Rich Galen

That might have worked if they had done that two weeks ago, but after the private jet fiasco, even the dumbest car buyer could see this was just a stunt.

They take the keys out of the ignition, they walk into the Committee Hearing Room and tell us that they were wrong in asking for $25 billion last week. The real number they need is $34 billion. That means their needs are growing at $4.5 billion per week.

$642,857,142.86 a day. $26,785,714.28 an hour.

FOR GOD'S SAKE! GIVE THEM THE MONEY, ALREADY! I can't afford to wait another minute at $446,428.57 per.

What is astonishing to me is that the Chairman of General Motors, Rick Wagoner, still has his job. Chrysler has been the poor relation for decades. Ford has apparently taken the steps necessary to be able to survive this storm.

But GM is an absolute basket case and no one seems to want to ask the guy in charge how he let his company get into a situation where it needs an $18 billion dollar hand-out from the taxpayers to stay in business.

What about the GM Board of Directors. Where have they been. Taking turns flying around on the corporate jets? According to GM's web page the board is responsible for "increased stockholder value," and "has responsibility to GM's customers, employees, suppliers and to the communities where it operates."

Really? Last year on this date a share of GM stock was selling for $27.68. Yesterday it closed at $4.11. The GM board has "increase shareholder value" to the tune of MINUS 85% over the past 12 months.

According to Forbes Magazine, GMAC - the financing arm of GM - is also in the soup. Just before Thanksgiving GMAC petitioned to be declared a bank holding company so it could share in the $700 billion bank rescue plan.

But that's not the end of the car company in-breeding. Again, from Forbes:

GMAC is majority owned by New York-based private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP, which also owns most of Chrysler.

GM, GMAC, Chrysler all own pieces of each other and they are dipping into every piggy bank the federal government has on the shelf in an attempt to bail themselves out of the mess they put themselves in.

I've had enough. Last one out of Detroit, turn off the lights.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at