Recall how Team O wants to make the General Motors bailout, the one that will cost taxpayers tens of billions of dollars when all said and done, a centerpiece of their re-election campaign and how GM isn't, for obvious reasons, thinking that is not such a hot idea? Well, chalk up yet another reason why bringing attention to such a smashing success may backfire.
New emails obtained by The Daily Caller contradict claims by the Obama administration that the Treasury Department would avoid “intervening in the day-to-day management” of General Motors post-auto bailout.
These messages reveal that Treasury officials were involved in decision-making that led to more than 20,000 non-union workers losing their pensions.
Republican Reps. Dan Burton and Mike Turner say that during the GM bailout, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner decided to cut pensions for salaried non-union employees at Delphi, a GM spinoff, to expedite GM’s emergence from bankruptcy.
At a Wednesday hearing, the House Oversight Committee’s Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight and Government Spending started pushing the Treasury Department for answers on the effects of the bailout and on how much of a role the department played in picking winners and losers.
The key point of the Wednesday hearing was to show that the Obama administration advised GM on how to eliminate the Delphi workers’ pensions. The evidence suggests Geithner’s team played a significant role in that process, despite claims to the contrary.
In 2009 congressional testimony, senior Obama administration official Ron Bloom said the president told the Treasury Department to stay out of the management of these companies and downplayed any administration intervention.
“From the beginning of this process, the President gave the Auto Task Force two clear directions regarding its approach to the auto restructurings,” Bloom said then. “The first was to behave in a commercial manner by ensuring that all stakeholders were treated fairly and received neither more nor less than they would have simply because the government was involved. The second was to refrain from intervening in the day-to-day management of these companies.”
We know that first directive was a crock as the unions were shoved to the head of the line ahead of secured creditors in the bankruptcy divvy-up and now it looks like the second was not adhered to either as that noted captain of industry and business tycoon, Timothy Geithner, was wacking pensions in order to hasten an exit from bankruptcy.
The exchanges go on to clearly demonstrate that the administration had a controlling stake in GM’s management timeline.
Borst replied that GM had not “begun conversations with the UAW pending hearing back from you and the PBGC. We can begin that dialogue but our reading of the benefit guarantee is clear that it’s for the benefit of the retirees and not the PBGC. The UAW may not be available to us this week as GM is in the summer shutdown.”
Feldman responded by reminding Borst the steps required to eliminate Delphi’s pension plans.
“Keep in mind we need the PBGC’s help to terminate this plan so we will have to deal with the PBGC,” wrote Feldman. “If you think there is a way to cause its unilateral termination (outside of Delphi going down an 1113 process) let me know.”
Team O will want to take credit for saving a couple of heartland American institutions and the domestic auto industry along the way but the record will show that this was a hostile take-over with the government wielding unprecedented powers in a private sector business to curry favor with the unions and where that government-GM partnership will lose billions of dollars while pushing a heavily-subsidized technology that nobody's buying right now and which may not even be any good for the environment and then turn around and lie about how it is they paid off the loan they received from the Feds. For that you are to be thankful.
Yeah, sounds like a record to run on.
* The dreariness of this post demanded we do something to cheer it up. So we did.