now. It takes 2-5 years to get a new car in the pipeline and the Bush administration dumbed down the standards to a point that US car makers now import fuel efficient cars and label them as their own. The government wasn't involved enough.

    May 28, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  99. Don in Grand Rapids, Mi

    Obama hurt the auto industry? Sure just as he's hurt everything else he gets his hands on. Well come the next election "we" through Obama and all the other liberals out of office. Liberals shirk paying taxes, those who make millions and the rest of the liberal voters that elected him are on welfare and never will support the USA, they only take the handouts that assure their votes! Obama and crew wants the auto makers to make "green" cars..cars that nobody wants to begine with, pl4ease tell me how that will pput the US auto makers back in business?

    May 28, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  100. Alan - Buxton, Maine

    The auto industry, banking, finance, insurance, medicine and war mongering to name a few. Government is supposed to protect our freedoms and prevent criminals from flourishing. I see the opposite happening.

    May 28, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  101. Gabriel from Hartford, CT

    Yes, the government is getting way too involved in every aspect of our lives. The government can't run itself! How are we supposed to trust them with running a profitable entreprise? They would run it to the ground just like they have done with our Nation.

    May 28, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  102. Ralph Nelson

    I do not like the Obama Administration telling GM and Chrysler what kind of cars to build (small ones) because they well not sell with cheap fuel prices. Finance and Accounting people (Obama's people) do not understand marketing and proper management, they are only interested in cheaping the product by reducing costs. As a result the cars do not last and suffer quality problems. GM now being led by a finance man is bad news, it should be Bob Lutz. Chrysler is a dead duck because of Mercedes-Benz mismanagement. Germans are loosy managers (but great engineers). Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    May 28, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  103. kerry diehl

    Given the Governments history of management, spending and “efficiency” capabilities – GM and Chrysler are in some really deep do-do!

    We thought automakers did things wrong before, just watch as these governmental circus clowns comes to Detroit to take over.

    May 28, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  104. Dan from Alliance, OH

    Yes, let it go where it may. That is capitalizm.

    May 28, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  105. Matt from Ohio

    Jack, as government control of industry without ownership is fascistic (wholesale ownership would be communist), and businesses cannot compete fairly with each other as a result, I would heartily agree that the government is too involved. Business, regardless of who they are, should be allowed to succeed or fail based on their own virtues, otherwise they cannot hope to be successful in a global economy.

    May 28, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  106. Janice from Collingswood NJ


    May 28, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  107. Mike, from Florida

    Is this even a question? The government has no business being directly involved in the industry. Inject money to keep it afloat until GM can get their affairs in order, then cut the cord...anything else is nationalization.

    May 28, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  108. A W Garland Sr

    Hell Yes, it is not a Fed Gov responsibility.

    May 28, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  109. Ann,Virginia

    No,Jack,they apparently aren't getting involved enough after what I heard about G.M. Ramping up their business in China after planning to close numerous plants in America.We should take back the money we loaned them & just let the company fail.

    May 28, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  110. Bob D of Morristown, NJ

    It's too early to tell if the government is getting too invloved. One could argue that the level of involvement is only as deep as it needs to be to keep the industry, which is very important to our nation, alive. Whether this is too deep can only be determined if and when these companies recover the government divests itself of all ownership and control. These companies got into the extent of a pickle they are in by having a short-term profit at the expense of global trends orientation, and they clearly need some external reorientation in order to survive, and compete in the future.

    May 28, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  111. joe stlouis mo

    The auto industry is just another CEO's of America debacle. Now the Government is stepping in to save the jobs of the workers. That is that.

    May 28, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  112. Terry from Illinois

    Since Chysler has filed for bankruptcy, they should return all bailout money received and if GM files for bankruptcy, they should also.

    May 28, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  113. Andy Missouri

    It seems to me that Americans expect an awful lot from their government: exemplary health care, a promise of social security, the best schools, the list goes on. It is undeniable that these programs have qualities akin to socialism even if that word is considered "dirty" to many who want them. Given the high costs of social programs, it makes sense to have a stake in industries that might have a chance of helping pay for them in the future.

    May 28, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  114. Tino

    Way too far. YES!!

    Tino, NYC

    May 28, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  115. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack: The government is involved up to their knees, but someone has to do it. The US automakers have been driving in slow speed for the past 20 years. They've been given time to figure out how to make it work. Given their failure, it's been taken out of their hands. Somehow the foreign automakers seem to be able to figure it out. Shame on GM & Chrysler, they've been on a gravy train and now we all have to pay for it.

    May 28, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  116. Rosemary, New York, NY

    There will be no auto industry if Obama doesn't step in. Previous administrations had conflicting intererests and blocked fuel efficiency, mileage requirements, etc. This is the last hurrah, and Obama's the first president to step in.

    May 28, 2009 at 4:49 pm |

    Yes, anytime the gov't get involved in private industry is a bad thing. A trend that we do not want to see is big brother sticking his nose in every aspect of our lives.

    Let nature take it's course. It was only a matter of time when foriegn car makers would take over that industry anyway. The fat cats in the auto industry in this country need to except the fact that they screwd up big time.

    Wouldn't it be nice if every struggling American had a saftey net like which is provided for big buisness. In my world if I cannot make my mortgage payments, I loose my home period. I don't see the gov't sending me a bailout check.

    May 28, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  118. Jane (Minnesota)

    Part of me says yes, but the aurto industry has been resistant to improving so someone with a big stick needs to ride herd on them.

    May 28, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  119. david from virginia

    Maybe, but i still think it's the least bad option. The idiots who had been running these companies seemed determined to go bankrupt. Chrysler had something like 4 new car models planned in the next 5 years. R&D had been gutted, and any decent mileage increases were nowhere in sight.

    The other option was letting them go bankrupt, but then we'd be paying unemployment and cobra benefits for a couple million newly-unemployed folks, not to mention collapsing the economy of Michigan for a generation.

    May 28, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  120. Chris from Buffalo, NY

    Is the government getting too involved in the auto industry??!! It's the majority shareholder!! That ship has sailed Jack!

    May 28, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  121. Bill


    When did the government gain the right to control private business? What happened to capitalism, where success is rewarded and failure is punished?

    Our President is the antithesis of capitalism. If you look up fascism, you will see a very close semblance to Obama and its roots.

    May 28, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  122. HD in Phoenix, AZ


    That train has already left the station. In retrospect, total financial ruin was going to occur with or without government intervention. However, in this case, certain entities within the auto industry got billions of dollars of tax payer money while they still reached the same unprofitable demise. The tax payers could have fared better if the government had just left things alone.

    HD in Phoenix, AZ

    May 28, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  123. Dany C, Charleston, SC

    I'm getting me a 2010 Barack Hybrid as soon as they roll off the assembly line.

    May 28, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  124. Bob - Playa Union Argentina

    You have to ask?? Of course they are and without a clue as to where they are or what they are into.

    May 28, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  125. Dan Barthel

    No, if the auto industry and the banks want bail out money, they need to live with the strings attached.

    May 28, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  126. Michael McDowell

    I wish the government had been more responsible in its Santa Claus atttitude with AIG, than it did with the auto industry. Hopefully bankruptcy and government oversight will allow this industry to cleanse itself from wasteful union contracts, that sealed its demise decades ago.

    May 28, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  127. Carl from Citrus Heights, California

    Normally government involvement is a case of last resort, wait, this is a case of last resort. So, the Obama administration is doing what is necessary to stem the tide of an economic downturn in hopes of bringing about a recovery as quickly as possible. This President has my utmost trust.

    May 28, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  128. Rory Murray, San Bernardino, CA

    If the government can keep GM from running off to China with our hard-earned bailout money, and create much needed jobs for Americans here in the U.S., there is no such thing as "getting too involved."
    Have A Good Evening!
    Rory Murray
    San Bernardino, CA

    May 28, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  129. Dave

    Of course the government should be involved in the auto industry. In fact, any improvements to vehicles that have been implemented by Detroit (seatbelts, anti-lock breaks, airbags, emission standards, and oh yeah the EV1 electric car) have been required by the government, usually at the resistance of the idiots that run these companies. The government should be actively running GM,. Ford and Chrysler. Then these companies would produce better vehicles. This goes to show how bad the auto management really is.

    May 28, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  130. Joshua Luther

    Well Jack, as much as I would like to see GM fail, after all they have done to eliminate other competition in the past, I do believe that with the way the economy is now, and seeing GM's recent record, GM can not be trusted to succeed on their own and we just can't see another company, espicially one as big as GM, fail right now. So I'm hoping this government involvement succeeds, so that the government can make money and help pay off this debt and provide the desperately needed services our citizens deserve. Oh and I never want to hear another word from our richest citizens complain about taxes, because these corporations are seeing more welfare money than any average citizen will ever see.

    May 28, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  131. tommy young

    Remember the impending doom that we heard last fall about what would happen if we didn't give GM and Chrysler billions of dollars? Well guess what? It's going to happen anyway. All that Obama/Bush have done is loot the treasury.

    May 28, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  132. joe m

    YOU THINK!!!

    It was a mistake for the government to have become involved in the first place and certainly not to the extent that they seem to be at this point. Wasn't the point to begin with so that this company would not head down the road that it's hurtling to today???? Great plan. What's next, the president signs the pay checks of those people left working?

    May 28, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  133. Bryan Mau

    Austin, TX

    Absolutely the government is way too involved. These companies should have been allowed to fail like they were supposed to, even if it was catastrophic in the short term. We've just spent a fortune which will in all likelihood convert awful companies into bad ones. These will fester in our economy for a long time and will retard our movement to the next generation of car/transportation companies.

    If we were going to spend this sort of money we should have invested it in the next generation of companies that will replace these ones.

    May 28, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  134. Bruce

    Yes, but so is Europe, however, their involvement is much healthier – providing benefits for workers so the companies are competitive. Our involvement is very bizarre at best.

    May 28, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  135. Jake

    We've seen what the government has done to housing. No one expects any good to come of this. What we need is the government to stop 'helping.'. How many in DC have ever run a business or any technical background?

    May 28, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  136. Susan Frost

    The government needs to get involved a whole lot more in pressuring these companies, whose bacon got saved by American dollars from American taxpayers, into keeping jobs in America. I couldn't care less about the fat-cat investors and incompetent CEOs, the focus of our concern should be for American auto workers. GM – or any other corporation – shouldn't get a dime if they're shipping jobs to Chinese sweatshops. We need to start looking for the union label, and if it's not on the merchandise we (as individuals and by and through our representative government) need to keep our American cash in our American pockets.

    Tuscaloosa, AL

    May 28, 2009 at 5:28 pm |

    The government should not get involved in the auto industry. The best solution for GM, Chrysler and possibly Ford was to file for bankruptcy. That would have given them the opportunity to dump the unions. Unions are responsible for the American car companies demise. The only involvement they should have is to assist them in a structures Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

    May 28, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  138. frankie

    They have no choice. And I think it is time for the Republican Party to act positive and hopeful and thus add to the success of all these difficult plans. American prosperity is not helped by their self-defeating prophecies of doom. I wish someone could take a poll of Americans and see how many people fear not getting medical care or fear bankruptcy, and how many people do not live in fear of the supposed threat of socialism.

    May 28, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  139. William Courtland

    The Government is to involved: yet if it uses these faculties of corporation to enhance and outfit a New United States Postal Service with vehicles which can gain input energies from a digitally controlled electrical rail: and so create those vehicles to disengage and return to that rail for all Expressway travels...

    If it is owned by the public it might as well serve the interest of the people economy!!

    May 28, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  140. Chris D., NYC

    I don't think it has hurt the auto industry, no more than it's been hurting. I consider myself a freemarketer. However in full view, and meditation of what America, and the markets, would have looked like 6-8 months ago when economic turmoil had engulfed every sector of business, had we let the auto companies fail, banks, fail, insurance agencies fail, etc.......We wouldn't be looking at a year and a half recession ending this year......We'd be looking at the Great Depression......The auto industry gives about 30 million people, food on the table, and a roof on their heads. Ordinary people(yes unions are full of ordinary people)......I'm all for the government helping out ordinary people sometimes. Now it appears these companies will go into bankruptcy anyway. Our economy can handle that now. It couldn't handle that blow in Sept., or January......At least now they can restructure, and build from there. I hope foreign automakers set shop up in Michigan and other places that have been hit hard by the lack of work in the auto industry.

    May 28, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  141. Liz in Tennessee

    "U.S. auto sales are near their lowest level in 27 years" and adding a federal sales tax to that would be rather counter productive don't you think? Other than that saving the industry will save jobs which will help insure more tax payers which will help pay off the cost of the bailout. Might work...

    May 28, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  142. Helen

    Sometimes we need to get involved if it will help the economy and save jobs. I don't think that the government is going in to hurt us and I don't see any Republican senators coming up with any alternatives just criticicisms.

    May 28, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  143. Dee in sunny (and wet) Florida

    I don't see it as the "government" too involved in the auto industry. The automakers have been bailed out with the TAXPAYER'S money, so that means the TAXOPAYERS are involved in the auto industry.

    I think the taxoayers should take a lesson from all those who did not pull their 401k money out in time to avoid losing half of it, and either RUN the auto industry, or pull out OUR money and let those greedy folks sink.

    Whatever, in the end we all lose.

    May 28, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  144. mchael r.

    maybe if the government got invloved in the industry years ago. they would not have to save it now.

    May 28, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  145. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    Absolutely. Why are we supporting GM financially when they are going to produce autos OUTSIDE of the US by foreign workers and then bring them back home here to sell to us? Ludicrous. Get the taxpayers investment back and let them completely shut down. I'll buy a Toyota.

    May 28, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  146. James

    This is a double edge sword. One one hand, if the government did nothing, thousands of workers will be out of jobs in states already hit by massive job loses. The gov. would be blamed for allowing this to happen and the workers would be supported regardless. On the other hand, what does the gov. know about running a business. Look at the budget miss management and over spending at every level. Perhaps there is a middle ground where business can reinvent itself with green technology and become a model around the world. I don't buy American cars because of low gas mileage. I bought my first Honda 12 years ago and still have it to this day. If the auto industry focuses on small and green technology, I think they could be the shining beacon once again. But will need massive overhaul and that is at the top levels down.

    May 28, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  147. Diane in MO

    Simply put: YES
    (It appears there's not much these days which the government isn't involved too much with!)

    HMMM...out of curiosity, since we import our own products in this modern and improved 21st century, would that "committee of bondholders" happen to also be from China?

    May 28, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  148. Jim - Illinois

    Yes is an understatement. When the average citizen blows it the way the auto industry has in this nation, it's bankruptcy and 7 to 10 years of getting your finances to a point where the banks will talk to you again.

    If you're a corporate concern – it's OK, we'll write you another check...

    If small business is the "heart of the American economy", why isn't BIG business under the same weight of our broken economy that the rest of us are.

    May 28, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  149. Thom Richer

    It is and it won't be long before the products will cheapen and not be competitive in an open market. We can't even run a Postal business how in the hell are we going to make products efficiently and competitively? We aren't. Not only that, GM will not be around much longer with bailout money or not. We have a disfunctional economy and government that is unable to right itself and refuses to acknowledge the plight of the American worker in a realistic light. Without jobs and liveable incomes, we cannot buy automobiles that cost thirty, forty, fifty and sixty thousand or more dollars and get 20 miles to the $4.00 a gallon gasoline. Cars are not an "investment." They are a drain on households ability to function above water. Please check out the car prices and the costs of owning one or two.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    May 28, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  150. David in Natchez

    Bring back the Datsun. In 1977 I bought a new B210 for $4,000.00 that got 50 mpg highway and 30mpg city. Better than my 03 Harley does. Unless government can offer a car comparable to this they should let GM seek its own level. Gm seems to know little about the automotive industry and the government knows little about balanceing the budget. The commercial that says "what's in your wallet" I want both of then outta mine..

    May 28, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  151. ken jefferson city mo

    Jack, president obama doesn't understand the car business when
    the govenment looked at GM he only looked at one aspect of GM
    instead he should have looked at everything then maybe he would have started with quality because that's why their hurting because the foreign automakers have better cars which last longer and now they
    have really hurt a industry because they closed down dealers ,made car values go way down and extended our bad economy.

    May 28, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  152. Jeff C in CT

    This Government – Obama and his staffers are out of control!! All to protect the UAW!!!

    Jeff in New Britain

    May 28, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  153. Sabrina Royal Oak, MI

    Govt is the reason the auto makers are in trouble, it stems from trade imbalance and the idea that we have capitalism in this nation.
    We have puppets in Washington that have an agenda, most are there because people get to vote for the person they think will help them or their business succeed. Americans vote to elect the least damage on the effect on their life and the bills they will foot.
    Truth is: your voice gets to put forth the person whom is telling you how they work for Americans and the truth is really that they are running to get something done for associations with friends or for their own future interest and it does not involve what is good for "Joe the working" rather what is going to benefit business and getting the taxpayers to pay.
    WE see how insurance ,drugs,health care etc running the show in govt creating rules , and laws to enforce their profits, while we foot the bill, claims of the interest being for Americans, not true at all

    May 28, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  154. Jeff

    Jack, the government is involved in far too many things already to remain solvent without two things happening.

    Hyper-inflation, and massive tax hikes.

    You want to see an economy REALLY in the dumps? Just wait for those things to happen, and get ready for soup lines.

    Jeff, Rochester, NY

    May 28, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  155. Austin

    It's easy to complain about many things, but sometimes... we just want to watch and see what happens.

    I wish there were more things made in the US besides GM and not only in China, but i shouldnt complain or even say a peep since we owe the Chinese a lot of money.

    I 'm just simply glad that i didnt promise change because it looks really hard from where I sit.

    Good luck

    May 28, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  156. Wilson from Alabama

    In order for the poll to be accurate they would have to poll those who are within the inner circle of GM, Chrysler, Fiat, EU, Sergio Marchionne, Martin Leach, and all of the Treasury Dept. I feel for the Judge. I hope he knows all the players.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  157. Lisa in Shelton CT

    Had they not asked for money from the American taxpayers, yes it would be too intrusive; in the face of our enormous loans fraught with risk because the automakers were so bad with their own money management, NO!

    May 28, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  158. Kevin

    Jack, if this means that GM and Uncle Sam pull up their roots and focus on manufacturing cars in communist China with cheap labor and the Chinese retaining the profits, I would have to say yes. But the reality is that GM has been failing for many years because of the extravaggant UAW contracts, and their overpriced cars, and their corporate size. What's troubling is here in Detroit, their is debate going on on whether "Generous Motors" they should move their headquarters to the city of Warren or stay in Detroit! Maybe they should make this decision before they file Chapter 11 by Monday!

    Warren, MI

    May 28, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  159. Christopher Adams, Greenville, MS

    What choice does GM have? Critics talk of Obama administration "nationalizing" the bank industry and is now saying the same thing about its dealings with GM & Chrysler. In cases in which huge private companines like GM cannot do what is necessary to save hundreds of thousands of people from being in the unemployment line, the government HAD to step in and take on the job. The quesiton remains, are the critics', who are screaming nationalism/socialism, jobs are in danger?

    May 28, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  160. LAJ

    If you step back and look at the banking industry, the gas prices, the medical industry – really all major industry it's like they all fell at the same time. Was this planned? If it was then President Obama and his staff stepped up to the plate and are doing a great job. Better than anyone thought. If this wasn't planned then Thank God we have people in the White House not afraid to dig in and get the job done. We need to stop Party vs Party and realize we are ONE NATION, UNDER GOD ETC. Alot of this tit for tat is juvenile. =(

    May 28, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  161. Jane - WI

    Absolutely....if I wanted to own a car company, I would have bought my own stock. Our government should not be hiring and firing and they should not be getting involved in telling the companies what kinds of cars to make and what dealerships should be closed. Some companies might need to fail, and the government needs to keep it's nose out of it.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  162. Ken in NC

    NO. Somebody has got to buy them and I sure as hell can't.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  163. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Jack, looking at the stupidity of the USA auto industry's decisions in the last 30 or so years I'd say that it's time that someone got heavily involved with the industry. From company management to labor, people have taken every opportunity to sabotage what should be a profitable industry.
    And Conservatives rant about the government not knowing how to run a business or make a dollar!!!

    May 28, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  164. Randy from Salt Lake City, UT

    Both are run into the ground so it doesn't really matter. Who cares. This country is doomed.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  165. carlos marrero

    Given the scope of jobs created and maintained by the auto industry, maybe the government should be involved. The auto and supporting industries account for near 10% of jobs in America.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  166. Eugene

    What is the alternative? Hand over the auto industry to the Chinese too?

    May 28, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  167. Josh from L.A.

    We have an automobile industry ?

    May 28, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  168. Annie, Atlanta

    Sure it is, but if not the government, then who? Left to their own devices, these CEOs will never do the right thing – ever. Example: the past 30 plus years.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  169. Imani (New York)

    Hell yes! I want my share of the $20 billion back!

    May 28, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  170. Peter M

    No, it is not. The auto companies screwed up long ago. They were out of sync with the environment, customer needs, energy efficiency and driven by selfish greed. The government is refocussing them now that they face bankrupcy. They need adult supervision.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  171. Elaine

    Obama has worked a deal with the Chinese to import their cars under the GM name. Just what we need, fewer jobs here and more profits in China.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  172. Robert

    Fortunately or unfortunately Jack, the answer is probably not. If you look simply at the automakers themselves, then yes – we don't want this level of involvement in the market! But you also have to take into account the enormous effect that the collapse of these companies could have on other industries that have grown up relying on the Big Three . . . Glassmakers, rubber, plastics, everything down to the guy who employs 35 people in Midland, TX that make the radio antenna on your new GMC. Everyone is involved now.

    San Francisco, CA

    May 28, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  173. Michael from New York

    Don't get me wrong im glad the president stepped in to help but I cant help feel that these companies and banks have just reached their limit. We keep saying we are going to restructure but it looks like were just propping these companies back up with wooden sticks. They need to fall so we can start from scratch instead of going through it all piece by piece looking for the one loose bolt.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  174. Tom

    Pres. Obama is infusing the car industry with billions of our dollars and requiring them to build more fuel efficient cars that, at the end of the day, Americans aren't going to buy. If we the taxpayer are going to become stakeholders, we should either let them make cars that Americans will buy or leave our money out of it and let them fail.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  175. Will

    Of course. Obama himself stated he doesn't want to run the auto industry. his administration has said it wants to leave as quickly as possible. without government and taxpayer help they would have been bankrupt last year or at least before now. why are people still asking this question?

    May 28, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  176. Steve Fine

    Is there any doubt that they have gotten too involved? They have in effect taken over the US auto industry. They have absolutely no business in being involved with this. In addition, for the government to overide established law and to bypass investors in the bankrupsy process destroys any faith in our laws.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  177. Rick

    Jack, The government is too involved not only in the auto induxtry, but every aspect of our lives. This is change we did not need or ask for .The only way this will end is when Cina finally stops lending the idiots in Washigton the money they so gladly acept and spend.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  178. Rod - Hooksett, NH

    The government became too involved with the auto industry when it provided a bailout to support a dysfunctional industry against the overwhelming wishes of the United States citizens. It was already known that bankruptcy was in the future, and holding the auto companies afloat would not save jobs, but only prolong the inevitable loss of those jobs.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  179. Allen

    I don't understand...why cant the Feds send the money directly to the spenders. In a supply / demand economy, the quickest way to increase demand, is to give the population money to spend.

    This may help the automakers, or it may not, but the issue is how the companies are being run. In answer to the question, yes they are too involved in that industry...bad precedent.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  180. Brian

    Yes the government is getting to involved in the auto industry. The government is getting to involved in every aspect of my life. They need to let business' succeed or fail based on the decisions they make. If you keep bailing everyone out that made bad decisions that got them there then they will not learn the hard lessons of life. Tough decisions need to be made and yes people will get hurt, that is what leaders are supposed to do is make the tough decisions that ordinary people are unwilling to make or cannot make.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  181. Joe, Las Vegas (the dealer, not the plumber)

    Absolutely not Jack! The auto industry is too important to our manufacturing economy. What they need to do is step in and get started on the auto companies building high speed, energy efficient trains to improve our infrastructure and create jobs. And in the meantime Americans should start buying American. Think of the money compared to the Wall Street bailout.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  182. Allen

    I don't understand...why cant the Feds send the money directly to the spenders. In a supply / demand economy, the quickest way to increase demand, is to give the population money to spend.

    This may help the automakers, or it may not, but the issue is how the companies are being run. In answer to the question, yes they are too involved in that industry...bad precedent.


    May 28, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  183. Potter

    You bet they are, Jack. Nobody is benefiting except some unions.

    AND – take a look at whose Chrysler dealerships are
    being closed. Almost all of them turn out to be people who have
    contributed to the Republican party. That's like three day old fish.
    It stinks to high heaven.

    Morgan County

    May 28, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  184. Tom - Long Beach, CA

    Pres. Obama is infusing the car industry with billions of our dollars and requiring them to build more fuel efficient cars that, at the end of the day, Americans aren’t going to buy. If we the taxpayer are going to become stakeholders, we should either let them make cars that Americans will buy or leave our money out of it and let them fail.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  185. Joanne,Pleasant Valley,NY

    Yes. Its about time that we start letting them fend for themselves. It's getting rediculous. I don't see anyone handing over money for me when my job is going overseas.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  186. mohamed, Atlanta, GA

    Banks and the Financial Services industry has done more damage to the economy when compared to GM and Chrysler from a federal deficit perspective. If President Obama wants to be fair to both the industries then he should also be running the banks like the government is going to do with the auto companies.
    May be I am hallucinating to expect fair treatment for all industries!!!

    May 28, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  187. Wahab Moez

    What other choice do they have? Millions of people will lose there jobs and the economy will be hit hard! GM is the American Pride

    May 28, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  188. Everett

    They are too involved. Maybe we could get a better product if the current players failed?

    May 28, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  189. Sue - Alaska

    Yes they are. They are treating the auto industry like a red headed step-child and forcing them do more then they ever did or should have with Wall Street and the Banks, whom was the major reason we are in this mess.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  190. steve in florida

    Personally, I think the American companies had every opportunity to avoid the ditch they're in. As we speak, I'm watching GM and Chrysler dealers close down while they're building a brand new VW dealer on the same block. Corporate Heads should be rolling somewhere in this process. This situation was all due to pure negligence and lack of foresight by management. A few less afternoon golf games and a few more rolled up sleeves were in order. All the help should be going to those who were actually doing their jobs.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  191. Steve from Palm Beach, FL

    I've never understood why we have so many car companies manufacturing so many cars when I'm in the lower-middle class and can only afford to maintain the car my parents bought for me. Just because the auto industry can manufacture all these cars doesn't mean consumers will buy them, especially when we can no longer get the loans or high-wage jobs to pay for them. While the auto industry provides a large number of jobs, that is no excuse – some other company or industry will naturally crop up to take its place. It should not be the purpose of the government to keep an auto company afloat.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:23 pm |

    Well, somebody had to.... it is quite obvious that GM does not have the talent, organization and motivation to do it by themselves. Since it is our money on the line, I think our investment needs to be protected and that means the Obama administration speaks for us.

    I frankly like the idea that these people may face what all the rest of us have been struggling with for some time now.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  193. Joe O, Knoxville

    Have you heard of the Russian ZIL? A Soviet styled automobile. What shall we call the Obama styled automobile? The Axle-Rod? To Go-Bama? Maybe the Law-Breaker ... it disregards all bankruptcy laws and perferred investor positions to make us all feel good about wanting to coast downhill against no odds.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  194. Andy

    The government can't even run itself,let alone the auto industry.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  195. george from maryland

    we all have seen what the auto industry can do on their own, its about time the government steps in. So i think the government should do even more to save GM.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  196. Steve Dickenson

    If my job at GM was on the line after 20 years, my answer would be no Jack the government is not too involved. The President made it very clear that he's does not want to be in the car business and many, many auto workers voted for him and do expect him to be a government of the people, for the people by the people. Plus it's a loan they're getting that has to be paid back with interest. What use is the government if you cannot rely on them when you need them??? It's a Democracy. My vote for your help.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  197. Phil P. in NJ

    What choice do we have? We, meaning the U.S., created the automobile. In addition to national security, we need to take the world to the next level in auto transportation. So the answer is yes, we do need the government involved so we can stay in the game.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  198. Robert in FL

    Jack, the very question is ludicrous. The government should not be involved AT ALL in the auto industry. The question of to what degree is moot. Has anybody though about that fact that government intervention in "private" corporations is what is causing this mess and making it worse? Let bad businesses do what they would normally do in the normal business world. Fail. Let other businesses take their places.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  199. K

    The executives in charge of the auto industry have effectively destroyed their companies while reaping hefty perks and bonuses. Shame on them. The loser is the American people and the American workers. Obama is trying but it seems to be a case of "too late" since the previous adminstration ignored the plight of our great country. The term "made in America" is now obsolete. I challenge you to name products actually made inour country.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  200. Ruth in NC

    The government needs to be involved with GM to make sure one of two things happen. Since stimulus money was to keep Americans employed, GM needs to sign a detailed contract that states no jobs will leave the US or GM needs to repay every penny of the stimlus money they've received immediately. Once they've repaid the taxpayers, they can move the whole business to China. Americans should let them know, "we will not buy automobiles made in China". Obama can use the repayment funds to pay for health care.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  201. Barbie from Hollywood, CA

    Jack, who ELSE can lay it squarely on the line to the automakers?! The very wealthy refuse to stop buying gas-gusslers, the upper-middle class wannabee's mimic the wealthy; it the middle class and down who understand the need for better gas mileage and greener transportation... But no one listens to anyone these days who doesn't wear the bling and plunk down the ca-ching.

    Peugeot was making cars years ago that could get 50+ m.p.g. and what was their reward?? The U.S. auto lobby STOPPED them from importing their autos to the U.S., claiming they didn't meet our safety standards. That was a lot of B.S.

    Unless this President uses his communication skills, voice of reason, and Office to orchestrate the production of cars in OUR future, who will? I think he's our best hope to get sanity back into the American Auto Manufacturers.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  202. Ed in Princeton, NJ

    The government is too involved in this situation. These companies need to resolve their own problems not ask taxpayers to help them. The government needs to acquiesce to defeat and stop giving dying companies a crutch.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  203. Ilse Baeck

    No, not at all. I wish the government would buy them lock, stock and barrel. Can't be any worse than what we have seen the last decades. Maybe, we can finally force them to make fuel efficient cars and get those ridiculous SUV's (sport utility who are they kidding?) off the roads instead of lobbying for generous emission standards. From experience we know, they can sell almost anything they want to the naive American consumer – so, start advertising cute little cars with our hard earned tax money.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  204. Jarell

    ABSOLUTELY, with the government intervening so much it makes me wonder if we still are in a free-market system here or if the government will start to buy all failing companies. GM deserves to go bankrupt and by filling for bankruptcy they can re-organize and get out from under the terrible grasp of the Unions they are forced to serve. I say let the free market determine GM and Chryslers' fates and that the government should stop spending our tax dollars and foolishly wasteful products!

    May 28, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  205. John, Fort Collins,CO

    The auto industry provides so many jobs in this country there is no other choice. If we hand over the rest of our manufacturing to Asia we will end up just like Europe...lots of expenditures with no base to support it.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  206. Mark Shinn

    This is the place for Government to be involved to assist the auto industry via short term loans to help the industry re-tool and get us into the 21st century in the way of a supply chain and systems that deliver products in shorter cycles for the market that is the worldwide automobile driver and customer. What the government does not need to be doing is micro-managing certain activities such as what where and how, Auto companies should be marketing their products.

    Senior company officials should work in concert with recommendations from the investors (and the US Government if "we" are equity stakeholders) . . . . . but we don't need government officials telling us that GM should not be buying license frames, Logo'd shirts, having downstream sales meetings or sponsoring NASCAR cars while telling them to spend money on certain marketing and advertising like CNN or Super Bowl commercials.

    The government has already slammed the meetings and event industry enough in the last few months by discouraging professional meetings to take place, it does not to be doing the same to the 10's thousands of promotional marketing professionals, many of which service the auto industry very well by helping to market and grow their business using effective promotional products.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  207. Warren - Detroit

    Living in Detroit and watching what is happening to the auto industry, I can't help but feel like the government is taking advantage of a liquidation sale by buying companies with inflationairy dollars (i.e. it's printing money to buy stock).

    I'd rather GM and Chrysler go out of business than watch the government own and try to run two great American companies. Let's face it, with the government's track record, they'll be out of business shortly there after anyway.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  208. michael LV,NV

    You know Jack this whole thing has my blood boiling !! From right from
    the beginning I said the Government should have stayed out of this and
    let the businesses fail but all No the Far Left Obama administration
    has to bail them out with out tax paying money !! Now look Jack , there
    all abandoning us for China & going to take our tax paying money &
    jobs overseas !! So yes Jack the Government should have stayed out of this !! This will be a major Flaw in Obama administration that just
    could cause the Democrats the next election unless they put a stop
    to this right now !!

    May 28, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  209. Ray

    Did the US bail out the steel industry or the textile industry or others? Why is it that now it seems like Obama's government needs to run everything like Fidel Castro would. We are a capitalistic society which is why we are the strongest (for now) country on this planet. We need to stop the path of changing that.

    The government is made to set laws and monitor to ensure fairness and that companies and people do not follow the rules and laws we have. The government was not meant to and should take ownership or control of private companies. That weekens ours sociaty and our country.

    Southbridge, VA

    May 28, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  210. Nestor, Austin, TX

    GM...Government Motors.

    Is the government too involved? YES!!! What regular government program runs efficiently? The only government program I can think of that is somewhat efficient is the military, but even in the military there is plenty of waste. Government regulations are part of the reason that GM is in this predicament in the first place. How is more government control a solution?

    May 28, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  211. gerald

    What happened to competition? That was supposed to be the core of private enterprise. Take Chrysler for example. They were too big to fail way back when? Once again Uncle Sam is bailing them out. And GM too? What kind of socialistic capitalism does this administration preach? If they can't hack it they have to go. And in the light of the Chinese producing cars at $2500 per shot. I'll buy one.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  212. Matthew Schmitz Oxnard, CA

    What? The Big 3 need the Government or they'd be more broke than California, and that's saying something.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  213. Ray, Southbridge, VA

    May 28th, 2009 6:29 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Did the US bail out the steel industry or the textile industry or others? Why is it that now it seems like Obama’s government needs to run everything like Fidel Castro would. We are a capitalistic society which is why we are the strongest (for now) country on this planet. We need to stop the path of changing that.

    The government is made to set laws and monitor to ensure fairness and that companies and people do not break the rules and laws we have. The government was not meant to and shouldnever take ownership or control of private companies. That weekens our sociaty and our country.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  214. Marietta

    No! the Auto Co. should be very thankful...and so should all workers.. CEOs are not worth-$23 million Dollar a year wages period!...CEOs have ran the Auto Companies into the ground..Should all be fired..

    Pres Obama gets $400,000 dollars a year to run a whole Nation plus Foreign Crises all over and CEOs "cannot" even run "ONE" company.

    ....CEOs should be "ashamed" and all be fired that they themselves, have to go to the Pres of the United States..... to help CEOs do their jobs.....CEOs have showed no Management skills, idea , future plans etc etc.........but then CEOs take their outrageous wages, their massive bonuses, get fired..and go to other companies and run them into the ground and the circle continues....

    May 28, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  215. Evan- Greenfield, WI

    Having received 20 billion dollars from the government already General Motors risks being renamed Gimme Money.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  216. Robert

    Yes and no Jack. Something that has slipped under most people's radars is what will happen to the hundreds of companies that supply the auto manufacturers? Just today, Visteon, once a division of Ford and now one of the nation's largest auto parts manufacturers, filed for Chapter 11. Who do you think is next?

    SF, CA

    May 28, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  217. Allister from Freeport New York

    Jack, The government has to get involved. President Obama understands that saving our domestic auto industry will keep jobs in America and decrease our dependence on foreign oil. By revamping GM and Chrysler
    and creating tomorrows hybrids, electric , and bio fueled vehicles, the United States and the world will be able to buy American made automobiles and help our economy. You think oil and gas prices are expensive? How about having absolutely NO choice but to turn to every other nation to purchase overpriced foreign imported vehicles? You can pick your poison in that scenario.......Obama chooses not to offer us ANY poison! America must lead...Not economically bleed!

    May 28, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  218. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    If nothing was done people would have complained big times about all the jobs losses. And people who thinks that customers do not want green cars well...when oil prices climbs back up at more than it was last year then people will be happy to see GM has moved to the green car economy!

    May 28, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  219. Murray Bandel

    I haven't seen any description of what the Obama administration is actually doing in GM. Its giving money. How does that help GM make better cars?
    The administraiton hasn't brought in a new Board of Directors made up of people who have actually worked in an Automobile factory. Obama hasn't brought in an accounantt who knows how to straighten out the books and keep it honest.
    No, this administration is just throwing money at the problem. It isn't actually doing anything.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  220. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    If nothing was done people would have complained big times about all the jobs losses. And people who thinks that customers do not want green cars well…when oil prices climbs back up at more than what it was last year then people will be happy to see GM has moved to the green car economy!

    May 28, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  221. penny

    We are adrift in a sea of red debt, the gov't role in auto industry has thousands of auto workers layed off feeling blue and the enviromentalist looking to pocket green.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  222. Jan - Lancaster, PA

    Honestly do not know what is right in this situation. Do not want to see the jobs go overseas. We probably should have let them go bankrupt the beginning of the year, but then where would the employees be now? Maybe it is time (way past time) to critically evaluate the international trade agreements, fix the health care problem so the industries can afford it, make sure the unions don't carry issues to the extreme & destroy companies (unions have their place but can take things too far on occassion), and find ways to make it beneficial to keep industry in the US. AND, last but not least, get rid of executives who keep all of the profits and don't put alot of it back into the company to sustain it.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  223. Margaret Hodges

    Absolutely! Car Czar is yet another Czar lurking in this Nascar 24/7 metaphorical political race to change hour to hour everything. If we could convert the take over of this race in this one area alone, the whole world would be replenished and make the Recession look good compared to the future of what government owend car industries and the nation well may look like.Margaret DE

    May 28, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  224. andyz Lynn, MA

    Not at all. Chairman of the Board Obama will save the day for one and all. Remember, Buy War Bonds and GM stock. This is really a great time to be alive. Each day brings a new disaster.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  225. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Hell yes, let them fail, It just makes me want to scream when we bail out GM and they turn around and want to increase the number of cars they bring in from China, what a damn joke they've played on the American people. I've always been a GM customer but how I've decided any future cars will be Toyota.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  226. Kevin in CA

    The are too involved in the wrong way ... they need to address the coming flood of Chinese imports that cost half that of a US made Honda, Ford, Chevy, etc.
    Call it trade and currency adjustment balancing – not protectionism.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  227. Lewis Peeples

    C'm Jack,if Obama didn"t
    do anything to help the GM's,Rush et al would be screamingt about how this ""Un-American President"our allowed one of our largest companies to fail, puttin hundreds of thousand out of work.He just can't win". Oh yeah these same "Patriots" were holleren about lettin the companies go bankrupt,then they can come back and reorganize and operate like the Japanese.Seen Toyota lately??

    May 28, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  228. eddie v

    Jake, the answer is easy the government is doing the right.I see this issue in two ways.1) If they do nothing GM, Ford and all the big car boys will be in flood of trouble and they would been out of jobs.2) If the government tries to take an active measures to help the companies that give jobs to almost half of the people in the state Michigan. They not only can make money like they did during the Clinton era but, they give time for all the big car companies in the United States to change form black to green and that saves jobs and that the bottom line.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  229. Jasmine in Germany

    If the government didn't get involved, there wouldn't be any auto industry.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  230. rob in colorado

    hey jack i remember watching you as a kid on nbc channel 4 thanks for keeping me informed.

    as a businessman and investor it seens the rulebook does not matter any more. with the goverment maybe doing this or that its tough to try to predict whats next. i cant think of anything the goverment is good and efficient at doing.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  231. Gary in Lexington


    I voted for President Obama, and I support the US auto industry, but this is getting a "little bit out-of-control". 72% ownership is not what the Government should be doing. Hell, they have more than enough trouble doing whatever it is they are suppose to be doing. And if you understand that Jack, you should be on my keyboard instead of me.


    May 28, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  232. mike

    yes jack, even now after all the billions the american public has given the auto industry, they are still planning to move production facilities to China and then ship the cars back to the U. S. at the cost of the American public. How stupid can Government get?

    May 28, 2009 at 6:42 pm |
  233. Tamara, Daly City, CA

    Yes, Jack, for once, I agree with you. The government is too involved with the auto industry. Moreover, the nature of the government's involvement is mostly opaque. All we know is that something has gone wrong. Chrysler and GM showrooms are empty, and their plants and dealerships in the USA are closing. The Auto Task Force appears to be a waste of taxpayer money.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  234. Adam Thousand Oaks, CA

    Is the Government too involved? Let's see...2 agencies run by some form of government are the DMV and the US Postal Service. Would you call either the model of efficiency? The more the Feds get involved in the private sector, the more they will drive the industry to ruin. They should do their job and not let businesses get too big to fail. Ask Standard Oil or AT&T what should happen when businesses get too big. GM and Chrysler should have been split along "make" lines long ago. The Fannie-Freddie-AIG are all too big and should be blown up into smaller regional institutions. Keeping the private sector private and getting smatter regulatory people would be the more prudent approach.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  235. Craig

    No. The government needs to step in because the auto industry has been unwilling stop building gas guzzlers that the nation does not need. They have been just like the alcoholic that won't give up the bottle. Adult intervention is needed. Obama is helping the auto companies reorganize and with the just announced mileage standards giving them objectives for the future development.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:45 pm |
  236. George Fulmore

    I think the government has needed to step in to save jobs and the underlying industrial base. And I think that the U.S. public should support U.S. automakers when it makes good products. We have a Ford Escape Hybrid that has performed well, with little to no maintenance costs, while is has been getting 30 miles to the gallon. I think we need and want cars and trucks made by U.S. companies by workers employed here in the U.S. If the federal government is needed to keep this in place, so be it.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:50 pm |
  237. sam

    the auto industries came to the for help,,so the government should have a say into what goes on with their companies ,,AT LEAST until the auto companies pay back the money, if the share holders had done this earlier,,we would not hAVE TO BE BALING THEM OUT.
    did everybody forget what bush did with the 1st banking bailout,(no oversight) where is the money at and what did they spend the funds on..
    who knows?

    May 28, 2009 at 6:51 pm |
  238. Layne Alleman

    Jack, Yes Jack, we are. We're also waaayyy too involved in Wall Street, the Military- Industrial complex and anything else you can name. L. Alleman Antioch, Il.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:51 pm |
  239. Allen

    Hey Jack:
    No the government is not getting too involved with the auto industry. If these companies run their businesses very well, they won't be in the shape they're in. In the case of auto industries, if they had innovate and compete with the Japanese, they'll be alright now. These companies cannot run their businesses into the ground, and then come crying to the government, in this case we the taxpayers, that they are too big to fail and not expect the government, i.e, taxpayers to tell them what to do. He who pays the bill, makes the rule.

    May 28, 2009 at 6:51 pm |
  240. ben

    give it a little more time and obama will have his finger in every business in the country. nwe are headed down the path. to commies.

    the gvt should have never bailed anyone out this is a free country and these companys would have been better off without the baliouts.
    number one the unions have wrecked the auto industry. the companys should nhave declared bank rupt got rid of the unions and then theyncould cut thye price of the autos and built a better car and let the workers get a good wage and pay for thier own ins and benifits like everyone else.
    obama is a one term president i think the denocrats will vote him out remember the democrats are hurting like everyone else,

    May 28, 2009 at 6:53 pm |