Author and former Obama auto tsar Steven Rattner has a letter to the editor in today's Wall Street Journal taking issue with Holman Jenkins's echo of New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell's pro-Richard Wagoner revisionism regarding General Motors. Mr. Rattner writes:
Ford faced exactly the same set of challenges that Mr. Wagoner blamed for GM's problems: the same United Auto Workers agreements, the same oscillating gasoline prices, the same credit crisis and the same competition from Asian manufacturers. Yet GM went bankrupt, requiring $50 billion of taxpayer money, while Ford remained solvent and needed no help from Washington. What was the difference? Management.
Only in Mr. Rattner's world can Ford, which got a $5.9 billion federal loan and another $250 million federal loan guarantee (details here), be described as needing "no help from Washington." If Ford didn't need any help, why are so many of our tax dollars headed its way?