Why would tax paying citizens not be given the same treatment as automakers? Lack of representation. We are supposed to live in a Democracy, and yet people don't generally have any representation as opposed to automakers who pay politicians. The people should have been bailed out, not the automakers. This should never happen again, though a bad precedent has been set.
As more and more industries take the production of goods to other countries with cheap labor, it is important for us to encourage industry to stay in the United States and continue to provide fair paying jobs for United States citizens. Without good industry in the United States, the majority of job growth will continue to be in low paying jobs. The bailout of automakers is, therefore, not a bad precedent, but a bold move in trying to revive the United States economy.