If you believe that manufacturing, especially auto manufacturing, is a critical part of the economy and thousands of other jobs would have been lost at suppliers and related industries, then maybe it was not such a bad deal for the US.
I personally have mixed feelings about all of the bailouts...In principle I am opposed to them, but they seem to have served their purpose, especially with the banks.
I'm thinking fuel costs are driving customers to purchase more efficient cars and auto finance companies have softened their credit requirements to allow more qualified applicants contribute to it.
I personally am driving my first (and last) GM car, I'm going back to BMW within the next few months. I used to hate my wife's Lexus but now I'm in love with it after driving a Tahoe for a few years. The only time I enjoy that vehicle is when I have to lug a bunch of ridiculously large kid-crap around, every other time I sit in the driver's seat wistfully remembering the good old days with my 740. I'm tearing up right now just thinking about it.
Don't get me wrong. I believe PRIVATE individuals can do whatever they want with their money. It's financial institutions betting on companies to fail, and using other people's money to do so, that raises a huge moral question for me. It should be illegal.
If car sales are indeed up, which they are Auto Sales - Markets Data Center - WSJ.com, it appears to me that there's a bit more to their balance sheets than just government money, right? It looks to me that the car companies are not failing, but, rather, selling more cars, which is a sign of an improving industry, right?
Maybe there wasn't too much more to the headline that I posted?