The auto bailout should come with strings attached

agendabailoutLook at these numbers:

– A $700 billion Wall Street bailout

– A potential $25 billion auto industry bailout

– A $20 billion Citigroup bailout

But what about taxpayers and homeowners?

Last week we introduced our Citizens’ Agenda for the next administration. Putting homeowners and taxpayers ahead of CEOs in the massive Wall Street and auto industry bailout is at the top of this agenda. You can help.

This fall, we fought relentlessly to get taxpayer protections into the Wall Street bailout package. We made headway but we still have a lot of work to do.

As I am writing you, the Big Three auto industry CEOs have descended upon Washington, D.C., (using their private corporate jets) to ask the federal government for an additional $25 billion in direct loans. This has outraged taxpayers throughout the country.

Maureen, you can be sure that Public Citizen is going to fight relentlessly to make sure that YOUR voice is heard.

Recently, we sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid calling for any auto industry bailout to come with some major strings attached. For starters, companies receiving additional loans should pledge that their fleets will achieve a fuel economy 40 miles per gallon by 2020. Plus, automakers also shouldn’t use their financial situation as an excuse to undercut crash safety technologies, such as side air bags and electronic stabilization.

Requirements like these would help to transform a blank check bailout into a sensible investment in the future of our country’s transportation.

But we need your help! The auto industry has powerful lobbyists. It’s not easy to represent Main Street in the halls of power. Please, donate now to support our work on your behalf.

Have an opinion on the auto industry bailout? Write us at feedback@citizen.org!