Where are the employee givebacks?
Before the deal was struck, Chrysler's bailout required executives and labor to contribute more than $600 million in pay cuts. The airline giveaway, by contrast, is subsidizing the $200,000 annual salaries of senior pilots, who will be the last to be laid off.
The only rank-and-file contributions are involuntary, the 100,000 layoffs of lower-paid workers.
Beyond a few cosmetic cuts for CEOs, the industry has said next to nothing about white-collar salary concessions. Asked about the subject in Congress, Mullin blew purple smoke about the Black-Scholes pricing model for stock options and vaguely suggested that no executives would make out better than their companies.
"If we pass this package, I would be very concerned if I read in the paper a week later that some executive received $8 million," said Florida Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown.
US Airways Chairman Stephen M. Wolf certainly won't earn that much this year, but he made $11.6 million last year, one of the busiest in airline history, and ran his company well enough to lose $269 million. Through June of this year USAir had lost another $195 million.