Patterico's Pontifications


Congress and the Automakers

Filed under: Economics,Politics — DRJ @ 1:22 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Democratic Congressional leaders announced today that the possibility of an automaker bailout is on hold until December 2. The automakers were told to use that time to formulate plans to responsibly use government money. No doubt they will also use that time to formulate bankruptcy plans.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi offered this advice to GM, Ford and Chrysler:

“Until they show us the plan, we cannot show them the money,” Pelosi added.

Pelosi said that Congress wants to help the automakers because “survival is essential to maintaining our manufacturing and industrial base and that industrial base is essential to our national security.”

But she said, “We won’t move forward with any of these plans until we see more accountability and the prospect for viability.” She repeated the words “accountability” and “viability” at least a half dozen times.”

Got that? Survival of the automakers is vital to national security but letting the oil and gas industry drill for more American energy is a hoax.

Which do you believe is more vital for national security — Union built SUVs or abundant energy?


99 Responses to “Congress and the Automakers”

  1. I believe that our abundant energy supply should be saved until energy is in general less abundant, at which point we will need it more than we need it now, and wish we still had it.

    That is: we should drill thirty years from now when worldwide supplies are lower, not today.

    I am glad to hear, however, that they’re asking for a plan for responsible use rather than just throwing money at them. I hope that their plans are actually accountable and viable.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  2. So… we can’t use scarce resources until they’re REALLY scarce.


    I'm Geekier (f8c3f9)

  3. Which one gets her more democratic votes?

    Joe - Dallas (85ffd2)

  4. I’m Geekier: yeah, that’s about it.

    Oil is not a scarce resource today.

    We would be fools to draw down our oil reserve while it remains an easily obtainable, relatively cheap commodity.

    When it *is* scarce, having a supply which we can draw on in emergencies will be very helpful to us.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  5. energy supply should be saved until energy is in general less abundant, at which point we will need it more than we need it now, and wish we still had it.

    This is counter – intuitive; if you wait like the Greens want us to do, there won’t be any available energy left when the supply eventually dries up. Oil and gas exploration, nuclear power plant construction and alternative energy formation takes years, if not decades, to fully implement. Energy companies must know that there won’t be massive regulatory barriers waiting in the wings if they seek more sources of energy, or else it becomes an pyrrhic investment for their business and shareholders. This is a fundamental fact that our betters in Congress and the MSM seem unable to grasp, and they’re still kowtowing to the Kyoto crowd.

    Dmac (e30284)

  6. Aphrael,

    I agree with Dmac. It’s a fact that, with or without Obama’s election, America is moving away from oil and gas toward alternative energy sources. To “save” our oil and gas for the future assumes autos and industry will still primarily use petroleum-based products in 30 years. I doubt that will be common.

    In addition, oil and gas may not stay where we think it is until we are ready to produce it. Apart from the uncertainty of knowing where the energy is located — finding oil and gas is not easy or certain — modern technology makes it possible for foreign producers who don’t accept our self-imposed restrictions to deplete off-shore energy.

    I think your argument is the equivalent of a wagon manufacturer in the early 1900’s arguing that we should mothball wagons for the future “when we’ll really need them.” We need today’s technology today, not 30 years from now.

    DRJ (a50047)

  7. Oil is not a scarce resource today.

    Again, this is not correct, unless you’re discussing problematic oil reserves that have yet to be tapped, like deep water drilling and shale oil fields (these are cost – prohibitive ventures in most cases, btw). The easy to reach sources are almost gone at this point – witness the slowly diminishing output from OPEC, Mexico and Russia, even with the world economy in tatters.

    Dmac (e30284)

  8. That is: we should drill thirty years from now when worldwide supplies are lower, not today.

    That is suicidally short thinking. If you wait 30 years, you won’t have the energy when you need it. If you start to drill now, you will be able to access it when you need it.

    To draw a parallel to your logic, you shouldn’t buy a fire extinguisher for your house because you don’t need it right now. You should wait until your house is on fire and only then run to the hardware store to buy an extinguisher.

    Steverino (69d941)

  9. I forgot to mention that the rapidly rising economies of India and China are quickly depleting the known oil supplies at present rates of consumption – as their nascent middle classes grow at an exponential rate, the pressure on oil prices will skyrocket at levels that will mimic the oil crises of the 70’s here – unless we start developing all of the aforementioned actions immediately. I don’t have high hopes that this will be done, since the Speaker of the House thinks that natural gas isn’t a fossil fuel. A dimmer bulb I have never seen in this discussion – but no doubt there are many others yet to be heard from.

    Dmac (e30284)

  10. Pelosi et al wouldn’t know a business plan if one jumped out of their martinis and smacked them in the face. SShe’s just saying her finger hasn’t detedted enough of a breeze to start a bill through Congress.

    At some point these clowns are going to finally realize they just won a freaking election, and now they need to abandon the BS rhetoric and show some leadership.

    MTF (17058c)

  11. EVen better?

    The Big Three took a private plane to The Hill to ask for money.

    Don’t you love the irony?

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  12. That is: we should drill thirty years from now when worldwide supplies are lower, not today.

    I’m more of a fan of “drill now so we’re ready”.

    Instead of 6-10 year lead-time to new energy, make it a year to new production gives new oil.

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  13. If we wait 10 years to drill, they will tell us then that it won’t do any good because it will take 10 years to see any benefits. Either these are stupid people, or they think we are. Maybe both.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  14. Don’t you love the irony?

    Akin to the ever – present celebritards telling us to stop our eeevilll ways of consuming and putting carbon into the atmosphere – while flying off to another location in their Gulfstreams to their vacation homes in the Alps.

    Dmac (e30284)

  15. Here is what I believe … the Democrats and the One better bail out the Big 3 or the UAW is out of business.

    Call it the UAW Rescue Plan b/c that is what it is.

    Frankly, bankruptcy is the best way for our Auto industry to recover …. vacate these horrid contracts and start anew.

    Da'Shiznit (089453)

  16. I do believe the aut industry needs help even though the management has messed it up royally. However, I would not just give money and not do something dramatic. I would suggest the Congress appoint someone like Mitt Romney and charge him with the responsibility of coming up with a solution, possibly creating a single automaker (combining all 3) and the have himdevelop a plan that will give the public and the congress a confidence that they can ‘invest’ in the industry.

    Ashwin (8b99b9)

  17. Ashwin, are F****** you kidding me?

    You want to create a “National Champion” company, subsidize it and then put a government official in charge?

    No wonder our elected officials are lost. They are completely uninformed and their electorate thinks they know anything about making money.

    Bankruptcy is the best solution but Management does not want it for 1 reason … their money. Shareholders are already screwed so ……..

    Da'Shiznit (089453)

  18. The thing I fear most in a Chapter 11 is that the pensioners claims will be prioritized over the ongoing suppliers, causing a cascading wave of bankruptcies of perfectly good companies.

    I fear more the off-loading of the pensions and health care costs of retirees on to us.

    Now, don’t y’all know that to a Dem, national security is merely the maintenance of dependence upon the Dems for access to the government teats? In this case, it means the survival of the UAW.

    Ed (281252)

  19. Call it the UAW Rescue Plan b/c that is what it is.

    Rescue nothing.

    It’s a bit of time at best. The legacy costs that add to the end cost of their vehicals won’t change. In a year or two the UAW will be negotiating for new contracts, and they will, once again, bleed the makers for every drop.

    They will do this because congress steps in when negotiations fail. Who do you think they side with every. Single. Time.

    The bailout won’t fix anything. Failures in management won’t change, and the money will only buy a small amount of time.

    The makers are doomed because they are incompetent. They have been on this path for years, and now it is out in the open.

    We give them money, and it will dissapear down the hole of shitty management and runaway costs, and in 6 months to a year, they will be asking for more.

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  20. Vacate the contracts.

    Eliminate excess factories and workers — no parachutes.

    Eliminate excess dealers and redo the state-by-state dealer rules to make it cheaper to get a car to the consumer from the factory (33% of the expense is literally post factory).

    Fire all top management and exercise clawbacks of any comp, deferred or otherwise — no parachutes. They should go F themselves in their Grosse Point homes.

    Get the EPA to grant a special waiver to allow the Autos to sell all that damn land they have “banked” so that it can be redeveloped without the silly EPA in the way. Here is the cash they need.

    Pass stringent Mileage requirements in order to force smaller cars down our throats and tax the crap out of gas guzzlers. This will drive the innovation engine inside the companies to adapt.

    Hire some smart guys from the Vendor community, guys who have dealt with the nightmare and know the business, to run the new businesses.

    Da'Shiznit (089453)

  21. The Makers are not incompetant and that is a stupid comment.

    They deserve to fail but frankly that business has been REGULATED AND TAXED TO ITS DEATH BED.

    No management team can rescue this ship because between the Unions, the EPA, the State Gov.ts and Congress they bled them dry.

    Da'Shiznit (089453)

  22. Scott, my point is the ony reason Congress is discussing this is because the UAW is a powerful voting lobby and the Big 3 Auto states are all Democrat.

    BK 11 is the answer but it will cause monster pain across the supply chain.

    Incidentally, I would set up a special part of the BK court to prevent the suppliers getting killed. It is not hard to pay vendors for parts and supplies so long as Consumers are still buying.

    Da'Shiznit (089453)

  23. I do think Congress should pass a “plan” but not a bailout. What they need is a special bankruptcy law for “US-based automobile manufacturers with more than 50,000 employees.”

    In that plan warranties would be exempted; stockholders and bondholders would be wiped out; the government would guarantee startup loans and get warrants on equity; union contracts would be voided; the pensions would offload to the federal pension protection system and retirees would get Medicare without co-pays. (The last might trouble me if I didn’t think that Obama was going to do something worse soon enough.)

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  24. Kevin, good start.

    Da'Shiznit (089453)

  25. i think some folks here forget the automakers made hundreds of billions getting ahead to the foreign makers in minivans and SUVs … so we do know something.

    Problem is that it takes so much cash and people checking a rechecking to launch a product. the innovation cycle is unlike any industry other than Drug development.

    Where I do fail the US Automakers is in forgetting paying dividends is a good idea in a mature business instead of plowing money back into the business.

    Mature businesses should easily be paying 100% of NET INCOME in dividends — they failed there thinking big dreams and big ideas. For example, foreign M&A. This misuse of cash is where i fault them.

    But when volume goes down 50% — no business can support this in a high fixed cost environment like autos.

    Da'Shiznit (089453)

  26. No management team can rescue this ship because between the Unions, the EPA, the State Gov.ts and Congress they bled them dry.

    Sorry, but management is also partly culpable for this mess – by kicking the can down the road over the past three decades, their final reckoning is due. They never stood up to the union, always relenting and then making SUV’s to cover the astronomical costs of their union contracts. They had numerous chances to at least attempt to rectify this problem; beginning in the mid – 70’s.

    Dmac (e30284)

  27. Um, Ms Pelosi if maintaining and industrial base is sooooooo important than why is Defense spending on weapons, et al so horrible?

    Da'Shiznit (089453)

  28. Teed Off: Mulally Golfs as Ford Burns
    February 15, 2007

    Five days before Ford announced its record $12.7 billion loss for 2006, Ford’s new CEO Alan Mulally was golfing in the pro-am of the PGA Tour’s Bob Hope Chrysler Classic near Palm Springs, Calif. Two weeks after the announcement, photographers snapped a shot of him golfing in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

    “That means Mulally has played in more PGA Tour events this year than Tiger Woods,” notes the Detroit Free Press, which ran the photos and a story.

    Detroiters are ticked off. Reaction from Free Press readers ranged from “incredulity to outrage,” the paper notes. One posting on the paper’s Web site said: “Alan Mulally does not have time to golf. He should spend every waking hour in dealerships on the sales floor listening to real customers.”

    Mulally’s golf outings come on the heels of outrage over Ford’s President of the Americas Mark Fields using the corporate jet to fly home to Florida on weekends. Part of Fields’ contract, those weekly flights were estimated to cost Ford as much as $70,000 a week, at a time when Ford is closing plants and shedding employees. After intense criticism, Fields announced in January he was giving up the jet and flying commercial.

    Good advice from Dallas megadealer Carl Sewell, author of Customers for Life, comes to mind: don’t do anything you wouldn’t want to show up in the next day’s newspaper.

    TLove (012115)

  29. DMAC, lol.

    Kicking the can down the road is an Art in Management and to be applauded.

    Why blame management for making the best out of a bad situation? That seams silly.

    I rather have an option of failing 30 years from today than the certainty of failing right now.

    Sorry business boys but those are naive comments by folks who have never run an enterprise, tried to make payroll and had to please shareholders.

    Da'Shiznit (089453)

  30. Fields at Ford is a pretty Harvard talking head.

    Da'Shiznit (089453)

  31. Fields has been on the job for like 6 years and their products look and feel as bad as ever.

    As least GM and Chrysler have done something innovative with a few names.

    Da'Shiznit (089453)

  32. The big Three auto maker should not be given a bailout under any circumtances. if they are given a bailout no change will occurs. it will only delay the change that must take. The stimilus pakage was suppose to revemp the economy, instead the economy sank even lower.
    even though the $25 billions will bring a relief, thatrelief will only be temporary until the real problem is fixed.
    The problem that has plagued this economy is not bad morgages, loans, managements, and so forth,
    the problem are the principale used to conduct operation.
    Those are the situation that must be solved to fix the economic crisis;
    – the people who maintain and contribute to the circulation of cash are mainly the middle class and the poor. but in today society when the poor or the middle class buy a car, get a loan, or a house they pay higher interst rate than people of higher income on an item that has the same price.
    that is a wrong principe of conducting business. which has cripled the econiomy of all countries who used that practice.

    -outsourcing of businesses instead of insourcing.
    Outsourcing bussiness is wrong the economy.
    how can we explain; having your billsbeing read or any other problems pertaining americains being resolved in foreign countries,by outsourcing bussinesses and services the circular flow of cash has been disturbed.

    there are many more problem that must be fixed, but to aword automaker a bailout at this time when all those problem are still practiced will only sink us even further.

    Cedric Kanyinda (048718)

  33. No bailouts for failed Union biz plans.

    SPQR (72771e)

  34. i think the best comment on todays announcement can be found here:

    the market nosedived when the press conference was held….

    at the COB on “Hope & Change Day”, the market closed at 9625.28. today it’s at 7552.29, which is a loss of 2072.99 since the fools elected Juggy. that’s a drop of 21.5%, which means the Zero is already in the history books as being the owner of the worst post election sell off in history.

    the best news is that there’s a good chance we’ll just keep going….. to hell with canned goods, i’m buying vegetable seeds.

    redc1c4 (27fd3e)

  35. Steverino, at 8: that’s not really a fair analogy.

    If you assume that the oil will be drilled and stored until we need it, they are equivalent. But we’re not going to do that; we’re going to sell it, depleting the reserve. That’s like taking the fire extinguisher and slowly spraying, so that when the fire comes there’s nothing else.

    Your argument at #9, and DRJ’s argument at #6, are more persuasive, albeit contradictory to one another. 🙂

    aphrael (bc967d)

  36. to hell with canned goods, i’m buying vegetable seeds.

    Comment by redc1c4 — 11/20/2008 @ 3:19 pm

    Buy both and do not forget the guns and ammo. Tangibles Tangibles Tangibles .

    LH (4644d3)

  37. Hah- But look how energy prices have nose-dived under potus-elect O! Let’s see what happens when baracky implements his hate fossil fuels plan (Yes, I know natural gas isn’t fossil fuel, pelosi told me so). Figure this is your last relatively cheap winter for gasoline, heating oil and and electricity. We need to emulate the euroweenies, except we must eschew the cheese-eating surrender monkeys penchant for nuclear plants actually making safe, reliable electricity.
    I know some here are losing a bundle in 401k, etc,, but other people are surely cleaning up with their short selling funds like SKF,REW,SZK, URPIX and DUG. Check out how THEY all did today.
    America has vast amounts of coal and oil shale, but assclowns like Obama, Reid and Pelosi are against it. We also have the ANWR off-limits as well as much of the deposits off shore. Funny, China has no problem doing drilling in straits of Fla. though with assistance from the Cubans.
    And what’s with the wonderfulness of the UN and various international bodies? More of that ni controlling legal authority, writ of habeus corpus bullshit preventing stopping rampant and egregious piracy? The Indians with a dot at least have done something. But why not just kill the bastards and let god judge them?
    BTW show a little empathy for the poor semi-skilled UAW workers. I’d like to hear some of them express their viewpoints. It has to be tough to beg for taxpayers’ bucks over and over when the typical taxpayer earns $28.50 an hour in wages and benefits and the UAW drones garner $73 an hour, eh? What do the non-union workers at Nissan, Honda and Toyota take in, something like $48 a hour? Oh and realy nice that some UAW lackeys get paid not to work. Kind of like paying some big agricultural companies not to grow certain crops or subsidizing domestic sugar and tobacco.

    madmax333 (0c6cfc)

  38. If you assume that the oil will be drilled and stored until we need it, they are equivalent. But we’re not going to do that; we’re going to sell it, depleting the reserve. That’s like taking the fire extinguisher and slowly spraying, so that when the fire comes there’s nothing else.

    First, we don’t have to sell it. We can leave it on tap. But if we do sell it, that means two things:

    (a) We are less dependent on foreign oil
    (b) The rest of the oil that is currently available will be used at a slower rate.

    Neither of them is a bad thing.

    But that doesn’t address the underlying point: waiting for 30 years to do something about the oil supply is bone-headed foolishness.

    Steverino (69d941)

  39. Clearly if the Chinese and Indians are going to all be driving cars, it behooves the US to have all the patents on electric cars. Because there is no way to supply the oil for 1 billion more gasoline cars. We should also own all the nuclear power designs, but I think those will be European….

    Besides, we’ll need the oil for plastic and chemicals.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  40. If we sell it, it means that later, when oil is more scarce, we don’t have as much.

    Thirty years may be too long. But today isn’t long enough.

    aphrael (bc967d)

  41. I am currently shopping for a new SUV. After an afternoon of test drives, not many domestic SUV’s left on the list.

    JD (b96a9e)

  42. Hah- But look how energy prices have nose-dived under potus-elect O!

    I swear max, if it wasn’t for “Pelosi told me so”, I would not have been sure you were joking. 😉

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  43. I wish I had bought a Prius back in 2004 when I got rid of my SUV. I can’t imagine getting an SUV now.

    TLove (012115)

  44. Cedric, nice. Put that post in the “I am a jealous dumb-ass because I am not rich column.”

    Yes, we should be working very hard on the fossil replacement for cars — it is a gold mine b/c as pointed out 3 Bn Chinese and Indians want cars too,

    Da'Shiznit (089453)

  45. … and we don’t have a cheap means of getting all that energy from Oil.

    Da'Shiznit (089453)

  46. Here is the bright side to today — US Consumers are saving money like mad and paying back the Chinese.

    Savings rate is shooting through the roof as they stop spending.

    Da'Shiznit (089453)

  47. TLove, SUV now?

    Gas is headed back to $1.00. LOL

    Paying 30K for a 15K car in order to save a couple grand in gas per year.

    Also, disposing car battery in hyrbrid is ecologically a big friggin problem.

    Wanna make millions — start a company to destroy those batteries without dumping chemicals into the rivers and soil.

    Da'Shiznit (089453)

  48. You guys simply don’t understand the logic of our new rulers. The new union legislation, called “card check,” removes the secret ballot so the UAW can strong arm its way into the Toyota, BMW and Honda plants in nonunion states and organize their employees. Then they will all be making shitty cars that are too expensive, too. Problem solved. As The One says, spread the wealth around.

    Mike K (f89cb3)

  49. TLOVE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    JD (b96a9e)

  50. I just got pimped up S550 and I am loving this drop in gas prices.

    Da'Shiznit (089453)

  51. Just to set the record straight ladies and germs….. below is what Pelosi said back in August.

    Remember “Ten years, 2 cents” is the actual savings she is talking about when it comes to drilling. Please spare me the fact that gas prices have come down (could be Obama’s recession you know). We don’t know what gas prices are going to look like a day from now let alone 10 years from now.

    But we do know how much drilling will save us in 10 years………2 cents.

    I need to explain this because I know where this argument will lead. Speculating on the idea that gas went down because of Bush’s announcement contradicts “Supply and Demand”. Face it, we are using less gas since long before Bush’s announcement. This is what drove prices down. If people start using more gas, gas will go up, again because of supply and demand. Even with the offshore drilling we will save 2 cents over 10 years.

    “They want us to do more of the same,” she said. “So they’ve come up with this gimmick, this hoax” that says if drilling is allowed in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and offshore, “it’s going to bring down the price at the pump.”

    “Ten years, 2 cents,” Pelosi said, arguing that 10 years would be the time needed to reap a small benefit to most Americans. “Even the president has said it isn’t a quick fix. … I can’t allow a hoax to come to the floor.”

    Oiram (983921)

  52. Hi JD 😉 Gas prices won’t go that low. OPEC will cut production.

    TLove (012115)

  53. Pelosi said 2 cents in 10 years? Wow, then I’m convinced Oiram. Of course, that means that natural gas is not a fossil fuel too …

    SPQR (72771e)

  54. Besides, it’s still $2.40 a gallon here for regular unleaded.

    TLove (012115)

  55. Problem with Unions are not the unions themselves. In fact, Unions can play an important job training role for their workers but they fail at this b/c they view their job as screwing the Company — not helping their members.

    If instead of buying Democrap Votes and Advertising they used that money retraining their workers I can assuer you Companies would be kind of interested in a partnership with the Unions.

    Frankly, Unions have a more fucked up business model than the Big 3.

    Basically it is a parasite whose goal is get as big as possible and ruin the company as soon as possible.

    Da'Shiznit (089453)

  56. Here is the bright side to today — US Consumers are saving money like mad and paying back the Chinese.

    No we aren’t.

    We owe the Chinese PILES of cash. So much I have a hard time conceptualizing the number (to be fair, i’m slightly drunk right now and am having a hard time conceptualizing numbers past 50). In the next couple of years we will GET our trade surplus, and get it HARD. The Chinese old our assets, but those will become meaningless, and they will claim our production (what I don’t know, but it will be something). There will be a drop in the standard of living because all of our stuff will go elsewhere, and no one will be willing to sell to us.

    Also, TLOVE!!! You never call, you never write…

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  57. Clarify: union concept is not in of itself a problem but the way Union Management sees their job.

    Da'Shiznit (089453)

  58. Scott, yes we are. Get a clue. The US Consumer is de-leveraging quickly.

    Da'Shiznit (089453)

  59. Hi Scott 😉 You never call or write! Besides, I’ve been out canvassing for Obama and then celebrating our win. 😀 I didn’t want us to argue.

    TLove (012115)

  60. Scott, Assets = Liabilities plus Equity.

    Whose do you think we are writing off those loans with?????

    Many bondholders are international and have taken a bath.

    We got cars and houses, gave them IOUs and now we are saying we are not paying.


    Da'Shiznit (089453)

  61. “Ten years, 2 cents,” Pelosi said

    A figure she pulled completely out of her ass. But we always welcome Mario’s quirky view of market reactions around here.

    $1.69, and I have not seen one news article, nor one breathless national media story talking about the how gas prices have taken a nose dive.

    FWIW – I saw a 2009 Chevy Tahoe LTZ for over $49,000 today. You could go buy a Lexus or a Mercedes for the same price. They deserve to go out of business.

    JD (b96a9e)

  62. Da, right now people are collecting US Dollars. Once they have enough, and stop, what then?

    We are running head-first into a wall, and we don’t even care.

    Hard times are coming. Best let the failing companies fail so we can sift out the good stuff and leave the crap to rot.

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  63. Hi Scott You never call or write! Besides, I’ve been out canvassing for Obama and then celebrating our win. I didn’t want us to argue

    Yeah, you just wait a few years, little lady… You’ll see who was right… 🙂

    And I’d call, but I somehow misplaced that number you never gave me. 🙂

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  64. I don’t think we have to do anything but look at the present situation to see who is right. But like I said, let’s not argue. Let’s talk about how bailing out the big 3 is a terrible idea.

    TLove (012115)

  65. Oiram – you really *are* backwards, aren’t you ?

    Demand for gas had been falling since April/May while cost of a barrel of crude had climbed steadily … then, within 24 hours of Bush rescinding the Executive Order, the cost of a barrel of crude drops $10-15 from the mide $140s – and that’s just coincidence, right ?

    No wonder we have Obama as President-Elect with people “thinking” the way you do …

    Bush rescinding the Executive Order made speculating way too risky … if Congress had followed suit within the week, and had done their part, the resulting increasing business confidence might just have staved off the melt-down …

    As things stand, we have almost directly the opposite … business folk are aware of where current trends are leading if Obama does as he has said he will do … and the Stock Market is expressing it …

    Alasdair (e7cb73)

  66. Let’s talk about how bailing out the big 3 is a terrible idea.

    See? There’s hope for you yet… 🙂

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  67. Alasdair – Oiram/Mario is routinely backwards. Give him time, and let him tell you how conservative talkradio should be considered part of the MSM, because Rush gets paid a lot of money.

    JD (b96a9e)

  68. That is the beauty of education. Even if someone you believe in is the proponent of an idea, you have to look at the issue critically and objectively. I think both parties have been failing to do that the last 8 years.

    TLove (012115)

  69. Oh, and my reasons for being against the bailout are probably not the same as yours.

    TLove (012115)

  70. Tlove just wants to see the capitalistic pigs suffer 😉

    JD (b96a9e)

  71. Hehehe. Close, but not quite.

    TLove (012115)

  72. Don’t be hatin’, JD…

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  73. There is no way there will be a bailout with massive strings attached. Little tiny “green” cars for thee, but not for me.

    The auto execs at GM and Ford are saying that they will never file for bankruptcy protection. Their thinking is nobody will buy from a car company in bankruptcy.

    But the alternative is that the cars will be designed by Nancy Pelosi, built by union workers who will assume they have Federal Civil Service status, and serviced by refugees from the DMV. What could possibly go wrong?

    GaryS (1a3d23)

  74. …let him tell you how conservative talkradio should be considered part of the MSM, because Rush gets paid a lot of money.

    Or we could ask him his feelings about net revenues, but never mind…

    Dmac (e30284)

  75. …or net profits…

    Dmac (e30284)

  76. Toyota and Mitsubishi are also bailout candidates for Japan….

    EricPWJohnson (cc9286)

  77. No worries. Pelosi, Reid and Obama will pass a law requiring us to all drive water-powered Jetson bubbles in 10 years. They’ll just repeal the law of gravity to make it happen and all will be well.

    MJBrutus (78a680)

  78. That would rock!

    TLove (012115)

  79. They BOTH are now and always were very important.

    But due to decades of dereliction of duty by both parties and all three (3) branches of our federal government, we have lost industry after industry after industry, and should we lose the auto industry (tool and die makers) we will then lose the ability to defend ourselves.

    Our misleaders have allowed America to be hallowed out and gutted. For sometime they have not solved our problems, but have instead come up with one scam, scheme or bogus compromise after another, usually siding with special interest groups and foreigners over we Amereicans, thereby actually causing us many more problems, and have caused us to become weaker and weaker, and to run deeper and deeper deficits.

    We no longer are an independent and self sufficient country. Further, we lack discipline, honesty and integrity.

    We have had a Department of Energy for 30 years, yet we have become more and more dependent on mid-east oil (now to the tune of $700-billion per year) and because we do not manufacture much any more we have a trade deficit with China alone of about $240-billion per year. Both of these situations now pose severe credit problems that have caused dire issues of national security.

    Without good paying manufacturing jobs, we no longer have a large middle class, to purchase things, that recirculates dollars, to keep a healthy economy pumping.

    The consequences of those decades of dereliction of duty are now smacking us in the face. The party is over. It now is time to pay the piper.

    Gary L. Zerman (55474e)

  80. Gary L. Zerman, defeatist, Obama Voter.

    Da'Shiznit (089453)

  81. The Big 3 and its suppliers are made up of more than UAW Workers and Top Executive. Its crazy, I know.

    jpm100 (b48b29)

  82. America Loses WWII to Japan in 2008

    How Ironic and Tragic! (So close to Dec. 7 – A Date Which Will Live in Infamy)
    The Auto Industry helped win World War II in 1945 and created the American middle class. It’s ironic that the industry that saved this nation is no longer supported by its citizens or government. It’s doubly ironic that American car buyers have supported the auto industry of Japan over their own domestic car makers. And it’s tragic because the demise of the industry will put us all into an Economic Depression.

    Its not too late to emulate the greatest generation. Support the loan and your fellow American Citizens.
    Don’t want to support your fellow Americans who design and manufacture products.
    Think you’re immune to their problems.
    Think Again.
    Check your IRA value.
    Check your house value.
    Is your city/state running out of money for schools, roads……?
    Will we have the money for a Strong National Defense?
    Will there be money for your Social Security?
    Think Again. Support America and yourself – Buy American .

    JoeCitizen1 (45560f)

  83. People should look a little in company structures.for example. the chairman of the executive compensation commitee of GM is mr. bryan, who also has a directorship in goldman + sachs. wonder why they asked his buddy paulson for more money for the executives to spent? no thanks clean up your business in the interest of the workers first and not for the executives. than take money from the workers (taxpayers).

    Bill (8ba69f)

  84. We don’t know what gas prices are going to look like a day from now let alone 10 years from now.

    But we do know how much drilling will save us in 10 years………2 cents.

    Oiram, how do you suppose you can know the one without knowing the other? You can’t.

    Pablo (99243e)

  85. “It’s ironic that the industry that saved this nation is no longer supported by its citizens or government.”

    So “they” saved “us?”

    Who is “they” if not “us” to begin with stooopid?

    I always like it when WELFARE is bathed in emotionalism, patriotism and other wonderous (“ponderous?”) marketing phrases.

    Jeez, folks loathe Bush b/c of how he marketed the War in Iraq but individuals do the same daily with no remorse whatsoever —- so long as it supports what they want.

    Da'Shiznit (089453)

  86. The auto industry would be useless without the oil industry. So if the auto industry “saved us”, then the oil companies did too. And look at all the long government knives out for them.

    Pablo (99243e)

  87. Oiram knows more drilling will save us 2 pennies ….. bwwwaaaaa, only a flea brain thinks they have a clue what gas prices will be in the future. Under $1 wholesale yesterday and 5 months ago over $3.5. Give me a giant break.

    Here is what I know, more supply equals lower prices across the board regardless of demand. Me thinks some folks here need Intro to MacroEcon b/f they talk about things they have no clue about.

    Da'Shiznit (089453)

  88. Pablo, actually the steel industry first saved us …. wait no the food industry …. em no the baby making business … um no …….

    Da'Shiznit (089453)

  89. Here is what I know about gas prices …. it is so much easier loading up on Premium for my S550 ever since folks realised we were living in a world-wide bubble.

    I mean, if the US can’t afford $4.5 what makes you think demand will grow forever in India and China when they have less money than we do.

    I love economics.

    Da'Shiznit (089453)

  90. America Loses WWII to Japan in 2008

    How Ironic and Tragic! (So close to Dec. 7 – A Date Which Will Live in Infamy)
    The Auto Industry helped win World War II in 1945 and created the American middle class.

    Interesting. Henry Ford had a lot to do with the improvement in the lives of factory workers but that was about 1923. Then came the Depression when the bubble burst and FDR screwed up the economy for 7 years.

    Since my parents and everyone I knew growing up in the 1940s and 50s did not work for the auto industry, I guess we weren’t middle class.

    There was a time when the mass production assembly line was the heart of the industrial economy. That ended when the era of shortages after the war ended. That would be about 1960. In 1966, the great bull market that followed WWII ended. After that, the industrial age shifted to the computer age. Design and smaller businesses became the great work force of the US.

    The US auto industry, like all declining economic systems, carried on as though nothing had happened. Unions, which were crucial to the welfare of their members in the 1920s and 30s, became as ossified as the management of those mass production industries they had organized. They became an impediment to the industries they lived off of.

    It’s ironic that the industry that saved this nation is no longer supported by its citizens or government. It’s doubly ironic that American car buyers have supported the auto industry of Japan over their own domestic car makers. And it’s tragic because the demise of the industry will put us all into an Economic Depression.

    This is, of course, delusional. What the Big Three auto companies badly need is reorganization so they can resume a viable business model. The foreign cars that most Americans buy are actually made in modern plants in the US employing hundreds of thousands of US citizens. The difference is that those plants are, with good reason, nonunion. The only way the Big Three can survive is to restructure and that means BK, Chapter 11.

    I saw a retired GM VP on Fox News the other morning. He sounded as stupid as you do. He even used the same brain dead arguments. The last guy who successfully argued that patriotism required that everyone support the corporation that was inefficient ended up shooting himself in his bunker in 1945. That is not capitalism or free enterprise.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  91. In response to congress concerning the big three there was some comments made by congressman that made no sense to me at all.One comment was that the big three CEOS give up their pay for a year to help out their companys. There was also a comment made that we are not going to reward people who run Companies in the ground then come to the government for help. I think congress the Pres. Vice Pres. should work for nothing until this country is back on track and not reward them for running this country so far indebt it will take 50 years or longer to get out of. Better yet they should be brought up on economic treason for letting this country be owned economically by China Japan India and everyone else. Nancy Pelosi advice to the big 3 and i quote until they show us a plan we cannot show them the money i think Nancy should look at her self along with the rest of Congress and not throw stones at someone else when you have done a hundred times worse job at managing money.It is congress fault that there is no longer a steel industry in this country they could have stopped steel coming in from other countries but they did nothing you see if it would be up to me i would have taxed or put tarrifs on the steel that would have forced the auto industries to buy ammerican because the steel from other countries would have been so high that the big 3 would have been getting a bargain buying american thus saveing the industries i know this to be a fact because i seen it first hand because i work for one of the big 3.

    steve schaefer (ba5526)

  92. is there any one out there

    steve schaefer (ba5526)

  93. Ford, Chrysler and GM’s contributions after 9/11

    American citizens who love foriegn auto’s… You might find this of interest that is if you are patoric:

    The contributions are as follows:

    1. Ford-$10 million to american red cross matching employee contributions of the same number plus 10 Ford excursions ro NY Fire Dept. The company also offered ER response team services and office space to displaced goverenment employees.

    2. GM- $10 million to American Red Cross matching employee contributions of the same number and a fleet of vans,suv’s and trucks.

    3. Daimler Chrysler- $10 million to support of the children and victims of the sept. 11 attack.

    4. Harley Davidson motorcycles- $1 million and 30 new motorcycles to the New York Police Dept.

    5. Volkswagen _employees and management created a Sept 11 Foundation, Funded initial with $2 million, for the assistance of the children and victims of the WTC.

    6. Hyundai- $300,000 to the american Red Cross.

    7. Audi- nothing.

    8. BMW- nothing.

    9. Daewoo- nothing.

    10. Fiat- nothing.

    11. Honda- nothing despite boasting of the second best sales month ever in August 2001.

    12. Isuzu- nothing.

    13. Mitsubishi- nothing.

    14. Nissan- nothing.

    15. Porsche- nothing. Press release with condolences via the Porsche website.

    16. subary- nothing.

    17. Suzuki- nothing.

    18. Toyota- nothing. despite claims of high sales in July and August 2001. Condolences posted on the website.

    Whenever the time may be for you to purchase or lease a new vehicle, keep this information in mind. You might want to give more consideration to a car manufactured by an American-owned and / or American based company. Remember your money should stay in the country in witch you live!!

    ryan (26bbb1)

  94. Interesting article in New Republic . It turns out that one key difference between the North American operations of GM and Toyota is that the latter simply doesn’t have many retirees over here. Their North American operations have been around long enough yet.

    Tim McGarry (9fe080)

  95. Ryan send me that iformation at

    steve s (ba5526)

  96. Why isn’t Congress explaining why it has crippled the auto industry with more challenging CAFE standards and high gas prices by reneging on loosening restrictions on drilling?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  97. SPQR – Facts like that are inconvenient for their narrative.

    JD (5f0e11)

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