Friday, November 14, 2008

Saving the Detroit 3

The newly empowered Democrats in the U.S. Senate will take up a bill next week to loan domestic automakers $25 billion from the massive $700 billion financial bailout. There are doubts they have the votes to pull this off now, and if they don't they will likely try it again after the new Senate majority is seated next year.

There also are doubts about whether a mere $25 billion bailout would have long-term effectiveness — mostly because a cash infusion would not solve any of the domestic automakers basic problems with health-care commitments and whether it will be enough to help the Detroit 3 rapidly change their vehicle lineups.

And there are many taxpayers who questioned the original bailout package for a variety of reasons. Capitalism vs. socialism, living within our means, taxing our children's future, etc. Adding automakers to investment bankers creates another layer of questions.

Here in SE Michigan, however, there are solid supporters in both business and politics because the industry is a fundamental part of our economic base. And whatever happens to the domestic automakers -- short-term or long -- will have a profound effect on all of us.

There is no doubt, this debate is big news.


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