Obama, Inc. Rue this day.

Thus begins the long journey toward statism in American industry.  An Administration headed by a President who never held a real job in the private sector takes on the task of reinventing General Motors, starting with the forced resignation of GM’s CEO, Rick Wagoner.

This Administration needs some CEOs to do the perp-walk in acknowledgement of the failure of capitalism and as a testament of the wisdom of state overseers who ride to the rescue, cash in hand.  Bankruptcy, surely, would have been cleaner and more honorable than this.

Wagoner can certainly be drawn as the poster boy of an industry’s failure to adapt more quickly to foreign competition and to the spike in oil prices that pushed gasoline to $4 a gallon. Yes, it had too many brands, too many dealers, too much production capacity, and too-high labor costs.  But Wagoner is not the problem and it’s unlikely that there’s anybody better out there to run GM.  Certainly there’s no reason to think an Administration composed of people who’ve never punched a time clock — or for the most part worked with those who do — is any smarter or more equipped to determine how to fix it.

Government has no expertise here and, therefore, no business.  The Administration can yell out commands, humiliate CEOs, and turn the auto industry into the industrial version of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — a plaything for politicians determine to move their social agendas outside the federal budget — but it has no expertise.  It’s academics running factories; the reverse would be shop stewards running universities.  It’ll be change. There’s no reason, however, to think it will be change for the better.

 This is a sad day for corporate America and a step, I fear, that the nation will be a lifetime reversing.  A clean bankruptcy would have been better for GM and for the nation.

85 comments Add your comment

Algonquin J. Calhoun

March 30th, 2009
8:06 am

The whole nation is clean bankrupt, thanks to George w. Hitler and his minions. They killed capitalism!

Yankee

March 30th, 2009
8:14 am

Take no money and you can make your own rules. Well, except for Wall Street, but their special.

Redneck Convert

March 30th, 2009
8:25 am

Well, I sure hope this Obama don’t take over the beer business. He would probly make the big guys lower pay for beer truck drivers and put a hurt on me and my fambly. But leastwise with all the drunks out there we ain’t never going bankrupt unless the librul Democrats raise taxes on booze the way they done on tobacco. The price of a can of Skoal is going out of sight on Wednesday and they already raised the price on it. I bought two whole rolls a couple weeks ago to beat them to the punch.

I don’t know how a god-fearing redneck is going to make it in these times under the libruls. And this Obama got 3 1/2 more years before we can put Sarah in the White House. And they ain’t in a hurry to do nothing about keeping My President’s tax cuts. You want to hear squealing? Just wait till Raghead and I Report/You Whine get a look at their first paycheck in January 2011.

Anyhow, times are tough enough without guvmint taking over Private Innerprize. I don’t know how that GM head is going to make it, what with him being out of a job now and long lines at job fairs and the unemployment office.

Wooten is 100% Right. This is a sad day for the U.S. of A. When a godly business head ain’t even free to go bust without the guvmint firing him we ain’t got no freedom any more. Have a good day everybody.

obummer

March 30th, 2009
8:32 am

Jim is absolutely right. The best thing GM and Chrysler could have done would have been to restructure under bankruptcy laws and get away from the awful UAW contracts they signed. I mean, let’s face it, the only reason the government was remotely interested in bailing out GM was because of the unions, not because of the “pride of American cars” or anything like that. The democrats wanted any way possible for GM not to declare bankruptcy because they didn’t want their precious union voters and funders to be out of millions. At least Ford had the good sense to not take any bailout (translated government puppet strings) money and are working to fix their financial problems on their own.

This is truly a sad time for America and I hope we come to our senses by the end of next year and vote out at least some of the morons on Capital Hill trying to regulate and legislate us into statism.

Davo

March 30th, 2009
9:14 am

It’s all about votes in the midwest and iron-belt. I don’t understand why they are throwing money at this still…GM was never going to make it. I read somewhere that they were beyond the protection given under bankruptcy better than 2 years ago. It’s a zombie corporation.

I feel sorry for those folks up north but nobody is buying cars now and we have just got to let GM go for all our sakes.

Jackie

March 30th, 2009
9:17 am

If the UAW contracts were bad, would one consider the executive bonus contracts with all the Wall Street banks bad?

It is funny how many get all bent out of shape about unions, yet complain about the wages made that are in relationship with the wages of company executives.

Peter

March 30th, 2009
9:18 am

HA HA HA Jim……..”Government has no expertise here and, therefore, no business.”……….

Jim like you have a clue……. which you do NOT ! As told in your last statement……..

“A clean bankruptcy would have been better for GM and for the nation.”

Yes Jim more unemployed is good for the nation !

Hey Jim write about you “MAY” know something about………

Peter

March 30th, 2009
9:35 am

Hey Jim………

GM’s CEO, Rick Wagoner did about as good of a job as George Bush did running America……..Thank God George is gone, America now has a fighting chance to fix everything the Republican’s tried to do to Bankrupt America.

It is quite obvious Republican’s know how to create DEBT…..thus the huge Deficit…….

You should start writing about something you know about…..AS a REPUBLICAN, I Guess that could be Whining !

Saul Good

March 30th, 2009
9:39 am

Wagoner ran the company for the past 9 years. What happened during that time? SUV sales sky rocketed as GM (along with Ford), etc… choose to make over sized gas guzzling pieces of junk compared to what foreign manufacturers were producing. It’s not like he was with the company for 3 months and was working on re-organizing them. I’ve read over and over this morning how some said he was slowly turning the company around. Nothing could be further from the truth. He ran the ship into the ground on his watch. Just like Bush and Co. ran the country into the ground on their watch (along with letting our country get attacked…which I add happened under their watch as well… GWB…keeping our nation safe since 9/12..).

Anyway, if GM wanted more money…it was time for him to step down and admit he was part the of the problem as to why they have failed so miserably. He can now be like the thousands he laid off over his tenure…the only difference is that he’ll live in a mansion while those that had low paying jobs now suffer. Just like those that voted for Bush (twice)… hurting financially now? Perhaps our economy should have been the focus of your voting instead of gay marriage and abortion. Last time I checked…gays were still er….GAY…and abortion was still legal. Yet your votes caused the ruin of our nation. Including this guy’s job…not Obama. You did this.

AmVet

March 30th, 2009
9:50 am

“This is a sad day for corporate America and a step, I fear, that the nation will be a lifetime reversing.”

Not bad Jimbo. You are only six months late. Not too bad for a loyal neo-conned.

Where was that same sentiment last September, Mr. Defender of the Free Market?

Oh yeah! You were still busy shucking and grinning for the composers and musicians in that hit musical, “The Corporate Destruction of Capitalism”.

And your stupid, willfully ignorant faithful were on the cr@pper and missed the opening act…

Chunrchill MOM

March 30th, 2009
10:09 am

Canetus Poontang

March 30th, 2009
10:10 am

Ragnar could have sustained this column at four times the length without losing the essential tone of whine. Whither the Rand references, Jim? Why no links to Sowell and Coulter? Can’t you muster the energy to throw in the line about government only being good at killing people?

Take the buyout and bring on your replacement, Wootie…you’re just phoning it in.

Cam

March 30th, 2009
10:14 am

The “O”man was elected, in large part, by people who never held a real job in the private sector. The “O”man, leading by example, will prove their incompetence once and for all.

The “O”man=c”O”nman=Used-car salesman.

Glenn

March 30th, 2009
10:17 am

As the Chinese move toward a proto-capitalist, authoritarian government, the United States moves toward a post-capitalist, authoritarian government. Perhaps the two could meet one day soon in the Greater East Asian Prosperity Sphere…

Rush Limbaugh for President

March 30th, 2009
10:38 am

Now Jim shares his expertise in the area of business… Maybe you should be helping your own paper stay in business…

Listen up knuckleheads.. Wagoner and Nardelli both said bankruptcy was the worst option for GM and Chrysler. The CEO’s said it. So if Wagoner is the best person for the job at GM then why do you MBAs keep insisting the Gov’t should have let them go bankrupt? Bush didn’t believe it was the right course of action, nor Pauleson. Wooten just doesn’t like Obama and it wouldn’t matter what he said or did Wooten would take a contrary position.

Who was President when we bailed out Chrysler? Anyone remember? I think it was Ronald Regan.

Copyleft

March 30th, 2009
10:42 am

It’s always a “sad day for America” when any hint of accountability or oversight creeps into Corporate America–at least, if you listen to trickle-downers like Wooten & Company.

Of course, Wagoner didn’t HAVE to step down. He could’ve refused to let his company be bailed out, AGAIN, with public funds. He could’ve truly stuck to the free-market principles and let GM sink or swim on its own merits.

Except he knew that wouldn’t work. They HAD to go begging to the American people for further bailout support. And that means they had to accept our conditions for getting that money. What could be fairer than that? Surely no one’s suggesting that we toss around corporate checks with no strings attached, no oversight, and no conditions…?

Nahh, nobody’s silly enough to do something like that. Except the Republicans in Congress, every time they had the opportunity.

AmVet

March 30th, 2009
10:44 am

BONN, Germany — Once booed at international climate talks, the United States won sustained applause Sunday when President Barack Obama’s envoy pledged to “make up for lost time” in reaching a global agreement on climate change.

What a breath of fresh air!

The neo-conned’s pollution-loving pigs are no longer stinking up the White House! And their intellectually unevolved ostriches no longer have a real voice!

Let the flat-earthers and enviro-rapers gum-gnashing begin in earnest!

Road Scholar

March 30th, 2009
11:04 am

And what “real” job did Bush have? Now we need to leave out his military career since there are no records of his attendance history, and the businesses (not to speak of the government) he ran into the ground!

After watching “What ever happened to the electric car?” movie, whomever is still in mgmt at Detroitfrom those days should be fired and possibly brought up on treason charges. I know that will bring uot the whiners! Have you seen the movie?

I’ll cut to the chase: Let GM go through Bankrupcy; let Chrysler fold. Remember they already have been bailed out.

bugger

March 30th, 2009
11:08 am

Jim, Obama saved the auto industry from bankruptcy for one simple reason. He thought he would do a better job of restructuring than the court system. Had they gone into bankruptcy, the courts would decide who would oversee their restructuring, not Obama.

As to Obama’s chances of success, He has already succeeded. He has essentially nationalized the financial industry. He has packaged his first term wish list: Healthcare, Education, Energy, under the guise of a stimulus plan. He is not too concerned if it will work because at this point he can blame the previous administration, but he has built the framework he wanted and financed it with our childrens future.

In his own eyes, he is a roaring success.

Gregg

March 30th, 2009
11:33 am

It is trully amazing at which depths stupidity you dwell. Do you understand when things are done they are usually done for the common good (except in the last administration) and not the good of the elite few. With every step President Obama takes there is some clown/ass/pundit talking about how they could do it better, when the majority do not make the rules in their own houses (right Jim the panty wearer Wooten). Tell me have you seen the Stock and housing markets starting to get their swagger back rather than free fall they were both in. No, maybe because you were too buried in your hate and the B/S you want to sprew. Go sit and listen to your pill-popping leader and let him tell you what you think you followers you.

Dusty

March 30th, 2009
11:41 am

bugger, you got that right. Except, he is a roaring success at increasing debt. He seems oblivious to the fact that government has unlimited funds. He is going to an international meeting on global warming. Whatcha bet he will promise more money (we don’t have) to be spent by our government to control the uncontrolable!

And speaking of money, how in the world did Obama make 4.2 million in 2007? That was what was on his tax forms. I believe he was a US senator and Michelle was taking care of the children. I wish he would tell us how to do that. Oh well, at least he paid taxes, which is more than I can say for the people he has called to join his cabinet.

Obama firing the head of GM reminds me of Mugabe in Zimbabwee. Mugabe took the land from “fired” white farmers who had made that country the “breadbasket” of Africa. Mugabe gave it to “veterans” who knew nothing about farming. Now the country is starving and people dying from cholera and food and medical supplies are being shipped in by mostly outsiders. Another president who CHANGED his country.

Gregg

March 30th, 2009
11:50 am

Yeah Dusty brain you sure are right! Maybe he will get some of that money from stopping this war in Iraq where we are paying more than a billion a week and then turn around and buy their products. You people are so dumb do you realize when he is talking about taxing the wealthy he falls into that bracket. Would you a pass a legislation that will hit you in the pockets? Do you think Bush passed any that hit him in his pockets no he just padded him and cheater Cheney and made you think he was doing it for you. You are a token solider with nothing to talk about and trying to make this a race issue. It’s people like you on both sides that makes everything racial and I loathe you all. Assanine as an ass and dumb as one too! Tell me Dusty when was the last time you dusted of your brain and thought for yourself.

Peter

March 30th, 2009
11:53 am

Dusty.That has to be the silliest blog in a while…….. comparing US to Africa, and “white Farmers” to GM…… HA HA HA………

Plus you apparently don’t know squat about the folks in office……..How did Dick Cheney make millions while he was on a VP salary annually ?

Gee you never mentioned this stuff while Bush and Cheney were in office !

What the heck does that have to do with anything anyway ?

This is really funny as well……….”Whatcha bet he will promise more money (we don’t have) to be spent by our government to control the uncontrolable!”

Yes Dusty despite your thoughts……… America can control it’s pollution, and needs too so your grand kids and their kids can live healthy lives.

Gee I guess we had 3 Trillion Dollars to spend on a WAR correct Dusty ?

By the what what was the US debt when George Bush took office ?

Who was in office when all the Corporate bailouts started ? I am sure you can remember !

Chris Broe

March 30th, 2009
12:07 pm

Bail out Detroit!

@@

March 30th, 2009
12:11 pm

Peter:

You’re tiresome! If you followed Obama’s presidential campaign, it was he who said….

“THIS IS OUR TIME!”

I’m assuming he was talking about yours and his.

Jim:

I’ll drag my post from Bookman’s over here since I’m short on time:

GM has been nothing more than an “insurance” provider that just happens to manufacture vehicles for quite some time. Why wasn’t the “CEO” of the union fired as well?

Let’s see how Obama’s “expertise” has impacted “the engine” that fuels the American vehicle, shall we?

Dow Jones down 282.83 points.

Should have let GM file for Chapter 11…..wouldn’t have cost the taxpayers a dime. It’s headed that way anyhoo under the clumsy “mechanical hands” of government.

Later “Tater” <——–(That’s for you Peter!)

Chipster

March 30th, 2009
12:31 pm

For years we have heard the moonbats on the liberal left whine about Bush trampling the Constitution with a “dictatorship” of sorts. I’d REALLY like to know idiots who think like that explain how Bush was a “dictator” when the Pelosicrats ran congress for his last two years of office, as well as how any president can be a “dictator” in this nation when it is Congress that writes and passes legislation. In six out of his eight years, Bush did not veto one single congressional bill brought to his deks. Yet to the brain dead liberals in this nation, this was somehow a “dictatorship.”

Fast forward to today. Obama and his cohorts in Washington are using executive power to usurp and re-define the Constitution and expand powers in everything from taking over corporations like a true fascist nation to stifling free speech under the guise of the Fairness Doctrine.

So Obama says his administration has no interest in running GM. Really? When he tells a private corporation’s CEO to take a walk on one side of his mouth while he says that GM will rise up to the challenges of “change” for the future in everything from mandated fuel economy standards to what kinds of vehicles GM (and Ford & Chrysler as well) will produce, that is NOT running said company? On what planet? GM will be forced to build cute little tin boxes on wheels that nobody wants, yet they would be expected to make a profit in the so-called free market economy that we have… or what’s LEFT of it?

You asked for it America, you wanted change, and buddy you are getting it. The real damage is only just starting for what a full liberal Democrat Washington is capable of. It’s just disgusting that the lib mainstream media is not calling Obama and his cohorts like the Pelosicrats on this. A few, like CNN’s Lou Dobbs, are starting to wake up from their Obama dreamscape and wipe the sand out of their eyes. Others however would support this administration and congress right off the cliff to hell.

Chuck

March 30th, 2009
12:34 pm

Talk about a rock and a hard place… do I defend the US auto industry, which is run by bean-counters and hedge-fund managers (whose cars seem to be just a by-product of their financial activity) or the Feds, who will turn the auto industry into nothing more than a massive jobs program (that just happens to turn out cars as a by-product of political policy). The idea of an America without a the manufacturing base to build cars and trucks is hard to imagine, but if all they turn out is a 21st century answer to the East German Trabant, well then, who needs that? Let ‘em die.

Peter

March 30th, 2009
12:36 pm

Hey @@ say something …..anything…….. make some sense….any kind of sense ?

This was thought out ? “GM has been nothing more than an “insurance” provider that just happens to manufacture vehicles for quite some time. Why wasn’t the “CEO” of the union fired as well?”

Gee did the Unions run GM, or did GM executives run GM ?

Gee I guess American’s actually thought GM was an Auto Manufacture……..Thank you for the update !

Gee what do you want Obama to do with the mess he inherited ?

What was your time @@……when America went into a “Made UP WAR” ?

When America began spending trillions of dollars for said war ?

When Bush allowed Bin Laden to be free ?

When Bush began the Corporate Bailouts ?

When America went from being in a place of no debt to Billions in debt ?

When America went from being employed to the highest Unemployment in decades ?

What was your time @@ ?

Chuck

March 30th, 2009
12:45 pm

Peter, don’t confuse a ‘balanced budget’ with ‘a place of no debt’… America has a national debt going back decades. We only stopped adding to it for a year or two… and now the Obama administration is about to double the national debt within 6 years. No one is blameless here.

And, in English now, what does @@ mean?

Disgusted

March 30th, 2009
12:52 pm

“And, in English now, what does @@ mean?”

I believe Debbie DoRight explicated that more than a year ago: it stands for double a-hole.

Chuck

March 30th, 2009
12:59 pm

Sweet explication.

Rush Limbaugh for President

March 30th, 2009
1:01 pm

Peter,

Don’t waste your time on DUSTY. You can’t have a debate with an irrational person who is particularly clueless on the issues.

Dusty, Obama wrote two best selling books that produce a lot of income. You might try writing a book on your political philosophy. It would be the world’s shortest book comprised of one sentence. I hate liberals or anybody else who don’t think like me.

Gregg

March 30th, 2009
1:11 pm

All of you Limbaugh-nut-holders talk of the amount the debt with double or triple as though it is a gaurantee. Tell me if we stay with this war effort where will the budget be? If do nothing and let local and state governments fail where would we be? If we sent back and sang Kumbala abd prayed real hard mabye everything will be alright. He has to make decisions for what he thinks will benefit us in the long run. I don’t agree with everything he proposes but that does not nor do I hope it fails so I can say I told you so.
Chipster Bush admittly said he was in charge and will do what he wants regardless of the little group of people called Congress. We will support this admin like you did Bush and it fell straight of the cliff and now we are left to pick up the pieces.

DebbieDoRight

March 30th, 2009
1:14 pm

The price of a can of Skoal is going out of sight on Wednesday and they already raised the price on it. I bought two whole rolls a couple weeks ago to beat them to the punch.

OMG Redneck, you are too funny!!! :lol:

Jackie: If the UAW contracts were bad, would one consider the executive bonus contracts with all the Wall Street banks bad? It is funny how many get all bent out of shape about unions, yet complain about the wages made that are in relationship with the wages of company executives.

Too true Jackie — too true. Noticed that double standard huh?

RLFP: Listen up knuckleheads.. Wagoner and Nardelli both said bankruptcy was the worst option for GM and Chrysler. The CEO’s said it. So if Wagoner is the best person for the job at GM then why do you MBAs keep insisting the Gov’t should have let them go bankrupt? Bush didn’t believe it was the right course of action, nor Pauleson. Wooten just doesn’t like Obama and it wouldn’t matter what he said or did Wooten would take a contrary position.

Word!!

Chunrchill MOM

March 30th, 2009
1:14 pm

Where’s Raghead???

Plae G. Wrist

March 30th, 2009
1:18 pm

Bail out Detroit!

Gregg

March 30th, 2009
1:28 pm

Raghead does not agree with Jim on this issue. He has nothing nice to say so he is satying quiet.

lanerlaw

March 30th, 2009
1:29 pm

State control of corporations, what could that be, anyone, anyone? Fascism! Ironic that all of these “progressives’ have gone on for years calling conservatives by that name when in fact the first one to finally cross that line is the big O.

Audrey in Georgia

March 30th, 2009
1:51 pm

GM needs to make and sell TATA cars over here for $2,000. They should re-invent themselves by making smaller and more fuel efficient cars. This should have been
done at least 10 years ago.

Gregg

March 30th, 2009
1:58 pm

Lanerlaw you asked for strings to be tied to the money we give to corporations. They were given a mandate and did not comply. If you want to make changes you start at the top and work your way down. Help me to understand why you are playing both sides of the issue. You right wingers wanted oversight and control with OUR money and you are getting that. If they do not comply they are asked or forced to step down and the problem with that IS?

Jackie

March 30th, 2009
2:03 pm

@DebbieDoRight,

Glad to see you have found to add your voice to this forum.

Big Bucks GOP

March 30th, 2009
2:12 pm

By Tuesday, General Motors will have to decide whether its struggling
Hummer brand will die a quiet death or live on with a new owner.

Big Bucks GOP

March 30th, 2009
2:12 pm

Citigroup is inviting bids for Nikko Cordial, Japan’s third-largest
brokerage, in an auction that could net the struggling U.S. financial
giant more than $5 billion,

Big Bucks GOP

March 30th, 2009
2:14 pm

The chief executives of the nation’s largest banks told President Obama
at a meeting Friday that they were committed to helping the
administration spur an economic recovery. After the gathering,
President Obama continued to warn Wall Street’s chieftains about the
necessity of reining in perceived excesses, particularly in regards to
compensation.

Big Bucks GOP

March 30th, 2009
2:14 pm

The financial giant Goldman Sachs bailed out two senior executives last
fall who were tens of millions of dollars short on cash, according to
the bank’s preliminary proxy statement filed on Friday.

Big Bucks GOP

March 30th, 2009
2:15 pm

UBS, the Swiss bank under a growing federal investigation for tax
fraud, has forced out the executive formerly in charge of secret
offshore accounts for wealthy Americans, the bank said Sunday.

Big Bucks GOP

March 30th, 2009
2:16 pm

A top Bank of America executive, Brian Moynihan, president of global
banking and wealth management, told traders and investment bankers on
Friday that the bank would increase base salaries as a percentage of
total compensation, while bonuses would become a smaller portion.

Jackie

March 30th, 2009
2:18 pm

The US government, the taxpayers, own 70% of GM and Citi.
Since we are the super majority and the President of the USA is the leader of the government, he is like a super-member of the Boards of Directors of these companies.

To all who have screamed about government takeover and fascism, keep in mind you are a shareholder of those companies. Still think these enterprises are government controlled?

Big Bucks GOP

March 30th, 2009
2:24 pm

The market-making unit of Bernard L. Madoff’s securities company will
be sold to Castor Pollux Securities, a financial firm based in Boston,
unless a better offer is submitted in an auction supervised by a
federal bankruptcy judge.

Big Bucks GOP

March 30th, 2009
2:25 pm

The regulator of U.S. government-controlled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
is looking at ways the two firms might help finance small mortgage
banks hobbled by a dearth of credit,