• Jun 26, 2008
After being asked what the next President of the United States could do to help Detroit's automakers, Rick Wagoner, head honcho at General Motors, responded that his company could use an injection of cash for research and development into new, potentially green technology. Also mentioned were additional incentives for consumers to purchase those vehicles once the automakers actually produce them. Neither of these suggestions should be shocking to anybody paying attention to the Detroit 3's recent financial woes. Much of the admittedly meager R&D budget is already being spent on new technologies such as hydrogen fuel cells and electric drive systems, including the extremely important lithium ion battery.
Federal aid in the form consumer incentives would allow automakers to offer eco-friendly vehicles at potentially profitable prices while still being in the target range of many consumers. In the past, tax credits for hybrid vehicles have helped move that technology along when it was in its infancy. This latest meeting hosted by presidential hopeful Barrack Obama once again indicates how important the emerging green-auto sector and health of the Detroit auto industry in general will be in the coming election.

[Source: The Detroit News]


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  • 93 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I CAN'T BELIEVE WHAT I AM READING!!!!!

      Is the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA GONE???

      The government has NO cause to give ANY taxpayer dollars for a business expense. If GM needs R&D dollars, they need to convince GM customers that their cars are worth buying at the price that it takes to do R&D. And they can borrow money for R&D in the mean time.

      If they can't make their products competitive, and cost effective, and profitable, then they MUST be allowed to go out of business, and clear the market for more efficient players. Same for Ford, or anyone else.

      Government buyouts for airlines, mortgage banks, auto makers, railroads (amtrak, anyone?) NEVER WORK. They only insulate bad business from the market consequences.

      GM is responsible for doing better business.

      As a taxpayer, I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE TO PAY MY TAXES FOR THEIR BENEFIT. Most of the 3.1 TRILLION DOLLAR 2008 Federal budget is A WASTE OF MONEY on things that should be private commerce or charity. National defense and other legitimate government functions make up a SMALL MINORITY of the federal budget, probably less than 33%.

      And people saying that the government should tell you what you can drive, and prohibitively charge confiscatory fees for licenses as a disincentive? That is not compatible with freedom, and is NOT analogous to road safety speed limits to try and regulate safe driving (or line government coffers with speeding fines.)

      What has happened to freedom?

      States can no longer determine their own punishment for criminals (Louisiana death penalty for child rapist scum),

      Terrorist enemy combatants, who are NOT soldiers, and not recognized by the Geneva Convention (they don't wear a flag uniform as a military soldier) all of the sudden have full US CITIZENSHIP RIGHTS TO HABEAS CORPUS.

      Countrywide is giving legislators perks and then getting special bail-out treatment to offload bad mortgages onto the taxpayers,

      And now GM wants to take tax dollars to do it's business, too?

      This is out of control, and this does not bear resemblance to a free country where people (and by extension, businesses and government) are expected to be responsible for themselves, or bear the consequences.

      No one would have sympathy for me, if I decide that these taxes are immoral, and I should not have to pay them. The IRS would have the police come to arrest me at gun point.

      Seizing and stealing money for private or inappropriate uses through force of law, at the point of a LEO's gun is NOT ACCEPTABLE.

      I can choose to buy a GM car and pay GM's expenses through that sale. I cannot choose to not pay my taxes and expect to keep my freedom.

      This is an abomination.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Can people in Iran cite the US Constitution, and have it be a precedent under Islamic law?

        No, they can't. They live under the laws of that country, which unfortunately don't recognize the people's inherent rights, and don't operate on that basis.

        Enemy combatants who are captured in the act of making war, or committing terrorism are not criminals. They are terrorists. Most of them that have been captured have been re-leased, and a FEW have even been RE-captured committing MORE acts of violence.

        By not fighting under a flag, they surrender their Geneva Convention status as Prisoners of War. They are NOT prisoners of war.

        They are not legal, or even illegal immigrants committing crimes on US soil, subject to US Criminal courts by the location of the act of the crime. They are captured in foreign countries, in the ACT of attacking US interests, NOT under the flag of the country where they are captured.

        IF they were fighting for that country, they would be tried as criminals in that country, under their legal system, and whatever rights that legal system recognizes or doesn't recognize.

        They are terrorists, and have forfeited their civil rights. (Habeas Corpus is a civil right, reserved for citizens/civilians of the country in question. Habeas Corpus not a human right like life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The bill of rights are also CIVIL, not human rights.)

        If you were to go and attack people or assets of another country as an act of terrorism, without a US military uniform or under the foreign policy of the government of the United States, you would be an enemy combatant to that country. You would have forfeited your civil rights in the US, and would not be recognized as a citizen of the country you attacked. You would be in a deep hole you dug for yourself.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Rights are never granted. They are inherent. Everyone has the right to habeas corpus, even the people you don't like.

        As to the rest, don't get excited. GM is asking for a handout. Companies and other special interest groups do it all the time. There's nothing wrong with that in and of itself. The problem is if our government actually gives them a handout (like Bush gave to Big Pharma). In that case, blame your government, not GM. Vote 'em out.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The framers of the Constitution didn't think we should be held for years while they prove whether we're guilty or not.

        If they want to hold bullcrap tribunals, they can do them quickly, and with proper safeguards in place (like access to courts and rules of evidence). Instead they just parked these people in Cuba until the courts told them what they already knew, which was that was illegal.

        Willfully disregarding the Constitution should be cause for removal from office. It's there for a reason, not to play around with.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yes, welcome to the United States. FATHER CORPORATION wants their cut, from both the government, and your wallet.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Why are your comments always so long, mk? Time for you to start a blog :p
      • 6 Years Ago
      "baffledu2 @ Jun 26th 2008 5:10PM

      And they say racism is dead !!! Moderator take this crap down!!! "

      Looks like baffledu2 is the racist. What's the matter? You afraid of a African-American being president? You don't like rap or ghetto talkin'? Ha ha. You better get used to it baffledu2 racist :)
      • 6 Years Ago
      was this ad paid for by the Obama campaign?
      where is the news here? Stop the political plugs and get back to auto-blogging - there's lots more actual news out there.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Instead of GIVING money to the car companies, how about increased funding for energy/transportation technologies to the government's own national labs and DoD labs. They are already doing this work, have clear DoD need and have preference for tech transfer to domestic companies. They could easily collaborate with those companies and universities on the R&D end as to specific needs of the industries.

      Traditionally, tech developed for DoD use makes its way to consumer market anyway. Stuff that costs m(b)illions to develop is used daily in commercial applications and would never be if not for those taxpayer subsidized DoD and national labs.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Obscene. This man is paid millions and wants taxpayer dollars, paid by people who are lucky to eat now that gas is so high. Detroit should have seen the writing on the wall starting around 1973 and plotted a course more like Honda. Pathetic. Sad they are going down. Very sad.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Welcome to the Union of Socialst States of America.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Go over and read this week's rant on autoextremeist.com.

      He hits the nail on the head regarding what it's going to take to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

      The sad thing is neither candidate has a clue what they are talking about when it comes to the severity and urgency needed to find resolutions to our energy needs.

      • 6 Years Ago
      +1
      • 6 Years Ago
      The US government has done nothing to help the domestic auto companies whereas the foreign companies get all kind of help from their government. In fact the US government have hurt the domestic without a care in the world. Last year the US government urge it's DC employee through emails to buy foreign cars because they got better gas mileage even though in reality the gas mileage of domestics is just as good. Later, the US government apologized for that email. It to show our government don't give a hoot about the good of this country. The politicians and the rich are sitting pretty while the rest of us will suffer. Where have our leaders gone??
      If we lose the auto industries to the foreign countries, we will have lost by far the biggest industries and there will be no more major products left, only military weapon manufacturers.
      • 6 Years Ago
      No R&D fundings? Well, the execs can all cut wages. Marketing people are always expandable.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Honda and Toy both make cars here in Canada as well.
      • 6 Years Ago
      In my opinion (feel free to disregard it), if Obama becomes president we can kiss most of our freedoms goodbye. He wants to socialize everything.
        • 6 Years Ago
        ^^You must be confused with Bush the current President. Invades wrong country responsible for 9/11 Declares the war over 5 years ago ("Mission Accomplished")

        Has criminals in his staff out a CIA agent/ deny it.

        Says he loves & supports the troops... yet brings them back to sub-human hospitals care facilities. Has National Guard over in Iraq instead of home in U.S.

        Haliburton/ KBR making millions & paying no U.S. tax

        Blackwater private security forces creating problems for our US men & women... while being paid 10 times as much.

        I could go on for pages... I'll take Obama as President over these current a$$-clowns :( :(
        • 6 Years Ago
        He is in favor of unionization.

        Me, not so much.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Ideological solutions untempered by reality, hundreds of billions in new government pork to his campaign donors, the finger to everybody else.

        Exactly like Bush, just a different set of special interest groups.

        The country survived Bush. Hell, it survived Nixon and Carter. It'll survive Obama too, won't be any fun along the way but it'll survive.

        • 6 Years Ago
        Well to name a few,

        freedom of speech
        freedom of the press
        freedom of religion
        right to bear arms
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ tankd0g

        Well, you cannot prove in any way that someone is listening to your phone conversations. In all likelihood your cellphone is buzzing near the airport is because there is a gigantic array of Radars and communication devices all around you. Even if you could, technically, it's not an invasion of privacy. Sure, it's a private phone call, but it being broadcast over public air. You can't have proprietary rights over a certain frequency of communication. You can, however, get a secure encrypted cellular phone, or just buy one of those prepaid phones if you want complete anonymity.
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