61% object to new Chrysler, GM aid
BY GREG GARDNER
FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER
More than three in five Americans -- 61% -- oppose more government loans
to General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC, according to a R.L. Polk
survey released Monday that is consistent with other recent opinion
The Polk results came one day after President Barack Obama told CBS "60
Minutes" interviewer Steve Kroft that "the only thing less popular than
putting money into banks is putting money into the auto industry."
In the Great Lakes region, where auto manufacturing is more prevalent,
16% "strongly agreed" when asked by Polk if they supported loans for GM
and Chrysler. That compares with only 4% in the New England region.
Lonnie Miller, a Polk analyst, declined to share the level of opposition
from other regions because the number of respondents was not large
enough to be statistically significant.
In the Polk survey, about the same percentage of people who opposed more
loans also recognized that denying them would have dire economic
Miller said the data reveal an attitude of "it's a problem, but it's not
a problem for taxpayers."
GM and Chrysler expect a March 31 decision by the president's auto task
force on their latest loan requests.
While GM did not respond to the survey results, Chrysler said it expects
"We are completely focused on working with the automotive task force to
ensure the viability of an industry and a company that provides economic
benefits to communities across the country," Chrysler said.