Steve Rattner, the man tabbed to head up the Obama regime's automotive task force, ostensibly an oversight committee for government-owned and operated General Motors and Chrysler, has been making the rounds of late trying to convince everyone of how swell the government take-over of the two aforementioned companies is coming along.
With great interest we read the article to see if he would get around to addressing the lie peddled by GM CEO, Ed Whitacre, that claimed on nationally-televised commercials no less, that GM had paid off its TARP loan. We covered this in You Lie!, where the reality of the situation is that they used a separate TARP fund to pay off the original. Rattner does indeed address the issue in about the only fashion you can when you've been caught red-handed making completely bogus claims. Here are the two money paragraphs (with intermittent commentary):
Consequently, the U.S. Treasury is well on its way to recovering most of the $81 billion that the government invested in the auto sector to prevent its collapse. (That includes money for other auto-related entities, such as the finance companies. Chrysler itself got around $8 billion from the Obama administration and $4 billion from the Bush administration.) Not surprisingly, partisans on both sides have elasticized the facts: GM has been proclaiming in ads that it has paid back the government loans "in full." While literally correct, this statement omits the fact that most of the government's investment in GM is in stock that it still holds.
Classic deflection. Belittle the argument because you were getting it from both sides. And in "literally correct", we suppose he's owning up to being a straight up liar because we don't know what stake the government still has in GM has to do with using your Visa card to pay off you MasterCard.
Meanwhile, conservatives such as Sen. Charles Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Finance Committee, maintain that GM has paid back the government with government money. That's true, but only technically. We provided GM with a cash reserve -- to protect taxpayers' investment in the case of a prolonged auto recession -- that has now proved unneeded. The fact remains that the nation's largest automaker has outperformed our expectations -- increasing the amount of money that the government is likely to recover.
Translation: The charge that we used separate TARP money to pay off the original TARP loan is true only if you believe that we set up, in case of a prolonged recession and in order to protect the taxpayer, a cash reserve consisting of... taxpayer money.
From our original post which was later updated:
We originally posted this over the weekend, when readership is down a bit but we wanted to resurrect it during the week to highlight the sheer audacity of General Motors. The federal government is entirely complicit in what we can only tag as gangster capitalism. The government takeover and bankruptcy proceedings that screwed over the secured creditors in favor of the labor unions was executed in a thuggish manner and now the GM/federal government partnership openly displays their contempt for the American public by running an ad during the NBA playoffs patting itself on the back for a job well done.
And Rattner only continues flipping the bird at the American public with these sort of articles.