As an opponent of the bailouts, I'm thrilled to see that President Bush has unilaterally extended $17 billion to the auto companies, conditional on their being financially viable by March. No really, I'm actually happy about this, at least given the little we now know.
Why? Because the money came out of the already-allocated $700,000,000,000. Rather than waiting for the next Congress to throw good money after bad in January, Bush (probably without meaning to) diminished the amount that my generation of taxpayers is likely to be on the hook for.
Given that the government stole $700,000,000,000 from me and my friends, I'd rather see that go to moderately wealthy autoworkers than to obscenely wealthy investment bankers.
It will be up to the Obama administration to make the rest of the hard decisions on this case. Hopefully, he'll show them tough love, call the loans if the automakers (especially Chrysler) don't become viable, and avoid spending even more money taxpayer money propping up the affluent.