Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts governor, former entrant in the marathon to win the White House, and current automotive industry expert (who knew?) had a few things to say in the New York Times today on the potential auto industry bailout. The opening paragraph says it all: "IF General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye. It won't go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed."

Romney is not rooting for the end of the biz, but he believes that bankruptcy is the only way to save it because it will force a reset, and that will be the only way for the Detroit 3 to rectify entrenched structural problems. These include UAW contracts -- "a new direction for the UAW," executive perks -- "sanity in salary and perks," getting rid of old blood -- "management as is must go," just for starters.

Romney believes that the auto industry is crucial to America's national interest in more ways than one. And he isn't against helping the U.S. automakers, but believes that a shock to the system is the only thing that can rescue it, long term. Have a look at the piece and let us know what you think -- but no need to make a decision yet; give it another few minutes, and we're sure someone else will have another prescription. Thanks for the tip, Mike!

[Source: New York Times, Photo by Mario Tama/Getty]