Do I understand the financial markets or the economy? No. But I do understand that Wall Street has been promised over $700 billion, half of which has already been handed out with no oversight and no disclosure of who is getting the cash. AIG alone has walked up to the bail-out window to the tune of $150 billion in three months.
So it seems to me giving the automakers $25 billion—less than three percent—of that same bailout money to preserve millions of real, living wage manufacturing jobs and to help prop up an industry that actually makes a product—as opposed to one that shifts hypothetical credit defaults and bad loans around—doesn't seem so outrageous to me. Add to that the fact that this loan can be conditioned on The Big Three implementing some changes that will benefit the environment as well? It looks like fucking bargain by comparison.
Will the failure to deliver this money actually result in one or more of these dinosaurs going down? I don't know. But as someone who lived the last seven years in southeastern Michigan, I can tell you with certainty and seriousness that if one of them does, it will be akin to dropping a nuclear bomb on that area—everything from mid-Ohio north will be wiped out.
(NOTE: I have links to throw in there for a lot of that stuff, but I don't have time for that shit now...I'm at work after all...)