19 November 2008

How not to plead poverty

Not a good sign:
(CNN) -- Some lawmakers lashed out at the CEOs of the Big Three auto companies Wednesday for flying private jets to Washington to request taxpayer bailout money.

"There is a delicious irony in seeing private luxury jets flying into Washington, D.C., and people coming off of them with tin cups in their hand, saying that they're going to be trimming down and streamlining their businesses," Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-New York, told the chief executive officers of Ford, Chrysler and General Motors at a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee.

"It's almost like seeing a guy show up at the soup kitchen in high hat and tuxedo. It kind of makes you a little bit suspicious."

He added, "couldn't you all have downgraded to first class or jet-pooled or something to get here? It would have at least sent a message that you do get it."

Rep. Brad Sherman, D-California, asked the three CEOs to "raise their hand if they flew here commercial. Let the record show, no hands went up. Second, I'm going to ask you to raise your hand if you are planning to sell your jet in place now and fly back commercial. Let the record show, no hands went up."
Talk about twisting the knife.

Everyone knows corporate jets are a drop in the bucket compared to the dollar figures being thrown around for this rescue loan; at this point, these reps are clearly going out of their way to embarrass the Detroit Three CEOs. This sort of turn shows there's some serious pent-up anger that we're seeing. Maybe it's a grudge over the autos' obstinancy over fuel standards after the Summer of $4=/gallon. Maybe they finally have a target they feel they can afford to kick hard enough to appease constituencies still smarting over the AIGs and the like.

Either way, things are NOT looking good for Detroit and Michigan's one-state recession.

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