The Bailout List

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I am becoming disheartened with the recent rash of bailouts coming from the United States government. Although it never seemed like a good idea, people like the secretary of the treasury convinced us that it would be the lesser of two evils. Yes, taxpaying Americans would now be forking over money to financial institutions who made bad decisions and paid executives millions in a heyday that was not too long ago. Some of these institutions were deemed too big to fail. Yet we have seen the results of what has happened when companies like Enron, WorldCom and others went bankrupt. It impacted a lot of people, some went broke, some went to jail. And America survived.

Now taxpaying Americans are being asked to fork over money to automobile corporations who made bad decisions and paid millions in executive bonuses in a heyday that was not too long ago. The United States should not be without domestic automakers. However, they must change the way he did do business and the way they handle their money. The American auto industry cannot and should not go the way of the American television industry. Names like Zenith, Curtis Mathes, and others proudly graced quality television sets over a generation ago. Now, everything is imported. Although, we have grown accustomed to this, I don't believe it would be in America's best interest to let this happen to the auto industry. I'm not really a fan of Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Hyundai, or the rest. However, there may be a day when this would be all I would have to choose from. Whether I liked it or not, I will be driving an import.

In questionable economic times, people may not feel confident and go out and buying a car with a commitment to long-term debt. We also may not feel confident buying a product that needs to be stood behind by the manufacturer when the manufacturer may be gone. I at least hope people believe this way. But then, I thought people would not get themselves into mortgages that they could not afford and knew they could not afford when signing on the bottom line.

With the amount the automakers are seeking, would it be more cost effective to just buy each household a medium priced automobile? Doing a bailout is bad enough without having to go back again and again to re-bailout the same people. First they came in private jets. Then they came in hybrids. Perhaps their next gimmick would be to drive to Washington in a used car.

With a plan like that, I can't help but thinking that the oil companies will also be looking to cash in on a bailout. After two months of gasoline that is barely above a dollar and a half a gallon, will Exxon Mobil be driving their used car to Washington saying that this cheap gas has completely eroded the obscene profits that they had enjoyed just a year or so ago? Could it happen? I don't think we envisioned the amount of bailouts that we are now expecting the government to deliver just a few short years ago.

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