Quote Of The Day: The State Of The Bailout Bill Edition

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

According to the White House’s just-released report titled “The Resurgence of the American Automotive Business” [ PDF here]:

The U.S. Government provided a total of $80 billion to stabilize the U.S. automotive industry through investments in General Motors (GM), Chrysler, Chrysler Financial, Ally Financial, and programs to support automotive suppliers and guarantee warranties. As of today, $40 billion has been returned to taxpayers. While the government does not anticipate recovering all of the funds that it invested in the industry, the Treasury’s loss estimates have consistently improved – from more than 60 percent in 2009 to less than 20 percent today.

Independent analysts estimate that the Administration’s intervention saved the federal government tens of billions of dollars in direct and indirect costs, including transfer payments like unemployment insurance, foregone tax receipts, and costs to state and local governments.

This is as close as we’ve gotten to a thorough accounting of the full cost of the auto industry bailout, as both GM and Chrysler have erred on the side of counting as little of their own taxpayer support as possible (leaving out aid to their predecessor firms, finance companies and suppliers). On the other hand, it’s also two short paragraphs in a ten page report… and the rest of the document hews pretty closely to Democrat strategist Ron Klain’s advice to the White House, specifically

tell the story with fewer numbers and more emotion; less prose and more poetry

While the media debates whether this means the bailout bill will come to $14b or $16b, it’s becoming clear that the final number won’t make a big difference… at least politically.

Join the conversation
26 of 69 comments
  • Musiccitymafia Musiccitymafia on Jun 01, 2011

    Interest on the $80 billion takes it to what ...

    • See 1 previous
    • MikeAR MikeAR on Jun 03, 2011

      @jmo Not tell what 3% is on $80 billion in one year. It's not such a small number after all is it?

  • Fred Fred on Jun 01, 2011

    The real bs will be from the candidates as they tour auto plants. Will those tea party folks stand up and tell all those workers that the bailout was a mistake. Or will they claim it was all their idea. Let's hope the one who speaks the truth wins.

    • See 6 previous
    • MikeAR MikeAR on Jun 03, 2011

      @Fred You have points, I'll give you that. But the timing of contributions matters much less than the fact that contributions were made. The urge to make nice with your enemies is something that I don't understand or condone. How any well run business could contribute to any Democrat is beyond me, except for selling the rope that they will be hanged with. Lenin was right about that. Access is a kind word for bribes when it comes to donations to mortal enemies. As far campaigning at UAW plants, why bother? That's a mistake by any Republican and is a sign that something is wrong with them, like maybe they're in the wrong party. You might be suprised to see a winning Republican campaign be done by appealing to the Republican and independent base. Forget rtying to appeal to people who are lost because of ideology. Know your enemies and treat them as such.

  • Tparkit Tparkit on Jun 01, 2011

    Just the sort of DNC talking-points crap I'd expect from the Obama White House. For example, here's a nice little $45 billion going-away present for GM that didn't make the report: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704462704575590642149103202.html ...and the taxpayers aren't getting that back.

    • See 11 previous
    • MikeAR MikeAR on Jun 02, 2011

      @shaker As opposed to the non-partisan MSNBC or Politico or Daily Kos? It is completely undeniable that the economy weakened greatly in the mid-30s because Roosevelt had an iron hand on the economy and his utopian socialists had no idea that what they were doing would fail. Read the book "The Forgotten Man", you may learn something. It won't be to your liking but that's what really happened.

  • Zackman Zackman on Jun 02, 2011

    You know, with all I have been reading and hearing on all media about the actual state of the economy - and the world's for that matter - these bailout discussions may soon be the least of our worries!

    • Highdesertcat Highdesertcat on Jun 02, 2011

      +1 Zack! I agree 100%. We are heading for some deep sh it the rest of this year and next, to be sure. Just look at the housing market. I wonder how many people enjoy having their homes valued at only 70% of what they bought it for just two short years ago? How do you say 'underwater' or 'upside down'? I have friends and relatives in Western Europe and they tell he that they are already pinched badly by a socialist system that can no longer bear the burden of all the freebies it provides. Of course that's not our worry until the same starts to happen here. Obama owns this economy now, even if he claims to have inherited it. Without being political, we have to ask ourselves if we are better off under Obama's economic policies, or if we were better off under the policies of Shrub and Clinton. That's the question that faces the people who will vote in Nov 2012. I can tell you right now, my dollar doesn't buy near what it did during Shrub and Clinton. And I don't care about the price of gas. I'm going to buy it no matter what it costs. But I do care about the price of rice and rent... And things look pretty shaky up ahead.