Mike Boyd on the GM corporate jets thing

Nick

Well-Known Member
The Boyd statement, as usual, hits the nail on the head. I bolded the paragraph I found the most related to aviation, as well as the most humorous, yet entirely factual.





Monday, November 30, 2008

The New Symbols of Evil -
Business Jets - Threatening Humanity





When you're afraid to state and defend the truth, good and right always lose.

It is particularly so when the fear is based on being politically-incorrect. Deal with it: political correctness is nothing more than mob mentality - disagree, and at the least you will be shouted down in one form or another, and at worst burned at the political stake. It's marginally less extreme than how terrorists treat infidels, but the core concept is the same: disagree with the dogma, and you will be punished.

Never was this more clearly demonstrated than in the case of the Big Three auto executives who showed up in the Marble Playpen, a.k.a. Congress, to plead their case for a federal bailout.

Forget No Consumer Credit. The Media Found The Real Problem. The hearings were embarrassing. The CEOs looked like Team Nebbish From The Planet Motown. But the real story came later. A vigilant TV network correspondent discovered, no doubt after five minutes of earnest research and a cab ride to Reagan National, that the CEOs, coming to Washington to ask for taxpayer money actually flew, yes!, private jets!

The outrage! They're losing billions, and they have the fat-cat crust to fly in private corporate jets down to Washington to beg for money! The fat pigs! They could have flown commercial, just like the rest of us! Congress, don't give 'em diddly.

And that became the fodder for every indignant talk show host on the air. Nobody dared ask any questions. It was now dogma, and don't argue: These CEOs are pigs who have killed off their companies, then run to Washington in luxurious private jets asking for our hard-earned dollars.

Well, here's a flash for the intellectual fundamentalists who are so righteously calling for these CEOs' heads, based on the mob-belief that they sipped champagne and smoked Davidoff 25s on the way to Washington, while the rest of us were having our toiletries examined in the TSA line at DCA: Those executives did the right thing. They should have taken those corporate aircraft to Washington.

Of course, based on their prior decision to be congressional punching-bag photo-ops, we can bet that they won't stand up for themselves. But here's a letter that one or all of these CEOs should have written to Congress, but won't.



Dear Senator Snort:

I understand there is considerable uproar about my mode of transportation when I came to Washington to testify in regard to the challenges facing my company and the US auto industry in general.

It is completely accurate that I utilized a business jet owned by my company. It is also accurate that this mode of transportation is more expensive than commercial flights would have been. I can understand the public perception, particularly in light of how the story was spun in the media.

Let me provide you with some facts.

First, we have a corporate flight department because in many instances it allows us to move our people far more efficiently than commercial air. Time in our business can be critically expensive.When we need to move a team of production engineers from Lansing to our plant in Shreveport to fix a line problem, commercial flights would take all day - or, depending on the time the failure takes place, more than a day. Our corporate flights would be less than 3 hours to get to the site and begin to fix the problem.

In my case, yes, I did utilize corporate aviation assets to get to Washington. I fully intend to do so again should a similar event arise. To do otherwise would be irresponsible to my shareholders, employees and investors. I report to them, not to gadfly reporters, or to inept agenda-laden "environmentalists" who would be happy to see us all live in nice clean caves.

As you must certainly know, this is a crisis for my firm and the entire US auto industry. Immediate attention is needed, including my full-time efforts on the matter. You seem to forget that the rapid rise in gasoline prices - brought on, I may add, by Washington's continued lack of cohesive energy policy - caused a corresponding decline in demand for substantial parts of our product line. Then credit dried up over the past year, again reducing auto demand. Our product line wasn't the proximate problem. Your lack of energy policy and sloppy oversight of the financial industry led us to this.

As for the "big SUVs" you tend to vilify, here's a flash for you, Senator: we were building those because that's what the public wanted. There has not been a single Chevrolet Suburban sold at the point of a gun. At least not in this country. Another flash, Senator: amid your adulation for Japanese companies supposedly only building small cars, you've missed the facts. Until very recently, these companies were scrambling to put up factories in Texas and Mississippi to build large trucks and SUVs. But in regard to the current crisis, let's get it straight: demand has fallen over 30% - and there's no company that can easily or quickly adjust.

Back to the corporate jet. I have a company in crisis and must be in touch at all times. On the corporate jet I have communication with all parts of my company at all times. I conduct business while on that airplane. This being a crisis, I find that is far more effective than being out of pocket, lining up at Detroit Metro, waiting in line at the TSA that you toss money at regardless of its effectiveness, then waiting again to board the flight. Then there is the sloppy air traffic control system you inflict on the public, which requires airlines to fly in excess of the time they really need to, and gives me a 20% chance of not arriving on schedule, anyway.

This is a crisis. I had a meeting with you and your committee that was crucial to my company. Use of the corporate jet was necessary and the best use of my time. Again referring to the ATC system you seem to tolerate, it was the best use of your committee's time too, assuring I would be there when the hearings started.

Funny, but I don't seem to have been able to find your outrage on others' use of private jets. Take Robert Rubin - he's the guy that got paid over $100 million by Citi Group just before it tanked and congress, almost without a peep, bailed it out for $200 billion - far more than my industry is looking for. (How many manufacturing jobs does Citi provide, by the way?) I'm sure Mr. Rubin is using private jets for some of his transportation needs. After all, isn't he also an advisor to the President-Elect?

You're calling my use of a corporate jet "hypocrisy" - yet I cannot locate any such outrage on your part regarding Ai Gore's continued used of such aircraft. And isn't he the one constantly babbling about "carbon footprints" and "global warming" and other not-to-be-questioned voodoo?

I regret the media circus. I regret the situation my industry is in at the moment. But we need to focus on solutions and on facts, not innuendo. This corporate jet thing is nonsense. I will use the resources I have to make my company as efficient as possible. The corporate flight department is part of those resources.

Sincerely

Auto Industry CEO


Make no mistake: corporate and business aviation are now in the cross-hairs of a new administration that has a ready ear to people who want it cut or eliminated, on the basis of it being "elitist" or "environmentally-irresponsible."

It's going to be an interesting four years. So, where's the NBAA when we need them?
 

jhugz

#lighttwin Mafia
I always like to see people bash on the the TSA. It is the biggest waste of the tax payers money and their workforce can probably be cut in half.
 

ZapBrannigan

Old School
Nice letter. Sometimes Boyd seems like a Monday morning quarterback, but in this case he does a good job bringing the absurdity to light.
 

Sprint100

Well-Known Member
Like so many others he took it way out of proportion. The main theme behind this is perception. Don't come asking me for a dollar in you're new timbaland boots wearing a matching Sean John outfit. Better yet these "car guys" are asking for tons of money when we know they will do the same thing they've done for years.
 

Orange Anchor

New Member
Like so many others he took it way out of proportion. The main theme behind this is perception. Don't come asking me for a dollar in you're new timbaland boots wearing a matching Sean John outfit. Better yet these "car guys" are asking for tons of money when we know they will do the same thing they've done for years.
So you are suggesting that groveling before panel is more judicious and efficacious? But.. wouldn't that just encourage the Congress-persons and Senators to be even more ignorant??

Granted, it didn't look good for a dog and pony show which is the substance of most hearings. (Witness Oberstar's circus over the MD-80 and the wire bundle wraps). But isn't that what hearings are really about? Not to solve problems but to demonstrate gov power?
 

Sprint100

Well-Known Member
So you are suggesting that groveling before panel is more judicious and efficacious? But.. wouldn't that just encourage the Congress-persons and Senators to be even more ignorant??
No, but do something that looks like you are trying to make a change. They showed no change and proposed no change, so basically they are no better than the drug addict that asks for money then takes that money to buy more drugs.

Granted, it didn't look good for a dog and pony show which is the substance of most hearings. (Witness Oberstar's circus over the MD-80 and the wire bundle wraps). But isn't that what hearings are really about? Not to solve problems but to demonstrate gov power?
First off, that was then this is now. Two different hearings two different times. Looks like the govt. has alot of power when they hold the money you need:laff:
 

Orange Anchor

New Member
First off, that was then this is now. Two different hearings two different times. Looks like the govt. has alot of power when they hold the money you need:laff:
Not really.. same ruse and same smoke and mirrors by Congress pretending to know how to do something it has NO expertise in.. budgets, spending, responsibility, etc.
 

Patrick

Well-Known Member
I could care less how Detroit execs get from point A to point B. I do, however, have a huge problem with the idea of taxpayer dollars going to keep dinosaur companies in business. They lost the game 30 years ago when they refused to innovate. Heck, this goes back longer than 30 years- look at what happened with Preston Tucker and his car company.

And yes, the activity on Wall St is just as despicable.
 

Sprint100

Well-Known Member
Not really.. same ruse and same smoke and mirrors by Congress pretending to know how to do something it has NO expertise in.. budgets, spending, responsibility, etc.
I hear ya on that most def, the fact I was eluding to is similar to what patrickcps said. The issue is the car execs and they haven't demonstrated they'll do anything differently. The whole thing about flying in on private jets was just an easy example to pick on.
 

cre8flyer

New Member
I understand that the reason the exec's gave congress for their use of corporate jets was "Safety". It would be interesting to know the opinion of the members of this forum about whether commercial flights are so much less safe than private jets.

Lol at the responses already. . .
 

deek

New Member
Doesn't Nancy Pelosi from Cali fly a Gov.757 back and forth to DC?

I agree, the corporate jets we're the least of the problems. But then again, when you need to borrow money from someone, best to not do anything to piss them off, regardless if they are intelligent or not. (clearly not)

Once while working ramp up in NH I helped get some AT&T exec on his way, and while loading his gulf bag he said he did 90% of his business either on the plane or on the links.
 

Orange Anchor

New Member
I understand that the reason the exec's gave congress for their use of corporate jets was "Safety". It would be interesting to know the opinion of the members of this forum about whether commercial flights are so much less safe than private jets.

Lol at the responses already. . .
Guffaw if you wish but at some of the big companies, their security makes the TSA look like a huge joke. Go search the web for travel info on Home Depot, Coca-Cola, Sony, 3M.. where they fly, what airports they visit world wide and when. You probably also know that many of these 'luxury barges' are hardened just like AF1 for secure communication, the food and water on board is tested to rigorous standards, etc.
 

Sprint100

Well-Known Member
You probably also know that many of these 'luxury barges' are hardened just like AF1 for secure communication, the food and water on board is tested to rigorous standards, etc.
All of that is fine and hella secure, but do most of these execs really need that level of security:confused:
 

stuckingfk

Well-Known Member
All of that is fine and hella secure, but do most of these execs really need that level of security:confused:
I'd say they do.

There are people in this country who kill for hundreds of dollars. Execs for these large companies are worth milllions, some billions. I'd want some security if I were them.
 
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