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Gas prices and the debate over the auto bailout

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FLLewis / A Writer’s Groove – Burbank

Gasoline prices are looking real good these days, but consumers are too busy struggling to stay afloat in the sinking economy to enjoy the bargains at the pumps. I was out this morning and found self-serve regular at two gas stations on Glenoaks Boulevard in Burbank selling at $2.39 a gallon.

The Auto Club of Southern California website reports the average price of regular in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area today is $2.36 a gallon: it was $2.39 yesterday and $3.40 a month ago. Now, it’s not so painful gassing up my 2004 American car, a PT Cruiser, however, I would be smiling more if I got better MPG. I get somewhere in the low twenties in city driving.

I’d love it if my 4-year-old Chrysler could get 30 to 35 MPG on the streets. This demonstrates part of the problem with the three major automakers; Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors. They are behind the curve. It is no secret that many Americans buy foreign vehicles because of performance and fuel efficiency. Right now, these two factors are at the top of the wish list for most buyers! Why did it take U.S. automakers so long to figure this out? 

The CEO’s of Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors are on Capitol Hill this week pleading for a $25 billion bailout. Many lawmakers reportedly are less than enthusiastic about tossing money at companies which clearly have been mismanaged and not forward thinking. 

 Even though I own an American car, I have to side with the congressional lawmakers who believe the three big automakers need to do more for themselves before getting a handout from taxpayers.

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One Response to Gas prices and the debate over the auto bailout

  1. Jason Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 4:18 pm #

    For those GM employees concerned about their retirements don’t fret the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) protects the retirement incomes of nearly 44 million American workers including those at GM.

    The only problem is that the taxpayer is the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Keep GM and its employees working or pay for their retirements.

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