Washington is not bailing out the Big Three automakers. It is nationalizing them. So who do you think will be running them?
Washington is not bailing out the Big Three automakers. It is nationalizing them.
Wake up and smell the coffee. Who do you think is going to be designing the next generation of auto products from these companies? The corporate leadership or the Congressional leadership?
In Partnership With Big Brother
After being rescued by billions and billions in government handouts, will the car companies be able to deny Congressional bigwigs anything they want in the design of their cars? Fuel economy standards, hybrid technology, electric cars, cars that run on ethanol, natural gas, switch grass, Bermuda grass, fine Colombian weed. Whatever Congressional poobahs want, they will surely now get, or easily pass legislative requirements forcing it on any corporate officials who remain insufficiently grateful and cooperative.
But you can rest assured that any potential ingrate will soon be gone, replaced by completely malleable gumbies with good Democrat party connections. Already we see Washington calling for the ouster of General Motors Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner. The point is not that deposing Wagoner would be any real loss to GM. Under his leadership, GM’s stock price has collapsed from $70 in June 2006 to $2.78 last month. The point is that the corporate leadership of the new auto welfare queens will now be chosen by Congress and the Obama Administration, not by the corporate boards of directors, or the stockholders (read “quaint anachronisms” or “barbarous relics”).
Indeed, anyone on the boards of directors of the Big Three that says anything publicly, or privately within hearing, that offends any Democrat kingpin will soon be gone as well. Lord Obama himself said over the weekend regarding auto company managements, “If this management team that’s currently in place doesn’t understand the urgency of the situation and is not willing to make the tough choices and adapt to these new circumstances, then they should go.” That’s called laying down a marker. “Tough choices” means the choices Obama and Democrat Congressional leaders will now make for them. That is what Obama means by “adapt to these new circumstances.”
Jerome B. York, advisor to former GM Director Kirk Kerkorian, piled on, saying in Monday’s Wall Street Journal, “GM has five long-serving directors who have been on the board 10 years or more. They have approved of and overseen many of the moves that have contributed to the company’s troubles. They should also resign.”
For anyone who still doesn’t get the point, the bailout plan is said to include appointment of a new “car czar” to oversee the auto companies. Czar is a Russian word defined at Dictionary.com as “an autocratic ruler,” with synonyms of “despot, baron, emperor, monarch.” Interestingly, the first item that pops up at Dictionary.com under “czar” is “GM Car-Official Site.” For those who are paying attention, the handwriting is already on the wall.
Congressional Democrats want an oversight board including the Secretaries of Treasury and Transportation, tasked as the Wall Street Journal reports “with developing broader, general restructuring goals for the companies,” and with helping to develop plans to achieve these goals, “which the companies would be required to submit to the government by the end of March.” Also, “the companies would be required to notify the board of transactions of over $25 million.” In other words, the government would be running the finances of these companies as well, where they raise capital, from whom, when and how. Moreover, the General Accounting Office (GAO), and the special Inspector General for the financial market rescue, would also have oversight authority over the auto companies.
So the government will soon be firmly in charge of these companies. That, in turn, will mean a lot of costly, small time parochialism. The head of one Congressional Committee will want the companies to use steel produced in his district, another Congressional shaman will want the companies to use glass from his district, a senior Senator will want a big contract for an auto supplier in his state.
Any Color You Want, as Long as It’s Green
But the real senior partners of the automakers are now going to be the environmentalists. The Environmental Defense Fund, the National Resources Defense Council, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, the Sierra Club, this is where the Democrats are going to get their bright ideas on how to run the auto companies, this is who is going to be really designing the new cars from the “Big” 3.
After getting $75 billion in taxpayer funds, and probably more to come, how are the car companies going to continue to produce SUVs, Hummers, high performance cars, and any other politically incorrect vehicles? Forget about it. They are done.
What they will produce is the little Matchbox cars the Europeans drive. And that is what the environmentalists expect Americans now to drive as well. The American public has shown it won’t buy these cars, you say? Think again. You are behind the curve of our Brave New World. The environmentalists plan to force Americans to buy these cars. Ever hear of cap and trade? The carbon tax? Global warming? The environmentalists plan to slap fines of thousands of dollars a year on politically incorrect cars. By contrast, the auto bailout will enable them to sell the politically correct favored cars with thousands of dollars in taxpayer subsidies. Indeed, this will be defended as not just environmentally correct, but as protecting the taxpayer “investment” in the auto companies.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?