Owning GM is troubling

On Monday it’s expected that General Motors will file for bankruptcy. In as little as 60 to 90 days, Government Motors will emerge, 72.5 percent owned by taxpayers and 17.5 percent owned by our Big Labor partners whose intransigence and greed helped to destroy the industry.

There is so much to fear about this evolving relationship between politicians, the constituencies that regard them as essential to their well-being and the private sector. The takeover of General Motors, and the temptation to use that ownership stake to pursue political agendas ­ — the elimination of big “gas-guzzling” SUVs, for example ­— is temptation social planners of the left will find irresistible. And, as with government agricultural planning and programming, every action has consequences that trigger the need for more planning and regulation. Eight decades later we still can’t get that right.
Politicians will, of necessity, wall-in America, regulating automobile, truck and parts imports so that no foreign competitor will have cost-advantage.

Walling-off America is contrary to consumer interests. Democratic constituencies like Big Labor believe, however, that we need a protectionist industrial policy that uses tariffs, quotas and other tax and regulatory barriers to keep out competition.
It’s the same argument that surrounds Wal-Mart. The left stokes the fears of mom-and-pop retailers because Wal-Mart resists unions. Without question, though, Wal-Mart competition is healthy. It allows consumers to acquire more lifestyle-enhancing goods and services.

Just as with the war on Wal-Mart, Big Labor uses an 8.9 percent unemployment rate and fear of industrial job loss to gain support for protectionist policies that are anti-consumer. Intervention in the agricultural economy in the 1930s did not stop the exodus of farm jobs and it won’t stop the effects of global competition. It just runs up the tab.

I’m a bit ashamed to say this because so many innocents among dealers and service companies stand to be harmed, but I won’t buy a car from the government.

It’s the beginning of a protectionist and social-engineering industrial policy. It cultivates a deep symbiotic relationship between government and the private sector that emasculates business as an effective counter to government excess.

At government’s best, it creates a tax and regulatory climate where a free market flourishes. Then it stands back and lets the market determine survivors.

In the emerging government-business relationship, the creativity expended to survive in a free market morphs into the quest to prosper by appeasing politicians. It can be done.
Business is not liberal or conservative. Give it a cost-plus contract or corral its competition and it’ll do whatever politicians want. Want a dozen patronage jobs at $25 an hour each? No problem, so long as business can increase its contract by $350 an hour, cost plus profit.

Give business a monopoly that effectively fixes prices and limits consumer choice, and it will build any kind of vehicle politicians want.

Business, once bought and silenced, becomes a government partner that we should fear.

U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said GM ownership puts us on “the road toward socialism” and asks “what’s the end game here and can the American people afford it?”

The end game is evident. And, no, the American people most assuredly cannot afford it.

109 comments Add your comment

Redneck Convert

May 29th, 2009
8:17 pm

Well, I’m a Ford pickup man and what GM does don’t matter to me. Long as Ford comes out with the Ford F-450 GM can make as many runt cars and trucks as they want. Or just go broke without all this guvmint help.

We wouldn’t be having all this trouble if people would just save up and pay for their own retirement. We could be rid of Social Security and pensions and Medicare and everything else. Other businesses come out with TV ads that talk about how people should save. The message is, once we’re thru with you helping us make a mint, you ought to have the decency to just die or save a bundle of money to pay for yourself, not count on us to give you a free ride for the rest of your life. That’s Free Innerprize and the way it should be. Business ain’t your Mama and Daddy. It ain’t our fault you got old and too useless to work.

That’s my opinion and it’s very true. Have a good weekend everybody.

dave

May 29th, 2009
8:33 pm

Redneck Convert- you are a “one trick pony” please find somewhere else to recite your dribble, you’re getting old, really, really old. Kind of like a three year old who only knows six words…

jt

May 29th, 2009
9:16 pm

Jim- you boast-

“but I won’t buy a car from the government.”

When it is the only car available you will.
Keep voting R & D party and that is want is going to happen.

Glenn

May 29th, 2009
9:21 pm

Owning GM is troubling. Is it really.

clyde

May 30th, 2009
5:25 am

I have never owned any part of GM until now so I guess I’m excited about it.Would I buy a GM car?Not unless it’s made by Ford.

Keep up the good work Redneck.

Get rich by shifting cost to the Government

May 30th, 2009
6:52 am

Federal takeovers of busted pension plans are soaring. In the first six months
of fiscal 2009, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. took over nearly as many plans,
with four times the number of participants, as it did in all of the previous fiscal year.
But no worries about the federal insurer itself going broke, at least not soon.
The corporation has assets of about $63 billion and foresees future obligations
in the neighborhood of $47 billion. What’s more, the PBGC has enough to pay benefits
to retirees and future retirees under pension plans it’s already taken over until 2020.
Chrysler and GM bankruptcies are being structured to keep their pension obligations
off the corporation’s books. Plus the universe of pension plans and participants
that the PBGC is liable for will shrink because no new pension plans are starting up
and more employers are shifting to defined contribution plans, such as 401(k)s.

Coplyleft

May 30th, 2009
8:48 am

My guess is that Wooten hopes his readers don’t actually know how bankruptcy works… which seems unlikely, given the low intelligence level of right-wing drones.

Of course, in ANY corporate bankruptcy proceeding, the (government) court appoints a (government) trustee to (governmentally) administer the debtor’s assets and reach (government) agreements with the creditors. So I can see why having the government involved in this GM process would be a unprecedented outrage of government interference and a mad power-grab unlike anything we’ve ever seen before in the history of mankind.

Or, y’know, not.

@@

May 30th, 2009
9:22 am

Copyleft:

Yeah, but how many of those “trustees” have environmentalists riding shotgun?

There’s the difference.

IC Atlanta

May 30th, 2009
9:29 am

Coplyleft anyone who doesn’t see anything wrong with the way the government has handled the GM bankruptcy -(Obama fires the president of GM, the unions get rights over secured creditors and now the govt will own 72% of it) either you don’t deserve the limited freedoms you enjoy today or you are a fascist.

Funny how the leftbats always accused W. and conservatives of being fascist, but the leftbats are the real fascists bent on destroying America as we knew it.

Munch

May 30th, 2009
10:07 am

The sun is shining and there are garden tools and bicycles awaiting. It’s just too darn nice out to hang around here and disabuse Wooten and the Wingnuts of everything that is wrong about their thinking on this issue. The utter lack of understanding regarding bankruptcy stipulations, the history of mgmt. / labor relations, the current union contracts, etc….. it’s just too depressing. The wingnut addiction to emotionalism over fact, to outrage over imagined slights, and to a perverse notion that anything approved by “liberals” is automatically wrong…these are the symbols of illness run berserk. Suffice to say that it largely appears as though the wingnuts have been on a steady diet of paint chips from old houses, with the inevitable dementia that goes with that.

Let the feces flinging begin.

Chris

May 30th, 2009
10:18 am

Well given that our “dear leader” will be appointing a Cybersecurity czar real soon, don’t be surprised these comments are scrunitinized to the hilt. This is especially true with “the Messiah”’s call for “Net Neutrality”, the Internet version of the “Fairness Doctrine” which is nothing more than censorship.

Our First Amendment rights are going as will the rest of our Constitution and our country as we know it. Enjoy this while we are able to.

get out much?

May 30th, 2009
11:14 am

I think a few of you have got it backwards on the socialism angle. GM went to the government asking for money (knowing there would be strings attached), not the other way around.

As for Mr. Wooten, stop it with the crocodile tears. You were banging the drum for bankruptcy from the beginning as a way to stick it to the unions. You either did not know or did not care about any of the other affected parties. Now that bankruptcy appears to be a reality, you are “suddenly concerned” about those other parties.

Simon Jester

May 30th, 2009
11:25 am

It’s not a matter of bankruptcy. It’s a matter of the government being involved. If a company can’t compete, it should go out of business. That’s the way the free market operates. If something can only exist by the government propping it up, then it should not be around. Period. No exceptions. If there is a demand for a product or service, the market will provide it. Anything else is throwing money away. It’s is not just the left wing socialist – the right wing socialists are just as bad. Same destination, just a different route.

–Simon

booger

May 30th, 2009
11:54 am

Copyleft,

I do know something about bankruptsy, and labor/mgt. relations.

To start, in bankruptcy the judicial branch of govt. directs the restructuring, not the exectutive branch. This is totally unprecedented.

Under normal bankruptcy, the Judge has never, to date, fired a CEO.

In a normal bankruptcy the judge respects the guidelines of who should recieve the spoils. A judge has never put an unsecured debt ahead of a secured debt as Obama did in giving unions [his voting base] preference over bond holders.

The decision of which dealers to be closed is a micro-management move I do not think a Judge, or his appointee would ever make.

All in all, to say this is a normal bankruptcy situation is very naive.

Chris Broe

May 30th, 2009
12:26 pm

Why free enterprise blows: Two Words: Chevy Cavalier (Ford Pinto) Dodge Dart.

Dinah Shore sang, “See the USA in your Chevrolet”. Wooten doesn’t want to see USA in his Chevrolet. He wants to take the USA out of his Chevrolet. Government Motors. Marketing ideas for Government Motors: “See the new Chevy Caucus today. Bring the wife and baby. Free Pony Rides! See the new Dodge Decider! We also have a large inventory of the Ford Filibuster. Not to mention the new Saturn Veto. We’ve got pre-owned cars too! How about a nice 2000 Supreme Court Treason? We’ve got plenty of low-mileage 2003-2009 Bush Fiascos to choose from. Surely, the 2005 GOP Shiavo Hybrid (with plug) won’t last long on our lot…… ” (I know, you get the bit).

Jklol. I only agree with Wooten to the point where it doesn’t matter who builds these cars, they will still be total POS’s. Americans can’t build reliable automobiles. Don’t know why. We build great roads and bridges. We also use the most cancer-causing new-car-smell chemicalss and our new cars smell great. Did anyone ever drive a Pinto? A Cavalier? A Dart? They smelled great, yet who but a total crankcase would have allowed those off the drawing board? America built one great car in the past 100 years: the ‘57 Chevy Bel Air Convertible.

Government Motors could match or exceed that performance.

jm

May 30th, 2009
12:31 pm

Booger, pension obligations are generally not considered “unsecured debt”.

booger

May 30th, 2009
1:16 pm

jm,

Sorry but they are unsecured. What are you suggesting they are secured with?

Bond holders invest money which is secured by the promise of a piece of the company. Pensions are merely an expense.

Also where do you think the bonding companies get their money? Much of it from pension funds of other companies and unions.

Saul Good

May 30th, 2009
1:37 pm

You Talibangelicals can keep your American made POS cars… ME? I’ll drive my Audi that has 5 star crash test ratings on every level, has a 4 cyl. turbo engine that get’s 30+ mpg…can out drive your POS truck or SUV, and even LOOKS better!

If GM made a car as well built, as safe, and had as good gas mileage as mine…I’d buy it! Yet, they are SO friggin’ behind what I own and drive that they may never catch up.

My “next” Audi…is the new one coming out…50 mpg… turbo… and again…a 5 star crash test rating.

So tell me. How is it that THEY can build cars over THERE like this… yet GM, Ford, and (what’s the name of that “other” brand made in the US) continue to build scrap metal with wheels attached?

Hey! talibangelicals…when you see the Silver Audi on the road I’m driving… wave! I’m faster, stronger, smarter, and my wife is better looking too!

See ya!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jm

May 30th, 2009
1:38 pm

Sorry Booger but ERISA and the Pension Protection Act say otherwise.

Caper

May 30th, 2009
2:05 pm

Bye bye GM and Chrysler. I will not be a part of the Fascist States Of America. I hate Fords, so that rules them out too. Oh well, looks like I’ll have to continue buying German and Japanese after all. I really had my eyes on the new Camaro or even the Pontiac G8. I refuse to be a part of the downfall of America under His Majesty Obama and Her Highness Pelosi. And don’t even get me started on the sardine boxes on wheels said US companies will be forced (farced?) to make. On top of that, I wouldn’t put it past these left wing liberal Demoncat fascists to FORCE us to buy one – by payroll taxes if necessary.

“Freedom Shall Reign In America!” –John Adams

Not under these fascists America voted for change for.

Speaking of His Majesty, you have to get a Royal Kick out of Obama’s apologetic response to Sotomayor’s white man comment:

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama on Friday personally sought to deflect criticism of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, who finds herself under intensifying scrutiny for saying in 2001 that a female Hispanic judge would often reach a better decision than a white male judge. “I’m sure she would have restated it,” Obama flatly told NBC News, without indicating how he knew that.

Yeah. These people on the modern left give Conservatives/Republicans the EXACT SAME cordiality of “restating” now, don’t they?

Caper

May 30th, 2009
2:06 pm

Booger – please don’t confuse the mindless Obamabots on this blog with bankruptcy facts. You’ll just make their head hurt more – which probably turned them into liberals to begin with.

Jackie

May 30th, 2009
4:02 pm

Richard Shelby (R-AL) should never speak the words “socialism” and autos!
Does he have a substantial stake in Mercedes and Kia?

booger

May 30th, 2009
5:13 pm

jm,

ERISA and the pension protection act provides for protection in the case of bankruptcy, but it does not raise them to the level of secured debt.

Caper

May 30th, 2009
5:27 pm

A liberal on this blog like Jackie whining about Shelby and Kia (et. al.) as being socialist just goes to show you the mentality of those people. You see, in a liberal mind, a tax break given by the government (state, local, or Fed for that matter) is stealing from others to redistribute it elsewhere. Please hold down the laughter, I know. Mindless emotion-driven liberals like Jackie don’t ever complain about punishing those who earn more through higher rate taxes and redistributing them elsewhere. Not that a city giving tax breaks to an auto manufacturer is stealing from people’s paychecks or anything. Yeah I know, liberals can’t comprehend such complicated things…………..

ByteMe

May 30th, 2009
5:33 pm

Booger, jm is correct: PBGC is going to make up at least some of the shortfall in the UAW pension plans that were part of Chrysler and GM contracts.

Lots of misinformation out here. What fun.

Starting with the easy one: Obama did not fire the CEO of GM. The GM board of directors did that when it became clear he had his head up his ass about surviving this crisis without government help. No “private” funding was available to them, no one wanted a piece of it; only the government was willing to step up and only for so long.

If you don’t want to see the government “own” (at least temporarily) GM, then think about what happens if you let it go completely out of business. That would be something on the order of 600,000+ people (between GM and many of its suppliers) collecting unemployment and not shopping at the local WalMart, so add at least another 2 points to the unemployment rate AND watch the recession last at least 1 quarter longer. Many of those people also own homes and use credit cards, so think about all those additional foreclosures and credit card write-offs the banks can’t afford and might destabilize them further, and extend the recession even longer. Bet you’d blame Obama for that as well.

This way, at least the government can take some time and break up and sell off (to private investors) the viable parts of GM and liquidate the non-viable parts… while keeping as many people as possible in the work force (which keeps them buying at WalMart). The intermediate steps may offend your sensibilities, but the long-term view the government is taking is the correct one.

ByteMe

May 30th, 2009
5:35 pm

Booger: and you are also correct that anything related to employment contracts is NOT considered secured debt.

Caper

May 30th, 2009
5:51 pm

Hey Byte, that was a great rant!

“Obama did not fire the CEO of GM.”

Nah, the O-Team just “asked him to step down.” That’s a FIRING in everyone else’s book who lives in the real world. Talk about misinformation.

“If you don’t want to see the government “own” (at least temporarily) GM, then think about what happens if you let it go completely out of business.”

1) Oh sure, the beloved O-Team socialists would NEVER keep control of GM, or any other corporation for that matter, that they got hold of. Uh huh.

2) GM failed because of two reasons: poor short sighted management and the greedy unions who would not offer concessions, especially those pertaining to retirement and pensions.

As for the rest of your rant, of COURSE 600,000+ GM employees being laid off with no work is not good for the economy. But, under your beloved government, when the O-Team TELLS GM what cars to build in the future, don’t scratch yourself too hard in the a-s-s when they don’t sell.

Jackie

May 30th, 2009
5:51 pm

@Caper

It appears your conservative credentials have clouded your business acumen.
A tax break given by the state of Alabama to those companies is taking money from the people giving it to the corporations. WHAT DO YOU THINK A TAX BREAK ENTRAILS?

Secondly, there is not whining on my part relative to my posting. Those facts are sitting there in your face and you have no way of extrapolating, obfuscate or conflating. It appears that YOU are the one that is whining.

You statement “Please hold down the laughter, I know. Mindless emotion-driven liberals like Jackie don’t ever complain about punishing those who earn more through higher rate taxes and redistributing them elsewhere” is an exercise in double-speak. Please read the above and tell me what the heck it means. I would be willing to wager you can not articulate that statement in a rational manner. Now, pull out your business expertise and help those of us who don’t understand.

One thing that I have observed in debating what you so-called conservatives write, is to read it carefully. I have found that you make things up because your talking points have been scrutinized and have been found to be without substance.

booger

May 30th, 2009
5:52 pm

Byte me and jm,

Pension funds are fully protected in the case of bankruptcy simply because this is money paid into a pension trust and is off the companies asset list. The trustee then hires a financial mgt. company to invest these funds.

During ideal times pensions are fully funded so a bankruptcy would not jeapordize employee pensions. In cases where a company becomes inslovent while their pension fund is underfunded, the pension benefit guarantee corporation pays the difference. This is what happened to Delta Airlines.

In the case of GM and Chrysler their pension fund was underfunded as well. Because of the fall of the stock market, this is the case with most pension funds these days. However rather than let the PBGC handle this as usual, Obama decided to give the Unions a part of these companies to make up the shortfall. This is unprecedented. This was also done before a judge was involved in diving up funds thereby moving them ahead of secured bondholders.

I had assumed both of you knew more than you do about this subject. Also this is not a political statement just an explaination of what occured.

Caper

May 30th, 2009
6:05 pm

Jackie:

“It appears your conservative credentials have clouded your business acumen.
A tax break given by the state of Alabama to those companies is taking money from the people giving it to the corporations. WHAT DO YOU THINK A TAX BREAK ENTRAILS?”

I remember you making a comment to someone here some time ago that stock holders have no say in the way a corporation runs a business. And you have the gall to talk about my business beliefs? Laughable! But, to your point here, and it is rather entertaining to say the least, exactly how do people “give” money to corporations? I invest money and buy things from corporations, but I have never “given” money to corporations in the sense that any of MY money was stolen via tax breaks to Kia (rhyme unintended).

“I have found that you make things up because your talking points have been scrutinized and have been found to be without substance.”

We live in the real world. You liberals live in the emotional world. End of story.

“Please read the above and tell me what the heck it means. I would be willing to wager you can not articulate that statement in a rational manner.”

Read it, AGAIN:

You see, in a liberal mind, a tax break given by the government (state, local, or Fed for that matter) is stealing from others to redistribute it elsewhere.

My original statement, AGAIN:

Mindless emotion-driven liberals like Jackie don’t ever complain about punishing those who earn more through higher rate taxes and redistributing them elsewhere….

Clue: “It” and “them” are MONEY.

“I have found that you make things up because your talking points have been scrutinized and have been found to be without substance.”

And I half expected a mindless liberal like you to call me full one of these: 1) hate, or 2) anger.

Caper

May 30th, 2009
6:12 pm

Obama in L.A.: ‘You ain’t seen nothing yet’

Yeah, you can say that again:

“The celebrity dinner, which cost couples $30,400 to attend, was followed by a larger, lower-dollar concert that all told raised between $3 million and $4 million for the Democratic National Committee (DNC).”

Imagine the outrage if Bush had a fundraiser with the GOP like this. Pathetically hypocritical doesn’t even BEGIN to describe this administration, let alone the mindless sheep who support it.

Caper

May 30th, 2009
6:15 pm

Want some more Obamabot Administration brilliance? This one is from Obama’s “Green Guru.” Home boy thinks we should all paint our roofs white to stop global warming. Kid you not. How come that’s not *racist* anyway? Sometimes you just have to sit back and laugh at the idiocy of liberalism.

By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent
Last Updated: 1:33PM BST 27 May 2009

Professor Steven Chu, the US Energy Secretary, said the unusual proposal would mean homes in hot countries would save energy and money on air conditioning by deflecting the sun’s rays.

More pale surfaces could also slow global warming by reflecting heat into space rather than allowing it to be absorbed by dark surfaces where it is trapped by greenhouse gases and increases temperatures.

n a wide-ranging discussion at the three-day Nobel laureate Symposium in London, the Professor described climate change as a “crisis situation”, and called for a whole host of measures to be introduced, from promoting energy efficiency to renewable energy such as wind, wave and solar.

The Nobel Prize-winning physicist said the US was not considering any large scale “geo-engineering” projects where science is used to reverse global warming, but was in favour of “white roofs everywhere”.

Caper

May 30th, 2009
6:21 pm

The Tax Man Cometh! This time, in the form of a national sales tax. How the hell else do you expect the Obamabots to pay for socialism and their record deficit spending?

Once Considered Unthinkable, U.S. Sales Tax Gets Fresh Look
Levy Viewed as Way to Reduce Deficits, Fund Health Reform

By Lori Montgomery
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 27, 2009

With budget deficits soaring and President Obama pushing a trillion-dollar-plus expansion of health coverage, some Washington policymakers are taking a fresh look at a money-making idea long considered politically taboo: a national sales tax.

Common around the world, including in Europe, such a tax — called a value-added tax, or VAT — has not been seriously considered in the United States. But advocates say few other options can generate the kind of money the nation will need to avert fiscal calamity.

At a White House conference earlier this year on the government’s budget problems, a roomful of tax experts pleaded with Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner to consider a VAT. A recent flurry of books and papers on the subject is attracting genuine, if furtive, interest in Congress. And last month, after wrestling with the White House over the massive deficits projected under Obama’s policies, the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee declared that a VAT should be part of the debate.

“There is a growing awareness of the need for fundamental tax reform,” Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said in an interview. “I think a VAT and a high-end income tax have got to be on the table.”

A VAT is a tax on the transfer of goods and services that ultimately is borne by the consumer. Highly visible, it would increase the cost of just about everything, from a carton of eggs to a visit with a lawyer. It is also hugely regressive, falling heavily on the poor. But VAT advocates say those negatives could be offset by using the proceeds to pay for health care for every American — a tangible benefit that would be highly valuable to low-income families.

Jackie

May 30th, 2009
6:48 pm

@Caper,

Stockholders of a corporation do not have a “vote” in making business decisions in corporations. Stockholders like you and I usually own common stock and we are allowed to attend stockholder meetings and listen what the board of directors and management decisions.

Now, laugh at that, if you can?

As for the points I made relative to your questions, your repost does not offer anything that comes close to articulating your thoughts. Again, your attempt at conflation DOES NOT WORK!

Your contention concerning a tax break given by the electorate to corporations severely undermines your argument. Tax breaks are a redistribution of wealth from the people to the corporations, plain and simple.

I do not have to inject anything into my statements to support the point(s) I am making concerning your argument. Careful reading of what you say allows one to make a value judgment, don’t you think?

Poor Richard

May 30th, 2009
7:34 pm

Caper

May 30th, 2009
7:58 pm

Jackie:

“Stockholders like you and I usually own common stock and we are allowed to attend stockholder meetings and listen what the board of directors and management decisions.”

You are very feeble then to just sit back and let others control your life. Hence, that explains why you are a liberal. On the other hand, there are those who decide to make things happen for themselves, especially leaders in stock holder groups who call a meeting and have a proxy vote on a major issue. I’ve been involved with three of them.

“Now, laugh at that, if you can?”

I”m not laughing AT you, liberal. Why do you liberals take things so personal anyway?

“Again, your attempt at conflation DOES NOT WORK!”

Exhibit A:

You liberals whine about tax breaks being “given” to the rich as income redistribution (IE: stolen from the poor).

Exhibit B:

You liberals whine about tax breaks being “given” to the corporations as income redistribution (IE: stolen from the poor).

Exhibit C:

You liberals never whine about progressively taxing for income redistribution of wealth on those who are in the top tier of income.

How much clearer do I have to be?

“Tax breaks are a redistribution of wealth from the people to the corporations, plain and simple.”

You sit there and tell me that I am not making my case when YOU YOURSELF can’t even state HOW a person PAYS a corporation? For the SECOND time now, Jackie, how do people PAY a corporation other than the two instances I provided earlier?

You can’t worm your way out of this one, liberal, and I’ve got all night.

Linville

May 30th, 2009
8:57 pm

Caper,

We just went through 8 years of insane GOP spending. Now we’re goearing up for 8 years of insane Democratic spending. You may like the purpose of spending more or less depending on which side of the aisle you prefer, but those guys in DC are spendaholics.

So, do you want more taxes or more deficit?

If they’re not going to stop spending—and they’re not, I vote for the taxes. We’ll eventually get tired of the taxes and revolt on the pols. With deficits we don’t feel the pain. No one will wake up to the problem until our kids take over. That may be too late, they’ll be working for the Chinese.

Caper

May 30th, 2009
9:31 pm

Linville:

Yep, and the GOP got the jackboot, didn’t they? Now whatever happened to Pelosi’s “Drain The Swamp” of corruption and out of control spending? Yep, out of the frying pan, and into the fryer.

Insofar as your comment about more taxes or more deficit, why won’t they stop spending? Because people like you continue to put them in office and mindlessly obey them without even a whimper of dissent. I don’t have any faith in our kids either, because as the AJC so proudly reported today, kids have to celebrate being homeless – you know, the REAL important stuff in life that advances this nation and all that.

Caper

May 30th, 2009
9:36 pm

Let me clarify that comment about the kids: they are learning how to live like the homeless as part of some sort of liberal enlightenment project. Yeah, we’re going to REALLY kick some Chinese and Indian tail youth learning how to bum some spare change. Sheesh.

CommunistAJC

May 30th, 2009
9:56 pm

Liberals are nothing more than Marxist scum bags. IE: Jackie, Munch and Copyleft

The Russians have warned us. This is further proof that Obama Hussein is a communist.

American capitalism gone with a whimper

It must be said, that like the breaking of a great dam, the American decent into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me dear reader, I meant people.

True, the situation has been well prepared on and off for the past century, especially the past twenty years. The initial testing grounds was conducted upon our Holy Russia and a bloody test it was. But we Russians would not just roll over and give up our freedoms and our souls, no matter how much money Wall Street poured into the fists of the Marxists.

Those lessons were taken and used to properly prepare the American populace for the surrender of their freedoms and souls, to the whims of their elites and betters.

First, the population was dumbed down through a politicized and substandard education system based on pop culture, rather then the classics. Americans know more about their favorite TV dramas then the drama in DC that directly affects their lives. They care more for their “right” to choke down a McDonalds burger or a BurgerKing burger than for their constitutional rights. Then they turn around and lecture us about our rights and about our “democracy”. Pride blind the foolish.

Then their faith in God was destroyed, until their churches, all tens of thousands of different “branches and denominations” were for the most part little more then Sunday circuses and their televangelists and top protestant mega preachers were more then happy to sell out their souls and flocks to be on the “winning” side of one pseudo Marxist politician or another. Their flocks may complain, but when explained that they would be on the “winning” side, their flocks were ever so quick to reject Christ in hopes for earthly power. Even our Holy Orthodox churches are scandalously liberalized in America.

The final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama. His speed in the past three months has been truly impressive. His spending and money printing has been a record setting, not just in America’s short history but in the world. If this keeps up for more then another year, and there is no sign that it will not, America at best will resemble the Wiemar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe.

These past two weeks have been the most breath taking of all. First came the announcement of a planned redesign of the American Byzantine tax system, by the very thieves who used it to bankroll their thefts, loses and swindles of hundreds of billions of dollars. These make our Russian oligarchs look little more then ordinary street thugs, in comparison. Yes, the Americans have beat our own thieves in the shear volumes. Should we congratulate them?

CommunistAJC

May 30th, 2009
9:57 pm

These men, of course, are not an elected panel but made up of appointees picked from the very financial oligarchs and their henchmen who are now gorging themselves on trillions of American dollars, in one bailout after another. They are also usurping the rights, duties and powers of the American congress (parliament). Again, congress has put up little more then a whimper to their masters.

Then came Barack Obama’s command that GM’s (General Motor) president step down from leadership of his company. That is correct, dear reader, in the land of “pure” free markets, the American president now has the power, the self given power, to fire CEOs and we can assume other employees of private companies, at will. Come hither, go dither, the centurion commands his minions.

So it should be no surprise, that the American president has followed this up with a “bold” move of declaring that he and another group of unelected, chosen stooges will now redesign the entire automotive industry and will even be the guarantee of automobile policies. I am sure that if given the chance, they would happily try and redesign it for the whole of the world, too. Prime Minister Putin, less then two months ago, warned Obama and UK’s Blair, not to follow the path to Marxism, it only leads to disaster. Apparently, even though we suffered 70 years of this Western sponsored horror show, we know nothing, as foolish, drunken Russians, so let our “wise” Anglo-Saxon fools find out the folly of their own pride.

Again, the American public has taken this with barely a whimper…but a “freeman” whimper.

So, should it be any surprise to discover that the Democratically controlled Congress of America is working on passing a new regulation that would give the American Treasury department the power to set “fair” maximum salaries, evaluate performance and control how private companies give out pay raises and bonuses? Senator Barney Franks, a social pervert basking in his homosexuality (of course, amongst the modern, enlightened American societal norm, as well as that of the general West, homosexuality is not only not a looked down upon life choice, but is often praised as a virtue) and his Marxist enlightenment, has led this effort. He stresses that this only affects companies that receive government monies, but it is retroactive and taken to a logical extreme, this would include any company or industry that has ever received a tax break or incentive.

The Russian owners of American companies and industries should look thoughtfully at this and the option of closing their facilities down and fleeing the land of the Red as fast as possible. In other words, divest while there is still value left.

The proud American will go down into his slavery with out a fight, beating his chest and proclaiming to the world, how free he really is. The world will only snicker.

Stanislav Mishin

The article has been reprinted with the kind permission from the author and originally appears on his blog, Mat Rodina

SOMALIDAWG

May 30th, 2009
10:01 pm

و از دید حیثیت و حقوق با هم برابرند، همه دارای اندیشه و وجدان هستند و باید در برابر یکدیگر با روح برادری When women vote, communism come.

Linville

May 30th, 2009
10:09 pm

Caper,

If the decision is to vote or not I’ll do my responsibility and vote. Unfortunately, voting is a lot like many of the decisions you have to make lately: which one is the least miserable? I’m all for sending a message to DC that we need smarts, integrity and change. But the choices haven’t been great lately. My general voting philosopy lately is to vote so that one party doesn’t have both the White House and the Congress. Maybe they can do less damage that way.

As far as kids, I have two. 22 and 25. Both went way off the ranch-doesn’t fall far from the tree–but they’re in college, working and doing well now. They’re moderates on social issues but pretty conservative on economics and the world. They see what we’re saddling them with. Conversations around here are pretty interesting, they’re very informed on what’s going on and don’t like a lot of it.

I don’t like that we’re saddling those two with all this debt.

So, you can tell me I’m an idiot for voting R and D but the fact is that’s what we’ll get no matter what you do. They’re going to spend money, no matter how stupid you and I think it is. We HAVE to pay for it. It’s the only way to make America wake up.

Linville

May 30th, 2009
10:24 pm

By the way, I’m with you on Pelosi. She’s way too much of a dogmatic liberal. I did vote for Obama. I’m not like a lot of people who think he’s a far left liberal. He does have a social agenda but some of it is good…assuming that Washington could even a half-a@s job of executing something domestic.

If you want to change Washington force a balanced budget amendment. That wouldn’t stop them from spending, but it would force the pols to face the anger that paying for it would generate. Tea parties are nothing compared to what paying the price would do. We’d change our voting habits pretty quickly. Not that there’s a chance of that really happening.

By the way, if we’re going to raise taxes we should tax gas and have a VAT. It is regressive, but it does counter wealth distribution. A regressive tax that’s to pay for education and health care is fair since everyone uses the services. Raising income taxes would mean that the better off pay all the costs. In addition, we’ll use less gas, which has good benefits, and we’d tax imports legally, which would be good for US business.

Caper

May 30th, 2009
11:00 pm

Linville:

Well thought out points. I don’t agree with them all, especially the “they HAVE to spend” part, but overall, this is what America is about. Our Founding Fathers bickered back and forth during the development and founding of this nation. I believe we can do the same and move this nation forward.

Jackie

May 30th, 2009
11:23 pm

@Communist

It is better to be thought of as… than to open ones mouth and prove everyone wrong!

What campus was your work at Duke done? My cousin was at Duke approximately the same time as you. I will be willing to wager you were not there.

Why is it you have such difficulty in remembering what campus the majority of your work was done? I still think it was on the campus at Butner!

Jackie

May 30th, 2009
11:29 pm

@Caper

Still obfuscating. You and I both know that you can put together any proxy fight that you choose with the corporation. You and I both know that you can not direct the company decisions. If you don’t believe me, check with Kirk Kerkorian! If you have preferred stock, you have SOME leverage; common stock only offers you the privilege of owning a piece of the company.

Your exhibits are not proof of anything.

Jackie

May 30th, 2009
11:33 pm

@Caper

Corporations are paid from sales of goods and services. When one purchases stocks, bonds and other financial instruments, THEY ARE MAKING LOANS TO THE ENTITY. It is basic contract law.

Chew on that.

Linville

May 31st, 2009
12:05 am

Caper,

I didn’t say “they HAVE to spend”, I said they’re going to spend–whether we like it or not. I said “we HAVE to pay”. If we don’t, more deficit.

Caper

May 31st, 2009
12:32 am

Jackie:

“Your exhibits are not proof of anything.”

My EXPERIENCES are what they are.

“Corporations are paid from sales of goods and services. When one purchases stocks, bonds and other financial instruments, THEY ARE MAKING LOANS TO THE ENTITY. It is basic contract law.”

AGAIN, tell me where everyone PAYS a corporation. You FAIL to answer what you have posted earlier. Don’t spin your wheels more, you are already in over your unused head.

“Chew on that.”

I’d suggest you have TEETH before even debating anything with me. Oh wait, what was your point again liberal?

Caper

May 31st, 2009
12:41 am

Linville:

“I didn’t say “they HAVE to spend”, I said they’re going to spend–whether we like it or not. I said “we HAVE to pay”. If we don’t, more deficit.”

Well, sort of:

“They’re going to spend money, no matter how stupid you and I think it is. We HAVE to pay for it.”

If they HAVE to spend, and we HAVE to pay for it, I surmise that means they HAVE to spend. Washington spends money like a bored suburban housewife. Unlimited revenue. Got news for ya: the top 10% of income earners, ie: the “RICH”, aren’t going to pay for all of Obama’s dreams. How long do you think this liberal socialist freight train is going to stay on the rails?

Linville

May 31st, 2009
8:30 am

Caper

I disagree, The top 10% isn’t paying for it, our kids are.

Have your taxes gone up since Obama went into office? No.

Has the deficit? Yes.

Who’s paying?

Linville

May 31st, 2009
8:33 am

…and, back to my earlier point: Let’s pay for it with gas taxes and a VAT. That will spread the pain and make the increases “fair”.

Steve

May 31st, 2009
8:47 am

booger – as an employee of Delta air lines and now an unwilling customer of the PBGC – I can assure you beyond any doubt that pension funds ARE NOT FULLY PROTECTED and the PBGC DOES NOT MAKE UP THE DIFFERENCE!!!!!!!!!!!! The PBGC pays about 20% of what was the original pension plan with Delta Air Lines.

clyde

May 31st, 2009
9:36 am

Since you all don’t know what you’re talking about,maybe the arguement should cease.No.I would only have my two cents worth to put in from my own experiences,which are different from yours.

booger

May 31st, 2009
10:05 am

Steve,

The pension fund is protected in that whatever was in the companies pension trust could not be used by the company or attached by creditors. If they do not have enough to honor their obligations the PBGC which is an insurance program, will help pay the difference for employees who earn up to a certain amount.

If your earnings were over their threshold, then you can lose some of what was promised. Also, as in the case of Delta, if the company artifically added years to an employees seniority so that they could retire earlier or at a higher pension, They may not pay for the added years thus lowering ones pension.

The fund itself was protected, it just was not sufficient to meet their promises.

Sorry for your situation though, I have friends in the same boat.

Caper

May 31st, 2009
11:10 am

Lineville:

“I disagree, The top 10% isn’t paying for it, our kids are.’

The O-Team and fellow liberal Democrats believe that just raising taxes on the wealthy will “fix” their spending issues. (And I’m not making that up like Jackie mindlessly claims).

“Have your taxes gone up since Obama went into office? No.”

In just four months of being in office I would hope the hell not! We’ll see what happens next year. Remember, it’s a full liberal Democrat run government now. Checks and balances are now history. Liberal Democrats have their wet dream coming through fruition, and we’re all going to pay accordingly, from freedoms to taxes. I find it mildly amusing how the main stream media lambasted the Tea Party protesters.

“Has the deficit? Yes.”

Not only that, but as a percentage of GDP, the real figure, it has gone up exponentially. It is now at around 82%, a level not seen in over 50 years. During the Bush years when Republicans ran Congress, everyone was whining about spending. Rather ironic considering the GDP deficit percentage was hovering around 40% Democrats have controlled congress for over two years now. I sure hope everyone is thrilled with their change.

“Who’s paying?”

The top 50% of income earners who pay 97% of all the taxes, that’s who. Now who owns the debt is another important question, and a common misconception is that China owns our debt. That was especially a loud drum beaten by the left during the Bush years. But, as usual quick fact checking proves emotion-driven liberalism wrong. The top ten US national debt owners, in order:

US Government
US Citizens
Japan
China
Britain
OPEC
Korea
Taiwan
Caribbean Banks
Germany

Caper

May 31st, 2009
11:13 am

Linville:

“…and, back to my earlier point: Let’s pay for it with gas taxes and a VAT. That will spread the pain and make the increases “fair”.

You do realize that will fly with liberal Democrats about as well as a wingless 747, don’t you? Why, the “poor” can’t pay any taxes and it is “unfair” to make those with less income pay consumption based taxes. After all, the “rich” can afford to pay more in taxes because they have more. Just read up on the mindless left wing liberal drivel over the Fair Tax to get a clue of the mindless misinformation you’ll be up against.

Linville

May 31st, 2009
11:32 am

Caper

I generally agree. So far the only payor for all this is future generations. Tax questions will have to be answered, increases on people like you and me will be expected.

But remember, in your post that started all this you were pointing out that the concept of a Federal Sales Tax was being revived. That, buddy, is a VAT. Support it! Democrats seem to think any kind of tax is a good thing and it’s our only chance to avoid being income taxed to death.

Caper

May 31st, 2009
11:35 am

I stand corrected on who owns the national debt. After further investigation, it appears my previous source from 2008 was outdated. China has surpassed Japan. As of March the remaining top 8 foreign owners of the debt (about 33% of the overall national debt) are:

China
Japan
Caribbean Banks
OPEC
Russia
Britain (UK)
Brazil
Luxembourg

http://www.treas.gov/tic/mfh.txt

Linville

May 31st, 2009
11:42 am

Yeah, I was going to say that China is clearly buying more than anyone else.

Caper

May 31st, 2009
12:03 pm

Linville:

I’d support a VAT of sorts if it took place of the IRS (or at least offset some of it), but obviously that’s not going to happen either. The last paragraph that I copied and posted:

“A VAT is a tax on the transfer of goods and services that ultimately is borne by the consumer. Highly visible, it would increase the cost of just about everything, from a carton of eggs to a visit with a lawyer. It is also hugely regressive, falling heavily on the poor. But VAT advocates say those negatives could be offset by using the proceeds to pay for health care for every American — a tangible benefit that would be highly valuable to low-income families.”

Any time you see comments from “advocates” championing the poor having to actually pay for something, you know there is something definitely wrong with this picture. So let me get this straight: I’m taxed by the county, by my municipality/city, by my state, and by my federal government, and NOW I should be championing a consumption based tax on top of all that? Uhm, sorry pal, I don’t agree. Not without removing some of those other burdens first.

Caper

May 31st, 2009
12:14 pm

And even more to my point overall on taxes, why the hell can’t the government CUT SPENDING? Yes, I already know the answer. It goes back to one of the One Hit Wonder songs of the 1980s from Naked Eyes: “Promises Promises” Politicians promise the moon to their voters, get the money, and deliver a rotten egg.

Linville

May 31st, 2009
12:17 pm

I’m with you. I’d vote for a VAT that completely erases income taxes. We could “rebate” to the poor so they don’t get so much of the burden, but everybody pays something. I’m in that dreaded AMT group already, getting a higher tax rate would be a killer.

Gotta go, work calls. Will check back tonight.

Caper

May 31st, 2009
12:17 pm

Okay, all raise your hand: Who’s ready for a truly viable Third Party who will represent *US* to offset these Merryweather band of Disney fairies in Washington, both Democrats and Republicans?

booger

May 31st, 2009
12:44 pm

Linville just described the “Fair Tax”.

get out much?

May 31st, 2009
1:09 pm

I wonder if Mr. Wooten and his band of conservatives that rail against “econo box” cars realize that three of the top ten selling cars and trucks are “econo boxes” (while there large pickup trucks, there are no SUV’s in the top ten) – the Honda Civic at five, the Toyota Corolla at six and the Ford Focus at ten.

Since, according to Mr. Wooten and his band of conservatives, Americans don’t want “econo box” cars, I wonder who is buying them?

BTW, here is the url: http://images.businessweek.com/ss/08/05/0519_top_sellers/index_01.htm

Caper

May 31st, 2009
1:25 pm

Hey, that’s a brilliant point, Get Out Much The Liberal! Actually, the Civic, Corolla, and Focus are not what I would consider “econo boxes.”

This is more what we have in mind under His Magesty Obama TELLING GM what to build:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_(automobile)

But, that’s beside the point. If you have a large family, like say 5 or more, and want to take a weekend getaway WITH the dog, how exactly are you going to do that in a Corolla? Oh, wait, according to Her Highness Pelosi, large families are environmentally unfriendly. MY BAD!

Caper

May 31st, 2009
1:27 pm

Drat. My link flamed out. Here’s another on the Obama/Gore car:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Smart_car.jpg

Caper

May 31st, 2009
1:32 pm

Oh, and speaking of who’s buying what like the brilliant Get Out Much The Liberal mentioned, let’s give a hand for all the Toyota Prius (I like to call them liberal PIOUS cars myself) cars that are sitting on lots unsold! Don’t forget to give a hand to the Toyota rebates needed to move the Corollas!

[applaud]

Caper

May 31st, 2009
1:34 pm

Booger:

“Linville just described the “Fair Tax”.”

Bingo. Hence, my previous point in mentioning how liberals trashed the Fair Tax. Funny old world, isn’t it?

get out much?

May 31st, 2009
2:10 pm

Actually, Caper – according to this years sales, the Prius is #16 on the list: http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2009/03/04/452436.html sales are down 31% but they are still in the top 20.

As for your family of 5 scenario, according to this years numbers, if they are getting SUVs, they are getting the smaller more fuel efficient models, like the CR-V, Rav4 or Ford Escape.

Not a Hummer to be found on the list.

Caper

May 31st, 2009
2:46 pm

“sales are down 31% but they are still in the top 20.”

Well that’s like bragging about who is berthing at the highest level of the Titanic if you ask me. But anyway……..

“As for your family of 5 scenario, according to this years numbers, if they are getting SUVs, they are getting the smaller more fuel efficient models, like the CR-V, Rav4 or Ford Escape.”

Amazing how I still see all those full sized SUVs on the road though. (I have one).

“Not a Hummer to be found on the list.”

I have always hated those things. Even the blinger gang bangers are giving them up. That says a lot.

get out much?

May 31st, 2009
3:26 pm

I wonder how many of those full sized SUVs are new (is yours?)? If the sales numbers are any indication, not many. Also, judging by the numbers, it looks like when it comes time to replace them, people are choosing something else.

As for me, I drive an old Prelude (I chose it over the BMW 3 series and the Shelby Mustang). At the time I bought it, it was rated the most fun car to drive for under $30K by Car and Driver and they were right. Depending on the type of driving I do, it gets between 24 and 28 mpg.

You can have the last word, I am heading out for the rest of the day to enjoy the sunshine.

Caper

May 31st, 2009
4:04 pm

“I wonder how many of those full sized SUVs are new (is yours?)? If the sales numbers are any indication, not many. Also, judging by the numbers, it looks like when it comes time to replace them, people are choosing something else.”

You fail!

http://www.bizjournals.com/albany/stories/2009/01/12/story1.html

But don’t take a link as word. Just use your eyeballs on who is driving what. How many little Obama/Gore squirts have you seen on the road lately? Uh huh.

“As for me, I drive an old Prelude (I chose it over the BMW 3 series and the Shelby Mustang).”

So you chose a ‘Lude (nice cars in their time BTW) over a Bimmer and a Shelby Mustang. Okay, that makes perfect sense. About as much sense as me stating I chose an old Cessna 172 over a Learjet 45. But, who’s keeping tabs here.

“Depending on the type of driving I do, it gets between 24 and 28 mpg.”

In the 1990s I had a C4 Corvette that got 27 consistently on the highway (that tall 6th gear and low rear gear ratio helped). Forgive me if I’m not impressed. But, maybe we should all invest in used cars, because this jackhole administration is hell bent on TELLING us what we WILL drive in the future.

bigliberal

May 31st, 2009
4:24 pm

You all seem really upset over the government owning a private business. Government routinely owns private businesses and they do so on a weekly basis without so much as a peep. The government takes over failing banks fires the employees including the ceo’s and resells the bank to private investors all in the matter of a long weekend.

Now I understand that American Auto makers are not banks but the failure of the automakers would imperil the economy more than the failure of a small bank and I feel that is is prudent to protect the economy in times of recession as to not plunge into a depression.

Jim also states that he would not buy an American made car and I am with him on that but not for his reasons. Just look at the latest consumer reports on reliability of American cars vs foreign cars and you can see why people don’t buy American. Who made the design and engineering decisions about those cars? Management. I would guarantee that an UAW employee can build a car just as well as a non UAW employee. If that is the case then why are the American car companies producing unreliable cars? I’m sure you can find a way to blame that on the unions.

As far as Obama firing the ceo of GM, GM came to the government asking for a bailout. The government said they would help. Should there be no stipulations on the help? I’m sure if it was a republican president the condition would have been dissolution of the unions. For instance if you came to me and said you needed a loan to get a car and I said I would give you the loan but you would have to drive me to the beach each weekend. You could take that deal or not take that deal. The ceo and board members of GM decided to take the deal. What’s the problem?

I would get into the fairness of progressive tax law but I don’t have the time right now, maybe later.

Caper

May 31st, 2009
6:21 pm

“You all seem really upset over the government owning a private business.”

Yeah, it’s called FASCISM.

“Government routinely owns private businesses and they do so on a weekly basis without so much as a peep.”

Really? Where? Please enlighten us on government OWNING a private business. That’s choice stuff.

“I would guarantee that an UAW employee can build a car just as well as a non UAW employee.”

Thirty plus years of UAW GM “quality” proves otherwise. Strike ‘em if you got ‘em.

“As far as Obama firing the ceo of GM, GM came to the government asking for a bailout. The government said they would help. Should there be no stipulations on the help?”

GM should have taken bankruptcy instead of the Chicago goons running Washington TELLING them how to do THEIR business. Ford is the last hope of American auto manufacturers and not getting sucked into the liberal socialist web of control.

“I would get into the fairness of progressive tax law but I don’t have the time right now, maybe later.”

We already know what you liberals think about that. Rich=evil and can pay more because they have more (unless you are a Democrat like our current Treasury Sec. and “forget” about paying some of them.).

Caper

May 31st, 2009
6:31 pm

Oh, and let’s inject the fact that the majority of Americans are AGAINST government ownership of private businesses. Yes, that means deciding on how much those evil CEOs and non-working corporate executives get paid too. (You have to understand that in the mind of a liberal, white collar workers [GASP! IS THAT RACIST??!!] don’t really work for their dollars. More to the point, the more a white collar worker earns and moves up the corporate chain, the more said white collar worker has taken a dump on those who are not at their salary level and “stolen” from them. This is liberalism mentality.

Caper

May 31st, 2009
6:38 pm

Words of wisdom from a liberal on the GM fascism:

“There surely is a rationale for bailing out the failing American Auto industry based on the possibility of thousands of auto workers and those working in related industries losing their jobs – that said, when was the last time the Federal Government was deemed effective management for any project? The taxpayers owning a stake in private industry (socialism) is counter to the basic principles of capitalism upon which the nation has, thus far, thrived (despite historical trends of recessions and depression). The GM debacle is a prime example of what happens when the Government steps in to “help” an industry.”

“First, GM has manufacturing plants outside of the U.S., specifically Brazil, where they have a profitable operation run by non-union employees. Now GM is considering moving its headquarters out of Detroit in order to save assets. This is a direct result of the forced bankruptcy of the company by the Obama administration. Knowing that the company is in deep financial trouble here in the U.S., top executives yesterday dumped GM Stock in order to salvage what little worth is left in the government owned auto maker. Should the company move to Mexico or China, those Auto Union Workers will be left holding the bag, however, due to the structure of the company’s union contract, that bag, pensions and all benefits will be the responsibility of the American Taxpayer. In other words, the U.S. Government has purchased a company (or bought controlling stakes in a company), that is basically worthless, has a huge overhead in bloated union benefits, and, no competitive products to sell.”

“Chrysler (also under the Obama administrations guidance), has been told that their advertising budget must be slashed in half. Historically speaking, those companies that continued to advertise during the depression in the 1930’s, survived, in fact, increased their sales over time, and those that cut back, or did not advertise at all, are now – also history.”

“Chrysler is an interesting case, because they have been bailed out before, under the Carter Administration. In that bailout, loans were given to the industry, and the government took a passive role, resulting in an eventual resurgence. In this case, Carter, who is most closely aligned to Obama in ideology, was a tad smarter in handling the “crisis”.”

bigliberal

May 31st, 2009
6:43 pm

“when was the last time the Federal Government was deemed effective management for any project?”

The US Military. Right wingers don’t seem to have a problem with that being government run.

bigliberal

May 31st, 2009
6:49 pm

“Really? Where? Please enlighten us on government OWNING a private business. That’s choice stuff.”

I did enlighten you if you had read my post. When the government takes over a bank it owns the bank until it can sell it back to private industry. I provide meaningful dialogue and it seems all you bring is name calling. Fascist, Socalist, Liberal(if you believe liberal is a slur). I didn’t call you a redneck inbred high school dropout did I? Now, now before you post some hate filled screed just remember who started it.

Linville

May 31st, 2009
7:34 pm

Back home and catching up.

booger,

A VAT isn’t exactly the Fair Tax. Fair Tax would replace all incocome tax with the sales tax. I’d be all for that but think it’s too much of a reach to get through DC.

Caper,

I would go for a third party. Problem is, I don’t know if you’d like the party I’d like. We have left wingers and right wingers running parties. Nobody represents the moderate independents like me. So we’re just the “swing” that decides if the R or the D wins elections. That sucks, we’re usually voting on the least bad candidate.

biglib,

Agree, we have the best military in the world and the government kind of runs it (it would probably be even better if they didn’t).

But find something else they do well. They’re not good at health care, have stolen our retirement money, and screwed up education to the point that the only place we are first is in spending more per student than anyone else while getting mediocre results. Regardless of what the Rs and Ds say, many of the economic problems we face today have direct connections to the poor job in DC…so they can’t even do their own job.

I don’t ascribe to the conspiracy theory that Obama wants to nationalize businesses so he can control the world. Thank God. On the other hand, in the areas where I agree with what he’s trying to do I fully expect that our esteemed elected leaders can screw up just about anything that gets voted in. If you don’t share that concern you’re asleep at the switch.

Caper

May 31st, 2009
7:44 pm

“The US Military. Right wingers don’t seem to have a problem with that being government run.”

Here we go again smalliberal with the mindless, no, CHILDISH “well what about the military, police, …”.

You brain dead liberals wouldn’t understand a point if you sat your asses on it.

“I did enlighten you if you had read my post. When the government takes over a bank it owns the bank until it can sell it back to private industry.”

You said it happens ALL THE TIME. Now, for the SECOND time, liberal, explain to the rest of us how the federal government OWNS private companies day in and day out. I’d surmise that anything FEDERAL owned is no longer “private.” Wouldn’t you?

“I provide meaningful dialogue and it seems all you bring is name calling. Fascist, Socalist, Liberal(if you believe liberal is a slur).”

You liberals are what you are. Fascism IS what it is. You can sugar coat it until hell freezes over liberal. You ARE a liberal, aren’t you?

“I didn’t call you a redneck inbred high school dropout did I?”

I’m a Conservative. You are a Liberal. Anything in between is what you want it to be. I didn’t call you a Democrat JACKASS either, did I?

Caper

May 31st, 2009
7:53 pm

Linville:

“would go for a third party. Problem is, I don’t know if you’d like the party I’d like. We have left wingers and right wingers running parties. Nobody represents the moderate independents like me. So we’re just the “swing” that decides if the R or the D wins elections. That sucks, we’re usually voting on the least bad candidate.”

Man that is so true. But, I will say this: the modern liberal Democrats think they are the true centrists, and some Republicans are relinquishing their inherent beliefs (not that they are all good mind you) and shifting to the alleged center, or “moderate” center. George Washington was vehemently against a multiple party system, and as we watch this nation vote down party lines and elect those based on said party lines, we can see how much foresight our Founding Fathers had. The irony in all that is that NEITHER party serves our best interest.

Caper

May 31st, 2009
8:01 pm

Can someone explain to me why liberals don’t like being called liberals? Just asking………

Linville

May 31st, 2009
8:26 pm

Dunno. Is that always the case? bigliberal doesn’t seem to mind.

My daughter (the 22 year old) just asked how the conservatives let the environmental issue get hijacked by the hippies. After all, the root word is “conserve”…which has all kinds of good connotations. Unlike “liberal”, which seems to say that you don’t conserve.

Just reporting.

Linville

May 31st, 2009
8:30 pm

As I sit waiting for the fire to get just right for that dead cow I’m about to throw on I’m pondering Caper’s comments about moderate democrats. Wonder if he’s talking about me?

Linville

May 31st, 2009
8:36 pm

JW,

I know the AJC is strapped right now but somebody needs to take a look at this blog software. It’s the pits. I post, refresh, and go backwards. Remind the folks down there that blogging is supposed to be REAL TIME!

Caper

May 31st, 2009
8:48 pm

“I’m pondering Caper’s comments about moderate democrats. Wonder if he’s talking about me?”

Linville, trust me, you’ll know if I’m talking about *you* personally. You have issues with your representative left, and I have issues with my representative right. Somewhere there I believe we have a common ground, even if our basic principles might be somewhat off. But, that’s what debate and diversity of opinion is about – just as I mentioned yesterday with our Founding Fathers.

Caper

May 31st, 2009
8:56 pm

“My daughter (the 22 year old) just asked how the conservatives let the environmental issue get hijacked by the hippies. After all, the root word is “conserve”…which has all kinds of good connotations. Unlike “liberal”, which seems to say that you don’t conserve.”

That is a paradox, isn’t it? Nobody wants dirty water in their back yard. On the other end of the spectrum, the UN forcing America to pay some sort of carbon tax while turning a blind eye to China’s emissions says it all.

The only thing I find “liberal” about liberals is that they have no problems whatsoever being “liberal” with other people’s money.

Linville

May 31st, 2009
8:58 pm

Caper,

I may get to like you. :)

Agree, sounds like we have things in common. And I love a good debate. I get pretty tired of the ranting on both sides, but there’s plenty of good info, and lots of good folks, engaging in these blogs.

Maybe we should figure out how we can start a new party off a blog…or advocate for some of the things that many think make sense (but the government won’t do).

Linville

May 31st, 2009
9:11 pm

Caper,

I still like a good old fashoned petroleum tax, not a carbon tax. Jacking gas prices up as a tax plan has lots more advantages than hiking the income tax.

Regarding China and the rest of the emerging world, check out this guy:

http://gregor.us/

He’s not your normal hippie environmentalist, he’s an investor in energy with something of a socially conscious side. Interesting read on why coal is about to become much more popular.

Caper

May 31st, 2009
9:17 pm

Interesting link, Linville. I’ll check it out. But considering we aren’t even at France’s level of nuclear power plant output per capita, I will sit back and see what the Obama administration means about killing coal via “price signals.”

Alpharetta

May 31st, 2009
9:48 pm

People, calm down, this is a free country. Kick out Obama in 4 years if you are not happy with him. That’s how we get rid of W, remember? America is a 10Trillion economy, a 25billion company of GM is no biggie.

Just remember, the south may be proud of it’s conservative tradition. But if you think about it. There is nothing big invented in the south in ideas or industries (except Coke?). Actuall, the entire south has never produced a Nobel prize winner. GM/Ford/Chrysler don’t have much to do you southerners, you guys are just their consumers. Southerners cannot invent GM, I don’t expect you guys to be able to solve the problems of GM either.

Nice weekend.

Jim

May 31st, 2009
9:56 pm

I will never buy another GM car or truck…nor will I buy Chrysler…..my Grand dad, Uncle, and Dad sold Oldsmobliles for 35 years. I am sure they are rolling over in there graves right now to see how this all turned out. As long as I know Obama has his crooked hand in the mix with those 2 companies, I will buy Ford. Ford did not take any bail out money, and for this they have earned my respect. We have a 2007 Ford f-150, and in 2010-11, we will be getting another one. R.I.P. GM. You will never be the same with Obama running you…..into the ground.

Linville

May 31st, 2009
10:09 pm

Caper,

I’ll go nuclear.

Heard an interesting guy talking about alternate energy for cars the other day, he made a good point: if we’re looking for something quick we have to have fuel distribution. The only valid source of alternative fuel in place today is electricity…you can just plug in to your house. Cars that run on nuclear-generated electricity would be a pretty good solution by me.

Linville

May 31st, 2009
10:18 pm

Jim,

Hope you need an f-150 for your work. Otherwise I don’t understand why you’d buy another. Gas will be above $5.00 soon and that pick-em-up will drive you right to the poorhouse. If US car companies don’t figure out quality and fuel economy you won’t have to worry about any of them.

fisher

May 31st, 2009
10:31 pm

Purchased a Chev. Truck 2mths ago. Bad move on my decision! Truck is for sale or trade now!! It will be gone within 10 to 14 days, maybe sooner!

fisher

May 31st, 2009
10:32 pm

Enter your comments here

livinginparadise

May 31st, 2009
10:43 pm

Chrysler just filed for bankruptcy and they are not ebing taken over by the government, so why do we have to treat GM differently. Delta has been through bankruptcy and came through it okay. Bankruptcy is there to help re-organize a xompany and then allow them to emerge as a solvent entity. Chrysler has been in bankruptcy before and yes if people remember they emerged and paid back all their loans early. They became a thriving company until this reccession.

The question that keeps coming to mind is even if these companies re-structure, who is going to buy these cars. Instead of creating new jobs they are still being lost at record numbers. If you are looking for a job the pay is so low you can not afford a car. The credit industry is struggling and will not make loans. Banks have to start re-paying the bail out money they received. So how is this plan good for any of us?

It is ironic that this man spends our money without a thought, just like last night. People are struggling to make ends meet and we have to pay for these idiots to go out on a date night to NYC.

What we as Americans need to do is unite and vote everyone of them out of office. Put peeople in there that have the same ideals about this country as the founding fathers. There should be term limits on how long a person can be a Representative or a Senator. We have to think outside the box and stop voting along party lines and elect the best qualified candidate.

I also agree that we have allowed these people to burden our children with this debt and they will probably not pay it off then our grand children will be burdened with it.

Linville

May 31st, 2009
10:53 pm

Livinginparadise,

Are you ready to join Caper’s and my third party? Otherwise who would you replace them with? More of the same?

Yulanda

May 31st, 2009
11:28 pm

Ok so Why’s hdukes.com Insurance is CHEAPER than my employer?? Is my employer reaping benefits and not SHARING.

Decider

May 31st, 2009
11:45 pm

Pension aren’t secured, they are priority unsecured on Schedule E.

Bigliberal

May 31st, 2009
11:56 pm

http://www.fdic.gov/bank/individual/failed/banklist.html These are all the banks that have failed recently. Who do you think takes them over when they fail? The US Government. They take them over and sell them back into the private sector all the while insuring the money that is deposited is guaranteed. They essentially close the bank take ownership and make sure the employees and management don’t make off with any assets. So while it is a short time, they own a private business. Does that answer your question?

I also have to disagree that the government does not do anything well. For some things we need them. Police, fire, disaster management etc. Jobs that have little profit incentive but that society needs. For 8 years we have been under a republican president who believed that government should be small enough to drown in a bathtub all the while giving out money hand over fist with very little return. It was Cheney that said “Regan proved that deficits don’t matter, this is our due” and now you are going to complain about spending? Where were you 8 years ago?

drago

June 1st, 2009
2:37 am

Jim you rock, I love your columns and you are correct about our march towards socialism. This is the consequences for voting for Democrats, and a poor Republican party that failed its voters. Shame, Shame, Shame!!!

Shifting to Toyota

June 1st, 2009
6:36 am

All you morons that voted for Obama wanted “change”….and now you are getting it. Congratulations. You asked for it.

Copyleft

June 1st, 2009
8:59 am

Please… American automakers have needed to have their life-support shut off for YEARS now. These dinosaurs need to fail, if they can’t provide the economical, fuel-efficient, reliable cars that their competitors do.

[...] Jim Wooten is troubled at the prospect of owning GM. [...]

LL Cool J

June 1st, 2009
1:56 pm

*”Of course, in ANY corporate bankruptcy proceeding, the (government) court appoints a (government) trustee to (governmentally) administer the debtor’s assets and reach (government) agreements with the creditors.”*

Wow. It is unfortunate but clear that Copyleft has not spent much time in bankruptcy court or dealing with bankrupt/troubled companies. This isn’t even remotely close to how bankruptcy works – at least not Chapter 11, which is where Chrysler and GM find themselves. Yes, a trustee is usually appointed (although not always) but the role of the United States Trustee (as opposed to any of the other types of trustees that are sometimes involved in bankruptcy cases) is not to “administer” the debtor’s assets. Absent special situations like fraud or blatant malfeasance, running the debtor’s business operations will generally remain under the purview of the debtor and its existing management and board of directors structure until the company is sold or a Plan of Reorganization becomes effective, hence the term “debtor in possession”. It means, quite simply, the debtor remains in possession and in control of its assets.

The US Trustee’s role in the bankruptcy process is not to cut deals on behalf of the debtor, but rather to effect the just, speedy and efficient resolution of bankruptcy cases and police the behavior of the parties in interest to the bankrupcty case. In most chapter 11 cases, the debtor is responsible for arriving at the best resolution of the case, whether this is a sale (or sales) of the company or a Plan of Reorganization. The bankruptcy code provides a debtor a period of exclusivity specifically to accomplish this goal.