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So typical-Obama auto team drives imports

 
 
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 12:48 pm
Isn't this so typical of the elitist, 'progressive', mindset of the new Politburo that have thrust themselves into our lives?

Obama and a 'progressive' congress castigate auto executives for flying chartered jets to Washington, yet Nancy Pelosi becomes the first House speaker to claim a large jet of her own with nary an outcry from the left.

Cabinet nominees fail to pay taxes. And now the majority of people Obama puts in charge of the task force for US automakers don't even drive US autos.

Volvos...

So typical...



Quote:


Auto team drives imports
Fed task force has few new U.S. cars
David Shepardson / Detroit News Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON -- The vehicles owned by the Obama administration's auto team could reflect one reason why Detroit's Big Three automakers are in trouble: The list includes few new American cars.

Among the eight members named Friday to the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry and the 10 senior policy aides who will assist them in their work, two own American models. Add the Treasury Department's special adviser to the task force and the total jumps to three.

The Detroit News reviewed public records to discover what many of the task force and staff members drove, but information was not available on all of the officials, and records for some states were not complete.

At least two task force members don't own a car, and there are still two open slots on the 10-member panel that will be filled by the secretaries of labor and commerce, who have not yet been appointed.

The co-chairs of the task force -- Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and White House National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers -- both own foreign automobiles.

Geithner owns a 2008 Acura TSX, registered in New York. He once owned a 1999 Honda Accord and a 2002 Acura MDX, according to public records.

Geithner is the president's designee for purposes of enforcing loan agreements with GM and Chrysler and must approve or reject any proposed transactions by either company that would cost $100 million or more.

His maternal grandfather, Charles Moore, was a vice president at Ford Motor Co. from 1952-63, according to Peter Geithner, the secretary's father. But Geithner wasn't very interested in cars growing up -- in part because he graduated from high school in Asia, his father said.

Summers owns a 1995 Mazda Protege that's registered in Massachusetts. He previously owned a 1996 Ford Taurus GL.

What other task force members drive:

• Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag owns a 2008 Honda Odyssey and a 2004 Volvo S60. He previously owned a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 1982 Datsun.

• Carol Browner, the White House climate czar, said earlier this month at the Washington Auto Show that she doesn't own an automobile. Public records show she once owned a 1999 Saab 9-5 SE.

• Energy Secretary Steven Chu doesn't own a car, his wife, Jean Fetter, said in a telephone interview on Sunday. Cabinet officials are typically transported to and from work by security officials in government vehicles.

• Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson owns a 2008 Toyota Prius and a Honda Odyssey minivan, she said Sunday. "It's great," she said of her Prius.

• Vehicle information was not available for Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood or Christine Romer, head of the Council of Economic Advisers.

Here's what task force policy aides drive:

• Austan Goolsbee, staff director and chief economist for the White House Economic Recovery Advisory Board, owns a 2004 Toyota Highlander.

• Joan DeBoer, the chief of staff to LaHood, said in an interview Sunday she drives a 2008 Lexus RX 350. She doesn't consider herself "a car buff" and views her car as a way to get around town.

• Heather Zichal, deputy director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change, owns a Volvo C30, according to public records and officials.

• Gene Sperling, counsel to the Treasury Secretary, owns a 2003 Lincoln LS, and previously owned a 1993 Saturn SL2.

• Edward B. Montgomery, senior adviser to the Labor Department, owns a 1991 Harley-Davidson and previously owned a 1990 Ford Taurus L station wagon, public records show.

• Lisa Heinzerling, senior climate policy counsel to the head of the EPA, owns a 1998 Subaru Legacy Outback station wagon, according to her husband.

• Diana Farrell, the deputy National Economic Council director, doesn't own a vehicle. Her husband, Scott Pearson, owns a 1985 Peugeot 505 S.

• Dan Utech, senior adviser to the Energy Secretary, owns a 2003 Mini Cooper S two-door hatchback.

• Rick Wade, a senior adviser at the Commerce Department, owns a 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier and previously owned a 1998 Toyota Corolla.

• Jared Bernstein, Vice President Joe Biden's chief economist, owns a 2005 Honda Odyssey.

The White House declined to comment.

President Barack Obama traded in his Chrysler 300C for a more fuel-efficient Ford Escape hybrid during the 2008 presidential campaign.

Joe Biden, the son of a car dealer, owns a 1967 Chevrolet Corvette -- a wedding present from his dad. He primarily commuted from Delaware to the Senate on Amtrak.

Ron Bloom, a special adviser to the Treasury Department who is also advising the task force, owns an aging Ford Taurus.

You can reach David Shepardson at [email protected].

Link:

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090223/AUTO01/902230327

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Foxfyre
 
  2  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 12:51 pm
Well do we know for sure they are imports or just 'foreign cars' that are actually manufactured in the USA? If GM, Ford, and Chrysler go under, we'll still make cars here but they'll be called Honda, Toyota, Kia, etc. as those manufacturers making cars here in the USA aren't in financial trouble or at least as much financial trouble.

I do remember when Pat Buchanan was running for President and drove his Mercedes to an America First rally though. A bit embarrassing when he realized his boo boo as I'm pretty sure we aren't building Mercedes in the USA. Smile
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  2  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 12:52 pm
@A Lone Voice,
A Lone Voice wrote:

And now the majority of people Obama puts in charge of the task force for US automakers don't even drive US autos.


So what? How are those two things related? What is it about driving a Toyota that makes someone a bad choice for the task force?
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 01:01 pm
we also hate america, we drive a Toyota truck, a Porsche 911 and a Chrysler PT Cruiser.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 01:03 pm
god forbid the free market let's you decide what car you want to buy

has little or nothing to do with the car companies wanting money

the crash of the car companies has been coming for years, i live near windsor, ontario, an auto town, it's the car companies and the unions that caused the problems, not the consumer, if people aren't buying you cut production and jobs, this industry needed a massive thinning out years ago, now it looks like it's gonna happen
0 Replies
 
Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 01:05 pm
I'm strictly a Ford man and have been for years. I guess that means I'm a solid conservative American patriot now....and here I thought I was a stupid progressive.
CoastalRat
 
  0  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 02:04 pm
@Bi-Polar Bear,
Don't be too upset, BPB. If it makes you feel any better, I'll always think of you as a stupid progressive.
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 02:09 pm
@CoastalRat,
Geez, do I HAVE to think of him as a stupid progressive? Oh well, whatever makes him happy.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 02:11 pm
As long as you don't think he's progressively stupid. That could be a problem.
0 Replies
 
Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 02:15 pm
@CoastalRat,
well thanks a lot... is it not possible for you to serious? Must you always clown around? Oh wait....never mind.....
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 02:17 pm
Of course, if the automakers made decent cars, they wouldn't need to be bailed out in the first place....

http://www.treehugger.com/20081209-the-bailout-shitty-cars.jpg
FreeDuck
 
  2  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 02:19 pm
@DrewDad,
DrewDad wrote:

Of course, if the automakers made decent cars, they wouldn't need to be bailed out in the first place....

As much as I generally agree with this statement, they do have a lot of legacy costs that their competitors don't have related to their retirees. Ironically, universal health care could alleviate some of that, as could bankruptcy.
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 03:09 pm
@A Lone Voice,
Haha, ALV. You've hit the bottom of the barrel now.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 03:22 pm
@FreeDuck,
universal health care? why not just open the gates of hell and give satan free reign ?
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 03:42 pm
@FreeDuck,
FreeDuck wrote:
As much as I generally agree with this statement, they do have a lot of legacy costs that their competitors don't have related to their retirees. Ironically, universal health care could alleviate some of that, as could bankruptcy.


I agree with this. Their unions have gotten just about the sweetest compensation package for any workers in their class. Without this compensation burden these companies would not be selling at as much of a loss per vehicle and possibly break even or make a profit.

If the auto workers were merely paid above average, instead of better than any factory workers on earth, then these companies would not be in half as much trouble as they are now. They'd be able to downsize when they need to and would not have so much overcompensation (legacy and current) that their products are not profitable.

Cars don't have huge profit margins. Industry leaders brag about margins that are under $2,000 per car (in Honda's record 2006 year). The cost of the compensation the auto workers have above what their competitors have is about the amount that these companies are losing per vehicle.

Left wingers who instinctively side with unions come back by saying that the cost of labor is less than 10% of the vehicle, but they ignore that the profit margin is slimmer than that. Those couple of percentage points is what makes or breaks a competitor in this kind of industry.
Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 04:29 pm
I must agree. Better to have a lower paying job and keep the industry afloat than no job at all and a bankrupt America.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 06:07 pm
@FreeDuck,
Yeah, I read Engineer's piece on Observationalism.
0 Replies
 
curtis73
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Feb, 2009 12:13 am
It doesn't really matter what they drive. If you bought them all a fleet of Fords, here is how it breaks down. 46% of the money you spent on that Ford would go to foreign countries; specifically, UK, china, japan, germany, and mexico. Then when those Fords break down 77% more frequently than the industry average, not only does Ford have to cover that cost, but the parts are mostly sourced from foreign countries and the telephones and computers used to procure those parts are almost entirely outsourced to asia.

The fact that they bought a Volvo probably kept MORE money in the US than if they had bought a Ford.

Not to mention... since Ford has a CAFE (corporate average fuel economy) rating that is much higher than Volvo, they would have been responsible for fostering foreign oil dependence... or domestic oil drilling.

People who get on a high horse about patriotic "buy american" bullshit make me want to vomit. NOTHING is purely American anymore. You can find foreign parts in everything. I work as a hotrodder and a bartender. A guy came into my bar trying to sell us their new microbrew. This is Texas, and they claim to be an American company. Its an all-American brew, right? Nothing signifies patriotism like an All-american Texas-brewed beer. So, I toured the brewery. Hops from Austria, Wheat from Canada, grain from Mexico, brew tanks from Argentina, yeast barrels from Germany, yeast stock from brazil, and all the plumbing, valves, and conveyance was from Asia. All of the automation was Japanese. And the kicker... the bank that financed their business loan? Nippon Bank from Japan. About the only thing in their beer that was American was the water. When you buy that beer, you are paying off high-interest loans to companies that are anything BUT american. You are giving your interest dollars to Brazil, Argentina, Austria, Japan, China... anything but America. The only money that stays here is the rent (on a warehouse that is proabably owned by someone in an foreign country) and the water which costs pennies. Not to mention, we are fermenting things which give off greenhouse gasses. We are shipping produce in from other countries to give off their greenhouse carbon here in the states.... but its "american beer."

Ironically, all of those ingredients and parts were top notch. If you want good hops, you go to Austria or Germany. If you want good yeast stock, you go to brazil. If you want good electronics, go to Japan.

But somewhere right now, there is a Hank Hill kicking back drinking his "American" microbrew beer and feeling proud that he is so patriotic that he even drinks an all-american beer.

Ignorance is the mark of a textbook conservative patriot. Wake up and realize that you can't save the world (or even americuh) by buying a Ford instead of a Toyota.

In fact... if you want to keep more of your dollars here in the US when you buy a car, do you know what brand you should buy? Honda. An American-made Honda keeps more dollars here than buying a Ford, GM, or Dodge.

Stick that in your patriot pipe and smoke it.
kuvasz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Feb, 2009 11:40 am
@Robert Gentel,
ROBERT GENTEL SAITH

Quote:
I agree with this. Their unions have gotten just about the sweetest compensation package for any workers in their class. Without this compensation burden these companies would not be selling at as much of a loss per vehicle and possibly break even or make a profit.

If the auto workers were merely paid above average, instead of better than any factory workers on earth, then these companies would not be in half as much trouble as they are now. They'd be able to downsize when they need to and would not have so much overcompensation (legacy and current) that their products are not profitable.


Son, you don't know what you are talking about. The typical American autoworker now produces a value added worth of $206 per worker per hour, far more than what they earn in wages and benefits.

Factor in the "alleged" $70/hour wage canard from right wingers like you and the company still get about three times the value for the worker's effort and sweat for the work he/she does.

However, consider the following ......

The average UAW assembly line worker makes $28.78 an hour. The $70 is not what they make on an hourly basis, but what GM says is its total hourly labor cost. Included in the higher figure are several costs most employers have to pay: Contributions for Social Security and Medicare; workers’ compensation and unemployment payments; holiday and vacation pay; pension contributions for active workers; health care; overtime; shift premiums; and education and training. Most importantly, this higher figure also includes pension and health care costs for retirees, so called “legacy costs.”

If the real pay a worker gets is $28.78, then his hourly work produces 7.2 times his wages.

I bet few individual's can say they are anywhere near as productive as the average UAW worker.

So your remark about
Quote:
"If the auto workers were merely paid above average,instead of better than any factory workers on earth"
ought to be held in context to how productive they are for the company and how that work compares to the productivity of
Quote:
any factory workers on earth.


Within that context, your remark is complete bull ****.

Quote:
Toyota’s CEO and its other top 31 top executives combined earned $19.9 million for Toyota’s fiscal year ending March 2007. Meanwhile, GM’s CEO Rick Wagoner made $10.2 million during that same time period (Pizzigati, 2008). And the total compensation for the just the top five executives at Ford for 2007 was $60 million.

To further illustrate the double standards of anti-union critics, consider the example of the financial industry bailout. Congressional critics of the auto manufactures’ bridge loan didn’t even whisper a word about labor costs on Wall Street when they passed the financial industry bailout, even though employee compensation for the seven largest financial firms account for 60 percent of their cost of doing business while labor costs at the Big Three amount to less than 10 percent of a vehicle’s cost.


http://www.uaw774.com/

Considering these facts, either you are too lazy to care about the simple facts or are engaging in selective class warfare towards industrial workers to whom you look down upon as inferior beings, or as Orwell would call them "Prols." In either case, it sucks and you ought to be ashamed of yourself.

I have two dogs in this fight since my father is a proud 49 year member of the UAW and I was in the same union before I went to college.
Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Feb, 2009 01:20 pm
@curtis73,
gosh, I just like my fords and have never had any problem with them. I didn't mean to be an ignorant faux patriot. Sad
 

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