Bailout Watch 302: 70% of Americans Oppose More Bailout Bucks

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
bailout watch 302 70 of americans oppose more bailout bucks

A new CNN/Opinion Research poll brings Detroit one of those good news/bad news deals. The survey of 1000 voters reveals that “63% of Americans said they supported the government’s automaker bailout unveiled Friday. But if the companies ask the government for any more money, 70% said Washington should let the companies enter bankruptcy rather than give them any additional assistance.” To paraphrase the Temptations, get ready, ’cause here it comes! Uncle Sugar is set to dole out an additional $4b, already promised under the terms of the deal. Not to mention the $25b retooling loans– which seem to have disappeared off the outrage radar. And when the final final reckoning arrives in March… “With the current credit situation, it has been very hard getting debtor protection financing, so any automaker bankruptcy would have to be assisted by the government,” said David Weiss, chief economist at Standard and Poor’s. “If one of them enters Chapter 11, they would still need government funding to avoid failing.” CNN dutifully reports that “Some analysts estimate that the cost of an auto bailout will eventually run as high as $125 billion.” MORE? You want MORE? And there’s a twist to this tale…

“94% [of respondents] think a bankruptcy of one or more of the U.S. automakers would cause problems for the economy. Fifty-one percent think those problems would be major, and 15% said it would cause an economic crisis.”

In other words, the average voter knows a Motown C11 would suck, but want The Big 2.8 to face the music anyway. Insensitivity and ignorant bias or, God forbid, common sense and principle? Hey! Guess where The Detroit News’ Daniel Howes stands on that one?

Danny cites a single email as proof that the crux of the matter is, was and will be pig-headed left coast elitists (and their ilk) who unfairly hold Detroit’s prior automotive sins against it. Howes sugar coats it, and exhorts the ailing American automakers to confront the magnitude of the problem, but the bottom line is between the lines: buyers outside fortress Detroit lacks understanding and compassion. Detroit as victim.

“A more contemporary understanding of Detroit’s new metal also would help, but that’s probably too much to expect when generalizations rooted in personal experience can suffice — and show Detroit, yet again, just how problematic its revival truly will be among fellow Americans.”

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  • Porschespeed Porschespeed on Dec 23, 2008

    @yankinwaoz, You know as well as I do what would happen. But I guess I wasn't clear enough on the bigger picture... One way or another, it's gonna cost at least 100B to unwind GM and Chrysler. (If Ford does a LOT more right, they might have a chance, but let's leave them out for a moment.) If we keep paying them month to month, no chance anything will change in the big picture. None. If we simply pony that up in one grand Peter Northian money shot (forgive me, I take the jokes when they... oh, nevermind) then CUT THEM OFF, we are not spending anymore money. But the bills would be paid. The suppliers would be whole. That would give everybody a chance to really hit the reset button. I know GM and Chrysler would still fail in the end. But it might , just might, leave the supplier chain sort of intact. Moreover, it eliminates all the excuses.

  • Nonce Nonce on Dec 23, 2008
    Moreover, it eliminates all the excuses. No it won't. I mean, we all know it eliminates the excuses. But there would still be The Man, or the banks, or globalization, or the wetbacks, or the crypto-corporate complex. The list of excuses for their failure is limitless.

  • FreedMike I don't know why this dash shocks anyone - the whole "touchscreen uber alles" thing is pure Tesla.
  • ToolGuy CXXVIII comments?!?
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.