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.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

28 April 2010

An Update on the GM Loan Repayment

Ed Whitacre, has been featured in a GM ad on TV lately in which he makes the claim that General Motors has repaid its loan "in full, with interest, five years ahead of schedule."  He did not mention that this repayment was only of $5.8 billion to the U.S. and Canadian governments and that the repayment was made with funds from a line of credit under TARP.  That sounds as though the Canadian government has been repaid with U.S. taxpayer money.  Senator Chuck Grassley (R, Iowa) thinks the early repayment was made in order to avoid a proposed tax on those with unpaid bailout loans.

The government investment in GM is still $50 billion.  GM was also taken off the hook for about $6 billion of losses in its share of the losses of GMAC due to its problems selling its subprime loans.  GM owned part of GMAC, which was bailed out by the taxpayers.  Meanwhile, GM is still losing money.  Its sales have been increasing though.

What is it about taking the taxpayer's money that turns so many people into deceptive and duplicitous scalawags?  No, this is not quite the right question.  The people attracted to the taxpayer's money are probably deceptive and duplicitous by nature in the first place and they gravitate to positions in which they can get their hands on that easy money.  To be sure, once they get their hands on that money, it generally does play a role in making their deceptive and duplicitous nature even more so.


Greg said...

"The people attracted to the taxpayer's money are probably deceptive and duplicitous by nature in the first place..."

I once read (heard?) a remark by one of those motivational types regarding money/wealth. He said that the money won't change you, it'll jst make you more of what you are. If you're a "nice guy" then you'll still be a nice guy. If you're already an asshole then you'll still be one, just a bigger one.

And if you're already a "greedy sod" and grow up to have access to free tax-payer money...

Charles R. Anderson, Ph.D. said...

Earned money ought not to change a person's character much. Earning the money and practicing the virtues to earn it may very well help one's character.

But, yes, that business of having access to the money that other people earned is another matter. That kind of access does tend to corrupt, especially when so many who become politicians or bureaucrats do so because they want power. That business of wanting power then rolls over into wanting unearned money in far too many cases.

Edmund Onward James said...

Damn it, and we bought a Pontiac G6 on sale. The last Pontiac lasted 440 kilometers.

I refuse to buy a foreign car unless there is fair trade.

So does this mean I should consider FORD since they did not take any bail money? I wonder did they piss Obambam and his crew and the car czar, off?

Charles R. Anderson, Ph.D. said...

Ford was well-served by not taking the bailout money. A good many banks were forced to take it even though they did not need it or want it. This was to keep the public from identifying the banks in the worst shape. Good thing they were not trying to hide which car makers were in need of a bailout. They might have forced Ford to take bailout money to hide the fact that GM and Chrysler were on the ropes!

I would not now care to buy a GM car, but then my oldest daughter and I just bought a car this last Fall. She is using it until she starts work on her MBA at Columbia. She has no use for a car in NYC, so it will become mine then, along with all the payments.

What fair trade issues are you talking about?