Conservatives Backing Bankruptcy Instead of Bailout

The Big Three automakers are preparing to make their final pleas for billions in government assistance this week, suggesting a dire future if nothing is done, but some conservatives argue that bankruptcy might be the best option for the companies and the country.

The automakers sent representatives to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to grease the wheels ahead of a two-day beg-a-thon in which the companies will ask lawmakers for up to $34 billion in emergency aid. The heads of Chrysler, General Motors and Ford are also offering a litany of concessions to make their proposals more attractive.

But so far receptive Democratic leaders have made no commitments and reluctant Republicans are voicing opposition to a bailout.

"I don't see the upside to the obligating of more taxpayer money for a private industry," Georgia Rep. Tom Price, incoming chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, told

Price said Chapter 11 bankruptcy would allow the companies to reorganize, eliminate some of their debt and become more competitive, and "the longer they delay in moving in that direction, the more pain will be seen by the employees as well as the market."

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