Automaker loans

Congressional Democrats announced their intent to give $25 billion of the approved $700 billion bailout package to the auto industry. This comes after Chrysler, Ford and General Motors announced record profit losses. Last week, for instance, General MotorsâÄôs stock went below $3 for the first time since 1946. But automakers were part in their fall and the money would be better used if officials returned it to taxpayers writing these checks. Democrats argue that the auto industry is too important to let slide. They point to GM laying off 5,600 workers in one week, Ford losing $3 billion in the third quarter , and that millions of jobs are on the line. Nevertheless, American car companies helped write their own demise. Their refusal to evolve their manufacturing line to offer cheap, fuel-efficient vehicles has hurt them as much as the credit crisis has. Furthermore, lawmakers want $25 billion on top of another loan of the same amount that Congress has already approved for them, totaling $50 billion in emergency aid. Bankruptcy does not necessary mean the demise of a company; it just means that it will be given the opportunity to restructure, a move that the auto industry desperately needs. We applaud the announcement Tuesday of the âÄúStreamlined Modification Program ,âÄù a program that takes direct aim at homeowners on the blink of foreclosure. Using resources from the $700 billion bailout on programs such as this is much more effective than keeping select companies teetering from bankruptcy. We hope that Congress keeps its focus on the credit market and troubled homeowners, because after all, the money trickles up to the companies eventually.