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Big Three Auto Execs - Adding Insult To Injury

Posted by Jane Akre
Thursday, November 20, 2008 11:07 AM EST
Category: On The Road, Major Medical
Tags: Fianancial Injury, Health Care, Auto Makers

Big three auto execs flew private jets to bailout hearing.



IMAGE SOURCE:  Washington Post, Dana Milbank page 


They came to Washington with their hands out ready to request taxpayer bailout money.

The CEOs of the Big Three auto companies, General Motors, Ford and Chrysler appeared at a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee Wednesday, pledging to trim down and streamline their businesses to become viable again.

The problem is, they all flew on their private jets.

A private jet such as a Gulfstream, usually runs in the neighborhood of $35 -$40 million. Fuel can easily run into $20,000 for a round-trip flight.  The companies did not disclose how much their flights cost.  

Norm Ornstein, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute told Diane Rehm, airing on NPR Thursday, that the Big Three are “showing tone deafness” in that move.

Alan Mulally of Ford, Robert Nardelli of Chrysler and Richard Wagoner of GM are seeking $25 billion in a federal loan bailout package, which may have to wait until President elect Barak Obama takes office in January.

In the hearing Rep. Gary Ackerman, D- NY told the three, “It’s almost like seeing a guy show up at the soup kitchen in high hat and tuxedo. It kind of makes you a little bit suspicious.”

He asked, “Couldn’t you all have downgraded to first class or jet-pooled or something to get here? It would have at least sent a message that you do get it.”

Dana Milbank, of the Washington Post says there are 24 daily nonstop flight from Detroit to the Washington area. The three “probably should have taken one of them.”  (Mulally actually never moved to Detroit when he took the job with Ford in 2006 from Boeing. He and his family continue to live near Seattle.)

On the radio program, former California Congressman, Rep. Vic Fazio says this is “a dire situation” needing attention within a couple of months so we don’t end up hitting deflation, where goods are valued at less than they are worth.

There’s no playbook here, there’s no past history, said Fazio. “Most economists don’t have the quick fix in mind and make quick fixes as we go and hope we find the right combination,” Fazio said to Reem.

Congress may be required to come back before January to put some fix into place to require immediate action to avoid further spiraling downward. 

At the Wednesday hearing Rep. Brad Sherman D-CA announced the three should raise their hands if they flew here commercial. 

“Let the record show, no hands went up,” Sherman said. “Second I’m going to ask you to raise your hand if you are planning to sell your jets in place now and fly back commercial.” 

After a momentary pause he said, “Let the record show, no hands went up.” #

1 Comment

Posted by James Campbell
Thursday, November 20, 2008 12:29 PM EST

They don't get it. What’s next after this? What other industries will ask for bailouts after those we've heard about so far? Care to escape the craziness and secure your own financial future??? LINK

Comments for this article are closed.

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