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LETTERS : AUTOS

Wait for relief will end Jan. 20

November 23, 2008

Regarding "What aided Obama now can hurt him," Nov. 17:

President-elect Barack Obama has spoken. In my words, not his, if we're giving $700 billion to Wall Street traders, it's a no-brainer that $25 billion to save the auto industry is a good investment.

The auto industry is the core of the U.S.' industrial system. Whether the banks like it or not, until Jan. 20, Obama can only offer advice. Even if President Bush would like to hand it off now, he can't.

It's not a bad thing to let the markets reach their natural bottom. It's the business cycle.

John Owen

Los Angeles

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Let oil companies bail out the automakers ("Bumpy road for Detroit aid plan," Nov. 18).

Although the current credit crisis has left the U.S. automakers on the verge of bankruptcy, the seeds of their demise were sown over the last two decades.

Aligned with the oil companies, they have spent billions to circumvent regulation, manipulate consumers, destroy California's zero-emission mandate and hamstring the federal government to prolong a profitable but unsustainable business model.

If we must use taxpayer money to bail out the industry, please insist on stipulations for electric car development, far higher fleet miles-per-gallon averages without flex-fuel backdoors, a freeze on executive bonuses, executive pay cuts and a way to invest our money so we have a fighting chance to get it back.

Noah Stone

Los Angeles

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Regarding David Lazarus' column "Bail out Big Three? Sure, with conditions," Nov. 16:

I don't agree that the taxpayer should bail out Detroit. However, if a bailout comes to pass, it must include conditions such as mandating a drastic cutback on model and nameplate proliferation as well as executive compensation.

Additionally, United Auto Workers wage and benefit concessions have to be part of the package. The settlement between the UAW and American Axle & Manufacturing is a good model.

Any bailout that perpetuates the status quo will ensure that the automakers are back again and again seeking billions more because they aren't competitive in the small-car marketplace of the future.

Jack Bailey

Studio City

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