Should Detroit, or any of the new, small "alternative" car makers get ANY congressional handout from the tax payer?
A billion here, a billion there... all the sudden, we're talking real money! "Getting" some of the money isn't necessarily what is needed by either Detroit or the small start-up car companies. What's needed is a restructuring of our ability to use the economic resources we already have (specifically tax law!) and allowing free-markets to operate. Of course, we've learned that "free-markets" still tend to need some kind of oversight and regulation (worker and environmental safety, etc.), to help keep the rampant, self-serving nature of human greed in check).
In reality, the "money' would be better directed if it were allocated for things like:
(1) Clean energy transportation and renewable energy infrastructure redesign/rebuild- remember, if the original power grid and road/highway system was never built to begin with (which put A LOT of people to work!), there wouldn't have been such a need/desire/demand for automobiles OR the overall growth/increase in standard of living we've experienced in the first place.
(2) Human capital- affordable education with REAL standards, greentech job training programs, etc.
(3) RAISE FUEL/CARBON TAXES!- no one likes higher taxes, but face it, higher cigarette taxes have helped more and more people see that the adverse financial effects of smoking are as hard to swallow as the adverse health effects. The general public needs to be shown that the adverse financial effects of driving petrol vehicles will be as painful as the adverse environmental effects of burning the fuel. This will eventually lead to a decrease in fuel usage, thus a decrease in fuel tax revenues, and the need to replace the funds some other way... like...
(4) Implement a national ROAD USE or TOLL system- Fuel taxes are a type of use tax, because you only pay them as you buy/consume more fuel. The problem with this is that tax revenues are directly dependent on the use of carbon emission spewing vehicles. The more we wreck the environment, the more money there is to better the road systems so we can continue to wreck the environment! VERY BAD IDEA!
But again, as people consume less fuel, even if the tax rate is higher, tax revenues (money used to pay for roads, etc.) will eventually fall. Thus, people that USE the ROADS need to pay for them, regardless of fuel usage. Just like betterplace wants us to adopt a subscription based driving experience, those who drive could subscribe to local, regional or national Road Use Program- paying only for what we use, when we use it.
(5) Consumer incentives- Remember when the government "created" demand for the biggest, heaviest, least fuel efficient, yet most profitable SUVs by allowing up to $100K tax incentives for buyers! Funny how the proposed incentive for the lowly EV is a mere $7500. I PROMISE YOU THIS, IF THE GOVERNMENT WOULD ALLOW UP TO $100K TAX INCENTIVE FOR EV'S (NEW OR USED!):
(A) PEOPLE WILL DEMAND CHARGING STATIONS (BUSINESS/JOB OPPORTUNITIES!)
(B) MORE FLEETS WOULD GO ELECTRIC (LESS CARBON EMISSIONS)
(C) MORE TESLA'S (AND OTHER EV'S) WOULD BE BUILT EVENTUALLY DRIVING DOWN THE COST, AND ALLOWING COMPANIES TO SPEND ON R&D, BRING BETTER AND BETTER PRODUCTS TO MARKET
(D) EVENTUALLY THE "PRE-OWNED" EV MARKETPLACE WILL BE CREATED, BRINGING DOWN THE INITIAL PURCHASE PRICE FOR MANY PEOPLE AND NECESSITATING MORE SPECIALIZED, HIGH-TECH/GREEN COLLAR JOBS TO SUPPORT THE PARTS, SALES AND SERVICE NEEDS OF THE EV SECTOR.
(E) DID I MENTION THE ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS OF LOWER EMISSIONS?
YADA, YADA, YADA.
Further, given that the US lost 533K jobs LAST MONTH ALONE, and part of GM's "grand plan" is to eliminate up to 30K more jobs, I don't see that the bankruptcy or reorganization of ANY of the big three would be any more degrading/destructive to society than throwing away billions on an attempted bailout- which many believe isn't even nearly enough money to make any real difference anyway!
So, who gets what? In the end, I'm afraid it's really up to YOU AND ME, AS A GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE AND FOR THE PEOPLE, to break away from our blinders-on, apathetic, non-in-my-backyard, Joe Six-Pack, Joe-Plumber CRAP, and demand accountability from business leaders, elected officials and each other.