American taxpayers should prepare themselves for another slap in the face, courtesy of the much-ballyhooed Obama auto bailouts. After spending about $85 billion to bail out Chrysler, General Motors and Ally Financial (formerly known as GMAC), taxpayers are being rewarded by Chrysler's parent company, Fiat, announcing that it is preparing to build its Jeep brand vehicles in China. In addition, according to a Bloomberg report, Fiat may end up building all of its vehicles in China, threatening the loss of more manufacturing jobs should the decision be carried out to move Chrysler manufacturing out of America.
As the presidential election nears we continue to hear about what a great job the Obama Administration did "saving" General Motors. The claims are that millions of jobs were saved and Mitt Romney wanted to let Detroit go bankrupt. A review of the facts reveals that the auto bailout process that cost taxpayers billions of dollars is hardly anything to brag about.
When President Obama says he "saved" GM, what he means is that his administration guided a bankruptcy process for the company, funded with taxpayer dollars. The repeated statements by Obama that Romney would have let the company go bankrupt are deceptive. Let's be clear, GM DID go bankrupt.
The 2012 election campaigns have seen accusations thrown about that both President Obama and Governor Romney have been less than honest at times. After Obama was soundly trounced in the first debate, the defense for the President's poor performance (other than Al Gore's theory that it was the high altitude) was that Mitt Romney lied. While that unsubstantiated charge might make Governor Romney an accused liar, the facts surrounding the General Motors bankruptcy process reveal that those in the Obama Administration are proven liars.
President Obama called for a "new economic patriotism" during last night's presidential debate. Well, hold on to your wallets as this new buzz phrase seems to be a euphemism for "wealth redistribution." Just ask old General Motors bondholders or non-unionized Delphi retirees about how Obama's so-called "shared sacrifices" are more about cronyism than patriotism.
General Motors reported that it sold 2,851 Chevy Volts in September. The number is sure to be touted as a great success, even though the annualized rate of sale is still well below initial sales goals for the vehicle and nowhere near what conventionally-powered, mainstream cars sell. What is sure to be less publicized by the media is that the majority of the Volt "sales" were heavily subsidized leases that are costing taxpayers millions of dollars.
Here we go again. Déjà vu all over again as General Motors spreads rumors that they are tired of being Government Motors and they are so cash rich that they offered to buy Treasury's taxpayer-funded stake in the company. In typical deceptive GM fashion, sources were not named and spokesman Jim Cain refused to confirm the rumors. This is not the first time GM played the rumor game, as I previously wrote about over a year ago.
A Reuters' article earlier this week created quite a buzz when it suggested that General Motors was losing $49,000 on every Chevy Volt sold. While many continue to debate just how much money GM loses on the politically-motivated car, a more important story on the Volt was reported by Automotive.com last week which explained the increase in August sales numbers for the vehicle. The piece exposes how GM (along with taxpayers) is heavily subsidizing leases and even gets an embarrassing admission from GM on the struggling Volt that, "The whole idea is we're creating a market." And this blockbuster, "There is no plug-in market."
We have heard the claims over and over again from the Obama campaign; the President "saved" General Motors and Mitt Romney said "let Detroit go bankrupt." The clear implication is that GM never went through the bankruptcy process that Romney suggested. Here's news for voters who didn't pay attention to how, exactly, Obama "saved" GM; $50 billion dollars of taxpayer money was given to GM to get them through a manipulated bankruptcy process. Replacing the word bankrupted with saved does not change the facts. And the fact is, GM DID go bankrupt.
The Democratic National Convention continued to celebrate the General Motors' bankruptcy and auto bailouts last night. Guests at the party included union leaders Bob King, President of the UAW and AFL-CIO President, Richard Trumka, both of whom gave speeches at the event. Union members cheered and waved their UAW signs at the affair as President Obama was repeatedly given credit for "saving" GM and the American auto industry. The fact that GM, along with Chrysler, went bankrupt was not mentioned. The only time the word "bankrupt" was used was to condemn Republican Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, for wanting to let GM go bankrupt. Democrats seem to be in denial that GM actually did go bankrupt.
USA Today reports that General Motors will be, once again, temporarily halting production of the Chevy Volt. According to GM, the halt is not due to low sales of the Volt. The article quotes a Chevy spokesman as saying, "We are not idling the plant due to poor Volt sales. We're gearing up for production of the new Impala."