As I already said, I'm not in favor of the government auto industry bail out. The problems GM has are chronic. It will burn through the billions of dollars it just got from the tax payers in a just a few more months. GM will then go back to our government with its begging bowl. It was among the walking dead long before the subprime crisis, and it won't be restored to health when the subprime crisis ends. Our politicians are excellent at making malinvestment with other people's money.
I don't object to my tax dollars being spent on genuine good scientific research, including molecular biology, advanced solar cells, fusion, or even sending cheap robot explorers to Mars. But sending people to Mars is every bit as foolish as bailing out GM. What we will learn is that it's bloody hard to send a man to Mars and keep him alive there, which we already know.
To spot the expert, pick the one who predicts the job will take the longest and cost the most.