Friday, December 19, 2008


This morning, President George W. Bush says he's offering $17.4 billion in loans to the auto industry because letting them collapse is ``not a responsible course of action.''

He says the rescue plan will require ``meaningful concessions'' from the auto companies and others, including labor unions and suppliers. The companies, he says, ``must understand what is at stake, and make the hard decisions necessary to reform.''

Bush said Friday he ordinarily would let the companies go bankrupt, concluding it's the ``price that failed companies must pay.'' But, he says, ``These are not ordinary circumstances.'' He says letting the industry collapse, amid a financial crisis and a recession, would be irresponsible.

He says there's ``too great a risk'' that a bankruptcy filing would lead to a ``disorderly liquidation of American auto companies'' and send the economy into a ``deeper and longer recession.''