Apr 25

Obama Says GM Bailout Has Been a Success

 


[ad#post_ad]It wasn’t long ago that GM-Volt.com morphed into a blow by blow account of the downfall, bankruptcy , and resurrection of General Motors.  After all by that point we had been following the Volt closely for over two years and it seemed if GM were to fail so too would the Volt go with it.

Then finally on that first day of June last year, GM announced it had emerged from bankruptcy and the new GM had begun.

Ten months later and all the major executive positions have been reshuffled, the government has been paid back its loans, and the Volt lies only five months from retail launch.  And in a radio address Saturday, President Obama declared the process successful.

Although the US taxpayers had to bail out GM and Chrysler to the tune of $85 billion, Obama said “I knew this wasn’t a popular decision. But it was the right one.”

“The best estimates are that more than one million American workers could have lost their jobs, ” had the auto companies been allowed to fail said Obama.

“General Motors and Chrysler, two companies that for generations were a symbol of America’s manufacturing might, were on the brink of collapse,” he said. “The rapid dissolution of these companies — followed by the certain failure of many auto parts makers, car dealers and other smaller businesses — would have dealt a crippling blow to our already suffering economy.”

Though in the last days of the Bush administration $17 billion was extended to GM and Chrysler, it was just a band-aid, for when Obama took office “the situation remained dire,” he said.  He said it was a difficult decision to provide further funding since in many ways the collapse was the fault of the automakers themselves.

“Many of the problems in the auto industry were a direct result of poor management decision over decades,” said Obama.

He noted that both GM and Chrysler had to undergo “painful” restructuring. “Many believed this was a fools errand,” said Obama. “That we would be throwing good money after bad.”

Now he says things are looking bright and optimistic. “The industry is recovering at a pace few thought possible,” he said. He noted that GM paid its government loans back with interest five years ahead of schedule, and that Chrysler has turned a profit this year.

Obama also said he believes the additional $50 billion in stock the government has bought from GM will soon be divested.

“It wont be too long before the stock the Treasury is holding in GM could be sold,” he said.

Obama said he never ran for office to get into the auto business and is happy it may soon be over.

“As essential as it was that we got in,” he said. “I’m glad to see that we’re getting out.”

I imagine he’s not the only one.


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This entry was posted on Sunday, April 25th, 2010 at 7:25 am and is filed under Financial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 163


  1. 1
    Steve Martin

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (7:33 am)

    It’s definitely continuing to look like a good decision to have loaned GM the money and invested 50 billion in stock.


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    Ted in Fort Myers

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (7:37 am)

    I am glad that the bailout is considered a success. My concern and my only concern is will the Volt be rolled out nationwide and how soon. The rest of the GM lineup has nothing to offer me. If my plans work out well I will have the first Volt in Florida but in order to fulfill my goals and get enough of this country off of oil to eliminate importation from the middle east alot more people will have to drive electric. Then if the middle eastern countries destroy each other it will make no difference to me. We really have to stop waging war in the middle east and stop sending our boys there to keep the oil flowing to the USA.

    Take Care,
    TED


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    flyingfish2

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (7:38 am)

    Well, is this just a shell game or what? Where did the money to repay the loan come from? GM has not turned a profit since their bankruptcy as far as I can tell. Apparently during the bankruptcy, GM’s $40b dollar loan was reduced to like the $6b that they repaid with part of the remaining $40b. Is this true or false?


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    Loboc

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (7:41 am)

    We aren’t out of the woods yet.

    There’s a long way to go before the auto industry recovers. Full recovery will require that people have jobs, for one thing.

    Having a job, I recently bought an Impala (one-year-old used) from a Chevy dealer. Those guys were sitting around with nothing to do. I was the only customer in sight.

    It’s a buyer’s market if you have the stomach for the risk. This could all go south easily.


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    JohnK

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (7:48 am)

    This whole area is something that is outside my normal area of interest. And probably things are not exactly as they seem. Will the government ever be out of the picture again? Probably not. Will the middle east ever be out of influence? Probably not.

    But, wait… Did Lyle throw us a piece of hard new? “the Volt lies only five months from retail launch.” — the contdown clock says over 210 days (7 months). Sounds like Lyle is letting slip out a two month early shipment.


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    Loboc

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (7:51 am)

    flyingfish2: Well, is this just a shell game or what?Where did the money to repay the loan come from?GM has not turned a profit since their bankruptcy as far as I can tell. Apparently during the bankruptcy, GM’s $40b loan was reduced to like the $6b that they repaid with part of the remaining $40b. Is this true or false?  

    The other part of that is the 17B that Bush gave them. It was basically a grant. The funds that were just ‘paid back’ came from the 60% stake that the government has in GM’s future stock offering.

    GM is still losing money. They won’t make money until people buy cars. Lots of cars. Unemployed people tend to not buy cars.


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    ziv

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (7:51 am)

    This is a subject that Lyle has chosen to cover in less than complete detail, and I think that that is probably the right thing to do. The GM bailout was, and is, a very complicated series of transactions. The bankruptcy allowed GM to shed an incredible amount of debt, but it only worked because the US bought $50,000,000,000 of GM stock. Fifty Billion Dollars worth of stock that is worth a lot less right now. The questions are, will it be worth more when the government decides to start selling it? I really hope so. Was it the right thing to do? I don’t know what would have happened if they hadn’t. I was against the government help, I think GM should have gone into bankruptcy and worked things out with the union without government ‘help’. GM management and the union together ran that corporation into the ground over the past 40 years, they should have tried to find a way out between the two of them. But it might not have worked and America would have lost a huge chunk of its manufacturing capacity. Ford alone is not a viable, profitable, auto industry, not without all those mid-sized corporations that work with Ford, GM and Chrysler. A lot of those OEM corps would have failed and costs would have gone up and unemployment would have been worse than it is now.
    But the fact of the matter is, I just don’t know for certain. Nor does our leadership, but they have to act like they do.
    The final answer to me is that GM WILL be able to deliver a transformative technology to America in 5 months, EREV can change how America deals with its energy policy, in a fundamentally healthier way. So for me, the bailout with all its ugly problems, is a success.


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    BDP

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (7:52 am)

    I’m tired of reading how obama has saved everything he touches. It’s all BS! Though I did buy an 09 GMC 3500 13 months ago when they were having a fire sale!! Thanks tax payers!!


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    2Snowboard

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (7:57 am)

    (click to show comment)


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    drivin98

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (8:02 am)

    BDP: I’m tired of reading how obama has saved everything he touches.It’s all BS!Though I did buy an 09 GMC 3500 13 months ago when they were having a fire sale!!Thanks tax payers!!  

    Yes, we should all hope he fails at everything because it’s better to have a heart full of hate than a decent country to live in.


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    Tagamet

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (8:10 am)

    JohnK: …But, wait… Did Lyle throw us a piece of hard new? “the Volt lies only five months from retail launch.” — the contdown clock says over 210 days (7 months). Sounds like Lyle is letting slip out a two month early shipment.

    If that’s truly the case, we’d be inching ever closer to that magical 7/4/2010 Independence Day release! (Even a handful on that date would be fantastic symbolism). Maybe GM will pay back part of their debt by shipping those first 100 Volts to DC for congress to drive around in (g).
    The rest of the posts will inevitably be political blather, so I’ll just watch.

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet
    /What is the small blue icon in the upper right corner of the pic above? I’ve seen it before – on EV sites?

    LJGTVWOTR!!!**********NPNS.


  12. 12
    Adam

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (8:11 am)

    (click to show comment)


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    drivin98

     

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (8:19 am)

    /What is the small blue icon in the upper right corner of the pic above? I’ve seen it before – on EV sites?LJGTVWOTR!!!**********NPNS.  

    It’s a WH.gov icon. Type in wh.gov and you get the White House website.


  14. 14
    Slave to OPEC

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (8:19 am)

    $50 billion?

    Some stock, a few bonds… Not a problem.

    Maybe the original shareholders can get a discount ?


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    Jason M. Hendler

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (8:23 am)

    I wouldn’t blame GM’s demise solely on management decisions as the combination of the UAW and non-union foreign competition put GM’s management in an impossible spot. Moreover, government regulations and energy policy punished automakers instead of providing them a better path. Only now are the necessary subsidies, research grants and incentives in place to position the American auto industry for a bright future.

    As for the forgiven loans, it appears that taxpayers have covered the shortfall in union benefits.


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (8:25 am)

    drivin98: /What is the small blue icon in the upper right corner of the pic above? I’ve seen it before – on EV sites?LJGTVWOTR!!!**********NPNS.

    It’s a WH.gov icon. Type in wh.gov and you get the White House website.

    Thanks. I thought that Lyle was up to his photoshop tricks.

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet


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    mikeinatl.

     

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (8:27 am)

    If you will loan me $50 Billion, I will pay you back $5 Billion in a month or two.
    I think I can handle that.


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    Baltimore17

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (8:33 am)

    Adam: .If the Government wanted to stimulate the economy, they should of given every person with a social security number a million dollars…It would of been cheaper…

    I would respectfully suggest that Adam actually multiply the population of the United States by one million dollars, look at the answer, think about the answer, and then reconsider his post.


  19. 19
    Bud

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (9:31 am)

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    StevePA

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (9:31 am)

    Will be interesting to see when and how well (price) the stock sale goes.

    Pundits still argue about whether the broader economic recovery we are seeing is temporary vs. having legs. If the latter, auto sales should pick up (replacing the oldest vehicles in an increasingly aging fleet). GM’s prospects will then improve (and Ford’s…not sure yet about Fiat / Chrysler).

    If the recovery continues taxpayers stand a decent chance of recouping their investment.

    I am a Republican, and I approved making this particular “bailout”.


  21. 21
    Exp_EngTech

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (9:44 am)

    Yawn ….. a political spin story on the “rescue” of GM and Big Labor / Union Jobs.

    yawn.jpg

    IMHO
    The superior technology of Voltec would have survived the liquidation / breakup of GM and lived on.

    Sure wish there was a “beefy” tech story in this ones place ….. like an insiders “leaked” details on the Volt’s motor controller / drive train.

    C’mon Lyle, I’m fallin’ asleep here.


  22. 22
    Herm

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (9:54 am)

    come on guys!.. serial electric powertrains are not moonshot technologies, they have been in use since the ’20s in GM locomotives.. there are two new companies that have developed Voltec style cars just recently (and independently):

    http://green.autoblog.com/2010/04/20/start-up-company-alte-converts-fleet-vehicles-to-plug-in-hybrids/

    http://www.rasertech.com/media/videos/the-electric-h3

    http://karma.fiskerautomotive.com/

    The Moonshot was Maximun Bob convincing the bean counters at GM to do it. A real bankruptcy would have obliterated the Volt.


  23. 23
    guido

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (9:55 am)

    The UAW led the Detroit 3 to this abyss, and they will have them right back on the brink of failure as soon as the dust settles. Kills me when the UAW tries to blame “Management” for caving in to their shameless, golden-goose killing greed … they have soo much power, way to much power – it’s a fools choice when someone threatens to shutdown your entire company unless you keep throwing them more and more salary and benefits. Why do you think OWEbama insisted that the union agree not to strike until 2015 …. until he was safely out of office ( wishful thinking on his part – 2012 looks far more likely to be his exit point). My feeling is that the UAW needs to have some kind of more permanent governor on their greed ( just like Wall Street needs, just like U.S. CEO’s need as well) – human nature screams out for it. I’m a true fan of capitalism, by the way …. it just needs a little help in the way of firmer boundaries.


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    Dave G

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (10:12 am)

    Ted in Fort Myers: My concern and my only concern is will the Volt be rolled out nationwide and how soon. The rest of the GM lineup has nothing to offer me.

    Yes, I agree, +1.

    And I also hope they roll out the MPV5 soon. That’s the one I want.


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    rvd

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (10:15 am)

    Even so I like Obama more than the previous jocker, GM bailout is not something to agree on easily. Obviously, once debt is written off and GM got over $50bln cash infusion, what would you expect – double dip? “Look mom no hands” kind of news.


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    Dave G

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (10:21 am)

    JohnK: Will the government ever be out of the picture again? Probably not.

    I disagree. The administration doesn’t want anything to do with the business end of selling cars. They only care about oil dependence, the environment, and the obvious economic catastrophe that would happen if 2 of the 3 U.S. auto makers went out of business.

    As a side note, I think auto execs got a wake-up call about political parties. Several Republican senators with foreign car assembly plants in their states seemed to prefer that GM and Chrysler would go out of business.


  27. 27
    Dave K.

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (10:23 am)

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    William

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (10:31 am)

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    CorvetteGuy

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (10:44 am)

    Since we are all complaining about the economy, here is my solution (and it will not raise taxes)…

    The powers that be decree a 1-year deferment of all mortgage loans, both residential and commercial, and allow those mortgages to extend their final date by 1 year. The banks would not ‘lose anything’… It would only be postponed by 12 months. The greed of Wall Street and the banks got us into this, let them feel some pain for a year.

    Meanwhile, with the average mortgage payment hovering around $2000 (my guess), then every household would now have $24,000 to spend on cars, clothing, furniture, college for the kid, etc… Combine that with the savings many corporations and small businesses would have for that same 12-month period, they could reduce debt or expand too.

    I read a headline that something similar was going to be tried in Dubai, where they are having troubles paying back debt also, so there is a precedent.

    If I were King of the USA I would give it a shot.


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    robert596

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (10:52 am)

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    Dave G

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (10:55 am)

    Jason M. Hendler: I wouldn’t blame GM’s demise solely on management decisions as the combination of the UAW and non-union foreign competition put GM’s management in an impossible spot.

    No. This was the fault of GM management.

    A long time ago (back in the 60s or 70s IIRC), the UAW was asking for a salary increase, and times were good so GM had to give them something to avoid a strike. But instead of a salary increase, GM management offered the UAW a pension plan that included health benefits. This way, they could keep profits high near-term, and then deal with retirement benefits later…

    So this is the management decision that drove GM into bankruptcy. If they had given the UAW a raise instead of a pension with health benefits, then later when things got really bad they could have asked them to take a pay cut. But cutting health benefits for retirees is not really possible, as you you’d literally be killing people.

    If you compare the actual hourly pay rate of GM auto workers with foreign auto workers in the U.S., you’ll find they’re about the same. The huge difference in total compensation comes in when you average in retirement benefits. That’s where you see the ridiculous hourly rates that everyone talks about. Foreign auto companies don’t pay retirement benefits for U.S. workers.


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    John W

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (11:04 am)

    This is all true but net profit is what it’s all about. It may only be 500 bucks a car but it all ads to the nations trade deficit. It’s in our best interest to keep every dollar here. Perhaps it’s the poker player in me that helps me understand this better. But if every player is equal in talent but the casino takes a small piece of every pot sooner or later there’s no money left to play with. This is why it’s important to buy from American Owned companies. It’s true a 30 thousand dollar car built in the US by a foreign company may help with some jobs now. But in the long run those jobs won’t be there.


  33. 33
    Roy H

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (11:18 am)

    All of my votes have been the opposite. I click on + and it responds with a Thank You – and when I click on the – it responds with a Thank You +
    What gives?


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    BLDude

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (11:33 am)

    Roy H: All of my votes have been the opposite. I click on + and it responds with a Thank You – and when I click on the – it responds with a Thank You +
    What gives?  

    It’s a dynamic website. Lots of people reading and voting at the same time. Come back at the end of the day and see where the thoughts of the whole readership are.


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    CDAVIS

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (11:51 am)

    _____________________________________________________________________
    The Volt (Electric Cars) is a big part of the equation for American Energy Security. Here is the other part of the equation.

    Washington Post OpEd by Bill Gates and Chad Holliday

    Energy sector poised for innovation — with the right spark:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/22/AR2010042205126.html
    _____________________________________________________________________


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    DonC

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (12:02 pm)

    Jason M. Hendler: Moreover, government regulations and energy policy punished automakers instead of providing them a better path.

    You’re peddling a fairy tale. The fact that the automakers more or less WROTE the legislation you’re complaining about makes it impossible claim that the automakesrs were the victims of that legislation. The key players here were Newt Gingrich and John Dingell in the House and Carl Levin and Jesse Helms in the Senate. Two Republicans and two Democrats, they shared little except for a willingness to do the bidding of the American automakers in general and GM in particular. Simply put, since GM management championed the energy policy which Congress enacted, it’s hard NOT to conclude that any and all failures resulting from the resulting legislation be laid at the feet of its management. IOW: They wanted it. They got it. So they can’t complain about it.

    Moreover, the thesis that this was a government problem is easily disproved. At last check, Ford was subject to the same government legislation and union contracts that GM was. Yet unlike GM it didn’t need government assistance and it didn’t need to go into bankruptcy. It’s also happens to be blowing the doors off even after GM exited bankruptcy. So your claim that government was the deciding factor between success and failure is entirely unpersuasive. GM ran aground because it had absolutely terrible management and an ossified organization.


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (12:07 pm)

    Loboc:
    The other part of that is the 17B that Bush gave them. It was basically a grant. The funds that were just ‘paid back’ came from the 60% stake that the government has in GM’s future stock offering.GM is still losing money. They won’t make money until people buy cars. Lots of cars. Unemployed people tend to not buy cars.  

    My question to you is: When they day you need to buy a new car, will it be a GM?

    By the way, a loan is not a grant. The US government owns the balance of the money in GM’s assets and when GM becomes a corporation again, the experts claims the stock could be worth $50.00 a share….. that is where the balance of the money will come from.


  38. 38
    DonC

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (12:09 pm)

    William: The bailout of GM was completely intolerable and the bondholders and common stockholders had their investments completely obliterated by the government. GM should have either reorganized in Chapter 11 on its own or been allowed to collapse. Free-market.

    I’m ever so glad that you think a 25% unemployment rate would be just peachy. Personally I prefer a strong to a weak economy. But that’s just me. (BTW, bondholders and shareholders usually get wiped out in bankruptcy — that’s the way it works).


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    joe

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (12:12 pm)

    Jason M. Hendler: I wouldn’t blame GM’s demise solely on management decisions as the combination of the UAW and non-union foreign competition put GM’s management in an impossible spot.Moreover, government regulations and energy policy punished automakers instead of providing them a better path.Only now are the necessary subsidies, research grants and incentives in place to position the American auto industry for a bright future.As for the forgiven loans, it appears that taxpayers have covered the shortfall in union benefits.  

    If it were the UAW, Ford would have the same problem today. Both have and have had the same contract for decades.


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    kdawg

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (12:12 pm)

    my 2 Sense :)

    1) Auto bailout = necessary & was a job saver & a manufacturing base saver. Bank bailout makes me stomach hurt. (Media, please no more news articles about billions of bonuses to bank execs. I can’t take it)

    2) Gov involvment in the Auto sector is OK if they want to give tax credits to reward good decisions made by buyers, but I think the CAFE is wrong. Why punish/handcuff automakers? Let them build what the buyers want. If you want more fuel efficient cars in this country, raise the gas tax, so people will be more concious about their fuel economy vs. this no-worries, artificially low priced fuel society we live in now. Gas spiked a couple years ago and Prius’s sold like hot-cakes.


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    WopOnTour

     

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (12:12 pm)

    Great article Lyle!
    It’s been quite a ride, hasn’t it!

    One minor nit-pick

    “Then finally on that first day of June last year, GM announced it had emerged from bankruptcy and the new GM had begun”

    GM actually ENTERED bankruptcy on June 1 (and exited on July 10 2009)
    Regards
    WopOnTour


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    DonC

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (12:16 pm)

    Loboc: The other part of that is the 17B that Bush gave them. It was basically a grant. The funds that were just ‘paid back’ came from the 60% stake that the government has in GM’s future stock offering.
    GM is still losing money. They won’t make money until people buy cars. Lots of cars. Unemployed people tend to not buy cars.  

    A couple of points:

    1. Taxpayers will probably never recover the $17B given by the Bush Administration.
    2. GM is not losing money. It did put everything including the kitchen sink into one time charges for Q1 but that’s an accounting trick that businesses use all the time. It’s definitely cash flow positive.
    3. Yes the pay back of the loans was a political stunt.
    4. Yes unemployed people don’t buy cars. That is precisely why it was so critical that the automakers, and perhaps more importantly their supply chain, be extended assistance. If you have an unemployment problem adding workers to the unemployment lines isn’t a great idea.


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    Matthew B

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (12:18 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: The powers that be decree a 1-year deferment of all mortgage loans, both residential and commercial, and allow those mortgages to extend their final date by 1 year.

    3…2….1

    Here comes the howl on how unfair that would be to renters.


  44. 44
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    Apr 25th, 2010 (12:21 pm)

    Roy H: All of my votes have been the opposite. I click on + and it responds with a Thank You – and when I click on the – it responds with a Thank You +
    What gives?  

    I have notice that, too.


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    Matthew B

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (12:22 pm)

    DonC: I’m ever so glad that you think a 25% unemployment rate would be just peachy. Personally I prefer a strong to a weak economy.

    If government intervention is the answer, why not buy up all failing companies and make unemployment 0?


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    Streetlight

     

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (12:26 pm)

    In the first place, the so-called bailout really is a series of legislative and Administrative decisions starting well before Obama took office. One thing just about everybody agreed – the auto industry and particularly GM was too big to fail.
    I believe Obama made an enormous mistake meddling with management while forcing GM into an unnecessary bankruptcy. The victims being John Doe loosing every dime tied up in GM common stock. Up to that time GM stock was always a 5-star investment for retirement. True, the stock declined significantly. (Chrysler being another wholly different kettle of fish) The out-of-work retirement to poverty dominoes fell. Consequently the US owning 61%!!!
    Most readers are too young to remember the break-up of AT&T-it was the most widely held US stock. However, a very thoughtful breakup by DOJ orchestrated over a five year period; for stockholders it was a win-win. (I wasn’t involved nor a stockholder – a partner was much involved – giving me a proverbial front row seat.)


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (12:27 pm)

    DonC: I’m ever so glad that you think a 25% unemployment rate would be just peachy. Personally I prefer a strong to a weak economy. But that’s just me. (BTW, bondholders and shareholders usually get wiped out in bankruptcy — that’s the way it works).

    When the government gets involved in something, it makes it worse. And yes, I know that bondholders and shareholders get wiped out in bankruptcy, but what the government did to GM was illegal and unconstitutional. It is not the government’s responsibility to bail out and save the country.

    I don’t like seeing people lose their jobs either, but GM should have been allowed to reorganize on its own or go out of business. GM is not the foundation of our economy; yes, it is a large contributor, but it is not the foundation. No business is “too big to fail.” In fact, we probably would have gotten out of the recession far quicker if the government hadn’t gotten involved in bailing out businesses.

    As has been repeatedly mentioned, Ford managed to avoid bankruptcy and had no government intervention. Ford CEO Alan Mulally knew that if the government got its hands on Ford, the situation would have been made a lot worse, so they found ways to avoid bankruptcy while simultaneously investing in their product line and coming out with top-notch products.

    That being said, I really like the Volt and think it has huge potential, but GM has to play their cards right and they need to flood the market with it ASAP. The price needs to be reasonable and they need to be competitive with both the Nissan Leaf and the Toyota Prius.


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (12:27 pm)

    History will find that the Obama Administration’s plan for the auto industry was brilliantly conceived and executed. The use of 363 was beyond inspired and the results were beyond awesome. Anyone who won’t admit this is either overly partisan or brain dead. This is not a close call.


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    coffeetime

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (12:36 pm)

    Adam: I just wonder, being a taxpayer, and the government owns a vast majority, when would my NEW GM product would show up in front of my door?Why I ask?The Cash for Clunkers may have been a success from a new car dealership level, but there’s a new trend going on.The people who (not all) went and traded in the junk heap, sure they made the first few payments, then Christmas rolled around, or other “important” things…You should see the repo’s..If the Government wanted to stimulate the economy, they should of given every person with a social security number a million dollars…It would of been cheaper, and I would of actually purchased a couple of GM cars..  

    Q: What was the most positive result of the “Cash for clunkers” program?
    A: It took 95% of the Obama bumper stickers off the road. (David Letterman)


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (12:40 pm)

    William: When the government gets involved in something, it makes it worse

    This is mindless drivel. If you believe this then you should move to Somalia or some other place without a functioning government. Good luck with that.

    Governments simply represent the only way to organize and co-ordinate large number of people. Just as partnerships can do things individuals can’t, and corporations can do things partnerships can’t, so governments can do things corporations can’t. The trick is to make sure they act responsibility and fulfill roles that wouldn’t otherwise be filled more efficiently by other social or business organizations.

    So stop with the mindless chatter and just be thankful when you turn on the tap you get clean water or when flush the toilet and have the waste go somewhere else other than under your house or when you get in your car you can drive on a road, all the while not worrying that your neighbor is going to dump toxic waste on your property line. Mercy.


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (12:42 pm)

    Matthew B: 3…2….1
    Here comes the howl on how unfair that would be to renters.  

    Hey! I’m new at being King, just like Obama. I’ll think of something.


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    Exp_EngTech

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (12:54 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: Since we are all complaining about the economy, here is my solution (and it will not raise taxes)…The powers that be decree a 1-year deferment of all mortgage loans, both residential and commercial, and allow those mortgages to extend their final date by 1 year. The banks would not ‘lose anything’… It would only be postponed by 12 months. The greed of Wall Street and the banks got us into this, let them feel some pain for a year. Meanwhile, with the average mortgage payment hovering around $2000 (my guess), then every household would now have $24,000 to spend on cars, clothing, furniture, college for the kid, etc… Combine that with the savings many corporations and small businesses would have for that same 12-month period, they could reduce debt or expand too. I read a headline that something similar was going to be tried in Dubai, where they are having troubles paying back debt also, so there is a precedent.If I were King of the USA I would give it a shot.  (Quote)

    Just curious….
    I’d like to see some detailed demographics of the average mortgage holder (state by state).
    I think the facts would be quite revealing of the “I’m broke, but I want everything” society we live in today.

    If I was “King For A Day”, there’s a Tax solution I would implement.
    It’s High Time to clean house / get the economy rebooted….

    FairTax

    See…. http://www.fairtax.org

    I’m really, really tired of reading about Tax Credits, Tax Incentives, Tax Shelters, Tax Exemptions and other Tax related Bull$hit SCULPTED by career politicians / lawyers owned by some Lobbyist Group. “Ear Marks”? Why the H*LL do we put up with that twisted cr@p?

    Did you know the IRS has 1600+ forms available for download ? What the H*LL ?
    Wake Up America. Throw all the Bum’s Out ! That’s Repub’s and Dem’s.

    “Clean The House” In November.

    Ted Nugent has it right when he talks about “the gut pile”.

    From a recent radio interview…..

    “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, write this down: Your life has a gut pile. Know it, love it, admit it, and then you will be more responsible with fewer gut piles. But if you are not privy or honest enough to admit the system by which sustains you, then you can pretend and hire bureaucrats to waste everything in your name, USDA, FDA, OSHA, onward, insanity.”

    Understand “the gut pile” folks.

    minuteman.jpg


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (12:57 pm)

    #28 William: it makes me not want to buy a Volt and makes me ashamed of driving my 2008 Chevrolet Impala

    It’s interesting that there is so much negative-ism over this issue.

    1) You must have bought the Impala for a good reason and probably didn’t have the dislike of President Obama in mind with that purchase when you made it. But now your thinking that his involvement is a reason to not buy a Volt!?! Simply amazing!

    2) You liked President Bush despite the lack of substance to his ball-out effort yet dislike President Obama even though his ball-out has succeeded.

    3) If the government hadn’t stepped in to ball-out GM, they would have gone bankrupt with a much greater impact. The stockholders and bondholders would not have done well under that scenario and thousands of people would have been unemployed. Even your beloved Ford would have been adversely effected by damage to the supply chain. The chain effect would have been the downfall of the American economy and our nation.

    When I go to buy my next vehicle, politics will have nothing to do with my choice of vehicle. Only the value will matter. As I see it, GM and Volt represent quality in my eyes and that’s what does matter most.

    As for the politics, the success that Obama’s administration can take credit for is well deserved. It has been a success in many ways. New GM has paid back the loans with interest five years ahead of the payback schedule. Doing so is a wise decision by them; they have minimized the total interest paid. As for the claims that they still owe the loans haven’t all been paid back as of yet is false. The $50 billion gavethe government 60% ownership in the New GM. That was not a loan. It was an investment for the people(taxpayers). As it looks now Ed Witaker is predicting that GM will make a profit this year. From this desk, GM’s future looks bright with a high probability that they will regain leadership in the automotive world. When the IPO is issued, IMHO, that 60% ownership will result in significant profit on the government’s investment. And then, all the nay-sayers can swallow their pride.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.

    P.S. No dampened enthusiasm here. That’s no B.S.


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (12:58 pm)

    Save the company YES but turn most of it over to the UAW absolutely NOT.


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (1:01 pm)

    I don’t think at all that the payback of the loans was a political stunt, in fact, it was a political necessity when you think about it.

    That cleared the way for a very clean offering of the Volt, and as such, has pegged the forthcoming anticipated public elation with Volt onto the near future offering of the New GM stock which is to become for sale soon, as described above.

    Not paying off those unsecured loans would have left some ambiguities still hanging.

    Now, all the new technological advancements of the new electric motoring age can become properly and lucratively affixed to that pending stock sale.

    (I hope to be able to buy some stock in a small quantity. Although it is not usually the case anymore to actually get a stock certificate with a corporate seal, that is what I want most of all to hang right up here up above this computer as a reminder of the several concurrent struggles America had gone through to get to Volt: Economy, technology, environment, energy financial independence, and more. That is what that GM stock certificate would mean to me, everything good about our American struggle to solve problems.)


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (1:15 pm)

    DonC: …GM ran aground because it had absolutely terrible management and an ossified organization.

    So by your reasoning, GM now at least has a shot at being less terrible and ossified, now that the entire upper management has been replaced?

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


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    Itching4it

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (1:20 pm)

    mikeinatl.: If you will loan me $50 Billion, I will pay you back $5 Billion in a month or two.
    I think I can handle that.  

    Are you willing to give me 60% ownership of your house, cars, and wife as a part of the deal?


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (1:31 pm)

    DonC: History will find that the Obama Administration’s plan for the auto industry was brilliantly conceived and executed. The use of 363 was beyond inspired and the results were beyond awesome. Anyone who won’t admit this is either overly partisan or brain dead. This is not a close call.  

    Why start the comment with “History will find” then? At least that would have allowed for some disagreement, short of name calling and sweeping generalizations on your part.

    Be well and be kind,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (1:33 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: Since we are all complaining about the economy, here is my solution (and it will not raise taxes)…The powers that be decree a 1-year deferment of all mortgage loans, both residential and commercial, and allow those mortgages to extend their final date by 1 year. The banks would not ‘lose anything’… It would only be postponed by 12 months. The greed of Wall Street and the banks got us into this, let them feel some pain for a year.
      

    You mean you’re going to punish the banks by letting them sit in their high-rise castles for a year without paying a penny for the privilege? Something doesn’t sound quite right about this.


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (1:38 pm)

    DonC:
    This is mindless drivel. If you believe this then you should move to Somalia or some other place without a functioning government. Good luck with that.Governments simply represent the only way to organize and co-ordinate large number of people. Just as partnerships can do things individuals can’t, and corporations can do things partnerships can’t, so governments can do things corporations can’t. The trick is to make sure they act responsibility and fulfill roles that wouldn’t otherwise be filled more efficiently by other social or business organizations.
    So stop with the mindless chatter and just be thankful when you turn on the tap you get clean water or when flush the toilet and have the waste go somewhere else other than under your house or when you get in your car you can drive on a road, all the while not worrying that your neighbor is going to dump toxic waste on your property line. Mercy.  

    I’m just working my way down the posts, DonC.
    Now we’ll add “mindless drivel” and “mindless chatter” to your list of “intellectual” arguments…
    I’m waiting for “Resistance is Futile!”

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (1:43 pm)

    I personally think anyone that would buy a new car within the next 6 months is totally misinformed. (living under a rock) Reminds me of the folks I witnessed buying a new 4 head VCR’s when I was buying my first DVD Player. Those same people probably garage sold their VCR for $5 bucks the following year. I understand some people need a car to get to work and I feel bad for those who won’t have the luxury to wait for the Volt. To them I can only suggest a short term lease or buying a pre-owned car. The Volt will definitely be worth the wait.

    NPNS!


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (1:44 pm)

    CorvetteGuy:
    Hey! I’m new at being King, just like Obama. I’ll think of something.  

    LOL, just don’t forget those of us who already *paid* for their homes, too, Sire!
    (Good luck with the King position. LMK if you need a Court Jester. LauraM might be the Lady in Waiting, though I never quite got what they were waiting for…)

    Be well and believe,
    Sir Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (1:53 pm)

    Itching4it: mikeinatl.: If you will loan me $50 Billion, I will pay you back $5 Billion in a month or two.
    I think I can handle that.

    Are you willing to give me 60% ownership of your house, cars, and wife as a part of the deal?

    How about 80% of the wife, and I keep the house?

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (2:26 pm)

    Matthew B: government intervention is the answer

    I take it that I get a down-vote but no counterpoint means that I asked an inconvenient question no one has an answer too.


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (2:29 pm)

    joe: If it were the UAW, Ford would have the same problem today. Both have and have had the same contract for decades.

    Everyone so far has said management and the UAW.

    Ford is a poor example for two reasons.

    #1, Ford is making a significant number of vehicles in Mexico, free of the interference of the UAW

    #2, Ford replaced its top management 5 years ago and foresaw the need to restructure before the crash. They are several years ahead of GM and Chrysler.


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (2:31 pm)

    DonC: History will find that the Obama Administration’s plan for the auto industry was brilliantly conceived and executed. The use of 363 was beyond inspired and the results were beyond awesome. Anyone who won’t admit this is either overly partisan or brain dead. This is not a close call.

    I can’t tell if that is serious or sarcasm.


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (2:47 pm)

    Matthew B: DonC: History will find that the Obama Administration’s plan for the auto industry was brilliantly conceived and executed. The use of 363 was beyond inspired and the results were beyond awesome. Anyone who won’t admit this is either overly partisan or brain dead. This is not a close call.

    I can’t tell if that is serious or sarcasm.

    Sorry Matt. He’s serious. I guess that that makes you either overly partisan or brain dead?

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (2:59 pm)

    Tagamet: Sorry Matt. He’s serious. I guess that that makes you either overly partisan or brain dead?

    It looks like you forgot your original intent for the day.

    Tagamet: The rest of the posts will inevitably be political blather, so I’ll just watch.

    It also looks like I have more blackmail material.

    Tagamet: How about 80% of the wife, and I keep the house?


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (3:51 pm)

    Michael:
    It looks like you forgot your original intent for the day.
    It also looks like I have more blackmail material.
      

    Yeah, good intentions, road to Hell, and all that…
    DonC called me out of my corner by hurling epithets. Just couldn’t sit by and let the place go *that* far downhill.
    And I KNEW you’d come out to play when I did the 80% gag. I’ve told Joy all along that I’m only interested in her *mind*!

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (4:24 pm)

    The bailout was the wrong thing to do. In fact everything Obama has done is the wrong thing to do. GM should have been allowed to go through a standard Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. They need to get rid of the UAW and free themselves of their Legacy Costs. In this way and ONLY in this way will they remain competitive. GM should not be owned by the government and should be put back into private ownership ASAP. It was and is a BAD idea. There were better ways to save GM and the private markets were the way to go. We also need to remember it was Rick Waggoner who deserves a lot of credit. He and Lutz put into motion a lot of the good things that are happening at GM. Forcing him out for political reasons was despicable- par for the Obama people.
    That said I hope GM survives and we get the Volt and a lot of other EREV’s. I doubt they will make it long term as long as the UAW and their pension obligations are intact. We will be right back here in a few years.
    And let’s get rid of this socialist buffoon in 2012 or we won’t have a United States.


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (4:31 pm)

    Well, if I were King, I would make money spent at strip clubs a legitimate business entertainment expense. Boo-yah !


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (4:31 pm)

    truthguy: The bailout was the wrong thing to do. In fact everything Obama has done is the wrong thing to do. GM should have been allowed to go through a standard Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. They need to get rid of the UAW and free themselves of their Legacy Costs. In this way and ONLY in this way will they remain competitive. GM should not be owned by the government and should be put back into private ownership ASAP. It was and is a BAD idea. There were better ways to save GM and the private markets were the way to go. We also need to remember it was Rick Waggoner who deserves a lot of credit. He and Lutz put into motion a lot of the good things that are happening at GM. Forcing him out for political reasons was despicable- par for the Obama people.
    That said I hope GM survives and we get the Volt and a lot of other EREV’s.I doubt they will make it long term as long as the UAW and their pension obligations are intact. We will be right back here in a few years.
    And let’s get rid of this socialist buffoon in 2012 or we won’t have a United States.  

    Sheesh, you were rolling along fine (not that I agree with you), but then you go an BLOW IT in the last line. Why diminish yourself that way???

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (4:33 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: Well, if I were King, I would make money spent at strip clubs a legitimate business entertainment expense. Boo-yah !  

    Wait a minute! You mean that it’s not CURRENTLY deductible???

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (4:59 pm)

    The biggest winner in the story is Obama’s momma’s the Unions.
    The biggest losers are the US tax payers.

    Billions and billions spent AND are they going to even consider paying off the umpteen or more billions they flushed down the BK toilet?

    If they think it’s a success that they shitcanned billions into the BK to save a company expected to keep losing money and projected to keep losing money on their “Halo” product, the Volt, a product designed to keep our addiction to foreign oil, then this country in big fat trouble.
    Govt intervention in private industry, corporate welfare, is just one step closer to a communist country.
    Welcome to the USSA!


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (5:04 pm)

    Obama is obviously of the school of thought that says “if you say something often enough, whether or not it’s true, you’ll believe it”. GM lost $4+ billion in the last 6 months, and while it’s markedly better than it’s previous year’s results, it doesn’t have debt, health or other legacy costs acting as a drag on its performance. Ford, by contrast, earned a substantial profit.

    Sen. Chuck Grassley is asking Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to justify those claims. According to the Iowa Republican, GM has repaid its TARP (taxpayer-funded bailout) loans using other TARP funds.

    The automaker – which is 61 percent owned by the U.S. and 12 percent owned by Canada — announced on Wednesday that it has fully repaid the $6.7-billion in loans it received from the U.S. and Canadian governments.

    “GM is able to repay the taxpayers in full, with interest, ahead of schedule, because more customers are buying vehicles like the Chevrolet Malibu and Buick LaCrosse we build here in Fairfax,” said GM Chairman Ed Whitacre during a visit to an auto plant in Fairfax, Kansas on Wednesday.

    But as the Associated Press reported, GM received a total of $52 billion from the U.S. government and $9.5 billion from the Canadian and Ontario governments as part of its bankruptcy reorganization. The U.S. considered $6.7 billion of the $52 billion as a loan.

    In fact, GM still owes $45.3 billion to the U.S. and $8.1 billion to Canada, money it received in exchange for shares in the company. GM said it hopes to repay those amounts with an eventual public stock offering, the AP reported.

    “It looks like [GM’s] announcement is really just an elaborate TARP money shuffle,” Grassley said in an April 22 letter to Treasury Secretary Geithner. “The repayment dollars haven’t come from GM selling cars but, instead, from a TARP account at the Treasury Department.”

    Grassley pointed to the most recent quarterly report from Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general for TARP.

    Barofsky testified before the Senate Finance Committee this week that the funds GM used to repay its TARP debt are not coming from GM earnings.

    “Instead, GM seems to be using TARP funds from an escrow account at Treasury to make the debt repayments,” Grassley said. The senator noted that according to Barafsky’s testimony, “Treasury had supervisory authority over GM’s use of these TARP escrow funds.”

    Grassley questioned whether the Treasury Department is being straightforward with taxpayers about its management of the $700-billion taxpayer-funded bailout program


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (5:07 pm)

    I believe the best example of unfettered capitalism (little or no government oversight/regulation) today is China. As long as you don’t mind ant-freeze in your toothpaste, melamine in your milk products, lead in kids toys, fish oil with added mercury, counterfeit heart drugs, etc., etc.

    Personally, I think government has an important role to play. Can it do better? Absolutely.


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (5:31 pm)

    I’d like to see the details also where the money came from “to pay back” the loan. I don’t consider it repaid if the mone that they repaid also came from the government.


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (5:39 pm)

    Well, a lot of people have a good idea what’s going on. We have Obama starting off, bailout money, cash for clunkers, and now he wants to shove health care down our throats! GM hasn’t been that busy, they are NOT making the money their claiming. IMHO it IS a shell game, and last year they claimed a loss to the tune of $6 billion…. But yet they paid this much for the loan?.. Right.

    Also, the people who give other people negative feedback, I could care less! Bring it on!!! Everybody is entitled to their opinion, and if your not pro-volt, you’ll probably get a negative score, but I could care less.


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    Zach

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (6:21 pm)

    “the government has been paid back its loans”

    That’s quite misleading, as I thought GM only paid back like $8 billion, and I believe like 1.5B went to Canada…. huh?


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (6:59 pm)

    CDAVIS: Energy sector poised for innovation — with the right spark:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/22/AR2010042205126.html

    Thanks for the link!


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (7:11 pm)

    Dave G: CDAVIS: Energy sector poised for innovation — with the right spark:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/22/AR2010042205126.html

    Thanks for the link!

    Thanks from me as well. The article itself was a bit disappointing though. Not much specifically about the electrification of transportation. JMO.

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (7:15 pm)

    Adam: …Also, the people who give other people negative feedback, I could care less! Bring it on!!! Everybody is entitled to their opinion, and if your not pro-volt, you’ll probably get a negative score, but I could care less.

    I gave you a +1 just so you’d feel better (g).

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


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    Dave G

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (7:35 pm)

    Steverino: I believe the best example of unfettered capitalism (little or no government oversight/regulation) today is China.

    From what I understand, China is a communist country, which means the government has it’s hand in just about everything.


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    250 volts

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (7:35 pm)

    Dave G: No. This was the fault of GM management.A long time ago (back in the 60s or 70s IIRC), the UAW was asking for a salary increase, and times were good so GM had to give them something to avoid a strike. But instead of a salary increase, GM management offered the UAW a pension plan that included health benefits. This way, they could keep profits high near-term, and then deal with retirement benefits later…So this is the management decision that drove GM into bankruptcy. If they had given the UAW a raise instead of a pension with health benefits, then later when things got really bad they could have asked them to take a pay cut. But cutting health benefits for retirees is not really possible, as you you’d literally be killing people.If you compare the actual hourly pay rate of GM auto workers with foreign auto workers in the U.S., you’ll find they’re about the same. The huge difference in total compensation comes in when you average in retirement benefits. That’s where you see the ridiculous hourly rates that everyone talks about. Foreign auto companies don’t pay retirement benefits for U.S. workers.  (Quote)

    I’m going out on a limb here but might you be a union employee?


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    Dave G

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (7:37 pm)

    250 volts: I’m going out on a limb here but might you be a union employee?

    Nope. I just call them as I see them.

    If anything, I believe total compensation at all levels should be based more on company performance (a.k.a. profit sharing). This concept doesn’t sit too well with most unions, but it does naturally scale back compensation when times are bad.

    What I was pointing out before is that a large fixed compensation overhead like retirement health benefits is a real problem when times are bad.


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (8:07 pm)

    Sir Tagamet: LOL, just don’t forget those of us who already *paid* for their homes, too, Sire!

    That’ll teach you to be responsible!!!

    I’ve paid my mortgage 168 times, on time every time so far. “Only” 192 more to go. Neither of us are going to get anything. I’m a chump that’s not going to get anything because I pay on time. You’re a chump because you paid yours off. Welcome to the club.


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    Bruce Embry

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (8:11 pm)

    Hi All,
    I was hoping to purchase a Volt in 2012/2013, but when the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of this year, my take home will go down. In the past two years my take home has gone down and my 401k savings has also gone done. I am saving less money, spending more, paying more in taxes, and making less!

    I’m sure most employed people out there can say the same thing. Things are not getting better, they are getting much worse. The President along with his pales are spending the country further into debt. Taxes will go up. Health insurance will go up, and we all will be making less.

    Is it about time we take our country back?

    Maybe it would have been best for GM to go along with all Wall street firms, bank, etc. Did we learn anything from 1929?

    So while I would like to purchase a Volt, its not going to happened unless things change.


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (8:14 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: Well, if I were King, I would make money spent at strip clubs a legitimate business entertainment expense. Boo-yah !  

    I’ve seen it done… more than once.

    Don’t get me started about what happens in Japan or Korea.


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    Dan Petit

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (8:23 pm)

    DonC:
    This is mindless drivel. If you believe this then you should move to Somalia or some other place without a functioning government. Good luck with that.Governments simply represent the only way to organize and co-ordinate large number of people. Just as partnerships can do things individuals can’t, and corporations can do things partnerships can’t, so governments can do things corporations can’t. The trick is to make sure they act responsibility and fulfill roles that wouldn’t otherwise be filled more efficiently by other social or business organizations.
    So stop with the mindless chatter and just be thankful when you turn on the tap you get clean water or when flush the toilet and have the waste go somewhere else other than under your house or when you get in your car you can drive on a road, all the while not worrying that your neighbor is going to dump toxic waste on your property line. Mercy.  

    Hey DonC,

    You sure did put in an entire intellectual workday today. Thanks!!

    Having an administration that *succeeds* in *solving problems* is pretty refreshing.

    Having *had* an ineffective administration that let corrupt corporate financial interests cause them in the first place had been pretty bankrupting.

    It looks like it was the *term limits* that had worked toward the prevention of our total financial destruction, as the founding fathers likely had foreseen as to be needing prevention of America becoming a totalitarian corporate or totalitarian partisan state. (Both at the same time is the bankrupting danger.)

    If we have learned these lessons, there can be a coordinated response against the rising up of another totalitarian political-financial corporate state that had ripped off America, that allowed so much corruption and widespread personal ripping-off of our innocent and trusting retirees in the first place.

    I say, vigorously prosecute every single one of those amoral sociopaths.

    There is *still* a ripping off of borrowers too by non-compliance to the new laws of disclosure on monthly billing statements by lending that still is hiding fees and unknown charges to borrowers still. This prevents borrowers from making minor corrective adjustments (eg, dropping optional financial products not listed monthly they no longer need and may have forgotten about with everything we need to keep track of nowadays). But these hidden optional charges make many millions for these lawbreaking lenders still even now.

    Now, we ought to really work together to repair it all.


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (8:23 pm)

    Tagamet: Thanks from me as well. The article itself was a bit disappointing though. Not much specifically about the electrification of transportation. JMO.

    I see a couple of other problems with the article.

    The first is that it isn’t a good comparison to measure the fraction spent on R&D in IT vs. energy because energy spending is so freaking HUGE. A much lower percentage of R&D dollars is so much more in energy.

    The second is that when it comes to the electric sector, it really isn’t true private enterprise. State regulatory bodies dictate what energy companies can and can not include in the rate. If they wanted to add R&D, regulatory bodies would balk.


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (8:36 pm)

    DonC: 1. Taxpayers will probably never recover the $17B given by the Bush Administration.

    This is true. And the Obama bumper stickers that disappeared with the continuing series of bailout loans will probably never reappear.

    My political registration is “decline to state”. Giving all politicians a fair listen to. Every ethnicity, all religions, nation origins, and sexual preferences. Although am not a supporter of the maverick John McCain and was shocked when he simply rubber stamped the proposal to pump tax payer dollars into GM until it started to float again. He had a last chance to save his candidacy. Bush, Obama, and McCain all sat there nodding for the cash infusion. Still can’t figure this one out. Where was our representation? Why didn’t the American system protect the tax payer?

    My suggestion to GM is to focus on making the efficient cars people want to buy. And avoid mentioning the words: bail out, strike, Wagoner, or paid in full.

    =D-Volt


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    Richard C

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (8:48 pm)

    The whole story is unbelievable. And politicians of any stripe will claim credit for anything that appears to work. The reason why GM was worth a short term loan, a grant and stock guarantee, was entirely because of the Volt. The whole BK story was simply created to spin off a parallel company without the legacy debt brought on by the unions and bad management.

    Now the Volt Marketing Dept. had best get moving to make the Volt a cooler car than the Prius. That’s the big challenge right now. They’ve got some help from Toyota’s stumble in quality. But the game is to put the Volt into the hands of some movers – pols, celebs, heroes, and regular folks who will geniuinely love driving a car without needing gasoline. It is a GREAT product. It will do GREAT things for the planet. It is a NEW ERA in transportation. Forget all the finance backstory and get on with the SALES.

    The GM TEAM led by Bob Lutz has produced a stone cold winner. Now go out and gather up the rewards.


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    LRGVProVolt

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (8:56 pm)

    Tagamet: truthguy: The bailout was the wrong thing to do. In fact everything Obama has done is the wrong thing to do. GM should have been allowed to go through a standard Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. They need to get rid of the UAW and free themselves of their Legacy Costs. In this way and ONLY in this way will they remain competitive. GM should not be owned by the government and should be put back into private ownership ASAP. It was and is a BAD idea. There were better ways to save GM and the private markets were the way to go. We also need to remember it was Rick Waggoner who deserves a lot of credit. He and Lutz put into motion a lot of the good things that are happening at GM. Forcing him out for political reasons was despicable- par for the Obama people.
    That said I hope GM survives and we get the Volt and a lot of other EREV’s.I doubt they will make it long term as long as the UAW and their pension obligations are intact. We will be right back here in a few years.
    And let’s get rid of this socialist buffoon in 2012 or we won’t have a United States.

    Sheesh, you were rolling along fine (not that I agree with you), but then you go an BLOW IT in the last line. Why diminish yourself that way???

    Tag, I think you are being kinder to some commentators than others. His lack of sight deserves a much harsher retort; to say it was the wrong thing to do, is unfounded in many ways. If it had failed he would no doubt say, “See I told you so”. How some people can twist good news for the American automotive industry is hard to grasp. Lyle’s report, contains a video, in which President Obama states that GM has created 45,000 thousand new jobs. If nothing he did was right how then is the news of new jobs created supportive of his position? This administration’s move towards a cleaner economy based on wider use of electricity and cleaner ways of producing it such as solar and wind power, and government grants to aid in the development of the needed technological advances are examples of the right thing to do. We need to end our dependence upon foreign oil as soon as possible and this administration has moved our country in that direction. I am looking forward to GM’s IPO when the taxpayers of this country will see what a good investment was made with the $50 billion. There will be a significant drop in the national debt as a result of the governments bail-out of GM. GM through the Volt will begin the reduction in the use of petroleum and begin the long needed use of domestic sources of power this country will need in the near future and put Americans back to work in new advanced industries.

    Off topic: DPF has made advances in its fusion reactor research putting it ahead of other designs; they are close to achieving +net energy from an aneutronic fuel (pB11); that is a fuel that will produce no radio-activity or weapons grade materials. Visit http://focusfusion.org/.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (9:12 pm)

    The success of a company or of a nation is with We The People. Individual persons and individual businesses run short of funds for many reasons. When this occurs, it’s not time to beg for a crutch. It’s time to tighten your belt and control outflow.

    Forgive me for telling another personal story…

    I am in a decent financial position now. But at one point I had only a few hundred dollars in my pocket. A fairly new motorcycle. No job and no apartment.
    I accepted a modest position at a company and started working a 40 hour week. This document of steady income supported my application for an apartment. Which I soon signed for and moved into. Was barely going to be able to pay the second month rent. So I bought a pack of flour tortillas and some peanut butter and jelly to eat. I lived on water with peanut butter and jelly for two weeks. Made the rent with $2 left over for gas money. From this point on I have maintained a positive cash flow. And, as mentioned above, am now in a comfortable position.

    Repair the leaking basin BEFORE refilling with water.

    =D-Volt


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (9:18 pm)

    BDP: I’m tired of reading how obama has saved everything he touches. It’s all BS! Though I did buy an 09 GMC 3500 13 months ago when they were having a fire sale!! Thanks tax payers!!  (Quote)

    Isn’t that the truth.

    Oh yeah, they did NOT pay back all the loans either. GM only paid back $6 billion of the over $56 billion loaned. The article is a little misleading.


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    LRGVProVolt

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (9:19 pm)

    #90 Dave K.: Why didn’t the American system protect the tax payer?

    As I have stated in #92 above, you will see how the investment of that $50 billion was good for the American taxpayer when the IPO comes out. It has saved the American auto industry, and has given GM the opportunity to regain is dominance in the global market.

    My suggestion to GM is to focus on making the efficient cars people want to buy.

    Wake up, Dave K. GM is already focusing on making efficient cars people want to buy. Haven’t you seen the recent video advertisement by CEO Whitacre.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again. And Be Well!

    P.S. (I finally spelled GM’s CEO’s name correctly.)


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (9:29 pm)

    LRGVProVolt: …that $50 billion was good for the American taxpayer when the IPO comes out.

    This is exactly my point. GM shouldn’t have received tax payer money. GM should have got their house in order. By selling shares of stock. BEFORE their own $40 billion ran out. Management and strikes ran the company into the ground. GM has since played the game on our dime.

    Whose next on the bailout payroll, UPS? May as well be. Seems like FedEx and DHL aren’t enough to keep America afloat. Tax payer funds being the answer. How can we afford to lose all those UPS jobs?

    =D-Volt


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (9:43 pm)

    Matthew B: Sir Tagamet: LOL, just don’t forget those of us who already *paid* for their homes, too, Sire!

    That’ll teach you to be responsible!!!

    I’ve paid my mortgage 168 times, on time every time so far. “Only” 192 more to go. Neither of us are going to get anything. I’m a chump that’s not going to get anything because I pay on time. You’re a chump because you paid yours off. Welcome to the club.

    It’s a pretty big club! 95% of us homers.

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (9:49 pm)

    Dave G: From what I understand, China is a communist country, which means the government has it’s hand in just about everything.

    In more way than one. Just about any rule or regulation can be ignored by greasing the palms of the right person.


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (9:55 pm)

    #94 Evil Conservative: Oh yeah, they did NOT pay back all the loans either. GM only paid back $6 billion of the over $56 billion loaned. The article is a little misleading.

    The article is NOT misleading: $6 Billion in loans were made to New GM and the other $50,000 Billion was an investment under which the government gained 60% ownership and will IMHO make a substantial gain from the IPO expected some time before the end of this year. Any gains or losses from this sale do not involve any interest as in loans. Instead they will be profit/losses from stock sale. A neat fact here is that the government does not pay taxes; therefore the whole gain should there be one, and it looks like that will be an accurate prediction, will reduce the national debt.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (9:58 pm)

    Tagamet:

    DonC: Anyone who won’t admit this is either overly partisan or brain dead. This is not a close call.

    Matthew B: I can’t tell if that is serious or sarcasm.

    Tagamet: Sorry Matt. He’s serious. I guess that that makes you either overly partisan or brain dead?

    WOW…. I’m a bit at a loss for words.

    I’ll argue with those who supported the bailout, but I won’t be using either name used by Don to malign them. This is a fundamental difference of opinion. To claim that for someone to disagree is hyper partisan or dumb is a bit over the top.


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (10:00 pm)

    #96 Dave K.: By selling shares of stock. BEFORE their own $40 billion ran out.

    That wouldn’t have worked because GM’s stock value was dropping. Not many investors would have gone for that deal.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (10:03 pm)

    DonC: The use of 363 was beyond inspired

    WOW, nobody ever thought of a asset sale in a chapter 11 before. I mean, who could have ever thought of it? You know, beyond every bankruptcy lawyer in practice?


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (10:05 pm)

    LRGVProVolt: Sheesh, you were rolling along fine (not that I agree with you), but then you go an BLOW IT in the last line. Why diminish yourself that way???

    Tag, I think you are being kinder to some commentators than others. His lack of sight deserves a much harsher retort; to say it was the wrong thing to do, is unfounded in many ways….

    Sorry you misunderstood, but *all* I was commenting on was his name callingexactly as I’d done with DonC several times today. I didn’t express a personal opinion in *any* instance today (that I can remember – but definitely not with this post)! I’m just trying for civility – HONEST!

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (10:08 pm)

    LRGVProVolt: the other $50,000 Billion was an investment under which the government gained 60% ownership and will IMHO make a substantial gain from the IPO expected some time before the end of this year.

    How do you reconcile GM’s ongoing pension obligations? GM could have dumped its pension obligations in a 363 sale but it didn’t. Prospective investors know this obligation is there so this may turn out to be a strong drag on the stock price.


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (10:09 pm)

    Matthew B:
    WOW….I’m a bit at a loss for words.I’ll argue with those who supported the bailout, but I won’t be using either name used by Don to malign them.This is a fundamental difference of opinion.To claim that for someone to disagree is hyper partisan or dumb is a bit over the top.  

    AMEN! +20

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (10:18 pm)

    In comment to the corect bail-out figures, I found the following article about US and Canadain loans to GM. http://www.buffalonews.com/2010/04/22/1027319/gm-pays-back-loans-from-u-s-canada.html

    It explains that the entire amount was originally considered a loan but during bankruptcy “the U. S. government reduced the loan portion to $6.7 billion and converted the rest to company stock, while the Canadian governments held $1.4 billion in loans.”

    “The automaker hopes to repay the remaining $45.3 billion to the U. S. government and $8.1 billion to Canada via a public stock offering, perhaps later this year. The U. S. government now owns 61 percent of the company, and Canada owns roughly 12 percent.”

    So the loans have been repaid and the issue of stock ownership will be resolved when New GM issues its IPO.

    The article contains information on production of the Ecotec engine for the Malibu at the Tonawanda Plant and the new V6 and V8 engines at the River Road Plant.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    WopOnTour

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    Apr 25th, 2010 (10:22 pm)

    LRGVProVolt: Tag, I think you are being kinder to some commentators than others. His lack of sight deserves a much harsher retort; to say it was the wrong thing to do, is unfounded in many ways. If it had failed he would no doubt say, “See I told you so”. How some people can twist good news for the American automotive industry is hard to grasp. Lyle’s report, contains a video, in which President Obama states that GM has created 45,000 thousand new jobs. If nothing he did was right how then is the news of new jobs created supportive of his position? This administration’s move towards a cleaner economy based on wider use of electricity and cleaner ways of producing it such as solar and wind power, and government grants to aid in the development of the needed technological advances are examples of the right thing to do. We need to end our dependence upon foreign oil as soon as possible and this administration has moved our country in that direction. I am looking forward to GM’s IPO when the taxpayers of this country will see what a good investment was made with the $50 billion. There will be a significant drop in the national debt as a result of the governments bail-out of GM. GM through the Volt will begin the reduction in the use of petroleum and begin the long needed use of domestic sources of power this country will need in the near future and put Americans back to work in new advanced industries.Off topic: DPF has made advances in its fusion reactor research putting it ahead of other designs; they are close to achieving +net energy from an aneutronic fuel (pB11); that is a fuel that will produce no radio-activity or weapons grade materials. Visit http://focusfusion.org/.Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.  (Quote)

    Insert applause here
    Very well put and my sentiments exactly. Thanks for taking the time to post it.
    WopOnTour


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (10:35 pm)

    #107WopOnTour: Thanks for taking the time to post it.
    WopOnTour

    YW. WopOnTour.


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (11:00 pm)

    LRGVProVolt: the other $50,000 Billion was an investment under which the government gained 60% ownership and will IMHO make a substantial gain from the IPO expected some time before the end of this year.

    One more question regarding the prediction of recapture of $50B by selling stock. Getting $50 billion out of a 60% stake implies a market capitalization of $83B.

    Ford’s sales are neck and neck with GM. Ford is turning a profit right now and GM is… well, they aren’t required to submit GAAP results right now, but no one is claiming a profit.

    Ford’s market capitalization is $47B. What factors does GM have over Ford that cause it to be worth 77% more valuable? As I evaluate it, GM is worth less than Ford right now and that leaves a sizable gap.


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (11:32 pm)

    I am 17 yrs old and confused about GM bailout money?
    We the tax payers(not government) have spent 50 billion dollars to buy GM Stock. Okay now we own the stock and we the taxpayers have to buy gm stock again with more of our own money to pay ourselves back from the first time we bought it? OK this is frigging stupid az hell. What kinda world is this we live in? Unbelievable, really!


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (11:36 pm)

    drivin98: Yes, we should all hope he fails at everything because it’s better to have a heart full of hate than a decent country to live in.  

    Never said anything about hoping he fails. We have the best country in the world to live in. Do you never tire of anything regardless of it being true? I’ll not apologize for expressing my opinion. The direction this genius is taking our country will require that free speech get a government bailout too I suppose.

    No such thing as too big to fail. The healthy process of failure so someone can come along and do it better has been circumvented by this whole process. His idea of government is revolting. No pun intended. : )


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (11:42 pm)

    Tagamet:
    Sorry you misunderstood, but *all* I was commenting on was his name callingexactly as I’d done with DonC several times today. I didn’t express a personal opinion in *any* instance today (that I can remember – but definitely not with this post)! I’m just trying for civility – HONEST!Be well and believe,
    TagametLet’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS  

    You got me there, Tag. You have for the most part been very civil with everyone. That mixed with some of your humor has been welcomed.

    On my side of this issue, is the need for correct understanding of the facts. The misstatements need to be corrected as well as an end to name calling. Unfortunately, passions run high, and for whatever reason those individuals have for their anger, if it is based upon false assumptions they need to be challenged. It seems to me that there is such a strong mistrust of the political scene and politicians in general. Americans are quick to judge and stereotype but should take time to study what is happening, get the facts straight, before making any statement and keep it objective and not personalized. All to many people complain about their constitutional rights not as “we the people of the United States” but as “Me the taxpayer of the United States”. We all want our representatives to distribute our tax dollars equitably and fairly. We want our Congressmen, duly elected, to represent their constituents and pass laws that benefit the majority of the country and its citizens. They must do this through compromise that does not jeopardize any segment of the countries citizenry. At the same time the Executive Branch must carry out the laws of the land as embodied in the Code of Federal Regulations, carefully crafted to follow the letter of the law, without being misinterpreted.
    And lastly the Judicial Branch must resolve issues of law according to the Constitution. Although the division of powers makes each branch independent, it is the President and his Cabinet that presides over the business of the government. If we have an intelligent and wise President, the government and the country in general will go in a direction that recognizes those problems our country has.

    In my mind, our President speaks wisely to the issues confronting our nation and has proposed policies that will solve the problems. There is mounting evidence that those policies have been working; GM restructuring seems to be successful so far and may be a good indication of what will happen in other segments of the economy. It has traditionally been our Universities and Colleges that generate so much research into the new technologies; through their scientific research new ideas eventually lead to new industries. The previous administration looked down upon scientists whereas this administration shows respect for what they accomplish. We have a President who is well respected by foreign dignitaries and can speak eloquently on a wide variety of topics. His policy on our military use abroad recognizes that we can not sustain a presence on such a large scale as we presently see with our soldiers deployed multiple times and our current force stretched to its limits. Everyone wants to see our troops safely home while maintaining peace in countries abroad.
    IMHO, the anger being expressed at him is misguided. He did not create the problems this country has. He is doing his best to correct them and given time, the four years of his term, I believe we will see significant progress in the right direction. The table is being set and we will shortly see the feast served. As we see the new electric economy develop and investors picking those new companies, we will see the jobs that this administration has promised. GM is a good example; they are going to third shifts in some plants; the electrification of the automobile has seen an infusion of new types of jobs for the automotive industry; the need for electrical engineers, etc. for the new green industries like wind and solar generation will do the same.

    Enough said! Let Us Get the Volts on the Road!

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (11:52 pm)

    BDP:
    Never said anything about hoping he fails.We have the best country in the world to live in.Do you never tire of anything regardless of it being true?I’ll not apologize for expressing my opinion.The direction this genius is taking our country will require that free speech get a government bailout too I suppose.No such thing as too big to fail.The healthy process of failure so someone can come along and do it better has been circumvented by this whole process.His idea of government is revolting.No pun intended.: )  

    The only problem is what would you do for all of the innocent people harmed by those bankrupt companies. I agree let them fail but not at the expense of so many people who don’t deserve to have their lives destroyed by unscrupulous businessmen.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Apr 25th, 2010 (11:53 pm)

    LRGVProVolt: That wouldn’t have worked because GM’s stock value was dropping. Not many investors would have gone for that deal.

    Exactly. We The People cast our vote at that time. We voted to spend our money on other things. This is how the former free market system in America had worked.

    It’s best that this topic be placed behind us. Not one of the proudest moments in the history of the American story.

    =D-Volt


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (12:05 am)

    LRGVProVolt: IMHO, the anger being expressed at him is misguided. He did not create the problems this country has.

    You should consider where the anger is rooted. Many of those that were angry we so because they felt the government was overspending. So they threw the “other guys” out… and it has only gone farther the other way.


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (12:11 am)

    CorvetteGuy: The powers that be decree a 1-year deferment of all mortgage loans, both residential and commercial, and allow those mortgages to extend their final date by 1 year. The banks would not ‘lose anything’… It would only be postponed by 12 months. The greed of Wall Street and the banks got us into this, let them feel some pain for a year.

    Meanwhile, with the average mortgage payment hovering around $2000 (my guess), then every household would now have $24,000 to spend on cars, clothing, furniture, college for the kid, etc… Combine that with the savings many corporations and small businesses would have for that same 12-month period, they could reduce debt or expand too.

    The problem with hurting the banks is that when the banks are hurting, the economy hurts along with them. Because if they don’t have the money, they don’t lend. And when they don’t lend, the economy stops functioning. Lending standards were too loose for a long time. But that doesn’t mean we don’t need credit for the economy to function. Right now, the government is allowing the banks to have enormous spreads that rob savers of a decent return in order to return the banks to health.

    A much better solution, IMHO, would be to a)break up the biggest banks and institute a much lower maximum size, b) a renewed separation between investment banking and commercial banking, and c)much higher reserve requirements. I’d also like to ban any derivatives that don’t trade in a transparent marketplace. And, while we’re at it, we should also ban flash trading. It doesn’t serve any useful purpose that I can see.

    The FAT (financial activity tax) suggested by Paul Krugman might also be a good idea…


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (12:21 am)

    Dave G: From what I understand, China is a communist country, which means the government has it’s hand in just about everything.

    Before the FDA showed up, the milk for sale in most American cities was composed of a mixture of talc, molasses and some other things that didn’t sound too pleasant. If you want an in depth look at what happens to food production in the absence of government regulation, read Upton Sinclair’s book The Jungle. It was published in 1906 and provided the impetus for the Pure Food and Drugs Act. There is a reason we have the FDA.


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (12:25 am)

    btorbik: But as the Associated Press reported, GM received a total of $52 billion from the U.S. government and $9.5 billion from the Canadian and Ontario governments as part of its bankruptcy reorganization. The U.S. considered $6.7 billion of the $52 billion as a loan. In fact, GM still owes $45.3 billion to the U.S. and $8.1 billion to Canada, money it received in exchange for shares in the company. GM said it hopes to repay those amounts with an eventual public stock offering, the AP reported.  

    The facts you quoted are right, but the “fact” you made up is nonsense.

    Forget about GM and the government for a moment. Let’s say you personally, as a believer in capitalism, invest $1300 in IBM. You are now a shareholder, with 10 shares at today’s prices. If you happened to get shares newly offered by the company, IBM gets to use the $1300. But does IBM owe you $1300? NO! That’s not the way an investment works. IBM does owe you dividends if and when it chooses to declare them. Other than that, it doesn’t owe you a penny. The only way you are going to get your money back is to find someone willing to buy the shares for at least as much as you paid for them. Occasionally the “someone” is the company itself, buying back its shares, but usually it’s some random buyer on the stock market.

    Now, back to GM, and our investment in it as taxpayers. We put up $45 B because we believed in GM, and thought it should continue to exist. In return, GM gave us stock (well, really, a promise of stock) in the new GM. We can’t do anything with that stock until GM goes public (the IPO people keep talking about). After the IPO we can sell that stock on the stock market. We may get more than $45 B, we may get less. But that’s between us and whoever we sell it to. GM doesn’t owe us a penny of that 45 billion dollars!

    A loan is an agreement between two parties that the money will be repaid with a specified amount of interest. An investment is a purchase of partial ownership in the company. It wasn’t the Obama administration that “considered” the $45 B an investment rather than a loan; that was the agreement reached between GM and the US with the approval of the bankruptcy court.

    Look, I’m not trying to defend the government’s actions. I was unsure, a year ago, as to whether the GM investment was a good idea. All I’m trying to say here is that this is the way capitalism works. It seems very peculiar that the people screaming “socialism” seem to have the least understanding of basic capitalist economics.


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (12:25 am)

    LauraM: Right now, the government is allowing the banks to have enormous spreads that rob savers of a decent return in order to return the banks to health.

    It is also allowing the banks to weather PHENOMINAL credit card default rates right now.


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (12:30 am)

    Dave K.: Exactly. We The People cast our vote at that time. We voted to spend our money on other things. This is how the former free market system in America had worked.

    Because there were market forces at work that tilt the playing field away from domestic manufacturing. Period. American debt is very very competitive. Everyone around the world wants American assets. Mainly because we’re regarded as more politically stable than anyone else. And, we have a history of economic strength.

    The competitiveness of our debt keeps the dollar higher. So that our dollars buy foreign goods at a much lower price than they otherwise would. (And using a corporate income tax instead of a VAT doesn’t help either.) But debt is not a reliable export. Not even close. And at some point we’re going to be expected to pay for imports with exports. At that point, it would be really nice if we had still have the capacity to make those exports.

    It’s also not a labor intensive export, so that it creates a wide divide between the rich and the poor, but that’s another subject.


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (12:41 am)

    #114 Dave K.:
    Exactly. We The People cast our vote at that time. We voted to spend our money on other things. This is how the former free market system in America had worked.It’s best that this topic be placed behind us. Not one of the proudest moments in the history of the American story.
    =D-Volt  

    I’ll agree that it is not one of the proudest moments in our history that this had to be done to save the automotive industry in America. But the fact that it is working coupled with the advent of the Volt and the new electric economy may be looked at as dynamic direction change for the countries economy that we may very well be proud of. Independence from Foreign influence, keeping all those billions spent on foreign oil are a few of the factors that come to mind.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (12:51 am)

    #114 Itching4it:
    The facts you quoted are right, but the “fact” you made up is nonsense.Forget about GM and the government for a moment. Let’s say you personally, as a believer in capitalism, invest $1300 in IBM. You are now a shareholder, with 10 shares at today’s prices. If you happened to get shares newly offered by the company, IBM gets to use the $1300. But does IBM owe you $1300? NO! That’s not the way an investment works.IBM does owe you dividends if and when it chooses to declare them. Other than that, it doesn’t owe you a penny. The only way you are going to get your money back is to find someone willing to buy the shares for at least as much as you paid for them. Occasionally the “someone” is the company itself, buying back its shares, but usually it’s some random buyer on the stock market.Now, back to GM, and our investment in it as taxpayers. We put up $45 B because we believed in GM, and thought it should continue to exist. In return, GM gave us stock (well, really, a promise of stock) in the new GM. We can’t do anything with that stock until GM goes public (the IPO people keep talking about). After the IPO we can sell that stock on the stock market. We may get more than $45 B, we may get less. But that’s between us and whoever we sell it to. GM doesn’t owe us a penny of that 45 billion dollars!A loan is an agreement between two parties that the money will be repaid with a specified amount of interest. An investment is a purchase of partial ownership in the company. It wasn’t the Obama administration that “considered” the $45 B an investment rather than a loan; that was the agreement reached between GM and the US with the approval of the bankruptcy court.Look, I’m not trying to defend the government’s actions. I was unsure, a year ago, as to whether the GM investment was a good idea. All I’m trying to say here is that this is the way capitalism works. It seems very peculiar that the people screaming “socialism” seem to have the least understanding of basic capitalist economics.  

    Thanks for chiming in. You made precise, clear, and vary strong statement to correct the misunderstanding of this issue that many had expressed here tonight.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (1:05 am)

    BDP: No such thing as too big to fail. The healthy process of failure so someone can come along and do it better has been circumvented by this whole process. His idea of government is revolting. No pun intended. : )

    That works great in an in closed system. It doesn’t work so well on the international stage. When the United States (or any country) loses an industry to another country, the manufacturing base moves overseas. They provide jobs and pay taxes in that other country. And it creates a negative feedback loop where America is permanently poorer.

    The United States grew the fastest during the period when our market was probably the most protected in the world. Of course, that type of growth leads to imbalances. But it did lead to permanently higher productive capacity.

    Now that we’re on the other side of the trade-transfers of productive capacity is not good for the long term health of America’s economy. The world’s economy–maybe, maybe not. (I would argue not since many those foreign producers are heavily subsidized so the most efficient producer loses to the most government aided producer, and because it exacerbates world imbalances. But that’s another story.) But the United States government needs to care about what’s good for the US economy. Not what’s best for the world’s economy.


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (1:08 am)

    Matthew B: It is also allowing the banks to weather PHENOMINAL credit card default rates right now.

    That too. Basically, they’re letting the banks get away with murder in order to try to return them to health. They made bad loans, and now it’s the US taxpayer’s problem. Infuriating to say the least.

    And they’re not dealing with the essential problems that led to this mess, IMHO. (Leverage. Lack of transparency. And the sheer size of the financial sector as a portion of our economy.)


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (1:15 am)

    LauraM: The United States grew the fastest during the period when our market was probably the most protected in the world.

    All of the other industrialized countries were busily bombing each other, and we joined in on the bombing… yeah I’d call that a “protected market!” LOL


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (1:17 am)

    LauraM: And the sheer size of the financial sector as a portion of our economy.

    We have a LOT of very smart and well educated people who’ve been made obsolete by technology. We’ve got to come up with something useful for them to do or they’ll create more ways to part money from the public.


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (1:24 am)

    Itching4it: All I’m trying to say here is that this is the way capitalism works. It seems very peculiar that the people screaming “socialism” seem to have the least understanding of basic capitalist economics.

    Given that most of the press doesn’t get these facts you presented right either, I can’t come down on them too hard. I will, however, make the same point you do to try and set the record straight.

    I’ll wager that among many of those that consider the bailout peachy get these facts wrong too. They just are not griping about it so their ignorance isn’t being exposed.

    Now as far as screaming socialism:

    Pure capitalism would have let GM run the course, and maybe they’d have made it, maybe they would have been torn to pieces.

    Pure socialism would have nationalized the company with no intents of ever returning them to private hands.

    The GM bailout fits neither. Unfortunately I’m afraid of the Godwin rule to really nail what it really was ;-)


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (1:29 am)

    LauraM: They made bad loans, and now it’s the US taxpayer’s problem. Infuriating to say the least.

    We just have to hope that the producers keep producing rather than giving up and joining the irresponsible.


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (1:29 am)

    #115 Matthew B:
    You should consider where the anger is rooted.Many of those that were angry we so because they felt the government was overspending.So they threw the “other guys” out… and it has only gone farther the other way.  

    I think that if you read through the statements I have made tonight you would have seen that I understand fully where the anger comes from. IMHO, their anger is based on misunderstanding what is going on. The government would have ended up overspending on unemployment insurance for all the automotive industry’s out of work people if they had not bailed out GM and Chrysler. The failure of GM and the American automotive industry would have only been the tip of the problem. Its failure would have worsened the recession to the point of depression, another Great Depression! I believe in the conservative principles many espouse; IMHO, this administration has those principles in mind and has considered them in setting up its policies.

    The administrations policy of withdrawal from Iraq and Afganistan of our troops is a good example. The amount of money spent to support our effort over there is monumental and unsustainable. Another example is its policy regard use of foreign oil. GM represented a huge element in ending our addition to foreign oil with the Volt EREV concept that to allow its failure was to concede unending use of petroleum. This adminstration is seeing increased spending to support the growth of a green industry as a way to end the $26 Billion or so a month spent on foreign petroleum, and we only see that figure increasing in the future. So we need to move to more domestic sources of energy. By spending those tax dollars now to build a new economy is a wise investment. To me that is being conservative; making wise investments that will give a large return. A call to the ingenuity of the American inventors and entrepreneurs. That’s the American spirit we need now.

    Can you complain now that GM is moving rapidly toward profitability? How can you say that the TARP money wasn’t wisely spent. The return in future corporate taxes and individual taxpayer taxes now that they are employed instead of sitting at home and not earning a decent wage will only lessen the need for higher taxes with more people on the payroll. As Laure M has talked here tonight and many times before, the need to regulate banking so they do supply money to small business’s but without hurting the banking system is necessary to get this economy rolling from the small and medium sized business side. The big banks are making huge profits form their bailout but getting the funds to those independent smaller businesses. I believe that the use of Small Business Administration loans is the way to go. If the Big Bank won’t be responsible like citizens, then they should no longer be availed of such courtesies they have been extended previously. It was foolish to give them the money without any guarantees that they would use it to expand the economy. Instead they just took the money and invested elsewhere than what it was intended for. The only good thing that happened is their paying the government back with interest.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (1:35 am)

    #127 Matthew B: Pure capitalism would have let GM run the course, and maybe they’d have made it, maybe they would have been torn to pieces.

    Pure socialism would have nationalized the company with no intents of ever returning them to private hands.

    The GM bailout fits neither. Unfortunately I’m afraid of the Godwin rule to really nail what it really was ;-)

    Call it nationalized short term investment! At least in this instance with GM, it looks that way.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (1:36 am)

    LRGVProVolt: Tag, I think you are being kinder to some commentators than others. His lack of sight deserves a much harsher retort; to say it was the wrong thing to do, is unfounded in many ways. If it had failed he would no doubt say, “See I told you so”. How some people can twist good news for the American automotive industry is hard to grasp. Lyle’s report, contains a video, in which President Obama states that GM has created 45,000 thousand new jobs. If nothing he did was right how then is the news of new jobs created supportive of his position? This administration’s move towards a cleaner economy based on wider use of electricity and cleaner ways of producing it such as solar and wind power, and government grants to aid in the development of the needed technological advances are examples of the right thing to do. We need to end our dependence upon foreign oil as soon as possible and this administration has moved our country in that direction. I am looking forward to GM’s IPO when the taxpayers of this country will see what a good investment was made with the $50 billion. There will be a significant drop in the national debt as a result of the governments bail-out of GM. GM through the Volt will begin the reduction in the use of petroleum and begin the long needed use of domestic sources of power this country will need in the near future and put Americans back to work in new advanced industries.Off topic: DPF has made advances in its fusion reactor research putting it ahead of other designs; they are close to achieving +net energy from an aneutronic fuel (pB11); that is a fuel that will produce no radio-activity or weapons grade materials. Visit http://focusfusion.org/.Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.  (Quote)

    I doubt 45,000 new jobs have been created. That’s the same kind of false accounting we seen from the clowns in the Obama Administration. Destroy 100,000 jobs and then claim that 45,000 have been created. Even though you have lost 55,000 jobs. That’s Obama style accounting.
    Your quotes about Energy are a joke. I’ve spend 30 years in the energy industry and I can tell you that wind and solar are a joke and will never be more than just a few percent of our energy sources. How are you going to charge up your Volt at night with Solar Power. With the price of Solar produced electricity, it would be much cheaper to just keep driving high efficiency ICE cars. At $0.60 per kilowatt hour I rather have a Cruze or a Focus than a Volt. It would be much cheaper even if the Volt came down to to $25K. Obama’s energy policies are nothing short of moronic. His Secretary of Energy is a complete fool. I don’t give a damn if he won a Nobel Prize for a very esoteric area of experimental physics. He doesn’t know Jack about the practical application of Energy. I know more than Dr. Chu.
    One more thing about the clown Obama. His executive order that all auto manufacturer’s must have fleet averages of 35.5mpg is stupidity squared. If he thinks this can be achieved by simply ordering it, why not just order 135.5mpg? Obama knows nothing about cars and I doubt he’s ever changed a set of spark plugs. The man is a complete disaster.


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (1:48 am)

    Matthew B: All of the other industrialized countries were busily bombing each other, and we joined in on the bombing… yeah I’d call that a “protected market!” LOL

    I was actually talking about the 1830-1940 period. While policies varied between presidents, tariffs were a lot higher then than they are today. (The income tax wasn’t made permanent until 1913.)


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (1:49 am)

    Matthew B:
    We just have to hope that the producers keep producing rather than giving up and joining the irresponsible.  

    In my passed employment, I found that there was a mix of honest and dishonest companies on several levels. There were those that were fraudulent, those that committed intentional violations without being wanton, those that were willing to comment clerical errors and look the other way, and those that were just poorly operated without sufficient management oversight, and then those companies that were straight and honest. It seems to me that the big investment firms were outright fraudulent and should incur some kind of civil penalty against the corporation and then some criminal penalties should be involved against the individuals involved. Prosecution is such a messy business where top notch lawyers determine the outcome. That’s why good regulation is needed. Of course that starts with a good law passed by Congress so that the regualtions can be promulgated.
    Just one more problem for the administration as it watches the filibusters on the Congressional floor.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (1:49 am)

    LRGVProVolt: Call it nationalized short term investment! At least in this instance with GM, it looks that way.

    I note that you responded to this post but left my two replies to you alone. Your failure to respond to them and only to respond to this one post is telling as far as I’m concerned.

    In those two, explain why I simply do not believe that the government will recoup even a sizable fraction of the “investment” that it made into GM. One can argue that the “investment” was made into GM as the least horrible course of action to take. I’ll disagree on that choice, but at least respect that argument. I simply do not respect the claim that the feds will be able to sell GM stock for $50B anytime soon.


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (1:51 am)

    Matthew B: We have a LOT of very smart and well educated people who’ve been made obsolete by technology. We’ve got to come up with something useful for them to do or they’ll create more ways to part money from the public.

    And right now, they have a lot of incentives to go into the financial industry. We need to provide alternative opportunities to do things that are actually productive. It wouldn’t hurt if we could also make finance less lucrative..


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (1:57 am)

    Matthew B: We just have to hope that the producers keep producing rather than giving up and joining the irresponsible.

    And why would they do that when the government bankrolls the irresponsible? And lets the producers suffer from “benign neglect?” Any new manufacturing is built overseas anyway.

    From everything I’ve heard, all the incentives are stacked against producing in this country. Personally, I think the government should do whatever they can to change that. And if that means bailing out the only auto manufacturing sector we’ll ever have, so be it.


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (1:59 am)

    #131 truthguy: The man is a complete disaster.

    The only that is looking like a complete disaster is you. All you do is resort to name calling and negative unsupported conjecturing statements. I wish you a better life. Go do some research and learn something new to talk about.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (2:02 am)

    LRGVProVolt: The administrations policy of withdrawal from Iraq and Afganistan of our troops is a good example.

    At the risk of completely devolving this site into a partisan battle with who knows what consequences….

    WHAT THE $%)(%*@@!! ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?

    I sure thought Obama ordered MORE troops to Afghanistan, not withdrawal…


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (2:08 am)

    #145 Matthew B:
    I note that you responded to this post but left my two replies to you alone.Your failure to respond to them and only to respond to this one post is telling as far as I’m concerned.In those two, explain why I simply do not believe that the government will recoup even a sizable fraction of the “investment” that it made into GM.One can argue that the “investment” was made into GM as the least horrible course of action to take. I’ll disagree on that choice, but at least respect that argument. I simply do not respect the claim that the feds will be able to sell GM stock for $50B anytime soon.  

    Time will tell. You may be right and then I might.

    By the way I didn’t ignore your other comments. Simply put, you are entitled to your opinion and I respect that. Perhaps someone else might like to comment on them. You can tell that I don’t agree with you on them though.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (2:15 am)

    LauraM:
    And right now, they have a lot of incentives to go into the financial industry.We need to provide alternative opportunities to do things that are actually productive.It wouldn’t hurt if we could also make finance less lucrative..  

    For someone that I was so strenuously disagreeing with just a few days ago, I’m agreeing with just about everything you’re saying today.

    LauraM: From everything I’ve heard, all the incentives are stacked against producing in this country. Personally, I think the government should do whatever they can to change that. And if that means bailing out the only auto manufacturing sector we’ll ever have, so be it.

    OK, you’ve given me some pause there. I’ll have to ponder that for a bit…
    In essence, the “government” must atone for making the US so uncompetitive.

    ——————-

    One more part I think “we” need to change is the perception of manufacturing in the US. Much like the problem that the US auto industry faces now visa-vis the perception that foreign auto makers are superior, the manufacturing industry faces the same perception. Even when measured and demonstrated to managers, many are stuck in the mindset that cheap foreign manufacture is superior. Yes, the unit cost is usually better overseas. But this simply ignores the costs of quality and the costs of support. Even when warranty costs are written into the contract, it ignores the damage to reputation. It also ignores just how much more unmeasured support is necessary to develop and produce products.


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (2:17 am)

    #138 Matthew B:
    At the risk of completely devolving this site into a partisan battle with who knows what consequences….WHAT THE $%)(%*@@!! ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?I sure thought Obama ordered MORE troops to Afghanistan, not withdrawal…  

    No need to swear Matthew B. If you think about it a bit, it will become clear that it is part of a proper exit strategy. The prior strategy was not working and only would have prolonged our stay in Afghanistan. By changing the strategy and infusing additional forces the pentagon believes Afghan and American forces have a better plan for success which will lead to a faster draw down of forces there.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (2:18 am)

    LRGVProVolt: By the way I didn’t ignore your other comments. Simply put, you are entitled to your opinion and I respect that. Perhaps someone else might like to comment on them. You can tell that I don’t agree with you on them though.

    I laid out my facts and my reasoning. If I’m wrong, one or both is wrong. Please tell me where either is faulty.


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (2:21 am)

    LRGVProVolt: If you think about it a bit, it will become clear that it part of a proper exit strategy

    Got it… apply Bush’s Iraq strategy to Afghanistan ;-)


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (2:26 am)

    LRGVProVolt: I think that if you read through the statements I have made tonight you would have seen that I understand fully where the anger comes from. IMHO, their anger is based on misunderstanding what is going on.

    That’s an awful condescending view on the ~ 70% of the population that was against the GM bailout. No, I argue you simply don’t understand them.


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (4:53 am)

    Dave K.: Exactly. We The People cast our vote at that time. We voted to spend our money on other things. This is how the former free market system in America had worked.

    LauraM: Because there were market forces at work that tilt the playing field away from domestic manufacturing.

    I usually agree with you Laura. Let’s go back 5 or 6 years. In 2005 GM was doing okay. Had $80 billion in the bank and produced heavy inefficient vehicles. Honda was doing well with the Accord/Civic combo. Toyota was doing well with the Corolla and Yaris. And Toyota was dominating the green market with the Prius.

    In 2007 Toyota and Honda continued to do well with the fuel efficient car line they offered. Sales sky rocketed for Toyota with the Prius. The Korean car makers were doing better with good quality ratings. And their efficient cars were selling in high volume. GM continued to make trucks and over-priced single mode hybrids. GM’s remaining $40 billion was drying up.

    The fact is that GM wasn’t listening to the buyer. They stubbornly held on to producing what used to make money for them. And wondered why the formula didn’t work anymore.

    You say that the collapse of GM was caused by an uneven playing field. Here’s a question for you. If GM has listened to the consumer and produced the Cruze, the Volt, the Volt MPV, and the Converj in 2007. Would we see a bankrupt GM which still owes the taxpayers over $40 billion? Or would we see a thriving GM with a stock price of about $20 per share?

    Be honest.

    =D-Volt


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (5:45 am)

    Dave G: No. This was the fault of GM management.A long time ago (back in the 60s or 70s IIRC), the UAW was asking for a salary increase, and times were good so GM had to give them something to avoid a strike. But instead of a salary increase, GM management offered the UAW a pension plan that included health benefits. This way, they could keep profits high near-term, and then deal with retirement benefits later…So this is the management decision that drove GM into bankruptcy. If they had given the UAW a raise instead of a pension with health benefits, then later when things got really bad they could have asked them to take a pay cut. But cutting health benefits for retirees is not really possible, as you you’d literally be killing people.If you compare the actual hourly pay rate of GM auto workers with foreign auto workers in the U.S., you’ll find they’re about the same. The huge difference in total compensation comes in when you average in retirement benefits. That’s where you see the ridiculous hourly rates that everyone talks about. Foreign auto companies don’t pay retirement benefits for U.S. workers.  (Quote)

    For the sake of argument, let’s say the executives at GM had some master plan for extracting the wealth from GM during the 60′s, leaving the UAW holding the bag in the late 2000′s (see how ludicrous it sounds). Considering unions are extorting (not negotiating) wealth from corporations – how else can you teach unions self-restraint? Since the UAW was on a path to drive US automakers into bankruptcy, why not speed up the process, while allowing those who invested the money, took the risks and led with vision to reap the rewards they earned?


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (9:28 am)

    Dave G: But cutting health benefits for retirees is not really possible, as you you’d literally be killing people.

    Demanding a copay and not paying for things like Viagra and dental work isn’t killing people. The rest of us don’t have anything near the kind of medical benefits the UAW does and somehow we manage.


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (9:41 am)

    Dave K.: If GM has listened to the consumer and produced the Cruze, the Volt, the Volt MPV, and the Converj in 2007. Would we see a bankrupt GM which still owes the taxpayers over $40 billion? Or would we see a thriving GM with a stock price of about $20 per share?

    No. We wouldn’t. First of all, that wasn’t what the consumer wanted as of 2006. And trucks still outsell cars in this country. And they did, even in 2008. Second, it takes three years minimum to revamp their line-up. And it’s very expensive. Possibly longer to do a really good job. Not something they could afford to do unless they were positive about higher oil prices. Third, those vehicles don’t have anywhere near the same kind of margins that SUVs and trucks do. Without major union concessions (like ending the “jobs bank” which they had to literally on the edge of liquidation to get), there’s no way they could actually make a profit on those cars while building them in the United States.

    I’m not saying management couldn’t have done a better job. Clearly they could have. For one thing, they should have sold Hummer and Saturn while they could have gotten money for them. And shut them down if they couldn’t. But the biggest difference with Ford, IMHO, is that they borrowed a lot of money when the credit markets were open.


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (9:50 am)

    Matthew B: In essence, the “government” must atone for making the US so uncompetitive.

    It’s not about atoning for anything. It’s about practicality. We need a manufacturing sector. And, historically, an auto manufacturing sector is the lynchpin of a manufacturing base. And it’s a lot easier to a hang onto one that already exists than create one from scratch.

    Ford, isn’t enough by itself. We need more than one company. And, even if it were, Alan Mulally said that the auto bailout hearings, that a GM bankruptcy could easily force Ford to follow because of the resulting disruption in the supplier base. I don’t think he would have said that if he didn’t mean it.

    Matthew B: One more part I think “we” need to change is the perception of manufacturing in the US. Much like the problem that the US auto industry faces now visa-vis the perception that foreign auto makers are superior, the manufacturing industry faces the same perception. Even when measured and demonstrated to managers, many are stuck in the mindset that cheap foreign manufacture is superior. Yes, the unit cost is usually better overseas. But this simply ignores the costs of quality and the costs of support. Even when warranty costs are written into the contract, it ignores the damage to reputation. It also ignores just how much more unmeasured support is necessary to develop and produce products.

    Some production is moving back to the US. But, from what I’ve read, more is moving overseas. They want to cut costs at whatever the price. It leads to short term profits. And it looks better to the analysts.

    That said, unfortunately, there are a lot of things that are cheaper to produce overseas. Given the tax structure, the labor differential, and the numerous subsidies provided by foreign governments, it’s hard to see how it wouldn’t be. I think we should change that equation.


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (10:29 am)

    LauraM: No. We wouldn’t.

    Honestly? You don’t feel that the Volt and Cruze would sell better than the Hummer and the Suburban? Seems the Accord, Sentra, Corolla, Prius, and other efficient cars were selling well during this period. GM’s answer to their popularity was to keep building large trucks and offer a couple of over priced “mild” hybrids. They are on the same playing field. The competition is clearly smarter and has better hearing. I am not convinced this has changed. 8000 Volt in the first year doesn’t seem like a number Solomon would approve of.

    =D-Volt


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (10:59 am)

    CorvetteGuy: The greed of Wall Street and the banks got us into this, let them feel some pain for a year.

    #29

    I’m down with that! +1


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (11:34 am)

    If Obama has ever made anything other than a false, self-serving statement, it has escaped my attention. Obama bailed out the UAW, not General Motors, and in so doing accomplished less than nothing. Chapter 11 was the oportunity for Gm to control its union employees and stop this insane extortionary pay scale which averages over $140K for unskilled workers. And those milllions of retirees whose retirement funds lost a bundle when GM went chapter 11 is a disgrace and leads me to the inescapable conclusion that the UAW and GM are not an illegal collusionary enterprise.
    Nor did GM r”repay with interest” anyhing. They repaid govt loans by using other govt money, which has led the FCC to look into their upcoming commercials as instances of fraud. The day I buy anyhting from GM, other than the parts needed for my Buick Regal that cannot be obtained from any other supplier, is the day they put me 6 feet under. General Motors seems to have achieved what only a few companies have : an ethically bankrupt status that needs to go out of business, like Walmart and other such scum. How can those folks who work or deal with these
    enterprises sleep at night? How does one manage to put one’s ethics out to pasture?


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (12:47 pm)

    Great job with the “-1s” today gang. I’ve finally learned not to click to read the ones which are “off the island” Life is so much more pleasant that way, LOL. When I saw the photo of the President, I sort of inwardly groaned, expecting a bunch of nasty comments. The strategic “-1s” seem to have controlled that somewhat, thank goodness. I like President Obama.


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (3:08 pm)

    First off – God Bless the Volt for bring this ‘diverse’ group together on gm-volt. It speaks to the true beauty of the architecture – there’s something in it for everyone.

    Second, yes stupidity and greed by the UAW and Mgmt abound. In fact the roots of all this go back 100 years in my book. But let’s be clear – Obama took office in 2009. He was presented with a situation. He dealt with it. And today, in large part because of this we have the Volt.
    I guess that’s just another inconvenient truth to so many, as is evidenced here today.

    God bless the Volt and whatever it took to get it here.
    John


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (4:24 pm)

    Dave K.: Honestly? You don’t feel that the Volt and Cruze would sell better than the Hummer and the Suburban? Seems the Accord, Sentra, Corolla, Prius, and other efficient cars were selling well during this period. GM’s answer to their popularity was to keep building large trucks and offer a couple of over priced “mild” hybrids. They are on the same playing field. The competition is clearly smarter and has better hearing. I am not convinced this has changed. 8000 Volt in the first year doesn’t seem like a number Solomon would approve of.

    =D-Volt

    Volume does not equal profit. Those trucks can fetch a large margin. The cruze can’t. Neither can the Volt given all the technology in it. Honda, Toyota, and other foreign automakers have much lower structural costs than the domestic three. Even for cars built in the United States. So they could produce medium sized cars at a profit. The domestic three couldn’t. (And, yes, the unions and their legacy costs were a huge part of that. Although not all of it.)


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    Apr 26th, 2010 (7:19 pm)

    Attention: Anyone please explain Gm bailout to me.
    Here is my simplified example, forgive me for being 17 and stupid. GM will be named Jane and the US taxpayer will be called Dick in this example.
    Okay Jane is a broke seamstress and cant sell the clothes she makes. Dick comes along and decides to give Jane 10,000 bucks to get her along until she can find someone who likes her clothing. Dick tells Jane 1000 is a loan and 9000 is collateral or shares in her company. Jane sells 2 dress and pays back Dick the 1000 bucks with interest (1100) and tells Dick to find another Dick to buy his shares so he can get his money back cause she is afraid her clothing will never sell and she has already spent the remaining funds on advertising and materials to make dresses.
    So it looks like dick is left holding the bag cause he is the only dick in town. Dick would have to buy the shares from himself! ( taxpayer spent 10k and got to spend 10k again to get his 10k back).


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    Apr 27th, 2010 (4:24 am)

    James H, you make a good point. Many here can answer your question. But it involves several sensitive issues and would be sure to raise a harsh political debate. We’ll have a chance to vote in November. Let’s hope a few candidates have the fortitude to raise this issue and pledge reform.

    =D-Volt


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    Apr 27th, 2010 (10:00 am)

    GM, Form, and Chrysler need to start innovating or Toyota and Honda will force them into Bankruptcy. Toyota alone surpasses all the car manufactures in Hybrid technology. Their new Prius will have a Solar Panel for running some of the onboard ammenities. If GM, Form, and Chrysler fail to be competitive with Toyota, then it will be a disaster for the US economy. I, myself, am looking to buy Toyota because I will save $1,500/year in gas at today’s prices.


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    Apr 28th, 2010 (7:41 pm)

    Just another ploy to try to get people to buy from “Government Motors”. No way was the “real” loan amount paid.
    My faith in our government now is right at zero now:(


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    Apr 28th, 2010 (9:51 pm)

    drivin98: Yes, we should all hope he fails at everything because it’s better to have a heart full of hate than a decent country to live in.  (Quote)

    If Obama fails the country succeeds. I want the country to succeed. For better or worse that means Obama has to fail for this to happen.

    Cap and Tax (trying to get it through)
    Obamacare
    Buying major US car companies
    VAT tax (he’ll try)
    and much more government takeover and taxation of the private sector moves us inch by inch in the direction of less freedom and greater socialism.

    These policies will NEVER create jobs. You tax anything and you get less of it not more. The only way we come out of this recession is by getting government out of the way of the private sector as much as possible.

    Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and the rest of the Democrats that were trying to do a good thing by allowing Fannie and Freddie to underwrite subprime mortages for those that had no business created a false upswing in real estate market. Once people started defaulted on these loans the industry collapsed. Wallstreet did what they do by trading these commodities and gets blamed for the recession?

    The Democrats are very good at spinning things I’ll give them that. The real story is that whenever you mess with the market (ie forcing banks to reduce lending standards) you create a false demand. The result is always a massive correction in the market (recession). The problem here is that the Big “O’s” policies only further this recession.

    The same will happen with healthcare when they try to “fix” prices for doctor’s treatments. The result will be doctors opting out or retiring. You’ll see. Same with happen with Cap and Tax if it goes through.

    You can’t arbitrarily “fix” prices. The market decides fair pricing. Have a look at e-bay and you’ll see how pricing for goods is determined. Not by the government.

    Like I said for the country to succeed Obama’s policies must fail.

    Thank you and good night.


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    Apr 30th, 2010 (7:32 pm)

    flyingfish2: Well, is this just a shell game or what?Where did the money to repay the loan come from?GM has not turned a profit since their bankruptcy as far as I can tell. Apparently during the bankruptcy, GM’s $40b dollar loan was reduced to like the $6b that they repaid with part of the remaining $40b. Is this true or false?  

    It’s called cashflow.

    Steve Martin: It’s definitely continuing to look like a good decision to have loaned GM the money and invested 50 billion in stock.  

    And how many Republicans and right-wing wackos thought it was a good idea when they demagogued against “baling out” GM? Hypocrites are just stupid and don’t admit it.


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    Apr 30th, 2010 (7:33 pm)

    flyingfish2: Well, is this just a shell game or what?Where did the money to repay the loan come from?GM has not turned a profit since their bankruptcy as far as I can tell. Apparently during the bankruptcy, GM’s $40b dollar loan was reduced to like the $6b that they repaid with part of the remaining $40b. Is this true or false?  

    It’s called cashflow.

    Steve Martin: It’s definitely continuing to look like a good decision to have loaned GM the money and invested 50 billion in stock.  

    And how many Republicans and right-wing wackos thought it was a good idea when they demagogued against “bailing out” GM? Hypocrites are just stupid and don’t admit it.