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No Sympathy for GM, Ford, Chrysler

Not a lot of sympathy today for the Big Three auto industry executives who flew to Washington on their private jets to ask Congress for tons of money to save their industry.

Dana Milbank, in his Washington Sketch, called it "a display of stone-cold tone-deafness by the automaker chiefs." Almost all of Our Readers Who Comment agree, although a number express sympathy for the real people who are certain to lose jobs no matter how the auto industry saga shakes out.

I haven't seen such unanimity in a long time. Maybe we are coming together.

We'll start with newamba_flamingo, who wrote, "...After years of making gas guzzlers and torturing the environment, let these fools go broke! Oh, wait, it won't be them going broke, it'll be some poor schmuck on the assembly line!! Thanks free market!..."

dobiaslaw suggested that "The only thing that will save Detroit is to retool and start building mass transit systems and components. It ain't a B-24 but when the existential threat is from within, it's still a war."

ric262002 wrote, "These guys have the nerve, ask for money when they dwell in luxury. I think they are more concerned about their personal state of pampering than protecting their self proclaimed successful automobile companies."

EliPeyton asked, "How many of the "business travelers" in the entire country could accomplish the goal of their trip via e-mail, phone conference, or video conference? The whole country is pampered, and much of business travel is unnecessary."

But washingtonpostmassysett, who's obviously dealt with commercial airlines recently, said, "If I were a stockholder in a billion dollar multinational corporation, I would not want my CEO spending his time in airports, sitting on tarmac during flight delays, getting his luggage lost, and waiting in airport security lines and removing the liquids from his bags. He should be flying on the corporate jet."

magellan1 challenged the press in suggesting, "Did anyone ask how [UAW President] Ron Gettelfinger got to Washington? I would hope he flew commercial and sat in coach, but, you never know until the media checks into it."

VirginiaConservative said, " is amusing to see the members of the most corrupt, inefficient, wasteful, entity on earth presume to smugly judge Detroit. Hey members of congress, how big is YOUR deficit?..."

MorganaLeFay wrote, "A bankruptcy really is best. It would allow management to be cleaned out, salaries to be brought in line and legacy costs to be trimmed. A bail out simply allows the clowns to keep doing the same thing expecting a different result..."

ggwalt123 said, "I would love to see the American auto industry survive and thrive because so many American livelihoods depend on it. On the other hand, it's hard to be sympathetic to an industry that has been so grossly mismanaged... For years, foreign car companies have been building better performing, more reliable, more fuel efficient cars..."

timothy2me wrote, "These three are the cream of the Republican crop... When they fly in their planes they show us what trickle down economics is all about... Of course we need to blame the unions. After all, they demanded health care and pension plans. How arrogant of them."

kse1 asked, "...let's assume that every employee, and retiree, of the big three had cancer; let's further assume that everyone else who would loose their job if the big three went down also had cancer; would you deny all of them treatment just because the CEOs flew their private jets to a cancer center for treatment?"

We'll close with bfjackjernigan, who said, "I'll sum Detroit leadership and vision in one word - "Edsel"."

All comments on this article are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  November 20, 2008; 7:49 AM ET
Categories:  Auto Industry , Congress , Economy Watch  | Tags: Auto Industry, Congress  
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I agree with wpmassyset that corporate jets are a necessity most of the time. But to come begging in not one but 3 separate jets shows a tone-deafness that is mind boggling. Sure boggled the Senate. I've always thought Hollywood, DC and the Vatican are the most insular and out-of-touch cities in the world. Looks like Detroit has joined the list.

Posted by: slothropgr | November 27, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

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