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Obama in Quotes: The Auto Industry Bailout
President-elect Barack Obama introduces his economic team during a news conference. From left are, Treasury Secretary-designate Timothy Geithner, Council of Economic Advisers Chair-designate Christina Romer, and National Economic Council Director-designate Lawrence Summers. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
President-Elect Barack Obama announced his basic financial team today. During Q & A with reporters, one asked about his opinion on the request for money from the auto industry's "big three." Obama wants to see the auto industry ready to enter the new energy economy and to compete globally:
The auto industry historically has been the backbone of America's manufacturing base and it's not just the auto industry--it's not just the big three. It's also all the suppliers, all the business that one way or another are part of our auto industry that are at stake here. I've said before and I will repeat. We can't allow the auto industries to simply vanish. We've got to make sure that it is there and that the workers and suppliers and the businesses that rely on the auto industry stay in business.
What I've also have said is that we can't just write a blank check to the auto industry. Taxpayers can't be expected to pony up more money for an auto industry that has been resistant to change. And I was surprised that they did not have a better thought out proposal when they arrived in Congress. I think Congress did the right thing which is to say you guys need to come up with a plan and come back before you get any taxpayer money.
My attitude is that we should help the auto industry but what we should expect is that any additional money that we put into the auto industry, any help we provide, is designed to ensure a long term sustainable industry and not just kicking the can down the road.