ABC is reporting the CEOs of the big-three automakers traveled to Washington, DC, on their companies’ private jets to ask Congress for $25 billion.   While arguing their companies are “burning through cash,” these CEOs are irresponsibly contributing to the problem.   From ABC:

[GM CEO Rick] Wagoner’s private jet trip to Washington cost his ailing company an estimated $20,000 roundtrip. In comparison, seats on Northwest Airlines flight 2364 from Detroit to Washington were going online for $288 coach and $837 first class.

Okay, so perhaps one trip isn’t so bad, but in the case of Ford:

Ford CEO [Alan] Mulally’s corporate jet is a perk included for both he and his wife as part of his employment contract along with a $28 million salary last year. Mulally actually lives in Seattle, not Detroit. The company jet takes him home and back on weekends.


Ford continues to operate a fleet of eight private jets for its executives. Just Tuesday, one jet was taking Ford brass to Los Angeles, another on a trip to Nebraska, and of course Mulally needed to fly to Washington to testify.

Doesn’t it seem prudent that the management of these ailing companies ought to make concessions themselves especially after the unions last year made their own concessions in a effort to ameliorate the financial situations of the big three?   If these CEOs truly understand the situation and are committed to fixing it, they can demonstrate their understanding and commitment with visual, measurable steps to personally contribute, such as forgoing the private jet and taking a significant pay cut.   Otherwise, for the CEOs to ask for tax-payer money while they frivolously spend their companies’ money is outrageous and insulting.

(Nod: Marc Ambinder)