Obama’s new GM CEO: You know, bankruptcy looks really good now

posted at 12:55 pm on March 31, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The man now running General Motors after Barack Obama demanded the resignation of former CEO Rick Wagoner wants to thank America for all the cash.  Really, he does.  Fritz Henderson just doesn’t think it will help, and wants to declare bankruptcy — as conservatives suggested before we spent $14 billion to prop them up:

General Motors’s new chief executive told CNBC that filing for Bankruptcy may be the best option for the struggling automaker.

In a taped interview to be aired tonight on NBC Nightly News, Fritz Henderson said that because of greater demands from the Obama administration to restructure, GM is considering the bankruptcy option. The auto giant previously had ruled out such a move, saying it would discourage people from buying GM cars.

Henderson’s comments came after President Obama bluntly rejected turnaround plans by GM and Chrysler and demanded that both companies make fresh concessions in order to get more federal aid. …

Henderson says GM  needs to work faster and go deeper to get more concessions from bondholders and the United Auto Workers union. President Obama has demanded that GM come up with a better restructuring plan in 60 days in order to qualify for more government aid.

Gee, who could have predicted that?  Well, actually, me. As I wrote in November when the automakers demanded and received the bailout, government subsidies would not address the fundamental problems that keep GM from being competitive in the marketplace:

The problem the Big Three face has nothing to do with an inability to get loans, but with a fundamentally flawed business model that ensures that they cannot compete.  They spend too much to produce cars that cost more without any extra added value to the consumer.  Buyers select cars with better value and lower price instead.

Until GM, Ford, and Chrysler fix that problem, they won’t succeed regardless of how much they can borrow from Washington.  Until unions realize that they have created an untenable position, they will put the jobs of their members at continued risk.  Either they will have to become niche manufacturers, producing only high-quality, expensive cars that outperform the less-expensive competition, or they have to figure out a way to lower unit cost while improving quality on lower-cost products.

And the solution I suggested before giving GM $14 billion?

Management needs to change, and the unions need to adapt.  Taxpayers should not subsidize failure out of some notion that private enterprises cannot be allowed to fail.  A good Chapter 11 reorganization is what Detroit needs, and a bailout will only delay the inevitable — and toss taxpayer money down the drain in the meantime.

I hate to say “I told you so,” but … well, actually I don’t.

Now that Wagoner has gotten kicked out, ostensibly to protect the taxpayer investment, Henderson wants to declare bankruptcy and leave taxpayers in the lurch.  Unfortunately, he’s right.  Had we taken a tough-love approach to the problem in November, we could have saved ourselves $14 billion and GM could have already been on its way to fixing their problems in labor and in management.

Jazz Shaw slams bailout backers in both parties who sold taxpayers $14 billion in junk bonds:

Nay nay, we were told! Not only is GM too big to fail, but they are an American icon, right up there with the Statue of Liberty and the original Betsy Ross edition of the Stars and Stripes. All they need is a bit more time and some of our money to reorganize and begin producing lean, green cars that people actually want. …

Now I only have one question for the table here. What happens to the money we already gave them? Do the taxpayers get paid back as part of the bankruptcy reorganization, or does this turn into another lump of debt piled on with the rest, left to us to pay off? “Oh well, you put your money in a bad investment and now it’s gone, just like your 401K.”

And, not to be one of those “we told you so” people, but… couldn’t we have done this last year?

When people say that patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel, Jazz describes exactly what they mean.


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Comment pages: 1 2

the new CEO will bankrupt parts of GM. no idea how that will affect any/all union contracts. but i do know one thing: bambi will not let anything happen to those union members.
kelley in virginia on March 31, 2009 at 1:50 PM

In other words: Obama will block the bankruptcy.

Like every other tinhorn dictator in history, Obama will never accept any underling who forms an independent opinion. He’ll just issue impossible demands and keep throwing scapegoats under the bus to appease the masses.

logis on March 31, 2009 at 2:08 PM

“You f*cked up. You trusted us.”

~Otter Stratton/GM/Barack Obama

Golden Boy on March 31, 2009 at 2:13 PM

It’s all good. You three stooges don’t have to pay back the American taxpayers out of your own pocket.

Our raped wallet B**t holes will heal up just fine.

So, you go right on ahead applying that zero business experience & pointy head academic theory till you completely kill our economy.

Really. We’re cool.

locomotivebreath1901 on March 31, 2009 at 2:14 PM

I think sethstorm honestly believes that the unions ought to be able to set whatever pay and work rules they want; the U.S. automakers ought to be able to build cars with whatever emissions, mpg and quality standards they want; the 20th-century manufacturing industries can be sustained forever in the geographic patterns of the 1950s; and someone — somewhere — has to foot the bill. Why? He thinks, absent any apparent evidence beyond his own preferences, that American cars are superior to Hondas and Toyotas. Forget what other people think — the world must bend to his will!

Dude, I loved my ’82 Regal coupe, but those days are long gone.

DrSteve on March 31, 2009 at 2:20 PM

I think we should try two more bailouts before we let it happen.

drjohn on March 31, 2009 at 2:22 PM

The appointed, puppetized and zombified Obamaton CEOs are coming! Obama has the remote in his pocket ready to control businesses and sink the country!

threeCents on March 31, 2009 at 2:28 PM

So now that Obama has his hand picked successor for Wagoner, the BK option is on the table? How convenient. The forcing of Wagoner out, yet no similar head chop for UAW fits right in line with benefiting the unions over the company.

thegreatsatan on March 31, 2009 at 2:29 PM

Someone needs to deal with Gettlefinger. And firing won’t do.

PimFortuynsGhost on March 31, 2009 at 2:31 PM

gettlefinger will get his if GM goes bankrupt. however, as i posted earlier, since protecting the unions is very, very impt to bambi, he cannot let GM go bankrupt. so more money for them & the unions! whoopee!

kelley in virginia on March 31, 2009 at 2:37 PM

I really don’t see the electorate connecting this to Ogabe. Too stupid, too lazy, too frightened to look at the real villain in this sad tale. The recently fired CEO of GM will be the scapegoat. How convenient.
The big-eared freak’s sleight of hand misdirects the audience attention while he pulls another bloody, dead rabbit out of the hat. Bravo! Encore!

SKYFOX on March 31, 2009 at 2:40 PM

I hate to say “I told you so,” but … well, actually I don’t.

Brilliant Ed. You along with just about everybody on Hotair. You are such a sage. lol.

keep the change on March 31, 2009 at 2:41 PM

And I notice that in all the pressure to “push the unions down” via bankruptcy, no one is mentioning another major source of cost to the manufacturers: meeting government-mandated standards of all kinds, and protection against government-mandated liability expenses. Those two add a four-figure sum to the price of each car. Is Chapter 11 going to “fix” that, too?

The government has played a major role in the destruction of the American auto industry, bigger than most of you know or will admit.

Putting Osama Obama and the thugs of Congress in charge is just the final nail in the coffin.

MrScribbler on March 31, 2009 at 1:54 PM

Good point.

Count to 10 on March 31, 2009 at 2:45 PM

Here’s one interesting thing: GM wasn’t in any way ready to even file bankruptcy back in December. Found a new blog via The Corner to add to my favs list. It’s the blog of keith Hennessey, who was one of President Bush’s financial gurus, which is probably a pretty dubious distinction. As such, he had a front row seat to the Bush administration’s bailout plans in December.

Anyway, he has a five- part series on the auto bailout posted on his blog. You can read it here.

One bombshell comes from the third part of his series, which is about why Bush did what he did.

We (President Bush’s advisors) counseled him in December that a Chapter 11 bankruptcy/restructuring filing was highly likely to lead to liquidation, because the firms (especially GM) weren’t ready for it. Everyone wants the companies to restructure successfully outside of bankruptcy, but they may be unable to do that with their stakeholders. To maximize your chance of a successful restructuring through bankruptcy, you need to prepare a legal, financial, and operations strategy for a Chapter 11 filing. I was astonished that a firm whose management had approached us in October about a possible bankruptcy filing (GM) had not yet prepared for it, but they had not. This meant that a DIP-financing option, implemented in late December, had an extremely high probability of leading to rapid liquidation.

That goes to show the level of hubris that infected GM’s corporate culture. Despite the massive loss of market share they had seen over decades, they refused to even consider the possibility of bankruptcy.

Wow. Just wow.

The hope now must be that GM can survive Chapter 11 without falling into Chapter 7 and being liquidated.

Dukeboy01 on March 31, 2009 at 2:46 PM

Bishop on March 31, 2009 at 1:45 PM

No problem if the parts are still plentiful.

sethstorm on March 31, 2009 at 2:49 PM

Knucklehead on March 31, 2009 at 2:06 PM

It was used. There will be some fault or another.

sethstorm on March 31, 2009 at 2:51 PM

Where did the 14 billion go? Who got the money?

Skandia Recluse on March 31, 2009 at 3:09 PM

No problem if the parts are still plentiful.

sethstorm on March 31, 2009 at 2:49 PM

You mean those “off market/counterfeit” parts that are made in China?

Good luck with your worthless 9 year old Oldsmobile and shopping for parts over at Ebay, cause you’re sure gonna need em.

Knucklehead on March 31, 2009 at 3:09 PM

Where did the 14 billion go? Who got the money?

Skandia Recluse on March 31, 2009 at 3:09 PM

Union salaries….operational costs. That’s usually paid for by selling automobiles for more than they cost to build, but GM doesn’t seem to understand that concept.

The concept of bailouts as a solution is akin to offering cancer patients pain killers and stimulants and telling them they are cured.

Asher on March 31, 2009 at 3:33 PM

Just like the warranties………..

………. I am sure Mr. Teleprompter will guarantee Union Pension Plans in the Bankruptcy proceedings.

Seven Percent Solution on March 31, 2009 at 3:37 PM

Advice to my Fiji fraternity brother Fritz “The Cat’ Henderson. After you walk out of BK court with UAW’s broken spine draped across your shoulder, have a cold one on me Big Guy.

By the way, the ‘your not trying hard enough’ crap from Mr. Obama is code for ‘you can’t ask the UAW to give up that much”.

Good on ya, Fritz!

DrW on March 31, 2009 at 3:51 PM

The concept of bailouts as a solution is akin to offering cancer patients pain killers and stimulants and telling them they are cured.
Asher on March 31, 2009 at 3:33 PM

I’d say it’s more like putting an I.V. on a patient with an open, sucking chest wound – instead of performing surgery.

As crazy as that sounds, it could actually work for a very short while. The big problem crops up when you don’t have an unlimited number of donors. Then things start going downhill pretty fast.

logis on March 31, 2009 at 3:52 PM

Here’s the last car Designed by Committee. Maybe Congress can bring it back!

The Ugliest Car Ever Made

PattyJ on March 31, 2009 at 4:36 PM

Hendersons got balls — bigger ones than Obama’s.

We know who’s going to blink, because Henderson can take GM into bankruptcy faster than Obama can pass laws preventing it — especially since there are enough Republicans with the right stuff in the Senate to stall him.

I’m glad GM is shaking itself out of slavery. Now Chrysler just has to get the courage use the B-word back on Barack too.

This is the battle — the one where capitalism either wins or loses. Hopefully neither GM nor Chrysler blink.

unclesmrgol on March 31, 2009 at 5:07 PM

Ed for car czar!

notagool on March 31, 2009 at 5:15 PM

I think they probably should have been ready to file bankruptcy months ago, but that money was not loaned to them so much to make them solvent or whole or something, it was loaned to keep them from just shutting down plants and laying 90,000 people off. Even if they end up filing bankruptcy they had to have operating capitol. But I think they have been given enough at this point. They had months to get it together.

Terrye on March 31, 2009 at 5:40 PM

I love GM cars.

I was toying with buying a new one a couple weeks ago, can you imagine if I had done that and now have had to rely on the ONE?

GM makes great trucks, great SUVs great cars. They need to accept the error of their ways and get away from gov’t. This is what they should have done in the first place, duh.

Its time for Henderson to go to Chapter 11 and toss the unions.

Perhaps this is what Wagner wanted and couldn’t swing it.

This is nutz.

HonestConservative on March 31, 2009 at 5:41 PM

And I will say this, I live in Indiana where Toyota has a plant. They do pay well, and people say they are in better shape than GM because they pay less, but they also get all kinds of help from Indiana. They got tax breaks, help getting land, Indiana taxpayers paid for the roads to give the plant access. There were people here who were grumbling that Indiana never spent that kind of money for American businesses. So Toyota and a lot of those other car manufacturers did some help themselves, just of a different kind.

Terrye on March 31, 2009 at 5:43 PM

Hendersons got balls — bigger ones than Obama’s.

We know who’s going to blink, because Henderson can take GM into bankruptcy faster than Obama can pass laws preventing it — especially since there are enough Republicans with the right stuff in the Senate to stall him.

I’m glad GM is shaking itself out of slavery. Now Chrysler just has to get the courage use the B-word back on Barack too.

This is the battle — the one where capitalism either wins or loses. Hopefully neither GM nor Chrysler blink.

unclesmrgol on March 31, 2009 at 5:07 PM

It’s a rather bracing example of the ultimate power retained by free citizens: the power to say “no” and walk away from the socialists. We only retain that power as long as we are free. If enough of productive America roused itself and said “no” to Obama-style fascism, it could be utterly defeated in a matter of days. As grim as things look now, they can turn around quickly, if enough people are willing to make “no” their final answer.

In the particular case of Henderson, however, I wouldn’t necessarily bet the farm on his being able to declare bankruptcy before Obama could pass laws to stop him. Remember, this is an utterly lawless government that has nothing but faint contempt for the idea of Constitutional restrictions – they didn’t hesitate to propose bills of attainder against AIG, and they are very comfortable with ex post facto legislation. Obama also has the signature accessory of every single fascist leader: an army of extra-governmental thugs willing to commit violence in his name.

If Henderson decides to push ahead with bankruptcy, I would expect several things to happen:

1. The Party leadership will explode with indignation and immediately suggest suspending many of his Constitutional rights by fiat, as they did with AIG.

2. The media will immediately begin running negative stories about Henderson, inventing them if necessary.

3. Henderson’s home address will be publicized on left-wing blogs within a matter of hours. Shortly after that, ominous groups of “activists” will begin announcing plans to take a bus tour to his house and “open a dialogue” with him. The same thing will happen to various other GM executives, just to make the point.

4. At the height of the hysteria, a Party member will propose blatantly extra-constitutional legislation to confiscate Henderson’s income and property, on the grounds that he “stole the people’s bailout money” and it must be “reclaimed for the people.”

If Henderson is lucky, this will all stop before a Party apparatchik proposes quartering troops in his house, or issuing letters of marque and reprisal against him.

Doctor Zero on March 31, 2009 at 5:48 PM

wasn’t the f150 the #1 selling vehicle in America… by like 2 million? i do remeber that Hybrids didnt even get into the top 8 in most cars sold in 2008… and thats with gas hitting 5$ a gallon…. but i keep hearing the same bullshit that “gm made cares people did not want such as suv’s and trucks…. obviously not retards cause no straight man wants a hybrid

Donut on March 31, 2009 at 5:55 PM

“There is no place like home.”

***click***

“There is no place like home.”

***click***

“There is no place like home.”

***click***

Wake up Dorothy. It’s time to cook the dog.

Limerick on March 31, 2009 at 5:59 PM

To make my point, i know its hard to actuly read this, but if u click on the pictures it shows you how many were sold….

Donut on March 31, 2009 at 6:02 PM

Hey…what if we just call the money we gave GM a bonus? That seems to get people riled up. Maybe they will have to give it back then or we could tax it at 90%.

AmericanUnderground on March 31, 2009 at 6:05 PM

All call interruption: On one of the March 30 threads, a commenter offered some Tea Party designs for signs and gave directions for downloading and printing them. If that poster reads this plea or if someone else had saved the information, would any of those folks please re-post.

I thought that I had cut and pasted the info to save it, but now I cannot find it. Our PA group would love to incorporate the messages of those signs in our Tax Day protest. Thanks.

onlineanalyst on March 31, 2009 at 6:09 PM

Seth bought an eight year old used car made by a manufacturer that no longer exists, and he thinks that somehow boosts his Buy American, Pro-Union creds?

Huh?

Extra credit for only playing Bruce Springstein cassettes, maybe?

A Balrog of Morgoth on March 31, 2009 at 6:10 PM

GM will still be around. They just can’t do business in the People’s Republic of Michigan.

Mojave Mark on March 31, 2009 at 6:14 PM

I remember the following and do miss some of them.The few that remain are worth a lot to somebody.
Franklin air cooled Cord,Dusenberg,Huptmobile,Willis,Olds,Edsel,Studebaker,
Packard,Crosley,some good gone to bad.Sterling Moss once said of the fifties”If it won’t go,Chrome it”.
GM owened the chrome mine.
Life moves and your 2002 Tahoe if not a rust bucket in 25 years will get you old car tags and kids will want a Suburban as a road tank.
Way to go GM.
Fiat???
Stands for fix it again Tony.So long Chrysler,buy now bag em and wait for the oldies gold mine in 15 years.

Col.John Wm. Reed on March 31, 2009 at 6:15 PM

They got tax breaks, help getting land, Indiana taxpayers paid for the roads to give the plant access. There were people here who were grumbling that Indiana never spent that kind of money for American businesses. So Toyota and a lot of those other car manufacturers did some help themselves, just of a different kind.

Terrye on March 31, 2009 at 5:43 PM

And your point? Those concessions or tax breaks are no different than what GM, Chrysler and every other American manufacturer has gotten in the past 50+ years. It’s called bringing jobs, helping the economy yada yada yada.

And then go take look at how many retailers get deals just so they’ll put their shops in new malls being built. It’s just the price of “doing business”.

Knucklehead on March 31, 2009 at 6:22 PM

In the particular case of Henderson, however, I wouldn’t necessarily bet the farm on his being able to declare bankruptcy before Obama could pass laws to stop him. Remember, this is an utterly lawless government that has nothing but faint contempt for the idea of Constitutional restrictions – they didn’t hesitate to propose bills of attainder against AIG, and they are very comfortable with ex post facto legislation. Obama also has the signature accessory of every single fascist leader: an army of extra-governmental thugs willing to commit violence in his name.

Doctor Zero on March 31, 2009 at 5:48 PM

Hmm. Do you think Obama is feeling lucky today?

unclesmrgol on March 31, 2009 at 6:38 PM

Barack’s teleprompter has something to say about those warranties…and more.

Buy Danish on March 31, 2009 at 6:41 PM

No, I bought myself an Oldsmobile.

It’s quite the car and proof that the UAW does make reliably performing cars.

sethstorm on March 31, 2009 at 1:29 PM

And I bought myself a 1986 Ford Taurus MT5 Station Wagon, factory order. While waiting, the UAW went on strike for three months. Turned out my car was idled on the line, and they completed the build when they returned — sort of.

The car spent 90 days of its first year in the shop, having stuff put on it that should have been put on at the factory. The grand finale was when the entire power steering system went ($1800), because the UAW failed to install the specified heat shield between the exhaust manifold and the power steering hoses.

Yah, it was an OK car, but my three-year old Hiroshima-built Mazda 3 hatch has yet to spend a day getting anything other than routine maintenance.

And don’t get me going about the Vega.

unclesmrgol on March 31, 2009 at 6:45 PM

This is a superb op-ed about the stupidity of Barack’s firing of Rick Wagoner (who actually was doing a good job), and all the other idiotic ideas Barack’s U.S.A. Motors has in the works, such as taking over the Board.

Buy Danish on March 31, 2009 at 6:57 PM

Whatever breaks Toyota gets or American cars get, the bottom line is that the US carmakers don’t make enough profit. So it’s got to be back to the drawing board. BK is the only way out. Of course, we knew that before the guvmint gave them the billions.

PattyJ on March 31, 2009 at 7:11 PM

If GM does go bankrupt, I have an image to present for your imaginations. What if, instead of giving the auto makers the 14B or so, we had made a big pile of all that money of ours in the middle of the Washington Mall and (with the proper permits of course, heaven knows we don’t want to break the law)and set it afire. It’s only money that many of us worked 35 or 40 years or so for so what’s the big deal here.

jeanie on March 31, 2009 at 7:45 PM

So 6 months ago we moseyed on over to The Google and typed in “UAW.” On their site was a link to summaries of their most recent contracts – a link that’s mysteriously gone now. Luckily, we saved it. So here it is, a link to what they said when they inked the most recent agreement with GM back in 2007. Mind you, this was as the company was by everyone’s reckoning speeding headlong into a trough. The UAW release says in part:

The tentative agreement, reached at 3:05 a.m. Sept. 26, delivers solid economic gains for active and retired members, despite repeated attempts by GM to impose harsh takeaways

The agreement will deliver more than $13,000 in economic gains for a typical UAW member, including a $3,000 signing bonus, two 3 percent lump sums and a 4 percent lump sum.

Active workers will see their comprehensive health care coverage continue, with dental, hearing and other benefits improved. Retired workers will have their health benefits secured by a Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association (VEBA), prefunded by GM with $29.9 billion in cash and other assets. The fund can only be used to pay retiree health benefits, and will remain solvent for decades regardless of the financial condition of GM.

The proposed contract will also deliver benefits to current and future retirees, with four lump-sum payments for current retirees, and a raise in basic benefit rates, the 30-and-out supplement, temporary and interim benefits for future retirees.

Does this look like sacrifice to you?

(via redstate.com)

TN Mom on March 31, 2009 at 8:54 PM

Well when you put it that way–toodle-oo GM. Was nice knowing ya’.

jeanie on March 31, 2009 at 8:57 PM

Don’t we all wish we’d listened to Bob Corker back in December….

johnangle on March 31, 2009 at 9:32 PM

You know, if GM had filed for chapter 11 at the beginning of this, forced the union to come to the table, and replace those workers with non-union labor when they refused, and restructured the company WITHOUT government bailout money, I’d have a new Chevy in my driveway now. Alas, I’ll just keep the paid for Mercury minivan.

jimmy2shoes on March 31, 2009 at 9:58 PM

Just because the company declares bankrupsy doesn’t mean the tax payers are exactly in the lurch. Remember the government runs the bankrupsy courts so they can put something on the new restructured company such that we get the money back.

Whether we will do that or not at this point is still unknown. The people who are REALLY getting screwed however are the small producers and parts makers that gave GM parts on credit. Why they did this is beyond me as it seems like an incredibly stupid thing to do under any circumstances considering GM’s problems. But the fact remains that they DID do it and now it turns out that they’re not ever going to get paid.

This means that while we may save GM many parts makers are probably dead after this… though on the bright side those that survive are unlikely to be stupid enough to keep such lengthy tabs and instead will demand payment in full per contract… or we can hope.

Anyway, the bright side of all this is that the dems are royally crapping all over the rust belt which MIGHT mean a rosier election cycle in two years. While that might sound extremely cynical, the underlying assumption I’m working with here is that Obama and his cohorts want socialism… and socialism is bad for america in the same way Cancer is bad for people. So these actions very well may let us hold off CANCER for a bit longer at the cost of our hair falling out and skin turning green.

Karmashock on March 31, 2009 at 9:59 PM

Whether we will do that or not at this point is still unknown. The people who are REALLY getting screwed however are the small producers and parts makers that gave GM parts on credit. Why they did this is beyond me as it seems like an incredibly stupid thing to do under any circumstances considering GM’s problems. But the fact remains that they DID do it and now it turns out that they’re not ever going to get paid.

Karmashock on March 31, 2009 at 9:59 PM

They were going to be damaged even worse under Obama.

Obama said bankruptcy would be a way for either GM or Chrysler to “quickly clear away old debts that are weighing them down so they can get back on their feet,” and stressed that either firm would remain open.

Obama’s intending to use the bankruptcy, if it happens, to separate assets from debts and seize the assets.

Nobody will be paid except the Government if Obama has his way. If I were these small guys going out of business, I’d sue now and get my position on the list, because that position is going to be important in a week or so

unclesmrgol on March 31, 2009 at 10:09 PM

Eric Peters writes about “Wasting General Motors” with another aspect about slumping car sales. The comments following are good. The two trolls who infect the comment section are readily identifiable.

onlineanalyst on March 31, 2009 at 10:32 PM

What happens to the pension funds? this does worry me. I can see us having to bail out thousands of GM retirees.

jeanie on March 31, 2009 at 11:11 PM

What happens to the pension funds? this does worry me. I can see us having to bail out thousands of GM retirees.

jeanie on March 31, 2009 at 11:11 PM

Social security!
ha ha ha ha ha
That’s what they’ll get.
hah ah ha ha

TheSitRep on March 31, 2009 at 11:25 PM

GM should be left alone and its industry should be deregulated. This is ridiculous

Libertarian Joseph on March 31, 2009 at 11:53 PM

I just read this at Free Republic:

http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/hot_lists/high_performance/motorsports/obama_orders_chevrolet_and_dodge_out_of_nascar_car_news

I then went to Car and Driver separately and the article is there.

journeyintothewhirlwind on April 1, 2009 at 12:29 AM

After they rob us by pretending to have the answer to this fiscal disaster, they then admit they don’t… and keep the money.

And rob more from us via Chapter 11 protection.

Obama, Fresh Prince of Thieves.

profitsbeard on April 1, 2009 at 12:30 AM

Obama orders them to give up Nascar.

journeyintothewhirlwind on April 1, 2009 at 12:36 AM

Watch – they get nationalized.

{^_^}

herself on April 1, 2009 at 4:57 AM

I think many of you are missing the sea change that is happening before your eyes. You are too focused on the UAW being a supporter of the Democrats. You need to understand several things have happened that all serve to keep unions from being influential political players in the modern landscape.

Over the last twenty years the majority of states have passed statutes the prohibit unions from using union dues to fund political efforts. While a union can help organize a political fundraiser, it must be done on a volunteer basis and the union cannot compel its members to participate.

Now add in that the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill outlaws many third-party ads from airing on television. So unions cannot raise volunteer money to fund any type of negative campaign ads close to an election. This has reduced their impact on elections.

Consider that UAW membership has dropped for some time now and is less than 500,000 members for the first time since World War II.

Now finally, while UAW leadership is strongly Democrat, a large percentage of union members do not vote Democrat even if their unions encourages them to. Also the union does not always support Democrats any more. A good example is the clash between the UAW and Democrats over targeting Republican Thad McCotter for one of the seats they want to take in 2010. McCotter is a strong supporter of the auto companies and the UAW endorses him.

All of this has resulted in a much reduced ability for the UAW to impact a national election. I feel that you are beginning to see the signs that the Democrats feel they no longer need the UAW.

UAW members are well aware of who supported raises in CAFE standards and requirements to produce hybrid and alternate fuel vehicles in the auto company bailout proposals. This places a heavy burden on the auto companies to invest heavily into new engineering at a time when they are cash strapped. It will cost jobs to balance the books for that, and engineers are not UAW. Only the hourly workers are.

On top of this, California is proposing a new law that will require a lower carbon emission level for all cars sold in California. By itself that might be possible. But when you couple it with required increases in CAFE standards it can very well mean that GM and Chrysler will not be able to meet both at the same time. They may soon find that they cannot legally sell an automobile in California.

UAW members are well aware of the positions of Obama on the amount of concessions that they are required to give in order to qualify for bailout money. While Obama is probably right about this being a critical factor in the health of American auto companies, it is a bitter pill for the UAW rank and file to swallow. They are already disenchanted and are complaining that Obama is treating the rich bankers better than he does the blue collar folk.

I think many people here do not realize that we are entering a new era. If the Democrats do not get smarter about this it can have far reaching implications. If GM and Chrysler file Chapter 11 bankruptcy, it will start moving Michigan to a red state. Many blue collar UAW workers are already feeling betrayed by the Democrats and the anger over it is beginning to become palpable. They are not blaming the Republicans for this, they are blaming Obama and the Democrats.

The 2010 election in Michigan is going to be very interesting.

Hawthorne on April 1, 2009 at 5:14 AM

Baseball, hotdogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet…

Prolonging the inevitable just leads to more waste of taxpayer $$. Whodathunkit.

I will relish watching the UAW pissing down their leg at the stream of concessions coming their way. And, I’ll buy a Chevy pickup next time when they get their act together.

Wyznowski on April 1, 2009 at 12:26 PM

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