Even as Republican presidential candidates soldier on in their opposition to the auto industry bailout, new polling indicates that the American public has changed its attitude about the $80 billion spent to help both Chrysler and General Motors restructure. According to The New York Times, a poll conducted in February shows the gap between those who approve of the measures and those who remain opposed has shrunk, while a different, more recent poll shows a slim majority of Americans now support the bailout. In the midst of the 2008-2009 crisis, polls suggested that three out of four people were against government intervention.

The New York Times suggests the post-bailout success of the automakers is the most likely driver of the change in attitude, citing the return to profitability of both Chrysler and GM. That success has resulted in real job creation, with some 126,500 positions in the motor vehicle manufacturing industry added, according to the report. GM has promised to spend $2 billion on factory investments this year and next, including $385 million at its Romulus, MI, engine plant pictured above.

That the actual cost of the bailout has been revised downward by more than 80 percent, to $14 billion, has likely played a part in public perception as well.


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  • 146 Comments
      Don G
      • 2 Years Ago
      the first phase of the bailout came while Bush was still in office, with the biggest part waiting on Obamas desk when he arrived. Very likely that McCain would have approved the bailout in some form as well. Probably the last bi partisian effort we will see in our lifetimes.
        infinitehyphen
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Don G
        Democrat and Republican are just two sides on the same coin... Everyone is friends behind closed doors. It matters WHO is signing it, regardless of political siding. You named three people who do not differ in any way. Bipartisanship = showmanship
      Julius
      • 2 Years Ago
      @ eddyjoe: Just another thought - just because you think the US government shouldn't be involved in private industry doesn't mean that other countries feel the same. Note that Japanese companies constitute 92% of the auto market in Japan, with little effort from the government in making markets "open". Even Hyundai - a company making HUGE gains in the US - found it couldn't compete in Japan and pulled out. China is wholly another entity. Because of domestic laws, Chinese companies are rarely "private", but governmental mash-ups. Even the truly private ones are favored by the government over more advanced foreign companies - to wit their minimum 50% partnership requirement for all foreign companies wishing to sell cars in China. Or the fact that as a country, it has over 90% of the rare-earth mineral production - stuff used in flat-panel displays, electric motors, computer chips, etc.; yet now has "export limits" on the minerals, clearly favoring domestic companies. And add to that the "buy domestic" policies that made China the largest steel-producing country in the world (even buying an entire steel mill in Germany and moving it to China). You can see how governmental policies can make huge differences in how economies change. Just ask the German steelworkers who used to have jobs at the mill moved to China. That mill in 1975 (Dortmund, Germany) made more steel than all of China. Now China makes more steel than the next 16 countries COMBINED. Another company people rail against is Solyndra. Their model of making cheaper solar cells was upended by the government-sponsored Chinese companies that essentially undercut its market using older technology, and left Solyndra bankrupt. Bottom line - yes, the government intervened to save a domestic industry. Just because it's politically unpalatable doesn't mean it's the wrong thing to do for the long-term economic benefit of the country.
      AngryUglyPeople
      • 2 Years Ago
      Thank very much President Obama job well done. Obama 2012!
        Jason Krumvieda
        • 2 Years Ago
        @AngryUglyPeople
        Yeah! he made gas prices go up by printing more money and making our dollar worth nothing.
          Zoom
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jason Krumvieda
          Turn off the Faux Noise!
          Julius
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jason Krumvieda
          As if China's booming car sales (more than the US, BTW), and an international embargo on Iranian oil have nothing at all to do with gas prices...
          angryinch_1
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jason Krumvieda
          Yes, turn off Fox NEWS and watch the Comedy Channel, or Home BoX Office Channel with ZOOM.
          Thipps
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jason Krumvieda
          Jason talking about the downside of debt and economic "stimulus"...you know inflation will get you marked down on this site....
      Zoom
      • 2 Years Ago
      As time goes by, more and more people will awaken to the light of the fact that the auto bailouts were a good idea and necessary. 50 years from now, when GM and Chrysler are still humming, it will be seen as a salient moment, and Barack Obama will be seen as the savior for the industry.
        johnb
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Zoom
        More likely, Americans will still be paying for the debt the bailouts gave us, and the Chinese will own both Chrysler and GM. Yes, Obama will be seen as the savior for the industry, by the Chinese. :)
          Zoom
          • 2 Years Ago
          @johnb
          The alternative would have been a complete disaster for the economy. And he'd be remembered like Hoover. Or W.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @johnb
          [blocked]
          Zoom
          • 2 Years Ago
          @johnb
          Plus, I think China is in for a world of hurt. They cannot sustain themselves, and it will soon come crashing down and the tides will turn.
      V8Turbo
      • 2 Years Ago
      I actually wish they would have been left to fail given their relations with the mafia, errrrrrrrrrr, I mean UAW. 2 new automakers started from PRIVATE INDUSTRY DOLLARS using the former assets of GM and Chrysler would have been a much better alternative than bailing out these failed manufacturers with MY and YOUR TAX DOLLARS .
        Julius
        • 2 Years Ago
        @V8Turbo
        Ah, because we all know that private enterprise automakers are doing so well nowadays (see: Fisker, Carbon Motors, Spyker, Mahindra's US sales...) Besides, the source of those "private industry dollars" would have been the taxpayer-financed bailed-out banks anyway.
        tylermars.design
        • 2 Years Ago
        @V8Turbo
        because you're really hurting from all of this.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @tylermars.design
          [blocked]
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Lance E. Jones
        • 2 Years Ago
        You forgot one other thing - the Bush Administration authorized the auto bailouts in December of 2008.
          MyerShift
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Lance E. Jones
          How did you get down voted on this fact? Must be many-a-dumbass out today!
          caddy-v
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Lance E. Jones
          Learn like I did. I never read laser's comments anymore, I just give the standard "your an idiot" reply automatically.
        tump
        • 2 Years Ago
        Free paranoia with every Laser. Get yours now!
        PICKLEBOY
        • 2 Years Ago
        very true
        Auctiontommy
        • 2 Years Ago
        Why dont you complain about the wars that have cost over a trillion plus dollars!?? And like the above poster stated, how much would it have cost if we didnt bail them out.
        • 2 Years Ago
        [blocked]
      Smiley
      • 2 Years Ago
      The propaganda machine has been running full force, 24-7, for 3 years. Put something on TV and tell people it's good, and the average person will eventually believe it. No surprise. Could you imagine how strong Chrysler and GM would be if they were allowed to properly restructure and become a right-to-work company!? Nope. Instead they filed bankruptcy, screwed over thousands of people they owed money to, and forged on ahead with union labor...even though their highly profitable Japanese counterparts are largely right-to-work companies. The solution, lobby for legislation to force the competitors to use union labor, thus making everyone equally uncompetitive. SMH.
        Zoom
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Smiley
        They could not have restructured in normal bankruptcy. Turn off the Faux Noise. There was zero capital out there willing to drop a dime in either company. They would have liquidated, much like Saab is doing now. Suppliers would have gone down, taking Ford and the rest of American auto manufacturing with it.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Zoom
          [blocked]
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Smiley
        [blocked]
      Adorable
      • 2 Years Ago
      Democrats AKA Socialists AKA Liberals taking over America
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        • 2 Years Ago
        [blocked]
          • 2 Years Ago
          [blocked]
          Joe
          • 2 Years Ago
          SNP you are a perfect example of why so many americans are "warming to the bailouts" unfortunately you have no understanding of how the bailouts worked, why they were "illegal" or unconstitutional if you prefer, and what the Unions Represent. The United Auto Workers Union represents greed at its greatest...they are the reason that GM and Chrysler failed...what people have to understand is what a company (or country for that manner) can and cannot do. When Unions have unrealistic unachievable expectations 1 of 2 things will happen, the company will not be financial able to supply the necessary demands or the company will attempt to meat the demands of the union and risk its financial stability. Union leaders failed to make rational agreements with GM, continued to demand more than GM could provide, they are in large measure responsible for the failure of GM and it is not the governments responsibility to pay for their greed and ignorance. BUT EVEN MORE IMPORTANT THAN THIS PHILOSOPHICAL DEBATE...the bailouts did not preven Bankruptcy!! They only allowed the Unions to stay in power after the Bankruptcy
          Josh
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Wrangler - no you need to wake up and realize what country you setting foot in. You love Honda so much to know what arbitrary percentage their PR spits out vs Chrysler - why do you have 'wrangler' in your username? WHy don't you put in 'raised accord wagons' - i mean cuz thats practically all Honda builds anyway.
          MyerShift
          • 2 Years Ago
          The automakers were loaned the money and I bet they have paid more back than Wall Street and the banks ever will. I robert why no one bitches about the banks being bailed out???
          • 2 Years Ago
          [blocked]
          • 2 Years Ago
          [blocked]
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Chilipepper
      • 2 Years Ago
      They still filed for bankruptcy. Our money was wasted. The bailout was for the unions, not the companies.
        tump
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Chilipepper
        The world revolves around you and your needs. Congratulations, you're the ******* problem.
      MONTEGOD7SS
      • 2 Years Ago
      $80 Billion won't bankrupt the Country. The Healthcare Reform Bill will. We have new targets in our sights.
        AngryUglyPeople
        • 2 Years Ago
        @MONTEGOD7SS
        Wars bankrupt Country's
          Tiberius1701
          • 2 Years Ago
          @AngryUglyPeople
          No, excessive people on the dole bankrupts "countries". You know the 55% or so who are on some form or another of public assistance. And as long as Soetoro is allowed to infest the White House, it won't be getting better soon.
          tump
          • 2 Years Ago
          @AngryUglyPeople
          Oh not that stupid ******* 55% "on the dole" crap again. Once more: children, elderly, and the disabled are not required to work 40 hour work weeks. Let's all completely ignore the upside-down population (baby boomers and older). So smart.
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