President-Elect Barack Obama and congressional Democrats are pushing hard for a bailout for U.S. automakers. Lack of support from President Bush and House Republicans will likely push back any bailout until after Obama takes office in late January, but that is not stopping the plan from moving forward.
Democrats argue that a bailout of U.S. automakers is necessary because they employ nearly three million workers. Opponents of the bailout believe that any financial support given to the big 3 will do nothing to correct their ultimately unsustainable business practices and will just open the door to future bailouts to the struggling industry. They believe the best solution for American automakers is bankruptcy, where they will be allowed to restructure their businesses.
What the Democrats won't tell you is that they are pushing for the bailout not to actually help automakers, but to prop up struggling and increasingly irrelevant unions.
The average autoworker in the big 3 makes $72 per hour including wages and benefits, or roughly $150,000 a year for each assembly line worker. Comparatively, Nissan and Toyota pay their workers in the U.S. an average of $46 per hour including wages and benefits. 
On top of that, U.S. automakers are being forced to pay more than 12,000 UAW members not to work. That's right, not to work. The agreement that is costing GM and Ford billions of dollars came in the 80's when the companies pushed hard for UAW to support efforts to increase productivity through automation.
The Democrat pushed auto bailout would reportedly provide U.S. automakers with the cash they claim to need to continue operating through the end of the year. On top of the financial boost, Democrats plan to push hard for national health care in an effort to offload the costs of providing the UAW members' health care from their employers to the American tax payer, a plan which is estimated to cost taxpayers of more than $36 billion a year.
While the big 3 are certainly to blame for their fair share of their current economic woes, UAW needs to recognize their part and be willing to drastic concessions that will allow U.S. automakers to become more competitive. This, in part, means bringing labor costs more in line with their competitors.
Since any current bailout plan being put forward by Democrats does not require labor renegotiation's, the bailouts will be doomed to failure. The big 3 need to be allowed to enter bankruptcy where the courts can force the restructuring of labor agreements and allow for the necessary fundamental restructuring that will save the once great industry and millions of American manufacturing jobs.