RUSH: Now, remember, Obama promised to add or save two million jobs, remember? He first said he was going to add two million jobs, his policies would add two million jobs over the course of a couple years or so, and then he started adding the word ‘save’ to the figure, add and save two million. Well, George W. Bush just saved two million jobs for him. The figure they’re throwing around is that an auto bankruptcy would cost one to three million jobs. So you round that off, you get two million. Bush just saved ’em before Obama saves them again.
So by the time we’re finished here, we will have saved four million jobs because Obama will claim his two million. Here are the details of the bailout. It’s $17.4 billion. Ford says they don’t want it. All they want is a little bridge loan of nine million to get ’em through, a line of credit is actually what they want. The reason they can’t go bankruptcy, I’m having a mental block here on the word that is used to describe this, but the reason they can’t go bankruptcy is because Chapter 11 would eventually become Chapter 7, Chapter 7 is liquidation, they don’t want to liquidate, and they can’t go into bankruptcy, even structured. This is the given reason. Nobody will buy any cars from General Motors or Chrysler if they go into bankruptcy, and it’s not like when US Air or other airlines have gone into bankruptcy, you still go out buy your ticket, you fly, you get your frequent flier miles. But here, the theory is that if any of the auto companies go into bankruptcy customers will not feel confident that any warranty that’s promised will be honored because they won’t know whether the company is going to be around to honor.
The word bankruptcy is thought to confuse a lot of people, even if you use the word ‘reorganization’ in front of it, and they’re just scared to death of what the buying public will think. ‘Okay, there may not even be any dealerships, why should I go in and plop down whatever it’s going to cost me to buy a car over how many number of years when I don’t even know whether they’re going to be able to honor the warranty on this car or fix it, where do I take it for service?’ This is the line being used to say this is why we can’t do this when we had to do the loans. The loans, low interest, are extended through the end of March. The auto companies have until the end of March to come up with a new restructuring plan or the loans will be recalled. I made a couple phone calls today to find out some details about this. One of the first questions I had was, ‘Can Obama change this?’ The answer, yes. Obama can do whatever he wants with it, because there’s no statutory aspect to this since Congress did not ask, this is strictly presidential from the TARP funds, so if Obama wants to, he can go in, he can cancel it, he can expand it, he can do whatever he wants. So the United Auto Workers have been bailed out. Here’s the president today with a couple comments on this.
THE PRESIDENT: Under ordinary economic circumstances, I would say this is the price that failed companies must pay, and I would not favor intervening to prevent the automakers from going out of business. But these are not ordinary circumstances. In the midst of a financial crisis and a recession, allowing the US auto industry to collapse is not a responsible course of action.
RUSH: And the president added this.
THE PRESIDENT: My economic advisors believe that such a collapse would deal an unacceptably painful blow to hardworking Americans far beyond the auto industry. It would worsen a weak job market and exacerbate the financial crisis. It could send our suffering economy into a deeper and longer recession, and it would lead the next president to confront the demise of a major American industry in his first days of office.
RUSH: Well, what’s wrong with that? See what the guy is made of. Only kidding, ladies and gentlemen. The thing going around here is that if the auto companies failed it would result in a 1% drop of the gross domestic product this year, and that is significant, 1% drop of the GDP. This is what’s being said to justify what has happened here. Now, bankruptcy, it isn’t entered into blindly. We’re also hearing that bankruptcy is just too massive, it would take way too long. The auto companies are just too large and their subsidiaries, suppliers and so forth all would be involved. It takes months to figure out how to do it all. But there is this thing called a prearranged bankruptcy or protected bankruptcy that would effectively be bankruptcy but everything is set out in advance to a large extent. The public would be informed of how it would work, including repairs, service, warranties and so forth. Bankruptcy would work.
There’s some legacy things here. I’m sure the Bush administration does not want to leave office with one or two of the auto companies closing down. That’s a large factor here, too, plus the 1%, you know, effect on GDP if all this happens. So it is what it is. It has happened. I told you, I don’t mean to be an ‘I told you so’ here, but it was going to happen one way or the other, and it’s pretty much happened the way I think, there’s enough to get all of this kicked down the road so Obama can deal with it later. Obama can do with this anything he wants. He can expand it; he can cut it; he can terminate it. Rick Wagoner today in Detroit held a press conference, chairman of General Motors, and here is a portion of what he said.
WAGONER: The term sheet does call for, I think ‘presidential designate’ is the word. I think you could call that, you know, the car czar, it could be a person or persons. And I’d have to say honestly we haven’t had a lot of conversations about the process that’s going to be used there so we’re going to see as we go along. We didn’t engage in any extensive negotiations around that topic at all.
RUSH: It sounds like Mr. Wagoner is essentially saying he doesn’t know many of the details of how this is all gonna work. Whether or not there’s going to be a car czar or a presidential designate that he’s going to have to deal with, all those things will be dealt with as they happen.
RUSH: Seventeen billion dollars, basically for the United Auto Workers. Nothing else has been changed. And if Obama can do whatever he wants on his watch, then what we have bought here is simply a bridge to the Obama administration. Three months for $17 billion. You know, at some point, we’re going to have to deal with some reality here, and I don’t see it ever happening. But at some point it’s going to have to. By the way, there are some things in this that of course can be stricken when legislators take a whack at it, but I think part of this bailout is that the… How to express this? As you know, the Big Three automakers have sued California because California has put these ridiculously obscene, absurd emissions standards and mileage requirements on the manufacturers.
I think this deal, this presidential directive, whatever this is to be called, standardizes all these CAFE standards. Now, the states are gonna fight this, but it’s an effort by the administration to do something here with the differences that exist from state to state and the federal government and this CAFE business. But this is the point. Until something’s done about that, until some of the hyper and overregulation of the automobile industry by a bunch of doofuses who haven’t the slightest idea… If you went to your average member of the Senate or Congress and said, ‘Okay, we need to start building this thing called a car, and the car’s going to have an engine in it. It’s going to have four wheels, and it’s gonna get people from point A to point B at speeds up to 120 miles an hour,’ do you think there’s anybody in Congress who would know what the first thing you do is?
This would be like putting me in charge of bridge building in the new infrastructure budget of the Obama administration. If somebody came to me and said, ‘Okay, Limbaugh. You’re the czar of bridges, and we need to build a bridge from here to there,’ I wouldn’t know what to do first. Members of Congress don’t know what to do first when building a car, but they sure as hell know what to do to stand in the way of cars being built that people actually want to buy. Nothing structural has changed with this money. CAFE standards are still what they are and other punitive regulations that stand in the way of experts executing their job with their own know-how. Now, there’s a story here by Jacqueline Mitchell from Forbes.com on the best- and worst-selling cars this year. I printed it out, and it’s three pages. I’ve looked at every vehicle mentioned in this story, and I cannot find a hybrid.
I cannot find an electric car in the best and even worst-selling. Apparently they sell so badly, they don’t even make the worst list. They don’t sell enough to make the bottom. Apparently, the Ford F-150 and the Chevrolet Silverado are the two best-selling vehicles so far in America this year. The pickup trucks, the F-150 from Ford, 473,933 buyers this year. That’s number one selling car for 2008. The Chevrolet Silverado, 431,725 buyers. They’re pretty close here, but the F-150 is number one. And number five among the worst-selling vehicles so far is the Nissan Armada, 14,753 buyers. I’m not going to go through the whole list here, but it’s extensive, and there’s not — that I can find, there’s not — a hybrid or an electric car on this list, certainly not at the top of the best-selling cars. When you look at the best-selling cars, they’re big. Pickup trucks.
Now, the bottom fell out of SUVs, but that’s because the price of gasoline this year peaked at a tipping point of about $4 a gallon. That, too, is one of the things that had a profound negative impact on the automobile industry this year. The volatility… What is it, oil is now 33, 34 bucks a barrel? The volatility in the price of this commodity is also providing its own problem. Now that the price has fallen, some people still don’t trust it’s gonna stay there. If it got to four bucks in two months, it can do it again. You’re only smart to think that that’s possible. But anyway, I mention the year’s best- and worst-selling cars because Washington is now in the car-building business and the cars they want us to drive don’t even make the worst-selling list! They’re so poorly sold, they don’t even make the bottom of the list. They’re certainly nowhere near the top. No hybrids mentioned in this story, and essentially no electric cars, and no hydrogen buses. I don’t see one of those on here, either.