Wicker auto stock bill worth debating

Would you be interested in owning a part of one of the nation’s major automakers?

Legislation being proposed by U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., could see that happen in the wake of the federal government’s bailouts of General Motors and Chrysler. After those companies emerge from bankruptcy, the U.S. Treasury will have a 60 percent stake in GM and an 8 percent share in Chrysler.

As its name implies, the senator’s plan would see “Auto Stock for Every Taxpayer” by equally dividing stock certificates among the 154 million citizens who paid income taxes in 2008. The stocks would be in the citizens’ names and effectively get the government out of automaker ownership.

Citizens would be free to sell their stocks or hold onto them in hopes of an automaker rebound to prosperity. Such a move would increase the stock’s value and the potential windfall for its owner.

Wicker’s plan presents some intriguing possibilities as it again would leave automakers’ fates up to the economic winds of a free market system.

The Daily Leader