Auto Industry Bailout
A Ford plug-in hybrid Edge cruises on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 17, 2007.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

A Ford plug-in hybrid Edge cruises on Capitol Hill, Jan. 17, 2007. (AP)

The American auto industry is on its knees, with its hand out.

GM, Ford, and Chrysler want a bailout now, and they want it fast. They’re hemorrhaging cash. GM says it will be unable to pay its bills by the end of the year. That’s six weeks from now.

The flailing Big Three have asked for many billions from the federal government. Congress appears sympathetic. But should Detroit be bailed out? Or allowed to go bust, and rebuild on new terms?

How much of the U.S. economy can or should the U.S. government float?

This hour, On Point: Dire straits. Should Washington bail out Detroit?

You can join the conversation. What do you say? Yea or nay? And why? Can we afford to bail out Detroit? Can we afford not to? Does it make sense?


Micheline Maynard, business reporter for The New York Times. Her article on the front page of this morning’s Times is “G.M.’s Troubles Stir Question of Bankruptcy vs. a Bailout.” She’s been blogging about her personal switch to a new hybrid car at’s “Green Inc.”

Matthew Slaughter, associate dean and professor of international economics at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business.

Susan Helper, professor of economics at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University and research affiliate for the International Motor Vehicle Program at MIT.

More Links:

The Wall Street Journal examines the politics of the bailout debate. For a scathing indictment of Detroit’s way of doing business, see Thomas Friedman’s column in yesterday’s New York Times. Meanwhile, David Greising at The Chicago Tribune opines that Detroit deserves a piece of the bailout action.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Dec 2, 2015
Tents are erected outside of Princeton University's Nassau Hall, where students are staging a sit-in, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015, in Princeton, N.J. The protesters from a group called the Black Justice League, who staged a sit-in inside university President Christopher Eisgruber's office on Tuesday, demand the school remove the name of former school president and U.S. President Woodrow Wilson from programs and buildings over what they said was his racist legacy. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

The hot debate over Woodrow Wilson’s legacy and whether his name should be removed from the Princeton campus for his racist views. It’s now a national debate. Plus, protests drive Chicago’s police chief to resign.

Dec 2, 2015
This Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013 file photo shows Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel in Los Angeles. The social media company is one of many so-called "unicorn" startups valued at more than $1 billion in what some see as an over-heated tech market. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

The herd of tech startups valued at more than a billion dollars – so-called “unicorns,” Airbnb, Uber – and whether their bubble is about to burst.

Dec 1, 2015
In this 2010 file photo, Dr. Tom and Ann Earley work a Salvation Army kettle with their dog, Bocce, in an Atlanta, GA-area shopping center. (Flickr / Vicki DeLoach)

On #GivingTuesday, we’ll explore the trends in giving now from crowd sourcing to big charities and beyond.

Dec 1, 2015
Bethany Winder, a nurse who lives in Colorado Springs, Colo., plants a sign in support of Planned Parenthood just south of its clinic as police investigators gather evidence near the scene of Friday's shooting at the clinic Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015, in northwest Colorado Springs. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Women’s health, American politics and gun violence after the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shooting.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Where Did #GivingTuesday Come From, Anyway?
Tuesday, Dec 1, 2015

Today’s #GivingTuesday. But how — and where — did it start?

More »
Fresh Ideas For Your Thanksgiving: Recipes
Wednesday, Nov 25, 2015

Did our Thanksgiving 2016 episode make you hungry? Good news — we’ve got recipes right here.

More »
Karl Rove Still Won’t Get Involved In The 2016 G.O.P. Primary
Tuesday, Nov 24, 2015

Karl Rove may say he’s not endorsing or getting involved in the 2016 G.O.P. presidential primary, but that won’t stop from offering advice on how to beat Republican front runner Donald Trump.

More »