So where’s Dodd’s resignation?

I have a hard time suffering fools.   How dare anyone who has been in the Congress or the Senate for the last eight years criticize the big three.  Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

These corrupt and incompetent fools have mismanaged this country into bankruptcy.  Instead of oversight, they gave the same people who ripped off the system another 780 billion tax payer dollars without any plan or strings attached.  If anybody ought to resign because of gross mismanagement, it is the fools in DC.  

 

U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., thinks Rick Wagoner should step down as CEO of General Motors as a show of “good faith.”

Sen. Dodd happens to be chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, which has regulatory responsibility of the financial services sector of our economy.

In Washington, Sen. Dodd has earned the nickname “Pac Man” for the money he takes from the very financial service institutions that he should be regulating.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, nearly half, $5.2 million, of the total $13.6 million Dodd raised in his brief but unsuccessful race for the presidency came from the very industries — finance, insurance, and real estate — that he is charged with regulating as chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.

The Pac Man also took from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the federally created mortgage companies, a grand total of $165,400 between 1989 and 2008.

And then when this financial service sector of our economy found itself in desperate straits, Dodd had no problem approving a $700 billion dollar no-strings bailout of the finance industry which had so generously supported his campaign.

If Obama has to spend  $250 billion to create 2.5 million jobs, it is a bargain to spend $34 billion to keep 3 million jobs.  

Only in America are automotive companies being subjected to the disdain displayed by Congress and the country in recent weeks.

In Europe, Japan and elsewhere, the governments usually provide health care coverage for workers, and in some cases, they even own a stake in their auto companies.–snip–

Portugal and France have announced plans to craft aid packages for car and parts makers operating in their countries.

Other companies seem situated to receive assistance if they need it from their government owners. Lower Saxony, a state in Germany, is a 20% shareholder of Volkswagen AG. France, meanwhile, owns about 15% of Renault SA.

Even Chinese automakers are now asking for government aid to deal with the global credit crunch.

Boost for fuel efficiency

The European Automobile Manufacturers Association asked the European Union on Oct. 29 for 40 billion euros, about $50 billion, in a low-interest loan package “to help secure a sustainable market for current and newly developed fuel-efficient technologies.”  –snip–

The European Union also has set aside $6.3 billion of a $252-billion general economic stimulus package for the 27-country union to help European companies make cleaner cars.

–snip–

During testimony in front of the House Financial Services Committee on Friday, GM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner pointed out the advantages that Japanese automakers have had in the development of batteries for hybrid vehicles.

“It’s not a coincidence that the leadership in battery technology today” is in South Korea and Japan, Wagoner said.

The reality is we have our companies competing against countries who pay for research, countries who pay for health care, countries that fight for their industry on trade agreements.  

Dodd and all the rest of the so-called Democrats in DC have a lot of nerve throwing stones from their glass houses.  What I want to know is where in the hell was  oversight by the Congress all the while this country was getting looted by Cheney and and the banks. Where are their resignations for the biggest financial fuck up in this country’s history?

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    • dkmich on December 9, 2008 at 12:50 pm
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    Dodd is a blow hard…

    • pfiore8 on December 9, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    but that i agree. the dems are well, worse than the rethugs. because they said they were better. they promised to be better stewards of the country. but they are sell outs. just the same. with a few exceptions.

    still, i am more than willing to give Obama a shot. i need to give him a chance. and i need to impose on him my expectations and hope.

    also would love to see Caroline Kennedy in the senate. i know there are lots of people who’s pants are twisted over the idea. but i love it. she’s a straight shooter and she’d have lots of credibility and influence off the bat. she might be the rudder the dems need. or the ethical voice they’ve been largely missing.

    • ANKOSS on December 9, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    Did you know that Rick Wagoner is the only person in America who can save the auto industry? That is what one of his staunch supporters on the GM board told the press recently. Imagine what would have happened to GM if Wagoner had not been in charge for the last decade? They might be facing bankruptcy.

    In the business world, rapid changes of management are expected when management stumbles. This willingness to change leadership as circumstances change is a big reason why most private enterprises are more efficient than government bureaucracies. However, in many large corporations, top management insulates itself from accountability by gaining control over the board of directors (by selecting members and giving them plums and perks). This is what Wagoner has done at GM and it explains the vociferous support he continues to receive from the BOD, despite a long history of myopic decisions.

    There is no shortage of talented and ambitious candidates for the GM CEO position. What makes Wagoner, a conspicuous failure in leading GM, so special?

  1. ANKOSS makes the point that Wagoner was in charge for the last decade. That includes the time when the EV-1 was pulled from the market and the individual cars were shredded immediately. General Motors would have had a 10 year lead on technology if the company had kept with the car. But nooooooooo.

    Btw, American companies were offered the technology to lithium ion batteries very energetically by their inventor before being marketed in Japan. Once again, stupid, bottom line, unimaginative American companies (read executive’s decsions) didn’t jump on them.

    Way, way too much of the executive class in companies are, imo, survivors of the infighting of the company board rooms, producing sharks in the business/leadership ocean, yet are unimaginative minnows in the business/innovation ocean.  

    • ANKOSS on December 9, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    If GM can lose all this money and his board still give him a vote of confidence, it must be pretty sincere.

    Or it must be politically dominated by Wagoner. When a baseball team loses consistently, the owner usually replaces the manager – even if the manager isn’t clearly at fault. If the American taxpayers are to become owners of GM, they have the right to replace the losing manager. You have yet to explain how Wagoner is indispensable. It appears that Wagoner’s main skills are political, because he has managed to pack the board with his cronies.

    Please tell us why Wagoner MUST stay. There are dozens of candidates who could lose just as much money as Wagoner. What are Wagoner’s exceptional talents? What makes him the “only man” who can save the US auto industry?  

    • ANKOSS on December 9, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    You seem to think CEOs are heros and politicians are bums. So why are the heroes begging the bums for money to save their sorry asses?

    While I don’t know enough to speak to Wagoner specifically, I do know that GM has been making steady strucutural changes.  If we hadn’t of been ripped off and melted down, they were projecting 2/3% revenue increases starting in 2010.

    Wagoner and his fellow CEOs have been steadily jacking up their compensation, to outrageous levels, through manipulation of company boards for two decades. They have established themselves as a new kind of royalty, and now, like royalty, they refuse to relinquish control of the companies they have ruined – even though they are nothing more than EMPLOYEES.

    Chris Dodd is a successful politician. Rick Wagoner is a failed CEO. You don’t seem to understand the difference.

  2. I guess it makes Dodd, Pelosi, and the hypocrit Shelby & Sessions feel powerful to lambaste the auto executives (& workers) while giving their Wall St. pals, and themselves  a total pass, for having been the ones responsible for the economic meltdown in the first place.

    Maybe they think we’ll be distracted with all their smoke & mirrors and won’t remember how they sat back and deregulated and/or allowed deregulation & the crimes that deregulation helped conceal.  

    Maybe they think we can see reports like these:   States Face Unemployment Cash Shortage and not wonder why our unregulated 700 billion tax payouts to Wall St. aren’t trickling down to Main St:

    “…Five states, including Ohio, are in danger of running out of funds they use to pay unemployment benefits, meaning they may have no choice but to increase taxes on employers, cut benefits for laid-off workers or borrow the cash.

    This comes at a time when job cuts are accelerating and states are facing huge deficits going into next year.

    Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, New York and South Carolina all have reserves of less than three months to cover benefits.

    States aren’t allowed to stop paying unemployment insurance benefits to out-of-work employees so they must come up with money…”

    The economies of several states are on the verge of collapsing; people are losing their homes and their jobs;   bailout Recipient AIG is going to take our tax dollars to pay ‘retention bonuses’ to some executives; and Congress thinks that publicly humiliating auto executives is going to make it all better?

    BTW, regarding hypocrites Shelby & Sessions:   Compuware CEO reminds Senator of Alabama’s Aid to foreign automakers. Apparently the Alabama senators only object to tax dollars supporting auto manufacturers if they are domestic automakers and if they are based in another state.

  3. The American automobile industry is dying because it has ignored the writing on the wall, which has been there at least since the energy crisis in 1973, and made even bigger gas guzzlers.  And Congress has let them do it, backing off time and again on mileage standards.  And we’ve all watched and let it happen.  I don’t feel sorry for anyone involved except the workers and retirees, who will no doubt get blamed and squeezed.

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