I simply do not understand. Congress had no problem handing Wall Street $700 BILLION with no questions asked just 2 months ago. They didn't make Wall Street CEOs work for $1.00. They didn't make Wall Street employees forgo bonuses or benefits or take cuts in salary. They let AIG have their spa weekends on my dime (hey Uncle Sam, I'd like a massage too!).
Yet the Big 3, which employs hundreds of thousands Americans directly and probably a couple million Americans in ancillary industries, can't get a measly $34 billion LOAN? The Big 3 asked for less than 5% of what Wall Street got handed to them on a silver platter and Congress refuses to give it to them.
Until a few minutes ago, Congress seemed to be willing to give them about $15 billion (less than 1/2 of what they asked for), but that seems to have just fallen apart thanks to some asshole GOPers. If they'd been able to reach an agreement to give the American automobile industry a loan, there were going to be all kinds of stipulations - CEOs working for $1, employees receive huge salary and benefits cuts, and more.
Call me crazy, but this feels very classist to me. Wall Street is white collar while the Big 3 is blue collar. Just one more example of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer under George W. Bush. Why are we so willing to save Wall Street, but not Main Street?
Update 10:47pm: I'm watching CNN and they're reporting about how AIG is giving "retention payments" to employees earning between $160,000 - $3 million and the payments are up to $1 million! Now you may be wondering what these "retention payments" are. Well, they're BONUSES. And yet Congress is letting the Big 3 die. Nice. I don't think I've ever been so ashamed of my government and I've got a lot to be embarrassed by given that I live in Illinois.