Congratulations, taxpayers, said the Los Angeles Times in an editorial. It looks like General Motors will be declaring bankruptcy, maybe Monday, and "you're poised to acquire more than half of what used to be the world's most popular automaker." Now that GM is being added to taxpayers' portfolio of troubled companies, the best thing the government can do is sell it as soon as GM gets restructured and back on its feet.
Spending some taxpayer money to keep GM afloat was probably a good idea, said Richard A. Posner in The Atlantic. But in addition to acquiring 50 percent of the company's stock, the federal government will invest $30 billion in the new automaking company—bringing the GM bailout cost to $50 billion. The danger is that—if GM's troubles continue—we'll throw good money after bad and GM will become an "economic Vietnam."
Americans are already getting a raw deal in this bailout, said Ralph Nader and Robert Weissman in The Wall Street Journal. There's too much riding on GM to leave oversight to "a small, largely unaccountable, ad hoc task force made up of a handful of Wall Street expats." Congress should take control, because there are "too many unanswered, troubling questions to proceed with a risky bankruptcy declaration."