November 19th, 2008
07:26 PM GMT
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NEW YORK - The top executives of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler appeared in front of Congress for the second day in a row Tuesday, to make their case for an emergency government loan.

The three CEOs have said they don't have the cash to operate next year without help and warned that the failure of the industry would have dire consequences for the U.S. economy.

And yet GM CEO Rick Wagoner, Ford CEO Alan Mulally and Chrysler chief Bob Nardelli arrived for these historic hearings on private jets! That's right: The men at the helm of an industry so crippled that it has to ask for taxpayer money to survive flew on private jets. And they wonder why the American public is so angry about these bailouts.

Their choice of transportation dominated Wednesday's hearing. Representative Gary Ackerman, a Democrat from New York said: " ... there is a message here - couldn't you all have downgraded to first class or jet-pooled to get here? It would have at least sent a message that you do get it.

"If you're gonna streamline your companies, where does it start? And it would seem to me as the chief executive officer of those companies you can't set the standard of what that future is going to look like, that you are really going to be competitive, that you are going to trim the fat, that you don't need all the luxuries and bells and whistles ... it causes us to wonder."

CNN contacted each company who said in various ways that the use of private jets had to do with security and safety requirements. The spokespeople claimed that the companies had already made major cutbacks in travel and corporate spending.

The director of GM news relations added: "We are only doing travel that is absolutely critical to the future of the business. We think testifying in front of the Senate and House to try to secure the future of the U.S. auto industry falls into that category."

At best this can be chalked up to a public relations mistake. But I think many will also see this as a symbol of what is wrong with corporate America.

What do you think? Is this a legitimate issue - or are we in the media making too much of it? Should government aid come with requirements that the current management step down? Or should these companies sink or survive on their own?



soundoff (506 Responses)
  1. maura

    ford in the begining of the previous century bought out the subway system in california and then abandoned it so peole would have to buy cars in california.

    Screw the big 3 there leeches that produce inferior cars and are to bloated to change, its time to trim the fat

    November 19, 2008 at 7:45 pm |
  2. irene radda

    I think this is very symptomatic of the problems with big business and their connection (or lack of it) to their employees. They simply do not see the point, and continue to believe that their privileges are a necessity and even as their companies, and the employees who depend upon them, are going to the dogs, think that private jets are a requisite for their "safety". Fly economy, boys, and try to develop a corporate conscience!

    November 19, 2008 at 7:49 pm |
  3. SouthernYankee

    No, this is corporate ineptitude on display. For too many years, management of US corporations (and I include the managers of Labor Unions as being in the same bush league as any executive officer in any corporation) feel they are above the "unwashed masses". Right now, mediocrity and "yes men" are rewarded in corporate America.

    The sooner people realize that "real market forces" aren't driving anything in this country, the better we'll all be. The salaries of board members and executives are not driven by what they can do but who they know. Mediocrity, just getting it done without regard for costs down the road or problems that arise from myopic and short sighted approaches are buried as the "yes man" who "got it done" is promoted up and away from their future train wreck cash in.

    What I fear is that the American citizens want to hear the quick and painless fix". Sorry, ain't going to happen. The more we try to look for the easy and painless way out, the harder, more painful and worse the medicine will actually become.

    November 19, 2008 at 7:52 pm |
  4. rosoe

    They just don't get! Never have and looks like they never will! They need to go to the bank apply for a loan! But, the bank is probably going tolook at them and say, "no way, we only loan money to those who have the ability to repay the loan"!

    November 19, 2008 at 7:54 pm |
  5. Patricia Caldwell

    My question as a taxpayer is....Once we (the taxpayers) bail out everyone, who will be there to bail me out?

    Folks, this isn't rocket science stuff.....let's try common sense for change.....Let the auto industry file for bankruptcy and reorganize....some people may lose their jobs, but we cannot continue to 'bail out' everyone at the taxpayers expense.....it's not fair and as far as I'm concerned it's making robbery legal...my pockets are almost empty and to realize that it's my own government doing it, is abolutely abhorrent to me!!!

    No bail out......there have to be consequences for faulty management.....in any industry. Remember the mousetrap saying...he who builds a better mousetrap, etc. etc.

    Again, no bailout!!!!!!

    November 19, 2008 at 7:56 pm |
  6. Namarazzi

    I think that the use of individual private jets was an "allright" decision. The private jets will get these execs to where they need to get, and soon. This will keep things such as delays from interfering with day to day activities.

    Now as for bailing out these companies, I am 50/50 on this issue.

    I know people need jobs, and companies need to make a profit. If the taxpayers are going to bail these automakers out, this should be treated just like any other transaction that an investment capital company would.

    Identify the issues with production, design, management and workforce then fix them. I am sure there are improvements that could be made to help a company succeed.

    Make employees accountable for the work they provide and set high standards. If the union's are keeping a company from performing at their peak through "this isn't my job", remedy it somehow.

    Take a look at the successful competitors and figure out what the key differences are that could be changed at a local level and consider making changes.

    Don't let our money be used to let these failing companies "prolong" their failing lifespan, use the money to fix the issue.

    November 19, 2008 at 7:56 pm |
  7. Gerry Lewy

    let them all wallow in bankruptcy..not one lousy penny to any of the 3 companies or thier ceo's..disgusting actions by flying in private jets.
    Gerry Lewy!

    November 19, 2008 at 7:58 pm |
  8. Phil

    I think that it is absolutely critical for these companies to stay is business, and I'm scared to see how lightly the government is taking this issue. Their failure would be devastating and everything should be done to keep them running.
    However, in return for the taxpayer's dollars that would be provided to them, the government should get significant stakes in the companies and guaranties that they will take the right steps to return to profitability. A change of management would certainly also not hurt.

    November 19, 2008 at 7:58 pm |
  9. robbie

    Security? Safety? What? Do they fear being kidnapped, held hostage, & tortured until they divulge the secret technology to 9 mpg vehicles? Or maybe the Japanese need to know the proprietary formulas for cupholders per lardbutt passenger. Or maybe the financial algorithms that reduce values off the lot by vehicular half-life...

    November 19, 2008 at 7:59 pm |
  10. Jessen

    These companies have been operating for so long with such indifference and with sole motive to service the interests of rich and elite. They are least bothered about the common man. Now that the destiny has brought them down, let us not make more mistakes by bailing them out. But yes government has to ensure that employees are not left in lurch.

    November 19, 2008 at 7:59 pm |
  11. LHC

    hehe – Livin' large – right to the end.....

    November 19, 2008 at 7:59 pm |
  12. Thinking change in policy

    Is it not ironical that car manufacturers are going bankrupt with nobody to buy their cars...and they want a congressional bail-out too?Even if they get the bail-out and nobody buys the cars,what good will it serve?A more commonsense bailout would be to allow the 12 million 'illegal Aliens" to get drivers licenses(and Green cards) that would then allow them to buy and own cars.duhh!!Has anyone thought seriously about that?I am positive it will have a ripple effect in the economy...or we as a country can continue to live in denial as we sink lower and lower in an economic abyss that we perhaps will take decades to come out of.

    November 19, 2008 at 7:59 pm |
  13. SusieG

    Not only does this senseless expenditure show the average citizen that these huge corporations are out of touch with reality it also shows how little they care about the enviroment leaving one to doubt thier ability and sincerity on the current issues.

    November 19, 2008 at 7:59 pm |
  14. Ted

    Where is my bailout?

    I pay my bills, live within my means and work hard every day. Why should my hard earned money go to help people who are just going to waste it?

    Let them eat cake!

    November 19, 2008 at 8:01 pm |
  15. CarlosL.

    WoW they could not fly 1st class. Probably now they would like the taxpayers to help them out with that too.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:02 pm |
  16. Marcus Daniel

    No bailout required here! Unless they are forced the extravagance will continue.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:02 pm |
  17. kaluwa

    The media is rightfully making an issue out of this because it is an issue for crying out loud! There you are wanting funds and there you are spending the "little' that you have...

    November 19, 2008 at 8:04 pm |
  18. jeff

    would I not be crasy to drive my Rolls to ask for money. These guys are out of touch and so are the unions that work for them. cutbacks are for everyone top to bottom. Top first.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:04 pm |
  19. Rob

    It clearly shows that these guy's are not interested in saving money at their level. Problem is that everybody in the organizations looks at them for guidance and role models. Prime example of "do as I say, not as I do".

    November 19, 2008 at 8:04 pm |
  20. Terry

    This simply points out the mentality of the corproate execs In our country. SECURITY?? I might worry too if I destroyed a major industry the way these people have. Keep in mind the politicians that are talking down to them are cut from the same cloth...There only destroying the middle class here.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:05 pm |
  21. D

    I don't understand what "security" concern would lead to the need for a private jet to speak at a Congressional Hearing. They still have to pass through TSA security while flying on a privated jet? What are they doing or aren't doing that requires some additional layer of security?

    November 19, 2008 at 8:06 pm |
  22. HJB

    These people are so out of touch with the real world; perhaps that is why they are in such dire straits. It is a pity that they need be saved so the rest of the US economy doesn't completely tank. Otherwise, I would vote to let them slowly twist in the wind.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:06 pm |
  23. paul cd

    Instead of giving $25 billion to the car makers to play with and pay for jet fuel, set up a fund for the future of the industry.
    To qualify for access to the fund, projects would need to be presented that comply with principles of sustainable, efficient auto design & manufacture as well as corporate governance standards (including limits on executive pay & conditions).
    If the big three are genuinely ready for the change, they could re-focus all their capital spend into projects in the funded entities and protect the future of the auto industry.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:07 pm |
  24. derek

    Aspiring to becoming a CEO has become strictly a reward in itself. Having to be leader who is qualified and driven to help an organization develop is yesterday's news.

    Goodnight mighty America.....hope you awake from your slumber someday.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:08 pm |
  25. George

    I think a bailout LOAN under the principles (conditionalities) indicated by Obama in "60 Minutes" may be appropriate. But replacement of a board of directors would put the Government in an inappropriate role. Leave this to the shareholders.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:08 pm |
  26. Rick

    Fact is, if the so-called "Big Three" made cars as good as those from Honda, Toyota and Hyundai, none of this would be happening. Let 'em go bankrupt!

    November 19, 2008 at 8:10 pm |
  27. randy bragg

    As we come in to a new reality of what the world has come to with its liquid paper thin air cash company earnings, these individuals are just giving us the message that they are not going to change unless they hit rock bottom. I love the USA, and its people, this to shall pass.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:11 pm |
  28. mmirage

    I think it's pretty indicative of a big divide between major CEO's and business executives, and the working class of America. Despite asking for a bailout, you can be sure that the big brass at the "big three" (as well as many other companies with similar problems) will still be taking home ridiculously huge paychecks, taking private jets, claiming big expense accounts, etc.

    If the government is going to start bailing out these companies, then they need to start capping the salaries of all big brass employees. I think it fair to say that if you make more than, oh, 5x what your average staff/union employee makes, then there is a big problem.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:12 pm |
  29. Scobiejuan

    This just goes to show you they just don't get it. This is the same situation as giving money to AIG and then they had a sales meeting at a high-end resort in CA for $400K. Hopefully someone was smart enough to tell them they have to pay that back (with interest). The government has been trying to get the Big 3 to increase gas milage for years and the Big 3 spent tons of money on lobbyist to fight them. If they had just taken that money and given it to their Design Engineers to come up with high mpg, they woouldn't be in the position they are today.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:13 pm |
  30. Adam

    This is just another example of how status breeds entitlement. Being CEO of one of the Big 3 auto makers is without a doudt a high profile job that comes with status. However, just bcause they have status doesn't mean they should be entitled to anything better than the average citizen. If they were serious about becoming more efficient in order to stave off their demise, it would be all hands on deck to make it happen. In the military we follow a code of Mission, Man, Self. Perhaps it is the other way around for corporate America.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:13 pm |
  31. Jo Canuck

    Wasn't it Henry Ford who said, "If you think you can or you think you can't, you're right" Obviously they have decided to think that they can't succeed without a bailout. Sad, very sad. Pathetic in fact, that they would rather cry that they will go bankrupt if taxpayers [who have already in many cases supported them by buying their products] don't bail them out. MAKE THEM SWEAT. Do the numbers? How many licensed drivers are there in the states? How many cars are produced and imported annually? What is the lifetime of most cars? How many are sitting unsold on lots at the moment? Are you bailing companies out to make more of something that is already in surplus and not a priority for a buying public who is already strapped. This is not rocket science. It is simple math and demographics and I haven't even thrown in the environmental aspect. It's time for alternative fuels such as electric and compressed natural gas. Have the big 3 come to you with solutions based on demographics, fiscal reality and environmental responsibility THEN consider what could help them out and under STRICK VIGILANCE.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:16 pm |
  32. Robert Grignon

    The auto CEO's are taking private jets instead of flying economy class for "safety and security" reasons. Does this mean that the "common people" who fly economy class and are treated like cattle and subhumans with no civil rights are using unsafe and unsecure transportation ?

    November 19, 2008 at 8:16 pm |
  33. Carolyn

    What planet did those private jets fly those fat cat's in from? Can they really be that clueless of their companies dire straights to be able to justify that luxury? Come on guys grow up. They all disgust me. My solution: Before deciding on how much "bridge $$" is needed, fire all those fat cats, sell the jets and all the corporate extravagences. That should buy the employees time to decide how much is really needed. All this bridge loan now will do is keep these crooked guys in a life style they become way to accustom to. I would like to know the last time these fat babies walked around their plants? Do they have any idea about their worker's lifestyle? Management by walking around is something I am sure they have never experienced – security and safety and all!! My heart breaks for all the workers. Shame on the exes. As for their safety and security they so desperately think they need – well they probably will now for sure. Give the bridge loan to the workers to decide how it is spent. I bet they will make better decisions.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:16 pm |
  34. Nancy K.

    I think the auto mfgs. are having a really hard time keeping it together with all the bonus' they will have to give up. I too need a bail out, but do you think I will get one,. I sincerely doubt it. It is all about the rich getting richer and the poor or less forunate getting nothing again. But just wait and see, they will get bailed out AGAIN

    November 19, 2008 at 8:17 pm |
  35. Scott

    Private Jets!!!! Not on my dime. When I travel purchasing anything more than economy is seen as excessive. As for safety and security...I thought we had taken care of that after 9/11. Note the fact that we can't even take a bottle of water through security.

    If they want any pity for the industry, they better suck it up and travel like the ones giving them the handout!

    November 19, 2008 at 8:18 pm |
  36. RickJ

    If we're really in a free enterprise system, then we should not consider using taxpayer funding to bail these companies out.
    The average employee can thank their management, for flooding the market and the dealer channel, with excess inventory and for providing future economic students with examples of how NOT to run a company.
    They can thank their Union Leadership for continuing to hide their heads in the sand and making American Labor uncompetitive with the rest of the world.
    Both Management and Labor can thank each other for letting "Greed" blind them to the sinking ship they were in.
    If this is a free enterprise system, let them sink.
    If we lose the american "Big 3", this may just create a new opportunity for the worlds other, more efficient, automakers to file the gap.
    It just means North Americans will have less variety to chose form.
    I'll miss seeing what next year's "Vette" is going look like, but I'll get over it really quick.
    Bye Bye GM, Ford and Chrysler.....Thanks for the memories....I'll stick with my Honda.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:18 pm |
  37. L.MacKinnon

    I think it is an excellent point, and it would have been a small gesture on their part. (I am sure a luxury limo would have "rescued" them at the airport) The American car industry has been scalping North Americans for years. Let them go bankrupt, let them restructure and let the Unions decide what they are willing to give to keep their jobs. Maybe then we will get an industry that really gives a damn about their customers

    November 19, 2008 at 8:20 pm |
  38. TGKY

    How did the UAW rep travel for the hearings?

    November 19, 2008 at 8:20 pm |
  39. Steve (Canadian in UK)

    Risk of death flying a commercial flight in the USA last year 0%. I am thinking it is hard to improve on security like that and likewise hard to justify 3 small jet flights.

    How can a poor little auto company like Porsche that can't afford 'smart people' like Wagoner, Mulally or Nardelli do so well when the big 3 are doing so badly in the same market with such 'smart' leaders?

    Fire every employee & terminate every benefit to all present post employee's, Put McDonalds or Walmart in charge & start again. Or... Like Rover in the UK Bail them out & watch them fail and be sold to the highest pennies on the dollar bidder. Either way the management has got to, and will go.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:20 pm |
  40. eric

    I'm really glad to see that all of the comments are against the auto bailout. The fact of the matter is, if the U.S. economy can't naturally sustain an auto industry in a country where almost everybody drives, then the natural outcomes of that failure ought to be allowed to follow. We can't breathe new life into an industry until the citizens of the U.S. are interested in supporting it.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:20 pm |
  41. Niel Davis

    Clearly there is no true leadership at the big three any more. In the past they have lobbied aggressively against the tightening of fuel efficiency and other regulations that, had Congress not been a slave to the lobbying industry, would have forced these automakers to be making competitive cars and trucks now. Lobbying to prevent change and hold on to the past only turns around to bite you in the end, and the big three have now been well and truly bitten.

    We're going to pay one way or another – either in unemployment benefits or subsidizing the cars so (as some who has been unemployed since January 08) better in my mind to subsidize, BUT, congress needs to pass tough fuel economy standards and other constraints that force these car makers to change their game and the current leadership is incapable of that.

    Industry lobbying to hold back the future and congressional suckling from the lobbyist's nipple must be outlawed!

    November 19, 2008 at 8:20 pm |
  42. Michael

    Maybe we should hear from someone outside of the auto industry to paint for us a picture of the USA without the big three auto industries. If it were something we could handle, well fine, but our fears are being driven by the huge job losses, at it looks like the edge of a cliff and no one knows how deep is the fall.
    If the auto industries collapse, all you have to do, is to divide the huge salaries, to give to the laid off workers, and do something fast to get new jobs somewhere.
    North America has come to a place where jobs are not that steady, like here in Mexico, where doctors sometimes drive taxis, and there are never enough jobs for graduates, so you just have to do something else to get by. It is only sad, that it looks like the run for the American dream has killed the dream in a small way. Like Icarus making wings to fly to the sun. Pardon the comparison.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:20 pm |
  43. bob

    The story is not really relevant, but it does show poor judgement at a time of crisis. Fact is that CEOs of large companies like to be treated like small kings within their own court....when times are good, they take the credit, but when times change, then its always someone or somthing else that is to blame.

    These guys should be shadowed by some accountant from the federal goverment making sure that every penny they get from the tax payers is well spent...maybe then they would start to think twice on their own....the first step should be to pay the gas bill for the flight.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:21 pm |
  44. Sarah

    Ugh to all of them. Ugh to the bloated, parochial unions; ugh to short-sighted management; ugh to the dealers.

    The problem with this plan is that it *isn't* a bailout! To bail out someone means to actually lift them *out* of their problem. A few dozen billion isn't going to save these bloated and useless companies, just suck up our money until they die in a few months or years.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:21 pm |
  45. adam roger prus-szczepanowski

    I am absolutely astounded by the attitudes of these three. In what world are they living in?
    When they had profits, they kept them for themselves. Now, they want to split the losses..... Pocket the gains, buying Porsches, buying houses in the Hamptons and having expensive meals. But when the dough disappears they want us to tuck in. You three must think that all of us are really 300 millions idiots! And arriving at the Senate meeting with hats in your hands and your Lear jets waiting for you on the tarmacs!
    And you think the tax payers are going to side with the type of species you are?

    November 19, 2008 at 8:22 pm |
  46. pagodatree

    Screw all the bail-out bs. Why do the gov spend our money on only a certain peoplebut not others. My company just laid off thousands of good and hard working workers. Who bails them out ? For these businesses to survive, they have to rid themself off those fat. Only the fittest survives.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:24 pm |
  47. the sceptic

    If proof were needed of why Detroit is in trouble, here it is. Beyond the moral issue of flying private jets when essentially bankrupt, there is the sheer stupidity of doing so when in the public eye.
    Detroit has consistently ignored consumer opinion for 30+ years, they do it now, and will continue doing it.
    Unless, of course, we send the lot of them a signal that they can NOT ignore – no free money.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:27 pm |
  48. Silveraxe

    If they are so crunched for cash...do like the rest of us...sell their private jets, ride coach. Do you seriously expect us to believe that with all the screening and all the security on public airplanes that they have additional 'safety and security' issues? I mean seriously...they boot people off for yelling loudly. Perhaps they just don't want to be around the paupers.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:29 pm |
  49. St. Anselm

    Give them the money, but with so many strings tied to the top executives that the only ones who'll stay are the ones who aren't in it just for the bonuses and perks.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:30 pm |
  50. sc

    let them sink!! This is part of the big 'shakedown' that all these big corporations are going through......survivial of the fittest!! Only the strongest, most adept will survive........ NO Bailout!

    November 19, 2008 at 8:34 pm |
  51. vivek jhunjhunwala

    Woah – Talk about audacity eh
    You should not get a penny and hope you guys have no severance package or golden parachutes or whatever

    Is ur jet safer than a commercial airliner? Could you not have JET – POOLED ? I don't believe it – you guys just don't get it, do you?

    It will be a shame if the gov bails you guys out

    November 19, 2008 at 8:34 pm |
  52. Jim Martin

    Where do the bailouts end if the government gives in to the automakers. If I go out and make a bunch of bad investments will the government bail me out? Don't think so. Whatever money the government decides to give, it should all go to the employees that are going to lose their jobs except those in management positions – they shouldn't get squat. Sell the private jets and repossess the homes of the top 5 in management. There's a price for everything and greediness at the top doesn't deserve to go unpunished when the real workers have to lose their jobs, especially during the holiday season.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:35 pm |
  53. berry

    i think it is better if we can compromise, these ceo's can survive with out the bailout, but who suffers is the people, things went wrong somewhere and can only fixing it by keeping the status que, not by destroying. it is better bailing out them and restructure the management once again: more government intervantion.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:37 pm |
  54. Steve

    I don't have a real issue with it. I think it's incredible how Congress sits in their chairs on a platform raised above everyone else so they can look down on whomever they are castigating and denigrating.

    Congress isn't concerned about fixing America's problems. Their concerned about getting re-elected, pushing pork to their districts and fattening themselves on pension plans, perks and expenses that we will never see. And they vote for their own pay raises.

    Give everyone one-5 year term, let them be beholden to no one and do what's right for America. It makes me sick to see Congress berate everyone that comes before them because, like the auto execs, the majority of Congress has been asleep at the wheel. They don't work as a team but as 535 independent agents. We wouldn't even be talking about a financial bailout for Wall Street had Congress done what they are their $200K/yr salaries are supposed to do. When have they shown accountability?

    November 19, 2008 at 8:38 pm |
  55. Tim Rogers

    Ok, enough is enough!!!! Let us focus on the real issue here. Was it really mismanagement by the Big 3 auto companies…. NO, how about going after and attacking the CEO’s of the big oil companies who are making billions on these ridiculous gas prices. The only one who could have accurately forecasted the issues facing the auto industry today is the big oil companies, here is where the real thieves lie.

    Nobody has said anything to the oil industry for almost tripling the cost of gas and really the root cause for much of our economic crisis, along with the housing issue.

    Oh by the way the housing issue, Hmmmm didn’t they ask for 700 Billion????? Nobody has said boo about this one. Hippocrates!

    November 19, 2008 at 8:39 pm |
  56. GinoP

    By bailing out inefficient corporations the US government is looking more and more like Mexico, Argentina or Brazil who, up until market reforms were taken, spent billions of dollars subsidizing corporate money pits drowning their economies.

    Also, think about this, foreign auto makers, from Japan, Korea and Germany, make a profit building cars in the US; US Automakers make a profit building and selling cars in Mexico, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, the EU and China. So, what is the problem with the Big Three in the US. The Big Three letters: UAW.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:41 pm |
  57. i vote and i am watching

    not only do the execs refuse to curtail costs when in th public eye asking for a bailout.. they defend these actions when caught doing so and can't even admit how this might have been seen as a bad judgement call.

    not to mention, they can't even make a car to compete on a quailty/feature/price point with overseas manufacturers.

    no bailout on my dime, damnit

    November 19, 2008 at 8:41 pm |
  58. CAPF

    Why would taxpayers pay for someone else's inefficiencies! And why has nobody asked those CEOs to present their resignations LOOOONGGG time ago????

    And on top of that they continue to fly private jets?? You gotta to be kidding me!

    No bailout!

    November 19, 2008 at 8:42 pm |
  59. jens

    Bailing out strategically important industries in an economic crisis can very often be justified, as the short and long term consequences of doing nothing can be quite horrific. In this particular case, I dont think the case as all that easy. I travel the world, and nowhere do I find American cars in great demand. The big three cannot manage to produce the type of cars that the world wants, and in many countries American cars are considered more or less a joke. (with some exceptions). A bailout would only prolong the slow and painful death of the American auto industry, as the management of these companies never seem to learn. Let the Japanese and Europeans take over the production plants, let the Americans swallow their pride, and we will see a successful American Auto industry.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:43 pm |
  60. Outraged

    Simply based upon this story, everybody should hold off on any help for these idiots unless and until they cut the overhead to the absolute bone. Another article from ABC says Ford has a fleet of 7 jets!

    As to security, that's a load of baloney. Who wants to try to ransom these 3 losers!

    November 19, 2008 at 8:44 pm |
  61. David

    I dont like the bailout, but they need some help, from the American government, and the american people. We need to put high taxes on foriegn cars, just like other coutries do to our exports. We also need better gas mileage laws, the ability is there. Plenty of small cars in europe get well over 50mpg. The people of this country also need to stop buying foriegn cars. I do my part, I have 2 Ford products, and 2 Chrysler products. The aftermath of these three being gone is not something that will go over well, because they affect so much in the economy.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:45 pm |
  62. Sebastian

    You in the media are not making too much of it. Maybe too little.
    I agree that if these companies fail it will be bad for America and the world but..maybe we should let one go down so everybody in America realizes that we don't deserve the world for nothing. ENOUGH is ENOUGH. This robbers need to work at making cars that people need (not only in the uSA) in these times of global warming and all. Forget private planes...big bonuses....fancy trips and hotels to get "inspired". Unions need to get off of their clouds. In short: STOP CRYING and get to work. They don't deserve nothing from the rest of us if all involved don't get to work..work and work together.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:46 pm |
  63. Mark

    Its all about being competitive. The Big 3 either cut it or they don't on the world stage. Flying a private jet to a meeting is "thumbing the nose" at every single American who has to pay for the bail-out.
    The Big 3 should be thinking of tomorrow and delivering innovation today.........."big oil" has made loads of money, where has all the money gone? Why continue buying gas guzzling machines that are expensive to run and only the US wants......that doesn't seem to innovation or future thinking to me. No wonder Toyota is nigh on being World No. 1 car maker :)

    November 19, 2008 at 8:46 pm |
  64. Angela Blondeau

    Who is buying new cars when most people are worried about their jobs and putting food on the table! There are plenty of car lots full of new and good used vehicles. Why make more when the economy is flat. America doesn't need more cars.

    America needsto built its infrastructure which has been neglected due to the Iraq war and other republican spending policies.
    All Americans would benefit by government spending money on roads, bridges, sewers, solar electric panels for street lights, wind power, etc. This all translates to JOBS.
    Jobs create money which allows people to buy houses, pay mortgages, spend at the malls .
    Why pay unemployment benefits when so many could be employed in these jobs that help America.
    Making more cars and bailing out the g3 is not the way out of this economic mess.
    President Elect Obama please consider ALL Americans and create jobs that will enrich all America.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:47 pm |
  65. Mark F

    BAD LEADERSHIP starts at the top and is multiplied all the way down to the shop floor member. Today we have pleanty of bad examples of leadership. the bosses of the 3 US auto giants, could very well have started with flying, like we all do, commerical jet liners, standard seats.
    Media hype of not. Leadership is walking the talk and leading the way. Just look at how the Japanese do it!.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:48 pm |
  66. stream

    I am both pleased and nervous about the strength of sentiment against the bailout expressed above.

    We cant directly compare the financial system and the automotive industry, but who else gets hurt if the Big Three go bankrupt? The unions that lived off the beast for so long? (that might be justified) The myriad parts suppliers who employ many others?

    I agree the Big Three have to change in many ways (attitude, ecology, quality, design) and that the Big Three stakeholders (shareholders, management, unionised employees and even lenders) need to pay. But lets do so in a way that doesnt cut off our nose to spite our face!

    Beware the Law of Unintended Consequences!!! Lehman Brothers was considered to be small enough to let go. This turned out to be badly wrong, and we will all suffer the consequences of the subseauent instability in the financial system.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:49 pm |
  67. einar dyhr

    I think you are absolutely right in pursuing corporate extravagance wherever it occurs.
    Furthermore you should not stop to expose management short range profit/benefit schemes that leaves the shareholder and the employees holding the short stick when the market turn sour. You should concentrate on promoting schemes which allows the talented executive to make an extra ordinary profit only when the long term goals results in success of his company. (how about 10-15 year convertible bonds)

    Einar dyhr
    Info@deltapro.dk

    November 19, 2008 at 8:50 pm |
  68. Robert

    I'm stunned by the comments that say the auto execs don't get it. They absolutely "get it". They know that no matter what they do, no matter how outrageous their behavior, the Congress will have little choice but to hand them bundles of cash, or watch tens of thousands of their constituents' jobs go up in smoke, never to return. The auto execs can do anything they want, because at the end of the day, the only people they feel the least bit accountable to is their own Board of Directors.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:53 pm |
  69. Claude

    They ask for more money and then we will hear that they paid themselves (the CEOs) big bonus because they manage to get their company out of trouble.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:53 pm |
  70. Face Reality

    Why delay the inevitable? Just how many times does the taxpayer have to pump vast amounts of money into inefficient companies? Break 'em up and sell them to the highest bidders as all the companies have assets (e.g. brand Names) of high value....job losses will not be nearly as high as reported as cars will still be made and serviced in the U.S. but just for whoever then owns the various brands.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:55 pm |
  71. alex

    Our country has a long pattern of supporting the auto industry even while the same steps have done massive damage to our country. Take a look at all the tax subsidies, rebates, and giveaways, free federal money going into building roads, and almost no gas tax. All at the same time while the companies themselves worked to demolish public transit. The cost to Americans is a spread-apart infrastructure we can't support, ludicrously fuel inefficient cars, and an economy in the gutter. The Big Three get rich, and ruined the rest of the country in the process.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:56 pm |
  72. American-Auto-Flop

    The American auto industry has long been inferior to their European counterparts. It is time to recognize that maybe it would be best to cut the *continual* losses and let it flop. Some people may loose their jobs – and private jets – But guess what? Americans can do anything if we set our minds to it (e.g., flying, space travel).

    Lets do the world a favour – ditch the combustion engine, and put our effort into something sustainable.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:57 pm |
  73. Kumar

    So far all I have heard is how these companies are losing money and need bailout by the end of 2008 and the potential for 2.3 million job losses.

    Does anyone believe that GM, Ford or Chrysler CEO`s have actually figured out how their companies can be transformed to compete with the likes of BMW, Honda or Toyota.

    I don't hear Europeans or Japanese car makes asking their governments for help, aren't they experiencing the same problems as GM, Ford and Chrysler.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:58 pm |
  74. tom let them eat cake

    when you do the math, of mr waggoners salary (8.5mm) and figure after security checks, flight delays, maybe a connection, etc, it probably is worth the 4 hours he saves by flying private jet.
    Rank has its priveleges, and i think it is justified.

    Should we mothball Airforce 1 due to the multi trillion deficit and
    have the President fly 1st class and his entourage coach? No way.
    So why should the CEO of the worlds largest automobible company be diffient.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:58 pm |
  75. Dave

    Remember, a company filing for Chapter 11 does not mean it is going out of business. It protects them from their creditors while they work out a court approved restructuring.

    So stop saying "We cant let them go out of business".

    Fact is, we cant afford to help them anyway.

    As for the jets, they just dont get it which means nothing will change of they get $$$. Dont tell me they couldn't call some one at an airline, if the flights were full, to get some one bumped so they could go. Or better yet, DRIVE, you make cars dont you?

    November 19, 2008 at 8:59 pm |
  76. Joe

    The bailout wouldn't help them. It will prolong their agony. People are so angry on them that a bailout will take away every sign of sympathy they might currently have.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:59 pm |
  77. Peep Uus

    I'm from Estonia (EU) and have had some experience with american cars. I currently own Honda Accord, my wife drives Honda Civic, my brother drives Ford Mondeo and I repair cars myself – therefore I can compare apples to apples. The case is that Ford Mondeo takes fewer fuel per 100 km than does my Honda Accord. Also the Honda Civic has far more problems than does Ford Mondeo – a very reliable car instead. I do think that the guilt is also on american buyers who demanded bigger and bigger fuel guzzling engines. So the big three just met the demand. Also it's a blame for government who didn't want to stop the fuel fiesta by rising taxes on gasoline – like europeans did and forcing europeans buy more fuel efficient cars. I do like to drive a Hummer – however i can't afford it because of european fuel cost. I guess that the car industry is similar to financial industry and exacly the same problems are to blame. And once more – american cars are not worser and fewer reliable than german or japanees – the cars are very good.

    November 19, 2008 at 8:59 pm |
  78. Sebastian

    The sad part is also they don't care and washington will bail them out

    November 19, 2008 at 9:00 pm |
  79. Shaun

    I guess their security personal must know something we don't.lol
    No one bailed out the airline industry and they managed to keep going so why bail these guys out. All we are bailing out is their lifestyle not the company because who is going to hire these guys to run their companeis after what they did to these ones. They are trying to get as much money into their pockets before someone kicks them the curb which I hope happens soon.
    It seems to me they are in there own seperate reality to the rest of the country and flying 3 private jets at the cost of $20000 each to beg for money just proves it.
    I say let them go bankrupt and maybe this will knock some sense into their thick heads.

    November 19, 2008 at 9:01 pm |
  80. gavin Reid

    As a non Us citizen living in South Africa – it is so hard to see how to respond to the economic reality we all face. Helping companies that don't see reality will only postpone us all facing the economic truth. The market is not king but bails out only postpone what will eventually happen. Save yourselves, and the world $25bn, let the cycle play out – it will eventually anyway....

    November 19, 2008 at 9:01 pm |
  81. Alejandro Bonilla

    Are you kidding me? These 3 CEO's should have been fired since 2003! These are the same ones that have not only made and boosted engines sizes but the ones responsible for a heavier American Foreign Oil dependency. This is a Joke, and the worst one.

    American cars not only are BAD, BAD as in Quality but expensive, expensive for Petrol and careless about the Environment.

    Picture GM and Ford doing what Toyota did 10 YEARS before them. Toyota Prius! Where would we probably be!?

    US Car makers are a Safety and Security risk for the World. They should be in jail and held accountable with all their Corporate Responsibility.

    November 19, 2008 at 9:01 pm |
  82. Robert Bergmoser

    Back in the early 80's my grandfather was brought out of retirement to be president of Chrysler under Iaccoca. He and Iaccoca ( along with many talented team members) had the overwhelming and daunting task of brigning proffitability and pride back to the number three of the big three. They made many trips to Washington to sell their business plan to then President Reagan and Vice Pres Bush. Everyone in the public was shouting foul; and that our free market system is based on the suvival of the fittest system. What the public didn't realize was what the compounded effect that the failure of Chrysler would have on the already poor economic conditions. What Iaccoca and the Govn't aggreed on was a loan that would be paid back in a negotiated period of time with interest. Chrysler took this loan and retooled and developed a streamlined system of purchasing and productivity. And in the years to come developed some of the most inovatively engineered cars over the past decade. Bringing proffitability and pride back to the company. Also paying the loan back four years early with interest. So the bottom line is that thousands of jobs were not only saved but jobs were gained over the years and the taxpayer got their money back with interest. I would much rather see the $700B go to the automakers (under the same terms) than to a bunch of bankers that don't make anything tangible. If the automakers were to have access to this funding it would enable the largest portion on our economy to retool and become more competitve. Saving the jobs of millions. Ultimately trickelling up to the banks; who only employ thousands of overpaid speculators. Maybe the Automakers should consult with Iaccoca on the business plan to present to Washington; unfortunately they can't consult with my grandfather, god rest his soul. Robert

    November 19, 2008 at 9:04 pm |
  83. Ronal

    Wagoner has been running GM since 2000 so dont tel me he hasn't had a chance to change things. Answer, he choose not to and continue making mediocre cars that gulp to much gas while others made cars like the Prius. Initially the Prius didn't seem like a winner, but the execs looked beyond next years company statement and now they are reaping the benefits. Ok, give em some money to change course, but not a dime more.

    November 19, 2008 at 9:12 pm |
  84. dusty

    the big three are dinosaurs. they did not see the future or keep up with the times. and that's just bad business vision and when small businesses can't keep up and stay competitive they go the way of the dinosaur. it's time for them to be extinct. and from those ashes will rise new businesses with new ethics and new ideas. the 25 B would be better spent helping the out of work employees of the big three until they find new work or retrain them for new industries.

    bye bye big three!

    November 19, 2008 at 9:13 pm |
  85. Steve DeMont

    I've been tossing the following concept around for awhile that
    would be the Cure All for Mankind. We have gotten to the point
    in Corporate America, Wall Street, Washington D.C. they can no longer account for the Money they have or don't have, No body can balance the Books.

    We need to do away with all systems of Currency, The infastructure
    of our Country has been well established, to where we can provide
    for everybody. Everything made on Earth comes from National
    Resource's and will continue to do so. Manufacturing of Products
    will Continue as is, Farming to feed our Nation, Contracting
    Services to build housing, repair etc. will be free or provided in
    the same way we pay for this now. We need to get rid of Currency
    and all of our troubles will go away, Drugs, Murder, Hunger,
    we'll all be on the same page as equals, no one richer than the
    other.

    Lets try it !!!!!

    November 19, 2008 at 9:13 pm |
  86. omorals

    If the average American taxpayer isn't willing to buying a car from the top three, then why should the average American taxpayer want to own a stake in a company that is hemorrhaging cash?

    I say let them sink and hopefully they, along with the rest of corporate America, will learn their LESSONS.

    November 19, 2008 at 9:15 pm |
  87. Monica

    This is unbelievable! They should file bankruptcy and reorganized like any other company. What makes them think they are that special? THEY ARE NOT! This situation is actually good, so the public stops buying crappy cars and start buying cars with the evironment in mind. These CEOs have only three things in their minds: money, power and greed and the sure way to get them is building crappy cars, that after a couple of years, need part replacement, service, etc. I actually glad this is happening to them, however, I feel for the poor employees that have dedicated years of their lives to these companies.

    November 19, 2008 at 9:15 pm |
  88. steve haas

    Dear CNN,
    Do not bail out these out-of-touch companies. They have had years to rebuild and have NEVER seen the big picture. They have poor product planning and design, lucicrous UAW agreements, and outrageous pension plans. These guys (CEO's) are in la la land and should be fired. They have had the opportunity for many years to reorganize and be competitive and have failed miserabley. Please DO NOT offer cash to these morons. They should retire and go away. Let these companies file chapter 11. This is the ONLY way they can compete in the future. They MUST get out of their current agreements and start over. Let some new guys with Car experience come-in and take over. Carlos Gosn with Nissan is proof that a large company like these CAN rebound with good product developement, good advertising, and good business stategy. Whoever is on the board of the big 3 should also be let go. Nobody has a clue and these companies need to start over. Please DO NOT waste my tax dollars trying to save a broken business with out-of-touch CEO's.
    Regards,
    Steve Haas

    November 19, 2008 at 9:16 pm |
  89. arty

    screw these guys....Chevy already had functioning electric car...you guys had your chance...and for the people who worked for these companies...i heard toyota is hiring

    November 19, 2008 at 9:16 pm |
  90. Gene

    It's called "Capitalism" and it works....if you let it. If the government gets involved, you can be sure things will not! The fact that these jokers think that they are so important that someone actually cares about them enough to threaten their security shows their arrogance and disconnection with America. There are ways to deal with financial troubles that thousands of other companies have had to learn and experience. Stop the bail-out madness....the middle class is fed up!

    November 19, 2008 at 9:17 pm |
  91. Sara

    Perhaps if these idiots were somewhat smart, they would have started making more fuel efficient cars a long time ago. But no, their stubborn attitudes said keep on making gas guzzlers! Sometimes I wonder how smart some of these CEO's actually are. If they had capitalized one hybrid and hydrogen technology they probably would not be in this position! They don't deserve a bailout and neither did AIG!!

    November 19, 2008 at 9:18 pm |
  92. Parker

    The cars they build have been obsolete for many years. This includes the brains and common sense of the executives. As far as I am concerned Detroit should have closed down many years ago. I had no interest in baling out the banks and insurance companies, I have no interest in bailing out automakers, and no one has said a word to me about helping my struggling business – so screw them. Their businesses are no different than mine.

    November 19, 2008 at 9:18 pm |
  93. Mig Garcia

    This is a clear example of what is wrong in Corporate america today.
    No government should bail out inefficiency and greed of some corporate CEOs; at the end of the day they will go home to their fancy mansions and the average american is confronting unemployment and one of the biggest crisis ever seen in this country.
    Let's go back to be competitive, ethical, fair and regain the respect of the world that we have lost in the last decade.

    November 19, 2008 at 9:19 pm |
  94. Michael Waldron

    I think that the big three have been stealing from the American people for years.. and we should let them sink......

    Karma Karma Karma, it gets everyone every time....

    November 19, 2008 at 9:20 pm |
  95. Christopher

    Perfect example of so many at the top – they've had it too good for too long and like the emperors of Rome, they're out of touch. They don't really 'get it' they just want an easy fix that doesn't require too much from them. What's funny is, those days are over – these guys just represent the last bastion of demographic that has yet to get the news. They're late to the game because their lives have been overly cushioned by fat paychecks and bonuses which has overly extended a false sense of normalcy in their lives. Now they're all coming up against reality, it's shocking them, and they want someone else to fix it for them. I don't think it's gonna happen guys – for better or worse, my guess from what I've seen in the news and on blogs, etc. is that you're gonna be on your own.

    November 19, 2008 at 9:22 pm |
  96. GD

    Let them rot! Give the bailout to the workers (without union negotiations).

    Take away the CEO pensions, give them a decent retirement plan, force them to retire and reinvest the confiscated money back into the company.

    Oh yeah, and make some vehicles people actually WANT to purchase!

    November 19, 2008 at 9:22 pm |
  97. sockrates

    Maybe these CEO's Need a lesson on how to survive hard times.
    i am unemployed and make plans before I go out with my Toyota to do shopping and always make the best of my trip to save gas and the environment. What part do these people not get?
    Let the unions and the CEO's/big shots take a big bite of Humble Pie.

    November 19, 2008 at 9:22 pm |
  98. George

    This is the kind of side-show story, like Sarah Palin's clothes, that indicate where the nation's sentiments lie.

    Not insuring Detroit's survival is probably suicide to the economy at this point, but not getting major concessions from the UAW, management, and stockholders won't fly, even tourist class.

    If you listen to the right and left, the same message is clear: some form of restructuring has to happen, and some kind of loans, too.

    November 19, 2008 at 9:24 pm |
  99. Carlos Soares

    Remember Lee Iacocca boys? If my memory is right he was on a $1 pay while asking employees to work hard to revive Chrysler in the 80's.

    Is there any safer, faster and more expensive means of transportation than private jets? If they've arrived via space shutle I'm sure there w'd have been giving a good reason for it.

    Open your eyes boys, the people on the streets might not have gone to Harvard but was not born yesterday...

    Carlos Soares
    Brussels
    Belgium

    November 19, 2008 at 9:26 pm |
  100. Bob

    This is the kind of media reporting leads to class warfare! If this is what we are going to argue about then I feel since the Government is so far in Debt, Obama better get an American Airlines Frequent Flyer card and lets moth-ball Air-Force One. He can wait in the TSA lines with the rest of us and really feel our pain. Maybe then "Change" will start happening. I hope you all have something better to argue about than whether the heads of some of the largest corporations in America fly on a private jet or not.

    November 19, 2008 at 9:28 pm |
  101. StevenAM

    If professional lenders – people who do this for a living – wouldn't give these morons a loan, why would you and I want to? Let 'em fail, and if there is any justice, the stooges who steered them into the rocks will have lost a fortune and be where they belong, flipping burgers and salting fries.

    November 19, 2008 at 9:28 pm |
  102. OutWest

    Bail out? maybe. Change management – definitely!!!

    November 19, 2008 at 9:28 pm |
  103. Benjamin

    Wise people are needed now in the world, not wise guys.

    November 19, 2008 at 9:29 pm |
  104. Tyler Walton

    How about this:

    Take that $25 Billion, and disperse it evenly among the 300+ million taxpayers.

    Thats makes us all Millionaires. What do millionaires do? spend money.

    Now you have every taxpayer spending like crazy, stimulating business and generating record tax revenue.

    Economic problem solved.

    Oh wait, thats too "socialist". No, we want to keep the money in the pockets of corrupt CEO's and oil companies.... right??

    November 19, 2008 at 9:29 pm |
  105. John

    I say we (Americans) can learn a few lessons from The Netherlands. In The Netherlands, you can go from point A to point B via bicycle on well maintained/lighted bicycle paths, anywere in the country. Also, you can travel by train, tram, or bus (public transportation) nationwide, and they're on time, inexpensive, safe, and well maintained! Some companies even have a "bicycle project" where if you cycle so many miles a year, the company will pay for a large portion of the purchase of a new bike!

    November 19, 2008 at 9:31 pm |
  106. larry wayne richards

    The use of expensive corporate jets by these guys, at this moment when the world's economies are reeling and more and more people are going to food banks, is beyond disgusting. Indeed they "don't get it," at all. And we in auto-making Ontario are watching very closely!!

    Larry Wayne Richards
    Toronto, Canada

    November 19, 2008 at 9:31 pm |
  107. Anthony W.

    With all the airline cancellations, delays and extra charge for checked baggage, who can blame them?
    Seriously, the disparity in salaries between the top executives and average workers is disgusting. If these CEOs are serious about taking a bridge loan from the taxpayers as they reorganize to finally become competitive, then a good show of faith would be to take a pay cut, at the very least until they become profitable again.

    November 19, 2008 at 9:31 pm |
  108. Carlos Soares

    I guess America and the World will pay for their mistakes.

    Bailout, Chapter 11, result is the same. Less jobs, less confidence, more crisis.

    Maybe if you let the rusty heavy boat sink. Someone will make a carbon fiber one. Slower, lighter, more mile per gallon. So what? Let die the rotten and a new tree will be born. Fruits will be fresh again.

    Takes time, lets be patient. Lets work to spend less fuel, back to basics, enjoy simple things of life.

    November 19, 2008 at 9:34 pm |
  109. Ryan

    GM will not succeed until they get out from under current management and the UAW contracts they signed. No company can survive giving out the ridiculous wages UAW workers are getting. In total (after health care, etc...) they are getting an average of $71/hour. That alone will cripple any company.

    A bailout is allowable if and only if management changes hands, and the workers are reduced to salaries or dollars/hour that are manageable. Compared with Toyota and even German automakers, they simply cannot compete. No innovation, bad management, and ridiculous wages are at fault here.

    November 19, 2008 at 9:35 pm |
  110. asuncionabe

    The CEOs should be fired for ineptitude and be relegated to doing community service for a year at least. ala

    November 19, 2008 at 9:35 pm |
  111. Jon

    For all the big probs right now first let the cars compamies go bankrupt, Get some long need regs in place .all the people who get laid of during thie transition hire them for a new Evormentally friendly government car manufacter a no none sense clean car that is basic but works with clean high fuel standards "Gov Car" filling the job voids, and simultaniously cleaning up goblal warming sounds easy to me .

    November 19, 2008 at 9:37 pm |
  112. Mark

    This is all posturing to minimize the public outcry when the automakers declare bankruptcy in 2009. Employees, retrired employees, suppliers and franchised dealers will get screwed. Automakers will restructure from a clean slate and be profitable.

    November 19, 2008 at 9:40 pm |
  113. Nevo

    The economy is not the entire reason the companies are failing. These companies have been too slow to move with the times since the 1980s. Their business model is similar to the one used almost a century ago. The tax payer will end up bailing out these mismanaged companies. Thousands of workers will be laid off while the guys at the top continue life as usual. Has this become the American way?

    November 19, 2008 at 9:42 pm |
  114. james

    hypocrites, if the economy tanks any further, there will be no one employed and then you can write about governments failure to act. the mere act of letting three million jobs and donw the road auto industries ship to Japan or other countries will not help fix the current situation, a slap on the hand, a wink or two and the cheque is better sense.

    Most of you do not realise just how intertwined this economy is? if you did you would quickly realise that if 3 million jobs fall off the market, banks will have to loose 15% of jobs to match service delivery, then will come the next industry that feed these guys and on and on...so that when you think about it the 25 billion will be peanuts in the end.

    also note that probably the big three have paid more in taxes over their lifetime than most whino's who wrote here, let them have their money back.

    Also a down the road effect is that China may ask you to give them back their money for lack of maret confidence and investment opportunities – what happens then?

    some of the congressmen and women, were damn right silly in their questions and look how bad the market perfoemed today?

    i guess the senators can question what happened while the economy tanks, the chick of these same people to blame W. when their incompetence is showing so obviously now.

    Grow up people, this is not the time for games, blames or who rode in on what? sitting and playing politics was what elections was about , go write teh checks now!!!!

    I fear that the markets down 40% this year alone may take 50 years to recover with all these morons in congress sitting on their hands instead of being part of the solution...

    November 19, 2008 at 9:46 pm |
  115. Jim

    I would be more willing to support a bailout if the executives got a pay freeze for the next three years or so. No salary, no bonuses, no paying personal bills with company money. If they do, it's a felony and they spend the next 20 years in jail. They need to know that this is not about saving their already swelling bank account, but rather saving the other 1.5 Million people.

    November 19, 2008 at 9:46 pm |
  116. Monty

    I am not in favor of a bailout. Unfortunately, the unions have put these Automotive corporations into a tailspin and I fear that the only way to fix the problem is through the bankruptcy courts. The fact that the executives flew in on private jets is a non-issue. Why do people always want to blame the CEO. These guys have not even been the CEO's of these companies for very long. In fact, they probably would be wise to go work for other companies rather than take this abuse. The Unions are to blame for the problems of these companies.

    November 19, 2008 at 9:46 pm |
  117. D Anderson

    Companies live and die by Free Market rules all the time. Here lays the opportunity to do things better: anew. It's time to find a new way. Unfortunately, America may not have the resources required to start over. How many young American’s actually consider a career in Engineering? Why work so hard when instant success can be had in the next reality game show. Go back to school so you can figure out how to build something that works and that people want. There’s an opportunity here for a bright, bold and creative person to become the next “Henry Ford”. Bye-bye big three.

    November 19, 2008 at 9:46 pm |
  118. Livity

    Let them sink, they probably will learn 'the' lesson after that.

    Hoe owners got themselves into trouble but car makers just having bad luck?

    November 19, 2008 at 9:47 pm |
  119. Seth Chandler

    They just don't get it. I'm sure it has not occurred to them that they are also overpaid and, as they ask for public money, they and their top managers don't deserve bonuses. No, that thought would never cross their minds.

    They lobby against a national health care plan even though it would help their companies. They lobby against tighter safety requirements even though they would save their customers' lives. They lobby against higher fuel economy standards even though they would help their country move towards energy independence. They lobby against lower emissions limits even though they would help save the planet we all share.

    November 19, 2008 at 9:48 pm |
  120. Kiraxia

    You have got to be kidding me? Private Jets! I say let the auto makers do just like every other business that can't manage their finances or has a product no one wants any more – file bankruptcy!!!! Why should they be treated any different than those people who have small businesses that are failing? Are you going to bail out all the small business owners? Where does it stop? And these CEOs need to be fired first thing. How much will that save in salaries and benefits?

    November 19, 2008 at 9:49 pm |
  121. Magnus

    Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of IKEA with 90,000 employees, is one of the richest in the world – he always flies economy class. Maybe that’s why he doesn’t need a bailout…

    November 19, 2008 at 9:49 pm |
  122. Indy88

    They should be allowed to fail and file for Chapter 11. Then they either make it or not.
    The bail-out money should be spent on supporting the affected employees.
    The management should be fired (particularly Wagoner). This with the private planes shows lack of common sense and fundamental lack of understanding of what people want to see.

    November 19, 2008 at 9:51 pm |
  123. Steve DeMont

    The auto industry exec's are really feeling the HEAT now, not
    from our Government, but low and behold from BIG OIL. These
    two are really in bed together on this one. BIG OIL calls BIG AUTO
    MFG'S.... you better get that loan or were all going down together.

    I once owned a Honda Acord Station wagon, and drove the crap
    out of that car and it lasted for about 280,000 miles and i sold
    it to someone who most likely put another 280,000 miles on it.

    Take that GM, FORD, & LEE IACOCA, I had a FORD EXPEDITION
    Also... and the Transmission Blew out of that thing @ 90,000 miles
    and cost me 5,000 grand, thats about 1/5 the total cost of a new
    one. My friend once told me that those little japanese dude's are pretty
    smart M F err's he's right.

    November 19, 2008 at 9:51 pm |
  124. Brooks Morgan

    Those who are responsible for running a company into the ground should not be allowed to continue to stay in control of it! Get rid of the dead wood at the top of the big 3 food chain and find executives who won't compromise in the areas where the old suits did compromise. Failure on this large of a scale is usually due to a large number of small and medium compromises. These daggers disguised as short term gratifications are the death of any structure.

    November 19, 2008 at 9:54 pm |
  125. Steve

    First, the issue before Congress is about the auto industry as a whole and not singularly their CEO's – it IS about what they represent and what the future of their companies mean to America. For too long ALL CEO's have been given carte blanche regarding compensation and behavior. This problem isn't just an auto industry issue, it is ALL major corporations, software, technology, financial, etc. – is Bill Gates really worth the millions he earns? Or Steve Jobs? The answer is No and until something is done about all executive compensation packages, they will continue to view themselves as prima donnas.

    For the auto industry, what is being requested in a bridge loan that must be repaid with interest and there MUST be conditions attached such as (1) real limits on executive compensation packages, total not to exceed $500K with no fringe benefits such as vacations or private jets (2) Jettison union contracts, there is no reason why workers in a Ford plant for example should be paid $60 per hour versus $20 per hour for Asian manufacturers (both in the US and in their home country). (3) Restructure retirees pension plans/benefits for all three companies by spinning them off and combining into a single separate entity – there will be reductions in the overall benefits but some pension is better than no pension which is what they would get if they all go bankrupt.

    Failure of the US auto industry is NOT an option, the collapse of the entire industry would have catastrophic effects on the US economy and our position in world and that should not be allowed to happen.

    November 19, 2008 at 9:57 pm |
  126. autodude

    first of all stop the BS the automaker in europe seeking the same bailout not true only opel what is GM owned and have problems because of GM
    stop sticking with stupid dieselmotors and biodiesel is the only short therm solution germany did it years ago and is faster than drilling
    but how to sell that to an population with 80% highschool drop out

    November 19, 2008 at 9:57 pm |
  127. Kellee

    It's amazing that these people couldn't (or wouldn't) fly commercial airlines.... but yet they feel they need government money for their companies??? For what? Bonuses? Parties? Or maybe a vacation for all the executives?!!! GET REAL! I don't think the government should do anything for these companies. We have seen already what the banks responses have been....GREED....

    November 19, 2008 at 9:58 pm |
  128. marc

    I believe that these three companies should be offered up on the open market for foreign investors to buy them up, while maintaining U.S. employees. The CEOs should lose their jobs because they have failed. They maintain millions of dollars in salary and use private jets as company perks and still have the nerve to beg for taxpayer dollars to pay for thier corporate mistakes. No way, if anything the media has not been hard enough on them.

    November 19, 2008 at 9:58 pm |
  129. judy

    as a former flight attendant for General Motors corporate aircraft i even had to provide the "right" kind of peanut butter on board for big shot children, the preferred donut choices for whomever was on b oard and we flew all over the country picking up board members in "order of importance" for n.y.c. board meetings. It's hysterical to see 10 people- husbands and wives hover to take a seat until their turn occurs in the importance rank. Wives never sit before their husband and then in the same order with their husband because their importanace is the same as hubbies. It's all true- even a box with files with what each exec prefered to eat, drink, read, etc. Prince Charles has nothing on these guys. I had a flight attendant friend at Penastar and things were no different.

    November 19, 2008 at 10:05 pm |
  130. Carl McDade

    Lee Laccoa brought ideas to Ford that made them prosper in a time that the economy was unsure and gasoline was in shortage. He was fired.

    Lee Iaccoa took his ideas to Chrysler and save the company from non-existence using the same ideas that he was fired from Ford for trying to put forth. Chrysler has forgotten those lessons he taught.

    Lee's idea was to build energy efficient, easy to build cars, with low cost repair tags. His idea aslo was to place a limit on the longevity of a vehicle so that money could be used to create better models with newer technology every ten years down the line.

    Both Ford and Chrysler have forgotten the lessons he taught and have made the same mistakes over in in the last ten years that they made a little over 20 years ago. Let them suffer.

    The country will not go bankrupt with them though. There is a long line of corporations waiting to get into the American automotive business that have been locked out by the unions and the big three's bullying tactics. I am sure these corporations will love picking up a production line or two and selling better more efficiently made products back to the big three.

    November 19, 2008 at 10:06 pm |
  131. Yvan Cicic

    I joined Citigroup in 1999 when John Reed was still CEO of the company. He was known to take the train to go to work et his Manhattan HQ and mingle with the rest of us chumps. His down-to-earth demeanor earned him a reputation of "decent human being" while at the same time the sharp and successful leader of the No. 2 F500 company. I cannot but agree with the critics that the demeanor of these Detroit CEOs is nothing short of "cowboyesque" and in great need of atonement. I predicted this fall, failing to understand why they continued to bank on gas guzzlers when everyone knows that gasoline prices can only go up in the long run. They already saw their market share greatly reduced in the 70s when Japan's automakers invaded the US with their thrifty Honda cvcc's and Toyota Corollas. You would think they had learned their lesson. They got what they deserve. The US is the flagship of capitalism, let its followers abide by the rules. No socialism for the wealthy! I say let them fall and let the strong survive.

    November 19, 2008 at 10:08 pm |
  132. Simple Minded

    Give them this vicious circle to chew on. Bailout money comes from the taxpayers. Give the all the LEGAL taxpayers enough bailout money to go buy new cars from the Big 3, then let the new presidential tax plan place windfall profit taxes on the auto makers profits to get our money back.
    And, they probably wouldn't be in such a bind if their CEO's didn't get paid and compensated so much. Google their salaries!
    This is America and I'm all for capitalism. The strong and smart survive. Stupidity is costly.
    And as far as the automobile itself, they're made cheaper yet cost more and the engines really haven't changed at all, just more costly parts added to them and they still get about the same gas milage that they did in the '70's.

    November 19, 2008 at 10:12 pm |
  133. Richard in Mexico

    They should have been made to drive to Washington in Toyota's or Nissan's to learn how successful cars feel and handle, and see how fuel ecomony works.

    November 19, 2008 at 10:12 pm |
  134. johannamead

    They just want to operate 'business as usual' and are not willing to see that the American tax payers have had enough of CEO greed.

    November 19, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  135. Ron

    The auto industry Ceo's clearly demonstrated they are no different than AIG execs who abused the bailout money they got. By showing up in their costly private jets they showed they have no intention of curbing their extravagant lifestyles, nor do they want to rub elbows with the rest of us who can barely afford a commercial flight. If Congress is stupid enough to make the same mistake twice after the farce the financial industry bailout became they very well could be looking at a second American revolution if this Nation slips into another "Great Depression" because they have ignored the will of the "People's" cries for "NO BAILOUTS" for CEO's and their wealthy backers. Congress's best course of action should have been to put such funds in the hands of the people at the bottom for the purpose of paying off mortage or credit card debts, and allow cash flow to trickle up. You don't build a strong house by working on the roof first, and then focus on the foundation. Congress needs to listen to and represent the people's will, plus get some common sense real fast.

    November 19, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  136. Eugene FRANK

    Several years ago the newspapers in Paris reported the kidnapping of the head of the largest steel conglomerate in Europe. At the traffic circle at l'Etoile, he was taken out of his Renault 16, (a very small car) his driver unharmed, and held for ransom. A motto in France: To live well, one must live discretely. The materialistic affectation of these of insubstantial executives well describes an attitude that has caused the downfall of a spectacular American success story. The funds needed to save the auto industry should be taken out of the fortunes of these robber barons. The public would applaud.

    November 19, 2008 at 10:16 pm |
  137. kaths

    looks like everyone in US business is getting money from tax payers' money, the people who don't get any are the tax payers themselves who even don't have strong healthcare policy for them. Boeing might be on its way to claim out of the $ 700 Billion, just keep on looking........

    November 19, 2008 at 10:19 pm |
  138. Rose

    I would offer the bailout, provided that the real fat – the CEOs, are the first to get cut. Believe me, those companies could function just fine for a good 12 – 18 months without them and the message to the rest of Management would be loud and clear.

    November 19, 2008 at 10:19 pm |
  139. Fastbreak

    I'd estimate about nine in ten comments here are of the "screw them" variety; no bailout, let them go bust.

    Extrapolate that for your customer base and 25 Billion US$ will melt away pdq! It's like putting in two extra bilge pumps in the Titanic, just after she struck an iceberg.... doomed to fail.

    November 19, 2008 at 10:19 pm |
  140. Aad

    When Marie-Antoinette was told in 1789 that the people of France were starving, because there was no bread, she replied: but they can eat cake, can't they? Think these CEO's of the big car companies are acting a bit like her: lost contact with the real world, spoiling energy like that. And we expect them to come up with fuel efficient cars???

    November 19, 2008 at 10:20 pm |
  141. John

    Some car companies are taking steps to drop even Business Class out of their corporate business travel entitlement. I think this private jet business is a bit dear.

    The US BIg 3 aren't the only ones with private jets, their Asian competitors also have corporate jets, but this is a bit pathetic though.

    "Let's take our private jet for a spin to the Capitol and ask for some taxt payer's money to keep us with our luxury."

    November 19, 2008 at 10:21 pm |
  142. Steve DeMont

    One last parting shot and i have the solution for the BIG 3, don't
    call us or Uncle Sam for your Bailout, CALL YOUR ARAB &
    AMERICAN OIL BUDDYS FOR YOUR BAILOUT, 25 BILLION IS
    PURE CHUMP CHANGE FOR THEM.

    EVERY AMERICAN WHO HAS A LOAN ON A AMERICAN MADE
    CAR, SHOULD STOP MAKING PAYMENTS ON THEIR LOANS,
    TALK ABOUT POWER, WE HOLD IT IN OUR VERY HAND.

    THE ONLY AMERICAN CITIZEN I KNOW OF WHO'S GOTTEN
    A BAILOUT IS " MICHAEL JACKSON " 7 MILLION FROM SOME
    POOR SHEIK IN ARABIA, HE MOST LIKELY HANDED THAT WAD
    TO MIKE FROM HIS POCKET.

    November 19, 2008 at 10:22 pm |
  143. Lubos

    Send the CEO's to jail (use the private jets for last time) for mismanagement of the companies.
    Their brain must be working in "god" mode to deserve these salaries. Maybe CT scan would help us to understand better what is the difference in the brain of the top paid executives and the brains of rest of "stupid" us, who do not deserve to be paid accordingly to the size and performance of our brains.

    November 19, 2008 at 10:22 pm |
  144. kevin

    As a taxpayer, but more as an American, this situation has become laughable. The luxurious rich don't understand what Middle America has to go through on a daily basis. If the Big Three all went under, do the millionaires at the top feel the pain? No. They just get more time to play golf at the country club. Most likely, the same place that the thousands of unemployed auto workers will be lining up to get a job cleaning their dishes.

    November 19, 2008 at 10:23 pm |
  145. Tom - Pennsylvania

    I work for a US corporation that is much larger than GM. And our top executives, and everyone else, flies coach. And that is anywhere in the world no matter how long the flight. Of course we are an IT company that is almost 100 years old and apparently does 'get it'.

    November 19, 2008 at 10:24 pm |
  146. Lubos

    Send the CEO's to jail (use the private jets for last time) for mismanagement of the companies.
    Their brain must be working in "god" mode to deserve these salaries. Maybe CT scan would help us to understand better what is the difference in the brain of the top paid executives and the brains of rest of "stupid" us, who do not deserve to be paid accordingly to the size and performance of our brains.

    November 19, 2008 at 10:24 pm |
  147. Wayne Stumpf

    attitude starts at the very top, start there and work downward. Sorry, no bailout here. It's called GREED. Why should ANY exec. be paid millions in bonuses? what are you going to do with it? Have you found a cure for cancer? Have you solved the energy crisis? NOPE...too bad.

    If a mom and pop store is really struggling along, would our goverment come in and rescue them? No, they would not. But, if Walmart asks to put a store beside the mom and pop, AND THEY want a tax break because they will bring in the big dollars, the congress people could not get out of thier office chairs fast enough to have a picture taken and splashed all over the news, saying "See, I care about your community" By the way, my 1990 Dodge Sundance is falling apart. how about a bailout for me. I drive 26kms to work, one way AND it gets 28MPG every single day. Boy, the fall of North America in ones lifetime is really something to talk about. Ain't it, EH!

    November 19, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  148. Edward Sevume - Sweden

    Out of touch with times? Yes they are!
    How would you otherwise explain the fact that these guys are asking for money to produce cars no one will buy! Moreover, folks do not have jobs and are looking for ways to solve other urgent issues like morgage!
    Look, a bail out wont even help coz these companies produce gas guzzlers and in the age when we need to stop depending on oil produced in non democratic states, this is not the way to go!
    I however, I am of the view that restructuring is the only way out in order to solve this problem.
    Let the governments help in the process by helping to invest in energy efficient technologies plus shedding off some of the unneeded bussinesses these companies are involved in!
    But the the leaders of these companies should act by example. I mean folks, you do not come to Washington to ask for help in private jets! That is reduculous!

    November 19, 2008 at 10:27 pm |
  149. Green Leaf

    Let them go bust. move the employees to a governement sponsored mass transport clean energy sector and rid this world from all the pollution created by those inefficient amercian cars.

    November 19, 2008 at 10:27 pm |
  150. Mandy Hill

    Somehow it doesn't surprise me that these over-paid, under-worked executives DON'T get it...

    I do believe, however that if these industries aren't "saved", that will cost a lot of Americans their jobs, which the USA can't afford right now.

    My suggestion would be to fire the executives who "don't get it", and hire "workers" from those companies to run the company... I believe the workers "DO GET IT".

    Mandy Hill

    November 19, 2008 at 10:30 pm |
  151. Mike

    People need cars to get around. Cars deteriorate and need replacing. Cars need to be built and on the whole most people only by cars when their old ones bite the dust albeit 2nd hand or older models – I think the number of unemployed if the car market failed would be huge – right down the whole supply chain could be millions upon millions. Can America and the world really afford to subsidise and retrain these people.
    The government needs to get behind car manufacturing and stop grandstanding for appearances.
    Perhaps a stronger mandate for hybrid and alternative fuel cars needs to be developed. Consumerism is what the western world is now built on and to deviate from that would be catastrophic for the world economy. We would literally have to go back to feeding ourselves by way of subsistence!

    November 19, 2008 at 10:31 pm |
  152. Jonah, NJ

    This really shows these guys don't get it and probably will never do. If they did they would have, at least, all come in one jet to save some money if they can't fly even fist class. I think if they must be helped, it must be on the condition of change of Management and their commitment to making, within a given time period, cars that can compete with the Japanese and use less fuel. You do not give your money to a Management that already failled once. Of course, the taxpayer bailing out every Company needs to be helped too.

    November 19, 2008 at 10:34 pm |
  153. KP

    Let them file Chapter 10. When folks are paying anywhere from $20-100
    thousand for a car, my question is.....Where has all this money gone??
    Guess corporate jets is one answer, golden hand shakes and more.

    Hell these corporations don't even know what good service is anymore. Dealers are really poor and the mechanics these days are under trained in diagnostics. Dealerships unwilling to spend money on training and so forth.

    Bail then out....NEVER, they can start to swim like the rest of us.

    Maybe after going under, they'll learn how to swim the proper way.

    November 19, 2008 at 10:34 pm |
  154. Chris1974

    Great article! CNN, Thanks for posting...

    November 19, 2008 at 10:41 pm |
  155. Aderibigbe David

    I think this is shameful to hear that the heads of the big 3 did not see anything wrong with using private jets just to travel within America. at a time they are asking for bailout.

    i think its wrong, very wrong of them to still be living such a lavish lifestyle when they are talking about cuts in spending... it shows they are not serious nor ready for any bailout.... probably if they have been cutting spendings like this from the past the future of the big 3 would have made room for less layoffs of the workers now.

    it clearly shows the big 3 are not remorseful about the state of the economy and the thousands of families that will be without a source of income from their layoffs. its sad that till now they have not faced the reality that is before them. screw security that is a cheap shot at what they stand for.. definitely not for the American families but for themselves.

    this is the problem we face in Africa where most of our leaders lavish the nations wealth on their own personal comfort and make the poor more poor.. i think its corrupt.

    November 19, 2008 at 10:41 pm |
  156. Scott Robberson

    The UAW has got to go. workers screwing in lightbulbs at all the GM plants making $ 70.00 an hour while at the same plants owned by Toyota(in the US) make 10 to 20 dollars an hour. Everyone knows, the main reason for the the big 3 failure is lack of vision, poor quality and a strangehold of the UAW. We need a Bankruptcy of the all three, cut out the unions and get the workers back to honest pay. Since the financial markets won´t make the loans underwhich the companies can operate the US Government can make the loans only if they go Chapter 13 and break the unions. Unions were good back in the day, but with the global competitive markets, there is no need. $ 70.00 an hour, this includes retirement and health benefits, is a joke.

    November 19, 2008 at 10:42 pm |
  157. Phil Muller

    There is an underlying point to be heard in the fact that they say it is a matter of security that the Cheif Executives take a private jet when travelling for business, these are the people who have the privilage of running some of the largest companies in the world. Security is a major factor.

    However, and a big however, these 3 gentlemen are at the helm of the 3 worst car manufacturers in the world. Is the problem in the product? is it in the American auto unions and the cost of labour? Or is it that the Germans and Japanese just know how to do it better?
    It's a combination of the 3 and improvement is needed in all areas.

    Since it is money the companies are after, the unions can make the first step and save their jobs by loosening their grip on the industry, then have a look at how Toyota and Volkswagen do things and finally for the love of the car start selling the Euro-Asian models in North America, these are your best cars. The Mondeo, the Commodore......

    Congress can help, not for free, but the Unions need to pull up a chair if anything is going to happen

    November 19, 2008 at 10:43 pm |
  158. Kate MacDonald

    I worked for many many years in a huge corporation, one that is lucky enough to be doing well right now – and it is standard practice to have such security measures in place. This may appear to be a luxury but the truth is executives at these levels have many types and levels of security around them for a variety of reasons (hostage taking etc). The executives at the company I worked at weren't even allowed to arrive to work or leave at the same time every day, more then 2 managers could not be on the same flight etc.

    And before you point a finger at any of these people, the CEO of the United States also arrives in a private plane, has a bigger house – that is provided for them at tax payer expense (with a bowling alley, theatre, chef ...) also has security provided for them and their families 24/7 for the rest of their lives.

    I'm not condoning the situation the automotive industry finds themselves in but this is such a non issue – the economy is in the ditch and fluff like this just deflects people from looking for real solutions. You want to blame someone for the mess – start with the US government and you would get an almost perfect bullseye.

    If proper financial regulation and controls were excercised the Big 3's plans would have been in the midst of turning these companies around – the US government is the reason a lot of companies are hurting right now. GM, Ford and Chrysler are just three of thousands. I got an email yesterday listing some of the many companies that are closing their doors now or in the new year – it makes me sad just to think of it. Good companies with good people working there – just gone.

    And for the record I don't, nor have I ever worked in any business associated with the automotive industry – I'm a small business person.

    November 19, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  159. Greg Hiller

    I feel sincerely that these self-styled big shots should fly tourist/coach class, use the cheapest taxis from the airport, and stay in cheapish hotels, before daring to ask the struggling taxpayer to buy them out of the hole they themselves have dug themselves into, knowingly, eyes open, over a number of years.

    If I myself had been a top man of any of these companies, I'd have drastically changed both the fundamental direction and my products themselves, years ago: And I say this honestly; and not only with hindsight. It was blindingly obvious to anybody with any knowledge what was going to happen, even without any enormous fuel cost rise.

    Just look at the fantastic, reliable, Japanese cars, and many European cars not so very far behind!
    _____________________________________________________

    November 19, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  160. JNack

    let them sink

    November 19, 2008 at 10:49 pm |
  161. Bob Collings

    Perceptions are, in this case, reality..They could easily have flown first class – or if they wished to really make it look like they cared, they could have flown economy. It seems to me that the first thing that needs to be done is to cut the salaries of these folks to the same amounts that the folks who actually build the cars get.
    The argument that they flew in their own jets for the sake of security is 100% bull..These are arrogant individuals who have lost sight of reality.

    November 19, 2008 at 10:52 pm |
  162. KARL ZOHRER

    FOR MANY YEARS , CORPORATE CEOS AND TOP MANAGEMENT HAVE LONG FORGOTTEN THEIR SOCIAL RESPONSABILITY. THEY ALSO SEEM TO BE UNAWARE THAT THEY ARE PART OF THE PAYROLL.THESE THREE COMPANY ARE ONLY A RECENT EXAMPLE OF NOT TO DO'S.

    November 19, 2008 at 10:54 pm |
  163. angryjoe

    Why do we keep bailing out corporate systems based on greed and unsustainability in the boardroom? We watch them get fat and detached from normal human society. The sad thing is that we will have to let some of these giants crumble to make a point that they will not always be bailed out. It's sickening that so many $100's of millions can go into a few individual corporate leaders pockets just by 'being there', regardless of the implications of their actions, or lack of them. This last dying generation of detached corporate executive royalty will probably hang on to their millions as thousands of workers lose everything... why can't they be bailed out by this giant silver spoon that keeps feeding these inept greedy business 'leaders'?
    Hopefully as the dust settles, our world leaders will find some balls and moral backbone to shake up the global system and make capitalism more productive, more sustainable, and moral.
    Call it the 'guillotine' accord! long live the revolution!
    ( T-shirts, cups, tea towels, bumper stickers from all reputable stores! )

    November 19, 2008 at 10:54 pm |
  164. Miguel

    Screw the bailout. There's an old saying that:

    "if you give a mouse a slice of cheese, it's going to ask for a glass of milk next"

    If a bailout is a must to have ordinary folks keep their jobs, then the least consolation is to fire these executives for their lack of vision!

    November 19, 2008 at 10:55 pm |
  165. KARL ZOHRER

    FOR MANY YEARS , CORPORATE CEOS AND TOP MANAGEMENT HAVE LONG FORGOTTEN THEIR SOCIAL RESPONSABILITY. THEY ALSO SEEM TO BE UNAWARE THAT THEY ARE PART OF THE PAYROLL.THESE THREE COMPANY ARE ONLY A RECENT EXAMPLE OF NOT TO DO'S.

    November 19, 2008 at 10:56 pm |
  166. Daniel

    This is why these companies have failed. Pure greed over time compounded. I wouldnt support tax dollars propping up the private companies if I lived in the USA. Id be jumping up and down about it.

    November 19, 2008 at 10:56 pm |
  167. Eric Fisk

    Shameful!

    November 19, 2008 at 11:00 pm |
  168. Peter Lam

    Do a comparative analysis of CEOs of large corporations in Asia on their spending behaviour.

    November 19, 2008 at 11:07 pm |
  169. Michael Reber

    I must agree with the Senator who said they need to be setting a better example. To say they needed a private jet for security issues is ludicrous. I wouldn't give these guys a dime if I were in the Senate. The only solution is CHAPTER 11: PROTECTION FROM BANKRUPTCY; so they can re-organize. There is already $25 billion available for them in a US Dept. of Energy law that allows them to use the money for fuel efficient vehicle R&D.

    November 19, 2008 at 11:08 pm |
  170. Chris

    It looks increasingly like one of the Big Three will go bankrupt before a bailout. An example to show the moral hazard; like Lehman, only a Lemon.

    November 19, 2008 at 11:10 pm |
  171. Saint Nelson

    What baffles me most about the cash for the bail out is that there is no intentional use for it , that is why everybody is out there asking for their part of the 700 million , i thought the govt which which every American's and the world are looking at knows exactly what the money is meant for before requesting it , the super powers should go over to Africa and learn how they have overcome RECESSION all this yrs without taking from the tax payers money ,...
    Anyway if the ordinary citizens loose their jobs ,it will still end up to be the govt responsibilities to pay them before getting another Job ..
    ..

    November 19, 2008 at 11:10 pm |
  172. Juan Jimenez

    This is not a public relations issue. This is a corporate idiocy issue. If these morons can't understand that the belt tightening has to start at their own offices and with their own "perks" then I believe the GOP is right - let them go down the drain. The market will take up the slack, someone else with the proper attitude and humility will take over for them.

    November 19, 2008 at 11:15 pm |
  173. jill hansen

    It's all too apparent that heads of the big corporations have wallowed in the luxuries for so long that they don't feel THEY need to make adjustments to their own lifestyles. They will not set examples, but make edicts downward in the corporate structure and gloat about what they've done to improve expenses. I am SICK of it. Let the American automakers figure out a way to get their balance sheets back on track. I am totally against the bailout for them. How many years have they been producing gas-guzzling cars, knowing that this was going to happen sooner or later. There is only so much fuel to go around. They have been too late for too many years with innovation.
    And, it's time the UAW union got a clue also. Can you tell, I am so disgusted with this crap I can hardly stand to watch the news anymore.

    November 19, 2008 at 11:15 pm |
  174. R. Mayer

    They really haven^t got it! Who will be able to put them back on the real business trail? About 100 years ago, the steam mobile was blocked in favor of fuel engines... Now, there we are, with the planet warming and still the greed of certain bigheads and their consuming
    habits are commanding the scene.

    November 19, 2008 at 11:17 pm |
  175. Jack in Switzerland

    THESE GUYS ARE THICKER THAN LONDON FOG. How could they continue building gas guzzlers when the rest of the world is... oh, yeah... they're Americans. What do they know about the rest of the world. You'd think the big corporate execs would know a little bit more than the farmer in Kansas, but nope. Greatest country in the world? In what? Health care? Nope. Mass transit? Hah! Retirement planning? No... we're the Kings of Capitalism, but we can't take care of our people... and we can't even take care of our corporations anymore. Detroit is just a picture of American Myopia. Let the Big 3 go bust... then America might realize it's WAY behind the rest of the developed world.

    November 19, 2008 at 11:17 pm |
  176. Jason

    Just bought a Honda. They are in the ATV, Motorcycle, Auto, Hybrid, NGV, Hydrogen and even aircraft industry. They are not unionized and their shares are worth $20+ at any given time. Supporting a company that can't keep pace the the rest of the world simply because they are from the same country as you is just bad business. Perhaps if they were out of the way someone innovative could establish themselves. Aside from that my Honda was made here. How many GMs are made in Canada?

    November 19, 2008 at 11:18 pm |
  177. J. LIeuwens

    Well, Maggie I think you have a point. It all starts at the top and cutting expenses is one of the first things to do. Next hearing should be a video conference!

    November 19, 2008 at 11:19 pm |
  178. Nuno

    They keep living like kings while everyone is digging dirt to survive
    I guess its still not bad enough and must go further down for people to revolt, people like to be stepped on, who created this govs and this monsters?

    November 19, 2008 at 11:19 pm |
  179. Stephen

    No bailout without major transparency, reorganization and concessions from these companies.

    I am an American working overseas for a company lower down the automotive food chain. For years, the BIG 3 just had a never ending diarrhea of cash with their spending habits. They are throwing cash out without looking at what the market price should be. At the same time, they are squeezing cost down out of their N.A. suppliers and developing copy cats in India and China to replace these N.A. suppliers. All selfishness and no loyalties here – That “American Pride” slogan is mostly just a lip service.

    Most Americans probably don’t know that the banks and insurance companies that received bailouts recently all have private corporate yachts in their overseas offices such as Singapore, Hong Kong etc. All these yachts are for the use of upper executive’s FREE weekend leisure. The normal employees don't even know their existence. Yet, we still bailed them out.

    We need to demand transparency of all their operations if they want bailout. They are still living the highlife while asking for handouts.

    I am disgusted.

    November 19, 2008 at 11:20 pm |
  180. Walter

    I remember the days when the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund came to our latin american countries and scare the bejesus of any governement that dare to help any public company that competed with the private sector
    I quote their statement as it was readed in our newspapers not so long ago: "Helping any failed company or industry with government money will undermine the meaning of the free market".
    Well, it seems to me that they would have to find another fairy tale to sell the "Free Market" concept over here.

    November 19, 2008 at 11:20 pm |
  181. James (South Africa)

    It seems that the USA is on a slippery slope in most areas these days(sorry to say it). I hope that something is done to save your once great domestic auto manufacturers GM, Ford , Chrysler and other industries. The USA will definitely lose part of its identity if these Icons disappear. The domestic cars cannot all be so bad ???? maybe the US buyers should think about buying American instead of importing so much .... If more and more products sold in the USA come from overseas where will your nation be very soon?. Think about it ...the USA with its industrial base defeated two major enemies in WWII but those countries recovered, rebuilt and are in the process of defeating you economically in the automotive sense while the USA is exporting much of its industrial base. I would love to see the USA turn the corner and become great again.

    November 19, 2008 at 11:23 pm |
  182. Alex

    "capitalism has made it this way, old fashioned fascism will take it away"

    November 19, 2008 at 11:23 pm |
  183. Frank

    Can't you tell by looking at these powdered, bloated captains of industry that their cars are a metaphor for the leaders of auto industry: oversized, inefficient, devoid of style or class.

    I say, fire them all!

    Buy up the crummy stock; let the American people be vested in the company. Let no CEO made more than $100.00 a year on a no-hold-out contract. After doing time at the helm, he or she can go and run some other white elephant for millions and stock options.

    Fire them all, off with their heads-the whole darned executive division. Top to middle. Then promote the "real" workers on the bottom-the real creative class who do most of the work and get little of the credit anyway.

    Then hire two hundred Japanese designers, a hundred Brazilian petro engineers. Finally, make the whole process transparent, online, so we can all guide the new leaders of the American auto industry.

    Sometimes old grandpa has to let go and give the reigns over to a new generation of thinkers. We are tired over overpriced, ugly, global warming American cars! We have been waiting since the gas lines of Jimmy Carter for General Motors to stop ripping off the public, and ruining our environment.

    How dare you come begging, after all the years of fear mongering, red-baiting, and talk of socialism. What is more perversely socialist than bailing out a slacker industry? Maybe subsidies to farmers who don't need subsidies?

    November 19, 2008 at 11:25 pm |
  184. KATHRYN AMMERMAN

    I AM SORRY, BUT I THINK IT IS TIME TO STOP THE BAILOUTS. THE AUTO COMPANY NEED TO RECOUP AND MAKE SOME DRASTIC CHANGES TO HELP THEMSELVES. IF IT MEANS BANKRUPCY, SO BE IT. WE THE PEOPLE HAVE GOT NO HELP WITH OUR LOSSES, WHY SHOULD THEY/ PEOPLE ARE STILL LOSSING THERE HOUSES THAT THEY HAD NO BUSINESS BUYING, BECAUSE THE COULD NOT AFFORD THEM. WAKE UP GOVERNMENT AND PUT A STOP TO IT,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    November 19, 2008 at 11:25 pm |
  185. Chuma Obinwa

    America Capitalism Not Socialism Thine should not forget the spirit of entrepreneurship and competition,if these forces created this so called coporate giants,this same forces will destroy them and make new ones as long as the dont play by the rules of CAPITALISM no matter how hard they try

    November 19, 2008 at 11:27 pm |
  186. Ganesh Nathan

    Good that the automobile industry in the US in crisis. They need to restructure to be competitive taking responsibility towards the environment and the customers.

    The bail out is not appropriate. It is a shame to see that CEOs are begging for the bail out money from the tax payers flying by their private jets!

    Shame on them!

    November 19, 2008 at 11:27 pm |
  187. Sharat Kaicker

    These guys should brush up their history. Lee Iacocca faced a similar turbulent period when he was at the helm of Chrysler in the 80s. He too went to the Congress for an emergency bailout but made sure that he paid himself only ONE DOLLAR as salary that particular financial year as top boss.
    Thats commitment to a cause. Not only did Chrysler manage to pay back the loan but did it before time and paid the full interest.
    Change flows top down.

    November 19, 2008 at 11:28 pm |
  188. d. griffith

    Because money defines them, the jet set life style is hard to break. Which is definitely a red flag.

    November 19, 2008 at 11:29 pm |
  189. Ruth B

    I'm not a business expert, but it seems to me that if your business is in trouble you'll have to have a detailed reestructuring plan in your hands before flying to Washington begging for help from taxpayers.... Specially if you're burning RS$ 4.9 billions a month. Otherwise the US$ 25 bi the 3 Big Sisters are asking for will be enough for only 5 more months of burning cash in General Motors. In this scenario, flying to D.C. in private jets is only a detail: they do not have a plan to survive, to modernize their business to adopt an efficient management. They're just asking American taxpayers to buy them a little more time. Funny thing: in Brazil both Ford and GM produce efficient flex (gas and ethanol) efficient motors.....

    November 19, 2008 at 11:30 pm |
  190. Oni Hanzo

    Corporate chiefs must lead by example and as the top dogs of their respective companies, they must cut back on their own luxuries. How are they able to sleep at night when their own employees are tightening their belts while they each fly in private jets? That round-trip probably cost more than an average employee's annual salary. "Security and safety reasons", give me a break. Who do you think you are?

    Forget about first class or jet pooling, take the bus. Listen CEO's, you ARE NOT the president of some country or some visiting dignitary no matter how important you think you are. When it comes down to it, you are just a glorified businessman that's ran into a lot of luck and has been in the game WAY too long. "It's not the strong that survive, but the ones that survive that are strong." Survive by ANY means necessary. Isn't this the cowardly motto you chief execs live by?

    Corrupt and inefficient business practices got us where we are right now, so don't you think it's about time you paid for your crimes? Who do you think made the American auto industry decline? It was you... and Bush (my apologies, i just like blaming that joke of a human being on every problem we have in this world). The least you can do is stop spending taxpayer's dollars on extravagent accoutrements.

    Thank you mass media for bringing this into discussion. I think we should discuss problems such as this on a regular basis. Call it the "CEBlos Corner". I'd bet my last dollar that it'll be a hit for CNN.

    November 19, 2008 at 11:34 pm |
  191. hakimi

    The three car makers should sink.
    They have destroyed the industri by self greed or sheer negligence.
    The should have learned some lessons from japan or South Korea.

    November 19, 2008 at 11:36 pm |
  192. John H.

    This is simply a red herring. A sting set up by do-nothing Washington bureacrats who are trying to divert attention away from their own incompetence.

    Decades of neglect in Washington; politicians clueless about Japanese, Korean and Chinese trade manipulation; creating stifling regulations instead of strategic government investment in technology; subsidies to the oil industry while they stall on developing low-sulfur diesel and biofuels. Washington's incompetence is only exceeded by the greed of the oil and pharmaceutical industries. Look closely at the auto industry and you will find hard-working, humble and honest people.

    Thank you Tim Rogers and Steve (see GMT 2038) for the rationale thought you posted.

    November 19, 2008 at 11:36 pm |
  193. Mike in Reno,NV

    Give me a $30,000 of bail-out money and I commit to use the money to buy an American-made car in 2009! Congress can call me to a hearing and I'll fly in commerical!

    November 19, 2008 at 11:39 pm |
  194. Lam

    It is not necessarily the perks of private jets. It is the time to go through the various checkpoints of boarding commercial airlines taking up the time of the CEOs coming to the meeting. I do not know how much their pay is, but you bet it will be a big sum per hour basis. The CEOs are not paid to wait - they are paid to do their job and having the jets to get them to where they have to go, and back fast is a priority.... unless you can tell that after the Congress meeting, the CEOs went off in their jets for vacation, and not back to their office to sort out the financial mess.

    But have you calculated just what is the difference in the cost of using the private jet compare to flying first class. The jets are already in the company books. Selling them now would not make a difference in the books.

    Your report does not say whether these CEO come alone or with their assistants in the jets. If the assistants do come in the same jet, then there is a savings since they do not have to incur the commercial airline fare.

    As for bailouts.... no bailout of course.

    November 19, 2008 at 11:39 pm |
  195. Richard

    This is a prime example of the ignorance and arrogance of these baby – boomer CEO's, who through their stupidity, greed and short sightedness have not only destroyed their companies and shareholder equity, but the foundations of our country itself. Now they come hat in hand on their private jets begging for a handout to keep their jets and multi-million dollar bonuses, while the taxpayer who can barely make their mortgage payments bail them out?? AMERICA THIS IS INSANE!! I don't see Rick Wagoner, Alan Mulally , Bob Nardelli or the UAW attempting to help the people living in theirs cars because they lost their home, why should bail them out, they and our government should be BAILING US OUT! Let the big three go bankrupt, reorganize and learn how to compete with the Germans and Japanese, or let them suffer the same fate as the Dinosaurs!

    November 19, 2008 at 11:46 pm |
  196. Tim

    I often criticize the press for touching on mostly negative news for ratings, but this is something that needs to be addressed. I'm glad that somebody is talking about it and creating a discussion.

    The biggest problem with companies, including the biggest company, the U.S. Government, need to control spending. They are happy to cut from the bottom or the middle where minor spending issues are. They almost never cut from the top were I believe most of the excess spending comes from. When their company is in such a bind that they want to ask the super in-debt government for a loan, do they really need private jets, 10,000 dollar desks, and increasinly bloated salleries. Families are going on welfare and foodstamps just so that execs can have a 100+ dollar dinners.

    The military, unfortunatly, is no different. In Iraq there were these things called "T-barriers." They cost about 1000 dollars each. i saw millions of them in just the Baghdad area of Iraq. I can't imagine how many were in the hole country. Also, you'd be disgusted to know how much we spend on ceremonies, VIP visits (Pres,VP, SGM of the Army), and other "events." The military has tried to cut budget, but so far it mostly effects the company level. If corporations spend worse than the military, and I'm sure they do, then this country may be in for a meltdown.

    Thank you CNN team for bringing this particular issue to light.

    November 19, 2008 at 11:47 pm |
  197. Andy Osterlund

    Enough said....Let me run the compainies, YES all three of them. This has been my forte" for 25 years. They do not know how to run a tight business. I have turned around several companies in my time...and I am not done yet! So let me do it! We do not always have to think "negative", let's just fix it. curacao2008@live.com

    November 20, 2008 at 12:17 am |
  198. M. Pakzad

    This whole thing about flying in private jets is going totally out of proportion. All CEOs of major corporations travel on private jets. It saves them a lot time and helps them avoid the delays such as waiting at the check-in counter and unexpected flight delays. The representative who raised up the issue, Brad Sherman, himself flies on a private jet while the economy of the country is in its worst shape since the great depression. Is there anything wrong with that?

    This issue is meant to shift everyone's attention from the main issues. I'm not sure how much the folks on the hill know about the economy, let alone the auto industry! The repercussions of a collapse will go far beyond the US economy. I don't think a Chapter 11 filing would be a good idea; although it seems to be working for the airline industry.

    I think the bailout should be provided to the big three, but with certain conditions:

    1. The funds to be used for making more small and entry-level cars.
    2. Be required to leverage even more on their global operations.
    3. Do something about people's perception of their products which is obviously lagging.

    There is no doubt in my mind that the big three have done a tremendous job during the past few years in stirring their ships and getting them in the right direction. The hurricane, however, seems to have started while they were in the midst of rebuilding their homes.

    The crisis has hit everyone in the global economy, and in this context their situation is understood.

    November 20, 2008 at 12:21 am |
  199. TC

    When you refer to the big 3, we should not confuse the incompetent executives stabbing america in the back to get more dollars with the hard working blue collars I am proud to call my fellow Americans. Do you think these greedy executives will pay the price if the American Auto Industry fails? No way!!! They are rich enough so that they nor their families will ever have to worry about a dime for the rest of thier lives. It is the nearly 2 million Americans that will be put out of work, it is all of us losing the legacy of the American Automobile. What do you all think will happen when/if the Big 3 go under? Likely another 10-20 percent reduction in every hard working Americans spendable income. Our spendable income has steadily went down the tubes over the last 30-40 years as all of our manufacturing jobs are sent overseas. We cant maintain our quality of life as Americans exporting McDonalds and Starbucks. While I blame the Auto Execs for being fat dumb and happy and refusing to keep the US auto industry competitive with the rest of the world, but we all have blame to share as we turn our backs on our fellow Americans to save a dime on a car made in Japan or Korea. We have to start taking our country back, and folks that starts with good ole patriotism. Buy American cars...when at the Grocery store...check the lables...much of that packaged crap is shipped in from China. Buy American folks...it all starts there!!!!

    November 20, 2008 at 12:40 am |
  200. Kunal Thaggarse

    Henry Ford II once said "No car with my name on the hood is going to have a Jap engine inside" This was back in the 60s when Iacocca tried adopting Honda engines for small car which were supposed to be manufactured by Ford.
    The big 3 had no idea what JIT was, they were often over-stocked as far as inventory and raw materials were concerned (correct me if I'm wrong).
    After 40 years, this inefficiency is noticeable in the products they make - Fat, oversized cars that guzzle fuel. GM assumed that manufacturing SUVs was still profitable, and payed an hourly wage of 80 odd dollars to it's workers in 2006.
    GM supposedly purchased private rail systems in the 30s and destroyed them so they could sell cars.
    Why should your government bail out the 3 white elephants?

    November 20, 2008 at 12:49 am |
  201. TG

    The performance from the Congress is embarassing. The credit crunch has gotten the automotive industry where it is today. Congress urgently bailed out banks that didn't need it. AIG took the money and didn't handle it as expected. This has become an embarassment to the Congress who approved it and now they want to scrutinize the automotive industry because the life has been sucked out of the industry by the credit crunch. The automotive industry has supported a significant portion of our economy for a long time and it has allowed the "middle class" to have decent "not great" living. Automotive needs assistance. AIG didn't. Stop grand standing and help. It's a loan. You already blew much more on AIG.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:07 am |
  202. RT

    Why all the anti-worker rhetoric? Oh wait, it's anti-UNION. Republicans are salivating at the thought of breaking the UAW. Taking away their pensions and health benefits and middle class living because they can't stand the thought of a worker having rights or being able to stand up to management. Who gets the BIG bucks? that would be CEO's & executives. Not the line worker.
    I am not GM or in a union – I am in the IT industry. Believe me, I've seen hundreds of thousands of jobs go overseas in the last few years. Why, because they don't have the laws we do, their government provides health care (vs companies here), we charge a 4% tariff on imports and get charged 22% tariff on exports. Let's at least compare apples to apples.
    America is no longer America – it's to whatever foreign company has the biggest checkbook. Come on people we are selling everything out – for what? MONEY! GREED! Let's put some pride back in being American – before it's ALL gone!
    PS – Being in the IT industry, when the Big3 go down, so does MY job. So it's not just about the auto industry.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:23 am |
  203. AC

    I really don't see how bailing out the big three is any different than the government bailing out AIG. If Congress lets the automakers file for bankruptcy MILLIONS of jobs will be lost and the federal and many state governments will lose even more in tax dollars.

    It's sad to say many Americans would rather buy foreign vehicles than American...then they wonder why GM, Ford and Chrysler are going under.

    There is no one from the big three giving all the facts on what they have done over the past decade...how come the media doesn't educate the population on the progress that has been made so uneducated Americans can stop spouting off about not wanting to save our economy?

    November 20, 2008 at 1:25 am |
  204. Reginald

    Im from Vancouver BC and have been hearing this on the news for about a week and i feel that America should not bail out the Big 3 but in turn make laws that cars made before a certain date should be destroyed and parts be re-used for new cars. The taxpayers dollars should then in turn go to those families that gave their cars up so they can go out and buy new or used cars. also maybe American made cars should be taxed less then imports for a period of time and taxpayers dollars should be given back to americans who have purchased these cars monthly, or even try giving insurance cuts on american cars.

    the main reason the auto industry is suffering is because no one has the money to buy cars, if laws are put in and taxpayers money are given back to people to buy new cars they would. which would create business for the auto industry and the dealerships. The old cars could even be sold to countries less fortunate then ours, so America will get some money back or sell the metal.

    this way the taxpayers dollars will go back to the americans who need it the most and who will or shall re invest in their own nation to improve the economy. Not to multi-billionairs who fly in private jets

    November 20, 2008 at 1:28 am |
  205. chris

    Its ridiculous to believe that these CEO's, etc., have any idea how the average American people would feel about their use of private jets when they are asking us to bail them out. They dont have a clue they live on these islands of their own with all the money in the world, its just routine for them to arrive in a private jet without any thought how much that may cost or if it looks improper. THEY DONT CARE!!! A bailout to them is just the same as the bailout to the banks it wont work. The only way to jumpstart the economy is to give it to the people in this country. They will spend it, give them a substantial amount not a measly $600.00 that doesnt even pay a mortage payment. Give them some real money and they will spend it, it doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure it out.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:29 am |
  206. Tom Preston

    The Auto industry bailout needs to happen. No Chapter 11, no chapter 7. CNN seems bent on destroying the Union Contracts and complain about the Thirty to Fifty dollar and hour pay. Why? The CEO
    grab 26 million plus a year and leave the business.. Employees are a companys most valuble asset. Without them, no business.
    Who will build the Military Vehicles if the Big Three are shut down?
    Yugo? Nissan? Hyundai? So much garbage talk about a money making auto company in Atlanta that is non union. What would their pay and benefits be without the Union established wages? How much do CNN News people get paid? Care to Advertise a job that produces nothing to support the economy?
    I suppose we could drop all wages to five dollars and hour and maybe the two million illegals would return to whatever country they came from to create more jobs for citizens here..
    Anyway, please stop blaming and complaining and spend time finding cures for our problems..
    Regards,
    Tom Preston

    November 20, 2008 at 1:37 am |
  207. Alexander Tzamburakis

    All Americans should stand up and start buying American made cars .

    I have owned quite a few foreign cars(did not know better)I now drive a Ford(eight years old) so far the most reliable car I have ever owned.So lets stop complaining and go buy American.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:24 am |
  208. ROSE ANTICH

    IN THEIR OBVIOUS GREEDY 'RUN FOR THE MONEY', derby – why did the automobile manufacturer's have to build so many different models – trucks, suv's, autos. station wagons, etc. Couldn't the CEO salaries of upwards of a million dollars a year be enough to fill their greedy desires?

    Are we to expect baseball and football teams to beg for dollars too? Common sense, which certainly isn't always utilized, tells us that there are hundreds, if not more than a million young athletics, just as good a player as anyone of the 'pros' that would be elated to play in the major leagues for a hundred thousand a year...come on, let's get real !!! And, because they would be truly enthusiastic to play, because of their love of the sport – they would out perform the current 'pros'...O.K. Cubs, Sox and Bears and the rest of the teams...wake up and recognize the potential of real athletes

    November 20, 2008 at 2:30 am |
  209. Phil Scilabra

    I have 35 years experience in the Auto Industry, I have the time and ideas to produce a bail out plan for the industry that makes sense for the tax payers and US auto workers.

    I would like to speak with the President Elect Obama to offer my sevice for free to help him same the American Auto Industry.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:40 am |
  210. Kevin Sr.

    Oh I'm mad. But if we don't help it is more than the Fat CEO's. It's the local economy, the schools, and the press is now saying more than 3million jobs. I am from the Flint Mi. area. I do not work for the Big 3. I also know how devastating GM closing plants have on the local economy. I do believe the Big 3 and the arrogant UAW will have to give concision's.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:42 am |
  211. john

    Whatever happens here one thing has to be brought under control here:
    The costs of the work force.
    Therefore any loan should be contingent on immediate acceptance of:

    1.Wages at least comparable to their competitors if not say comparable minus10% or 20% or 30%.

    2. Contribution towards the loan BY the workforce.
    (If the unions are not willing to recommend a contribution to the bailout so be it. These workers have apparently been well paid for years and should pay something which might be quite painful. If they don't wish to naturally it's up to them.)

    The greatest fault lies with the political hands-off attitude for decades, letting both the motor industry and the healthcare industry get away with murder.
    Gas should have been increasingly heavily taxed (overall tax-neutrally). forcing much smaller more efficient engines and stopping the US taking more than it's fair share of the world's resources instead of the gross consumerism which made the US import-dependent for oil unnecessarily and much worse forcing up the price of gas not only for them but for all "innocent" citizens in other countries, all of whom are impacted by this laissez faire abysm. If ever there was a case for the government saving the American people from themselves this was it.
    As for healthcare when is the US people going to understand they're being bloodsucked dry (literally in the case of the Big 3) by leeches and actually do something?

    John W, Thailand

    November 20, 2008 at 2:48 am |
  212. Dave Vancouver Island

    I love the fact the the Union Boss spoke in front of congress and discussed how his Union re-negotiated Health care cost, so that the future American Auto workers would be without that. But they will still build cars that Exxon Mobile will be proud to make record profits with. Oh yeah they did speak about hybrid cars, only years too late!! And that it is the credit crunch that is to be at fault not the consumer that wanted the big SUV gaz guzzling machines during some many years. Face up to your GREED

    November 20, 2008 at 2:49 am |
  213. Steve

    Why is there a sudden outcry for "down with the rich" in this country?

    Who cares if they arrive in jets? These are CEOs of multi-billion dollar companies. Politicians are flying on the taxpayers dime so where are the stories about their expenses?

    November 20, 2008 at 3:21 am |
  214. Rick , Phoenix

    Dear Honorable Senator Shelby,

    If the auto Unions are so adamant against aiding their own survival and the quality of their company leadership, why not make the Big 3 car makers employee-owned. With some "skin" in the game, they may see the way to build some world-class operations. There are numerous examples of employee-owned firms throughout the U. S.

    With the stock values as low as they are at this time, the Unions and professional staff employees can buy the companies at the lowest prices in their history, and bring them back to life with their own efforts, not all the American taxpayers hard-earned cash and retirement investments.

    Sincerely,

    Richard Jesse

    November 20, 2008 at 3:23 am |
  215. Theresa

    This comment is for Steve from the UK. You speak of all employees being let go that includes present and post. Now, I do not agree with letting all the employees go, but the fat cats at the top need to go. Forget the severance packages! Bad management and a greedy union have been just a couple of down falls. However, my question to you sir, is what about the individuals that spent 20 to 30 years of their lives in a G.M. factory? My father is now 82 years old, draws a well deserved but meager pension which includes medical benefits. What do you propose we do with the retirees that were guaranteed their pension to live on? A few hundred dollars a month that comes from social security is not going to pay the bills. Sir, you need to rethink the plan you propose. Instead of the "big 3" being bailed out, it should be the "Big 2". Chrysler is now German owned and should not be a recipient of any U.S. bail out. Secondly, extremely strict guidelines need to be set on where bail out money goes. Thirdly, it is time to put the economical knowledge in regard to building cars to use in the U.S. by G.M., who definitely are building such a vehicle. The G.M. vehicle is quite a success in Italy. Why not here? If the bail out is not done, it is going to create a domino effect. Employees will be out of work,and benefits retirees will not be receiving pensions or medical benefits costing our government more in governmental programs being applied for and received. America needs to work and continue to build our infrastructure, therefore, paying back the bail out with a low interest demand. Make sense?

    November 20, 2008 at 3:49 am |
  216. Olivia

    Security? One-, two-, and three-star generals in the military are required to fly economy commercial.

    Only four-star generals have planes–partly to get ar ound the world quickly enough to be effective in their jobs, partly for security (there are alot of bad elements who would like to see them dead).

    Generals also make less than $200k a year with no bonuses.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:13 am |
  217. Clark Corn

    I was infuriated at the idea that GM countered the extravagance accusations (flying in on private jets) stating that the congress was trivializing the importance of larger issues. But then I went out to my garage and saw how I voted with my wallet – one car made in Munich purchased in April, and one made in Hiroshima purchased in June.

    I felt a little better.

    I hope they don't get a single dime, and I agree with the congressman's statement asking "how do we know you won't make the same 'stupid' mistakes again this time" if we bail them out.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:13 am |
  218. john

    These CEO's are nothing more than a bunch of overpaid, good for nothing, so called executives. If they want taxpayer money, then start traveling like a taxpayer....on a commercial jet and save your company 10's of thousands of dollars. Book ahead and make your arrangements in advance...that is what I have to do. I don't want my tax money going to the companies if they can't even realize that they just waisted close to $60k between the three companies. Oh yeah, they are supposed to be thinking and going green and they didn't even fly together in one jet, they had to fly in three seperate jets....what a joke. Ford owns 8 jets...WHY. Sell them and Ford could probably get $500 million dollars to go towards their bailout.....All three of these guys need to be fired. Mulally (Ford CEO) is the ex-Boeing CEO, no wonder he doesn't want to give up his jet, plus $28 million dollar per year salary....Fire him and sell the jets, save the US Taxpayers money.....

    November 20, 2008 at 4:13 am |
  219. Bram Dalloway

    Sad – this is the only video we wanted to see today, and probably the most salient comment of the entire hearing – and no one has actually posted a link to the video.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:19 am |
  220. Pearle Mintz

    Michael Moore is absolutely right last night on Larry King.
    The audacity of General Motors is incredible.
    These executives are really in the dark ages. We got to get them out of their cushy jobs and make these auto makers work for this country and its' people.

    Who wants a GE or Michigan Made audo? We need to get that slob Bush out of office and I can't understand why everyone is so nice to him. There is still time to impeach him and put him in jail for what he led this country into in the last 8 years.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:22 am |
  221. Gerry

    It doesn't sound like many contributors to this blog have flown Nortwest Airlines. Do you really want to convene a Senate Panel and then rely on Northwest to bring in the main witnesses? I think the private jets are fine. They traveled with at least 5 or six people, assistants, finance specialits etc. I'm sure they worked enroute because they had several other meetings to prepare for. While the symbolism might be something to pick at, this really is the best way for a group to travel to something as important to so many as this industry.
    As for those who slam their vehicles, I'd invite you and drive them. The 20 year old Chevy that your Uncle said was a lemon is long gone.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:27 am |
  222. Junebug

    Americans have contracted all their labor to the rest of the world. They have contracted Asians to manufacture their goods. Indians to write their software. Whatever hard labor can't be contracted off shore is performed by new immigrants and illegal aliens. Why does the American auto industry think they have a right to operate in America? After all, Chinese cars are coming soon. Don't they realize that the U.S. role in world society is to consume, pollute and be the world police (or bully as some view it)?

    November 20, 2008 at 4:48 am |
  223. Jim Mayhew

    All three of our big 3 auto makers have displayed the unswerving ability to miss managed their companies. Are we really going give these auto makers 25 billion dollars now and then watch six months later when they are sitting in front of the American people again asking for money? I suggest a very clear business plan from all three auto makers on just how they intend to get out of the mess they created by poor management and short sided thinking. This plan needs to include who will be accountable for each phase of the plan, and not to just rely on what these three CEO's give us as general statements. Only then would I even consider looking at such a request. I understand the impact of not giving this money to America, and moreover to the upper mid-west. We voted for change with our President. How about we send a clear message that the American people will no longer put up with high spending and bonuses from CEO's of companies while the middle class American takes the fall. I say no to the bailout and I have made my message clear to my state representatives on this subject.

    November 20, 2008 at 5:00 am |
  224. transitworld

    These big 3 auto executives have only reveal to the American public and the world "HOW GREEDY, SELFISH, CLUELESS CEO'S ARE RUNNING DOWN CORPORATE AMERICA" and yet want the crushed taxpayers to bail them out. This is not what the japanese or chinese auto makers are doing. Japanese, Korea, Chinese automakers have been focusing on making cars appealing to global market, focused on fuel economy cars, pushing to maintain the lead in alternative fuel cars, making sure they do whatever it takes to remain competitive. at home and globally. The big 3 Ford, GM and Chrysler in America was doing just the reverse. Thanks to these silly CEO executives. Bailing out this Big 3 companies will not produce anything meaningful. Why? simply because so far their top CEOs have not learned any lesson, their products have failed the American consumer market. Have spent millions on lobbying, parties, bonuses etc.. than making competitive products.
    If they are bailed out...mark my word, in about 6-9months they will be back for more because they will still continue doing business as usual. Even now, these executives still have no clue and sense of judgement that days of lavish, ostentatious and corporate irresponsible excesses are over. They believe you simply cut low end staff jobs but they cannot see that cutting costs should start from the top where unwarranted expenses like "flying in separate jets to beg for money" makes no sense. To them..it says clearly ..This is how we run things in Corporate America and don't care even if the company goes down as long as we keep our bonuses, fly about $20,000 cost instead of a $600 first class seat, believe pay cuts are for lower staff only.

    November 20, 2008 at 5:19 am |
  225. john

    NO ONE is worth over 10 million a year. I think there should be a cap on executive pay and sports figures. These salary issues are completely out of control. These enormous salaries are ridiculous whether they are for sports figures who abuse dogs or CEO's who fly to DC on Private jets to BEG for more money to waste

    November 20, 2008 at 5:20 am |
  226. Tripp

    The other story here is how much oil 4 or 5 people on a private plane burns as opposed to 200 people on a commercial aircraft. Then there's the carbon footprint caused by the same figures. These guys are where they are because they refuse to acknowledge the fact that we're burning up our planet and we're sick of sending all of our money to an oil cartel that is all to happy to bleed America dry.

    I realize how many jobs are at stake and the impact that this could have on the economy but really, let them file. Any bailout should at the very minimum and off the top of my head come with 1) the immediate elimination of the Hummer line 2) major concessions from the UAW and 3) the resignation of these 3 CEO's without any kind of retirement package.

    Give these idiots $25b just to stave off their bankruptcy for another year? What's the point? They will never get it.

    November 20, 2008 at 5:21 am |
  227. Navid

    Hey guys did you see what car Alan Mullaly got into after he stepped off his private jet?? Looks from the video that it was a Lexus!!
    Can you believe that? He should've at least by driving a FORD for show.

    November 20, 2008 at 5:42 am |
  228. Jason McIntosh

    How does anyone in their right mind think that bailing out the auto industry will work? They're asking for 25 Billion divided by 3 =8.3 Billion each, GM-says they spend 2.5 Billion a month that's only 3.5 months of operating capital. Sounds to me like they're trying to get one last pay check, who pays the money back when they don't turn the company's around in 6 months. Somebody is going to be laughing all the way to the bank, and I guarantee you it won't be the taxpayers .

    November 20, 2008 at 5:56 am |
  229. tze

    The Big 3 CEO should show leadership example here. There are many CEO's travelling in commercial jet without any concern. Is there any question on safety here on normal airlines? Hundreds of thousand business people travel everyday without any hesitation. Imagine how much the company can save if these CEOs travel on commercial airlines. Where are all the concerns in saving? The Chinese saying "If the horse died, the rider must walk on his own":

    November 20, 2008 at 6:10 am |
  230. Rob

    Bailout GM? Are you kidding? Q. Who killed the mass transit system in America? GM (Alfred P. Sloan). Who killed the Electric Trolley? GM. "Who Killed The Electric Car?" GM. Why should taxpayers bail them out? No. Let them burn, like the beloved Los Angeles trolleys stacked five deep and set afire, or dumped in Santa Monica harbor to make way for diesel exhaust-spewing, cancer-causing buses. It's not the end of the world, people. From the ashes will rise new car companies that are highly responsive to the demands of the American consumer and, as a result, highly profitable and able to replace the jobs lost under the Big 3's current regime of management knuckleheads. Change is good.

    November 20, 2008 at 6:12 am |
  231. Robbie

    Dear Mr King ; or who this may concern ; about the auto bailout of the 3 gm ford an cry; they want 25 million are they going too buy their cars that they run off the line with that money ; no give the money too the people who are going to buy there cars ; an who is going to have there hand out next saying they need help ; the farmer ; or who ever ; if you devide that money 700 billion among the people ; who pay taxes ; there the ones that will spend that money ; i wonder how much that would be if divied up among us tax payers ; when does it stop ; the Buck has too stop now ; not latter thank you

    November 20, 2008 at 6:20 am |
  232. Les

    You bet this is a reflection on corporate America. When the crap hits the fan, the execs fire the lower ranking people and are never held accountable for their own stupid blunders and alck of foresight. The Car companies have never really been visionary and heeded the warnings. Everyone is caught up in the next quarterly report and what the earnings will be. There is really no concern or empathy for those who really are struggling on the shop floor. Unfortunately if we dont help the car companies, guess who takes the hit again, JOE SHOPFLOOR. My suggestion, bail them out but freeze all executive compensation including bonuses to the level of the highest paid factory worker. Leave it in place until the loans are repaid. Save the jobs, get the fatcats to smarten up. By the way, if they dont like it, they can take a hike.....

    November 20, 2008 at 6:34 am |
  233. James

    This is a sad state of affairs. Thousands of auto industry employees stand to lose their jobs and the few but powerful haven't changed a bit. Jet-pooling may have been a smarter option, or better yet, take one of the mediocre vehicles produced by GM, Ford or Chrysler. They may re-think quality control and design of their own vehicles. I don't blame middle-class America for opting to purchase Japanese vehicle. The level of quality put in to these vehicle of comparable price is quite noticeable. This is another example of how corporate america screws the people it serves. With the decline of independent businesses who were bought out because they couldn't survive, we the consumers have no choice but to support them, and when they make poor decision, they stick us. But then again, if these CEO's step down, they get bonuses for screwing up.
    If we want to see another example of how taxpayers' bailout dollars will fail to fix a large scale problem, go ahead give bad businessmen more money to waste. The large banks have already started hoarding. What makes us think that the same won't happen with automakers?At the same time the guy or girl who places the doors on the vehicle is going to be a victim of "unavoidable layoffs" or some garbage like that.

    November 20, 2008 at 6:36 am |
  234. tomaussie

    I reckon it comes down to national pride. To be America and not make cars is somehow hard for Americans to grasp. I don't recall Congress rushing to bail out American television makers in the 70's, even though that country was instrumental in the rise of television. At some point one has to let this industry (d)evolve as the market dictates and direct the talent therein to other uses.

    November 20, 2008 at 6:42 am |
  235. Joey (Manila)

    Those motor bosses are dreaming! All they want is to get & not give up anything.
    If the American motor industry should change & it indeed needs a radical change.
    The motor industry must be made to fall & more responsible people can rebuild w/ a proportional business model for the preset demands.
    I think the operational words for the situation are:
    1. radical down sizing from the top to bottom
    2. a complete & total overhaul of the system

    I think it's very dishonest to use the "unemployment" disaster scenario.
    Because the way things stand if & when the right things should be done is that there will be lots of unemployment anyway.
    But it will surely be the stupidest thing to put good money on a defective industry.
    The japanes make better cars then the big 3. so what is so special about the big 3?

    November 20, 2008 at 6:50 am |
  236. Hendrik

    I am from Indonesia but received my education in the US. Corruption is rampant in my country but at least noone is boasting that Indonesia is clean and a model country. It is sad to see the "pinnacle of democracy" serves mainly the rich and powerful. Your tax money goes to AIG execs who lavish in their retreats and now these Auto CEO's "inability" and "fear" to take commercial jets, which isn't even available in Indonesia, but I am extremely grateful to even able to fly economy, at least i don't have to take speeding interstate buses. I believe you Americans must take actions to force change for the better.

    November 20, 2008 at 6:52 am |
  237. tjua

    I'm not a big fan of Alec Baldwin, but I remember something he said on the Bill Maher Show a long time ago: (parphrase) Big corporations are capitalist when the economy is good and socialist when the economy is bad. Seems to fit well......

    November 20, 2008 at 6:53 am |
  238. Felix Esquivel

    So they fly in their private luxury jets to ask our elected representatives to take away our hard-earned dollars to bail-out their ineptitude?

    Let them eat lemons!

    November 20, 2008 at 7:03 am |
  239. Mike T

    This is completely normal for CEO's, and a ridiculous non issue, and everyone involved knows it. Corporations that can have private jets to shuttle their executives around for business are commonplace, certainly the CEO of GM or Ford would use the corporate jet for these purposes and the practice would not raise an eyebrow, in fact it would be weird for a CEO of that stature to hop on a domestic airline going to Washington on a business trip to speak with congress. That's how business is done, nothing weird or unusual about it. Unfortunately it seems that new page we have supposedly turned in the last election has found us in the same place with regards to the superficiality of our national discourse. American attention span so miniscule, that it is still riveted by these trivial manufactured controversies, maybe it is deliberate, in that it certainly does take up time and attention that might be paid to ummm, important things.

    November 20, 2008 at 7:07 am |
  240. Pablo

    Hello Anderson, We cannot allow GM to close now because they have hundreds of cars in the Caribbean which are less than 2 years old that are rusting badly. The Korean Daewoo built Chevys, Spark Aveo and Optra introduced to the islands in 2006 have rusted in all pannels including the chassis. GM has been promising to replace these cars for over two years and if they do get the money the dealers and owners of these cars in the islands must get refunded first. I can send you photos for proof

    November 20, 2008 at 7:14 am |
  241. Good Governance

    The Big Three are in the situation they're in because of sheer arrogance and incompetence at management level for many years. All their statements that "this time they mean it" is just insulting. The American people would be foolish to condone such a bailout. Let the Big Three go bankrupt – the remains will be bought up by Toyota, Nissan, Renault and BMW for a song – and then the factories will reopen again but this time around they will be producing reliable modern cars that people actually want to buy. And no bailout.....!

    November 20, 2008 at 7:22 am |
  242. Albert Singh

    There are many things that some of the privileged don't seem to grasp. One of these is the need to show (in deeds and in spirit) an empathy with the common person. It is precisely the ‘common’ people that keep the ‘privledged’ in their positions of excess. Corporate America with its reliance almost entirely on borrowed capital, with its psyche that creative and financial trickery will somehow mask it from the real world will be the down fall of so many of us. Obscene excesses as well as obscene poverty are the current manifestations of failure of ethics and prudence.

    November 20, 2008 at 7:27 am |
  243. bwana

    Yupp... they sure do need a bailout!? Have to maintain the corporate jet and keep those golden parachutes polished up!

    November 20, 2008 at 7:27 am |
  244. Ben

    They need to let them go under. Someone else will take them over. Hange out the HELP WANTED sign & tell former employes to get in line.Get rid of the union & country club ways of all the big three!

    November 20, 2008 at 7:27 am |
  245. Scott

    I think the actions of the CEO's are a perfect example of what is wrong with America's corporate culture. Executives, it seems, are really good at pointing fingers and then stepping away from any blame. If they were asked to forgo their exorbitant salaries and perks to save jobs in their companies, I doubt they would. Do they realize, or even care, that the cost of flying their private jets to Washington D.C. is equivalent, or more than, a year's salary of most of their employees? Obviously not.

    November 20, 2008 at 7:39 am |
  246. Gregory Dean

    Again the CEO's of the big three are absolutely unaware of just how much anger there is by us, the average americans that continue to be asked to foot the bill for their greed and mismanagement, and the amazing thing to me is they still believe their personal comfort and convienence is their right no matter the cost or perseption. It is beyond pathetic, they have come to the people begging for change in gold plated chariots.

    These CEO's are neither deserving of our compassion or financial support. These individuals responsible for guiding these companies will never learn the hard and needed lessons as long as we tolerate and keep the hand outs coming. I feel for the workers for they are the true victims in this tragady.

    November 20, 2008 at 7:42 am |
  247. Antonio Pironti

    Well, it seems to me that the real problem to face now is to go ahead with the bailout or to let the U.S. carmakers to go under.

    In this dramatic situation, it appears not proper to underline the news regarding "private jets" that today is reported by the media worldwide.

    I do think that there doubts about the crucial importance of the car industry in the U.S. economy, so we have first to try hard to find a way out, if successful we will then think about new management and personal behaviors.

    Rgds,

    November 20, 2008 at 7:42 am |
  248. Stacy M

    I think if the people of the U.S. hand these inept managers a check for 25bn $ they, the inept managers, should suffer for their failures. I remember reading about a "Non-sweat sweat shop" company several years ago. The men/women at the top can only make 8x what the lowest paid employee makes. If the CEO gets a raise, so do all the people in the middle and the bottom. And the CEO doesn't get golden parachutes as rewards for failure. The CEO's of the corporations who have ran Washington DC need to face the music...things are uh-changin' and they had better step in line if they want to keep their jobs, like the people that work under them. After all, they, the CEOs, are employees too, not kings.

    November 20, 2008 at 7:50 am |
  249. Roman

    These fat cats has been stealing money from shareholders and their employees by getting huge bonuses and flying private jets. Now they want to rob the whole nation. No way I'll buy G3 car in the future. I'd better give my money to Japanese or Europeans.

    November 20, 2008 at 7:53 am |
  250. Alex Tansky

    Giving automakers $25B today will lead to giving them a lot more later. These money will be waisted anyway. How come Toyota and Honda don't complain about the financial environment? They just build cars that sold.

    I think, it is a shame to use our money to save a private business. Looks like a socialism to me

    November 20, 2008 at 7:57 am |
  251. Kevin

    Simply put it, You in the media make a big deal about it.

    For one, you could have made a comparison of how other company CEOs travel, how much they travel and their travel policies. Also, in the future, are you now going to go after the CEOs choice of Watches, Suits and their boots, and where they eat?

    By the way, when was the last time media covered something unbiased!

    I was really surprised by how people make their comments without checking their facts. In the last 4 years that I can remember, GM actually outsold Toyota and Honda. Ford outsold Nissan. And in USA. So, please people, do not tell me "No one buys American Cars".

    The bailout is a different story. Should my tax money go to a company in a free market? Probably not.

    On similar lines, why were the senators who approved the Finance bill, suddenly opposed to an automotive bailout. Yes..I agree that just because we made a mistake once, we should not make it again.

    So, Media, atleast, PLEASE start educating the public with facts.

    November 20, 2008 at 8:01 am |
  252. William Thiers

    It's about time the media worldwide starts to see the impact they have on the global economy. When you open up any of the major news websites, all you see and read is bad, the focus is on the bad news. It's about time all of you start to pay attention to good news, go find it, it's there. Of course it requires more effort to find it and then report on it with style and elegance.

    November 20, 2008 at 8:03 am |
  253. Peter Storm (Netherlands)

    Yes this is a leadership problem and the verdict is with the consumers worldwide. if you agree and like their products you buy their cars and its ok. If not than the market has spoken. They have to align and adjust with market needs and realities as well as the leadership model expected by the market. No government should not pay for the failure to miss to adjust – let alone lead – structural change.

    November 20, 2008 at 8:06 am |
  254. timmyt

    Why is everyone crying about 30 billion dollars to help out the big 3.
    What about this 700 billion for Wall street.

    If they were held accountable for the failure or success of the business they lead would this even be happening? Does it make more sense to lend now or pay later? What will the true cost to the economy be? Is it really just the same old story most of us are painfully aware of. The taxpayer is going to pay. What is going to be the greater cost? Is a bailout less expensive than the other option?

    November 20, 2008 at 8:15 am |
  255. Dave Sood

    This is appaling that CEO,s are not sensitive to the envirnment in which they work. They are going to beg for money in their private jets.

    It is high time that that CEO's salaries are tied to X times the minimum wage in the company. They are more responsible to Stock exchange and the share holder than the workers in the company.

    This should be part of the Change that Obama is seeking.

    November 20, 2008 at 8:17 am |
  256. Claudia R.

    This is really bad for PR ... ooops!
    Indeed, it doesn't look good. We do have to think about the safety of these men though. I mean, if I were making millions of dollars each year, and people knew I made this much while they are struggling to get by from pay-check to pay-check, wouldn't my life be in danger if I were to go into a crowded airport where people are paying more for decaying services? Of course! That is why I would take a private jet.

    Call me an idealist, a hopeless romantic, but why do these CEO's need all that money? If it weren't for the ridiculous amounts of money that they drain out of every opportunity they get, they would not have to be "afraid" of us, the general public. I am very upset about the lack of morals these men hold, and even more sickened by how we all look up to these conniving people.

    Now, I understand that people go into businesses to make money, but so much that you need a jet "for safety reasons" Give us all a break!

    I do have a question: Would it, could it, ever be possible that a bailout compromise comes out IF AND ONLY IF we, the taxpayers demand (as part of the plan) that executives take a deep cut to their salaries? Great if the company makes millions, billions, trillions - fantastic! But instead of having this money go into their very deep and sticky pockets, use that money to give their employees better treatment so that they are not stuck with a bad health care plan, or have to struggle to pay their rent each month? How about using those millions and billions for research in developing new technologies that take us farther away from using fossil fuels. I am sure that food, clothes, and other essentials that these CEO need for survival, do not require even a million dollars a year as part of their salaries. Even medical Doctors, Firefighters, soldiers, teachers, and other true heroes in our societies live with much much less. Why can't we force these men that want us to give them our hard-earned money to accept this demand?

    November 20, 2008 at 8:19 am |
  257. Doug Kew

    What do these guys feel they have to be afraid of?? It is just their inflated opinions of themselves that makes them arrive at talks where they are actually begging for money in their private jets.
    I say send them home and get the companies to send people to the talks who actually are interested in saving the companies.
    Useless idiots, I hope they lose their jobs with no benefits...

    November 20, 2008 at 8:22 am |
  258. Michael

    Bailout my ass! The private jets just showed these guys don't care about the common good. They are there for themselves. They don't want to sacrifice anything! If all ceo's are like this, shit, our country is in LONG TERM trouble!

    November 20, 2008 at 8:47 am |
  259. Ruud

    The big plunge has many causes. However, the car makers blame the financial crisis. Well, in my view it is not. Gas prices in the US are cheap comparing to the European prices. Why? The Europeans pay excise taxes on each liter. And, because of that Europeans buy only cars which are cheap in use. For instance: in 2008 the French Peugeot 307 is the most favorite. It uses 1 liter gasoline over 26 kilometer (1:26) while the American Japanese car Honda Civic is the most cheapest in use (1:8). Ford, General Motors and Chrysler are still producing cars which doesn't even meet the European market. Why they still making such cars?

    November 20, 2008 at 8:49 am |
  260. Caetlin Folawn

    Shame on them!

    November 20, 2008 at 8:55 am |
  261. Pete

    Screw the American auto industry! Let GM, Ford and Chrysler - the latter owned by "private equity" Wall Street fat-cats - go the way of Packard, Studebaker, Hudson, Nash, Kaiser-Fraser and the rest of the Detroit rolling iron merchants that couldn't cut it.

    The so-called 'executives' of the 'Big Three' are a pack of morons that couldn't take a decision about whether they want caviar or truffles with their power lunch salads. They'd answer yes or both if they could figure out the question.

    But, the auto company execs are only half the problem. The UAW shares equal complicity in the debacle by holding their idiot employers up for obscene salaries and benefits. What other industry in America pays high school drop-outs more than $35 an hour for knowing little more than how to run an impact wrench? Reportedly, there are some on the factory floor who make as much as $75 per hour. They must be the ones with GEDs.

    To hell with the auto industry. Let the people who work in it - from top to bottom - come to grips with the real world.

    November 20, 2008 at 8:58 am |
  262. Ruud Wedding (Netherlands)

    The big plunge has many causes. However, the car makers blame the financial crisis. Well, in my view it is not. Gas prices in the US are cheap comparing to the European prices. Why?

    The Europeans pay excise taxes on each liter. And, because of that Europeans buy only cars which are cheap in use. For instance: in 2008 the French Peugeot 307 is the most favorite. It uses 1 liter gasoline over 26 kilometer (1:26) while the American Japanese car Honda Civic is the most cheapest in use (1:8).

    Ford, General Motors and Chrysler are still producing cars which doesn’t even meet the European market. Why are they still making such cars?

    By the way:

    You must be very shameless to fly with your own jet to Washington and ask for a billion bailout while your employees have the most reason to worry: their jobs, their income, their future.

    But, the ceo's say they flew because of security or protocol reasons. Well, isn't here a different case going on??? Why spending 20.000 dollars for each flight while you can do the same for 500 dollars????

    The reason is not the reason. It is the American blindness for taken responsibilities for the things they do even in business.

    November 20, 2008 at 9:01 am |
  263. Dr. Marcus

    Wasn't it back in the 1960's when investigating Ford Pinto's exploding gas tanks that it came out that auto manufacturers felt it cheaper to pay off claims from burn victims than change their construction?

    I turnabout fair play?

    Has the cock come home to roost?

    Should we return the favor?

    Will the government force us to care more about them than they ever did for us?

    November 20, 2008 at 9:19 am |
  264. andrew

    Everbody needs to jump off the foriegn auto makers ***s! The big three are not producing the same crap they did back in the 60's. Lets take the corvette for example 400hp and still gets 32-36mpg on the highway, name one imported car with that much hp or hell even 6 cylinders that can compare. In japan i have a 94 1.3l mazda that gets a whooping 14mpg on a good day and a 98 accord that gets 24mpg. However the big 3 are big idiots all have excellent flex fuel/ hybrids in other countries that will never be sold here because of greed. Management needs to be re-structured with some government oversight to make damn sure this doesnt happen again if the bail out is approved. As for taking private jets, how do you know for sure it wasnt more cost effective?

    November 20, 2008 at 9:26 am |
  265. Robyn

    Instead of bailing out the companies why don't we bail out the working man? Ya know if we would take that money and split it among all Americans everyone would get 500,000 dollars!!! That would bail me out and then some. I would be able to spend money and maybe get this ecomony stimulated again. Instead of those tiny checks we all got earlier this year. What a joke.

    November 20, 2008 at 9:26 am |
  266. Mike G

    Good to see so many of you Americans being appropriately ruthless about your fatcat CEOs!

    Flying in on private jets to ask for taxpayer handouts is absurd.

    As to the bailout itself, it should be simply a venture capitalism assessment by the government.

    If a company can fairly evidence that investment now will be converted to future profit of the company... then there is a case for it. But as noted by other bloggers here... these are companies in the free market. The argument of "bail us out and it will be good for the economy" is arrogant and doesn't fly. Any deal should be in the form of a loan or investment from the public fund which gets returned with interest. Real returns, not "ooo, national benefit". Furthermore, like with venture capitalist parties, demands can be made such as company priority or CEO salary. If the auto industy cannot make good on a standard investment package, the public should not be asked to simply waste hard-earned money to slow an inevitable fall.

    Mike G, UK

    November 20, 2008 at 9:33 am |
  267. David Delderfield

    The Big three are begging for public money while Toyota and Honda are able to manufacture in the US and make a profit. Let the Big 3 earn their keep or go bankrupt. None of MY money for them. NONE.

    November 20, 2008 at 9:35 am |
  268. Siddarth

    About Private Jet:-

    Let's face it, these are guys who have lived with million dollar compensation and perks to match that number. What did you expect them to do ?. I bet you as an individual would have done just the same had you been in their shoes.

    About Bailout:-

    It's an illusion that this money will help *save* them . The amount of money they burn a month explains it all.

    About letting them go Bankrupt:-

    It is easy for a non-employee of an auto company to say *let them go bankrupt" but to have a fair assessment, it will have severe impact on a large number of our auto industry friends atleast on short term (until they find a job again when the new owners of those bankrupt auto makers take over).

    Got a better plan?:-

    Restructure them intensively and refocus their direction with huge Govt oversight using experts in that field and provide a deadline (2 quarters) to check their progress. If they don't learn anything. Let them be taken over by companies who want to turn them around and provide some kind of assurance for those employees' jobs. Afterall, they are the same employees with same skills. They can join the job again with a new leadership. It is not the employees' fault that their company went bankrupt. It is what their bosses led them to..

    November 20, 2008 at 9:36 am |
  269. khurshid

    can somebody tell me, how much these three CEOs cost
    usa, for one year, including travel, personal staff, PR, and
    people just justifing that there travelling on private jets are
    company policy. etc.
    Such damn companies policies are the basis of
    their companys near-default, in the first place.

    Khurshid, Pakistan.

    November 20, 2008 at 9:43 am |
  270. Jack Liczkowski

    No bail-out to so called "Big Three". Ear-mark the $25 billion for unemployment benefits to autoworkers – but not at $75 per hour. Restructure the assets to build next generation cars: electric, natural gas powered, hydrogen, etc. Perhaps sell some of the assets to Tesla which already builds electric cars.

    November 20, 2008 at 9:46 am |
  271. Teddy S

    I totally understand that people don't want to bail out these bad performing companies.
    But.
    Why all these outcries now for this 25 billion?
    Why did nobody outcry when the bad performing banks got 700 billion?
    All the bank ceos that made all their stupid mistakes are still there!
    They got 700 billion dollars, and nobody gave it a second thought.
    They also still fly their company jets of your tax money!
    And the auto industry in europa is also getting tens of billions of dollars to help them.
    Ofcourse the USA should provide this 25 billion dollars!
    But....
    All current ceos and management have to go!
    They should all be replaced by capable new management.
    And all the too expensive union expenses should be dropped as well.
    There is no way the USA can compete with asia when the unions demand for excessive union costs!

    November 20, 2008 at 9:54 am |
  272. Skubie

    I don't think everyone gets the big picture or there not saying anything now once upon a time there was Wall Street Bailout so I would think this money went to big banks to help the housing market so this in turn did not help people with home loans and now people that need to get automobile loans aren't able to get loans because the banks will only help those with good credit. So who are we hurting the GM, Ford, and Chrysler companies? So we punish these 3 companies and the future of American made cars, but not Wall street. The money that went to Wall Street should have went to these 3 companies. Furthermore, I grew up on GM and I love the Camaro so if these companies go under and get bought out by a foreign company then will Americans be happy oh cares were outsourcing everything anyway.

    November 20, 2008 at 10:07 am |
  273. Asoke T

    Capitalism is about making profit and gain through someone else’s pain. Capitalism is also about demand and supply – create a need and gain from it. The point is these CEO’s and the Bush Administration has forgotten that Capitalism is also about survivality of the fittest.

    A CEO is not a Nobel laureate who can claim that s/he is a better human being. Therefore, unless general public is at pain how can executives make money or live in luxury? The point is all these CEO’s are leeches; they will suck blood of public anyway. They will take public money through Congress or take public’s money through stock exchanges by manipulating account-books and financials of the company.

    November 20, 2008 at 10:11 am |
  274. charles Loh

    i'm from singapore and your so called "big 3" sells a combined less than 2000 cars last year out of 76000 car sales in the whole year, now you really think they can compete with the rest of the world's automaker? just mercedes brand alone sells more than 3000 cars in that same year...if the "big 3" does not have a SKU in the top 10 best selling model in America (their home turf), i really wonder whether they can go into another country and make their presence felt...

    November 20, 2008 at 10:14 am |
  275. Nash

    If the shareholders don't want to put 'good money after bad' then why should the public.
    Chrysler is owned by a private equity hedge fund, Cerebrus. Are we really going to give money to a hedge fund?
    This is not a 'bailout' no one will be 'bailed out' you're just postpone the day of reckoning.
    Let investors buy the parts that are worth salvaging.

    November 20, 2008 at 10:14 am |
  276. Thomas

    I have to say that since I have been following this blog, I have never seen so many comments on one subject! Amazing!

    That said I think the boys flying in to ask for money was such a bad call. I doubt anyone will want to support these companies after this debacle.

    However I must say that there is no one to blame but the American consumer in this situation. In the United States the so called big three auto makers were simply supplying what the consumer wanted, big fat powerful cars to go along with all the other big fat powerful ego boosting possessions. The consumers bought them in droves and the car companies keep spitting them out with no incentive to create a better product. Why would they? They had no need to as long as the situation remained the same. The American consumer could have bought more economical machines if they wanted to from other manufacturers, they were available, but they simply did not care or want to.

    If some of you are old enough to remember, this happened years ago in the seventies. We had a gas crunch there, and then the Japanese were bringing in cheap fuel efficient cars and the U.S. automaker was in trouble. What happened and what I suspect will happen again is that when the gas and economy crunch subsided back then, the giant egos came back and demanded bigger poor quality cars once again. No lessons learned.

    So I say let the car companies go, sadly no one is to blame but the American consumer in this case who stood by and really did not give a damn about "re-tooling"!

    November 20, 2008 at 10:24 am |
  277. Akshay Kumar (Mumbai)

    If Ford does get some government money, make sure that the Ford family loses the 40% control it enjoys over other stockholders. This is banana republic territory.

    November 20, 2008 at 10:26 am |
  278. Grover H.Armitead II

    I really do not mine helping these companies as long as those who help create it are gone. If hey did manage when they weren't in trouble, do you really think they will get better after you give them more money. You saw how they went to washington.

    November 20, 2008 at 10:50 am |
  279. Grover H.Armitead II

    I really do not mine helping these companies as long as those who help create it are gone. If hey did not manage when they weren't in trouble, do you really think they will get better after you give them more money. You saw how they went to washington.

    November 20, 2008 at 10:52 am |
  280. Brian Wheeler

    Come on, this how these guys travel and it is no different from othe top CEO's
    I work for GM Europe where we produce europe's number one selling commercial vehicle, up until a month or two ago we couldn't make enought vehicles, now we a laid off. This is a global issue that has been brought about by the financial sectors issues, rather than reflection of GM's turnround programme.

    November 20, 2008 at 10:58 am |
  281. Cathy Goodman

    TGKY "How did UAW rep travel?" Excellent question....I'll bet UAW leaders are just as guilty of excesses as the CEO's. But, if I were guilty of causing a collapse that was going to cause millions to lose their jobs and benefits, I would be afraid for my security as well.

    November 20, 2008 at 11:25 am |
  282. David Baker

    No I do not think that Hillary Clinton should be the Secretary of State... The core foreign issues have to do with the Muslim religion where a woman are not taken seriously or even seen as the males equal, as Mrs. Rice has already demonstrated during the Bush administration... I would seriously consider Colin Powell (not sure of spelling?). He is an intelligent man with very good foreign policy credentials and would be seen as reaching across the isle... I believe Bush made Colin Powell say that and that was one of his reasons for leaving the Bush administration.
    David Baker Native American

    November 20, 2008 at 11:26 am |
  283. DIANE

    The Auto industry needs to file chapter 11 it is the only way to deal with the contracts it has gotten into. They cannot carry that overhead forward and survive, giving money blindly without filing for chapter 11 would be the worst thing possible.

    November 20, 2008 at 11:28 am |
  284. Cathy Goodman

    These shills on the hill are just blustering for their consituents...they KNOW the bailout will come...they just want to be too close to the issue if it goes south. And they do this even at the cost of the Dow having another really bad day. They are as guilty of being out of touch with our needs as any CEO.

    November 20, 2008 at 11:31 am |
  285. Cathy Goodman

    Kevin, your statement about Big3 outselling foreign carmakers just makes our point. They outsold and STILL could not run a profitable business. When 1 in 4 vehicles on the road is a SUV or pickup, their particular nitch, it should have been a BIG profit time for them.

    November 20, 2008 at 11:38 am |
  286. Cathy Goodman

    robbie – loved your comments...nothing like some good sarcasm to make a point.

    November 20, 2008 at 11:41 am |
  287. Theend

    Big 3 run by "three stooges" – They and UAW are all crooks – No mercy for them

    November 20, 2008 at 11:44 am |
  288. christian volckaert

    this is an outrage! What about the golden parachutes? what about the huge mansions and fleet of private cars that these executives display on the benefits of these companies. We should secure the jobs of the workers even it this means to cut down to zero, the actual profits of these companies. A calculation would be needed. AND make no mistake, this is not communism, it's common sense.

    November 20, 2008 at 11:51 am |
  289. anthony

    I believe it is deliberate arrogant negotiation tactic posed to the Republican Bush Administration. Time is running out for us. Bail us out or we sink into the depth of dire consequences together. If the CEOs fly commercial, the Republican could easily point fingers – see I told you, self-inflicted wounds now pretending remorse – no bailout and a nice rebuff and also a humiliating slap in the face against the Democrats. It is a bit like Somali pirates – we negotiate from position of strength and threats and we as an industry are together. Sooner or later, you will come to the table on our more congenial terms

    November 20, 2008 at 11:52 am |
  290. Babatunde

    I used to think only Nigerian public officers waste the commonwealth of the people they govern and plead such excuses as "for security reasons" but now I know better....

    November 20, 2008 at 12:05 pm |
  291. vel

    the bail out is in the intrest of company employees hence to

    be looked in that angle only and not otherwise

    November 20, 2008 at 12:07 pm |
  292. Jim

    maybe the big three thought it would be safer to take there 25 billion back on private jets for safety reasons. I SAY LET THEM FILE FOR BANKRUPCY LIKE EVERYONE ELSE THAT GETS IN FINANCIAL TROUBLE.

    November 20, 2008 at 12:20 pm |
  293. churchmouse

    oh let me get this straight:
    they said they are streamlining business operations in general.
    so the "rank &file" are suppose to streamline
    take wages back health beniefts and such
    but the "bloat at the top" just keeps screwing the taxpayer and the guy
    witha family to feed takes the knock

    "I gothcha ya"
    do'nt do as "we" do do as we ask
    typical ask them tho take greyhound for the ride back

    November 20, 2008 at 12:31 pm |
  294. dirk

    remarks from germany: when i compare for example my salary as an engineer of the huge GM-spin-off automotive supplier with salaries of my american couterparts i think it is no wonder that everyone in US has become more and more disconnected from reality. i propose we europeans buy the US CEO's/CFO's some high quality glasses so that they can see reality sharper than they have in the past because it is them who have the responsibility for each employee/worker. they are steering the company ship ... and should start applying for a different kind of job.

    November 20, 2008 at 12:35 pm |
  295. Elvis

    Bailling out these 3 auto companies wont change anything. They should instance negotiate with Japan auto companies such as Toyota or Honda for seriously considering a major merger or takeover. These auto companies wont survive the competition from more competitive and fuel efficient makers. Like it or not, auto industries are either with consumers or againts consumers. Not trying to protect makers who are in denial of the fact.....

    November 20, 2008 at 12:37 pm |
  296. Darryl

    If we are going to hand out rewards for stupidity, I rate finance and banking ahead of the US automakers. The media didn't gang up on the finance scum nearly as much. Sure Detriot could do better but it's hard to compete with subsidized imports from Japan and Korea. America needs to help iself by buying American. Join me this Christmas season: I'm not buying anything made in China.

    November 20, 2008 at 12:51 pm |
  297. Terry L

    When is everyone going to realize it isn't a bailout? A bailout would imply a return of the money. This money will never be returned to the taxpayers, it will be forgiven by the government on your behalf.

    The Big3 acknowledge they have burned through $18 bilion in the past three months and they are expecting to burn through even more at an accelerated pace in the near future. $25 billion wont last tow or three months at this rate, and since they have not been able to retool or rebuild their companies in the past 10 years with the untold billions more they have spent what would make anyone believe that another $25 billion is going to change anything in the next three months?

    And their "corporate policy" that requires them to fly private jets for safety reasons is a joke. Detroit to D.C. is about an eight hour drive; why couldn't they have driven? I would guess their "corporate policy" doesn't allow them to drive their own cars for safety reasons either.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:29 pm |
  298. Yuri L.

    No taxpayer dollar should go the these 3 auto companies until they "get it" and change their past ways. These CEOs should voluntaily reduce their compensation to $1 annually, forgo all performance related bonus and show that they "feel" the pain of their workers who are and will be asked to tighten their belt. If any of our taxpayer money goes towards them, there should be condition attached that all current CEOs resign and there is change in senior managment and no more bonuses for anyone!! By flying to the hearings on their corporate jets for "saftey reasons", the show that they don't "get it" and this is a mockery to us all.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:35 pm |
  299. Steve

    If the CEOs of the "big three" are that sincere of the bailout helping the American worker and consumer...then the government should offer the bailout money, with the stipulation that the CEOs summit their resignations. If their main concerns are truly the American economy, so be it, but step down from your management positions; because pretty much you 3 are a major contributor to why the US auto industry is in turmoil.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:36 pm |
  300. jeff

    NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION! If the government bails these guys out too with our tax money we, as Americans, need to revolt by refusing to pay anymore taxes to our government. We need to have a 21st century Boston Tea Party. The government cannot put us all in jail. REVOLUTION, FREEDOM, BRING BACK AMERICA FOR THE PEOPLE NOT THE CORPORATIONS AND BANKS.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:38 pm |
  301. Gary Evans

    Past and standard practices. Yecch! No wonder these Detroit Dinosaurs ire in their death-throes! They haev NO CONCEPTIOn fo how to change whether in-depth or symbolicly.

    So seeing they still fly in Corporate Jets like they were royalty – then off with their heads – LET their companies file bankruptcy or just wither away with a wimper.

    Their ineptitude, greed, poor quality,. rip-off pricing and failure to moderrnize are their own errors and they should shoulder the responsibility.

    I am also am OPPOSED to the bailout of millionaires and billionaires foisted on the taxpayers as well. If a business is so poorly managed that it is at risk of bankruptcy or faiulure, then let it go the way of the DoDo!

    Taxpayers and small businesses are NOT gettign any of this public largesse SO WHY should tghe megabucks failures get any?!?!

    November 20, 2008 at 1:38 pm |
  302. Jerry Wicht

    Corporate America operates in a socialist society, the rest of us operate in the capitalist society!

    November 20, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  303. Dinesh

    I am not an US citizen nor employed with any auto manufacturer but its really a surprise, CEOs flying in private jest with a tin cup begging for bailouts. How funny is the US ethics of management?

    This is just like the President of Pakistan flying to US with a team of 200 members and begging IMF for a Bail out.

    This just like the dictator of North Korea or the President of Iran who blackmails the world – give aide of face nuclear attack.

    The CEOs are not serious to bail out the companies – they will take fat bonuses to make a fool of the US congress and senate and keep the employees with a axe always hanging on them.

    The main street of US fails to realize the fraudulent attitude of all CEOs running for bail outs.

    The worlD has to get worried especially China because we the world are funding the trillion $s debt and its trade deficit of US by investing in their treassury.

    Its like US and its presents CEOs including the President are all blackmailing the world : IF YOU ALL WANT YOUR ECONOMIES TO CONTINUE TO GROW – THEN CONTINUE FUNDING OUR LAVISH EXPENSES AND LIFESTYLES.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  304. Guan

    The liguidity crisis does not happened overnight. Now If those ceos and financial chiefs could not foresee or forecast them, they are said to be failed in their positions, Send them back to basic assembly line and start to learn the triffy ways of spending with their salary !

    November 20, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  305. Sy Wiley

    If Sen. Joe Biden can ride public transportation from Delaware to Washington, DC everyday, why can't the autoexecs ride to DC on public transportation instead of costly private jets to testify before the U.S. Congress?

    November 20, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  306. T Grant

    Insult and gross indifference to the middle income workers they employ.

    I'll bet they are staying at the Ritz or similiar hotel at 500.00 per night also instead of the Budget Inn like they should.

    I think the oil companies should bailout the auto industry!

    November 20, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  307. txkboy

    Ya, they really don't get "it". Do you really think the layoffs will stop (or other threats), once the CEO's get the money? Their looking for their Christmas bonus, not helping to stimulate the economy. If that were true, they would quit making gas guzzler vehicles. And design cars that could compete with the Asian market. We love our trucks, but come on, fuel efficiency.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  308. Carol Ann Gagliardi

    Even my professional truck-driving race-car fan husband wants to know if the big 3 auto makers are still going to dump millions into NASCAR. He's disgusted with the way the sport has changed. I'll bet those drivers don't have dirty fingernails. At least when Richard Petty was racing, you really could identify with them. With enough guts you could do it. Today you need to be related to someone. Like everything else, it's becoming a rich-man's sport.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  309. RICHARD

    For the record, UAW"s Pres. did take a commercial flight to WASH ($600 cost) & has just as much on his plate as the CEO's if not more. However, how absurd and childish to make such a spectacle of corporate jetting when those sitting in judgement vote theirself pay raises each year, 2 & 3 month vacations, second homes in Wash. and lifetime pensions only after a few years of service. Maybe they should sell the 2nd. home, book into a super 8, do away with pensions and have a 401k plan, large co-pays on their health insurance. talk about a bailout at its best, do as i say not as i do. no wonder taxpayers are totally fed up. Give the $$$ to those that make something to sale, save the us manufacturing base and put profit sharing first on the agenda to the employees.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  310. Dale Weichmann

    The oil companies should bail the automaker out. How much did the oil companies make off of us recently, they can afford it. The automakers should not have followed suite like AIG did, after getting help and going to lavish spas at our expense.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  311. jeff

    Are these executives willing to put their money where their mouth is ? Will they return their 5 years worth of pay and any bonus should the 25 billion taxpayers bailout fail to turn things around ? Are they willing to sign an agreement that they will check themselves into the state penitentiary instead of 6 star hotels/resorts should they lose the bailout package ?

    November 20, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  312. David and Lynne

    I think these corporate execs can come and ask for the bail-out they deserve WHEN and ONLY WHEN they can show a plan of how they are going to cut their salaries by 25%, cut frivolous spending like multiple executive vehicles, company paid vacations and trips, company paid executive jets and ALL expenses that do not contribute to the growth and welfare of ALL COMPANY EMPLOYEES IN EVERY WAY. In other words, IT IS THE LINE EMPLOYEE WHO PAYS FOR THE PERKS SO THEREFORE THEY SHOULD GET THE SAME PERKS THE EXECS GET after all it was the general employee that made it all happen and without them there would be NO CORPORATE EXECUTIVE OR COMPANY to run!

    November 20, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  313. Dragan

    1. I am just reading Lee Iacocca's autobiography, and I am wandering what would he do in this situation

    2. I would give big three money they are asking for. But, I would prepare some kind of control body that would monitor their balance sheets for improvements and prepare some kind of framework big3 would have to comply to if they come back for more money. Why don't they merge or something? This of course cannot be done in few months, but ... maybe it can.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  314. Michelle

    I do believe taxpayer money should be used to help bailout the car companies, however since it is the tax payer's hard earned income there should detailed stipulations. Our government has an opportunity to change and control these car manufacturers, who have been ignoring for too long affordable and environmentally friendly technology. With our taxpayer money we could not only help America's unstable economy but also the environment and force them to change their old ways. This would force them to become environmental, and therefore say goodbye to their gas guzzling private jets.

    November 20, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  315. Mary

    I'm floored by the audacity of the Big 3 CEOs. They obviously have no regards for the millions of workers who are depending on them to keep their doors open. While my family's financial well-being depends largely upon these guys staying in business, I don't think American tax payers should have to bail them out when obvious gross mismanagement is the root of all their problems.

    I'm not sure what we will do if my husband loses his job. Temporary plant shut downs have made it hard enough. The community we live in does not offer any other opportunities for him to earn a wage that can support a family. Perhaps we, like the Big 3, need to be forced to make a change. . . see what "rises from the ashes."

    November 20, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  316. Auto Worker

    I work for a Japanese auto maker and we are facing similar problems with lowered volumes, But you don't see our company asking for handouts. Maybe if the BIG THREE and the people why work there had a little better grip on the reality of what the average job pays per year and were more in line with that this might be a mute point.

    If I needed to take a pay cut to save my company why not? Some work is better than no work!!!

    November 20, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  317. Hady

    I think it's about time. Like give me a break private jets and security?

    November 20, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  318. jeff

    the good senator should have continued to ask the 3 CEO's which 5 star hotel and presidential suite they were booked in, how much do they spend everytime they are out base. how much of the company's money (soon to be taxpayer's money) is being spend on perks/parties ? Are the executives, managers of the company willing to take a 50% pay cut before they ask taxpayers for a bailout

    November 20, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  319. dennis

    I agree that flying in on corporate jets may not have been the smartest thing to do in light of their situation. It certainly doesn't send out the right message and in many respects appears as an act of arrogance and ignorance. However many of the guys asking the tough questions yesterday are also the ones that allowed Wall Street to run wild without any restrictions or regulations and that got us into this mess in the first place. Tell me that all those self righteous politicians don't get perks at the taxpayers expense. To me it was a disgusting display of hypocrisy. I'll bet if you peel back the onion they are no better than the 3 corporate CEO's.

    November 20, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  320. jon whaley

    Security? Bill Gates, once the worlds richest man, flies either coach of first-class every day. No security, no posse, no bs. Just smart business.

    I'll bet $50 that b4 the telivised hearings, 99% of all Americans would not be able to pick Nardelli, Wagoner, or Mullally out of a lineup. They are nobodies who need to go into retirement.

    Wagoner at GM for 8 years and hasn't had enough time to fix things?

    Mullaly told such a glowing tale of Ford's successI caught myself wondering aloud why he was even there asking for money? They should be the world's largest auto maker, bar none. IF any of it were true.....Low costs, great cars, turbo-chartgers on all cars for Gods Sake! Where's my closset Ford dealer? I'm kidding.

    On eof their biggesrt tales was about how the new UAW contacts allow fo rall ne whires to coem in at 50% of standard pay. Woo-hoo! Only problem with that line? I'l bet Ford hasn't hired one new person in past year. They have 1,500 in the job bank now! 90% of pay for doing nothing all day!????

    Are you f***ing kidding me?

    Hello CHapter 11. Goodbye CEO's. And take the dufus union guy Getelfinger with you.

    November 20, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  321. Jeff Brandt

    The are several different issues here on the table

    1) The CEO's flying with a privat jet, which I think that the Senators are extremely narrow minded, there are top executives which have to make the most out of their time, there is only 24 hours in a day, maybe you would suggest that in these difficult time they should drive down one of the vehicles in their lot (that has not been sold) or perhaps travel to washington by bike since it is more economical. They should put this question for Al Gore (or Obama) when he arrives at the environmental conference, "raise your hand if you came by commercial jet.

    2) The US car companies are not competitive in price which has an effect on all other quality and performance issues due to their higher cost. It is about time they get their companies in order, BUT it depends a lot on government regulations and UNIONS. The Big 3 has a much higher labor cost than Toyota, even at the Toyota plants based in the USA due to the UAW Union, so if we want our companies to be successful we need to let the free labor market rule.
    As with most manufacturing that went overseas is all because Govt. and Unions put on our companies too much liabilities and workers protection, so it is our choice do we want jobs without unions or we shall be on unemployment.

    3) Then we have the bailout question, which is a hard call to make and should be dealt with as a business decision, taking into account how will we compensate the 3 million workers and how would we have supply of automobiles. and what price would we need to pay for a car.

    November 20, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  322. Gary Smart

    I say let them deal with their issues as the American houshold must do. If they cannot afford it, don't buy it and if they do, they must deal with the balance due just as the taxpayers must do. I can't turn around and get bailed out when I do something stupid like buy a Rolls when my budget calls for a used Toyota or Chevy.

    November 20, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  323. Rob - Indy

    These guys fly in their luxury jets where ever they go–so the Washington landing shouldn't shock anyone. Was it a bone-headed move? Probably. But the real problem is that our fearless auto leaders are simply out of touch with their customers. They seem to be in a comfortable state of denial about the inefficient and antiquated processes still employed by American auto makers. But at $20 million a year salary for a failing auto company CEO, who can blame them? Life is good unless you're not them. They need to walk through a Honda or Toyota plant and maybe they'll get it. Few Americans are buying Japanese cars because they love Japan. Maybe we need to replace the current fat-cats with successful auto executives from Japan who actually know how to run an automotive company. If they need a ride here, I know where they can get some luxury jets to pick them up.

    November 20, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  324. Ann Pridemore

    The good old boy network in Washington makes me sick with
    their double standards. None of them ride coach, and I don't
    think AIG and Bear Stearns execs took the greyhound for their
    handouts....Detroit is too multi-ethnic for Washington to deem
    worthy of survival....

    November 20, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  325. Peter

    We, americans saw from more than ten years ago that those japanese auto makers as rising stars cause of their products have been reliable and meet safety issues. My question in my mind is why a super power country as USA can't make cars with more reliable engines for their autos . Beside, those Big 3 auto makers should see what would happen and predicted what would the consumers tend to by the world market surveyance so that they could avoid the crisis today. My personal opinion to their managements is " Flip over and CHANGE."

    November 20, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  326. Shan

    Given the situation where $20,000 could be 6 months or more salary for an individual who is at the verge of losing his/her job, spending it for a day trip flying tfrom Detroit to DC, in order to articulate to Congress/public how dire the situation is in their companies – does not make logical sense.

    Some where some how the PR in those organizations failed.

    Dont get me wrong here. I am not against bail out, but the question is : will that really help the workers with uncertain future in these companies which they are quoting as their case or are we just prolonging the failure by 3 or 4 months?

    Of course, unless if something is going to change drastically in these companies where they magically reinvent themselves to deliver products and services that can transform this industry/grow the business, expand into new markets/ change public's perception etc., with the bail out money. Sorry, I am trying to be sensible here but given the bad past history and such behavior exhibited by these CEOs and executives, for sure they are not helping me even a little bit to approve a major bail out in favor of these companies

    Lessons Learned for Big 3: If you want to get tax payers money, expect more of this grilling and scrutiny. This kind of a justification for excessive spending may have worked with the 'board' and 'stockholders' meeting. but quoting 'security' as the reason for living 'large' / using private jet may not necessarily fly with general public/Congress given the current economic situation!!!

    November 20, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  327. Leonie

    The Queen of England realized a few years ago she had better get rid of her fancy state supported ship ,forgo many of the extra perks and bonuses that came with her 'JOB", or the Monarchy was in danger of ending forever. She had to present a softer ,more humble personna in order to surive. When will the CEO'S of Americia and the World realize they need to do the same . If the Queen of England does not have a private jet ,maybe they should learn from that also.

    November 20, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  328. luis garcia miro

    if top brass commanders of the crippled amercan autoindustry arrived from Detroit to Capitol Hill in a modest motorcade with cars built by each of their companies, I´m sure public and political opinion would understand their drama.
    Lima, Perú

    November 20, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  329. jt

    Again ! Where is the bail out for the furniture industry , tobacco , and every other large or small businesses that have closed and cost thousands of people there homes , jobs and lives . I say let them try to pay their own bills . Flying private jets to the hearing ? Give me a break ..

    November 20, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  330. John Moore

    Corporate jets ?? I thought these guys were claiming to be broke. They might have made a better impression if they had driven energy efficient American made cars to the hearing !!

    November 20, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  331. JV Womack

    I have no job. My retirement plan can buy me a trip from Manhattan to the middle of the Hudson River. And, as a consumer, I am being blamed for not spurring the economy by spending. Yet, the Big 3 auto execs must fly in private jets on my dime. Are they afraid of being attacked by crazed taxpayers or owners of SUVs? I place my money on the gas-guzzling crowd. Wait! That's all of us–their soon-to-be stockholders. Please direct deposit my dividend check.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  332. Gary

    Who is going to bail out the hard working people? These CEO's have no idea what it means to work for a living. I have worked all my life and now that I am looking forward to retirement I have watched my 401 dwindle away. Again I ask who is going to bail out the back-bone of the American economy.
    I say no bail out for the big three. That's their problem wanting something for nothing and putting more hardships on the working class.
    No,no,no, to bailout

    November 20, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  333. buzz

    Don't worry folks. They will learn after this stunt.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  334. Brent

    I believe the private jet mode of travel would be appropriate if the workers who build the aircraft and maintain it @ a 100% saftey level were compensated comparable to the employees of the "big 3" auto makers.The workers in aviation from builders to fuelers to mechanics have always made considerably less, and I don't think that show's a proper and smart assessment from the CEO's, on the safest and cheapest way to travel ( they don't even endorse their products by road travel versus flying ?!?!) ...flying must be more essential than driving to the business sector for carrying out it's winning ways ( better gas mileage on jets than domestic auto's perhaps? even though you can't pull over @ the side of a cloud when you have flying trouble).
    Not considering the licensing fees, school costs (Tool cost as well for that matter for mechanics) and the cost for babysitters when you MUST work overtime because the airlines are following the schedules of every aircraft ,on time or not. The stress for all passengers aboard each aircraft ( doctors have only one life on the table @ a time) should be a suitable replacement for the stress on the assembly line. This leaves a need for aviation personel due to the small return for the large investment.
    I believe most Aviation employees that lost their jobs in 2001 went to the auto industry to make more money, or have survived troubling times and could be an example for the auto industry on how to survive their dire consequences ( by thier own conclusions), maybe re-training auto employees to replace all the soon to be retiring airline employees.there would be a wage cut , but job security because every C.E.O. in any industry will continue to fly . and if the employees and unions are prepared they should have acquired enough payroll to weather this storm, many have been surviving longer with less already.
    Even if we do end up bailing out the "big 3" , and they can produce great products where will the demand to purchase these new products come from, who can afford a new automobile that doesn't already have one in this economy. Only the wealthy and middle class will be able to purchase new fuel effecient models, everyone else is driving their used imports looking for work.
    ho can the big 3 be in financial trouble, when "You get what you pay for" ? ... sounds like another case one of the most difficult things for American's to do, adjust their emotional and psychological responses to an appropriate level when forced to lower their standard of living by any amount and do without luxuries. Maybe A Staycation, where the CEO's just pretended in their own minds to petition Congress for

    November 20, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  335. Dan

    I have the opportunity to travel over much of the industrial U.S. Nowhere in the country, except in the Rust belt and American auto areas of the mid-west, is there such a sense of entitlement in the workplace. Most people I encounter feel that their employers should be grateful they are there. The feeling I get is, damn the rest of the country as long as I get my pay and benefits package I'm entitled to. The bail out plan as proposed by the "big three" will be nothing more than attempt to appease unions and their members. I am not anti-union by any means. They have their place and help workers. But when you hear auto execs speaking of spending $4 billion a month on benefits and pensions it's fairly obvious where the requested $25 billion dollars will go. The American auto industry is experiencing what the rest of the country has been experiencing for several years. The rest of the country has sacrificed, adapted to increasing changes, and yes we have survived. There should be NO bailout of the big three, for so few on the backs of many, just as there should be no bail out of financial markets. This country has weathered a lot worse and we will survive this. It will REQUIRE belt tightening from all, including the auto industry. Step up and adapt of fail. The choice is theirs.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  336. Lori J

    The CEO's should be required to inject their own funds as a personal loan to their corporations just like any 'small' corporation majority stockholder would do to save their company – of course this would also require a tremendous amount of integrity – something clearly missing from a sad majority of todays big businesses – many seem to have modeled themselves after the Bush World of "do as I say, but most definitely not as I do as I will make and break rules as I see fit to suit the needs of me and mine"

    November 20, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  337. Dan

    I have the opportunity to travel over much of the industrial U.S. Nowhere in the country, except in the Rust belt and American auto areas of the mid-west, is there such a sense of entitlement in the workplace. Most people I encounter feel that their employers should be grateful they are there. The feeling I get is, damn the rest of the country as long as I get my pay and benefits package I'm entitled to. The bail out plan as proposed by the "big three" will be nothing more than attempt to appease unions and their members. I am not anti-union by any means. They have their place and help workers. But when you hear auto execs speaking of spending $4 billion a month on benefits and pensions it's fairly obvious where the requested $25 billion dollars will go. The American auto industry is experiencing what the rest of the country has been experiencing for several years. The rest of the country has sacrificed, adapted to increasing changes, and yes we have survived. There should be NO bailout of the big three, for so few on the backs of many, just as there should be no bail out of financial markets. This country has weathered a lot worse and we will survive this. It will REQUIRE belt tightening from all, including the auto industry. Step up and adapt or fail. The choice is theirs.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  338. Ryan Hamilton

    If the big 3 CEO's will not take a salary of a dollar in order to help out there employees then I ask why should we the taxpayers even think about bailing them out. This situation is absolutely ludacris and s based soley on poor management. This is not our problem to bail out the companies. However it is our obligation as Americans to aid our fellow citizens. This being said why cant congress pass a bill that helps the employees on a more personal level. Aid in healthcare and other expenses that will need to be taken care after the big 3 fall. It is necessary for their failure due to heir lack of proper management. This failure will bring about a period of worse economics but in the end it is their fault and will lead to better business and a brighter future for our needs.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  339. norm

    i live on 22.00.00 ,fords ceo gets 28,mil a yr if i can do it why cant he

    im83 yrs old ,own my home no mtg.
    have 2 cars and a van paid for.
    2acres of land pd for.

    are the ceo ready to forgow ther salaries and bonuses till there loans
    are pd back to hard working americans.

    they are a bad risk .they will steal the money with both hands .

    the govt.[congress & senate] will give into begging thieves.

    the jos will be there.i collected 4 unimployment checks in70 yrs of working.

    cheat me once ok.twice goodbye

    November 20, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  340. Tired

    Well what are you going to do? The Government has No choice, but to help. If they don't, Millions of middle class people will be out of work. In the auto industry, that's all thats left. It will be an domino effect that will hurt everyone, except the CEOs of the world, they have enough money,cars, and house to be alright. They probably won't have to work another day in their lives. However, I do think the Government needs to have guide lines for the loan, just like consumers do when we go get a loan. Don't let the CEOs line their pockets with it. They closed factories down in the states and produce them overseas to make the cost cheap and the product cheap, then bring them back to sell with enormus prices and wonder why they can't sell them. Well guess what? WE HAVE NO JOBS ANYMORE! Who can buy them? The good paying jobs are gone! If you can find a $14 dollar an hour job (which is what the Big 3 is now paying the new hirees), you can't afford to buy a $30,000 car or truck. I HAVE AN SOLLUTION FOR THE ECONOMY: GIVE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE A BAILOUT!!! GIVE US $10,000 AND WIPE EVERYONE'S CREDIT CLEAN!!!!!! THAT WOULD PICK UP THE RECESSION FOR SURE! PEOPLE WOULD GO OUT AND BUY, MEANING MORE JOBS. THIS MESS STARTED WITH THE GAS PRICES, NOW LOOK WHAT IT'S DONE. After working in the auto industry for 25 years, I'm out of a job.....

    November 20, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  341. Rose

    I think the car industry CEOs need to cut back on a few things
    1. Cut back on the millions of dollar salary
    2. sell the private jets immediately and put the funds into the company
    3. Cut back on using the company expense account for their own use
    4. Get rid of workers who are their friends or special friends and put it into the company
    5. Look through all the expenses and seek where there can be some savings

    this is the time to view what it is you are wasting money on and not look to get more so you can waste it. I pay taxes and think they need to pay more taxes and stop spending the companies money for their own gain and we know they are.

    Take a look at the financial- list everything and hand it over to the government . then we can decided and if my tax dollar is to help them I want it turned over to the public – Salary for all the CEO as well, if they earn more than six figures cut them back to six figures and put the money into the company

    Same needs to be done for those financial institutions where the CEO earns more than six figures.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  342. Linda

    No bailout. Only bankruptcy can cures the ills of the Big 3 – overpaid salaries and benefits. The Center for Automotive Research has estimated 3 million will lose jobs if Big 3 collapse. However, 1.5 million will be put back to work under new entities that rise in their place. Let them fall. It's not enough to survive, but all 3 need to thrive and compete. The airline & steel industries are doing well after Chapter 11. Another iconic American brand survived AND thrived after bankrupcty – Harley Davidson. Didn't people buy their motorcycles while the company was in Chapter 11? Lies, lies, lies. The Big 3 want to scare us all to blackmail into handing over money. Otherwise, we are throwing good money after bad. If we give money now, they'll be back next year at our trough begging for more. Ridiculous – they can afford $20K flights each, but don't have the common sense to buy an $800 first class ticket. Goodbye you losers!
    Plus where do the bailouts end? Whose next? Retailers?

    November 20, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  343. David Lacey

    Save the auto industry? My simple 2 part plan consists of a sales tax holiday for new car purchases during your birth month starting in January 2009. Born in June? You get your car tax free in your birth month. Simple. If the manufacturers are building cars we actually want this should guarantee 12 months of sustainable sales without direct subsidies.

    Phase 2 is to tax gasoline heavily, in the vicinity of 25%-50% now while it is cheap and plow those tax revenues directly into alternative energy projects and retooling some auto plants to produce, hybrid and plug in vehicles wind generators, thin film solar panels, home ethanol systems etc.
    The tax will supress gasoline sales and keep the the cost of crude oil low.This way we pay ourselves going forward instead of the oil companies. Gas won't be any more expensive than it was a few weeks ago and we, as a country, get to keep the money invested in our tomorrow. It will also keep auto workers employed who would otherwise be laid off. There will never be a cheaper time to buy our future.

    David Lacey

    November 20, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  344. Kathleen

    They are in a no win situation. That's why they get paid what they do, back off.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  345. sue

    This is absolutely being blown out of proportion. For some reason the banks that got us into this mess are getting a free pass and the auto company CEO's are getting thrown to the dogs. I'll bet the banking CEO's haven't given up their private jets, but they already got their money, so why would they.

    November 20, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  346. cherylstover

    dear cnn; att rick sanchez....................instead of calling your president a bully........you need to be thanking him for keeping your what cha ma call it safe since 911........you people are in the dumper with barry .....and your commenting about bush not shaking hands with the leaders (g20) he is germ conscious and probably does not want hand contact with all those leaders........who knows where their hands have been......regardless....your comments are idiotic..........and do not deserve viewing.................i HIGHLY RECOMMEND FOX FOR BETTER REPORTING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 20, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  347. Randy

    Watch out, Robert Nardelli is Home Depot's Ex CEO who pretty much dismantled that company and walked away with multi million dollar parachute. Now he wants more, this time from the American public taxpayers? The Big 3 are crying wolf and this is nothing but a big scam to get a free handout. If they're in such dire straights, let them borrow from the big OIL company's.

    November 20, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  348. Charles Rapport

    The use of the jets is a pimple on the elephants' back. Let these CEO's have their illusion of still being "big shots". The bottom line is the Government needs to come up with some package to bail out these big 3. The shock waves from a bankruptcy will affect almost everyone in this Country. We cannot allow the retired employees to lose their pensions and benefits and the current employees to have their Union broken. By all means save these companies, BUT make it conditional that all the top executives work for NO SALARY, NO BONUS, and NO PERKS until the company has been turned around. Let's see just how much they REALLY care about their company and the workers. PUT UP or STOP CRYING!

    November 20, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  349. Linda Walker

    Personally, I think it's arrogant of these 3 CEO's to arrive on personal jets. It sends the wrong message to those you are requesting a hand-out from. It also sends the wrong message to those working for the companies, and especially to those who have already been laid-off or let go. These guys are not affected personally by the financial crunch, their lives will continue unscathed. If a loan is to be given to them, it should come with the stipulation that they step down. Their workers could see the handwriting on the wall . . . how is it these over-paid big-shots missed it? They are totally out-of-touch with reality.

    November 20, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  350. Achilles

    These guys remind me of spoiled children, who know nothing of responsibility. Shall we continue to spoil them? Will they learn their lesson that way? No. Let them learn the hard way.

    November 20, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  351. Jerry from Tennessee

    Congress has no problem backing a "White Collar" Bailout, but will not hear of a "Blue Collar" loan for the Auto Company Employees. Congress, get off your hypocritical soapbox and board a single engine "puddle jumper" back to where you came from. You don't need a corporate jet either.

    November 20, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  352. Worried

    How arrogant. They should be a little humble when they come begging.

    But it's not just the auto companies. Too many CEOs have been continuing to enjoy their incredible bonus packages and perks while asking the rest of the country to bail them out. What kind of a message does it send when you ask for help and, when you get it, you take your cut first!!!!!

    November 20, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  353. dkerr

    It behooves me to think of a $25 billion bailout for the auto industry. I recall several years ago, having to take early retirement from Delta Air Lines, only to have my total monthly pension absconded.

    There was no federal government to reinstate that pension; in point of fact, very few people were even aware that retired pilots had lost their incomes. At 60 years old, pilots were forced to retire, even before being able to apply for Social Security.

    Now we see the General Motor's VIP's jets lined up like Rolls Royce's at Dulles Airport. Let Detroit learn about the rest of the world - let them learn how to cut their enormous salaries and benefits.

    I find another point of interest that not a peep is heard from the President Elect. No doubt he is pulling strings all around, but no one will find out about them.

    November 20, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  354. Shica

    Why is it imperative for the poor to bail out the rich, when they could care less about their workers and the effect that they caused to get them in this situation. To me, the CEO's should just give up their salaries to help bounce back their business. The taxpayers should have nothing to do with it at all.
    It is funny how the rich need up needing the poor when they have trampled on them from beginning to the end and of course this should be the end.

    No BAILOUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 20, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  355. Ted Schafer

    Can I ask a simple question? Why are only the American automakers having such a big problem? So soon. If the cause is the down turned economy? Maybe they have be out-of-business for a long time.
    We just didn't know it!

    November 20, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  356. Joanne

    People need to realize that all 3 companies already own multiple aircraft. They have for many, many years. As a result it is more economical for them to travel on planes already paid for than to pay the high costs associated with last minute ticket prices charged by the major airlines.

    I am not saying that these corporations can't do better at money management, but come on! How do you think the exec's at AIG travel? What about the money that company burned through? And they were still going to hold their very expensive reward meeting for their sales team with our money!!

    November 20, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  357. Jim Spicer

    I agree that the big 3 automakers have been grossly mismanaged for years, and that is the real reason behind their impending downfall, but members of congress having the gall to bitch at them about flying in on private jets for the hearing?? What a bunch of hypocritical BS! I have to wonder how many times over the last year THOSE SAME MEMBERS OF CONGRESS took a ride on a private or privately chartered aircraft at the TAXPAYERS expense! How much cash did O'bama and McCain spend squiring around the country in private motor coaches, privately chartered aircraft? You sure as hell didnt see any of THEM standing around waiting at the Southwest ticket counter now did you. Do you know how many states OWN private jets and turboprop aircraft SPECIFICALLY for the use of their dignitaries, which the taxpayers of those states pay for? ALL 50. Some have more than one. IF they ever do actually fly commercial, you can bet your butt it's not a COACH ticket they buy, it's first class, again at the expense of who?? That's right, the TAXPAYERS! Being a commercially licensed pilot myself, I have the opportunity to see a side of this particular subject that the average citizen doesnt. I do not agree with having to bail out the automakers, but Congress has no right to chastize them for the same exact thing they themselves do. So, distinguished members of Congress, who do you want to be, the pot or the kettle?

    November 20, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  358. Chuck Chamberlain

    How does anybody think executives of any large company to get around. Every minute to these people is a lot of money lost or gained. I do not expect any executive of of any large company to fly commercial. There is way too much waiting around!!!

    November 20, 2008 at 5:47 pm |
  359. Tyler

    Who are these people? They are bankrupt PERIOD! Give them NOTHING and let them stress out just like the rest of us NO LOAN NO BAILOUT NO NOTHING! Let them restructure under bankruptcy law, they had an electric car 10 years ago and they recalled and crushed every one of them! They could have been 10 years ahead and now they in the toilet, and that’s where they should stay!

    November 20, 2008 at 5:47 pm |
  360. mark

    I keep hearing about all the american dealerships that are closing.

    What about the foreign dealerships how many are closing?

    November 20, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  361. lulu

    ...and exactly how BIG are the bonuses the three "S-H-A-M-E-L-E-S-S HUSTLERS" entitled to for the up-coming holidays? Disgusted!
    BTW, where were the big fat Union Honchos' representing the paying union members: when the cancer had begun to spread out of control?!!! Hangin' out at the local bars?
    NO BAILOUT PERIOD!

    November 20, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  362. Bill - California

    The jets are another example of why these guys don't get it. Even if there is a justification to use them most every other day, the image of them flying to washington to ask for a public bailout shows how out of touch they are. Although I understand the value of a business jet, I've been on them and have used them effectively. But the use of the corporate jet has become more of a perk and in some instances an "entitlement" than a necessity.

    As for the statement that it's corporate policy that they fly on the jets; this is not uncommon but is more of a tax dodge than anything else. If you are REQUIRED to fly, then you as an employee do not have to report the cost of using the jets as income. If it's not a requirement then the IRS wants their piece of the action.

    November 20, 2008 at 5:50 pm |
  363. Matthew

    How can Insurance giant AIG get bailed out again after being accused and possibly guilty of spending a portion of the bailout on lavish executive trips, but yet you here nothing negative of the big three execs and they get no help. AIG insures automobiles (to include the big three) and people who are employed by the big three. Say we don't bail out the big three, less auto's are produced b/c less people can buy autos. Less people need auto insurance in turn making less money for AIG. So why bailout AIG?

    November 20, 2008 at 5:54 pm |
  364. Roger I. duffett

    In a nut shell, the traveling by private is just another indication of the fact that they just do not get it . Let the chips fall where they may. NO BAIL OUT DOLLARS TO THOSE WITH OUT A BAIL OUT PLAN!!!

    November 20, 2008 at 5:54 pm |
  365. Shanna from Detroit

    Everyone acts as if there was only one perform on those private planes on the way to Washington. I'm sure that there was a team of GM executives, attorneys, lobbyist, Public Relations people and even possibly even local Politian’s. Who know who all joined on that flight? I'm also sure this was a working flight, where they were talking about strategy and plotting out what is next. It would have been impossible to speak freely on a commercial flight and the cost to fly everyone to Washington would have been expensive anyway. Then there are of course the security reasons that the private jets wee purchased for in the 1st place. I hate when small issues are turned around and we lose focus on what's really important, like 10% of the United States income being wiped out if the Big 3 doesn't make it.

    November 20, 2008 at 5:55 pm |
  366. H Thornton Freund

    Gettelfinger is absurd. Where are his offers for the union to reduce their salaries and benefit packages. He talks about subsidies for foreign auto makers who locate in the USA. These companies bring jobs to the USA and do not have nearly the cost structure of the Big 3. Further the workers there do not have nearly the ridiculous wage and benefits packages that the UAW demands. If the executives have to take big cuts, so do the workers.
    Their (UAW) health benefits when retired are atypical as most companies no longer offer such ongoing health care benefits to employees. Isn't Medicare good enough for the auto workers as it has to be to so many other retirees?
    And Rita, who Gettelfinger cited in his speech is obviously not receiving a typical pension and it would appear she only worked a few years for GM. I worked as a salaried employee for a large chemical company for 5 years and I receive $237.00 a month pension and do not ever get a bonus!
    Gerttelfinger is asking for a continuation of the status quo without any real sacrifice on the auto workers part. Further, if the any of the Big 3 go into bankruptcy, contrary to his claims, their pensions will be paid by the government at a lot less cost to the taxpayers.
    I say no money to the Big 3 until they show a business plan and automobiles that are designed to save energy, be "green" and appeal to the public. Further the executives need to take a big salary cut and the workers need to agree to take the same wage and benefit packages as provided to the Japan, Korean, and European autoworkers who make cars in the United States. He mentioned the benefits those companies get and so there is no reason for them not to accept the same deal!
    Thornton

    November 20, 2008 at 5:55 pm |
  367. David Petrano

    GM/Ford/Chrysler are not solely to blame for their woes.

    When Americans learned the Bush Administration engaged in illegal surveillance and "sneak and peaks" or AMERICANS, many responded by not committing to the purchase of big-ticket items like cars.

    Think of it: Who in their right mind would commit to new car payments knowing that while hustling $money$ to make ends meet, DHS was routinely listening-in on your business deals and sneaking into your offices/homes/cars w/o traditional 4th Amendment protections?

    November 20, 2008 at 5:57 pm |
  368. Eric C

    This is bad. IF they get the money some working person like you and me will get cut out of a job while these idots worry about their bonuses.
    Freeze their salaries and use a outside person to monitor their spending.

    November 20, 2008 at 5:58 pm |
  369. Bob

    The bosses of the "big three" auto makers should be ashamed! Their ill-advised jetting to DC to beg just further tarnishes the image of corporate executives.

    The auto companies need to be left to their well deserved fate. Bankruptcy for all three is the best option. Management, workers and owners have brought this on themselves with poor decisions for years. I don't want to subsidize their continuing mistakes.

    November 20, 2008 at 6:02 pm |
  370. Matthew

    If execs make 20 million a year and they are not living outside means, why do they need million dollar bonuses? Should corporations perhaps take those bonuses and put more into R & D, creating jobs, or paying off company debt???

    November 20, 2008 at 6:02 pm |
  371. Julie Kenyon

    Executives of all begging auto companies are to be treated the same way family farmers were treated.

    All luxury items in their private estates and company quarters are to be auctioned off, just like we did to the family farmers.

    Since the contracts with the UAW can be invalidated, so can any contracts with the industry executives.

    They are to lose everything they have.
    They are to be placed on the street.

    Then, like the rest of the homeless and destitute, we do not need to concern ourselves with what happens to them.

    November 20, 2008 at 6:03 pm |
  372. Rod

    Help should be provided with provsions on CEO consessions. The CEOs don’t realize the enormity of the crisis and the consequences to the country. They need to take real ownership of their companies. Taking ownership implies that they have to provide leadership by not taking pay until the companies become profitable, sacrificing their CEO perks, jets, vacation homes, etc. They contributed to this problem so should be required to contribute monetarily to the solution. The rich have had their way through this bailout era, so now its time to start protecting the little guy. Seems to me it will cost less to help the little guy, than it has to bailout the banks. At least the little guy provides tangable value to his or her existence, unlike what appears to be a lot of CEOs. Japan went down the same road and did the same things we are doing and over a decade later, they still haven’t fully recovered. If these CEOs won’t contribute to turning their company’s fortunes around, essentially saying they won’t bet on their own companies, then why OH why should they continued to be employed?
    This country has huge talent pool. We don't need any of the business elite (Fuld, Paulson, Mulally, etc). We need people running companies that are hungry for success, just like our foriegn competitors are. It appears that the CEOs are holding the American public responsible for their own failures. As far as these CEOs, they can take the first bus out of Washington and Detroit.

    November 20, 2008 at 6:03 pm |
  373. Ann Scott

    Unbelievable....No one willing to give up their corporate jet to help save their companies. If I were their bosses, I would fire them on the spot. A friend a mine owns an internationally known company which was started by his father and although they could easily have afforded a corporate jet they chose to fly commercial airlines. The only safety precautions they took was to make sure that no two executives flew on the same plane just in case something happened. This company has endured some difficult times because they have always been financially responsible and made sure that they had enough liquid assets to get through the rough times. This was done not only to ensure that the company would survive but to ensure that they could protect as many of their employees as possible. A company with a conscious...don't see too many of them today.

    November 20, 2008 at 6:05 pm |
  374. Dsand

    The audacity of the 3 big dog and I mean dog Ceo"s from the auto companies...not only did they jet in to ask for more money but only one was willing to cut his salary and bonus....I was apalled at the Ford Ceo who said he would remain as he was for now ...yeah who wouldnt at 9.4 million last year ....talk about concern and selfishness....they are all losers that is why we are where we are ..
    I say kick them to the curb and reorganize...we have been a multi generation Ford family for years but after his action we will be changing our autos to a company who wants to cut cost and improve the autos and not their own personal salary....
    a senior active lady who is sick of this greed!
    DS

    November 20, 2008 at 6:06 pm |
  375. employees

    A.I.G ,,,,they already recieved billionssssssss . Congress given them $100 billion already ......

    If the Big 3 recieved they money , they've to call Every employees back to work . These are the one who's hurting , let's put ourselves into there situation . That's exactly what congress should say .......Or else Big 3 will NOT recieve anymoney ................CALL BACK.

    millions of people will be effected , directly or indirectly . You wouldn't believe how many suppliers depend on jobs from the Big 3 .

    I'm not going to become selfish , I'll say give the money , but they've to hire back everyoneeeeee , to help the employees.........

    November 20, 2008 at 6:08 pm |
  376. Rob - Denver

    "Jetpool? Surely you jest!"

    "Got any Grey Poupon?"

    November 20, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  377. Brian

    I find it ironic how disgusted everyone is by them flying in jets and couldn't careless about the bigger picture. Do you understand how many jobs will be lost. I'm from Michigan i have seen the results of bad decisions by the big three all my life and no one can understand my anger toward them, but if you let them fail then the impact on Michigan, Ohio and Missouri will be devastating. If you would like to see what the results of unemployment on the greater country. Then just look at Michigan now. We are already crippled by unemployment. I also find it ironic how you were willing to give 700 billion dollars to the financial industry. Do you not find their errors as egregious? The financial industry has wrecked our entire economy. Just look at your retirement slowly fad away. They aren't asking for 700 billion dollars no they are asking only for 4% of that. If you don't care about our entire economy then maybe you will care about the millions who will be unemployed.

    November 20, 2008 at 6:27 pm |
  378. C

    I work for GM, I can't buy paper or ink for my printer, voice mail on my phone has been turned off, my home plant has been shut down and I was forced to move away from my family, my 401K match has been eliminated, my overtime pay has been eliminated, half of the lights have been turned off in the area where I work, my copays and insurance premiums have gone through the roof, I can't get parts to keep the robots running to build the cars, I can't bring anyone in on the weekend to do any maintenance on the equipment and everything is breaking down.... but this clown that is our so called leader can fly around in a private jet. I don't know why I try.

    November 20, 2008 at 6:49 pm |
  379. Tim (2-door) Kuppe

    Hey cut some people a little slack. After all tiss the season to give,
    in fact bail everyone out; banks, auto,credit card companies,mortg. companies, ALL Americans. Everyones even and now theirs money to spend in the economy and honest folks don't lose the value on their homes. The rest of the world cna't devalue the dollar( their stuff won't sell a Toyota starting at $80,000 I don't think So). The rest of the worlds economy's are all based on selling in our market. They don't Pay their Own People enough to sustain their own economy and so when ours hits a bump everyone else's does to because unlike the U.S.A. we don't depend on anyone else's market. Our market runs Our economy. Let the rest of the world build their own sustainable domestic market before they join a world market so someone else's market doesn't trigger theirs. Of course that would make selling their products so cheap here unrealistic and couldn't compete fairly in our market.

    November 20, 2008 at 6:50 pm |
  380. Nicholas Kory Krohn

    Did the exec's whip out the Black card to pay for the chartered jets. Does anybody know how much it costs to fly these planes. It's around $20,000. pp and that's low balling it. round trip to fly. Some companies charge for fuel and for hours of use as well. The greed and stupidity of some of the American executives is just unblieveable. When will they get off their thrones and live in the real world.

    November 20, 2008 at 6:51 pm |
  381. Stephen

    Certainly flying 2 washington in a private jet to ask for a loan was a PR disaster. But its just smoke. The real issue is that Republicans see an opportunity to destroy the UAW, something thats just too good to resist as they skulk away. I am amazed that we spend 10 billion a month in Iraq, give AIG 85 billion, spread the wealth throughout the
    financial community, but no money for the Big 3 and the millions
    of jobs that depend on them. Me thinks that W has given us a
    financial Katrina, and Paulson is 'doin a heckofa job' fixing things.
    Republicanism is as bankrupt as the US will be unless common sense prevails!!!

    November 20, 2008 at 6:53 pm |
  382. Dan Mercurio

    Economics 101 – Sell what you can make or make what you can sell?
    Obviously these motor executives failed to understand the wisdom
    behind this statement. Send them back to school. Our Asian car manufacturers understand that statement better and some of them don't even speak English. How rude, they have the guts to fly in on their private jets. That just shows how stupid they are. The government should give the money to the productive segment of our society. Not to idiots like these who are so well connected to the Union bosses. Better give the money directly to Vito Corleone and eliminate the these wasteful corporate middlemen.

    November 20, 2008 at 7:17 pm |
  383. SLH

    GREED! Greedy executives have caused the auto industry to fail and now front line employees are the folks who will lose their jobs. What's wrong with this picture? Employees of the auto companies have requested and received larger salaries based on profits for the company. Why should they build & assemble the cars and make minimum wage while the white shirt executives make 28 million each a years? I think the top heavy executives should be laid off first. Think of it.......there are hundreds of executives in this country who would do their jobs for 1 million a year. I would! Put 27 million back in the company bank account. If you did that with all the executive positions, there would be no need for a bailout. Try it! I bet I'm right. I will make sure I vote against any congressional/senate incumbent in my area if they bailout the big 3 without getting rid of the top money makers first. President Obama ran his campaign on change. Now is the time to put up or sit down. Hold these executives accountable for the mismanagement and greed. Put them in prison and not a Federal (resort) prison. They are criminals put them with criminals and sell their million dollar homes and furnishings to bailout their troubled companies. Shame on them for having the ba#*s to go before congress and embarrass this country. Our country deserves better than to watch hard working everday hourly employees being laid off, losing their 50,000-100,000 dollar homes so the fat cats get fatter!

    November 20, 2008 at 7:34 pm |
  384. Leah Combs

    Flying to a meeting in private jets to ask for a bailout pretty well sums up what is wrong with the Big 3. To add even more insult to the taxpayers, now the union is demanding a bailout for them.

    The combination of UAW and executive greed is outrageous. They got the automakers into this mess and if they want the companies to survive they can figure out what they need to give up to make it happen.

    Maybe the Big 3 can contract someone from Toyota to help them figure out how to run a successful auto making business.

    November 20, 2008 at 7:34 pm |
  385. Steve, Charlotte, NC

    Please report accurately. You are constantly calling a request by the auto industry a bailout when in fact they are requesting a bridge loan, just as the U.S. government did for Chrysler in the 1970's. It is NOT an auto bailout. It is an auto bridge loan. Please report the facts accurately.

    November 20, 2008 at 7:52 pm |
  386. Mary Gean

    I feel they need to sell those private JETS and take a pay cut. They are making way too much money to get them in the position the auto industry is in right now. If they do go forward with the bailout, they better make sure they start making more effiecient cars that the average person like myself can afford. No more MONEY for the CEO's. They need to give up some of their money to help their industry! We should of learned from AIG what they will do with the money. They are worried about themselves not the american people! Why not give each american money?? We need help too!!

    November 20, 2008 at 7:54 pm |
  387. mike from racine

    i would like CNN to ask the car companies why they crushed the electric cars back in the 90s. you keep mentioning the movie "who killed the electric car". it was a good movie and posed many interesting questions,, why dont you ask them?
    mike

    November 20, 2008 at 7:56 pm |
  388. hc

    No bailing out the auto industry will only help to accelerate the beggest depression face by USA since the 1930.

    November 20, 2008 at 8:09 pm |
  389. hc

    No bailing out the auto industry will only accelerate the biggest depression face by man. 1930 depression was nothing compare to the one coming our way.

    November 20, 2008 at 8:10 pm |
  390. Mark Jenkins

    I say NO. DO NOT BAIL THEM OUT! Let them file bankruptcy just like every other major corporation has had to do. And to think that I lost my job at Home Depot because they needed to save money was to say the least a little disturbing after Home Depot paid out over 200 million to the snake that use to run that company. Let him take the 25 million out of his pocket and bail out his pittiful company! DO NOT BAIL THEM OUT WITH MY MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 20, 2008 at 8:14 pm |
  391. jeff

    If Imbev can buy Budweiser, why wouldn't Honda or Toyota buy troubled American car companies. Granted, there would be an huge amount of retooling required, but certainly the price might be right, and the beginning of a recovery would be certain.

    November 20, 2008 at 8:29 pm |
  392. shelby Thompson South Bend Indiana

    Once again we get rear ended from the big millionare big whigs on wall street and the gov't. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO THE RICH KIDS FROM ALL THE BACKBREAKING HARDWORKERS IN AMERICA! while I collect my unemployment, and scramble to get my kids some thing to eat.! No Bailout! Bail us out for a change!

    November 20, 2008 at 8:42 pm |
  393. heidi

    Thank you, Big 3 CEOs for doing whatever it takes to keep the automotive companies going. We appreciate you saying yes to taking pay cuts and turning down bonuses to help the companies that you supposedly seem to care about. Quick question, why didn't Congress and Senate sit the banks/Wall Street down and ask for a business plan as well?

    November 20, 2008 at 8:43 pm |
  394. Chris Scheu

    If you were to read "The American Tragedy" by Theo. Dreiser, you would understand why the labor unions were established. This historical novel was written in 1930 after the stock market crash. It is something to contemplate, with our current economic problems, that it is the power of those unions that play a large in our current economic dilemma.

    November 20, 2008 at 8:44 pm |
  395. shelby Thompson South Bend Indiana

    Merry christmas to the Big 3! from the backbreaking middle class!

    November 20, 2008 at 8:46 pm |
  396. Suzanne Ward

    If the US automakers want to make money, here's a hint – make cars that get better gas mileage! HELLO people...we DO NEED CARS, and in the future people will WANT cars with very good mileage. Don't give me the lame 30 mpg that my 9 year old VW ALREADY gets, I want at least 100 mpg...we have the technology to do this now, with all their resources they can achieve this in short order. If they can't or won't, then they need to go away and die a slow painful death and let someone else prosper who can give the consumer what it needs and wants to buy. The US government needs to support companies with this technology and get it on the market now! Motown is an "idiot of elephantine proportions" if they don't understand that this is their winning lottery ticket. GET A CLUE PEOPLE!

    November 20, 2008 at 8:46 pm |
  397. Mary McKay

    With regard to all the hoopla about car company CEOs taking the corporate jets to the hearings, first of all these CEOs haveother employees who must travel with them, administrative assistants and bodyguards among others. Security is a very real issue- Does anyone remembers some years ago when then GM CEO Robert Stemple's son was kidnapped and held for ransom? These CEOs are working 24/7 to try and save the companies and it is completely unrealistic to think they could do their jobs while flying back and forth commercially to give their arguments to congress. Commercial flights are delayed and cancelled all the time. Do they really think they could be doing all of this if they had to fly commercial? It seems as though people did not think this through before lining up to villify them ( with the news media goading them on). It looks like a distraction technique to further condemn the American car companies. Did anyone ask those same senators about the private jets they use at taxpayer's expense or are paid for by lobbyists? I realize that people are frustrated by the banking handout but to cast all that venom at American car companies who are asking for a LOAN which is needed because of the credit crisis is completely misguided. American car companies should be admired that in this terrible economic climate they have managed to survive as long as they have. The hatred directed at the only American manufacturing companies left in this country, is formed because of false accusations made by people who have no knowledge of what they are talking about. To give them a platform is very irresponsible and sensationalistic. The ill informed reporters are misleading the public about the American car companies by not checking their facts before broadcasting. They speak about CEO's salaries in general terms( their 45% raise is not correct with regard to American auto company CEOs). I am a journalist and I am embarrassed for the profession. The first rule in journalism is that you better have your facts straight. Some of the ridiculous accusations about GM, Ford and Chrysler are slanderous and endanger all Americans with regard to the economy. When did CNN become The National Enquirer?

    You may not like my cemmentary but if you have any fairness at all, you will read it on yoiur next segment. I have noticed that your ratio of airing people's comments defending the auto companies is about 4 to 1 against them.

    November 20, 2008 at 8:53 pm |
  398. June

    Should have shown up in a Ford!

    November 20, 2008 at 9:16 pm |
  399. Jon Onofrietti

    It is sad to think, that after running my business for 5 years, I had to sell it and loose money at the same time.

    How are we to be happy about the bailouts, when an honest business man has to take the brunt of any decisions made by himself. Not being able to count on a government bailout realy hurt my chances of moving foward financially.

    The mega corportate ladder stops on the second rung, with the people above that second step, being untouched by their poor decisions.

    Well, I must go. It is time to pay my taxes.

    Jon O

    November 20, 2008 at 9:20 pm |
  400. charles

    I have a hard time understanding or accepting the reasons why the tax payers should bail-out the Big Three auto makers. With more than half a billion customer base (350,000 million U.S, 100 million Canadians and 150 million Mexicans consumers), it is hard to believe that neither of the big three can make money in North America. I am not counting GM's manufacturing plants in China, GM's European operation with Opel car brand or Ford's European plants. I'm sorry, but these companies are badly mismanaged, just as AIG, Lehman Brothers, Enron, WorldCom, Pan Am and others... They live in a world where money has no value..... It is time they realized that they themselves are to be blame for their failures.

    Their calamities were of their own doing, pure and simple, poor management, bad strategic decisions and a corporate culture that feeds on taking all you can from the “cash cow”. Take Ford's Chief Financial Officer who every Friday has a company jet fly him and his family to Palm Beach for weekends in the sun, returning on Mondays to Detroit. Is this something the tax payers will have to continue to pay for? Hope not. If you were to scratch the Big Three Executive compensation packages, the world would be in shock at their lavish life style. Take Chrysler picking Nardelli (a looser) as its CEO, the guy could not even run Home Depot, almost went bankrupt under Nardelli.

    When big three were solvent, making money they should have anticipated the rainy days ahead but instead they went on shopping sprees, buying companies overseas that were losing money, companies on the brink of collapsing like Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin, Volvo, Saab, Suzuki, Daewoo motors. Or starting up a new car brand like Saturn brand, another looser.

    If you COMPARE the Big Three with the rest of the world, lets take their European counterparts who are declaring profits and making money. European auto makers with market capitalization that are much lower than ours, are making money. I am left wondering how can they make money with markets that a third of ours. To begin with, European automakers' CEOs and CFOs are not making the multi-million dollar salaries, $9-70 million plus bonuses and perks ours make. They content themselves with meager half million dollar salaries. That is one positive difference.

    Germany with a bit more than one hundred million consumers has four car manufacturers, Mercedes, BMW, WV/Audi and Porsche, all are making money and declaring profits. France with only eighty millions consumers has two car manufacturers Peugeot/Citroen and Renault, both companies are making money. By law, German and French auto workers have 32,5 hour work week with benefits that are the envy of American counterparts around 85-95Dollars per hour.

    As a former Pan Am employee who lived through the agonizing bankruptcy, we had NO government bail-out. So I understand well what is at stake here. However, President Bush, Senior's response to Pan Am's call for help? It was not in the US government's interest to bail out failing companies.

    Final word, no body should be fooled, with the excuse of 2.5 millions people unemployed. They were in Washington not to defend their employees and suppliers livelihood but instead to defend their life style, the “Rich & Famous” and their arrogance. Let them fold, it is time.

    November 20, 2008 at 9:47 pm |
  401. Louise

    Big Three Bailout
    Did I miss something? I don' t See any difference in these CEO'S
    taking their private jets to their meetings and not taking personal cutbacks even though they are billions of dollars in deficit and asking the taxpayers to bail them out. When your own government that is Trillions of dollars in deficit don't do it either .They expect the taxpayer to bail them out every year Maybe the Goverment should practice what they preach and make an example of themseves .
    What do you think?

    November 20, 2008 at 10:01 pm |
  402. John Thurston (please use Baldeagle1932)

    Airplane? Let them take the company car. It's not that long a drive from Detroit to Washington, and the execs could have used the time enroute to practice their presentations, especially if their cars are THAT comfortable and good (as advertised).
    Give them the bail out with strict conditions, such as maximum salary of 5 times the lowest paid employee, benefits the same as the rank and file, and none of those phony bonuses. Sell the private jets and clubs owned by the companies. Make them pay their own greens fees, etc.
    How many of these men would stick around without all the perks??

    November 20, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  403. Ed Wilson

    If the government is going to help the auto industry they should do it by simply buying unsold inventory in dealer showrooms and future immediate production while the companies retool to make more gas efficient vehicles. The government can then make donations of what vehicles the government can not use themselves to local towns, police departments, and schools, etc in stead of cash. This will help the local governments etc. with the budget problems that they are having which is being caused by low tax revenue from the slowed down economy. By receiving the vehicles it will relieve them from having to go out and buy replacement vehicles. Included in the government purchases should be numerous school buses. The government can also give vehicles away to third world countries in stead of giving them cash. Can you imagine the good will that can be earned by sending school buses and vehicles that can be used by police departments to counties in need!! This way the corrupt government officials in some of the countries can not simply take cash and put it in their own pockets. A school bus can't fit in anyones pocket. This would be a great way to help the auto industry and help eliminate some of the employee layoffs that are otherwise sure to happen.

    November 20, 2008 at 10:22 pm |
  404. Mrs.Robinson901

    So here's my problem, my husband is a contract employee. His budget was cut over a month ago. This was a considerable amount of his transportation and hotel costs. He fears that after today he'll be searching for a new job.
    These bastards are the ones with the need for budget cuts. Security my foot. They won't even let you through security with nail clippers. Loose the planes, take away their gold plated toilet seats. Ford only lost what 30% last quarter. GM and Chrysler lost over 40%.
    Yes, the market is bad, the whole economy is bad.

    November 20, 2008 at 10:51 pm |
  405. Lynn Holtmeyer

    The behavior of the executives of the Big 3 is inappropriate. That is one of the reasons that the companies are in trouble. Other reasons include the unions and our government regulations. With that said, I do believe they should be bailed out with major restrictions on the officers. Limit salary, no bonuses, etc. We have to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bath water. Millions would suffer because of the behavior of a few. Remember the auto companies are not the bad guys. The playing field in the auto industry is uneven thanks to our federal government's interference.

    November 20, 2008 at 10:57 pm |
  406. Trevor

    The president of Taiwan has switched his mode of transport from Taiwan's interpretation of "Airforce 1" to first-class commercial air travel. If he can arrange for appropriate security for these flights, then these execs sure could follow suit.

    In regards to the cost of these private jets and their operation, however, demanding that the execs stop such expenditures seems a little irrelevant. If you take a bus to work and need a personal loan and the bank tells you to stop such extravagant spending and ride a bicycle, it doesn't make much sense. The costs of operating these jets compared to the huge hit the economy will take when these companies fold is insignificant.

    I think it is a political and somewhat moral issue rather than a monetary one.

    November 20, 2008 at 11:34 pm |
  407. Fred

    AIG execs get BILLIONS of dollars, go off on company paid junkets, pheasant hunting trips and never had to go before Congress to get their money. GM execs are crusified for flying private jets, must come back to beg again in December for money, must show a business plan to two guys who have never ran a business. Paulson tells Congress how he is going to use the HANDOUT money, gets the money then completely changes course on how he is going to use it. No uproar in Congress. Hmmmm sounds like if you are already rich we'll keep you that way, but if your the lowly middle class on your knees to beg.

    November 20, 2008 at 11:50 pm |
  408. kenny

    I’m a auto worker, why is it everyone wants to blame the uaw for the auto makers bad decisions, Everyone should watch the movie ” who killed the electric car” and see why Detroit’s in trouble. The Big Three along with some overseas auto makers sold out to Big Oil. That’s why Ford Motor Company still do not have a electric car program. Big Oil gave the Auto companies oil stock to destroy their electric cars, that’s why ford has bp stock and GM has exxon stock and so on, and it just blows me away no one wants to talk about this.

    November 20, 2008 at 11:54 pm |
  409. Imani from Long Island NY

    james,

    The big 3 can have their tax money back just as soon as I get mine.

    They can get their bailout when all the folks who are losing or have lost their homes and jobs get theirs.

    Otherwise, let the free market prevail. It is the American way, or at least, it used to be.

    November 20, 2008 at 11:58 pm |
  410. J. Mangiano

    First off, these three doofs are coming into congress together, promising to be competetive....one cannot help but laugh, second the jets where definately a bad idea, and if its company policy for security purposes...they're CEOs i'm pretty sure they can change company policy, and sell those planes, i'm pretty sure together they'd come up with about 1/6th of the money they need, not to mention cutting down on the other quirks the execs recieve that the public doesnt know about.
    We work hard for our money, rather than lounge around at our huge estates, sitting on our computers, making back end deals with the oil industries and other competitors.
    In fact I believe that the American economy would be better off with this tyrannical reign of this type of auto industry. Rather than Congress bailing out GM, Chrystler, and Ford, I believe they should give loans to Tesla, which already has cars on the road that are completely independant of oil and run on lithium batteries. Why not kill two birds with one stone?

    Next step, shut down the global market...

    November 21, 2008 at 12:32 am |
  411. Paul R.

    Here are the swirling thoughts that go through my mind:

    - Who says Govt has to fix all our economic woes? We're a free market economy – the market should flex to compensate for changing times and bad business plans. Having said that:

    - Though I'm not connected to the auto industry, I feel for the tremedous amount of people that are affected by the almost criminal stupidity of the auto maker management – their greed and poor business plans.

    - So I liken this to domestic economic terrorism – they got theirs, and screw everybody else. They say, "Oh well: you wanna protect all these people's jobs, mortgages, investments? Give us money."

    - Hardliners say let the market fix itself – they're heartless, and right. Bleeding heart liberals say we have to protect all the jobs and families because they didn't cause this – they're heartful, and right.

    - What's the answer? I simply don't know.

    - I do know one thing: we need to go after ANYONE that has committed illegal or UNETHICAL acts contributing to our economic burden. Enron, Worldcom – sure. What about the jerks who sold bogus mortgages as securities; what about AIG who continues to provide perks to execs after getting taxpayer money; what about auto execs who ride corporate jets to begging sessions. Time to stand up and say, "Enough is enough.", people.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:31 am |
  412. Chuck O'Connor

    If thebig 3 need a business plan for their bailout, why didn't AIG and other financial business that have received more than 10 times what the big three are asking? Also, a private jet, or a spa retreat that aig had with bailout money.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:36 am |
  413. Eddie

    November 21st, 2008 208 GMT
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    These guys have a lot of nerve. They are so far out of touch with reality in their corporate world they can’t see the light. I say no way to the bail out. You drive a company in the ground you lose it. If we help one we may as well help them all. Who will be in line crying for money next? It’s time that the board of directors and CEO’s out here start paying the piper for their idiotic decision making. Let’s take a look at their expenses and non necessary spending. Or better yet, lets look at all the properties, boats, jets, and other assets they managed to swindle out of the company. Lets strip them down to nothing and show them American will not pay for their bad decisions and your glamorous lifestyles.

    November 21, 2008 at 2:11 am |
  414. somewhere in SC

    maybe it would have been bettter if they arrived via greyhound bus...

    November 21, 2008 at 2:22 am |
  415. Les Oklahoma

    I was going through CNN on line and found this story about people in Anna, Ohio and a Honda motor assembly plant. My contention about all the foreign assembly plants is the parts are made in Japan where they have a national health system and their parts are government subsidized therefore they don't not have the build in cost and are not contributing like GM, Ford and Cryselar to taxes and income that the parts plants are in the States. Let's tell the whole store then let the American voter make correct decisions.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:12 am |
  416. Uma in Liverpool, UK

    I DREAD the consequences, if Congress does not help the Big Three.

    However, it's very, very TACKY, for the executives to show up in private jets.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:32 am |
  417. Rui Gomes

    Why is it so diffycult too see?... This is the oportunity to take auto makers to change its production to fuel efficient cars. Auto bailout plan gets aproved but the money goes to the production of fuel efficient vehicles, not maintaining this disaster called auto industry. Everybody wants to get rid of these stupid gas expenses, people would buy this kind of product like crazy all over the world! The only way off this crisis is to restore peoples ability to move. MOVE OUT OF THE FIRE AGE!

    November 21, 2008 at 3:54 am |
  418. Daniel

    Finaly, the people speak out and let this CEO's know what in there minde! Let this be a perfect example if CEO think they are better then everybody else there world will crumble down quickand they hopefully realise that this id done of the cost of all there employees. I also hope the Unions learn that the good times are gone and they have to start to prove there trade again to make the good money they do! Competition is getting harder so do not sit on your rear and just think the Union will back me up , it's all gone....
    Look at Toyota and Honda, how can they still invest so much money and employ people and nowbody is complaining ? It looks like there politics and Company structure is working!

    Wake up CEO'S and Unions!

    November 21, 2008 at 4:08 am |
  419. alan

    If security is the issue, buy 2 coach seats and bring a bodyguard along. Flying private to DC just shows poor, in-your-face, judgement.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:52 am |
  420. nelson

    Well i am deeply concerned already as to president elect Obamas capabilities after listening to him last week promoting an immediate bailout of the auto industry. Did he not just run an election telling us all how open he was going to be and to look at the issues and not make knee jerk reactions? Then the first time some issue comes up, he shoots his mouth off about something without any knowledge of the particulars. When is any of you news reporters going to hold him to task? Did the financial bailout not teach this so called educated man anything? Oh yeah on the other hand you reported Sarah Pallin standing in front of turkeys that were about to be slaughtered. So what! Everyone of you is going to sit down to a turkey dinner come thanksgiving and you act like the turkeys just land on your plate from the sky and the ones the farmers are killing are some how disgusting. Get real CNN, or join a comedy network

    November 21, 2008 at 6:26 am |
  421. Joey (Manila)

    The Financial/Economic crisis has exposed the exceses of the American corporate system.
    Because all of it's positioning itself as a giant & a leader through it's infrastruturs & symbols are all an illussion.
    If America wishes to be an economic leader. America has a lot to do in correcting it's own corporate/ Business culture. Starting from it's car industry.
    America will only continue leaveing in an illussion if very radical changes are not done.
    It seems america is in a crossroads of having to take a bitter pill.
    The world has evolved and there are many other countries that can teach America a thing or two.

    November 21, 2008 at 7:14 am |
  422. Peter McIntyre

    At least now everyone can see how these CEOs will drain the Companies they head maintaining their lavish lifestyles until the last dollar of the company is placed in their "Family Trust". And then expect the American taxpayer to bail them out so their lifestyles will not be downgraded like the rest of us. Be aware

    November 21, 2008 at 7:50 am |
  423. who cares

    taking a private jet doesnt cost that much money in comparison to the billions that are needed. this is like complaining about someone buying a coke while having $10k debt. the coke really doesnt matter when you take it into perspective.

    November 21, 2008 at 9:43 am |
  424. Hans

    When CEOs fail to see signs of industrial needs and future developments ahead of time to prevent in time such crisis, then they failed to prove any value at all. Mismanagement.

    Unqualified CEOs of such level as the 3 car CEOs need to be fired – all 3 of them today – without incentives, without pension, simply fired for lack of qualifications, lack of honest interest for the wellbeing of ALL planet, all USA, all people involved directly or indirectly.

    If they failed to streamline and upgrade their production to current and future NEEDS of the market in past years and decades, then all 3 lack professional (CEO) qualifications to do so in future and hence ANY amount – 25 Billions of more – will be wasted.

    Time for chapter 11 and then chapter 7 and a total restart from scratch WITHOUT any of the 3 companies failed to stay in tune with today's and tomorrow's need of our global population.

    New people, new ideas, new industries are needed. A total review of all people's attitude and lifestyle / consumer behavior.

    November 21, 2008 at 10:07 am |
  425. Qasim Khan

    The US auto industry's problems are exacebated by the financial crises that is not of its making. Under normally functioning financial markets, these companies would have gone to the banks and secured the funding. Now their only choice is to approach the government.

    As for the use of private jets, these are necessary to save time as well. The 4 hours spent in waiting for the commercial airliner's lounge are value hours lost. So the private jets for these top guys should not be an issue. Congressmen sometimes try to use the populist slogans without being rational.

    November 21, 2008 at 11:33 am |
  426. M. Brams

    Well I think its about time these people join the real world, who is after all going to pay for all this. Its nice to make some money but how much do you need!?You (CEO) are getting bonuses, for making a company profitable ,which in some cases amounts to millions with a lot of zeros. So what happens when it all fails? You pay back some of these bonuses? I think that any government (incl rest of the world) that is going to bale out anyone has a right to demand some backdown on wages, bonuses etc. (incl private jets) The scary thing that a lot of this money that has been "made" is only money on a piece of paper. It hasn't produced anything tangible, only aircastles has been built or clothes for "the emperor" has been made and "the real world" is paying and I'm sure all you CEO that created this nightmare are not starving or wondering where the next dollar is coming from to pay your rent or your mortgage to keep a roof over your head. Would be interesting to see the whole cost of looking after this CEOs compared to the man/woman on the floor! I am a self employed person and knows what it takes to get a small company making some decent dollars. And its surely not looking after me as the owner, we are lucky (and happy) if there are some decent surplus.
    But after all we can only eat so much, only drive 1 car at the time, only have so many holidays, only wear so much jewelery at any time, only stay in one room at any given time. So please governments all over the world, if you are going to bale any one out don't do it wholesale make sure each and every company has to do the hard yards, surely we in the real world don't want to pay for private jets and bonuses going through the roof!!! Who can honestly stand up and say I'm worh $500000/ week or even $50000! the trick is without blushing!!! Surely we can expect some degree of respect from our governments not to keep the fat cats living high on the hog or keep feeding the pigs at the troth on our hard earned money and if we take the wrong step we certainly are chased to pay. To the financial advisor that foresaw this 3 years ago and was accordingly mocked, gee I wish you were my financial advisor.
    I'm probably most angry about that this put the whole world on an angle and questions are being asked about our "free" world" capitalist economy being maybe wrong, I still believe in free enterprise but it surely has to be done with a eye to your fellow man not just me, me, me.

    MB

    November 21, 2008 at 12:05 pm |
  427. Flint jobless

    It is important for the all of us to know how GM and the other auto companies have ended up in this situation. The corporate jet use is simply a perk. However, for the majority of the people who would finance the loan, us taxpayers, cannot even aford to fly. Look, I know about the waste perpetuated by the salaried employees and executives at GM. Last year the lost money but still paid themselves a year end bonus and merit pay. Sure the company sold more cars than they are now, but the bottom line was loss but it did not matter because the company referred to these losses as write offs or charge offs. When I saw Rick Waggoner on tv talking to congress, making his pitch on the new products and the cuts made already, it sounded just like the last few quarterly reports, a great deal of fluff. In none of that did we hear about any new cuts for salaried employees. And they need to clean house. There are a large number of salaried people that do not even have the required computer skills to perform daily task requirements. Many have advanced through cronyism or because they have or had family that got them placed in thier positions. Many have the luxury to pick and choose what the do and many only do the basic minimum or requirement to get by. Some simply just show up so they can claim a check. Everyone places blame on the union and wants to cut thier pay by up to half. What all are missing or just don't care about is the fact that the hourly are the only ones actually building the products thatneed to sell to make the company money. They union employees nd the facilities at whic they work, are also the only sectors of the organization that have gone through major efficiency and productivity improvements. Although GM has cut some of the benefits and activities of the salaried work force, they need to cut salaries by 10 to 15 % and start serious head count reduction to trim the budget. Why if you are not selling cars and have fewer hourly workers do you need so many non essential personel on your payroll.

    November 21, 2008 at 1:28 pm |
  428. Ron Turner

    I say let the Big 3 go belly up! Or file for Bankruptcy! They are charging a way too much for cars that they make and force the consumer who buys them to go into debt for 6-7yrs. A pickup truck with all the bells and whistles runs for over $38,000 (FOR A TRUCK!). If they had any leadership at all, they would step up and take a cut in pay, get rid of some folks at the plant level, lower their prices on the vehicles they make. When you have an EXEC that says I WILL NOT TAKE A PAY CUT, there is something wrong and our GOVERNMENT should not give these guys 1 red CENT! They got themselves into this MESS, let them dig their way out!

    Go Honda/Nissan/Toyota!

    November 21, 2008 at 1:39 pm |
  429. halfanacre

    Let them get the money from the oil industry. 25 Billion is just one quarters profit.

    You got yourself in to this mess by charging what you charge. Here and as in many places, you can buy a ford or Lincoln truck with as much as 20,000 off sticker. YOU CAN'T TELL ME YOUR LOOSING MONEY.

    The automakers and auto dealers is what has helped push this country into the credit crisis that we are in. Some trucks here are 15k off sticker. So the person last year paid up to 15k more which equals about 3 year more financing. When now if you buy it, you can get the same truck in half of the time. Also when you go to a dealership, they don't care about how much they sell you the truck for, they care about the max payment you can make and they will stretch that out for 6 years if they have to.

    Now if the automakers would have sold the truck originally for the 15k off, The people would be able to afford to pay other bills and possibly trade it in on a new one but the automakers GREED has come back to bite them.

    November 21, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  430. Dave in Upstate NY

    Let's tone down the hysteria and consider the following:

    1. An Executive jet is a productivity tool, just like the modern assembly line tools in the factory, not a luxury.

    2. Ford and GM make highly regarded, fuel efficient and profitable cars in other countries where the cost of fuel has shaped those markets. Those cars are difficult to import or manufacture here due to U.S. regulations.

    3. The "Big Three" are in financial trouble only partly because of mis-management. The costly labor contracts were written when they were at 70% market share and steps have been taken to narrow their domestic cost differential vs the competition. The past quality gap is being closed and the market is forcing that. The current cash crunch is the financial meltdown hurricane hitting them while the ship is turning to the new course.

    4. The term bailout is unfortunate. The companies are asking for loans to be repaid with interest. The risk that we taxpayers would incur monetary loss on those loans is far, far less than the risk of huge monetary and societal cost of the collapse of the domestic auto industry.

    5. The blame for the miserable domestic fleet fuel efficiency lies with US energy policy (or lack thereof) not with the automakers. It is because fuel was (and still is relative to the rest of the G8 world) cheap which encouraged people to buy SUV's because people liked to sit up high and feel "safe".

    6. Our Congresspeople are certainly not very business astute, nor polite, and are an embarrassment to watch in the various recent hearings on this and other economic issues. What can we hope to accomplish when posturing and insults are hurled at witnesses from seats above the floor?

    7. Our mass media do us no favors by not reporting in a journalistic way, both sides of a story. Has CNN ever made the above points in any story on this issue?

    I think we should all calm down, be rational, analyze the situation carefully and contact our "representatives" and the "media" with our thoughts.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:02 pm |
  431. Raymond Roy Tiruchelvam

    The SOX Act or Sarbanes Oxley Act has failed miserably judging by the recent corporate failures in the US. Not so much because the Act is flawed, but more towards the non-implementation of it. How can CEOs possibly run companies down to earth overnight?

    There are multiples of signs and symptoms that happens prior to that, and to accept that these CEOs were blinded to it, is simply not acceptable. SOX Act or any sensible law should impose criminal negligence charge against these self-centered, arrogant, so-called corporate leaders. Shame on them, to put thousands of innocent people's jobs on the line, as the carrot to force Congress to bail them out.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  432. Chemist in Indiana

    I just listened to your posting about the CEO of Japan Airlines, and it truly amazes me the way our CEO's insist on all these huge salaries and perks!!!!!! This man cut his salary to $90,000 which is below what his pilots make; he eats lunch in the cafeteria and rides a bus to work. WHY do the Big 3 Automakers think they have to fly on private planes for security purposes; the companies are already about to go bankrupt and they never even think of cutting their own salaries or perks!!! No wonder they can't make money. Corporate America just doesn't get it and hasn't for many years now.

    November 21, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  433. Jim

    If GM is building a new plant in Russia; why don't they ask Russia for the money?

    November 21, 2008 at 6:00 pm |
  434. Sedgewick Saunders

    I hated the Wall Street bailouts but there is a legitimate argument that further bankruptcies would break the financial system – look at the impact of Lehmann. The auto makers are just regular companies – if they can't survive let em go bust!

    November 21, 2008 at 8:15 pm |
  435. Donald E. Rakestraw

    I live in Wichita Kansas. Corporate jets create thousands of high paying jobs in this town. . I'm no expert but I would guess that 100,000 people are employed directly or indirectly here in the aircraft industry.Corporate jets are a good thing. I hope they buy more.

    November 21, 2008 at 8:54 pm |
  436. James

    None of these automakers should receive money from the congress or any publics money for the bailout. It is pathetic that as CEO's of the company, they can go unprepared in front of the senate to ask for money. If their senior managers go unprepared to a meeting, they would definitely be fired the next day.
    The first step in saving this industry is for all the CEO's to take an immediate paycut to the same level as managers as well as cutsto their benefits. Second, reduce the level of senior level managers and third, get rid of the unions! Fire any workers that are not willing to work under a non unionized environment. This is the only way to compete in a global environment and save the industry. Otherwise, any steps they take will be guaranteed a failure down the road.

    November 21, 2008 at 8:58 pm |
  437. Scott

    Hey – give me 25 Billion and I’ll startup a new automotive company.

    November 21, 2008 at 9:42 pm |
  438. dave cassidy

    gm, ford, and chrysler are multinational companies and therefore for decades, have owned corporate jets in order to manage their world and nationwide business. As their respective accounting departments would tell you: if these assets sit around they cost more they cost these companies more money than the cost of any trips to Washington. By the way does CNN own or use corporate jets? If there was a CNN corporate jet available would Ted Turner or other CNN execs fly coach ,regarless of the mission? Were the 700 million financial bailout companies asked if they would get rid of their privat jets? Congress and CNN needs to focus on the positives of a viable US auto industry! Three million US jobs depend on it!

    November 21, 2008 at 9:43 pm |
  439. Another Jim

    Private jets or no, the behavior of our Senators and Congressmen is reprehensible. The problems in the auto industry and in the economy at large are serious issues, and should not be the stuff of grandstanding and belittling behavior by our elected officials! Let's show a little respect – even when we disagree. I am embarassed by the treatment the auto executives received – worse than a gang beating. Pelosi and Reid can feel satisfied and arrogant they "let 'em have it". But all we have as a result is several thoroughly mistreated executives and no progress on the problem! How about less nasty criticism and a little more leadership!

    November 21, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  440. An overseas observer

    I feel the anger that many of you are expressing. The corporate jet is but a drop in the bucket, but it is bad message it sends. The US has shown that in times of emergency it has the capacity to pull together for the national good, that time I think is coming. These corporate gods will vanish and be replaced with those that have real vision.

    We have had our corporate cowboys here in Australia who lived the high life while their companies were failing....and they too rewarded themselves with bonuses and perks. Happily some of them got their just deserts – a prison term.

    November 21, 2008 at 10:37 pm |
  441. Iris

    Here's an innovative alternative from my friend George:
    Instead of a $25 billion bailout...
    1. Give the American people a coupon to buy an American car made by the big 3 that is fuel efficient.
    2. This must be purchased on their next birthday or the coupon is void (or withing 2 -3 years). This can be worked out.
    3. Board of directors of the big 3 must fire top management
    4. Board of directors is then fired
    5. Unions must make concessions to equal the rate of pay and benefits of competitors
    6. American cars will be purchased, production will rise, and people will stay employed.

    November 21, 2008 at 10:43 pm |
  442. CHRIS TROUTMAN

    We keep hearing, Let them go bankrupt, they deserve it. What about all the workers and familys that will lose all that they worked for and were promised in return for thier hard work? These corporations took all of the profits from our hard work and invested it overseas. They admit that they're making large profits there, make them bring it back to the U.S. None of these companys are broke, but they want to keep the cash they stole out of America by saying that North American operations are separate. Where did that capitol come from?

    November 22, 2008 at 12:00 am |
  443. Laurel

    What happened to a free market society? Right now, not only in the USA but in Canada was well, there are small innovated companies building green cars, smart cars, electric cars, but they cannot get them to market because they can't get financing, etc. Let them buy up the big 3 plants for pennies on the dollar, re-hire the production staff, and let's get the consumer's decide how to spend their money. If we keep doing, what we've always done, we're going to get, what we've always got.

    Yes, for a time there will be unemployment, but someone's gotta build the new cars of the future. Neither Ford nor GM have demonstrated that it will be them. For everyone's sake, let it be the innovators, the developers, the engineers that are thinking outside the box and are dying to get their inventions to market.

    November 22, 2008 at 1:36 am |
  444. Roc

    How about instead of giving them Billions, we forgoe sales tax on the purchase of all American Made vehicles until the amount reached the 25 billion mark. Saves the public a few thousand $ on each car or truck. The sales would probably pick up , immediatley...???

    November 22, 2008 at 3:30 am |
  445. Cameo

    I think the CEO's of the 3 auto companies should resign since they have no clue as to how to begin to cut expenses. The fact that they flew private jets to Washington DC just drives the point home. The auto industry should sink or swim on its own. They have known for a long time that smaller more efficient cars are needed but continued to produce all the big gas-guzzlers. Shame on them. Greed is the only thing that matters to them. Let them sink & find out what it's like to be one of the peons.

    November 22, 2008 at 5:09 am |
  446. Tids

    Initially I thought – what fools!

    But then I realised that the private aircraft are probably owned by the auto companies themselves; in other words – using their company planes.

    Am I correct in this assumption?

    If they used their own company aircraft (and did not arrange private external hire), then the 'picture' is somewhat different...

    November 22, 2008 at 6:08 am |
  447. john uk

    Its time the usa auto industry woke up to the real world, usa cars make up a big big chunk of petrol and oil consumption, out with 10-15 mpg v8 400cu + autos and in with smaller cars and engines that do 45-60 mpg. As a uk resident, dont get me wrong here, I once owned an all powerful v8 and have been a great fan of usa cars, but? I now look back with fond memories and say to myself, Them were the days, and its all in the past. I think the us car industry should stay afloat with some serious re-design strings attached.

    November 22, 2008 at 11:32 am |
  448. James

    This goes to show that these big guys have more money then brains!!!!!

    I say let the industry die, let it go bankrupt maybe then after the mess is dismissed and unions are all gone then they can start fresh at a reasonable rate of pay like every other normal person in life. Instead of millions of dollars a year that they don't need it can be divided to hire more for less pay

    Then unemployment will be erased and everyone will be working for the same amount of money doing the same job whether it be man or woman or even student. Give them all jobs that are affordable

    November 22, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  449. Mark Sansom

    We've all seen this kind of corporate welfare played out on the world stage before. Does anybody remember the UCS (Upper Clyde Ship Builders) bailout in 1972? In 1968 five of Glasgow's biggest shipbuilders found themselves on the competitive ropes. In an effort to avert shipyard closures, the big 5 elected to combine into a single consortium (UCS). Three years later, UCS collapsed, and the conservative government initially refused a bailout. With 15,000 jobs at stake, the workers staged a 14 month work-in (coming to work even though there was nothing to do) to try and coerce government, through the court of public opinion, to financially resurrect UCS. In a surprising reversal of decision, the British government caved in to demands, and injected £35 million (in 1972 money) into a new government sponsored entity called Goven Shipbuilders. Throughout the rest of the decade, government subsidized Goven Shipbuilders remained uncompetitive against Korean and Japanese shipyards. Finally in 1979, the Thatcher government concluded that Goven Shipbuilders was not viable as a private enterprise, and the decision was made to phase out Goven's subsidy payments. The result? Instead of becoming a ghost town, Glasgow transformed into a diverse city of service and IT industries (think Silicon Glen), with many former shipyard workers finding employment in these growing firms, as well as the expanding oil industry.

    Detroit is no different. The city has a lot going for it. Propping up the status quo of a bloated, uncreative, legacy employer like the car industry only solves the immediate pain of unemployment. It won't help Detroit (or other cities tied to the car industry), diversify to cushion the blows of future economic threats. A government bailout of the car industry discounts the entrepreneurial spirit of the free-market.

    November 22, 2008 at 7:31 pm |
  450. SERGE SEYMOUR

    The CEO's are stupid fools. All they think of is their own bottom line. And Americans should let GM and the rest sink or swim on their own.
    My financial shape is terrable and the government is doing nothing for the people . They are just helping their bosses. "The Bankers."

    November 22, 2008 at 10:59 pm |
  451. LS in MICH

    GM CEO Rick Wagoner a few years ago cut his own salary in half. He still makes a boat load of money, but this salary cut was never brought up during the hearing, was it? I agree that corporate CEO's have some legitimate reasons to travel in corporate jets on occasion, but have they ever heard of sharing corporate jets? Even cheaper yet, could not the Big 3 CEO's and the Union Prez have travelled in first class on the same commercial airline to Washington? Of course, there is a lot of blame for the state of the economy to go around to a lot of entities; Washington included (CAFE, NAFTA, etc).

    November 22, 2008 at 11:29 pm |
  452. Denise Bandemer

    Here's a bailout plan. There are a little over 50 NFL and NBA teams combined. Ask each of them to loan the big 3 auto companies about $500M each (a drop in the bucket considering the price of tickets to these venues) and there you have a little over the $25B that's been asked for. The NFL/NBA CEOs can then hold the big 3 CEOs accountable. Then hire Buffet, Gates and Pickens to oversee the automobile business plans.

    November 23, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  453. Michael R

    Two years ago, if the government attemtped to intervene with any of these company's, everyone would be up in arms about big government and how this is a capitalistic society, let the market do what it does. But now everyone wants to run to big brother for help. I say, big brother should step back and let the market do what it does. The fat cats are finally getting theres. GM talks about closing factory's to save money. You are putting your customer base out of work silly people. WAKE UP!!

    November 23, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  454. Charles Gibson II

    With the oil companies posting qaurter after qaurter of record billion dollar profits, why don't the big 3 get a loan from them. They are co-dependant and both industries have a part in the kamakaze course the auto industry is on. I can think of more uses for the 25 billion then lending it to exec's who have million dollar salaries and arrogantly display thier white collar status.

    November 23, 2008 at 5:57 pm |
  455. JCHOLLOWAY

    Let’s not bail out the auto industry. And while we are at it lets stop all the government subsidies to the farmers and landowners, which have amounted to around 170 billion dollars in the past ten years.
    Back in the 70's why did the US Government buy all the grain that the farmers grew and then could not sell because of a government grain embargo with China. The Feds bought all the excess grain and took it out to sea and fed it to the fish, couldn’t they do that with the cars being produced by the US Auto Industry? Those cars would make great reefs.
    And for all the people that prefer to purchase cars from off shore companies, I assume you like speaking English over German or Japanese, cause had it not been for Ford, GM and Chrysler willingly suspending automotive production (losing hundreds of millions of dollars) and tooling up the Arsenal Of Democracy the United States and Europe as we know now it would just be a distant memory.
    And now we all have to listen how the US auto workers are overpaid from the same people who were raised and put through college by the sweat of the their parents or grandparents earning the benefits offered or bargained for at Ford, GM, and Chrysler.
    So let’s not forget that the US auto industry carries a large legacy cost that makes the playing field uneven, and all the right to work states that welcomed the Honda, Toyota, Subaru, Nissan and Mercedes with open arms and are not represented by the UAW, causes even more of an imbalance. Shame on the Federal Government for allowing this to happen without giving some protections the US Workers and the US Automotive industry, also, anyone who thinks that the Foreign cars are better built than US automobiles show me just one Foreign Automotive Dealership that doesn't have a service center with cars waiting to get in. And please remember that the US Auto Industry still has the highest combined market share so when you are standing at the water cooler talking about cars please remember that the odds are about 5 to1 somebody will be talking about a US auto defect over a Foreign auto defect.
    So I say "just look at the US automotive brands you will be helping your country, your neighbor, and an Industry that stepped up to a challenge and protected your way of life".

    November 23, 2008 at 10:52 pm |
  456. Jacob

    Flying the personal jets pretty much gave me (taxpayer) the message "THEY JUST DON'T GET IT". They are rich and have been doing this for years....spending and living well beyond the average American. I truly don't think they care about us. Just there money and bonuses.

    Don't bail out. Let them go bankrupt and restructure. How are the CEO's ever gonna learn if we keep giving them (Free to them but at taxpayer cost) money.

    Or give the money to the consumer to pay off the loan. If that is the only way. The company gets the money in the end but taxpayer gets something out of it. They (our Leaders) should have done that with the banks. We (taxpayers) are always getting screwed.

    And replace the Treasury guy he made enough already to retire 100 times over. Put people in place who want change for the good and the future.

    So stop bailing out, it's like welfare. How many people from other countries are on that program. Stop it now before it spreads like the plague...

    Learn from the mistakes of the past.

    November 24, 2008 at 4:12 am |
  457. Jacob

    After alot of reading....

    Here is what will happen. Congress will finally give the money but put on a good show. Each member that voted for the bailout...will get some type of bonus....a car for whatever, not sure how that whole deal works. But it's called politics.

    I am gonna go live and work outside the US. I am tired of this. Remember the saying Taxation without Representation? Many lives were given over this. Now we are taxed and we have representation. But their own needs come first most of the time. How many houses does a Congressman or Senator need?

    Will it ever end, can the Leaders of the Country be people we want to strive to emmulate.

    Americans take things for granted, like lights coming on, hot water, heat etc. Going into Iraq for the second time we had 5 gallons of water to shower, shaved out of a canteen cup in the dark sometimes etc. Maybe losing jobs will bring families closer. Grow your own garden share it with friends, stay home etc. Stop going to the movies and keeping up with the Jones's.

    The CEO's and high end people already have there millions and don't really care. Honestly they can retire today. If Congress doesn't punish them and rewards them....well I am really tired of all this.

    Rememinder when the Tabacco CEO's lied to Congress and said nicotine wasn't addictive? On TV and live. And got away with it because of the profits... It's happening again. In other countries warning say "Smoking Kills"

    We have to deal with it no matter what, all we can do is buy essentials only and live cheapier and let the industries fail. Or they won't learn. You really think they will pay us back? Yeah right and how and when will we see that money? Sounds good but another lie. Hell wouldn't you lie for 25 Billion? By then something will be put in place or passed to screw the taxpayer out of that. And we (taxpayer) won't know until it's over. Probobaly till after the next election so the people in office will get re-elected and by the next term it will have been forgotten.

    Vote NO
    Bankruptcy
    Restructure (pay cuts with CEO's first no bonus etc)
    If not don't buy from them ever.

    Grow a garden, shop in moderation, spend time with your family,
    YM is free, headset is like 10 bucks

    Have any of them sold there jets, or one of their many houses or cars?

    November 24, 2008 at 4:39 am |
  458. Windspirit

    I think it is absolutely disgusting how these people think. The government should never even consider bailing these guys out of their financial problems. The government did not put them there and they cannot just come with open hands and blindly ask for money to operate.

    Make them suffer along with the rest of Americans. Make them have to see those private corporate jets, make them have there homes repossessed. It might just make a lesson to them that they have been living way beyond their means. Make them have to stand in the unemployment line to get an unemployment check, make them have to go to the food bank and ask for food. They are too good and proud and I bet if you were to check their assets, they are so wealthy that they would never have to do any of the above, but yet they put their employees, the ones who are actually responsible for the company's growth in a position that they have to ask for help.

    Someone said that the executives had to travel on these private jets because of security, I am here to say that is BS. Make them sell these luxuries and then perhaps they will have the necessary means to operate their companies, because that is what they are just luxuries, not mandatory items necessary to run a proficient business.

    November 24, 2008 at 10:35 am |
  459. Mike

    Nice comments thus far – especially from the CNN pundits – talk about a New York centered bias.

    So – the Government can continue to bail out all these banks – ie. Citigroup – that made major mistakes – because they are so important....
    How many billions are being thrown away to prop these financial companies up.

    So why should Citigroup survive – using the same logic and lens that is on the auto industry – let Citigroup go bankrupt as well.

    Ask yourself – where's the CEO of Citigroup – why isn't that CEO facing congress??????

    But forget about the auto-companies that actually do Science and Engineering and create products. If you think the foreign automakers are employing US workers in the South with the best of motives think again... It's a targeted effort to reduce our ability to compete, create products and lead.

    Where's our electronics industry gone – overseas... Textiles...overseas..Steel...overseas...

    No other country in the world would allow their automotive and manufacturing industries to disappear. We cannot allow this.

    We should force the auto's to restructure – replace their leadership – but not go bankrupt.

    November 24, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  460. Wylie

    Too much is being made of the CEO's use of private jets. Just like any endeavor, good tools are required to do good work.

    If one is to lead by example, the CEO's need to change their example! U.S. help should be conditioned on the CEO's and management's salaries being lowered commensurate with labor's wages and benefits concessions, so the companies can be competetive.

    Could accounting rules be altered to enhance the industry's companies' balance sheets?

    November 24, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  461. Scott, Orlando, FL

    Please let them go bankrupt. Yes its a travesty but they brought it upon themselves. Let them sink and evolve into different companies with realistic cars for this environment.

    November 25, 2008 at 5:57 am |
  462. Don

    Is it correct that GM has more unfunded employee and retiree benefits owing thn the company is worth? So just give the company to the union after all didn't the UAW generate part of the problem with their $60+/hour wage claims?

    Is it true that GM management is blind-siding their suppliers and setting up Indian supplier companies to replace US suppliers?

    So how come GM claims supplier unemployment will happen if GM fails? Seems to me GM is already cutting their suppliers throats right now?

    The only way GM can continue is to restructure via chapter 11.

    If current management can't fix the problems then change the team or are we to believe this is a rocket science problem?

    As someone once said, 'the problem/solution is either change management or change management' – just do it now.

    No taxpayers money no way!

    November 25, 2008 at 11:01 am |
  463. Christopher King

    There's a simple fix to this problem and that is to give each and every American citizen a million dollars rather than to have given 750 billion to the fat cats on wall street. We are already trying things we never tried before so why not try this. By doing this, this would take care of all bad debt jump,jump start the economy and put millions back to work again. I believe the American people know how to spend their own money. I know they would do a better job at it than wall street and the fed. This would only cost 365 million rather than 750 Billion and I bet it would work. Christopher King Dallas TX

    November 25, 2008 at 5:50 pm |
  464. Fu Hughley

    How about this – So &*^!ing what that the heads of world-wide companies took a jet to D.C. Were they suppose to hitch hike. Oh, and By the Way, does D.L. Hughley have any brains? His irresponsible statement the other night about Ford cars was an obvious lie. To remind you what he said: he made the comment that he bought his father a Ford car on November 3rd and by November 4th, the car already needed repairs.
    I would bet anything Hughley did NOT buy a Ford. I can tell this fool is a show off, and would never buy an American car, even for his father. He made this idiotic comment to perpetuate a stereotype which is no longer true. For the last ten years, Ford, GM and Chrysler cars are of equal qualty to foreign made cars of equal price. READ Motor trend or any car magazine.
    If I was a member of Ford's legal team, I would research to determine if Hughley purchased a Ford for his father, and whether it needed repairs the next day. IF not, I would file a defamation lawsuit against him and CNN.
    Hughley, you are now on a news station not a comedy network. BE MORE RESPONSIBLE.

    November 25, 2008 at 7:53 pm |
  465. Shank

    Let them sink, and reorganize under Chapter 11.
    The American people should realize that they have been taken for a rid in their bloated cars and SUVs, when other continents prefer trains for long distances. It is time we developed a wide network of railroads as the outcome of this financial fallout in the auto industry.
    The 25Bil$ can be better utilized to do just that. It will save on carbon emissions, as well as be more economical, safer and speedy in the long run.

    November 26, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  466. J. Vianese

    As a General Manager of a Chevrolet dealership it has been difficult to turn on the news lately and listen to the negative rhetoric in regards to the American Auto Industry. Not only because of their dire situation, but because of the lack of information and accurate reporting. Like last week when the comment was made on CNN’s morning news “Where is their Camry?” referring to the Detroit Three. Well how about the Malibu for starters. In Kelley Blue Book’s most recent mid-size comparison test Malibu took the top spot. Where was the beloved Camry? It came in 5th. How about Car and Driver’s top 5 for 2008:

    1.BMW 3-Series
    2.Cadillac CTS
    3.Chevrolet Corvette
    4.Chevrolet Malibu
    5.Honda Accord

    Camry? Not even in the top 10. Not to mention the Malibu was awarded “North American Car of the Year” and comes in a Hybrid.
    Then there is the continuing focus on the Detroit 3 somehow being irreverent to gas prices and producing gas guzzling vehicles. Have they weighed more heavily on trucks then cars, yes. Why? Demand. There has been more demand for domestic trucks than cars and up until a year ago more trucks than cars were sold in America. The domestics have been working hard at producing quality and stylish cars and have been successful. Saturn Aura (2007 North American Car of the Year), Chevrolet Malibu (2008 North American Car of the Year), Cadillac CTS (Swept 2008 NAIAS Eyes On Design Awards at NAIAS), to name a few. General Motors also has more vehicles that average over 30 mpg, more ethanol vehicles, was given the “Green Car of the Year Award” for the Tahoe Hybrid, and on target to be the first manufacturer to have an electric vehicle that can go 40 miles without using a drop of gas in the Chevy Volt. What did Toyota invest the most advertising money in over the past year and a half, the launch of their new pickup, the Tundra. Unfortunately, it takes to time to overcome perception, especially when it is precipitated by the media. Have the American Auto manufacturers made mistakes in the past. Absolutely. Should they just be handed the money. No. There should be a loan package that makes sense. But look how far they have come in just a couple of years. A landmark contract with the UAW that will save billions, innovative and stylish cars and trucks that meet or exceed foreign competition, and technological advances that are outpacing the competition (example: Chevrolet Volt). The restructuring plans were derailed by record high fuel prices and the biggest financial crisis since the great depression that no one saw coming, even the mighty Toyota, who had their largest year over year monthly decline in their North American history because of their dependency on truck sales! We are not looking for a handout, but a “fair shake”. Not just on Capitol Hill, but in the media too.

    Sincerely,
    Jason Vianese
    General Manager
    Richard Chevrolet
    Cheshire, CT

    November 26, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  467. Bret

    The truth is that the world has too much auto manufacturing capacity and the least competitive firms need to shrink. Instead of subsidizing the manufacture of cars we don't need, we should use the money to retrain the auto workers to build bridges, roads, dams, power grids, sewerage, water systems, and all the other infrastructure that is in such poor condition in the US.

    November 26, 2008 at 11:46 pm |
  468. manolo

    I live in south America, and am currently looking for a new SUV, fortunately the crisis hasn't hit me too hard, apart from losing value in my investments, all other things remain mostly the same, so I'm fortunate enough to pretty much be able to trade my current SUV in for whichever other one I like best. So, have been shopping around for some time now, but have not even considered buying a big three vehicle, although I have test driven some of them. Main reasons for this, quality, economy, resale value. Let's expand on these points.

    Quality, US cars have a very poor quality history in terms of reliability. When it comes to the quality I also include design, feel and look of interior materials; also the fit and finish both inside and outside, which by the way are just not comparable to vehicles made in Europe, Japan and some Korean cars. US cars are simply not up to par on this, admittedly some are very good looking and safe cars, but exterior looks are not everything. I'm buying a car that feels great to drive, that is agile and responsive not an SUV that feels like a supertanker with overly soft suspension, numb steering and soft brakes. I will say I have driven the Compass, Patriot, Liberty, Grand Cherokee, Escape, Explorer, Edge, Durango, Nitro, Equinox, and Trailblazer. Honestly the only one I found to be really interesting was the Ford Edge, which undoubtedly is based on the Mazda CX-7 platform, I couldn't explain the feel of the car otherwise, but still then the interior is for lack of a better word simply horrible, the colors, the ergonomics, the design itself. It's shocking to see how they could get it so wrong. The equinox was not all that bad either, and seemed much more European that US based or built, and maybe it just is. But compared to European, Japanese and Korean counterparts they are just not competitive in terms of quality. I'd have a Mitsubishi, Honda, Nissan, Mazda, VW, Hyundai (the Veracruz was really good by the way) any day over any big three SUV.

    Economy, granted some US cars have come a long way in terms of economy, but as a general rule, US consumers apparently like their big gas guzzling V8's, which by the way are not viable in our undeveloped economies, so that puts them back both in environmental terms and in market competitiveness, even if the cars were properly built. Granted the US is a much much bigger market, and these companies would focus on that market, but even then all the experience from their European operations, from their Japanese operations apparently does not trickle into Detroit, to help them make better, more reliable, more efficient V8's, or just cars in general.

    Given all the above, US cars here have much lower than average resale values, they are considered disposable, and that is apparently the way they are built, and designed. No other way to look at it. So it's just plain common sense not to buy something that will lose value much faster than the thing being sold next door. By the way Alfas suffer from the same problem, gorgeous cars, but appalling resale value.

    And then here come all the top guns from the Big Three flying in to ask for help in their own private Jets. Let me think this through, it looks a bit like the Lehman Brothers case, except Lehman's went under. You make millions upon millions, then make the company go bust, but then you get to ask the taxpayers for money to bail you out and get to keep all the nice toys you had. Sounds like a great deal, I'd like to have a deal like that. So lets see how would this work, I'll get myself a Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, compromise my cash flow, and then when liquidators come knocking on my door I'll run to congress (very quickly in the Porsche) to ask them for money, and to be able to keep my Porsche, it apparently just might work for Wagoner and Co.

    More seriously now, I personally believe that if the Big Three don't go through dire, and tremendously dire straits they will never learn and get their act together. The management and owners of the company need a reality check. Owners would have to be either diluted by the state (which should be ridiculous by free market US standards, statization of banking and large manufacturing is contrary to what the US stands for ), as I was saying, dilution either by the state or by other investors but dilution somehow, they need to lose value, they need to feel an economic shock from having done such a poor job managing these companies, and management itself needs to go, it's too expensive, and delivers too little, and not just little, it delivers negatively. These companies should file for chapter 11, and then government should ensure the welfare of the employees, the average worker, by negotiating some sort of merger with other better managed companies. Say Toyota take over control of GM, Mazda itself of Ford or Nissan take on Ford, and Chrysler, well who might want Chrysler, mmm lets think, Daimler doesn't for sure, maybe Hyundai, or Honda could take control of Chrysler, I'm sure they will if the price is right and regulators let them. I guess that would hurt the American ego greatly, to lose control of their historic Auto industry, but on the good side, it would ensure a free market solution, would ensure better more efficient and effective management, would ensure better cars and would ensure long term work for it's workers. And at absolutely no cost to taxpayers, and on the upside hurt all these myopic and greedy managers in place today as well as all the major stockholders that have contributed to this mess, and hopefully create enough ripples throughout corporate America to begin an urgently needed change in mindset.

    Years ago people around the world used to look up to the States, as a standard to follow, the bar to reach, the flag carrier for freedom, liberty, opportunity; sorry to say it is not the case today, and it honestly makes me sad to say so; one last thing "AMERICA,GET YOUR DAMN ACT TOGETHER" and quickly, for everyone's sake !!!!!!

    He dicho.

    November 27, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  469. Tom

    Understand that the Three branches of Govt,, are Civil servents, Buisness people ,,, Aaah No..If we continue to let the Govt pay buisness with our money and childern's Money We will soon have Peanut Butter. Spread all over and stuck to the roof or our mouth. So as the Civil servents ( all well paid, all lobbied, all have medical coverage, work 9 months a year,) get up in front of the tube, and tell us how bad or good and infulence a dailey market without a wim of of out come.. We will continue to see Day traders ( and know including now traders with allot money), continue to raise take and buy in this volitial market.. note Two. as far forclosers ,,, who in their right mind will continue to pay for a Houses bought for 400,000 and now the value is 200,000, FORECLOSE,Sorry banks,,,,, Wake uppp!

    November 28, 2008 at 2:25 am |
  470. Tizalasha

    How rude are you people. Subjecting high executive CEO's to go around town with the commoners. This is what made america great, this separation, and now just because of these poor people not buying their product you expect them to ride with commoners. Could you imagine how devistated they would be if they ran into someone who builds oil pans or some low paying job like that that resides on the same plane?? There could be beatings! Of course there is a cause for concern with security. Its not about weapons on a plane its about commoners and their crappy lifestyle taking it out on high paid CEO's. Just like the president would never ride with common people. Because people are angry! and smelly! I say give them all the money they want and deal with it

    November 28, 2008 at 8:33 pm |
  471. gatkin09

    The top executives from the major Japanese car makers seem quite happy to get around their global empire without using private jets so it just shows how out of the sync the management at the U.S automakers are.

    It also make me worry about their state of minds. Could they not see that heading to a meeting to cry poor looked at little odd in a private jet? No wonder they cannot turn out cars the public wants...they are off in world of their own.

    Greg Atkinson
    http://www.shareswatch.com.au/blog

    November 29, 2008 at 12:48 am |
  472. Rowny J.Vidot

    Guess they were not smart enough nor were they quick thinking enough to spot that . This is what I would call too much basking into opulence and immune to any feeling for the common man out there .

    November 29, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  473. Jeremy

    Honestly, I would love to see the fall of the big three. I know it would crush the economy but they have been scewing us for many years and now they want us to bail them out. I think that they should fail because, if you were to allow Toyota or Nissan or even Honda to run these companies they would run much like the steel manufacturing is done here in the US. Its done by the people, for the people....no extra crap that we dont need or need to pay for just pay for good quality material at a good price.

    December 1, 2008 at 10:02 pm |
  474. NCautosupplier

    I work for a major Tier1 supplier to the big three and I am here to say that the problem with the Big Three is that they do not manage their internal cost structure to reduce operating cost. There method is to beat up their suppliers by demanding selling price decreases every year. And how do they get it. They more or less just write you a check for less money and if you don't like it tough! Anothe rissue is the UAW who is a major drain on the Big Three. I have actually witnessed auto workers volunteer for layoff because they knew they could get 80% of the salary for up to two to three years. It is time for the automakers to stand up and cut their own cost by managing their internally structure and follow the guidelines that they demand that their suppliers adhere too.

    December 2, 2008 at 1:12 pm |
  475. Gagan Kasana

    What these people need security from Currently USA is like a castel . Money wasters !!!! . How come Company like Toyata , Suzuki, Volkesvagen are surviving and still making progress.

    Let them get sold off and let start from scratch . Its survival of the fittest.

    December 2, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  476. Brian

    I am tired of it being called a bailout. It is a loan!!!!! Get the facts straight!!! It is not like the government is giving the auto companies money. They have to repay the money. The banks don't have to give back the $700 billion do they? The banks did not deserve a blank check for THEIR GROSS MISMANAGEMENT AND LACK OF FORESIGHT!!!! The bias against the american auto companies is uncalled for. The people that have been saying that the Big 3 don't build good cars have not opened their eyes and read an auto publication. Or have test drove an american car. I have owned the same Ford car for 14 years with out a major mechanical malfunction. Every car will last if oil changed regularly and routine maintenance is done. The quality of the Big 3 are equal if not better then most japanese or other foreign cars. So next time you go to buy a car stop at a Big 3 dealership. You might be surprised. And no I don't work for the auto companies I'm just tired of the facts not being reported.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  477. Judy Hopper

    I have been watching the hearings on cnn and am perplexed by Richard Shelby's attitude about the auto industry. Has this man no education on what a disaster would come about if we were to let the auto industry fail. The loss would trickle down to every sector of our economy. He obviously has no connection personally to the auto industry or he would be more aware. Many of my family are involved in this industry. They have invested their lives and their own money for a very long time and have worked hard because they believed in this business. If the auto industry fails it would affect them and the 250-300 families they employ. This is in only one city in America. Multiply that by all of the small and major cities in this country and what do you have. That doesn't even take into effect the people who are involved in the manufacturing end of the business.

    It is obvious that the corporate heads of the companies need an acceptable plan to save their companies, but we'd better listen and if they need educated advice they should get it from qualified experts.

    I have been a realtor for years and have already seen a disaster in my own business. Can we continue to let sector after sector of our economy fail.

    I think Mr. Shelby needs some education.

    December 4, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  478. Ann Jackson

    Has anyone considered the impact on the Federal and State governments if they are no longer receiving the tax revenues from the Big 3 auto workers? I think that tax revenue would be Billions of dollars & few companies in the U.S. contribute that much to our economy.. CERTAINLY NOT CITI- GROUP OR AIG.

    December 6, 2008 at 7:14 pm |
  479. lauro silva

    the very bad financial situation of the automakers is a product of bad management for many years. Their executives are the only ones to be charged and how to punish them?

    December 7, 2008 at 10:41 pm |
  480. Louis Schmitz

    We are to be represented by our government not dictated to .The majority of taxpayers do not want a bail out of the big three .This is the voice of the people.It should be heard.Bankruptcy courts are here for a reason.Let them do their job.We cant sell all the autos we already have.Do we need millions of new cars and trucks?We need to stop and take a breath.

    Louis fro Austin TX.

    December 8, 2008 at 7:44 pm |
  481. Brian

    If we let Chrysler and GM fail,then they will take Ford with them.Ford has already started its restructuring dating back to 2000,but the smaller supply companies that are not owned or controlled by the big 3 will also fail.The majority of these companies are run very well,but will not make it if there no one to buy the products they offer.

    There is alot more to consider than the average american realizes.
    I say let the government take over these failing companies,Regulation is the only way these companies can become as strong as they once were.

    December 10, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  482. Vinay K from India

    OK.. so these 3 get big handouts... you guys have to realise that a chunk of this handout ends up in either India or China.. as these big three have "Outsourced" their IT and other back office activity. So the US taxpayers money helps in keeping the Indian economy flourishing ..
    One of the curbs that need to be put on these three is to keep the jobs in US.

    December 11, 2008 at 7:44 am |
  483. Sander

    Its not a wonder that the us carmaker are the biggest victims of the financial crisis. They produce cars which are 2 to 5 times less effiecient than foreign cars. Us cars are even with the low energie prices at the moment so inefficient in than other global manufacturers, that its logical no us citizen would buy an a us car. If government takes over the autoindustrie its a loss of tax-payers money. The best advise I have is; take adventage of technologie and produce cars who are extremely green.

    December 12, 2008 at 1:04 am |
  484. William T

    I have lived in Australia since 1994. Recently with all the news about he US big three manufacturers, I had a look at their US websites and was shocked to find fuel milage has remained largely unchanged in 14 years since I left the USA. While other manufacturers have been building smaller, more fuel efficient cards, the big three have done little. I say, let them go by the wayside. Plenty of good foreign-built cars to go around.

    December 12, 2008 at 3:41 am |
  485. Frans de Mars

    Apparently people did not buy enough cars of the big three.
    If the companies are bailed out, does that mean that people all of a sudden start buying their cars?
    If so, great and bail them out.
    If not, what good is the bail out?

    December 13, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  486. Robert Wilson

    These comments make me wonder how people actually are able to live in our world. The comments here are just simply ignorant. Somebody forgot to tell you guys that all the wall street firms just got free money – about 20 times as much as the auto industry asked for and the all fly private jets. The reason the big three have been driven to the brink is because no one can get credit to buy vehicles – if that wouldn't have happened then GM would have continued with its restructuring and modifications to move from large vehicles to smaller vehicles – which by the way GM still has more vehicles that get 30 mpg or higher on the highway than anyone and all of their trucks and SUV's get better gas mileage than Honda or Toyota.

    Get real – if GM goes under then believe me you'll feel it too. Your state economies will move into depression because they will be saddled with enourmous unemployment and medicaid costs. We are talking about 3 million jobs and jobs in every single state in the nation.

    Sleep tight in your dream world.

    December 13, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  487. Tudor Munasinghe

    All these bailouts may not be necessary if every American decides to buy a US made car in preference to an imported car when they make their decision to purchase

    from Tudor in Colombo, Sri Lanka

    December 15, 2008 at 11:16 am |
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