Bailout Watch 146: Obama Win Emboldens Bailout Backers

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Less than 24 hours after Senator Barack Obama won the race for the U.S. presidency, Bloomberg reports that Motown’s mauled mavens will step-up their campaign to suckle on the milk of federal tax money. “GM, the biggest U.S. automaker, must get government aid because ‘time is very short,’ said Roger Altman, the former Treasury official advising the company in its merger talks with Chrysler LLC. ‘The consequences of a collapse by GM or all three could be very severe.'” (As opposed to slightly severe.) Step 1: change the terms of the Department of Energy’s $25b worth of no to low-interest loans. Retooling? Fuck that shit. “The industry’s agenda for the new president will be topped by intensified calls for an immediate disbursement of $25 billion in low-interest loans signed into law by President George W. Bush Sept. 30. While the money is supposed to be for the development of fuel-efficient vehicles, automakers argue it should be freed up to meet current capital needs.” Step 2: get a slice of the already-approved banking bailout bucks. “Sympathetic lawmakers also have been calling for auto lenders, if not the manufacturers themselves, to get some of the $700 billion bailout fund set aside for financial institutions.” Do you really have the stomach for this stuff? Read on…

Step 3: revisit the $10b in federal “assistance” for a GM – Chrysler merger. “The outcome of the merger talks between GM and Chrysler may hinge on whether the companies can get government aid. The negotiations may intensify this week after the election, according to people familiar with the matter.” Step 4: threaten the president-elect. “One or more automaker failures ‘would be a difficult way for a brand-new administration’ to take office, said Altman, an Obama supporter whose Treasury Department service included working as deputy secretary under President Bill Clinton.” Or is that step 1? Anyway, The Reckoning is postponed until further notice.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Edgett Edgett on Nov 05, 2008

    @Adub ...the people who will get really hosed under Obama. Very funny! The sad thing is that the hosing already took place over the last eight years as money was spent that we did not have. And it didn't matter whether Obama or McCain won, the taxpayer was left holding the bag and either would have to generate a revenue stream to buy down the deficit. But it's probably still a great time to be you...

  • TonyTiger TonyTiger on Nov 05, 2008

    Adub: Yep. Already the baseball players (many are black!!) are trying to find ways around obi-wans taxes.

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  • Rust-MyEnemy Whoa, what the hell is wrong with Jalop1991 and his condescension? It's as if he's employed by Big Plug-In or something."I've seen plenty of your types on the forums....."Dunno what that means, but I'm not dead keen on being regarded as "A type" by a complete stranger"" I'm guessing you've never actually calculated by hand the miles you've driven against the quantity of gas used--which is your actual miles per gallon."Guess again. Why the hell would you even say that? Yes, I worked it out. Fill-to-fill, based on gas station receipts. And it showed me that a Vauxhall Astra PHEV, starting out with a fully charged PHEV battery, in Hybrid mode, on my long (234-mile) daily motorway daily commute, never, over several months, ever matched or beat the economy of the regular hybrid Honda Civic that I ran for a similar amount of time (circa 5000 miles)."You don't use gasoline at all for 30-40 miles as you use exclusively battery power, then your vehicle is a pure hybrid. Over 234 miles, you will have used whatever gas the engine used for 200 of those miles."At least you're right on that. In hybrid mode, though, the Astra was using battery power when it wasn't at all appropriate. The petrol engine very rarely chimed in when battery power was on tap, and as a result, the EV-mode range quickly disappeared. The regular hybrid Civic, though, deployed its very small electric reserves (which are used up quickly but restore themselves promptly), much more wisely. Such as when on a trailing throttle or on a downward grade, or when in stop-start traffic. As a result, at the end of my 234 miles, the Civic had used less gas than the Astra. Moreover, I hadn't had to pay for the electricity in its battery.I look forward to you arguing that what actually happened isn't what actually happened, but I was there and you were not."Regardless, that you don't understand it appears not to have stopped you from pontificating on it. Please, do us all a favor--don't vote."You really are quite unpleasant, aren't you. But thanks for the advice.
  • Tassos Jong-iL Electric vehicles are mandated by 2020 in One Korea. We are ahead of the time.
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