Posted on March 30, 2009
President Obama did his most chilling Donald Trump impression over the weekend.
He told Rick Waggoner of General Motor’s those two famous words (counting the contraction as one word). He told Rick Waggoner, “You’re Fired”.
This isn’t another version of the reality game show “The Apprentice,” though.
It is real life. Notwithstanding the efficacy of firing Waggoner (it may be the right thing to do), there is something wrong about the President telling a private company that it had to fire its CEO.
President’s hire and fire people all the time. They fire generals. They fire insolent staff. They fire holdovers from the last Administration.
But generally, they don’t fire corporate CEOs.
In my view, a line has been crossed here.
It was altogether appropriate when the head of Fannie Mae was fired. It was a government-sponsored entity. Same with Freddie Mac.
But GM is another kettle of fish.
Government is already way too involved in the affairs of private companies.
I venture to say that Waggoner knows more about cars in his little pinky than Obama knows in his entire body. He has worked at GM his entire adult life.
To be dumped by a guy who knows nothing about the car industry must be especially appalling for the folks at GM.
The President has said that both GM and Chrysler need to go back to the drawing board and cut more jobs before they get any more government money.
I have a better idea. These companies should declare bankruptcy. It is better than going to the government asking for any more help.
This should serve as a cautionary tale for any business out there that wants a little help from the Feds. You will get a better deal if you just go to the local loan shark. The rates are better, and there is no humiliation in the transaction.