Obama on GM bailout: “Today, that bet has paid off.”

posted at 9:41 am on December 10, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

I felt the need to post this as an addendum to last night’s news that the federal government has finally sold off their remaining shares in General Motors, mostly because President Obama and his administration’s constant commandeering of economic language that has no place in the realm of the public sector irks me to no end. From the official White House statement:

“When I took office, the American auto industry – the heartbeat of American manufacturing – was on the verge of collapse.  Two of the Big Three – GM and Chrysler – were on the brink of failure, threatening to take suppliers, distributors and entire communities down with them.  In the midst of what was already the worst recession since the Great Depression, another one million Americans were in danger of losing their jobs.

As President, I refused to let that happen.  I refused to walk away from American workers and an iconic American industry.  But in exchange for rescuing and retooling GM and Chrysler with taxpayer dollars, we demanded responsibility and results.  In 2011, we marked the end of an important chapter as Chrysler repaid every dime and more of what it owed the American taxpayers from the investment we made under my Administration’s watch.  Today, we’re closing the book by selling the remaining shares of the federal government’s investment in General Motors.  GM has now repaid every taxpayer dollar my Administration committed to its rescue, plus billions invested by the previous Administration.

Less than five years later, each of the Big Three automakers is now strong enough to stand on its own.  They’re profitable for the first time in nearly a decade.  The industry has added more than 372,000 new jobs – its strongest growth since the 1990s.  Thanks to the workers on our assembly lines, some of the most high-tech, fuel-efficient cars in the world are once again designed, engineered, and built right here in America – and the rest of the world is buying more of them than ever before.

Yes, because a $10 billion loss on the part of that ever-munificent and conveniently faceless benefactor, the taxpayers, is a mere pittance, am I right?

This bailout was not a “bet” or an “investment” in any traditional financial sense of the word. This was not the introduction of good old-fashioned and prosperity-generating free-market competition, but rather the deliberate thwarting of it. President Obama adores the term “investment” as a rhetorical substitute for what, in just about every instance he has applied it, has been little more than straight-up corporate pork (the Department of Energy’s green-energy loan guarantee program springs immediately to mind). It’s not an investment when the federal government has the power to deliberately manipulate market conditions to favor certain players over others, and over the deviating wishes of consumers. It really is just venture socialism.

And I must say, I had no idea we could distinguish between GM’s repayment of “every taxpayer dollar my Administration committed to its rescue, plus billions invested by the previous Administration,” rather than simply a lump sum owed to the federal government, nor that the distinction would convey a single iota of actual meaning rather than acting as an empty rhetorical flourish, since his administration enthusiastically doubled down on the practice …but, meh. If President Obama says there is, it’s probably legit.


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Over

Bmore on December 10, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Why are 7 out of 10 cars being built outside the United States, and we taxpayers want our 10 million plus, back. Whole thing was a scam for the UAW.

Amazingoly on December 10, 2013 at 2:23 PM

I meant 10 Billion Dollars.

Amazingoly on December 10, 2013 at 2:23 PM

I’m just glad they’re out of GM.

Ward Cleaver on December 10, 2013 at 2:31 PM

Yet Ford is doing just as well if not better.

Ronnie on December 10, 2013 at 3:13 PM

The truth doesnt matter. Obama has been trained to just say whatever he needs 51% of the country (99% of the media)to believe. He knows he will never be challenged in a serious way.

Ive watched this White House just invent facts, and literally claim the exact opposite of what has happened. Sometimes right in front of our faces. Its doesnt matter.

This country has officially become dominated by the worst among us.

alecj on December 10, 2013 at 4:11 PM

The truth doesnt matter. Obama has been trained to just say whatever he needs 51% of the country (99% of the media)to believe. He knows he will never be challenged in a serious way.

Ive watched this White House just invent facts, and literally claim the exact opposite of what has happened. Sometimes right in front of our faces. Its doesnt matter.

This country has officially become dominated by the worst among us.

alecj on December 10, 2013 at 4:11 PM

it seems bagdad bob found a new job ….

conservative tarheel on December 10, 2013 at 4:31 PM

Yes, because a $10 billion loss on the part of that ever-munificent and conveniently faceless benefactor, the taxpayers, is a mere pittance, am I right?

It’s a mere pittance compared to the total losses that taxpayers will ultimately incur. The $10.5 billion dollar loss we took on the GM stock sale is only part of the bath taxpayers were forced to take in order to “save” GM’s union jobs. GM also received billions of dollars’ worth of special, GM-only tax breaks that go on for years. Most industry analysts estimate the real cost to taxpayers of “saving” GM at north of $50 billion dollars.

AZCoyote on December 10, 2013 at 6:19 PM

A blatant LIAR, a communist, and an illegal …………..

ultracon on December 10, 2013 at 7:56 PM

So taxpayers lost only $10 billion on this “investment” (actually more). And whoever bought Government Motors stock when it was first offered to the public got hosed. Last I looked it was still trailing the performance of almost all other auto manufacturer stocks and doing poorly relative to the overall market in a short term bear market.

Only to a socialist betting tossing away spending “other people’s money” is this a success and a “bet that paid off”.

It was nothing but a government bailout of the unions at the expense of investors. Hundreds of years of bankruptcy law was ignored to do it.

Further, Government Motors’ financials are poor. Only big investors looking to broadly diversify, like large highly diversified mutual funds and big pension funds, are buying and holding Government Motors stock.

Odds are Government Motors will need another bail out in 5-10 years, if not sooner. Its stock value will plummet more than other stocks when the market turns.

Anyone long on Government Motors stock is a fool.

farsighted on December 10, 2013 at 8:04 PM

Delusional. Denial. Mental disorder.

Mimzey on December 10, 2013 at 10:17 PM

America’s healthcare insurance genius is also its greatest automobile industry executive.

David Blue on December 10, 2013 at 10:17 PM

Boycott the Feds and General Motors for the plain fact that they f**ked taxpayers intentionally, all while the big wigs still took their enormous salaries and bonuses. I wouldn’t wipe your arse with Obama.

F_This on December 10, 2013 at 10:31 PM

Only the tutored student of Frank Marshall Davis, the mentored ‘student’ of Jeremiah Wright, could call losing millions after a failed ‘Nationalizing’ of GM a victory.

easyt65 on December 11, 2013 at 9:41 AM

This detestable little pissant will stand happily on the corpse of America and claim that he saved us all. Three more years of this May be more than I can take.

cornbred on December 11, 2013 at 9:57 AM

Wait- then what about the artist formerly known as GMAC ~ now re-coded and re-branded as “Ally Bank”.

Just because they call it something other than GMAC doesn’t mean that’s now what the American people bought.

Am I the only one that forgets that part of this equation?

Whether we know it or otherwise- we’re openly in the banking business- and more importantly the DEBT business.

They HAD to shave that arm clean off the GM beast in order to sell any shares of the car manufacturer at all. Now it just blends into the mist?

Just wish someone would bring that part of this “historic” news up.

IE: We’re not out of it yet.

ChipDWood on December 11, 2013 at 4:33 PM

So why did we taxpayers have to lose between 10 to 15 BILLION dollars for the bailout? Why are 7 out of 10 cars built out of our country? No more bailouts with OUR money.

Amazingoly on December 12, 2013 at 8:05 AM

Comment pages: 1 2