As the CEO of Boeing Commerical Airplanes in Seattle, Alan Mulally, now Ford Motor Co. CEO, knew how to feed at the public trough for his multi-billion-dollar private corporation. He helped steer Boeing and its new 787 production line towards a $3.2 billion, 20-year tax break handed out by then-Gov. Gary Locke, who was secretly taking advice from Boeing's own consultant.
Now Mulally, seeking billions more in a federal bailout for Ford, is vowing to take a pay cut to $1 a year and says - after he and other auto-maker execs were criticized for flying to D.C. in private jets to attend their first bailout plea - he will drive to D.C. to make another bid this week. Reports USA Today:
GM spokesman Tony Cervone says [CEO Rick] Wagoner will drive in a Chevrolet Malibu
hybrid sedan when he makes the 520-mile trek from Detroit to Capitol
Hill. Ford's Mulally also is driving from Detroit for a second appearance before two legislative committees. Chrysler won't say how [CEO Robert] Nardelli will travel,
except it won't be by corporate jet. A spokeswoman says his travel
plans are secret for security reasons.
What, does someone want to kill him? Of course this is all a corporate stunt for public funding - like Boeing putting its Dreamliner assembly line out for bid to other states, causing Locke to cough up the tax break. These are multi-millionaire CEOs who won't miss a year's salary, auto execs who think it's a show of camaraderie to drive your own car.
In return, Mulally and the others are promising great things from their factories: the production of fuel-efficient cars that people actually want to buy. Since people weren't buying fuel-inefficient cars, it just might be something they'd have to do anyway.
The words we really want to hear from the three execs at this week's hearing are, under oath: We promise to do the right thing for our screwed-up companies. We resign.