March 30th, 2009
09:40 AM ET
5 years ago

Polls: Americans don't like auto bailouts

 Do Americans support more taxpayer money for the ailing U.S auto makers?
Do Americans support more taxpayer money for the ailing U.S auto makers?

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Do Americans support more taxpayer money for the ailing U.S auto makers?

The answer appears to be no. Sixty-one percent of Americans questioned in CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll conducted last month say they're opposed to more government assistance for the big Detroit auto companies, with 37 percent in favor of taxpayer help. And only one in four were confident that auto executives would make the right economic decisions to help the country escape from the recession. In a Gallup poll conducted around the same time, seven in ten people opposed an auto bailout.

"Americans tend to favor government assistance to individuals, such as homeowners in danger of foreclosure," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "But they don't like the idea of federal money going to big institutions, like automakers or banks."

General Motors has already received more than $13 billion in federal assistance and Chrysler $4 billion. Last month GM asked for $16 billion more in taxpayer assistance and Chrysler requested $5 billion.

A CNN/ORC national poll conducted earlier this month suggests that Americans are split on how President Obama's addressing the crisis in the nation's auto industry. While the President's overall approval rating stood at 64 percent in the survey, only 46 percent favored Obama's handling of the problems facing the auto companies. Forty-nine percent disapproved of how the President is dealing with the Detroit auto makers.

"Obama's policies toward banks and auto companies are the only areas on which he does not get majority approval," Holland notes. "On the other hand, the public has much more confidence that the Obama administration than in auto executives when it comes to making the right economic decisions."

The most recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation polls were conducted February 18-19 and March 12-15.


Filed under: Polls
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. jack

    yayayayaya, republicans drive home points. Please quit!

    March 30, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  2. Mississippi Mike

    Here's the logic regarding why Americans don't like auto bailouts: Americans don't buy American cars because we don't want them. The government realizes that we won't buy American cars so it taxes us and gives our money to the American car makers anyway. American car makers take our money, continue to make cars that no one wants at a price that is too high and then demand more money from the government. Is it so hard to understand why we don't like bailing out auto makers? Its a never-ending cycle that costs more and more each time.

    March 30, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  3. Harry

    I listened the news this morning on CNN with Heidi collins, I can not imagine how they are spinning the news just to blame the administration.
    Here is the spin spin spin....

    1. American people don't like the bailout-so they are mad at Obama

    2. The firing of the GM CEO has shocked some employees and they blame Pre. Obama of that

    3.If the CEO went out with a golden parachute, then Pres. Obama is in trouble of public outrage.

    Ok. I get it CNN.....

    March 30, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  4. Typical White Person

    Duh! The polls said the same thing when this bad idea was first floated...

    March 30, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  5. Franky

    I'd never hated the auto industry, heck, never really had a problem with it. But is the same trend over and over again, is all about money and who's not getting ticked off and what not. As far as I was concerned, the auto industry has been dead for quite an awful long time, we are a bit lucky they are still popular back in the streets...I mean, other countries, other countries, LOL!!

    I say let em reach the lower level, heck, they've been in hell literally...

    March 30, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  6. joe b

    American car companies are destined to fail because the weight of their retirement plans will force them too. Nice job UAW! Biting off your nose to spite your face....

    March 30, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  7. cheryl

    To busy building factories in every other country to save a buck and short change the American worker. There is no reason for the U. S. auto industry to be in this mess. Back in the 80's cars were being developed to get at least 25 to thirty miles to the gallon. By the 90's the gas mileage was going down while the vehiclals were getting bigger. I have told my daughters this; and the fact that the American corperations count on us Americans to have short memories. Any body remember the Oldsmobile Cutless Surpreme diesial? You could drive from Huston Tx to Mo on one tank of gas. I know this for a fact becase a friend of mine had one. Sure back in the day the fuel stunk a bit, but with today's technolgy, their is now reason for this country not to have cars getting 65 miles to the gallon.

    March 30, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  8. Milan Keliar, Ontario

    Dear Sirs:
    New President needs helpfrom allof us! Please, make sure that he
    wan't be forced to bailout 3 Automakers. This country/citizens, must
    face the reality. there is no market for so many manufactures and
    the US made cars cannot compete with others-beause of high labor
    cost. NO MONEY TO GM< CHRYSLER OR FORD! USA needs money for more important/vital thing, i.e. new energy, environment. If the
    autoindustry will get money now, they will be back nefore the end of first turn of Mr. Obama. Face the reality, do not expect"life as usual"
    the past is gone!

    March 30, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  9. Scott

    The UAW is bankrupting the auto manufacturers. Auto manufacturers need to file bankruptcy and get rid of the union. Everyone wants a good job with benefits, but the bottom line is the rest of us pay for it if we purchase an American car.........that would be why more people would purchase a Toyota. I would prefer to support American and buy American but bottom line is it is becoming too expensive.

    March 30, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  10. DrFrann in Los Angeles

    Bring back manufacturing on many more fronts. So many things I see have made in "xxx" but the "In the USA" doesn't show up much.

    Retool some of the aerospace facilities and car facilities for building the green/energy equipment. Let's bring jobs home.

    March 30, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  11. Larry

    Many Americans don't like the retirement packages because they are so jealous of the automakers. Remember this...not one automaker made any decisions on running the auto companies.

    March 30, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  12. J in NJ

    I will never buy a Ford, GM or Chrysler vehicle ever. I love my VW and will never dirve anything else. 115,000 miles and running like a champ. My Ford and Chevy never got more than 85,000 before they died.

    Bye-Bye GM, take the UAW with you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 30, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  13. ellie j

    this has been my complaint for years about unions. the time of the molly mcquires has been long gone, but the actions of unions still carry on the legacy of intimidation and violence. the union bosses and the payoffs to the upper management is prolific. bethlehem steel, mack trucks sarco(all in the lehigh valley) prove this point. factories move down south to avoid unions. we live in the mid-west and not too long ago a toyota plant was being built here in indiana. old union people were up in arms. however, if it weren't for that plant, at least 1,000 people wouldn't have jobs. what bothers me is that the japanese auto makers pay their workers a fair wage, but because of our unions and their greed(union bosses)does the name jimmy hoffa ring a bell? and , again i'll say the ceos being in bed with unions bosses. does it mean the end of the world if we stop making american cars. no. honda, toyota, subaru are still making cars here. does anyone remember desoto?what about oldsmobile?the gremlin? come on times change, but what kills countries is greed,violence and man's inumanity to man.

    March 30, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  14. Obama Victim

    never vote democrap.....never buy a car made by the UAW

    March 30, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  15. HSNP

    The second worst car I ever had was a Honda Accord. The absolute worst was a Chrysler LHS. I'm sticking with my FORDS. They have asked for no money from the Feds.

    No car company has ever emerged from bankruptcy in this country.

    March 30, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  16. barking dog from Delaware

    I will never buy a scab made car from a southern State,I will buy chinese first.

    March 30, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  17. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    Americans sure do not want bailouts for the auto companies, but you know what we do not want bailouts for AIG, bank of America and Wall Street either.
    We have been saying NO BAILOUTS NO WAY but the Government did so anyways, we were told this would save ours jobs, but we lost our jobs anyways, we were told this would save our homes, but we lost our homes too.
    We were told that this would save Main Street but we are loosing that too?
    12.4 Trillion spent on bailouts so the rich can get richer and the American worker gets the blame?

    March 30, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  18. Mark

    Americans don't like auto bailouts, heck I don't think any company should be bailed out that our not performing. It would make too much sense to strengthen those companies that are not having financial difficulties than trying to float a sinking ship.

    I'd place my investment money in Ford, since they are the only one not asking for money.

    March 30, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  19. Fair is Fair

    "Polls: Americans don't like auto bailouts"

    Gee... thanks, Captain Obvious.

    What's next? A headline that states "Poll shows most drowning victims cannot swim"?

    March 30, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  20. katiec

    I most certainly do not want the auto industry to fail. They are one of the last major manufacturers we have and our country needs them.
    They have made bad decisions, mistakes but they are manufacturing product.
    Perhaps benefits, bonuses have gotten out of control but to those of you running down the unions, do you want the caliber of people we have seen as CEO's holding the decisions of what is or is not good for the middle class worker?
    The unions are the only ones representing us and have accomplished alot for the working man and woman. You younger ones need to read up on what they have done for us and our country,

    March 30, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  21. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    The administration plan described today just show how it is time to adapt to new changes and new realities.

    March 30, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  22. Jon in CA

    Lonely in Liverpool is spot on!

    NONE of the billion-dollar bailouts have polled with overwhelming support. Day after day we see Obama-pologists justifying Obama's decisions. Even now – the democrats are pushing a budget designed to balloon the deficit to $10 T-R-I-L-L-I-O-N.

    Enough is enough! America has become a welfare nation being lead by bleeding-heart spendthrifts.

    We don't have the money for Palestine.

    We don't have the money for Pakistan.

    We don't have the money to bail-out mismanaged banks.

    We don't have the money for crap-car companies and the mobbed-up unions.

    We don't have money for irresponsible homeowners.

    Time to deal out tough-love.

    March 30, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  23. Jon in CA

    PS – I'm the original owner of a 2001 Toyota Tundra 4×4 with over 154,000 miles. It's been paid off for years and never had ONE mechanical problem.... and I'll be driving it until the wheels literally fall-off.

    March 30, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  24. Marilyn

    GM should have been forced into Chapter 11 bankruptcy back in December. They have clueless management and make lousy vehicles that Americans don't want to buy. Any other business that did this would have failed years ago.

    March 30, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |