In the vernacular of my youth, a ballout was a vocally vociferous chastisement. I think that's what the Detroit auto industry needs. (It is a bit disengenous to think that congress has the high moral ground for performing such a ballout, however.)
My view on the auto industry (and virtually all other industry) bailouts is to be patient, don't panic, and let the markets work. Ok, I know that we haven't really had a free market since the 1930s, and since the government is mostly to blame for the housing debacle/financial market crisis, that they should do something. But the right way to think about this is to offer insurance and let the private sector sort it out.
The last thing we want as citizens is to have the federal government own industries and industry segments. STOP IT!! What are you people thinking? Insure, don't give money away that does not exist. And let the market manage and deal with it rather than create new bureaucracies that history proves don't "work".
It is not too much to ask the auto industry to adopt the asian car model of manufacturing in the U.S. That starts with a labor/compensation plan that is realistic in today's market. If that is union busting then the union deserves to be busted. If the union cared about its members it would be working with management to create a real solution instead of the sham proposal made this week.
First we need to look at the long term and make decisions based on that view instead of the quick fix solutions; like the 700 Billion Dollar "we have to appropriate this by Tuesday or the world as we know it will end" bailout plan. This may prove to be the biggest financial power grab and sham that has been perpetrated on America's citizens in modern history...
We need to contact congress and let them know that turning to socialism has never been the answer to an economic downturn. In fact, what we need now is a good dose of capitalism and preaching of the free market gospel. That starts with tax relief (I actually like the idea of the two month tax holiday... keeping our money has always been more efficient than sending it to Washington and having them "allocate" it back to us.