In his 2014 end of the year press conference, Obama made the following claim:
“Effectively today, our rescue of the auto industry is officially over. We’ve now repaid taxpayers every dime and more of what my administration committed.” (emphasis mine)
My administration? Those words are intentional, folks! Because Obama is completely ignoring the $17.4 billion President Bush committed to General Motors and Chrysler in December 2008. In other words, Obama is doing what he’s done through most of his presidency. Take credit for successes, and blame any failures on Bush.
If you take the entire Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) bailout into account, American taxpayers spent a total of $79.7 billion on the auto bailout, while receiving only $63.1 billion back. That’s a total loss of $16.6 billion. The losses break down as follows: $2.5 billion lost on Ally Financial and $2.9 billion lost on Chrysler. The balance of the losses? Well, do you remember in 2012 how we had to listen over and over about how General Motors was alive and Osama bin Laden was dead? Turns out that America lost $11.2 billion for GM’s life support.
It didn’t have to end this way. Obama violated numerous bankruptcy laws—is there any law he hasn’t ignored?—when he strong-armed GM and Chrysler through their bankruptcy, while benefiting members of the United Auto Workers union. Non-union employees got the shaft along with the taxpayers.
The bailouts should have never happened. Chrysler and GM should have been forced to go through the courts, restructured, and if the free market was willing, start again. For those who say that the bailout had to happen, explain to me how Ford managed to rebound without Bush or Obama’s money.
During the TARP discussions in 2008, Bush was quoted as saying, “I’ve abandoned free market principles to save the free market.” As the current situation proves, he failed on both parts. And Obama made sure of it.
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