Note: I have seen no better article or explanation for the Government Motors Bailout then this piece by LIZ PEEK, of the Fiscal Times.Use it for talking points when you run across a madlib who says but doh, yah, we saved the auto industry! With the source links to back you up.
In the second presidential debate, Mr. Obama attacked early on, saying, “Governor Romney said we should let Detroit go bankrupt.”
Note to Obama fans: GM did go bankrupt – filing for Chapter 11 protection against its creditors on June 1, 2009. It’s what happened next that the president can take credit for – a handout of $49.5 billion in taxpayer money to GM, some $27 billion of which remains outstanding, and another $17 billion to its financial arm Ally Financial, which still owes $14.7 billion.
In other words, Obama didn’t save General Motors; American taxpayers did, with an assist from the Federal Reserve.
While liberals rant about the bailouts of Wall Street, it is worthwhile noting that of the $417 billion in TARP funds spent to stabilize the economy, only $65 billion has yet to be repaid – and more than half of that is owed by GM and Chrysler. The latest TARP report from the Congressional Budget Office says that the government invested nearly $80 billion in those two auto giants and that taxpayers are still on the hook for roughly $37 billion.
In the same report, the CBO projects that handouts to Wall Street firms will ultimately net the government a cool $11 billion profit. They say the auto industry, on the other hand, will never pay back taxpayers. According to the congressional bean counters, $20 billion is gone for good.
Where did that money go? Mainly, it went to paying off debts owed by GM and Chrysler, and – in an historic distortion of our bankruptcy proceedings – to securing the pensions and livelihoods of UAW workers.
It turns out the real debt was that of Mr. Obama to organized labor, which had ponied up some $400 million to help him defeat John McCain.
The Obama administration strong-armed the auto companies’ creditors into accepting undeniably unfair terms – terms that saw pensions obliterated for non-union workers but saved for those carrying a UAW card. Terms that saw non-UAW shops close but UAW factories stay open. Terms that doled out ownership in GM with political favoritism as a guiding principle.
Why did the UAW receive such favorable treatment? The government at the time argued that the UAW was already making sufficient sacrifices. While true that union members gave up cost-of-living increases and agreed to a no-strike rule, they were protected against the kind of pay cuts that would have made GM truly competitive.
Finish this piece HERE