November 19th, 2008
08:59 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Automakers SOS

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/US/11/19/autos.ceo.jets/art.auto.ceos.ap.jpg caption="Chrysler CEO Robert Nardelli, left, and Ford CEO Alan Mulally testify on Capitol Hill on Wednesday."]Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Should the U.S. auto industry get a $25 billion lifeline?

Well, it doesn't look like it will happen this week.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said there won't be a test vote on the proposed bailout tomorrow. But he says there could be a compromise in the works.

The announcement comes after executives from General Motors, Ford and Chrysler were grilled on Capitol Hill for the second day in a row.

Some lawmakers took issue with the travel arrangements by the "Big 3" leaders.

"There is a delicious irony in seeing private luxury jets flying into Washington D.C., and people coming off of them with tin cups in their hand saying that they're going to be trimming down and streamlining their businesses," said Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-New York.

"It's almost like seeing a guy show up at the soup kitchen in high hat and tuxedo. It kind of makes you a little bit suspicious," he added.

We'll have more on the stalled bailout tonight on AC360°.

The lingering questions about the U.S. auto industry pushed the Dow to its lowest level in 5 years. The blue chips lost more than 400 points and closed below the 8,000 mark. We'll dig deeper on the market meltdown.

Plus, a controversial story out of Nebraska. The state's safe-haven law lets parents drop off their kids at the hospital if they no longer want to care for them. We're talking about kids up to the age of 17. So far, dozens of children have been dumped at hospitals across the state.

Do you think the law should be changed?

All that and more tonight starting at 10pm ET.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (142 Responses)
  1. Ralph Illinois

    Yes. However it must be conditional. Although I don't like Detroit, I am prepared to take over the reigns of all 3 automakers and straighten them out. I will take on this simple task for a paultry $5,000,000 per year. I'll turn those White shirts "Blue".

    November 20, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  2. Diane Thompson

    If they need money so badly, then why fly personal plane,s and go to the most expensive hotels? Sorry, but we the American people can,t do that, and we should help them?

    November 20, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  3. Charlene

    I do not favor auto industry bailout until/unless the CEO's of those companies accept responsibility for what has happened, give up private jets, private homes for fancy trips and bonuses, and show, not just talk about, how they can produce an energy efficient vehicle and alleviate falling back into the same financial mess. The stipulations to receiving bailout money should be as fierce as an application for Obama's staff.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:17 pm |
  4. Ryan Clark

    BAILOUT!! If the CEO's of these companies were serious about trying to fix their dire siruation, they should have shown up in DC behind the wheel of the cars they are trying to save. Put some pride in the companies you represent! Don't flaunt your lavish lifestyle while trying to hide your inability to balance a checkbook. I think that a bailout will only extend the death of these fatcats. Let them sink – Board members are easily replaced when stockholders are upset.

    November 20, 2008 at 12:40 pm |
  5. Chrissy Fischer

    I am fed up with abuse of corperate spending. With the auto industry it's a double edged sword. I want to see the workers keep their jobs but if there is going to be a bail out let the oil companies bail out these companied. This country is in the shape it is not because of need but rather because of greed. If Congress does bail out the industry these CEO"S and others that are stuffing these greedy pockets can't touch one cent and ALL money has to go back into the company , retired persons and the workers. There has to be some monotering of these top figures and just giving OUR money and they can just squander it. They just can't simply recieve this money and have free hand , the money needs to be delegated by congress as well. How about selling off some private jets and cars, condo's and retreats these companies own for there special people.

    November 20, 2008 at 12:27 pm |
  6. Mary P

    I have never owned an American-made automobile! They are overpriced, underperforming, and continually in need of repair. This is a wakeup call...however, I do not feel the govt should bail out these companies! Greed got these companies into this situation. Hardwork will get them out of it or through it. Now is the time for executives to take a BIG dip in pay and start working again!

    If it was left up to me, I would rather donate my tax dollars go to supporting the needy & destitute in our country. I do not feel sorry for CEOs who make millions yet they gloat in front of families in this country that live paycheck-to-paycheck. Wake up Detroit! Successful people are successful because of the middle-Americans that support their businesses. Now get up and work hard. You have a responsibility to the rest of America to make our country the best in its standard of life and its production of goods.

    November 20, 2008 at 12:06 pm |
  7. Joel Michalek

    The automakers should not be given a lifeline. We should not reward failure. They have been making junk cars for too long. Bankruptcy is the logical and necessary consequence of a failure to compete in the market place.

    November 20, 2008 at 11:43 am |
  8. jim

    The Big 3 should get a Bridge Loan. The decline is not all their fault. They have to produce larger vehicles to make a profit. They cannot make a profit on smaller fuel efficient vehicles due to enormous cost for union labor benefits. . On the other hand, they could eliminate the union by filing bankruptcy. That would enable them t eliminate the unions. That might be a good thing.

    November 20, 2008 at 11:27 am |
  9. tchavez

    The big 3 should be looking internally for this solution. Much of the financial problem could be solved by offering equity stake to the workers or UAW. They should be requesting the government allowances for employees to tap their 401k or retirement plans without penalty. This would provide the much needed oversite, while pushing them to build quality, reasonably priced vehicles for today's world.

    November 20, 2008 at 11:19 am |
  10. Amber NOwak

    just as a fire wipes out a forest and it is devestating ,the new life that springs forth is beautiful. I believe in Americans and thier ingenuity .
    when the inversion of the big three is gone what will take it's place will be better then ever. Freash , new , full of life and strength that marks one who struggles for the sun.

    November 20, 2008 at 10:15 am |
  11. Theresa Peters

    As a taxpayer, seems to me that our money would have been better spent if the U.S. government would have given every U.S. citizen over the age of 18 a million dollars. We could pay off our houses, cars and bills as we see fit. Giving us money to spend as we see fit would probably help our economy better then bailing out the banks or the automobile industry. In essence, we would be bailing them out ourselves.

    November 20, 2008 at 9:31 am |
  12. Sy Wiley

    If Sen. Joe Biden rides public transportation everyday from Delaware to Washington, why can't the auto execs ride 1st class air travel to a U.S. Congressional Inquiry?

    November 20, 2008 at 7:41 am |
  13. s saqer

    No bail out. I believe the auto industry including the unions are trying to extort money from the Tax Payers. Like all businesses when you make not so smart decisions you have to deal with the consequences.
    The behavior of the automaker CEOs is very much why people want to be a CEO, this is the American dream right? earnings in millions and a private jets and meetings in spa resorts and so on. when other businesses feel the pinch they place the product/services on hot sales to improve cash flow, why is Detroit sitting on their behind and not doing anything to push product because this way they do not have to produce anything, I guess this is another part of the new dream i.e lets not produce anything and make money.

    November 20, 2008 at 5:35 am |
  14. Roger

    Throw out the Corporate Leadership at the Big Three Automakers and put a group of Union Worker in charge of each Automaker. Cut the staff to a manageable size, make fuel efficient cars, promote alternate energy supplies/fuels then ask for a loan from Congress if needed.

    Corporate Jets to Washington, D.C., then ask for a bailout. Fire all three of the "bigwigs." I am a "small businessman" where is my bailout? 🙁

    November 20, 2008 at 5:29 am |
  15. Joe

    I hope to god these 3 companies do not get a bail out. Bad decisions should be punished, not rewarded. And that's coming from someone who has been looking for a decent job for half a year. I feel for the people who will possibly lose their jobs, but what about those who these companies already laid-off, what about them? These companies have been working at this for a long time and its just finally coming to a head. If there will be a bailout it should go to their suppliers. The trickle down scenario at its finest.

    November 20, 2008 at 5:12 am |
  16. ND

    I've been working retail for ten years now, and I make a whopping $12 an hour on third shift and am lucky to get one weekend off every two months. Everyone in the automotive industry is greedy and as far as I'm concerned, I'd rather see those two million jobs go overseas before watching my tax dollars go to any of these greedy fatcats.

    November 20, 2008 at 5:10 am |
  17. rod

    Help should be provided with provsions on CEO consessions. The CEOs don't realize the enormity of the crisis and the consequences to the country. They need to take real ownership of their companies. Taking ownership implies that they have to provide leadership by not taking pay until the companies become profitable, sacrificing their CEO perks, jets, vacation homes, etc. They contributed to this problem so should be required to contribute monetarily to the solution. The rich have had their way through this bailout era, so now its time to start protecting the little guy. Seems to me it will cost less to help the little guy, than it has to bailout the banks. At least the little guy provides tangable value to his or her existence, unlike what appears to be a lot of CEOs. Japan went down the same road and did the same things we are doing and over a decade later, they still haven't fully recovered. If these CEOs won't contribute to turning their company's fortunes around, essentially saying they won't bet on their own companies, then why OH why should they continued to be employed.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:46 am |
  18. Eric Britton

    If the $25 billion bailout is approved for the big three automakers, we must all understand that the majority of those funds will not be used towards benefiting the workers. We've already seen a small example of how those funds will be used. Even the explaination given that CEOs are required to use their private jets for security purposes was very weak and still not understandable when you have your entire company supposably going under due to funds running out.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:33 am |
  19. Tonia

    The auto industry just have their hands out because there is money up for grabs. If the money is given to the big three they will use the taxpayers money to invest and make more money for the share holders. No! do not give 25 billion to the auto industry.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:30 am |
  20. Melissa Arnold

    When none of the ceo's raised their hand, to the question asked to agree to sell their expensive jets upon recieving the bailout.. made it obvious they really don't care about saving their companies..if they cared, they would sell the jets plus take a 50 to 80 percent pay cut putting them down where the "normal" people are!
    its ridiculous! they just want the band-aid to a temporary fix..
    In order for a long term fix some major cuts on the ceo's parts will definately need to be made. Its just common sense... same actions =same results, different actions=different results
    Also make cars people want and can afford for goodness sake!

    November 20, 2008 at 2:19 am |
  21. GLoLady

    I grew up in the town that Hershey built during the Depression. Helping many by instilling “Business is a matter of Human Service” something that is missing in the Corporate World today.

    It is the blatant greed by the entire top CEO’s in all industries that will be their downfall. How many patents are they sitting on solely for their own profits?

    November 20, 2008 at 2:17 am |
  22. Mark Scott

    I think that it is repulsive that the big three showed up in private jets while asking for a handout. Yet, I think a bailout of some sort is necessary but with stringent conditions including a change in leadership and provisions for the money to be returned with substantial interest.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:17 am |
  23. Martha E Vink

    I think it's disgusting that these auto executives are asking for money while making millions of dollars in salaries and flying on their jets. Clearly they are out of touch with the rest of us! They, and their boards of directors, should all resign for the sake of their companies and all those workers they claim to care about. Then, maybe the real help for the industry can begin.

    November 20, 2008 at 2:11 am |
  24. Jan

    These are the bozos that have created the HAVE / HAVE NOT society that we are now trapped in.

    NO more money of the HAVE NOT's going to support the HAVE's lavish lifestyles with private jets.

    The camera shows their dumb-founded faces – because they really don't understand WHY anyone is QUESTIONING their private jetting around.

    Why aren't they driving the cars their respective companies manufacture????

    November 20, 2008 at 2:10 am |
  25. Laura Lopez

    Instead of giving all of this money to businesses why not give it to the American people. Use the money for a trickle up effect. For the $25 billion – 5 million households could receive $5,000 in taxable income. The government could take taxes right off the top so that less would come out of pocket, people would spend more because they had more money available to them, businesses would have more revenue so they would buy more supplies and everyone would benefit. The $25 billion is only a band-aid solution. Let's try something that will help everyone long term.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:44 am |
  26. mike donato

    you'd expect ceo's of the big 3 would travel in private jets, but to show up in washington asking for loans in those jets is the best thing i've heard yet. lol! i would have taken greyhound and would have left the driving to them..

    November 20, 2008 at 1:43 am |
  27. Linda

    No way jose.I would love to slap those ceo's into next week.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:39 am |
  28. Kazue

    People are concerned that if we do not bail out these auto companies, workers will lose their jobs. Truth is that even if these companies are bailed out, it would be within a few years that they will be in the same situations again. It is their business practice that put them where they are today. I completely agree with Michael Moore. With the amount of money on the table, the government leadership should give them mandates (create energy efficient cars, mass transits, etc.) for the money they might "lend." Train and get their workers skills to become more competitive in the new more environmentally friendly auto technology field and manufacturing industry. This way, workers will not lose jobs while the auto companies are mandated to change their management and their future corporate direction. Giving out a blank check to them will be totally unacceptable and devastating to thousands of workers and for the environment. – They will use the bail out money only to continue to build these factories in other countries to make kinds of cars that do not sell here in the US. They will continue to pollute and accelerate global warming. How could anyone with right mind allow this?

    November 20, 2008 at 1:32 am |
  29. GF, Los Angeles

    Both the CEO's and Union have to work together and GIVE UP some stuff if they want to survive. It's not my problem that CEO's want to continue riding in their private jets and collecting outrageous bonus' nor is it my problem that the workers are unwilling to take a pay cut (many make over $70/hr) or have a reduction in benefits. I have friends who have received an automatic 10% cut to their salary as well as having them work 36 instead of 40 hours to avoid paying benefits. If they don't compromise – all of them will be out of a job and it won't be the fault of the government but their own doing.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:31 am |
  30. CourtneyOfTexas

    It is a shame that Nebraska allows parents to abandon their children just for the heck of it without criminal charges. You bring a child into the world, then you should take care of it. Simple as that. If you can't take care of it, then you should've thought of that before you did the conception deeds.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:29 am |
  31. John Jones

    Big Three want my money? If the taxpayers are to give some help to the lower quality automakers then they better stop rifing their privaye jets, I'm not about to support financially their perks AND at the same time have them earn millions of dollars AND pay for their comfort trips in private jets. How they dare to ask for money?

    November 20, 2008 at 1:29 am |
  32. S.Doyle - Pittsburgh, PA

    What about the retired GM employees???? Bankruptcy also means no more pensions. The irony is not that the CEOs flew to Washington, D.C. in private jets; its the very idea that our government will now have to address the issues of (un)employment, healthcare, and social security ... AND follow thru with a solution.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:29 am |
  33. Robert Vollmer

    I am a chef and even i have to wash dishes some times these C E O don't seem like they would do anything would inconvience them selves for the better of their company , lets face if the b 3 gets this money these
    C E O's will get raises. The only Money they should get should on go straight towards making green cars and that's all to help are environment. and they pay beck with interest and that's it.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:28 am |
  34. Lora

    A basic slap in the face. Weren't they all coming from the same place Detroit! What to good to even share the cost and take one jet. We need to at least keep Ford & GMC they are our history and what if no auto industry left.. We start letting the foriegn countries take over building our military vehicles next. Not a good move. Lets worry about Ford and GMC think about it Chrystler we only own 80% of that company in the US

    November 20, 2008 at 1:24 am |
  35. Talia

    That's a very familiar situation for wealthy families and succesful companies who went bankrupt. Difficult to admit until there is no penny in your hand. But you learn better when there is no help comming. You become more creative and appretiative of what you've got. Large corporations are no different. Those guys do not want to leave a comfort zone. Too bad, they will have to, bailout or no bailout.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:24 am |
  36. CourtneyOfTexas

    How dare these CEO's waste such an exorbitant amount of money! What the big 3 really needs to do is fire these top level execs who have made such poor decisions in terms of running the companies. I'm 23, and I could run these companies better then them! Sell the jets! Make cars that the world over would want to buy! Stop blowing money on things that don't matter! you need to have an executive conference? Video conference! Flying on a Lear jet, or whatever they happen to own is bogus. It isn't for security reasons! Do they think they are so special that they cant fly coach like a majority of the country's flying public does? Or are their wallets too fat to fit in a coach seat? Oh wait, apparently not!

    November 20, 2008 at 1:23 am |
  37. Margie B

    Automakers SOS: I believe that the automakers should receive some
    assistance in order to keep from having a total economic colapse.
    However, first all top executives should be replaced and then the salaries for new executives should be slashed to no more than 10%
    above what the rank and file employees earn. The American people and the employees are not responsible for the decisions that the current executives made and the mess that is created as a result.
    Therefore, any aid should benefit the innocent not those who looked out for themselves with little regard to anyone else. No bonuses should be paid and all perks should be removed.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:21 am |
  38. Christopher Jennings

    I think the silliest thing that I have heard about is the fake uproar that lawmakers are making on the hill. This is obvious obfuscation of the fact that lawmakers WILL bailout the auto industry. Everyone in this country knows this must be done. The congress members have to look as outraged as the citizens to show fake solidarity with the will of the people, while at the same time avoiding the true issue: putting stipulations and conditions on the inevitable loan, like what should have been done with the bank bailout (i.e. preferred stock, and massive oversight). The focus should be on pushing new efficiency standards on the auto industry and making a top priority the development of alternative vehicles that don't run on gas.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:18 am |
  39. Sam S.

    While the average taxpayer may realize the economic impact of the car industry, it seems obscene to justify another bailout which simply speaks to corporate irresponsibility.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:18 am |
  40. Jim Healy

    I agree with you that the flight of the Lear jets into Washington asking for money is ludicrous. They have some nerve expecting the general public to help fund them with our taxes. They should go bankrupt and allow the foreign auto makers to hire the US automakers. The government should confiscate the jets and sell them and to use this money for the the auto makers employees. Also, since the CEOs don't care about their workers, they should surrender their pensions and management bonuses to the employees.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:18 am |
  41. Suzanne Nathans

    They can sell all their corporate jets for the money. That is a good start. Absolutely ridiculous of them to say that talking about their jets is taking away from the real critical issues facing us right now. Their jets, like the gas guzzling cars their company's create, are absolutely at the heart of these issues.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:17 am |
  42. Helen

    How arrogant the CEO's of the 'big 3 ' automakers seem to be. They are the ones who have run these companies into the ground. It's ashame that the money can't come out of their pockets or perks to help fund the automakers. Once again, the hardworking average person is the one to get the raw deal. Shame on their arrogance.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:16 am |
1 2 3

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.