01/02/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

7 Worst Automaker Bailout Ideas

Commence Kabuki.

With the Detroit automakers in the late stages of supplication, a predictable ritual will now take place. The CEOs of GM, Ford, and Chrysler will do as instructed: travel like common men from Detroit to Washington and present the government with new-and-improved restructuring plans showing that this time, they really are serious about slaughtering sacred cows and right-sizing their businesses. Members of Congress will deliver a few lashings about overpaid CEOs and overentitled union workers. Then, in the end, the feds will pony up at least $25 billion--and maybe $50 billion or more, eventually--to help stave off automotive Armageddon.

There are many routes to a Detroit bailout, however, and some go straight through Follyville. Here's how the feds could mishandle the automaker rescue package:

Treat the Detroit 3 all the same.

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