Friday, November 21, 2008

We Three Kings of De-e-Troit Are....

You didn't ask, but rarely am I shocked about anything that happens in the political or corporate arena.

But I was truly taken aback at the revelation that the Kings of the Big 3 automakers each flew into Washington, D.C for Congressional hearings aboard their own private multi-million dollar corporate jets.

As New York Rep. Gary Ackerman asked
"Couldn't you have downgraded to first class or something, or jet-pooled or something to get here?"

At the very least!

"It's almost like seeing the guy show up at the soup kitchen in a high hat and tuxedo," said Ackerman at the hearing of the House Financial Services Committee. "It kind of makes you a little bit suspicious."


But these three smug, privileged, perk-laden, billionaire CEO's just sat there speechless - looking like the over-privileged potentates they are.

The were clueless - totally unconcerned that their roughly $25,000 flight form Detroit to D.C. was anything other than just OK.

As my dear friend Dallas said to me today, "They're impervious to any criticism."

Without question.

These Three Kings are part of the problem not part of the solution. Their Boards should retire them immediately, or, failing that, reduce their compensation packages and perks to some sensible, understandable multiple of what the lowest paid employees earns. The Kings are being paid outrageous sums while their companies fail.

It's absolute chutzpah to come begging with tin cups in hand as you exit your Gulfstream!

Their behavior is the most extreme callousness I can recall. And it made for some of the best television I've seen recently not counting Sarah Palin's turkey fiasco yesterday.

These Three Kings have terribly mismanaged one of the most fundamental pillars of our economy.

Don't give them a dime unless they can show plans to move the auto industry out of the 1950's and into the 21st Century. And that means green cars,small cars and alternative fuels! Short of that let the Chinese buy them.

And check this out - as I'm writing this Reuters reports that "GM will return two of its leased corporate jets amid intense criticism in Washington this week on the luxury travel arrangements of its chief executive..."

Damn, this stuff can't be made up.

American moguls - don't you just love 'em?