GM CEO: That lost bailout money is so totally last year

posted at 10:45 am on November 30, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

At Human Events, Seton Motley takes note of one of the more tin eared, tone deaf remarks to hit the web in some time. On this occasion, it comes from Government Motors CEO Dan Akerson, in recent comments about the company’s future prospects, as well as its post bailout performance. To put this in context, it’s important to remember that, as recently as this month, the somewhat sunny estimates projecting that the American taxpayer would wind up holding the bag for $14.3B on GM’s rescue were downgraded to a projected loss of $23.6B. Seton is seeing a pattern.

We have for the last several months witnessed the federal government engage in the terribly shortsighted and inadequate debt ceiling and Super Committee budget debate.

One tin-ear aspect of the warped focus throughout has been “How will this affect Wall Street?” Almost never has it been “How will this affect taxpayers?”

In the end, it looks as if We the People will be force fed a deal that pleases Wall Street – and leaves the taxpayers on the hook for another $10 trillion…

And we get the distinct impression that Akerson couldn’t care less.

Couldn’t care less? How so? Oh… like this.

”We are in the midst of transforming an iconic American company so 20 and 30 years from now (taxpayers) will look at this company and they’ll say, ‘Absolutely it was the right thing to do,’ ” Akerson said. ”And it shouldn’t be measured on did it sell for $43 or $53 (a share) or did they lose a couple billion dollars?”

Apparently, as Motley notes, “a couple billion” is now pretty much the same as 24. But hey… at least he knows enough to be grateful to his unwilling donors.

GM was saved, he said, because of the extreme generosity of Americans – a spirit that helped restore Europe and Japan after World War II and rebuilt cities such as New Orleans after natural disasters.

”We’re the most generous country, even in terrible times,” Akerson said.

Yes. We are indeed an amazingly generous people. And during this season of giving I’m sure you can all manage to feel better about yourselves because of it. The other sense one gets from reading these remarks, though, is that – in Mr. Akerson’s mind, anyway – that whole bailout thing is ancient history. Are you people seriously going to keep harping on it over and over like some group of deranged fishwives?

Besides, it’s not like it’s going to happen again or anything. Oh… wait.

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It’s not generosity when it’s taken at the point of a gun.

Chip on November 30, 2011 at 10:49 AM

It’s easy to be generous with other people’s money.

rbj on November 30, 2011 at 10:50 AM

Yes. We are indeed an amazingly generous people. And during this season of giving I’m sure you can all manage to feel better about yourselves because of it.

Yes! In that spirit of giving, all of my business I now give to Ford.

Vince on November 30, 2011 at 10:51 AM

Isn’t this the same *sshole who openly talked about how the government should jack up the gas tax by $1 / gallon in order to convince people to buy the Volt?

teke184 on November 30, 2011 at 10:51 AM

…a projected loss of $23.6B.

Only $23.6 Billion? I guess they haven’t figured in the loss from the forced production of the ridiculous government-designed incendiary VOLT yet!!!

landlines on November 30, 2011 at 10:53 AM

agree….my generosity will be shared with every car company for the rest of my life….EXCEPT GUBMINT MOTORS!

SDarchitect on November 30, 2011 at 10:53 AM

”We are in the midst of transforming an iconic American company so 20 and 30 years from now (taxpayers) will look at this company and they’ll say, ‘Absolutely it was the right thing to do,’ ” Akerson said. ”And it shouldn’t be measured on did it sell for $43 or $53 (a share) or did they lose a couple billion dollars?”

And how many billions did the UAW steal from We the People?

Steve Z on November 30, 2011 at 10:54 AM

Rbj, winner!

cmsinaz on November 30, 2011 at 10:55 AM

Just checking my math here.. but 24 Billion dollars. Right?

This would purchase 1,311,475 base model Ford Focus. There isn’t enough money in the Treasury to bail our stupidity.

Brad on November 30, 2011 at 10:55 AM

Great, my suggestion is that ALL of Akerson’s compensation should be withheld for 20 years to see if what he predicted pans out. Oh, maybe he can get a $40k per year salary till then

georgealbert on November 30, 2011 at 10:56 AM

Yes! In that spirit of giving, all of my business I now give to Ford.

Vince on November 30, 2011 at 10:51 AM

Or to Honda, Toyota, or Nissan, who employ American workers without government subsidies.

Steve Z on November 30, 2011 at 10:56 AM

Generous to a fault… How ’bout that Fed action today?

Fallon on November 30, 2011 at 10:58 AM

When exactly did it become the job of government to decide when and where to be generous with private and/or publicly-held companies?

What really disgusts me about this whole thing is the acceptance that, once the government spends money on something, it’s sacrosanct and not eligible for reconsideration, analysis, justification for prevention of the same thing in the future, regret, or (heaven forbid) cancellation.

Rufus on November 30, 2011 at 10:59 AM

It’s not generosity when it’s taken at the point of a gun.

Chip on November 30, 2011 at 10:49 AM

Exactly!

Nathan_OH on November 30, 2011 at 10:59 AM

”We are in the midst of transforming an iconic American company so 20 and 30 years from now (taxpayers) will look at this company and they’ll say, ‘Absolutely it was the right thing to do,’ ” Akerson said. ”And it shouldn’t be measured on did it sell for $43 or $53 (a share) or did they lose a couple billion dollars?”

That puts me in mind of what someone here said:

A trillion here, a trillion there, and pretty soon we’re talking about default.

Mike Honcho on November 5, 2009 at 2:12 PM

Chip on November 30, 2011 at 11:01 AM

If the total amount the taxpayers are on the hook for is $23.6 billion, then that comes out to approximately $75.47 owed by each American based on the current population estimates. And that’s every single American. Not just the employed, taxpaying ones.

Try walking up to the average person and demand 75 bucks and change from them to bail out a car company and see how they react.

Doughboy on November 30, 2011 at 11:03 AM

GM, Banks, Unions, and now Europe.

Hey, look what is happen in Egypt. Is Islam too big to fail?

Oil Can on November 30, 2011 at 11:05 AM

I find it shameful that the White House pressured Ford to pull one of its commercials that had a customer saying it would never buy a GM vehicle because it had to be bailed out by the government. This story reminds me that I will never again by a ‘Government Motors’ car after this President ‘Nationalized’ it, gave half the ownership to the Unions, and lost Billions of tax payer dollars in the failed move instead of allowing them to go through the existing Bankruptcy process. An to the GM CEO, we weren’t ‘generous’ in bailing them out – we were ‘hostages’ or ‘robbery victims’, as our money was stolen against our will to bail them out. There’s a BIG difference!

easyt65 on November 30, 2011 at 11:07 AM

GM CEO: That warranty guarantee is so totally last year

Fixed, for the few still dumb enough to buy GM.

MNHawk on November 30, 2011 at 11:07 AM

I’m waiting for Biden to be sent out to tout how the planned sales of the Volt has “really caught fire”.

Well hey, it wouldn’t be a lie.

Yoop on November 30, 2011 at 11:07 AM

FORD! Don´t like it? TOUGH!

james hooker on November 30, 2011 at 11:09 AM

A government-imposed tax hike, Akerson believes, will prompt more people to buy small cars and do more good for the environment than forcing automakers to comply with higher gas-mileage standards …

”You know what I’d rather have them do – this will make my Republican friends puke – as gas is going to go down here now, we ought to just slap a 50-cent or a dollar tax on a gallon of gas,” Akerson said.

So, he wants to repay our “generosity” by having the government force us to pay more for gas so we will buy smaller cars from him. Traffic fatalities will go up of course, and certainly Mr. Akerson won’t be giving up his limo.
But that will also mean more money taken by force to subsidize crappy GM cars no one wants, and that’s what really counts. Akerson seems to be more interested in social engineering and rather than engineering a car people want to buy.

RadClown on November 30, 2011 at 11:09 AM

Talk about adding insult to injury.

ronsfi on November 30, 2011 at 11:09 AM

GM was saved, he said, because of the extreme generosity of Americans

Slow.

Burn.

Cicero43 on November 30, 2011 at 11:11 AM

FORD! Don´t like it? TOUGH!

james hooker on November 30, 2011 at 11:09 AM

Maybe, maybe not. Wait till the Supremes make a decision on just how powerful that commerce clause really is. You may not have a choice in the future. You’ll learn to like the Volt.:)

a capella on November 30, 2011 at 11:15 AM

If the total amount the taxpayers are on the hook for is $23.6 billion, then that comes out to approximately $75.47 owed by each American based on the current population estimates. And that’s every single American. Not just the employed, taxpaying ones.

Doughboy on November 30, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Or, the $700 billion stimulus pissed away would be $2300 from every man, woman and child in the US. The $1.5 trillion Obama borrows each and every year, that’s $5000 each. For a family of 4, working or not, on food stamps or not, illegal alien or not, infants, retired … that’s $20,000 a year borrowed. Who does that? What family borrows $20,000 a year, every year, forever? And even THEN they have trouble making ends meet. Huh? Hello!

Paul-Cincy on November 30, 2011 at 11:17 AM

And during this season of giving I’m sure you can all manage to feel better about yourselves because of it.

Ahh, no, actually I feel like a doormat.

tinkerthinker on November 30, 2011 at 11:22 AM

I don’t feel generous. I feel like a sucker.

RebeccaH on November 30, 2011 at 11:22 AM

Let’s show him just how generous we are by giving his job to someone else. We’re not even talking a couple billions here, folks, so dig deep!

Christien on November 30, 2011 at 11:25 AM

In the end, it looks as if We the People will be force fed a deal that pleases Wall Street – and leaves the taxpayers on the hook for another $10 trillion…

Wait, I’m lost again. What 10 trillion are we talking about?

lynncgb on November 30, 2011 at 11:28 AM

And during this season of giving I’m sure you can all manage to feel better about yourselves because of it.

Ahh, no, actually I feel like a doormat.

tinkerthinker on November 30, 2011 at 11:22 AM

I don’t feel like a doormat, more like the victim of an extortion ring.

Vashta.Nerada on November 30, 2011 at 11:30 AM

In the 1940′s Germans had wheat because of the extreme generosity of the Poles and Ukrainians.

Cicero43 on November 30, 2011 at 11:30 AM

He’s got a nice smile.
You can steal more money with a gun and a smile than with just a gun.-*Al Capone.*

a capella on November 30, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Generous to a fault… How ’bout that Fed action today?

Fallon on November 30, 2011 at 10:58 AM

Yeah…too bad that the American people don’t realize that they are essentially bailing out wealthy mediterranian’s via the Fed and the IMF, who don’t pay their taxes so that they can keep their outdoor swimming pools heated…

PatriotRider on November 30, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Wait, I’m lost again. What 10 trillion are we talking about?

lynncgb on November 30, 2011 at 11:28 AM

We are going to bail out the European Union.
They have about 7 days left.

+$10trillion would be considered the first ESTIMATE.

To expand upon the previous example, thats another $20,000 on every US family…

Feel better now?

orbitalair on November 30, 2011 at 11:42 AM

ahem, to continue…

Our lifes’ savings are about to go up in 1 big electronic puff of smoke.

orbitalair on November 30, 2011 at 11:44 AM

$24 billion for a $40,000 electric car that catches fire.

Thank you president Obama!

forest on November 30, 2011 at 11:46 AM

I’ll walk and carry a Ford, Nissan, Honda, Toyota, KIA, VW, or Hyundai hubcap before I EVER own a GM or Chrysler product.Generosity my A**, I was ROBBED.

Mini-14 on November 30, 2011 at 11:49 AM

So when is GM going to get “generous” and give me a “free” car?

GarandFan on November 30, 2011 at 11:53 AM

When is Government Motors going to bring out the “Obama” line of cars and trucks?

albill on November 30, 2011 at 11:59 AM

I bought a car a year ago. I wanted reliability, dependability, and quality. I considered my options, and then bought a Toyota.

They last durn near forever. They rarely break down. I know the car will last the length of the payments, and well beyond.

I didn’t even glance at GM, Ford, or Dodge. As I said, I wanted reliability and quality.

Snake307 on November 30, 2011 at 12:11 PM

It’s not generosity when it’s taken at the point of a gun.

Chip on November 30, 2011 at 10:49 AM

My thoughts exactly.

ButterflyDragon on November 30, 2011 at 12:33 PM

Every single GM employee’s salary and benefits should be capped at $40,000 per year by law – from CEO on down.

I will never buy a GM or Chrysler car.

(On the other hand, my GM shorts have done pretty well.)

Over50 on November 30, 2011 at 12:50 PM

What’s a couple billion dollars to a man who has been enriched by American capitalism and American government special interests so completely that he has more money than he could possibly spend in multiple lifetimes, peasants!

FlatFoot on November 30, 2011 at 1:06 PM

Just another government agency that needs shut down and liquidated: Department of Education, Department of Agriculture, GM, Department of Labor….

cthulhu on November 30, 2011 at 1:17 PM

I never thought I would say this but I WILL NEVER EVER BUY ANOTHER GM OR CHRYSLER PRODUCT FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.

I have a Ford now and will gladly buy another one. I will also gladly buy a German, Japanese or Korean made vehicle if Ford doesnt have an alternative that fits my needs at that time.

The actions and words of the chair-moisteners at GM and Chrysler are despicable. Hell, they’re anti-American. Eff ‘em all, buy a Ford.

CatchAll on November 30, 2011 at 1:39 PM

Feel better now?

orbitalair on November 30, 2011 at 11:42 AM

Yes. I mean no. I mean… oh never mind…thanks for your patience. I’ve been doing more reading and deliberately avoiding the news for a few days. I’m condemned to putting it back on now…

lynncgb on November 30, 2011 at 1:49 PM

”We are in the midst of transforming an iconic American company so 20 and 30 years from now (taxpayers) will look at this company and they’ll say, ‘Absolutely it was the right thing to do,’ ”

Oh BullS*%t!! They need another bail hand out within 5 years. Count on it.

BigWyo on November 30, 2011 at 1:59 PM

Oh, and thanks for the bonus, too.

Kissmygrits on November 30, 2011 at 2:01 PM

#449 Daniel F Akerson, Total Compensation
$1.70 million

“at some point you’ve made enough money”

Ditkaca on November 30, 2011 at 3:01 PM

We are indeed an amazingly generous people. And during this season of giving I’m sure you can all manage to feel better about yourselves because of it.

We are very generous people towards those who need and deserve our generosity.

However, I feel fiscally raped.

kakypat on November 30, 2011 at 4:00 PM

“Lt. Dan”, still clueless about the auto industry.

Ward Cleaver on November 30, 2011 at 4:19 PM

I just bought a new company mid-size sedan after several months of intensive study/research of available vehicles. Frankly, I don’t know how GM even sells a single mid-sized sedan in the $25-35k category. Ugly, slow, underpowered gas-hogs. Bob Lutz’s legacy of destruction and a new tradition of stupid. Chrysler has potential but only if you are willing to pay thousands more for the somewhat guzzling SRT8, a mediocre interior and despite nice engine/drivetrain/acceleration, crappy handling – but most sure are pretty from the outside. Ford … ugly. I have never liked their cockpit ergonomics and they seem to get worse rather than better. Also poor/mediocre performance/handling in comparison to the Asian models. But then I don’t think Ford has made a nice looking/driving mid-size (relative to the era) since probably the Falcon.

After 20+ years of only buying American cars (my entire adult life) I now own a new Hyundai …

deepdiver on November 30, 2011 at 4:27 PM

Yes. We are indeed an amazingly generous people. And during this season of giving I’m sure you can all manage to feel better about yourselves because of it. The other sense one gets from reading these remarks, though, is that – in Mr. Akerson’s mind, anyway – that whole bailout thing is ancient history.

No mention here of the fact that GM was STOLEN from its rightful stockholders and bondholders…including millions of retirees and retirement accounts.

Dan Akerson is like an armed robber musing that his victims are “amazingly generous”!!!

landlines on November 30, 2011 at 5:02 PM

A-Hole.

I’ll stab myself in the knee with a rusty steak knife before I buy another GovMo ™ car.

Tim_CA on November 30, 2011 at 5:54 PM