RUSH: Say, folks, look at me here, look at me. The auto bailout is going to happen at some point. It’s either going to happen with the Bush administration tapping the TARP money or it’s going to happen when the Obama crowd is inaugurated. It’s going to happen. It’s Friday. Let’s go.
JOHNNY DONOVAN: Live from the Southern Command in sunny south Florida via New York City, it’s Open Line Friday!
RUSH: Don’t misunderstand me. What happened last night in the Senate is fabulous. It’s great the Republicans stood up. David Vitter and Bob Corker, Mitch McConnell, attaboy. But it’s going to happen. Great to have you with us as we inaugurate Open Line Friday, ladies and gentlemen. And you know the rules. Hang on. Something just arrived. Interesting. Okay, here we go. Open Line Friday, when you, ladies and gentlemen, call and when we go to the phones you can talk about whatever you want to talk about. You own the content at that time. That’s not the way it works Monday through Thursday. Here’s the telephone number, 800-282-2882, e-mail address, ElRushbo@eibnet.com.
No, I’m not trying to throw a damper on anything, I’m just telling you that elections have consequences and at some point the Democrats are going to run the Senate and the Democrats are going to run the House of Representatives even more than they do now, and the Democrats are going to be in the White House. And at some point the auto bailout is going to happen, because it’s not an auto bailout. It’s a union bailout, and the union bailout is going to happen. What the headline today ought to be: ‘United Auto Workers Screws Bailout Program.’ Instead, the headline here: ‘Senate Rejects Auto Bailout,’ and the Politico story of this has this fascinating little paragraph: ‘Critics argued that Bob Corker,’ the Senator from Tennessee, ‘overreached, intruding too much on management and the union’s relationship.’ Now, stop and think about that for just a second. Senator Corker overreached on the auto bill, intruding on the management and labor relationship. How in the world can any Senator overreach when we’re talking about nationalizing the whole business? Corker is a hero today. Corker got in a room with Gettelfinger, the UAW guy — and, by the way, let’s be clear about something, because I think that there are some misconceptions.
Some people are mistakenly saying that the UAW has made no concessions. They have made some in the area of wages. Where they’re holding firm, where they have made no concessions is in the desire that people have to pare down health care and retirement benefits for people that don’t work there anymore. That’s what’s killed this. That’s what’s done the greatest harm to the industry, is that 700,000 people are being paid by these companies that no longer produce anything, that no longer work there. Some people have gotten more in retirement, we had an autoworker call and tell us that he’s made more in retirement than he made while he worked there, and I don’t doubt that he’s not the only one. The idea that a single senator can overreach (laughing) and intrude on the management-labor relationship while the Senate, the government, is in the process of trying to take over the auto business. Now, a lot of people said, ‘Rush, look, why are the auto companies coming to the government for the money? Why don’t they go to the banks? We bailed out some banks, the $700 billion in the TARP fund, why don’t they just go there?’ I don’t know of an up and up bank who would look at the debt structure and everything else at some of these companies that would lend ’em any money.
I’m hearing from a lot of people who are shocked and dismayed because where we stand today is that Gettelfinger is demanding that the Treasury department — and don’t forget now, I got into an argument somewhat last night with someone discussing this, ’cause I knew about 10:30 or 11 o’clock that the thing was going to go down, that they didn’t have the votes in the Senate and the deal was dead. I was talking to some people about it, you know, instant messaging, ‘Don’t worry, Bush is going to bail ’em out, they’ll take $15 billion from TARP,’ and people wrote back, ‘He can’t, TARP is for the banks, TARP is for lending.’ I said, ‘Come on. Do you not remember the preamble and sections one and two of this whole thing?’ We’ve read these things numerous times to you. The Treasury secretary is a dictator here. The Treasury secretary has total authority to do whatever he wants with that money to guarantee the economic security of the American people.
The Treasury secretary works for the president. So I guarantee you, if the president wants money to come from TARP to go to the auto companies, it’s going to happen. And a lot of you are saying, ‘Why would Bush do that? I mean, he’s going against his own party, why, the Republicans are finally standing up and showing some courage, why would Bush do that?’ Well, I’m not privy to the real answer, I can only guess, folks, but it’s called legacy, and I just don’t think that President Bush wants to leave office with the fact that one, two, or maybe three American automakers went belly up on his watch. I think it’s that simple. They’ve got this pool of money over there, and right now people are asking, ‘But the American people through their elected representatives have said no to this.’ Yes, a lot of Republicans, though, have said yes to it. There are a lot of Republicans in the House that voted for this, 32 Republicans in the Senate that voted for this. They couldn’t cut off debate and get cloture. They couldn’t get 60 votes last night.
Now there are arguments that are springing up here that this is a north versus south thing, that the southern senators, they’re not eager to bail out the north because their auto business is just hunky-dory, it’s fine and dandy. You make a mistake if you think of this as about autos. It is not about autos. It is about jobs, it is about union jobs, it is about paying back the unions for electing Obama, for donating $400 million to his campaign in aggregate. And the president right now is, you know, elected representatives of the people are one thing, and the public polling on this is another thing. But remember now, the vast majority of the time politicians of both parties, primarily Democrats, but some Republicans as well, think that we don’t know what we’re talking about anyway, we’re not privy, we’re not close enough to what they do, we don’t have all their information, plus we’re rubes, we’re not really sophisticated enough to understand what they have to do, and so they can’t listen to us. That’s why we elect them to make decisions for us on which we are not as informed and smart and as understanding as they are.
We were waiting last night, Dingy Harry even promised, he said, ‘This has gone down the hill. It ain’t going to happen.’ You wait. Wait ’til you see what happens to the stock market tomorrow. Well, it’s down 70. It didn’t crash. The futures market said it was down 300. It didn’t go down as far as people thought because there is this talk now that — and Dana Perino for the White House has come out, ‘Oh, yeah we’re looking very seriously here at taking money from TARP to kind of sustain the auto business,’ just kick it down the road so that it becomes Obama’s problem. But Bush does not want them going under in the time that he’s still in office. The headline I wish I would see today, I’m just wishing, I know it will never happen: ‘United Auto Workers to America’s Auto Industry: Drop Dead — Heroic GOP Plan to Save Detroit Rejected by Union Bosses.’ That’s the headline that we should see and we will not see. Audio sound bite time, Ron Gettelfinger this morning in Detroit demanding, pointing out the UAW’s made concessions, saying the Republicans are targeting American workers.
GETTELFINGER: We could not accept the effort by the Senate GOP caucus to single out workers and retirees for different treatment and to make them shoulder the entire burden of any restructuring. Now that the Senate GOP caucus has repudiated the positions taken by President Bush and by Senator Corker and scuttled the legislation, the only options are for Treasury Secretary Paulson to exercise his authority to use the TARP funds to provide assistance or for the Federal Reserve to take action.
RUSH: And then Gettelfinger said this.
GETTELFINGER: The UAW calls on Secretary Treasury Paulson or the Federal Reserve to use their authority to prevent the imminent collapse of the automakers and the devastating consequences that would follow for millions of workers, retirees, for families across our nation, and for our economy as a whole.
RUSH: Now, remember, they have made some wage concessions, and they’re not large, but they have made some, but they are not conceding anything here on the real costs. The wages are still out of balance with those in the nonunionized auto sector, but these retirement legacy, pension, all these costs, they’re killing people. And that’s where they will not budge. You could say that many unions are really after as much money for their members who don’t work as possible. That’s always been one of the objectives of unions is to reduce the amount of the workday, the amount of the workload while increasing wages and it’s gotten to the point in some unions that you get paid for not working. And your health care, pension, you get paid for not working. This is where they will not budge. Gettelfinger got a question from a reporter: ‘In your view, to what extent was this political payback for Democrat support historically or UAW support of Democrat candidates? Were the Republicans just getting even with you?’
GETTELFINGER: Were they getting even? I don’t know, I think there’s two factors that come into play here. One is, and I think maybe more than the fact, or maybe they’re coupled together, but one of them is, we are an effective political organization, but more importantly, we’re union. And, you know, the right wing in this country have basically painted the word ‘union’ to be a very negative word.
RUSH: Well, now we get to the bottom of it all. It’s the right wing that is the problem.
RUSH: Everybody, it seems, has a grievance against me, your host. From Colin Powell to members of the United Auto Workers. I just checked the e-mail during the break. This from Don Krueger. He’s a UAW worker. He’s 45 years old. Subject line: ‘What the hell were you listening to? Rush, I was watching Gettelfinger’s address this morning. Did you not hear what he said about wages? UAW versus Toyota? Toyota makes more than UAW? I’ve always been a supporter of yours, but you’re making me mad with all this criticism of UAW workers.’ The letter goes on and on and on and on and on. Mr. Krueger, I support the workers. Where have you been? All week along: I support the workers; I just don’t support the union. I heard Gettelfinger. I heard this tripe that Toyota makes $30 an hour versus UAW making $28. My first reaction to that was, ‘So who needs a union? Why don’t you guys get out of the UAW and make your 30 bucks an hour working for Toyota?’
If that’s what Gettelfinger means, he’s stupid! But that’s not the point, Mr. Krueger. Mr. Krueger, Gettelfinger is trying to deflect attention. It may be true. I don’t know if it’s true. This is a union guy! I don’t know if he’s telling me the truth. This is a Democrat. I don’t know if he’s telling me the truth. I never know what’s what; I never know what the truth is when I hear it from a Democrat in the media or a liberal Democrat in the media or a liberal Democrat in Congress. I don’t know who’s telling me the truth. Okay, so Toyota pays 30 bucks an hour versus the UAW 28. So fire Gettelfinger for getting you an inferior deal! But that’s not the answer. See, I’ll guarantee you something, Mr. Krueger. I’ll bet you Toyota is not paying 700,000 people, every year, full wages and retirement who no longer work.
I know the UAW has made some concessions on wages but they haven’t made any concessions on the stuff that’s really costing. I’m all for you guys making everything you can! I’ve said this I don’t know how many times. I mean against anybody earning what they can get. You are worth what somebody will pay you, unless you’re in a union and then you’re only worth what your thug leader can get for you. In this case, you’re getting two bucks an hour less than the people at Toyota are getting. If that’s even true! I don’t know that that’s it. I’ve heard that the sum total of the UAW package is actually $55 an hour, when you add everything up. I mean, I don’t know what to believe about all this. All I know is, common economics: and that is you cannot pay 700,000 people every year for doing nothing as though they’re still working full time! You cannot do it. You cannot do it in perpetuity or you are in heap big trouble.
I don’t care if somebody made that deal long ago or not. The bill has come due. What I do know is that in 2007, Mr. Krueger, Toyota and General Motors sold almost the identical number of cars: 9.37 million. I also know that Toyota made $17 billion selling their 9.37 million cars. I know that General Motors lost something like 28 billion selling their 9.37 million cars. Now, I don’t know all the things that contribute to the difference in Toyota’s profits and General Motors loss, and I doubt that it’s all labor costs. I don’t think the disparity can be that large simply because of labor but it’s certainly a factor. But I’m not against you guys. I’m just a classic, econ 101 guy. There are just some things I know that used to be common sense.
You can’t pay people that produce nothing for you, and you can’t pay a whole bunch of them over and over again who don’t do anything, even if they have in the past. ‘But we had a deal! We had a deal!’ Yeah, you had a deal. Well, look at where it’s got you. You’re close to your companies being bankrupt or bailed out or what have you. It ain’t healthy! The purpose of this country is not to see to it that the United Auto Workers get paid when there aren’t any cars getting made. That’s not the purpose of the United States of America. The purpose of the United States of America is to have Democrats run around telling people that that’s the kind of deal they can get if they elect Democrats. You know, it’s interesting to me, uh, ladies and gentlemen. Senator Corker’s plan for the auto business ought to be imposed on the federal government, too.
I mean, here we are people. We are going to have a federal deficit of between 1.5 and $2 trillion next year. Do you people remember in the 1980s during the great era of Reaganomics, which caused a 25-year economic boom to take place? Every bit of good economic news that’s taken place in this country since the eighties is due to Reaganomics, not the Clintons’ tax increases, not to anything Clinton did. If it weren’t for the Republicans being elected to run Congress, we wouldn’t have the welfare reform, we wouldn’t have had balanced budgets, a whole bunch of things that compensated for Clinton’s stupid tax increases in 1994 and 1993. So now we’re going to have — we might have, I want to warn you people of this — economic growth for the fourth quarter this year, when we get the number in January might be negative 5%.
That means, ladies and gentlemen, that revenue to the Treasury is going to be much lower than the fourth quarter last year. You couple that with all of the layoffs that have taken place and further tax receipts not being paid because people aren’t working; and you add to it all of this ludicrous, irresponsible bailout spending; and we’re looking at a federal deficit of one and a half to $2 trillion. And back when the deficit was 300 billion, the Democrats were caterwauling about being irresponsible, the Deficit Monster was going to swallow us all up. Now Obama, Obama and his team are running around saying, ‘Deficit spending is no big deal. We gotta do it. We gotta revive the economy.’ You don’t revive the economy with deficit spending; ask FDR. FDR, the New Deal, prolonged the Great Depression for seven years. It didn’t fix anything. Unemployment didn’t drop considerably. Tax rates went up.
It was a disaster. And the New Deal was not about reviving the economy; it was about guaranteeing interminable power to the Democrat Party, and that’s what’s happening here. Elections have consequences. So, we’re going to have these giant deficits, one-and-a-half to two trillion a year, and the people responsible for this are telling us and the auto companies what they need to do to restructure and run themselves the right way? Don’t make me sick. This is outrageous. It is ridiculous for people who are running up an irresponsible amount of debt, stupid, unproductive spending. I thought we were going to bail out the banks. I thought we were going to upside down the credit markets. Zilch, zero, nada has happened.
A lot of people told you it was not gonna work, and we keep doing it. We’re going to bail this out. We’re going to bail that out. We’re going to take care of that. We still got $2 trillion in loans the Fed made; they won’t tell us to who. When we are in this much debt, you don’t have any liberty. You don’t have nearly as much freedom, folks. When the government’s running the car business, when the government’s running the banks, when the government’s running this or that, it’s sort of like the DMV. You have to go there ’cause there’s nowhere else, and you know what that’s like. And when they ended up running the health care business, it’s going to be more of the same: dit-dit-dit-ditto. But ‘Rush, it’s only $15 billion.’ General Motors is $62 billion in debt; 70% of the GDP is going to be government in debt if we don’t get a handle on this.
That’s where we’re headed. Seventy percent of the GDP is going to be government in debt, and the very people responsible for this have the audacity to tell the automobile business or anybody else how to run their business? And then the union guy, Gettelfinger, who also hasn’t run a business, tells everybody else what the government must do, what the president must do. We got a mayor in Michigan piling on, telling the government what it has to do and so forth. There is no competent responsibility being exhibited in Washington, DC, except from three or four Senators for the past couple days on this auto bailout. I tell you, I am serious. Corker’s plan needs to be imposed on the federal government as well. It’s interesting. What’s being asked of the car companies is exactly what should be demanded of the federal government.
Slash expenses to become viable long term. Republicans need to think really carefully about this. Corker is insisting on rigorous financial constraints as a way to avoid bankruptcy. He’s trying to stop bankruptcy here. DeMint insists on bankruptcy. You know, this is good. The arguments of substance are taking place as they always do on the conservative side of the aisle here. Taxpayer money ought not be pumped down rat holes, public or private sector. Central planners have no business trying to micromanage the automobile industry. But it is their business to micromanage themselves, and they are botching it. They are failures. They can’t even run their own cafeteria at a profit, and it’s closed to the public! The Senate cafeteria is an open drain down which money flows.
They can’t even run their own cafeteria, folks. We see they can’t run with $3 trillion a year to spend without going into debt, they still can’t do things responsibly. The federal government is hemorrhaging right now. It’s going to be at least a trillion and a half dollars next year, and it’s telling companies that they are being irresponsible? What, Barney Frank, Harry Reid, Pelosi, patting themselves on the back for insisting upon fiscal responsibility from the Big Three automakers? Don’t make me laugh, ’cause I still break into a coughing spasm now and then if I do. Why not try to take on some of this Big Government-mandated discipline on themselves? Chris Dodd, why didn’t you have the character to refuse a sweetheart mortgage from Countrywide? Why didn’t you have the character with Barney Frank to look at Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and shut it down or clean it up?
You people have no moral authority whatsoever to be demanding financial or any other kind of responsibility from anybody in this country, particularly in the private sector. You guys can go talk to Colin Powell all day long and lament the Nimrods and idiots who do not understand the sophisticated way in which Washington works, and we all understand it. You people are who you are because you do nothing but kiss ass with the media. You will do anything the media wants in order to get preferential treatment and phony reputations of greatness. You people who haven’t the slightest idea what life is really like in this country ’cause you get sweetheart mortgages (and who knows who the hell else gives you things that you don’t pay a going price for), you tell everybody else how to live their lives? Don’t make me puke.
RUSH: I’m not going to give this up. I’ve had some people look some things up for me here during the break that I had seen and I knew would be the case. Our friend and 24/7 member, by the way, Mr. Krueger, who wrote berating me for not understanding that the UAW makes $2 an hour less than Toyota, that’s pure smoke and mirrors anyway. I’m going to explain how right now. Some great work has been done on this at the Heritage Foundation by James Sherk. Now, of course, these are think tank guys, and they think a lot and they write long pieces. See, that’s my talent. I make the complex understandable. I can take this long thing and synthesize it for you very simply. You have to look at earned benefits versus cash compensation. When Gettelfinger says that a UAW worker makes $28 an hour and a Toyota worker makes $30 an hour, that’s cash compensation.
By the way, it happened for one year, I think, when the Toyota people bonused some of their employees six grand for a job well done. But we know that Toyota people don’t make two dollars an hour more than UAW people on the earned cash compensation side, otherwise the UAW would be moaning and griping to high hell about their inferior contract. Cash compensation earned benefits. It’s the earned benefits that make the UAW’s compensation so much more, and that’s why their union leaders can lie saying they earn less than Toyota. When they say that, they’re only talking about the cash, the hourly wage. Now, James Sherk at the Heritage Foundation says that this $70 an hour — it’s actually 73 — $73 an hour it costs to employ one United Autoworker does not include — Snerdley, are you listening to this? — $73 bucks an hour that it costs to hire and employ one United Autoworker at the Big Three does not include the cost of supporting former workers. The Big Three are going down the tubes in part because of both the insane benefits for current workers and the crazy compensation for retirees. Now, cash compensation is basically the hourly wage. Earned benefits also amount to $33.58 an hour, forty-six percent of total compensation.
Earned benefits include hospital, surgical, prescription drug benefits, dental and vision benefits, group life insurance, disability benefits, supplemental unemployment benefits, pension payments to workers’ pensions accounts to be paid out at retirement, unemployment compensation, and payroll taxes. That’s the earned benefits. And of course these things are not taxed, they’re not taxed for anybody, and no employee sees this stuff in terms of cash, you know, in the paycheck, but this is what it costs, all these other benefits, these are huge, and these are benefits Toyota does not pay, particularly to the retirees. Now, on the CBS Early Show today was the mayor from Lansing, Virg Bernero. Harry Smith says, ‘We’re joined now by the mayor of Lansing, has two GM plants, 6,000 workers. Mayor, are you in shock? Are you bewildered? Are you dismayed?’
BERNERO: I find it highly ironic to have congresspeople lecturing the UAW about cutting their wages. Why don’t we put congresspeople and senators on merit pay and see what they would be making? What has their productivity been? Give me a break. Now we have Republican senators beating up on the UAW and demanding that they take concessions. Why don’t we start the concessions in the US Senate?
RUSH: To a point, in a way, I am sympathetic to this, but the mayor here, of course, is obfuscating the — nobody is opposed to the workers earning money for work they do. We love workers, we love employees. I personally compensate well, but I don’t pay people who don’t work for me, folks.
RUSH: One more audio sound bite here from Virg Bernero. He is the mayor of Lansing, Michigan. Harry Smith says, ‘Let me ask you this, mayor. If the bailout hinges on whether or not the UAW makes concessions, isn’t it incumbent upon the UAW to make concessions to save the industry?’
BERNERO: And the UAW has had made concessions. The UAW has made historic concessions, and I’m sure they’re willing to make more. Is the US Senate going to dictate exactly what an automaker makes? Again it’s the height of hypocrisy for them to be demanding that we go down to, you know, standards of our — of competitors overseas.
RUSH: Virg, do you not understand what’s happening right before all of our noses? The federal government’s in the process of telling everybody what they can and can’t do. That’s the road we’re heading down. The government’s already dictated to automakers, Virg! The federal government’s already got ’em making cars that people don’t want, with all these stupid CAFE standards and so forth, they can’t compete for a whole host of reasons. There may be some incompetence in the management — look, nobody is innocent of things here. These guys have wasted money on things, they bought companies that didn’t pan out, they had to sell ’em on the cheap.
We’ve got the incompetence of people who cannot even run the United States government, they can’t even run their own cafeteria, trying to tell the automobile industry and any other industry, the oil industry, the health care industry how to operate? It’s is sad. It’s sad that we have arrived at this point in American history.
RUSH: First Call of the Day is from Teaneck, New Jersey. It’s Wayne.
RUSH: Thank you for waiting, sir, hello.
CALLER: Hey, how you doing?
CALLER: Listen, this whole thing with the UAW and Congress, I think the Congress is just picking on the unions. If you really compare the Japanese automakers and the American automakers, it’s not the union in GM. It’s GM’s management. I mean all those people retired, they promised retirements, they were promised health benefits. That should all have been paid for years ago. Toyota doesn’t go back that far. So it doesn’t have those big debts. See, GM keeps pushing it out to the future, and hoping it’s going to catch up. That’s how it happened. The CEO of GM made $25 million last year.
CALLER: But they lost 52 billion.
RUSH: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
CALLER: Well, this is the point. The UAW, I’m going to tell you right now, their hourly wage rate isn’t all that bad. Tell the plumber to come to your house and see what he charges you.
RUSH: Seventy-three bucks an hour, but, you know, this is… Look, I really want to try to make myself understood here. Folks, I’m the one person in this country that’s not trying to cut anybody down to size. I am the one person in this country who wants prosperity for everybody in the country who wants it for themselves and is willing to go get it. This is the greatest country on earth. Opportunity abounds. Go get it! It’s not going to come find you. I support workers everywhere. I just don’t like these union leaders. I support workers, but not the unions, but that’s not the point. The past is irrelevant. We are where we are because of a whole bunch of mistakes. Yes, management did stupid things like signing these deals. Maybe they had a gun to their head, who knows? The point is, they can’t be maintained. We have reached a point where none of this can be maintained as it is, but only one side is actually being made to pay for this, and that ain’t right.
RUSH: I want to amend my last comment to the previous caller. I got sucked in, and I got sucked in because I’m very defensive about attacking union workers here because that’s not me and I have nothing against workers. I don’t know how I can say this any differently than I have. I believe in work. I love work, productive work and people with ambition or desire getting up every morning and going out and doing it. I’m not opposed to people earning. I’m all for everybody earning as much as they can! Get what you can because that’s what you’re worth. You’re worth what somebody will pay you. That’s why these arguments, ‘Is a baseball player worth more than a teacher?’ If you have a classic understanding of economics, in an economic sense, yeah. If you want to talk morality, that’s another thing. These people are being paid what they’re worth.
Union people are being paid what the demands are that management will meet. I mean, there’s no personal relationship between management and the workers there. Too many of them. Anyway, where I got sucked in was this guy said, ‘Hey, GM made a bunch of mistakes. GM is doing this. GM is doing that,’ and I said, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay. Everybody makes mistakes,’ and I’m sorry. GM is a sponsor here. That not notwithstanding, you people who have been listening here for discussion on this, you know that I have not tailored my comments on this to suit anybody other than my version of the truth and my passion here. Where I got sucked in is accepting the notion that management’s to blame when I think it’s Congress, when I think who’s really to blame here, at the end of the day, is government.
What do you people mean when they keep saying that General Motors management is to blame? Did General Motors management or Ford or Chrysler, did that management, those groups of management teams, put these CAFE standards on themselves? Did they go to their boardrooms and say, ‘We’re going to design cars that get X-number of miles that aren’t going to be the kind of cars Americans want, but we’re going to do this’? No! They were forced to do this by an association of extremist, stupid, destructive environmental leftists working in concert with their elected brethren in Congress. Did management at GM, Ford, or Chrysler set oil policy that basically says we can’t drill for any of our own, therefore we are prisoners to world oil markets and supplies and therefore fluctuating prices.
And if you don’t think four-dollar-a-gallon gasoline had a devastating effect on automobile sales this summer and last spring, then you need to think again. So did GM management get involved and say, ‘You know what? We’re going to screw ourselves with these oil prices and gasoline prices that are not stable, that people can’t count on, that are going to make ’em less likely to buy our product’? No, Congress does that, ladies and gentlemen. Did the management of Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler, did they give the union the power to shut down assembly lines with union shop rules? No. People act as if General Motors management has free rein to do things. They are limited in what they can do. I have talked to ’em. (sigh) You ought to see some of the cars they want to build that they can’t build. The cars they want to build, they are excited about!
Bob Lutz has a 12-cylinder Cadillac sedan he wants to build. He’s wanted to build this thing for years. He can’t do it because it’s not going to be legal to be sold by the time they get it off the assembly line. It doesn’t get enough mileage. And I said to him, ‘The Germans can build these things.’ ‘Yeah, well, they’re not going to be able to for very much longer,’ he said, ‘not sell them here in this country.’ They’re really excited about things they can’t sell. So they have to go to the drawing board and they have to design cars that meet the requirements of a bunch of dingleberries who are running up the biggest irresponsible debt in the history of this country. CAFE standards should have been lowered last night in the bailout bill. You really want to help Detroit? Get government out of it. That’s Congress. Union rules should have been changed today. That’s a UAW. They weren’t changed. There are people who earn a lot less than retired United Auto Workers, and who do not want to subsidize them. This bailout is asking people who make 20, 22 bucks an hour to bail out people making 28 to 35 an hour. It ain’t going to fly, folks, and management is not doing that. That’s Congress.