Here’s one for the “Stuck on Stupid” file that seems to be getting bigger and bigger by the day.
AP Headline: Gas in the tank: GM repays $8.1B in gov’t loans
WASHINGTON – Fallen giant General Motors Co. accelerated toward recovery Wednesday, announcing the repayment of $8.1 billion in U.S. and Canadian government loans five years ahead of schedule.
The Obama administration crowed about the “turnaround” at GM and fellow bailout recipient Chrysler LLC, saying the government’s unpopular rescue of Detroit’s automakers is paying off.
Much of the improvement comes from GM slashing its debt load and workforce as part of its bankruptcy reorganization last year. But the automaker is a long way from regaining its old blue-chip status: It remains more than 70 percent government-owned and is still losing money — $3.4 billion in last year’s fourth quarter alone. And while its car and truck sales are up so far this year, that’s primarily due to lower-profit sales to car rental companies and other fleet buyers.
Chrysler, now run by Italy’s Fiat Group SpA, said Wednesday it lost almost $200 million in the first quarter. But it said it boosted its cash reserves by $1.5 billion, reducing the likelihood that it will need more government aid.
“This turnaround wasn’t an accident of history,” said White House economic adviser Larry Summers. “It was the result of considered and politically difficult decisions made by President Obama to provide GM and Chrysler — and indeed the auto industry — a lifeline, if they could demonstrate the will to reshape their businesses.”
Vice President Joe Biden said President Barack Obama “took a lot of heat” to keep GM alive. “And this has even exceeded our expectations.”
Everything is happy yappy and yippie skippy right?
General Motors will make a big splash in the news today by announcing that the automaker will repay several billion dollars loans from the federal government earlier than expected. But it’s not really coming out of the GM wallet.
The issue came up yesterday at a hearing with the special watchdog on the Wall Street Bailout, Neil Barofsky, who was asked several times about the GM repayment by Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), who was looking for answers on how much money the feds might make from the controversial Wall Street Bailout.
“It’s good news in that they’re reducing their debt,” Barofsky said of the accelerated GM payments, “but they’re doing it by taking other available TARP money.”
In other words, GM is taking money from the Wall Street Bailout – the TARP money – and using that to pay off their loans ahead of schedule.
“It sounds like it’s kind of like taking money out of one pocket and putting in the other,” said Carper, who got a nod of agreement from Barofsky.
Most of Uncle Sam’s bailout money that was given to GM has now been turned into stock in the U.S. automaker.
“The assumption is that, over time, hopefully the value of the stock will appreciate,” said Carper.
Long term that could prove to be a money-making investment for the feds – or if things go the wrong way for General Motors – a big, fat loss for Uncle Sam.
As most of you know, my Father is a 31 year veteran of the General Motors company. I find this little idiotic shell game right here to be just plain immoral. I mean, how in the hell are you going to use money from the Government to pay off the Government? That is basically taking money out of one pocket and putting into another. That is not paying off your debt; that is nothing more than a shell game. The reason why this is so upsetting to me is; that it is just going to hurt my Father. Because sooner or later, this company is not going to be able to pay my Dad’s pension.
As the son of a General Motors worker, I want to see G.M. succeed; but I want to see them succeed the right way and honestly. Not by playing a dirty, underhanded shell game, and that my friends is what this is, a dirty shell game to fool the American people and the workers at G.M. into believing that they are on to the road to recovery, when in all honesty, they are not.
The American Taxpayers, The workers and retirees for General Motors; deserve better than this.
Shame on General Motors for their deceptive tactics and shame on the White House and Yes, the President for aiding and abetting in this little scam.
The real cute part is that not a word of this, has been said in the media, as to just HOW this loans are being paid back. That my friends is a damned human tragedy.
Update: Not surprisingly, Ed Morrissey Agrees with me.