American Elephants

Should We Bail Out the Automobile Companies? by The Elephant's Child

Detroit cannot make cars at a price the market will bear.

The only question is whether we want to kick the problem down the road, or confront it now.  As long as they cannot make cars at a price that people will pay, they will not have a functional business.  Do we think they should go bankrupt now? Do we think they should go bankrupt later? How often do we intend to bail them out?

7 Comments so far
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What have we come to?

And what’s next?


Comment by renaissanceguy

I know this is totally unrelated, but have you guys posted anything on the Fairness Doctrine lately? I’ve been hearing alot about it lately and it sounds totally implausible.


Comment by ElephantFan

The “Fairness Doctrine” should be implausible because it is entirely forbidden by the First Amendment. Freedom of speech refers to political speech and Congress is specifically forbidden to make any laws preventing it. Which doesn’t prevent them from trying.

That said, If this article is correct,Obama plans to accomplish the same thing by more devious means:


Comment by The Elephant's Child

NO… we the taxpayer, should NOT bail out Detroit. My dad used to say… “you’ve made your bed, now lie in it”… rings true for the U.S. automakers.

How long have they, the US automakers, had to develop fuel-efficient cars? I read where GM developed 10 all-electric cars, promoted them in California, then destroyed all 10 cars… why!?

No matter how the auto industry begs for a ‘bridge loan’ with promises to repay, with restrictions and oversight applied by Washington, with execs ‘giving back’, NO NO and NO… the US auto makers do not deserve special consideration to stay in production.

How much does advertising cost? How much does it cost to run one ad on TV? How much does it cost to put one ad in a local newspaper? Or… to put one ad online? If automakers would curtail advertising, they’d have gobs of money to fund research and development to get the fuel-efficient cars Americans want.

Gas is currently $1.59 a gallon (regular grade) in the Heartland… but it was up to $4.05 at one point just a few months ago. I’m not counting on gas to stay low… nobody should.

GM, Ford, and Chrysler: we want fuel-efficiency NOW! Not in 3 years. The current new ‘crossovers’ hitting the market are getting 22 or 23 HIGHWAY MPG… what good it THAT when the price of gasoline per gallon will go back up?

Detroit made their bed, now lie in it!


Comment by bigfanx

Bigfanx, Don’t tell me, tell your congresspeople! or It does make a difference when they hear from you.It’s really the only way they know what their constituents are thinking.Call their local offices. Be nice but annoying. 🙂


Comment by The Elephant's Child

American citizens are facing desperate financial times. These times will require great leadership, sacrifice and tough doses of distasteful medicine to treat and nurture our economy back to health. We cannot survive as a world super power unless we produce high utilitarian consumer and industrial products like cars and trucks for both the national and world markets.

No super power can remain secure and economically viable without a world class automobile and trucking business. We cannot purchase military hardware from current and potential adversaries. A bail out of the automobile and trucking industry is inevitable because of our current economic crisis; the question really becomes how do we accomplish this goal and not reward and perpetuate the short sighted past mistakes of the automotive executives?

I propose that the U.S. congress offer a $4,000 tax refund for tax year 2008, to be used to purchase a certified American made high mileage 4 cylinder traditional small car or truck. American made cars and trucks in this program will be made available through guaranteed government supported loans. Vehicles selected for this tax refund will have guaranteed (real) 50,000 to 100,000 drive train warranties along with pre-paid maintenance service agreements. The tax refund checks will go directly to the dealer, the buyer will receive a low interest loan with no payment due for one year. American citizens who purchase these cars will be eligible for an additional $1,000 to $2000 dollar 2009 tax refund to be applied toward the car purchase depending on how well the economy is doing.

This idea is predicated on congress and the automobile industry conducting basic moral and ethical business practices. For example don’t select lousy cars with obvious engineering flaws. If a vehicle has a problem, “fix the problem before certifying the vehicle for the program”. Develop and provide vehicle reliability and mileage documents for the buyers. Have the buyer read and sign an affidavit that he or she read the reliability before purchasing the vehicle! Do not allow superfluous accessories to be added on to the low interest loan purchase. Do not allow high mileage gas guzzling vehicles to participate in the program. Do not allow the program to be hustled by

This program will save vital American jobs! This proposal will force the industry to market our current best environmentally friendly vehicles. These cars are the most environmentally friendly and cost effective cars and trucks we have available at the present time! It will make doubtful Americans that have been burned in the past realize that there are some good American made high mileage cars! And finally it will help sugar coat this awful bailout medicine the working American middle class is being forced to swallow!

It’s time for all American to pull together and realize that our nation cannot be the flea market for the world’s economy. We cannot buy all our consumer and industrial goods from foreign nations and sustain a viable government, economy and growing educated middle class.

Mr. Dobbs I would like you to post this question:

If a an automobile bail out is inevitable, should a tax refund along with low interest guaranteed auto loans for good American made four cylinder high mileage cars and trucks be the core way to bail out the American automobile industry.


Comment by mrmiddleclass

Who would’ve guessed that Obama would extend BIG BILLION $$$ bridge loans… and the public would get 4 weeks of ‘CASH 4 CLUNKERS’??

wHO is suffering now? The dealers… they can’t get the paperwork through via the ‘net cause the system is overloaded! Only a tiny percentage of dealers have seen their rebate checks.

NOW.. what to do with the ‘clunkers’? How many recyclers will it take to handle all those vehicles?

A case of too much success.. too soon… and not enough planning!


Comment by bigfanx

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