Ever since the government passed the $700 billion bailout, everyone wants their share of the money.
The auto industry approached the government last week to see if it could get in on the aid that many banks have been receiving but instead got rejected by Congress and told try again.
The big three auto makers – Ford, General Motors and Chrysler – came to Congress asking for assistance without a plan of what they were going to do with the money. Congress gave auto makers until yesterday to come up with a clear plan. “We want them to get their act together. We want them to come up with something. We’re here to help. We’re not against the auto industry. We want to help those people keep those jobs,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told the New York Times on Nov. 20.
The government is considering giving the auto industry a $25 billion loan, whereas financial groups are not going to have to pay back the government. The government is being harsher on the auto industry, possibly because the request is coming at a bad time.
Asking for government aid right after Congress passed a $700 billion bailout plan adds too much stress to the government’s effort to get the U.S. economy back on track. Yes, the auto industry deserves help just as much as the financial industry, but the government can only hand out so much money at one time. At some point it has to draw the line. The auto industry is important to the U.S. economy, and it is scary to think of all the jobs that will be lost if the industry goes under.
Mitch Albom, wrote in a Detroit Free Press column on Nov. 23 that “America can’t be a country of lawyers and financial analysts. We have to manufacture. We need that infrastructure.”
Albom has a good point.
If the government is going to bail out only banks and companies in the financial industry, then a major part of American history and business will go under. A century-old auto industry needs help and cannot be ignored. It is just unfortunate that so many businesses in America all need help at once.
The best thing for the auto industry to do right now is come up with an outstanding plan to persuade the government to loan it the money it needs to restructure its business.
Even though auto-makers will most likely have to pay back whatever money the government gives them, it is better than letting the industry go under. The auto industry has to play the government’s game for now and keep infrastructure and manufacturing in the U.S.
Michelle Anderson is a senior broadcast journalism major from Tyler.