But not being an expert, I am willing to be swayed, so I drew up this list of questions and emailed them to my Congressman and Senators. Not one of the congressional talking heads that have appeared on TV during the past few weeks have even come close to answering these questions and I doubt that they will. So allow me to suggest that you add your questions to these and send them to YOUR representatives:
1) The “Bail Out” Supporters Keep Saying its not a bail out it is a loan. Loans are given to be paid back. If GM already owes $60 billion and are losing $5 billion a month, HOW CAN THEY PAY BACK MORE MONEY? For Pete’s Sake, the entire company is worth less than that. They aren’t even worth enough to buy a senate seat in Illinois.
2) Why Are we talking about propping AMERICAN Auto Makers? Last month I purchased a Toyota Prius (Not for the mileage but with a Prius I get to use the car-pool lane even if I am driving alone). While my car was NOT made in the US many Toyotas are and in 2010 the Prius will be made in the US also. Honda, Nissan, Volkswagen, and Hyundai-Kia, BMW and Hyundai also do some of their manufacturing in the US.
3) Why Aren’t Aren’t the Unions Feet Being Held to the fire? You keep hearing that the cost of labor is less than ten percent of the cost of each car. That number does not include ALL of the costs, like the costs of people who have retired or that famous job bank.
This quote is attributed here to a man named Daniel Brooks, who is a professor of supply chain management at the W.P. Carey School, and he was asked to look at the United Auto Workers contract a year ago, 13 months ago from a broad perspective of risk, and they wanted his comment in the story…….the union specifically targeted General Motors to get this aspect of a new contract for all three eventually of the Big Three, and here is what Daniel Brooks said in his analysis, 13 months ago. “The union targeted GM because they have some cash. On the other hand, GM also famously spends over $1,600 per vehicle on the healthcare costs of current and retired US workers while Toyota pays about $200 per vehicle. Although GM also pays about another $1,000 per vehicle on holiday pay, work rules, plant-shutdown-pay and line-relief to UAW workers — expenses Toyota, for example, does not have — these costs were not as much the focus of these negotiations,” because the irony here is that the UAW targeted GM for this new contract because they had the cash. Do they have the cash now? We found out that they’re going through billions every quarter, six billion, four billion, whatever it was. So it’s not just that there’s $1,600 per GM car for health care, for current and retired auto works. There’s another $1,000 per vehicle for holiday pay, work rules, plant-shutdown-pay and line-relief. So $2,600 per car coming out of General Motors that Toyota does not have to spend. (Source Rush Limbaugh)
4) The UAW Pension Fund is worth BILLIONS, my pension fund is worth less than $100,000 why isn’t the UAW forced to invest more money into the Weak three before I do? Heck and I am out of work without a job bank!
5) Chrysler is owned by a private equity firm, Cerberus, called by Forbes one of the world’s richest private equity firms:
Last year Cerberus and about 100 co-investors bought an 80% stake in Chrysler and its financing arm at what financial analysts universally say was a fire sale price of $7.4 billion. (Cerberus’ own stake was $2 billion.) Business Week described it as Cerberus getting Chrysler “essentially gratis.”To date, Cerberus has barely tapped any of its massive holdings–its investments in Chrysler are estimated to be just 7% of its assets under management–to stabilize Chrysler’s precarious finances; the exception was a $2 billion loan in July. Instead, the company has shed 30,000 jobs, a specialty of cost-cutting corporate flip artists like Cerberus. Source ForbesSorry Ceberus there is no lemon law for investments! Why are they tapping into MY personal private equity before Cerberus taps into theirs? I assure you that the people who HOLD the wallets of the Cerberus board members, have more private equity than I do.
6) Ford say it doesn’t really need the bailout, it just wants a line of credit “in case.” Why are they in the mix ? Hell I would like a line of credit too.. People who had thousands of dollars on their credit lines are having problems buying holiday presents because their credit card limits are being reduced…HEY FORD JOIN THE CLUB.
7) If we gave money to the banking industry why does that mean we have to give money to the Auto industry? I grew up in the days before homes were “kid proofed.” I learned not to put my hand near the oven range the first time I put my finger on the range. The banking bailout was WRONG, why does that mean we have burn our hands once again?