The US government will “consult” with GM to replace its board of directors. We all know who the government will put on this board. UAW heads, environmentalists, and others who don’t give know anything about making a profit. They’re more concerned about pushing their agenda and telling us what to drive.
The president’s auto task force plans to consult with the company as it replaces a majority of its board, a White House official said. The board today largely consists of the current and former chiefs of major U.S. corporations such as Coca-Cola, Ernst & Young, Pfizer and Eastman Kodak. It is not known which of the 12 board members will leave.
The president said Monday that “the United States government has no interest in running GM.” But in practice it is already exerting tremendous influence over it, a situation that has triggered fierce debate over how much power the government should wield over the companies that it aids.
Kent Kresa, 71, GM’s new chairman, said yesterday that company officials will seek to replace a majority on the board by August, as the automaker moves to restructure operations.
“There will be continuing coordination as decisions about the leadership of the company are made,” a White House official said yesterday. “Folks from the autos task force will be involved in those decisions.”
Some critics characterize the White House’s removal of Wagoner as a move toward European socialism. In addition to forcing leadership changes at GM, President Obama on Monday said that Chrysler must strike a partnership with Italian automaker Fiat, and that GM must further cut its already shrunken workforce and product lines.
“They have opened Pandora’s box — the U.S. government has decided they know better than the private company,” said Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) “There is no question that this country is moving down a very different and foreign path. We have crossed this threshold: We own this company and we are telling it what to do.”
But defenders say the government must make changes at the ailing companies to safeguard the billions of dollars being invested by taxpayers.
“There’s a new CEO and new chairman of the board,” said Rep. Sander M. Levin (D-Mich.). “The government will play an active role as with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and other institutions with a major investment from taxpayers.”
And we all know how well that worked out.
Another government tried to get into the car making business. This is what it came up with:
This is the car that gave Communism a bad name. Powered by a two-stroke pollution generator that maxed out at an ear-splitting 18 hp, the Trabant was a hollow lie of a car constructed of recycled worthlessness (actually, the body was made of a fiberglass-like Duroplast, reinforced with recycled fibers like cotton and wood). A virtual antique when it was designed in the 1950s, the Trabant was East Germany’s answer to the VW Beetle — a “people’s car,” as if the people didn’t have enough to worry about. Trabants smoked like an Iraqi oil fire, when they ran at all, and often lacked even the most basic of amenities, like brake lights or turn signals. But history has been kind to the Trabi. Thousands of East Germans drove their Trabants over the border when the Wall fell, which made it a kind of automotive liberator. Once across the border, the none-too-sentimental Ostdeutschlanders immediately abandoned their cars. Ich bin Junk!
Peter Robinson, host of Uncommon Knowledge, interviewed Richard Epstein, who said this about Obama’s attempt to let government restructure GM:
[W]e take them away from bankruptcy judges, who are experts, and give them to a collection of congressional individuals who are charitably called clowns. When you bring commercial decisions to Congress they become politicized, and politicized decisions become destructive decisions.
Not only that, but this sets a terrible precedent where no precedent exists at all, while there is over 200 years of bankruptcy law that dictates exactly how a bankruptcy of a corporation is supposed to proceed. This new CEO needs to get his head out of his a$$ and pull this entire thing out from underneath Obama by filing a petition for Chapter 11; otherwise, Barack Obama will not only guide GM through a make-believe bankruptcy, but also he will guide America through the iron-fisted gates of statism.
Update: Hot Air informs us that Car and Driver has what looks like an April Fool’s joke. What’s really sad is that Obama has so overreached that it’s very easy to take Car and Driver’s joke seriously, which I did at first: Obama has just ordered GM and Chrysler to stop participating in NASCAR because it’s an unnecessary expenditure. If GM and Chrysler keep going along with this faux bankruptcy, they deserve to die a long, painful death:
In a move sure to spark outrage, the White House announced today that GM and Chrysler must cease participation in NASCAR at the end of the 2009 season if they hope to receive any additional financial aid from the government. Companies around the globe–Honda and Audi, to name two–have drawn down racing operations, and NASCAR itself has already felt the pinch in the form of reduced team spending. A complete withdrawal from America’s premier racing series is expected to save more than $250 million between GM and Chrysler, a substantial amount considering the drastic measures being implemented elsewhere.
What sad, little fools:
Both Chevrolet and Dodge see the move as only temporary, and fully expect to resume racing in NASCAR as soon as they have stabilized and the government’s hand in their operations is minimized. “There is nothing really to say at this point,” said one representative, who wished to remain anonymous. “We’ve been doing this since the beginning, and we always assumed we’d be doing this until the end. Heck, nobody ever thought to think that there would be an end. But we ain’t done. As soon as this is over, we’re taking back our spot at the top.”
When are these people going to get it. The government’s hand won’t ever be minimized, at least not under Obama’s rule. Once government bureaucrats get their first taste of making the car of their environmental dreams, it’s over. The government will not get out of the business until a president who understands the free market wins the office and sets GM and Chrysler free again.