RUSH: Check this headline from the Associated Press after Obama fires Rick Wagoner, CEO, General Motors, and the stock market opens today, down now 273 points, the AP headline: ‘GM Shares Tumble After US Rejects Rescue Plan.’ That’s not why the shares are tumbling. The shares are tumbling because the US rescue plan is government owning and operating the automobile companies. Hi, folks. Great to have you here as a new week of broadcast excellence is upon us. I am Rush Limbaugh, America’s Truth Detector, America’s Doctor of Democracy, a general all-round good guy behind the Golden EIB Microphone at 800-282-2882. The e-mail, ElRushbo@eibnet.com. President Obama mere moments ago said times like these are the times that produce the creativity and the ingenuity that build great things. This is when the auto industry sheds its old ways, adopts my ways, and will be reborn. That’s essentially what he said. I want to go back on this program to Monday, November 24th, of last year. That of course, for those of you in Rio Linda and Port St. Lucie, would be after the election. And this is what I said.
RUSH ARCHIVE: The fact of the matter is, when you look at what the auto industry is being asked to do here, ‘Show us a plan that will honor all these overpriced union agreements, show Congress this plan; turn out cars the environmental extremists demand, stop producing cars consumers want, manufacture cars liberals say people should be driving, and every time the liberals in Congress change their mind, you have to change your production lines and retool, and while doing all of this, you have to make a profit.’ I would not want to be a CEO of a big automaker these days, what with is headed their way given their needs. They’re going to have to bend over a whole bunch of times, grab the ankles for whatever sustenance they get from the government.
RUSH: Was that not prophetic or what? So Rick Wagoner is out. I have a question. Does anybody know whether Barack Obama knows how to change a tire? Does anybody know whether Barack Obama knows how to use a tire gauge? Does he know anything about this? Do any of the people on his auto task force have the slightest idea about the mechanics of an automobile, the designing of an automobile, the manufacturing of an automobile, and of course the marketing and sale? Now we’re in the warranty business, too, ladies and gentlemen. I don’t know if you know this or not but starting today the United States government will stand behind your warranty on a newly purchased General Motors car. Now, that’s going to be cool, isn’t it? You take your car in for a problem and you’re going to have to argue with the government representative you’re dealing with as to whether or not it’s really a problem and whether you caused it. You think dealing with the DMV is a struggle now, wait ’til this kicks into gear. Let’s listen to what President Obama had to say in his announcement press conference about an hour ago.
OBAMA: GM has made a good-faith effort to restructure over the past several months, but the plan that they’ve put forward is, in its current form, not strong enough.
RUSH: Stop the tape. I could stop and start this stuff after every sentence that he utters. Your government, the presidency of Barack Obama, has just said that the restructuring plan put forward by General Motors in its current form is not strong enough. Based on what? What do these guys know about the automobile industry? Do you know something about Rick Wagoner? Rick Wagoner, if you dig deep in this Politico story, you find that Rick Wagoner is considered responsible for increasing GM’s focus on trucks and SUVs at the expense of the hybrids and fuel-efficient cars that have become more popular in the last couple of years. Become more popular? It is trucks and SUVs that kept them afloat. When the history of this is all written, the question’s going to be: ‘Where was the media? Where was the media when this takeover of capitalism and the private sector by the Obama administration was taking place, where was the media?’ The answer will be the media supported him and then woke up when it was too late. They’re also going to ask: ‘Where were the Republicans? And where were the moderate conservatives who told us this was the future, this kind of use of government was the future, where are they?’ and the media will ask, ‘Where were they?’
Ladies and gentlemen, this is a dire, dire situation that is taking place, and it’s not just what’s happening here in the automobile industry. There are a whole lot of things going on, capping taxes, capping earnings based on whatever the government wants to do. This is a major, major thing. The media is right in there salivating and thinking this is great. In fact, if you run into your average, ordinary dime store liberal today, let me tell you what that dime store liberal’s reaction is going to be. ‘Good! Good! It’s about time that CEO found out what life is like for the rest of us. It’s about time for him to find out what it’s like to get fired like the rest of us get fired. Good.’ You’re going to have 100% slavish, total support of this move by the media and by most liberals and Democrats who voted for Obama, ’cause this is all about punishment, this is all about getting even, this is all about chopping the heads off evil, chopping the heads off the bad guys, the CEOs. It is about time they find out what it’s like to walk out the door having been canned. That’s the essence of the lib reaction to this, and you’ll see it wherever you go. All right, here back to the top of the sound bite again, basically in this bite President Obama saying he is taking over General Motors, Government Motors now, but that he didn’t take it over.
OBAMA: GM has made a good-faith effort to restructure over the past several months, but the plan that they’ve put forward is, in its current form, not strong enough. However, after broad consultation with a range of industry experts and financial advisors, I’m absolutely confident that GM can rise again, providing that it undergoes a fundamental restructuring. As an initial step, GM is announcing today that Rick Wagoner is stepping aside as chairman and CEO. This is not meant as a condemnation of Mr. Wagoner, who devoted his life to this company. Rather, it’s a recognition that it will take new vision and new direction to create the GM of the future.
RUSH: Oh, I see, it’s not a condemnation of Wagoner. No, it’s recognition that his vision and direction sucked. We’re not condemning Wagoner, he just didn’t know what he was doing, according to us, and so it’s going to take a new vision and a new direction to create the GM of the future, and Barack Obama’s administration is going to do it. I’ll tell you what’s headed down the road, you’re going to see union members on the board of directors, you’re going to see green wacko environmentalists on the board of directors, and General Motors is going to be designing and building cars, selling cars that satisfy Obama’s desire for green, environmental friendly cars, blah, blah, blah, blah — that’s what you’re going to see coming down the road. Plus, everybody in the auto industry has to make concessions here except the unions. This is also payback for the unions.
Now, folks, I made another prediction. Maybe Cookie will be able to find this in the show archives. But I made another prediction last year. I said, ‘I wouldn’t be surprised if the end result of this is to end up making the United Auto Workers the essential owner of General Motors.’ Remember when I said that, Snerdley? That’s the ultimate game, return the nation’s wealth to its rightful, quote, unquote, rightful owners. So we’ll see. This is just step one. Now, the president says that the government is not taking over.
OBAMA: In this context my administration will offer General Motors adequate working capital over the next 60 days, and during this time my team will be working closely with GM to produce a better business plan.
RUSH: Gee whiz!
OBAMA: Let me be clear. The United States government has no interest in running GM. We have no intention of running GM. What we are interested in is giving GM an opportunity to finally make those much needed changes that will let them emerge from this crisis a stronger and more competitive company.
RUSH: None of that is true. Every bit of that is a lie, is disinformation. During this time my team will be working closely with GM to produce a better business plan. Quick, somebody find for me a businessperson, an experienced businessperson in Obama’s administration. Find me somebody in his cabinet. They’re all academic eggheads from the Ivy League. You don’t have anybody with actual CEO experience on his team. His team will be working closely with GM to produce a better business plan. GM’s not going to be working with the government. They’re going to be taking orders from the government. It’s what happens when you run around out there with your hand out and take freebies, take loans, whatever. You do become obligated. Then, let me be clear, the US government has no interest in running GM? Yeah, that’s why I fired the CEO. I have no interest in running General Motors, but I canned the CEO anyway. We have no intention of running GM. What we’re interested is giving GM an opportunity to finally make much needed changes — as though we know, we know what the changes are, and we’re going to give ’em time to make those changes. This is a guy who’s been nothing but a community organizer, has no experience running anything, as I say, may not even know how to change a tire. Then he put Chrysler on notice, ladies and gentlemen.
OBAMA: We’ll give Chrysler and Fiat 30 days to overcome these hurdles and reach a final agreement and we will provide Chrysler with adequate capital to continue operating during that time. If they are able to come to a sound agreement that protects American taxpayers, we will consider lending up to $6 billion to help their plan succeed. But if they and their stakeholders are unable to reach such an agreement and in the absence of any other viable partnership, we will not be able to justify investing additional tax dollars to keep Chrysler in business.
RUSH: So he wants Fiat — imagine the leverage Fiat has here. Fiat has just been deemed the appropriate marriage partner, merger partner for Chrysler. (laughing) So Fiat can hold out whatever deal they want to get, and Chrysler better make this deal or they’re going to have to go bankruptcy, which is what they ought to do in the first place, which is what General Motors should have done in the first place. Obama is well aware of the problems of bankruptcy, and therefore promised this.
OBAMA: If you buy a car from Chrysler or General Motors, you will be able to get your car serviced and repaired just like always. Your warranty will be safe. In fact, it will be safer than it’s ever been because starting today the United States government will stand behind your warranty.
RUSH: Now, the real key there is Obama telling all of us who have purchased cars all of our lives, and we’ve got the warranties — you know, I don’t know about you, but I haven’t had a whole lot of problems having the dealership actually perform warranty work. Never doubted the warranty was worth nothing. I never thought that. Did you? Now all of a sudden your warranty is worth more than ever, your warranty is safer than it’s ever been because the United States government will stand behind it. Is Hugo Chavez able to possess this man and go out and make speeches? Poor old teleprompter having to get Obama to say these kinds of things. And finally, ladies and gentlemen, Obama addressed the peasants, those of you out there.
OBAMA: I’d like to speak directly to all those men and women who work in the auto industry or live in countless communities that depend on it. Many of you have been going through tough times for longer than you care to remember.
OBAMA: And I won’t pretend that the tough times are over.
OBAMA: Can’t promise you there isn’t more difficultly to come.
OBAMA: But what I can promise you is this.
OBAMA: I will fight for you.
OBAMA: You’re the reason I’m here today.
OBAMA: I got my start fighting for working families —
OBAMA: — in the shadows of a shuttered steel plant. I wake up every single day asking myself what can I do to give you and working people all across the this country a fair shot at the American dream.
RUSH: Okay, so you peasants, Obama is doing this for you. It isn’t going to get any better. He may not be able to save your plant, he may not be able to save your job, he can’t promise you that there’s not more pain to come, but he’s going to fight for you. So what do we have here? Times like these that produce the creativity and ingenuity that build things, Obama said, this is when the auto industry shed its old ways, adopted my ways, and will be reborn. Can’t guarantee your job will still be there, can’t guarantee your plant will stay open, but I’m fighting for you. The government’s not going to run the auto business. That’s why I fired the CEO. It’s not the fault of the workers. It’s the fault of management, it’s the fault of Washington, the unions are blameless. Chrysler needs a partner, Fiat. If they don’t get the partner, it’s bye-bye.
Nobody is asking about CAFE standards, by the way, nobody is talking about cap and trade in all of this. Obama spoke about all the workers, not the shareholders, other investors. This is a union coup at the behest of the president, this is a payback. If you want to understand this, it’s very simple. It’s a payback, a union coup at the behest of the president of the United States, and unless Chrysler accedes to being bought by a foreign company, they’re dead. There’s always been a line, ladies and gentlemen, over which no president would cross with respect to the distinction between the public and private sectors. Obama has now crossed that line where there is no limit to government’s destruction of private activity or control over it.
RUSH: This is just unbelievable, to sit here and watch this. You know, a lot of people ask me — who know me and who grew up with me and knew my father, about whom I’ve spoken frequently on this program — ‘Rush, what would your dad be saying about all this?’ This would be a tipping point, and it would have been reached last week or long ago. This would have been a tipping point, I think. He would say the country that we’ve always known is over. He would probably say, ‘Son, capitalism, as we’ve known it, is over. The line has been crossed.’ There’s always been a line, even in war. Even during World War II there was a line that government did not cross in involving itself in private sector activities. That line’s gone. Obama can go anywhere he wants and all he’s gotta do is tell the peasants with the pitchforks he’s ‘fighting for them.’
He can’t guarantee their jobs, can’t guarantee their plants, can’t guarantee it’s not going to get any worse, but all he does is think about them. All he does is ‘fight’ for them. He knows nothing about the industries he’s trying to ‘save.’ Nothing! I take it back. I don’t think he’s trying to save them, and that’s the big thing. I don’t think Obama wants to save the auto industry; I think he wants it changed, I think he wants to take it over. He wants to refocus it. He wants it to become another industry doing his bidding, same thing with the financial industry and so forth.
RUSH: I still maintain that the Obama administration wants all this chaos. You know, there are ways to solve problems that we have. This is not it. The Obama administration is not solving anything. They are compounding problems, making them worse. Obama, what was it, three weeks ago or a month ago told everybody to go buy stocks. This was the time now, go buy stocks, because the profits to earning ratio was now good. And what’s the market down, 200 some odd today on the General Motors news. And this headline from AP, if this just doesn’t take the cake: ‘GM Shares Tumble After US Rejects Rescue Plan.’ That’s absurd! GM shares did tumble this morning, but if Obama is right, GM shares should have skyrocketed, right? General Motors shares should have been way up. The Dow Jones Industrial Average should go way up. It’s down 277 right now. We should be up 277.
The government, the good, dependable, lovable, trustworthy government moved in to save the auto industry. Why the hell isn’t the stock market up? Why did General Motors plunge? And this headline in the story from AP: ‘GM Shares Tumble After US Rejects Rescue Plan.’ That’s an out-and-out lie. Shares tumble because Barack Obama is the de facto CEO. Shares tumble because Obama is running the company. I know they named this new Fritz guy the new CEO, but what kind of power is this guy going to have? Government Motors, General Motors, Government Motors now run by de facto CEO Obama and his auto task force. Yeah, they got a new CEO in there, but do you think this guy is going to have freedom to do what he wants to do? Think again. And AP has the audacity to say that stocks are plummeting here because Barack Obama rejected their rescue plan? He was always going to reject the rescue plan. We go back to before the end of the year. It was Bush and that administration that bailed out General Motors. Remember everybody saying, ‘Obama, you gotta get involved, you gotta get involved, you can’t stay this quiet during your transition,’ and he stayed quiet.
Folks, I apologize ’cause I really do get tired of saying, ‘I told you.’ I don’t mean I told you so, I just really do, I get tired of saying — last November I said, last December I said, I get tired of saying that. But I said when the Obama administration takes this over, they’re going to reject whatever these companies come up with ’cause Obama wants to run them and give them to the unions, essentially, and that’s just exactly what has happened here. The more the General Motors stock price falls — oh, and Obama’s out there saying, ‘Well, General Motors is in the position it’s in because of a failure of leadership,’ meaning it’s the CEO’s fault, not, by the way, anybody in the unions’ fault, it’s the failure of leadership. How much leadership had the leaders at General Motors actually had the freedom to be leaders? They have CAFE standards; they have all kinds of regulations and requirements on their business put there by people like Obama, people that don’t even know how to change a tire. Some people may not even know how to drive a car, may not even drive cars. They have drivers, limousines or whatever. But still, since Obama is The Messiah, since Obama has all the answers, Obama’s going to save everything, why in the name of Sam Hill are not share prices at General Motors and overall in the big board skyrocketing today? After all, General Motors just got saved.
They just got the change we were waiting for. Obama said he’s going to step in and he’s going to lower the seas and he’s going to raise GM from the dead. Why is the stock market not racing upward today? Another question, folks: Why is it that every time a company gets bailed out it goes into the toilet? Why does this happen? AP story: ‘President Obama Sending a Blunt Message to Detroit. To survive and win more government help, they have to remake themselves top to bottom. Driving home the point, the White House ousted the General Motors chairman as it rejected General Motors and Chrysler’s restructuring plans.’ And then they have the audacity to say that they don’t want to run the industry and that they aren’t running the industry. (doing Obama impression) ‘Oh, yeah, we don’t want to run the industry, we don’t plan on it, that’s why we fired the CEO.’
RUSH: Yes, I forgot to mention the warranty program. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a statement here from the Obama administration. ‘The Treasury Department plans to sponsor a program to insure the warrantees on any new GM or Chrysler car purchased during the restructuring period, even if the companies collapse.’ Now get this: ‘In a Monday morning speech, President Obama is also expected to announce the appointment of Edward Montgomery, a labor economist, as the new Director of Recovery for Auto Workers and Communities…’ That’s his title, the Director of Recovery for Auto Workers and Communities. His job will be ‘to help direct government aid to those areas most affected by the fallout’ from the auto industry, ‘from plant closings to salary and benefit cuts.’
But wait! But wait! Obama did a couple paragraphs in his press conference this morning, in his statement this morning, saying he’s looking out for these poor people. He’s looking out for the workers. He did tell them that he can’t guarantee that their jobs would be there, and he can’t guarantee their plants will stay open. In fact, he said nothing positive about these people. But how about: Director of Recovery for Autoworkers and Communities? He’s got a bunch of apparatchiks! This is the way totalitarian, authoritarian regimes title their people. Thomas Lifson at the American Thinker today with a great, great point: ‘Now that government has in effect seized control of General Motors, it is worthwhile considering the difference between government and private sector thinking on basic management issues.
‘Any commercial enterprise quickly learns that it must supply perceived value for the money it charges its consumers. Most new enterprises fail, learning this lesson the hard way. Government, on the other hand, assumes people must have whatever it produces, so that when demand drops (or costs rise), it can freely raise prices, assured that customers will have no other option but to pay. Government, in other words, thinks and acts like a monopolist,’ and in public transportation, it is. That’s why in the airline industry, when the competition sets in, they lower fares. When ridership decreases on subways and buses, most cities raise fares, ’cause, ‘Where else you going to go?’ Other than the cabs, where else are you going to go? They act like a monopoly. So they assume you must have what they provide — and that’s not the essence of Obama and his arrogance? You must have what he provides!