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With General Motors Corp. running through $10 billion in cash from the federal treasury during the first three months of 2009 and Congress poised to offer consumers substantial tax credits for new, more fuel efficient vehicles, the costs of helping the struggling automobile industry are mounting fast. Throw in special financing for auto loans supported by the Federal Reserve Board, and the aid for automakers now totals $83 billion - and it keeps growing.
If the federal government becomes the majority owner of General Motors and Chrysler, most Americans (57%) believe it's likely the government will pass laws and regulations giving those firms an unfair advantage over other car companies. That figure includes 37% who consider such preferential treatment Very Likely.
Six General Motors Corp. executives recently sold more than 200,000 shares of the automaker as GM moves toward issuing new equity to give large stakes to the U.S. government and a United Auto Workers retiree health care trust fund.