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Auto Bailout: Take Two

December 4, 2008
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Should Congress punish the entire industry (and the millions who depend on it) because of recent PR debacles?

Leaders of Ford, GM and Chrysler have returned to Washington, D.C., for another round of Congressional hearings to try to determine what, if any, bailout measures should be taken to save the three struggling auto makers. Public opinion has changed since their last, rather ill-planned trip to the Capitol (no one appreciated their private jet jaunts); a recent poll shows that 61% of respondents are now against a bailout, vs. about 50% last month.

And now they’re asking for more money. Though, to be fair, they’ve all offered to take only $1 annual salaries and they drove to Washington in hybrid cars, so they’ve obviously seen the error of their ways. Right? (Ah, hindsight.)

Despite these guys’ PR problems, the U.S. auto industry is clearly in a lot of trouble. Should Congress punish the entire industry (and the millions who depend on it) because of recent debacles? And if action should be taken, what will actually help? “Who Can Save Detroit” (link below) discusses several possible scenarios.

Did your opinion about the proposed bailout change as a result of the executives’ behavior at the last round of hearings? Please share your thoughts by entering a comment below.

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