Moore: Tell the Big 3 automakers 'we're going to own your ass'
David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Published: Thursday December 4, 2008

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Michael Moore is furious about the disrespectful way the Detroit automakers have been treated in Washington, but he is equally angry at the automobile manufacturers themselves.

"When the automaker chiefs went to Washington, they were treated like errant schoolchildren and then sent back to Detroit to write an essay on 'Why we should get free cash,'" Moore told MSNBC's Keith Olbermann on Wednesday. "When the Wall Street bankers and thieves came down there back in October, it was just the opposite. ... "'Just step right up boys! Oh yeah, big finance, just great, we love that.'"

Despite his anger at Washington, however, Moore was no more sparing of the automakers, who were back before Congress on Thursday to insist that if they are not given $34 billion right now, they risk going out of business by the end of the month.

"Any money given to the current management is just going to be money that's being flushed right down the toilet," Moore insisted. "They don't have a clue about how to run these companies."

Moore pointed out that "GM wants $18 billion. The total worth of all the common stock in GM right now is a little less than $3 billion. ... Why would we give them $18 billion?" He believes that if the government bails out the auto firms, it needs to receive a degree of control over their operations in return.

"This new president and this Congress has to say to the Big Three, 'I'm sorry, but this car thing isn't working out," Moore suggested. "We're running out of oil, so you need to build hybrids, electrics, and we need mass transportation. ... If we give you $34 billion, we're going to own your ass."

"These geniuses thought that everybody would want to buy a Hummer and that somehow there was an untold amount of oil under the earth," Moore concluded sarcastically. "Why would we reward them?"

This video is from MSNBC's Countdown, broadcast Dec. 3, 2008.

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