Monday, March 30, 2009

Chief? You're Fired!

PO: Hello; ChiefReason?

CR: Yes; this is ChiefReason. Who’s this?

PO: This is President Obama.

CR: Mr. President; how are you?

PO: Not so good. I only have one (1) team left in the Final Four. And you?

CR: I have two (2) teams left, but it’s been a bad year for me.

PO: And it’s about to get worse.

CR: How is that?

PO: I want you to resign from the fire department. It’s just not working out. I was hoping to see more progress in your department during my mercurial first ninety days in office.

CR: I’m a little confused. I report to a board of trustees and I am elected by township residents; my shareholders, if you will. I am honored that you would think that I work for you, but I don’t believe that I do.

PO: Didn’t you ask your federal government, over which I am the boss, for money to buy equipment? I mean; you asked for a bailout because you needed money, right?

CR: Well, “need” isn’t exactly it. You offered us the program, so we took advantage of it.

PO: That’s right. You stuck your hand out and we put some money in it. I’m not happy with the results, so, in accordance with the terms of the agreement, I am firing you. I asked for and received from Congress-your representatives-more powers in matters of money.

CR: But I didn’t agree to being fired by the government. I signed a grant application, agreed to spend the money as stated and agreed to an audit if requested.

PO: And do you still owe money after receiving the grant?

CR: Yeah; but you said that we couldn’t use the grant to retire debt.

PO: Pish-posh. I owe it to my fellow Dem-I mean; my constituents-to protect their best interests and their investment in America’s future by relieving you as chief. Hey; did you see that putt Tiger made on the last hole of the Palmer tournament?

CR: Uh, yes I did, but I-

PO: Whoa; look at the time. I gotta get to the gym for some basketball. Look at the bright side: you got more time for golf. Read my book!

Now, at first blush, you might think that my imagination is working overtime again.

But, if you haven’t heard by now, Rick Wagoner, CEO of General Motors, was told by the Obama Administration to step down as head of GM if they were to receive any more bailout money. The reason cited was that there just wasn’t enough being done to re-structure the company.

So, for the first time in our nation’s history, the federal government has fired an employee of a publicly traded, privately held company!

Doesn’t that send chills down your spine; that the federal government is running private business in this country? Does Amtrak, U.S. Postal Service, Katrina, Rita, No Child Left Behind, Enron, World Com, Bernie Madoff, AIG, Lehman Bros, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Bernie Mac, Goldman Sachs and anywhere else the government was directly involved or should have been involved with oversight ring a bell?

Where stricter oversight should have been exerted, they turned a blind eye. They gave billions with no plan to monitor the program to banks and AIG, but yet, want to run an auto company right down to choosing who should be the CEO. Hmmm. Will they also consider the same demise for the International President of the UAW? Not likely, but I would listen if someone wants to explain the difference to me.

This could be the start of a journey down a road that I don’t think America wants to go down. It is so close to one of those “ism” words that we fight so desperately to deny. Our government needs to get out of the business of Business. Even if they would get their own house in order, there is no room in a free democracy for government intervention into private business beyond offering low interest assistance with a schedule for repayment.

I applaud states like Alaska and companies like Ford Motor Company for refusing to reach out to the long tentacle of this administration, knowing that the strings attached could wrap them in a debt beyond anything that money could repay.

We have to stop government sponsored attacks on our system of free enterprise NOW!

Or ChiefReason might be looking for another job in the REAL world.


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  1. The Unions got what they ask far. You ain't seen nothing yet. Captialism is over for the next 4 years at least.

  2. I thought this was a fire blog.

  3. There is no "free" lunch or program, all have a price. Fire departments have taken many federal training programs with open arms because they were free and also those that came with a threat of non compliance or no federal $$. We wonder why firefighters don't have time to train on fire, well look back at that 100-200-300 on and on and mandatory refresher classes. Be wary of beltway give aways that impower others while doing little else.

  4. "I thought this was a fire blog."
    You must have missed the part where there is a clear line drawn between the government's ability to remove a CEO of a car company or a fire chief of a fire department, if given wide latitude to do so.
    Or would you prefer to talk about the color of helmets?


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