American Morning

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June 1st, 2009
04:00 PM ET

We Listen!

Monday’s American Morning audience awakened to the bankruptcy of General Motors. While the event was not unforeseen, many remained confused about the bankruptcy in conjunction with the government bailout and presented questions on numerous topics related to the filing.

  • Joe: The U.S. Government already bailed out GM. The Hummer was designed for the military, it was the new 50K+ Jeep. The Government already supported GM by buying Hummers, Suburbans and Blazers at inflated prices, with billions of tax payer dollars. How many Government owned Hummers and other GM vehicles (running and in scrap yards) do we the people have in countries all over the world? No really, what is the price of this GM bailout?
  • Andrew: I think that GM needs to cut down their prices on cars and trucks not a lot of people are buying new cars and trucks people are buying used cars and trucks now because new cars and trucks are too high
  • 5XXXXXXX1: The auto execs had an opportunity to change their business practice years ago and didn't; they were getting their outrageous salaries.

How do you feel about the General Motors’ bankruptcy? How will it affect you? What is your opinion about GM’s future? What questions do you have about the bankruptcy?

The GM bondholder/school teacher was very heavily criticized for her naïveté and her seemingly alternative agenda against President and Mrs. Obama.

  • Angus C: I am disgusted that you would bring that ditzy teacher on this morning whose only agenda was to try to bash Obama. I don't believe she was genuinely upset about the bonds. I expect this kind of nonsense from Fox News, not CNN. The very last comment about Michelle Obama was telling of her real position. If the government did not intervene with GM her bonds would be worth zero.
  • L.T.: GM bondholder crying about not having a say, is wrong. When she and America voted G. Bush pres. she and they BANKRUPTED the U.S. and GM. creating the failures from surpluses to deficits and gave TAX breaks for Hummers.
  • Bob: Today, Monday, on breaking news, a women was interviewed that invested $70,000 in GM six years ago. She was complaining about losing some of her money in the GM reorganization. Your reporter should have taken a few minutes to ask her if she understood that stocks and bonds all have a risk and that is the reason they generally provide more return than CDs or the money market. Please don't have that air brain on again – I am happy that she isn't teaching my grandchildren.
  • Gwen: This is the first time I've ever written in but felt I should do so. First, this is regarding the so-called teacher who was on TV at approx. 5:30am Central time. She was upset about losing most of the $70,000 in GM investment and I understand her frustration. Many people have lost money during these economic problems. This lady readily wanted to blame the President for her lost, but no one explains that the President is working as hard as he can for the country with what he was handed when coming into office. If GM had not received the stimulus money, the GM retired workers would not have continued to receive their retirement, pension, and other benefits. I feel this needs to be explained to the American people, since there are so many criticizing the president every move he makes. Secondly, I was very upset with the comment she made regarding Michelle Obama's comment during the campaign about being proud of being an American only after her husband was campaigning for the presidency. She made a comment about how would Michelle feel if she was her children's teacher. This woman was out of order; these kids should never be mentioned in any political manner. This lets us know what type of teacher she really is. It appeared to be an attack on these sweet little Obama girls. She needs to come back on TV and explain her comment. I want to know what she was meaning.
  • Rod: Where did you get that Gm bondholder you interviewed this morning from? And what may I ask was your purpose in talking with her? Mr. Obama just did a humane act. He pulled the plug on a life support patient that was never going to make it. Where has this bondholder been for the past decade? And she teaches our children? Now that in and of itself is a very scary thought.

What did you think of the interview with the schoolteacher/bondholder? Was she right to blame the government for the failure of GM?

The Lansing, MI, mayor was also lambasted by viewers, who felt GM only had itself to blame for its demise.

  • Tony: The mayor you just had on talks alot of smack. If he was educated at all about GM he would know that free trade is not the issue. It's GM and the rest of the American car makers, wasting billions of federal money to develope altnative fuel solutions, trying to develope hydrogen fuel cells while killing the solution of today THE ELECTRIC CAR which they had developed. Instead of putting their dollar behind the electric car the presude the HUMMER.They had the technology and threw it away. You can't blame the foreign car makers for taking the technology and running with it and chipping away at their market share. Greed is why they killed the ground breaking alternative because GM would loose all the extra revenew from replacing oil filters, cumbustion part, etc. If you and your viewers want to really know why GM and Chrysler are in this situation watch the documentary "Who Killed the Electric Car" and really get the facts
  • Willis: If I had to be around this guy for more than five minutes I would be assaulting him. You can place him in the category as that of the Mayor of San Francisco – "whether you like it or not". This person should be making info-commercials on TV, WORKING FOR OXI-CLEAN and having their name on his shirt. He will submerge still not getting the idea that you can't pay out more than you make
  • Joey: When I heard Mayor Bernero saying the American people did not support GM, I had to write. GM truly for years has supported the building of huge vehicles, and that is why they are where they are at. GM has terrible customer service in dealerships and has just within the past few years begun to build fuel efficient and smaller cars. These manufactures have got to stop crying over what people did and look more at what they did.
  • Sheldon: I just watched the mayor of Lansing. Talk about pointing fingers everywhere except inwards. The playing field is fairly level. He raises health care provided elsewhere but not in US as an example. Perhaps he would like to come to Canada and pay our tax rate. Our health care doesn't come without a price. He is a poor example of someone that should be representing that city.
  • PG Mom: Just wanted to say I'm a hugh fan of Lansing's mayor Verge Banero. He speaks the truth about what has plunged and keeps America in the horrible place it is in presently. I hope he aspires to higher political office. He would have my vote. There's a true american. I own a Chrysler, and when a problem arose and I called Customer Service, I realized it was located in another country. They want americans and american money to purchase cars, but where will the money come from if they outsource customer service and other jobs to foreign countries. The Banks and Credit card Companies are also on this band wagon. Lately, if I have to speak with any customer service reps and they are not located here in the USA. I let the representative know that I did not do business outside the US and I would like to have an american call me if there is a problem... then I just hang up. By the way.. a family friend in Italy tells us that Fiat has not paid any of their suppliers in about 6 months, how can they purchase Chrysler when they are not paying folks in Europe. I thought CNN would have had some news about this but nothing so far. Please let the american public know more about Fiat and its credibility on the European market.

Is the Lansing, MI mayor right in his beliefs that GM’s failure is a result of “free trade?” How do you feel about the American auto industry in general? Do you believe the industry has the ability to resurrect itself in light of its past mistakes?

Filed under: We Listen
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Janos

    "We won't just be crushing it down and leaving it in a landfill" – GM talking about the EV1, before they crushed it down and left it in a landfill. GM killed the electric car because everyone wanted it, and if everyone wanted an electric car no one would buy their gigantic mini-tank sized SUVs.

    GM has been trying to sell vehicles so big that they often have difficulty fitting into parking lots, vehicles that get around twenty miles to the gallon. It's GM's own fault that it's failing, stop blaming the Unions when GM has progressively gone in the wrong direction with their products this whole time.

    June 2, 2009 at 7:52 pm |
  2. Richard

    I'm puzzled as to how GM stayed in business this long. The last few years they have been claiming big losses. The latest was 6 billion in the 1st Q of this year. CNN did a story about a month ago of the big corporations in this country using off shore accounts to shelter profits from taxes in this country. Could GM be one of them, playing the game of claiming losses here , sheltering their real bottom line?

    June 2, 2009 at 9:16 am |
  3. Craig

    Although GM management shares the blame, the UAW destroyed GM because of greed. Labor laws in this country allowed the UAW to hold management hostage until they gave in to outrageous demands. Do you think that any corporation would voluntarily agree to pay employees 95% of their wages even if they had no work for them.

    Most employees are unskilled yet they were paid hourly wages and benefits higher than most teachers, nurses, and other professionals. Saying that someone with a high school education or less should make more than a person who has invested the time, energy, and money to complete four or five years of college is rediculous. Tightening the lug nuts on the wheels of a new car is not as complicated as nurse working in open heart surgery or a teacher trying to prepare are children for an ever challenging world.

    Now, with the help of the President, the UAW is even more powerful. The new GM will fail for the same reason it failed in the past – UAW greed. Now GM spokesman say things will be different. They use the $40,000. VOLT as an example. Who will buy this thing – Who can afford it? With the current economy and inflation on the horizon, how many people can afford an $800.00 a month car payment? As for me, I will never ever buy another GM or Chrysler product. I don't care what they make.

    June 2, 2009 at 8:11 am |
  4. Steve

    I cant believe CNN and other news outlets are not all over this one aspect of the GM bailout/bankruptcy: GM wants to import cars they build in China to the US! How can this government, and the people of this great country allow $50 billion dollars of taxpayer money to go to create jobs in CHINA, a country who our government calls an adversary? I have never been so furious about a political situation in my life. I understand the need to keep GM alive, and to protect the taxpayer money already gone, but why aren’t more people and politicians all over this issue. The GARBAGE the U.S. imports from China has killed and or impaired dogs, and babies. It is inferior in quality and durability. And it takes away AMERICAN jobs. Why would our government, a government “for and by the people” supposedly, allow this government/citizen owned company to export more jobs to any other country, nonetheless CHINA? I have nothing against the Chinese people, it is their adversarial government I, and the rest of us should have an issue with. This is OUR money going their. I will NEVER buy a GM product, and will vote against all current federal politicians possible if they don’t stand up and do their part to STOP THIS NONSENSE! Wake up AMERICA! We are selling out to CHINA faster that you know! And WAKE UP CNN and the rest of the news outlets, and jump on this…oh, I forgot, it is the Obama network. Don’t go against the “anointed one”.

    June 2, 2009 at 7:09 am |
  5. Janos

    I'm glad GM is going under. GM killed the Electric Car EV1 and they lied to the public during the recall. I just wish the CEO's would have to retire into poverty, but the fat execs never suffer with the rest of us.

    June 2, 2009 at 6:48 am |
  6. Dan

    I think one of the keys of the GM resurrection will be the Volt. They have to proceed with this car and make sure that it is affordable (under 30k). Most other companies are going with hybrids, having a full electric car will set them appart and help them restart better and stronger. Kind of ironic that they had a perfectly viable electric car in the past and they chose not to pursue that, but that's another story.

    June 2, 2009 at 6:45 am |
  7. michael sasen

    I think gm should do what hd did'nt do in 1943-5.

    June 1, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  8. Debra

    I can't believe how unfeeling and mean people can be. I had no political agenda and made my last comment which everyone took out of context to try to get the First Lady to sympathize...maybe she would see it and say oh, my goodness people like a school teacher could lose their savings. You cannot believe the frustration of not being able to even choose what to do after the "sweetened bond deal" was offered to the big bondholder corporations and not the 200,000 plus regular bondholders. The Task Force had one agenda and that was to have GM file bankruptcy and that is scary plus none of the 200,000 individual bondholders were included in the talks. That is scary and that is big business. I just know that President Obama has said he is for the common people and that's what I was trying to say. You have to realize I'm not a newscaster and was speaking into a person to look at..wearing an earpiece and unsure of how much time I could speak. I feel so sorry for all the people out there at GM today..the workers, the dealerships, the stockholders (who were completely wiped out), and the bondholders. All I know is to NEVER buy bonds ever again. It happened to me and thousands of other people maybe who could have been your brother, sister, mother, father, or grandparents and it could happen to you and it is sad that this happened in America today. People should be sad about what has happened and not commenting how I made a "stupid" investment and other personal comments.

    June 1, 2009 at 8:16 pm |