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Meanwhile At Government Motors

 

Have you ever read the transcript of an interview or an article then thought; that doesn’t sound right? The more you thought about it, the more it angered you? That was how I felt after reading the transcript from the Annual GM stock holders meeting.

It was Dan Akerson’s first address to the stockholders as head of GM. And how did he do? Hmmmm.. Not good. He needs more teleprompter training to be sure. Or better yet, he should just shut the hell up.

Highlights from his address included the following:

“His company and his industry would be helped, not hurt, if consumers paid higher gas taxes.” Really?

His rational – “$1 a gallon increase in the gas tax as a way to encourage buyers to purchase smaller, more fuel efficient cars.”

Even though earlier in the year he was quoted as saying; “if gas hit $4.50 a gallon, “you would probably see people stop visiting our showrooms.”

“His industry” and if consumers paid higher gas taxes.”

Well Dan, the price of gasoline affects every industry! Not just yours! You see Dan when you increase the price of necessities, it reduces disposable income.

Not many working people would rush out and buy a new car if gas suddenly went up $1 a gallon, because they will need the money for FOOD, and every other necessity that has to be transported by truck, train, or plane.

Obviously you don’t give a crap about anyone else, or you live in a different world. An elitist world flowing with milk and honey, where consumer taxes are not an issue, nor are those pesky gas prices.

Just when gas prices are declining, so working families can catch their collective breaths you want to erase that reduction with higher taxes. Spoken like a true Socialist.

But why do you really want the gas tax hike?

“Akerson said he would support a jump in the gas tax if it came instead of tighter fuel economy regulations that GM and other automakers will have to meet in coming years. By the year 2025, automakers could be forced to hit fuel economy averages of as much as 62 mpg.”

Is Government Motors having a problem hitting those targets? How about the Volt?

Oh, that’s right the $40,000 Volt won’t go 62 miles without being plugged in, or without the assistance of gasoline. For all of its vaunted publicity as being some technological break-through, it’s still just a hybrid. I guess the break-though is that you can it plug in at home.

For those who buy a Volt, I found an accessory that represents the dog that the Volt seems to be.

 

“But he said it (the $1 a gallon tax hike) would do more to help the environment.” Did Obama tell you to say that?

At what cost? We all want to do our part to conserve the resources God has given us, but I’d also like to be able to feed my family. And from what I’ve seen, GM has not demonstrated any environmental leadership what so ever.

“Greg Martin, spokesman for GM’s Washington office, acknowledged such a gas tax hike would be very difficult, if not impossible, to pass, and added that GM is not going to actively push for a gas tax hike as part of its legislative agenda.”

My response to Mr. Martin is as follows; Until Government Motors pays the taxpayers back the $50 billion you owe us, and is able to fully fund your health and pension liabilities without taxpayer assistance, your sole focus should be making GM profitable enough to accomplish those two goals.

Healthcare costs are not a problem at GM since the employees healthcare plans, valued at $25,000 a year remain intact. No reductions in benefits were required when GM became Government Motors. Since the taxable level of ‘Cadillac’ healthcare plan was ‘revised’ just prior to the passage of Obama care.

But hey, since GM got a waiver, they don’t have to participate in Obama care.

As long as you are Government Motors, you are not allowed to have any legislative agenda; you still work for the taxpayers. How dare you consider, much less push for, any tax related agenda. Using your own words:

“As a company we understand that’s a decision that resides with Congress and policymakers,”

The article goes on with Paul Ballew chiming in;

“They’re not going to get it though, because that would take a lot of sanity in Washington and we’re not going to see that,”

Sanity, according to who? Mr. Chief Economist at Nationwide Insurance, who was formerly a director of sales analysis at GM? The insanity is you considering that such a suggestion is sane.

Things are so rosey at GM that thousands of hourly employees received a $3,000 to $4,000 bonus this year. The bonuses totaled some $189 million divided amongst GM’s 50,000 workers.

But I was so relieved to know that less than 1% of those employees (5,000 of them) received bonuses 50% above their current pay. What! Even more infuriating, they are calling these bonuses “Profit Sharing Checks.”

Yes sir, things are rosey at Government Motors. Excuse me, where is my bonus? Where is the money the Bondholders will never see?

They are also good enough that GM has declared a $0.594 per share second quarter dividend on its Series B mandatory convertible junior preferred stock (You know the stock held by insiders). Life is good on the inside. What about our $50 billion?

Akerson, really feeling his oats as king of the automotive world, recently took a swipe at hydrogen and ethanol technology.

Maybe someone should remind him that his hero Obama has put a lot of effort and funding into ethanol. Shame on him for dissing ethanol. See, I told you he needed more teleprompter training.

He dissed hydrogen technology, because I guess he thought the Volt was better, or that hydrogen technology was no match for GM’s impressive lineup of hybrid vehicles. You know the 2 they offer (Beside the Volt); a V-8 pickup truck and a V-8 SUV. They have covered both ends of the spectrum; a plug in and a tank.

Yes this lineup is not only fuel efficient, it’s really environment friendly don’t you think?

GM wants to share their good fortune with young people by affording college students the opportunity to use their student loans and Pell Grants (those loans you don’t have to pay back) to make down payments on new GM vehicles. They even have a website set up just for this purpose. It’s aptly named Reality Sucks.” Real catchy, don’t you think?

It fits though, because the leadership at GM is residing somewhere other than the real world.

What angers me about Mr. Akerson’s comments?

Let’s review:

GM still owes the taxpayers $50 billion.

$70 billion worth of debt is written off during bankruptcy.

The workers get a $189 million bonus.

The employees get to keep their ‘Cadillac’ healthcare plans.

GM gets a waiver allowing them to skip Obama care.

The insiders get a $0.594 stock dividend.

The Volt, the vehicle of the future for GM is such a dog, Its MSRP is being reduced by $1,000 even before dealerships order them.

They’ve created a website so college students can you their Pell Grant money to help buy a new GM car.

They have a legislative agenda.

And last but not least, Their CEO thinks $1 a gallon tax increase is a good idea….for the rest of us not living in the fantasy land that is Government Motors.

Government Motors is beginning to remind me of another famous auto plant in the 30’s, in Germany. Where luxury vehicles were built for the elite (Cadillac Hybrid) and a practical vehicle (The Volt) was built for the people. That plant was run on taxpayer funds as well.

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