Given the economic situation in the United States right now I don’t see that there was much choice. A collapse of the auto industry at this point could have dealt our economy a blow that would take years to recover from.
By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN and DAVID E. SANGER
Published: December 19, 2008
WASHINGTON — President Bush on Friday announced $13.4 billion in emergency loans to prevent the collapse of General Motors and Chrysler, and another $4 billion available for the hobbled automakers in February with the entire bailout conditioned on the companies undertaking sweeping reorganization plans to show that they can return to profitability.
Mr. Bush made his announcement a week after Senate Republicans blocked legislation to aid the automakers that had been negotiated by the White House and Congressional Democrats, and the loan package announced by the president includes roughly the identical requirements in that bill, which had been approved by the House.
Mr. Bush, in a televised speech before the opening of the markets, said that under other circumstances he would have let the companies fail, as punishment for their own bad business decisions. But given the economic downturn, he said the government had no choice but to step in. REST OF ARTICLE