Friday, General Motors Vice Chairman and auto industry legend Bob Lutz appeared on CNBC as part of the company-wide media blitz surrounding G.M.’s emergence from its brief period of bankruptcy. Perhaps some of Mr. Lutz’s comments will finally dispel the notion that the Obama Administration is intent on deserting capitalism in favor of a Scandinavian Socialist form of government.
This is the very same Bob Lutz who claimed that the idea of global warming is a “total crock of sh**” in early 2008.
While donating to some Democrats throughout the years, Bob Lutz has donated the lion share of his political contributions to Republicans, including former President George W. Bush’s 2000 and 2004 campaign funds.
Lutz also expressed his opposition
to the government imposing automobile industry standards in an August 2008 interview with Jim Mateja of WardsAuto.com.
“We have tremendous pressure from mandates on fuel economy and safety that are going to add weight to vehicles, and so we are victims of the federal government,” exclaimed Lutz.
This is no big government, bleeding heart liberal, predisposed to support President Obama or the idea of heavy government involvement in private business. This is a no-regulation capitalist through and through.
With this being the case, it might be wise for those folks who love to throw out the word “Socialist” when referring to the President, to take a look at Lutz’s most recent quotes.
“It is 70 percent, but that’s because they wanted to give us [General Motors] the bulk of the money in the form of equity rather than debt. Because if it would have all been debt, we would have once again had a bad balance sheet with a crushing debt load and we would have had very high interest expenses,” said Lutz.
Later in the interview, Lutz discussed his opinion of the government’s goals for G.M. and his feeling regarding the Obama appointed automobile industry advisors Ron Bloom
and Steve Rattner
“The team [Bloom & Rattner] has one objective and one objective only: make G.M. a hard hitting, fully competitive automobile company. And beyond insisting we have a new board, the board is going to have oversight of General Motors. There will be no direct government involvement. The government’s only objective is to, as far as Fritz [Henderson, G.M. CEO] and I can determine, is they want G.M. to recover and the taxpayer wants her money back,” explained Lutz.
So, according to the very outspoken Lutz, President Obama was truthful in insisting that he has no interest
in running an automobile company. I also find it intriguing that Lutz sees the government as an asset in rebuilding G.M., as opposed to an adversary.
As I stated in a previous article
, federal bailouts to corporations depict the most unfortunate economic situation I could conceive. But, I still cannot fathom what the condition of our economy would be if G.M., Chrysler, A.I.G., and all the other bailed out companies and their ancillary companies shut down or liquidated at the same time our economy was suffering its greatest downturn since the Great Depression. The situation would have gone from really bad to a 1930s United States. No way could that risk have been taken.
This government intervention is meant to save capitalism, not destroy it.