Poll: American Public Opposes Auto Bailout by Wide Margin

They seem to have this thing against the taxpayer, already struggling to pay his own bills, having to bail out failed auto companies that are largely responsible for their own problems. Strange that.

Overall, 55 percent of those polled oppose the latest plan that Chrysler, Ford and General Motors executives pitched to Congress last week, on par with public opposition to earlier, pricier efforts. But with 42 percent support, the new request for up to $14 billion in emergency loans has more backers than previous proposals to secure up to $34 billion in loan guarantees. But as with the earlier bids, those who strongly oppose the measure greatly outnumber those who are strongly supportive.

Opposition to the automaker bailout is fueled by the widespread perception that the companies themselves are responsible for their predicament, not the faltering economy. In the new poll, three-quarters of Americans said Detroit’s woes are mainly the fault of its own management decisions, and a sizable majority of those who blame the front office object to government help.

Nor have Detroit’s Big Three made significant progress persuading the public that bankruptcy proceedings would deepen the broader economic slowdown. Sixty percent said it would make no difference or would be good for the economy if one or more of the companies were forced to restructure under the protection of bankruptcy laws.

Incidentally, where does the Washington Post print these results? On Page…wait for it…D8. Why? Maybe it has something to do with WaPo’s assistant managing editor Eugene Robinson calling opponents of the bailout “lunatic(s)”. We can take it that if the results were a bit different, they’d have a bit more prominence in the Post.

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