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Auto industry goes begging in D.C.

   WASHINGTON -- The "Big Three" have become the weak sisters of the worldwide auto industry, and now it looks like you are all about to pay for their weakness.

   Congress and the presidents -- the one we have now and the one we'll have in January -- all appear to be moving toward an auto industry bailout, perhaps using funds already set aside to rescue the financial industry.

   No one knows yet how many billions of federal aid it might take to save General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, but it's likely to come in the form of long-term loans from the federal government.

   This comes after the AIG bailout, the Freddie Mac bailout, the Fannie Mae bailout and the financial industry bailout.

   Which raises the question: how many bailouts can the federal government afford?

   -- Jerry Zremski

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