| Democratic Congressional leaders on Thursday said that the executives of America’s foundering automakers had failed miserably in persuading Congress or the public that $25 billion in aid from the government would be well spent and they gave industry leaders 12 days to come back with plans showing otherwise. |
The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi of California, and the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, said at a joint news conference that any legislative proposal put to a vote this week would have failed, and they leveled scathing criticism at the executives that included pointed barbs for flying to Washington this week on private jets.
The comments indicated that after two days of hearings, the auto executives had hurt rather than helped their cause. Lawmakers who just days ago were calling loudly for $25 billion in aid from the Treasury’s $700 billion bailout instead said that they were now unconvinced that taxpayer money could save the industry from disaster.
“It’s all about accountability and viability,” Ms. Pelosi said. “Until we can see a plan where the auto industry is held accountable and a plan for viability on how they go into the future — until we see the plan, until they show us the plan, we cannot show them the money.”
Forget about the private jets argument, that is a useless sideshow. What should prove that the automakers need to go into bankruptcy is the arrogance to come to the hill without even making a show of what they are going to do with the money. Nothing detailed, no business plan or anything showing they are serious about a turnaround. A small businessman try to pull the same sort of behavior he would be laughed out of a bank.
This attitude is what got them into this mess in the first place and to hell with bailing them out.