The Big Three automaker CEOs return to Washington today with tin cup in hand asking for a $34 Billion bailout. This time they arrived by hybrid vehicles. The last time they arrived seeking a dose of corporate welfare they asked for $24 Billion and they flew in, each in his own private jet. Last time they got a chilly reception and a tongue lashing; this time the reception was a little warmer. It seems that symbolism will always win out over substance in Washington. And, elected officials seem to like supplicants to grovel a little. If a $24 Billion bailout for the auto industry was a bad idea when the CEO’s flew in on their private jets then $34 Billion is a bad idea when they drive to Washington in a hybrid vehicle.
If they don’t get the handout they want, I have some advice for them. Next time, come to Washington by bicycle and roller skate. Also, instead of staying at the Renaissance Mayflower, stay at the Motel 6, or better yet camp out. Also, instead of dining at a fancy upscale Washington restaurant bring your lunch. Just open your briefcase and eat right there in the hearing room in front of everyone at the table where you are sitting. One of you could bring a peanut butter and jelly sandwich; one could eat a bologna sandwich, and one a tuna sandwich. Hell, that ought to be worth, maybe, $52 billion?