Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I'm Leavin' On A Jet Plane ...

Or: How To Blow A Congressional Bailout For Your Industry

So kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that you'll wait for me
Hold me like you'll never let me go
cause I'm leavin' on a jet plane
Don't know when Ill be back again
Oh babe, I hate to go

Well, to take a page from 'Cool Hand Luke', what we got here today (in Washington), is a failure to communicate.

The Big Cheeses of the Big Three came roaring into town, tin cup in hand, hoping, praying, that they could go roaring out of town, with around $25-Billion, or so, of taxpayer money ...

To continue to build pieces of shit that more-and-more people don't want to buy.

And this comes in the middle of a economic conflagration, with the pro "Give'em The Money" camps painting murals of gloom, breadlines and the complete meltdown of the USofA, while the con "Screw'em" camps are waving "Bon Voyage, as they point the way to Bankruptcy Court, and don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

One such naysayer was none other than Make-Up Mitt Romney, in a NYT Op-Ed today, advocating "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt";
Furthermore, retiree benefits must be reduced so that the total burden per auto for domestic makers is not higher than that of foreign producers.

The American auto industry is vital to our national interest as an employer and as a hub for manufacturing. A managed bankruptcy may be the only path to the fundamental restructuring the industry needs. It would permit the companies to shed excess labor, pension and real estate costs. The federal government should provide guarantees for post-bankruptcy financing and assure car buyers that their warranties are not at risk.
Hmmm ... I'm not a labor consultant, nor an economist, but it seems to me that Make-Up Mitt is saying that, yeah, we need a car industry, but "Fuck the workers, pay them shit wages, and no goddamn benefits"

Far cry from where he was, when he was running from President;
To Romney, McCain's approach isn't futurism, it's pessimism. In Southfield, he had a one-word retort: "Baloney."

"I hear people say, 'It's gone, those jobs are gone, transportation's gone, it's not coming back,'" he said. "I'm going to fight for every single job. I'm going to rebuild the industry. I'm going to take burdens off the back of the auto industry."
Mitt, thanks for playing the game ... On your way home, double-check that you didn't leave the dog on the roof, again.

Ahhh, but those Big Cheeses, from General Motor, Ford and Chrysler.

These are the guys that the Congress, and by extension of our elected officials, we, John and Jane Q. Taxpayer, were to just take for granted, right off the top, not to have any questions about their competence, or how they have run their companies into the ground, and believe that they know what they are doing, do the Congressional Hearing photo-op and send them back to Detroit, bailout check, in-hand.

Apparently, for all Rick Wagoner of GM, Alan Mulally of Ford, and Robert Nardelli of Chrysler know about running a car company, they must have been absent the day marketing and public perception was discussed, or no one sent them the memo.

Big Three CEOs Flew Private Jets to Plead for Public Funds; Auto Industry Close to Bankruptcy But They Get Pricey Perk
The CEOs of the big three automakers flew to the nation's capital yesterday in private luxurious jets to make their case to Washington that the auto industry is running out of cash and needs $25 billion in taxpayer money to avoid bankruptcy.

The CEOs of GM, Ford and Chrysler may have told Congress that they will likely go out of business without a bailout yet that has not stopped them from traveling in style, not even First Class is good enough.

These nitwits could not have shot themselves in the foot any better, then if they went hunting with the Vice President.

New York Congressman Gary Ackerman (D-NY) called it "It’s almost like seeing a guy show up at the soup kitchen in high hat and tuxedo."
There’s a delicious irony of seeing private luxury jets flying into DC, and people coming off of them with tin cups in their hands, saying that they’re going to be trimming down and streamlining their businesses. It’s almost like seeing a guy show up at the soup kitchen in high hat and tuxedo. Kind makes you a little bit suspicious as to whether or not…we’ve seen the future. There’s a message there. Couldn’t you all have downgraded to first class or jet-pooled to get here? It would have at least sent the message that you do get it.

This is on par with The Commander Guy, looking down from his Air Force One jet window at the flooded city of New Orleans, after Katrina.

Something tells me, if nothing else, the fear of tossing millions out of work, the collapse of the industry, isn't going to get Congress to fork over funds with this level of arrogance, this level of dimwittedness and while, likely, add to the chorus, of which Jonathan Stein wrote, over on Mother Jones;

Throw the Bums Out (of Detroit)
So what do you do? You take separate private jets from Detroit to Washington. You take three flights at an estimated cost of $20,000 each, despite the fact that coach flights are available for under $300 and first class flights are available for under $1,000.

You spend $60,000 when you could have spent $900. And then you go to Congress with your hand out.

Jesus H. Christ. Bailout funds for the industry should be contingent on new leadership taking over and old leadership being put in stocks.

If the corporate boards that sit over these guys - Rick Wagoner of GM, Alan Mulally of Ford, and Robert Nardelli of Chrysler - don't kneecap them, and send them packing, then why should our elected leaders have any faith in them, or give them anything but the flat side of a wingtip shoe in their fat, lazy corporate asses.

Sorry, but we don't like to put bags of taxpayer money in the luggage holes of CEO Corporate jets.

If they didn't see this as a problem as they were winging their way to Washington, I doubt they are understanding it as they wing their way back to Detroit.

Yes, we need a real, big, loud Help Me Mr. Wizard!

Bonus Nitwit Big Three Riffs

Marc Ambinder: Annals Of Stupid Corporate PR Tricks

A.J. Liebling: Bailouts: The Game Show

Emptywheel: Shorter Mitt: Let the Auto Retirees Starve!!!

Steve Benen: PRIVATE JETS...

Bonus Bonus

This ones for you, you high-flying, Corporate Jet, Big Three CEO's!

Leaving On A Jet Plane

1 comment:

Jason said...

For those GM employees concerned about their retirements don't fret the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) protects the retirement incomes of nearly 44 million American workers including those at GM.

The only problem is that the taxpayer is the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Keep GM and its employees working or pay for their retirements.