RUSH: Pompano Beach, Florida. Bob, you’re next. It’s nice to have you here with us, sir.
CALLER: Thanks for taking my call. I appreciate it.
RUSH: You bet.
CALLER: Merry Christmas to you, and thanks for the enlightenment.
RUSH: I appreciate that.
CALLER: I have a problem, a very serious problem. I’m a fourth generation American and what’s happening to the American automobile companies is, to me, beyond belief. I just can’t believe that three companies that made this country what it is — and certainly have contributed in many, many different ways — are almost on the path of going down the tube, which really blows my mind. The average American is absolutely madly in love with his American car, and I just can’t understand how people will —
RUSH: You think people are really in love with their hybrids?
CALLER: Hell no!
RUSH: Or are they just buying them because it’s like wearing a ribbon saying, ‘Hey, look at me! I’m a big, caring person.’
CALLER: Well, I don’t know about that. I’m not smart enough to know what people buy cars for or what reason, but all I know is —
RUSH: Well, when you’re young you buy ’em to get girls —
CALLER: Well, hello?
RUSH: — and go fast.
CALLER: That’s true.
RUSH: Yes. It is.
CALLER: But when you get old, what happens?
RUSH: Well, when you get old, you want one that you don’t have fix every week.
CALLER: (laughing) That’s true.
RUSH: You want the most expensive one you can afford because it’s reliable. Depending on how large your family is, you want it big enough to cart them all around.
CALLER: Well, but the point I’m getting at is if the American automobile companies go out of business, I don’t think anybody’s going to have enough money to buy a car from anybody, quite frankly. It looks to me like the country will go down the tubes. I may be wrong.
RUSH: It’s not that. See, this is the problem. General Motors, these companies are not that big anymore. Do you know that in terms of stock price, Bed, Bath and Beyond has a larger market cap than General Motors?
CALLER: Don’t you think a lot of that has to do with the media and what’s been going on?
RUSH: Yeah, but it is what it is. Whoever’s driven down the stock price has given driven down the stock price.
CALLER: Well, I suppose.
RUSH: Don’t worry. The automobile industry is not going to go kaput because the United Auto Workers will not be allowed to go kaput.
CALLER: Well, God knows I hope not.
RUSH: What’s going to happen is the UAW is going to end up owning it.
RUSH: After the government invests and nationalizes the auto industry, the Obama administration, out of a sense of compassion, will transfer ownership — free of charge, just transfer the deed — to the United Auto Workers.
CALLER: Well, I think that’s partially in the works now the way it looks to me.
RUSH: Yeah. It is.
CALLER: Yeah, it’s too bad. It’s a shame. But however there are a lot of people like myself who are still madly in love with the American automobile companies and what they have given us through the years.
RUSH: I’ll tell you something else. By the way, full disclosure here. General Motors is a sponsor, a proud sponsor of this program, and we’re proud to have ’em.
CALLER: I’m familiar with that.
RUSH: But I have to tell you something. This notion that General Motors is making cars that nobody wants and is making cars that are worthless is simply absurd.
CALLER: There’s no doubt about it.
RUSH: They have revitalized the Cadillac line, and they’re getting no credit whatsoever for it. They have remade that whole brand.
CALLER: They certainly have.
RUSH: I wish ’em luck in doing the same thing with other brands. There are some fascinating Chevrolets out there. You wouldn’t think they’re Chevrolets based on what they looked like ten, 15, 20 years ago. To say that they’re making cars that nobody wants is crazy.
CALLER: Well, that’s the way I look at it.
RUSH: If people had the money, they would keep buying those SUVs and pickup trucks. There are all kinds of cars General Motors is making that people want.
CALLER: But I’m —
RUSH: But they’re being forced to make cars that people don’t want with all these ridiculous CAFE standards. I’m telling you, when you’ve got… Try this. General Motors has 96,000 direct employees and over a million retired people being paid by General Motors. They’re former employees, and GM is paying their health benefits.
CALLER: I heard you say that.
RUSH: Now, at some point, it’s gonna implode. It doesn’t matter how quality your cars are.
CALLER: Well, they are quality, ’cause I just went to the automobile show in Miam’a recently and I tell you, the cars were magnificent. I was impressed.
RUSH: Yeah. The thing about those auto shows… I used to go to ’em when I lived in places where they had ’em, and I always thought every automobile company in the world made the biggest mistake by bringing in the sharpest-looking, sleekest-looking car of the future and never making it. Why show it to us? You know, our memories collect. ‘Well, they’re not going to make that. They’re not going to make that. They show us this, and it never happens. Why even show these prototypes?’
‘Well, this is to show the advanced techniques the auto companies are working on.’
‘Make the car! If you’re going to show it at the auto show, make the car. Put it in the pipeline.’
‘Well, you know, it takes a long time to ramp up these assembly plants.’
‘Look, Chrysler comes out with the PT Cruiser, and within months, Chevrolet has its version. What is this, ‘It takes years to ramp up production of a new model’?’
‘Well, Rush, what happened is that General Motors hired away the Chrysler designer who designed the PT Cruiser.’
It doesn’t matter. You were still able to ramp up production of the Chevrolet version of it and get it out, and people are buying it. It’s a mysterious business. I think, basically, General Motors and Ford and Chrysler have become retirement homes; and they have a subsidiary business, which is manufacturing cars. That’s how Mark Steyn characterized it in a column on Friday. It makes total sense when you look at it. We’ve even had Rick Wagoner. He said, ‘I didn’t know when I took the CEO job here that I was gonna become an expert in health care.’ But it is what it is. All these mandated standards — requirements, emissions, mileage — all this crap put on by a bunch of lug heads like Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi who haven’t the slightest clue what they’re doing, other than to punish successful American corporations. Thanks for the call out there, Bob, I appreciate it.