We Told You; Don’t Reward Failure

The majority of Americans play by the rules and believe in playing by the rules.  I personally stated that I would never buy another American made car again after GM broke their word on a warranty and an extended warranty for a POS truck they produced, and which I spent more money repairing than the actual vehicle cost because my conscience would not allow me to trade it or sell it to some sucker.  I know there are many more stories just like mine, and just like me, those Americans are not rewarding failure – we could not afford it 5 years ago, and we definitely cannot afford it now.

Do capitalists on steroids exist?  Why yes, Wall Street just gave us a rousing rendition of ‘greed’.  Does it make it okay for the rest of us to act like them or their 180 degree counterparts, the leeches on the government dole? Nope!

The majority of Americans are your garden variety, free enterprise loving, do the right thing, capitalist.  So when Bush and Bush II Obama decided to negate free enterprise rules and bail out the banks and car companies, we were melting the phone lines in DC telling them, (in this order), NO!, DON’T YOU DARE!,  and STOP!.  They heard us, wrote their little patronizing letters to us,  and then continued on their merry little way rewarding failure.  We knew that we would never see that money again, so it is little wonder that we are once again not rewarding failure, (like we didn’t for the last two decades which would explain why the Big 3 were going under), when it comes to GM and Chrysler.  Ford did the right thing when they refused bailout money, and they are being rewarded for pulling themselves up by their bootstraps.  Now Ford has a chance to listen, really hear, and become an industry leader instead of chasing the foreign imports.  GM and Chrysler?  Not so much…

U.S. September auto sales plunge; GM, Chrysler hit hard

DETROIT (Reuters) – U.S. auto sales tumbled by more than 20 percent in September as showrooms emptied after a government-funded summer sales boom and Ford Motor Co gained ground on its major rivals, sales figures released on Thursday showed.

Sales for General Motors Co and Chrysler — the two U.S. automakers struggling to regain momentum after emerging from bankruptcy — tumbled by the deepest margin in September.

GM sales dropped 45 percent while sales at Chrysler were off 42 percent.

Ford, meanwhile, managed to hold its sales decline to 5 percent despite low inventories and sharply reduced spending on incentives. It estimated that it gained 3 percentage points of market share to 15 percent of the U.S. market in September.

Hyundai Motor Co, which has taken market share through the U.S. recession on a growing reputation for low-cost and high-quality vehicles, saw its sales jump 27 percent in September.

Why would Americans continue to pay good money for sh*tty cars, even if we do own the car companies now?  We wouldn’t; we already kissed that money goodbye, and we will finish the process the government interferred with because brand loyalty is, now more than ever, a luxury.

The Treasury Helps GM Slap Ford (AND US) In The Face: UPDATED

The Treasury Helps GM Slap Ford (AND US) In The Face: UPDATED

UPDATE: The Today’s Are You Freakin’ Kidding Me Award WAS going to go to the Federal Commission that thinks raising the gas tax on Americans by 10 cents per gallon is a really good idea, but it has been pre-empted by GMAC!!! (IMAGINE THAT!!!!)

GMAC is sponsoring the GMACBOWL using our tax dollars and even worse:

GMAC FInancial Services and Team focus partner to coach children on money management (BWAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

DETROIT (June 16, 2008) – GMAC Financial Services today announced that it will partner with Team Focus to give boys and girls the smart edge when it comes to money management. Team Focus, a community outreach program that provides inspirational, community, social and academic guidance to children without father figures, will have a GMAC SmartEdge financial literacy education session at its 2008 Camp Focus.

Team Focus has been affiliated with the GMAC Bowl and “is excited to bring our association with GMAC to a higher level through the addition of the GMAC SmartEdge financial education session at Camp Focus,” said Mike Gottfried, CEO and founder of Team Focus. “SmartEdge will provide us with another way to positively influence the lives of the children that come to camp.”

GMAC is committed to providing financial literacy opportunities through its GMAC SmartEdge program. “It is important to mentor youth and help children prepare for their future,” said Sharon Sayles Belton, director of community relations at GMAC. “Now more than ever, young adults need to understand money management so they are ready to make smart financial decisions when they enter adulthood.” (This coming from the morons that drove their company into the ground and now has to have us bailing them out?)

“It’s never too early to start learning appropriate money management skills,” adds Don Ferguson, director of GMAC SmartEdge. “The SmartEdge education sessions are designed to engage young people to make better financial decisions, plan their spending habits and save for their future.” (And in the words of Dennis Hopper, “Nothing Like A Smoke When You Miss Your Mom and You Are Never Too Young Too Start”.)

Camp Focus will have its first leadership camp of the year in Mobile, Ala., with 10 other camps throughout Alabama, California, Nevada, Ohio, Tennessee and Washington, D.C., with approximately 75-80 children at each camp. This year Team Focus is expanding its program by having its first girls’ camp.

GMAC SmartEdge hosts financial literacy seminars around the country and provides money management tutorials and tips on its Web site, www.smartedgebygmac.com, which is designed to educate consumers in the areas of credit, budget, vehicle and home financing, banking, and insurance.

********

I am currently hard at work on the third article in the Economic Collapse series but I just could not let this perfect example of government screwing private companies over go by because it makes me growl, and with my expanded education about the US Treasury, The Federal Reserve and Hank Paulson, events are getting curiouser and curiouser…

Treasury To Ford: Drop Dead

The GMAC rescue plays favorites.

When the Bush Treasury decided to bail out Detroit, GM and Chrysler quickly said yes to the taxpayer cash, but Ford Motor Co. said it didn’t need the money and declined. Ford’s reward for this show of self-reliance? Treasury is now helping GM again by giving it a credit pricing advantage against Ford in the marketplace.

That’s one little-noted result of Treasury’s action earlier this week to rescue GMAC, the GM credit arm that, as it happens, is 51% owned by the Cerberus private-equity shop that also owns Chrysler. With $5 billion in taxpayer cash in its pocket, GMAC quickly decided to offer 0% financing on several of its models. “I think it would be fair to say that without this change . . . we would not be able to do this today,” explained GM Vice President Mark LaNeve in a conference call with reporters this week.

The messy little policy issue is that these GM products compete with those sold by Ford, Toyota, Honda and numerous other car makers that won’t benefit from GMAC’s cash infusion. And with the cost of financing often crucial to buyer decisions, the feds have now put the muscle of the state behind one company’s products.

Ford in particular must wonder what it did to deserve this slap. CEO Alan Mulally joined the GM and Chrysler chiefs in testifying for the bailout even while insisting his company didn’t want the funds. And once the bailout was announced, Mr. Mulally said that “All of us at Ford appreciate the prudent step the Administration has taken to address the near-term liquidity issues of GM and Chrysler.” So much for gratitude.

….

This is always what happens when politicians decide to muck around in private industry. Even when made with the best intentions, their policy decisions have unintended consequences that help some companies at the expense of others. Meanwhile, your neighbor who buys a GM SUV this weekend with 0% financing should thank you when he pulls into the driveway. He did it with your money.

Would you agree with me that Hank Paulson needs to be fired for following what appears to be an agenda that is in exact opposition to the will and benefit of the American People?

Are You Paying Attention To Congress and The Big 3 Auto Bailout?

Are You Paying Attention To Congress and The Big 3 Auto Bailout?

"I Trust The Government"

At least the Big 3 Executives have gone from flying private jets to driving hybrids to Washington.  That is not enough reason to “gift” billions of dollars to the Big 3 Executives who through mismanagement and poor vision have destroyed their companies and made the major players in the American automotive industry colossal dinosaurs compared to the technologies coming out of Asia and Europe.  Is this our fault? Should we be paying for it?  Why has Detroit been peddling luxury and “status” cars for the 10% of the population that can afford them instead of gearing their designs, plants and marketing projections toward the 90% of the population that actually NEEDS cars that go more than 10 miles to the gallon?  How many of you bought extended warranties on your American made cars and then had the Big 3 tell you that they would not honor it because “they couldn’t get your vehicle to do what you said it was doing”?  Is it any wonder that Toyota and Nissan are kicking Detroit’s behind?

Now we have Congress talking to the White House about a $15B Bridge Loan that will enable the Big 3 to make it through the early part of the year….but with conditions; sounding a lot like the Government is going into the Car Business, doesn’t it?

I am an unapologetic capitalist, not a socialist.  There are a few reasons why the Big 3 are failing; an unfortunately rampant sense of “entitlement”, resting on their laurels instead of upholding that purely American tradition of staying ahead of the curve with new technologies, and the credit crunch created by the Democrats when they changed the Community Reinvestment Act which pushed banks to make home loans to people that could not afford them and created the housing bubble and toxic assets as homeowners went into foreclosure.  There are many more reasons but those stand out as the biggies.

Some Americans became lazy and now it is starting to catch up with all of us, and those of us that are working our behinds off are now required to work harder to do what?….save the lazy and stupid?  That might be why socialism keeps falling on it’s face all over the world, and why I think we should let the Big 3 save themselves or die trying.  All those auto workers could then be employed making and installing solar panels on every single business’ rooftop, and in some very choice areas in the desert Southwest.  How is that for some infrastructure development?  Just one thought….

From The ObamaTimes:

Detroit Bailout May Bring On U.S. Oversight

WASHINGTON — Congressional Democrats on Sunday were weighing options for tight government control of the crippled American auto industry, including the possible creation of an oversight board made up of five cabinet secretaries and the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, and led by an independent chairman or “car czar.”

While the form of oversight was still being negotiated by Congressional Democrats and the White House late Sunday, the talks made clear the extent to which the auto companies would have to submit to substantial government supervision in order to receive a taxpayer-financed bailout.

The discussions of how strong a hand the government should take with the auto industry came as Congressional and White House negotiators sought to put the final touches on emergency bridge loans of about $15 billion to keep General Motors, Chrysler and Ford afloat. The final legislation is also expected to impose stringent taxpayer protections, including stock warrants that would give the government an equity stake in the three firms, new limits on executive pay and a ban on stock dividends while the loans are outstanding.

For his part, Senator Christopher J. Dodd, the chairman of the Senate banking committee that is drafting the legislation, called for the dismissal or resignation of Rick Wagoner, the chief executive of G.M., which is the most imperiled of the automakers.

“I think you’ve got to consider new leadership,” Mr. Dodd said Sunday in an interview on “Face the Nation” on CBS. “If you’re going to really restructure this, you’ve got to bring in a new team to do this, in my view.”

I have been thinking the very same thing when it comes to the Congress…

At the news conference in Chicago, Mr. Obama reiterated his position that it would be unacceptable for the government to allow the auto industry to collapse. But using somewhat tougher language than he has before, he said it “makes no sense for us to shovel more money into the problem” if the companies are unwilling to reorganize.

And then there is “W.hat O.bama R.eally M.eant….”  Are we going to spend the next four years listening to Cabinet members talking about what The One Actually Meant?  Why is he The One then?  Did he not say “…everything comes from me” in reference to agenda and vision.  Why is Rahmy cleaning up his messes?

Rahm Emanuel, who will be Mr. Obama’s White House chief of staff, said after the news conference that Mr. Obama did not mean by his use of the term “restructuring” to suggest a bankruptcy-like financial overhaul, but rather that they need to retool to manufacture more fuel-efficient automobiles and ensure future profitability.


Democrats were weighing various counterproposals calling for the creation of a full oversight board, made up of the secretaries of commerce, energy, labor, transportation and of the Treasury, as well as the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Oh yeah, let’s add more to the Federal Government, shall we?

Many lawmakers in both parties said they were troubled by the Bush administration’s handling of the $700 billion financial system rescue program, which Congress approved hastily in October. Several lawmakers said they did not want to be pressured again into spending billions of taxpayer dollars to rescue private companies.

“I think Congress is tired of being stampeded,” Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama, said on “Face the Nation.” “We haven’t even seen a bill yet. So I think there’s still a lot of skepticism out there.”

You Think Congress Is Tired Of Being Stampeded?  We are tired of the Congress listening to Paulson and panicking!  How can anybody believe a word that passes Paulson’s lips now after he has changed his mind numerous times about what to do with $700B, and can anyone tell me the appreciable positive effect the $350B that Paulson supposedly has put into the “economy” since September has caused?  I thought we were just informed that the “slow-down” is really a recession, and that is after the the first half of the Bailout $$ went somewhere.  What happens when Paulson “spends” the second half?….Depression?

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