$150 a week.
For some folks, this is a mere pittance. A lunch for four at a fancy restaurant that can be easily charged off to Uncle Sam and his seventeen trillion dollar debit card.
For others, it’s the beginning of a barnacle that will likely outlast their ability to pay it.
They will flex their muscles and run while they can. Then once they trip, due to a lost job or a family emergency, they will pick up an even heavier barnacle, with four wheels on it, and keep running.
It’s a vicious cycle of poverty. Where the poor always stay poor. After witnessing this cycle of automotive indebtitude for years on end, I’ve come to blame one solitary thing.
Responding to TTAC commentator Ohsnapback, Ford’s Communications rep defended his employer’s turnaround plan. “At Ford we have never said that we have won the battle already,” Jay Ward wrote. “Just that we are making considerable progress against our plan. You are right that the job is not done, but the evidence so far is overwhealmingly [sic] positive.” So far, so PR. And then . . . “We are managing our debt and working hard to pay it off. We are also going to pay back our loans unlike other companies (not just automotive – how about the banks while we are on the subject).” It’s a blunt and entirely accurate appraisal of GM and Chrysler’s chances of returning the government’s $72 billion (plus) “investment” in the failed domestic automakers. Ward goes on to underline Ford’s official position that its $10 billion no-to-low interest, 25-year “retooling” loan from the Department of Energy does not constitute a government bailout. ” . . . we did shun bail out money. We accepted government loans available to all auto manufacturers both domestic and foreign. We have committed to paying these back and I fail to see how we can be critisised [sic] for that.” And just in case you thought the attack on GM and Chrysler’s mega-suckle was a slip of the tongue, Ward makes a second strafing run. “If everyone else pays back every penny that Uncle Sam has ‘loaned’ them, I will eat my Mustang and my Flex.” Jay’s cars are safe. His ability to post on TTAC without interference from The Glass House Gang? Not so much.