• Jul 18, 2008
In the wake of GM's Tuesday press conference detailing its plans to have enough cash on hand through 2009, politicians have been eager to voice their thoughts regarding the possibility of a government bailout. President Bush gave the possibility a strong no, but the two guys in line for his job have taken a different route.

Senator Obama has said that he supports automaker's attempts to restructure without outside help, but says he's willing to work with the companies on fuel saving tech. Republican Senator John McCain took an even stronger pro-automaker stance, saying "if it looks like it is approaching that, everyone has to consider every option." The Arizona Senator and presumed Republican nominee has stated in the past that he wouldn't support a buyout, but would instead provide tax breaks and infrastructure support to create more fuel efficient vehicles. McCain's "every option" comment may not sit well with his party, but it could sound good to Detroit automakers. McCain is visiting the GM tech center today. Both presidential candidates are working hard to woo Michigan voters, which will be a key state to win in the November election. Even though GM has stated it isn't looking for a handout, Michigan residents would love to know that the automaker would get one if it really needed it.

[Source: CNN Money, Image: Getty/Bill Pugliano]



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  • 41 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      If the government wants to help out the big three all it has to do is adopt European emmissions and crash standards. That would allow many smaller cars to enter the market overnight.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Or adopt Japanese trade policies, which would shut out the imports to a trickle.
        • 6 Years Ago
        +1. We need Euro emissions, safety, AND headlight lighting standards.
        DOT headlight standards really blow chunks. I've since converted all my vehicles to E-code headlights - it's amazing how much clearer things are at night (I live in a rural area).

        It would be awesome if we had a choice of the various cars around the world. The consumer would essentially choose who/what stays or not.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Great, let's just write GM a trillion dollar check now, shall we? I never thought the Republicans would be the party of total fiscal irresponsibility but that is absolutely 100% true now.
      • 6 Years Ago
      it's sad to see that the Republican party is no longer run by fiscal conservatives. McCain is about as conservative as Hillary.....

      The smartest thing the gov't ever did (for themselves) is drawing our taxes out of our checks before we ever get them. I guarantee you if the general public had to WRITE A CHECK to pay their taxes every month, and they actually SAW how much money was being taken from them, there would be riots...Boston Tea Party all over again.
      • 6 Years Ago
      ...in other words, McCain is appeasing Michigan voters?...

      Sorry, my bad...Obama is the only one who appeases.
      • 6 Years Ago
      TTAC has been following the inevitable demise of the Big 2.5 for a few years, with the GM Deathwatch (and Suicide Watch) ....and the ripple effects could be crippling.

      If GM were to fail, it is quite likely that FORD and DCX (cant remember chryslers name anymore) would get pulled down as the suppliers would fail.

      The supplier failure would further cripple the credit market....and before you know it

      Soylent Green is People!
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'm not sure that theory makes sense. There is always a demand for cars. If GM stopped selling cars, Ford and Chrysler would pick up some, if not the majority, of those sales. I think they would end up stronger.
      • 6 Years Ago
      You could say that the candidates are advised to say anything they can to mollify potential voting blocs, and I can't blame them; I sympathize with anyone lunatic enough to want the job.

      I'm of two minds on government intervention to save large domestic companies, whether motor companies or other...

      1. Generation X has been waiting patiently for decades for some brands to leave the highway dealer strip and be properly relegated to history. Yes it was a little sad to learn that Plymouth and Oldsmobile had to be euthanized. But some brands, of which Chrysler, Mercury and Pontiac are prime examples, are going to have a steep uphill climb to surmount problems that can no longer be solved solely with "quality and value."

      I'm sure not a minute elapsed before the pile-on began after Robert Lutz, whether by personal opinion or gaffe, described Pontiac as a "damaged brand." But he was right, and at this point it's immaterial whose fault it is. They're a damaged brand.

      However scientifically inaccurate it may be, many Americans consider Pontiac a favorite of (excuse me) buyers with low educations and incomes who live outside of population centers; the same consider Chrysler a brand for old people. And hands up anyone with a good reason why America should keep Mercury. Those dealerships should be all be closed and replaced with parkland with lush grass and trees.

      But

      2. at bottom, it's not really the choice of new cars we fear for, right? It's the workers and their families and friends and neighborhoods and communities who will suffer, and eventually this nation of communities who will suffer, and reflexively we want to do what we can to avert that. Including vote for smart policy ideas.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Of course somebody involved in the keating five would be for a government bailout of GM.

      That's straight talking McCain for you.

      I do believe we should help GM and All manufactures for giving tax breaks to those that purchase fuel efficient vehicles. We need an economic injection in this country by improving infrastructures, raising taxes for the eduction of kids, taking care of our old (including McCain) , really supporting our troops and helping some of the Auto industry that choose to do the right thing.

      I'm not saying to outlaw big engine vehicles, I'm just say we need to give people more real choices.
      HotRodzNKustoms
      • 6 Years Ago
      Though I am fundamentally against government assistance to any industry (I like small government) I do believe you can never completely rule out any option before the time comes to tackle the problem. Making your mind up before properly and completely assessing a situation can make you look like, but not limited to, a idiot or a liar.

      So being open to possibilities is a good choice on McCain's part.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @HotRodzNKustoms
        "Conservatism works every time it is honestly tried."

        That Spanish Inquisition and those Salem witch trials were a huge success, no? The 'conservatives' in Revolutionary France, standing in the right wing of the Parliament, wanted to keep the King. True conservatives would of never waged the American Revolution...King George was a fine dude!

        McCain is pandering in a pile of old man drool.
        axiom
        • 6 Years Ago
        @HotRodzNKustoms
        "The more I read Autoblog the more I realize that 'Rock the Vote' is ultimately a bad idea."

        Yep. And WE decide the election this time around. Your generation of corrupt, perverse, heartless politicians and corporatist are symbolized by the decrepit and decaying McInsane, and within another generation you are your stink will be gone. If GM can't convert to a high-economy car maker, then they will go bust. No need for bailouts, they just weren't the right business model for the current market, no way in hell that warrents a bailout. Let them fall by their own sword.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @HotRodzNKustoms
        I'm not sure who "WE" or "your generation" is but you validate my point since you don't either. Go ahead - prove me wrong.

        Personally I've never understood the benefit of encouraging the uninformed to vote. The uninformed voting is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNbLQ6DC8mw
        HotRodzNKustoms
        • 6 Years Ago
        @HotRodzNKustoms
        @bailout=fascism:

        So I am a hypocrite for because I am open minded, analyze the situation at hand, and try to come up with a sensible solution? RRRRRiiiiiiiigggghhht
        • 6 Years Ago
        @HotRodzNKustoms
        I, like you, are a big proponent of small government.

        There is no such thing as "too big to fail." There is no reason that people who's earnings are sinking like the titanic, with stagnant wages, and falling value of the dollar, should be forced to spend those dollars supporting a private business.

        Not GM, Not Fannie Mae, not Countrywide, or United Airlines.

        All it does is further debase the american taxpayer (who are less able to afford to buy a GM car now, and in the future, should they CHOOSE to) and postpones bad medicine for worse medicine later. This is happening to everything that the Gov't has it's fingers into.

        Small government IS the answer, even to the point of pain. It is going to be painful either way.

        If the John McCain wants to help, why is he not suggesting DE-REGULATION? why not have the government, and hopefully even the unions loosen the noose around this, and many other industry's necks.

        THEN (and now) it is the responsibility of the company to remain viable, and people can CHOOSE to spend money with GM, instead of being forced at gunpoint to spend money on GM via taxes and police who will haul you to jail if you don't pay your taxes.

        Every option.... There is only ONE real option. Get the government the hell out of the way.

        McCain, Obama, and the rest of them are talking... their mouths are open... that is how you can tell they are lying. All of 'em.

        Vote small government for local, state and federal. If a candidate doesn't exist, write someone in, or run yourself. That, and small government conservatives running for office are the 'only' option, before the government loses all fiscal credibility and destroys our currency and economy.
        axiom
        • 6 Years Ago
        @HotRodzNKustoms
        "Though I am fundamentally against government assistance to any industry (I like small government) I do believe you can never completely rule out any option."

        Your another phony hypocrite republiclan. You're all for "small government" and "free markets" until one of your corporate handlers corrupts themselves into bankruptcy, then its "no option is off the table". Let GM and any others fall on their own sword. Otherwise forget the free market BS and lets actually look at "every option". One option to deal with gas prices is to nationalize all domestic oil resources so it can be offered domestically at a set price and eliminate the bankruptcy of the middle class. Another option is severe criminal penalties for executives and CEOs of the companies that engage in reckless or corrupt business practices - only strong penalties will deter such actions so minimum sentences should be set at 10-25 years with no parole, depending on involvement, with the option of the death penalty for company heads found to be complicit.

        "If the John McCain wants to help, why is he not suggesting DE-REGULATION? why not have the government, and hopefully even the unions loosen the noose around this, and many other industry's necks."

        Deregulation. Yeah, thats exactly what we need. Less oversight. Its done wonders with our financial markets, and it did wonders in the energy markets with Enron and the rolling blackouts in CA. We need much stronger regulation of these industries, otherwise they will skim the books on a gradually escalating scale till it catches up to them and completely wipes away their solvency and credibility.

        Deregulation is for corporations what an open tab is to alcoholics - do it if you only want it to end in a messy car wreck and financial ruin.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @HotRodzNKustoms
        Baffled, you must really BE baffled.

        I am not in ANY WAY suggesting anarchy. If you would read my post, I say just that. There ARE roles for government, I agree. The roles are CLEARLY DELIMITED in the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution does not limit the people. It guarantees freedom for the people by limiting the government. Anarchy is not nearly that well spelled out, and would not want to abide by the constitution.

        Ronald Reagan was exactly CORRECT that government is the problem, not the solution, and when he was referring to Carter-era policies, he may as well have been describing the US government trying to repeat history again now. What we are seeing now is just the beginning of that repetition, if the congress doesn't get it's act together directly.

        IF you think that is boring, or unreal, I am sorry. It is real, and it is essential to the survival and success of this nation.

        How do you define "BAD" government? Government that doesn't coddle people from cradle to grave? Government that lets failure teach lessons for success in the free market, by leaving the market alone?

        Reagan de-regulated the Airlines, and they thrived for a while until they forgot the lessons, and now are facing higher fuel costs than anyone ever imagined running airliners on, and are now behind the 8-ball due to energy policy. By the GOVERNMENT.

        They de-regulated the telecommunications conglomerates, and they became somewhat more competitive. Any time business is unleashed and not monopolistic, it competes, and the customers benefit by getting more value for their dollar. Over regulation COSTS the american people, by making it harder for businesses to be efficient and competitive. Take Econ 101. You'll learn something.

        How about Bad government being self-agrandizing, unaccountable, special-interest driven elitists who completely divorce themselves from accountability to the people who elect them? That is what we have. That is what "BIG" government breeds. Power and corruption on all sides.

        Brazil is Brazil. If Brazilians have the impetus to convert to sugar cane ethanol, or whatever (and use up their aerable land for fuel, instead of foodstuffs, which is more efficient and profitable use of sugar) then the people can do that in the free market, and companies can make money by doing it. The brazilian government is not required for that to happen.
        BTW, Sugar, and alcohol, are hydrocarbons, in a chemical sense. And they require energy to cultivate.

        I am not an anarchist. I am a conservative. Conservatism works every time it is honestly tried.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @HotRodzNKustoms
        mk

        You and Trotsky ( you do remember that famous Anarchist) would make great, albeit strange, bedfellows.

        The constant regurgitation of Reagan's inaccurate "government is the problem" when in actuality it is not government but rather "bad" government that is the problem (and God knows we have had enough of that over the last 7 1/2 years) is boring and flys in the face of reality. Name me one instance where deregulation has worked to benefit any industry.

        If government is the problem then all the success of Brazil in weaning themselves from hydrocarbons must have come from ?????????????

        There is a role for government. It is their job to set policy not the markets.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @HotRodzNKustoms
        The more I read Autoblog the more I realize that 'Rock the Vote' is ultimately a bad idea.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well maybe if either of these companies made cars people want they wouldn't be in this situation. After seeing the award winning cars Ford sells overseas coupled with the recent announcement that the Beat will not be sold here, I'm having a real tough time finding sympathy. It's unfortunate that companies like this ARE so crucially tied to the stability of the economy, otherwise I'd say let them suffer.

      In addition, if the taxpayers are being forced to bail them out for their bad marketing practices are we gonna have any say in the way they do business? Of course not.
      • 6 Years Ago
      McCain all the way!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I can honestly say it's GM's own damn fault that they have gotten themselves in this mess.

      Yes no company is perfect but they had to realize that trying to pawn off SUV's and Trucks while ignoring the midsized and economy car lineup as well as having a reputation for having poor customer service & support would eventually catch up with them.

      If GM had some smart people onboard at GM (definitely not Bob Nutz the Klutz) they could have forseen this coming, even when gas was going up to $2.00 a gallon while not dropping. The foreign competition has been keeping their eye on things like this and has much better reaction time than the domestics. To me it seems that the "playing denial" games just don't work anymore. The world is changing as well as people's decisions as well as tastes. GM should have known that the Truck/SUV cash cow machine would not last much longer.

      So what do we have for economy cars? Hmm let's see. Well there's the Cobalt, which is definitely not a car for everyone. There's also an Aveo, which offers a very punishing ride and truly defines "cheap, no-frills economy". There's the G5, which again is not the car for everyone. Buick does not really have anything with worthy numbers as well, not to mention I am, and never will be, taken with the modern "old fart" designs they continue to use. The CHevrolet Malibu did not live up to it's hype, not to mention the Hybrid version does not save you hardly any money (justifying the tax break - operational costs - price surcharge for Hybrid technology) adding the +2 MPG you save??? Saturn is about the only viable cost effective solution but the stigma of Saturn from the bad ole days still lingers in the mind of many. If you don't like Saturn's economy cars, can't afford a SAAB, well then i guess it's time to look at the foreign competition. Most Foreign companies have a good selection of economy cars that give you a midsized car quality ride and feel, because they know that we, as well as most people around the world, don't want to feel like we are being punished for not being able to afford a mid sized or large car. Yes it's the truth and most of us who work hard feel that we deserve to own (or lease) a car that makes us feel proud of our accomplishments, even if it's baby steps.

      The pride of driving am american car is just not what it used to be anymore and it's not the consumer's fault. If the big 2.5 have stayed up on technologies and kept reinnovating, staying at the same level or ahead of the foreign competition they would not be in this mess. Instead the European division of GM and Ford are reaping high profits while the NA division continues to suffer. Again it's not the consumer's fault.

      Honestly I also am against the bailout as well too because GM will not learn their lesson to drop the internal politics, fire Bob Nutz the Klutz, and get their acts together. GM has the ability, technology, and capabilities. When will I actually see it being incorporated in other vehicles besides the damn Corvette?
      • 6 Years Ago
      'McCain: Quit pandering. '

      Exactly. All options on the table means I won't say anything that would cause you to vote for the other guy.

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