Will General Motors go the way of Philco and Studebaker?

The battle in Washington is on: what, if anything, to do for, or with, the big American auto makers. That's "big" as in "big trouble.
Written by Harry Fuller, Contributor

The battle in Washington is on: what, if anything, to do for, or with, the big American auto makers. That's "big" as in "big trouble." And the battle's outcome may have a huge effect on what the fleet of American-driven cars looks like in three to five years. The majority Democrats in Congress say they're drafting a bill that would provide $25-billion in loans to auto companies based in Detroit. They further say they'll require compensation controls on execs and a move toward fuel-efficient cars. Just today the top House Republican said he is opposed to the loans. Now the guy is from Ohio which is next to Michigan which contains Detroit. Further there are many auto-related industries in his own state. Is this a negotiating ploy? Will Repblicans stymie any bills in this lame duck session?

[poll id=36]

The chattering classes are chattering about this one. Cars and money are very close to the heart of nearly every American, and this saga includes millions of cars and billions of dollars. If you throw in, or throw out, hundreds of thousands of jobs, you got yourself a chattering convergence. Here's one sage who says, "Clean house in Detroit." And that would include all the enabling Congresspeople from the stateof Michigan that holds America's most decrepit industry. Here's another sage who says, "Let 'em sink."

For the next two months, until the next president, that seems to be what will happen. A leading Democrat in the Senate says there aren't enough votes to pass anything to try to salvage the Detroiters. One more thing on hold, or hung up, until January 21st.

Perhaps it's immaterial, lots of "analysts" apparently think those Detroit autosuars are doomed to extinction, with or without government loans. Could they learn to make efficient bicycles? Golf carts?


Meanwhile the electric car people at Tesla are on their fourth CEO. And gobbling gthrough their latest $40 million injection. The newest CEO says Tesla will survive and could get a low-interest loan from the federal government, much smaller than what's being begged for in Detroit. Of course, you and I cannot afford a Tesla anyway, so...

Editorial standards