Lies, Damn Lies, and General Motors

The new commercial General Motors is inundating the airwaves with is a piece of work, primarily because I only found out it was not a Saturday Night Live skit today. How many “takes” did it take for GM Chairman, Ed Whitacre, to say with a straight face to the camera that “General Motors has paid back the bailout loan in full? He even had the audacity to take this black and white lie to print, reiterating such in an op-ed piece for the Wall Street Journal. Well, people lie all the time, especially when they work for an American automaker or the federal government, and Whitacre works for both. But how can one claim that they paid back $50 billion when they did not? Read on and tell me if you appreciate having your intelligence insulted by this clown to the degree that he has done so.

GM received $49.5 billion from the government. GM just made a payment for $6.7 billion. Whitacre decided that the equity the government received for over $40 billion just didn’t count. So even if I were done with my blog, he told a 13.5% truth (or an 86.5% lie), because clearly the plain English of what he said is untrue. GM did not pay back “in full”. They paid back 13% of what they received. BUT, wait until you hear the rest …

Where did they get the money for the $6.7 billion payment to the government? Well, they got it, from the government. As I say often, I could not make this stuff up if I wanted to. Part of the bailout package included over $13 billion of “working capital” to get them through the bankruptcy (in which they utterly defrauded their bondholders to the benefit of their unions). The company has taken the cash they got from the government and used it to pay back the government, and said they have paid back the bailout “in full”. They have then applied for a $10 billion loan at only 5% from the Department of Energy for some kind of fuel economy assistance project. Their prior loan to the government was at a cost of 7%.

So let me explain this one more time: General Motors has paid back a loan it took from the government, with money it took from the government, so that it can try and get a new loan from the government. Imagine if you owed your dad $10k and your credit card another $10k, but your dad said he would not loan you money until you paid off your credit card, so you borrowed $10k from your mom, paid off the credit card, received a fresh $10k from your dad, and then claimed you paid everyone off in full?

This is appalling stuff. And it is happening with the full knowledge of everyone reporting on it. It is happening with the full knowledge of the Obama administration (not just knowledge, but participation). When the first batch of TARP companies paid back Uncle Sam along with a profit of approximately 21%, they actually paid back in full, as long as you define “in full” the way human beings do. The left continues, though, to decry the bailouts to Wall Street that really were paid back, and yet overtly lies about the bailouts to the car companies that have actually gotten worse, not better.

The whole thing is enough to make one want to buy a car made overseas.