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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 24, 2008 at 4:52 PM

Auto-industry bailout

Buy ’em up

Rather than just throwing good money after bad in an auto-industry bailout, how about creating a guaranteed market for high-tech, environmentally appropriate cars, like 50+ mpg diesels and biofueled, plug-in hybrids?

With a government guarantee, the auto manufacturers and their suppliers and creditors would have certainty that they will realize a return for building 21st-century designs.

The proposed $25 billion could pay for or finance the purchase of 2 million $25,000 cars. (Requiring open-market sales ensures that the product meets the market test.) Two million cars is not insignificant; annual U.S. auto sales have been around 16 million per year, but are dropping fast. The proceeds from sales or financing could be recycled to provide multiyear support.

— Robert Redmayne, Seattle

Let’s weigh our priorities

Every 10 weeks another $25 billion goes down the drain in Iraq. And people want to complain about wasting that same amount bailing out the automakers? At least we have a chance to recoup that investment.

Shoring up an industry that 2 million American jobs rely on is a risk we can afford; flushing $25 billion every 10 weeks is not.

If the carmakers have trouble paying us back, why not just leave Iraq 10 weeks earlier than whatever future a deadline calls for and be happy?

— Thad McManus, Hansville

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