Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

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24 April 2010

Government Motors Paid Back the TARP Loan?

The CEO of Government Motors (the old General Motors) has been in a TV ad in which he is on the factory floor and claiming that GM has paid back the TARP money it owed the U.S. government in full 5 years early!  Did it really?

Given that it lost $3.4 billion just last quarter, what money could it possibly have used to make the payment of such a large sum of money that so many economists and businessmen have said they will probably never be able to repay the taxpayer?  It turns out that they were allowed to use taxpayer money that the government had put into an escrow account to back up GM to pay off the loan!  In fact, it actually only paid $7 billion on a particular loan even given that subterfuge.  GM still owes the government, the taxpayers really, more than $50 billion.  So where is the achievement that the GM CEO was crowing about?  They simply handed the government money with the right hand, while receiving money in their left hand, and all of that money was our money.

It gets worse.  The GM pension plan is underfunded by a mere $27 billion.  The taxpayers, who now own 70% of GM through the government, and share it with the totally irresponsible United Auto Workers Union, are now held hostage to pay this pension bill as well.  So, the taxpayer's total liability to Government Motors is already $77 billion or more.

Just as with most other Obama administration agencies, Government Motors is now using our taxpayer money to tell us lies.  Yes, they used our money in expensive TV ads to tell us this very misleading lie that they had paid us back IN FULL as the CEO kept emphasizing.  Well yes, that particular loan was paid in full.  But, that ad was crafted with the intention of misleading every taxpayer and every voter in America into thinking that GM no longer owed us our money back and that GM was now a sound, moneymaking company.

It perhaps did improve its position with the loan repayment.  It may have a lower interest rate on the second pot of our money.  Or, it may have fewer restrictions on executive compensation.  But, any company 20% owned by labor unions, 70% owned by government, and owing more than $77 billion is surely a walking ghost.  But this ghost is walking off with our money, while giving us attitude!

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