"President Obama today announced that struggling automotive giants General Motors and Chrysler will be given a limited period of time to 'restructure in a way that would justify an investment of additional taxpayer dollars." Obama said that both automakers may need to file for bankruptcy "to help them restructure quickly and emerge stronger.' " (CNN.com lede)
Okay, then: why weren't they forced to restructure the first time around?!? Did Rich Wagoner do something so heinous that only now he be "requested" to step down as head of GM? [UPDATE: Oh...] Was there any real point in giving them cash, given that they had no real mechanism in place to make those changes (which were never well-specified)? And --let me get this straight-- it was argued that "GM and Chrysler are too big to fail" and too many jobs were at risk, but today it is being said explicitly that there will be job cuts? Wouldn't the outcome have been the same without the bailout money?
Or was this an excuse to guarantee financial and moral suasion to take over these industries and channel money to cronies?