Auto Execs Hit Turbulence Over Private Jets

Legislators put screws to extra-shiny tin cups
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Nov 20, 2008 7:49 AM CST
General Motors CEO Richard Wagoner, Chrysler CEO Robert Nardelli, and Ford CEO Alan Mulally, listen to testimony on Capitol Hill in Washington, yesterday.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Take three auto execs, add the private jets each took to a Capitol Hill hearing to beg for a federal bailout, and you get a recipe for the heaping helping of humble pie legislators served up, writes Dana Milbank in the Washington Post. "There's a delicious irony in seeing private luxury jets flying into Washington, DC, and people coming off them with tin cups in their hands," said one New York congressman at the disastrous hearing.

Others put the screws to the execs about cutting perks and downsizing hefty salaries—which drew silence from GM CEO Rick Wagoner, Chrysler CEO Robert Nardelli, and Ford CEO Alan Mulally. And as they denied culpability in the industry chaos, and Wagoner dodged pointed questions about GM's financial status, Milbank writes, "it was hard to feel sorry for the executives." And "don't even think about asking them to fly commercial."