The right thing to do would start with putting all the companies in bankruptcy and reorganizing them into viable going concerns. Continuing with tough love from there, solutions should include...
** Eliminate outrageous and uncompetitive Union Contracts
** Eliminate the so called “pools” of employees who are being paid to do nothing
** Eliminate present management whose only skills are lobbying Washington for the “status quo”
** Provide retraining opportunities and relocation assistance for the redundant.
Obviously, the retiree pensions will have to be turned over to the PBGC, the underfunding of which will have to be made up by the Federal Government. But better to fund just the retirees than to try to prop up the whole dysfunctional edifice of the Big Three automakers.
Surviving employees of the reorganized entity (or entities) should be shifted to portable IRA’s and 401K’s for which they themselves are responsible for funding. Defined Benefit Plans are an albatross that no one can carry, including public entities such as City Governments.
The argument in favor of the $25 billion bailout purports to be “saving jobs”. But most of the money would go to the UAW to fund retiree health care. This will do nothing to make the industry more viable or save jobs, (many of which are people in the paid-not to work “job banks” anyway).
Any taxpayer funds for the Big Three are a misallocation of scarce resources and a waste. It is time to rationalize the industry through the bankruptcy courts and get on the road to real recovery!