The Blog

The Day the Big Three Lost Their Bailout

6:38 AM, Nov 20, 2008 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
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I was listening to the local pop station this morning, and the three usually inane DJs were enraged by the auto bailout story, particularly the part of the story that had even Congressmen marveling at Detroit's tinnest political ears:

After hearing that the chief executives of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler flew here in their costly private jets, Ackerman questioned whether they would use the billions of dollars they are seeking to fix underlying management problems that landed them in a financial mess in the first place.

"There's 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 Ackerman at a Financial Services Committee hearing yesterday.

"Couldn't you have downgraded to first class or something, or jet-pooled...to get here?" Ackerman asked. "It's almost like seeing a guy show up at the soup kitchen in high hat and tuxedo."

ABC's evening newscast went with the story last night, going so far as to look up coinciding flights on Expedia, from Detroit to Dulles. There were 12 of them, starting at about $200.

The last Rasmussen poll showed more than 40 percent opposed an auto bailout, with 70 percent worried the government would run out of money if it kept traveling this road. Now that the jet story has reached "Fey effect" levels of pop-culture exposure, it may very well keep Congress from rewarding the Big Three's jet-setting paupers with our money.

I'm with Mitt. Let 'em go.