21 November 2008

Still Flying High

America’s Big Three Auto Maker CEOs Flew Private Jets to Plead for Public Funds
November 19, 2008

Detroit (ChattahBox) — The CEOs of Ford (Alan Mulally), Chrysler (Robert Nardelli) and GM (Rick Wagoner ) were in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday asking the government for billions of dollars to bailout their collective businesses.

The execs were trying to make the case that they’ll likely go out of business without a bailout. However they traveled in luxury on private, company owned, luxurious jets to get to D.C.

Wagoner flew in to tell members of Congress that the number one automaker is burning through cash, asking for $10-12 billion for GM alone. Sort of proving his case about burning cash, ABC News reports that Wagoner’s private jet trip to Washington cost the ailing GM an estimated $20,000 roundtrip. GM has 8 luxury jets in its fleet and apparently does NOT plan on selling any of them in this time of ‘crisis’. Note, the jet Wagoner flew on to get to DC cost the company $36 million.

Ford CEO Mulally told Congress that he’s cutting expenses, by laying-off workers and closing 17 plants. Mulally’s corporate jet is a perk included for both he and his wife as part of his employment contract along with a $28 million salary last year. Mulally actually lives in Seattle, not Detroit. The company jet takes him home and back on weekends. Neanwhile Ford continues to operate a fleet of eight private jets for its executives! The ABC report goes on to say that on Tuesday, one jet was taking Ford honchos to Los Angeles, another on a trip to Nebraska.

Robert Nardelli of Chrysler also flew in on a corporate jets to DC.

In comparison, seats on Northwest Airlines flight 2364 from Detroit to Washington were going online for $288 coach and $837 first class. Couldn’t the 3 have ‘jet pooled’ at least, considering they were coming from and going to the same place?

Tom Schatz, President of Citizens Against Government Waste said, “This is a slap in the face of taxpayers. To come to Washington on a corporate jet, and asking for a hand out is outrageous… It appears that the senior management of the automakers simply don’t get it.”

John McElroy of the TV show, Autoline Detroit said, “Now’s not the time to do that sort of thing. Now’s the time to be humble and show that you’re sharing equally in the sacrifice.”

Yeah, even the smallest gesture that you're serious and humbled would be a good thing. But these guys are so out to lunch on what reality for their companies is, I don't think they get it. Same old, same old. When times are good, these guys fight tooth and nail for deregulation and political leverage, then when things go south they are caught with their asses in the air and have to beg for taxpayer handouts. Ridiculous. It's very indicative of the analysis of the situation by the guys that rule the roost in most industries...I'm hardly surprised things are going the way they're going with all these goons in charge of things.

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