In the wake of GM's restructuring announcement, some observers are beginning to talk about government assistance to get automakers through tough times. President Bush has quickly shot down the idea of assitance for US automakers, saying that the government shouldn't be "bailing out companies." GM spokesman Greg Martin said the General isn't looking for a free pass from Uncle Sam, instead insisting the company is going to take care of itself.
While it's nice to see GM taking care of its own problems, there really isn't much else the Detroit automaker can say. Admitting that it needs help would be an admission of doom, which would further deplete its stock while signaling to customers that bankruptcy is near. A company in bankruptcy protection can go under, and companies that expire don't (theoretically) honor warranties or have parts available for repair.
As for President Bush's comments, it deserves noting that few industries are subject to more government oversight than the automotive sector, and no industry is more vital to reducing America's reliance on foreign oil.
[Source: Detroit News Photo: Getty/Luke Frazza]