Have you seen the recent commercial from General Motors? In it, the CEO brags about how GM has paid back its government loans with interest, five years ahead of schedule. My first impression from this commercial was two-fold. First of all, why is General Motors bragging about repaying a loan when there are plenty of shareholders out there that got royally stiffed by their bankruptcy...something GM will never make right. My second thought was "why are they using MY tax dollars for their propaganda?" That pisses me off. It irritated me enough to do some digging...enough digging to find out that not only is this commercial propaganda paid for at taxpayers expense...it is a LIE. Untruth. False.
Shareholders. Those were the people who invested in GM in hopes of setting aside a nest egg for retirement. Some of you reading this article are probably picturing some fat-cat sitting around smoking a cigar and collecting dividend checks. There may have been one or two of those who invested in GM. But the bulk were hard-working people saving for retirement. I did not own any GM stock directly. However, I have some funds which included GM stock...a good number of funds probably did. So the people who got cheated (aside from every taxpayer) in this bankruptcy were people you know. Your neighbors, your family, your friends. If you have a diverse retirement fund...it may have even been YOU!
So General Motors wastes taxpayer money with a propaganda commercial to talk about how great customers are and how they allowed GM to repay their loans ahead of schedule. The propaganda aspect is bad enough. But how about the truth? First of all...a good number of GM sales were probably the result of the Cash for Clunkers program, which was another taxpayer initiative (or de facto bailout). On NBC's "Meet the Press," Senator Shelby called the commercial dishonest. It seems that TARP funds were rearranged in an intricate shell game to allow the loan repayment. So now, not only does GM look like a responsible auto manufacturer (in spite of those poor shareholders), but are they paying interest now? Senator Grassley has sent a letter to Tim Geitner to determine why GM was allowed to use bailout money to repay bailout money...and my question does not seem to have been answered by anyone in the know. Is GM off the hook for interest, now?
So why the shell game? I am not sure. But something stinks to high heaven here. GM touts their accomplishment, which doesn't even exist through a taxpayer funded commercial? And the governments losses on GM are at least 30 billion dollars. Read that as "we the people...are out 30 billion dollars on top of any value we lost in our retirement portfolio as a result of this bailout." I am against the government picking winners and losers in industry. GM should have been allowed to fail. But NOW...the utter gall of this company to make such a blatantly false claim...is inexcusable. And WHY was this permitted to happen? Where is the good steward of my tax money? If this were Enron, indictments would be handed down already. Something stinks, and I hope there is an honest person in Washington to shed some light on this.
I have owned many General Motors products over my lifetime. My second car was a 982 Pontiac Firebird. I have owned a Chevy Cavalier, GM conversion van, GMC truck and a Geo Storm. I have given plenty of money to this company over the years. I was even looking forward to the Chevy Volt which was supposed to be released in 2010 for use as an electric commuter car. With this latest misdeed by General Motors I vow today that I will never own another GM product again. I am through with this game playing and bailout nonsense. Ford did not take any bailout money. So I guess they are the only American company with a vision to succeed. They will get my first look...and if they can't deliver, I will buy a foreign car (something anathema to a Detroit native like myself). But my business isn't guaranteed, it's earned. And it's time for Detroit to start earning their way.
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Nov 20, 2009
Feb 19, 2011 12:55 AM UTC
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General Motors Company, also known as GM, is a United States based automaker with headquarters in Detroit, Michigan.
GM was the world's 18th largest corporate entity and third largest automaker as ranked by 2008 revenues on the Fortune Global 500. Ranked by global unit sales for 2008, it was the world's second largest automaker. GM manufactures cars and trucks in 34 countries, recently employed 244,500 people around the world, and sells and services vehicles in some 140 countries.
On June 1, 2009 General Motors filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings from which it emerged on July 10, 2009 in a reorganization in which a new entity acquired the most valuable assets. GM is now majority owned by the United States Treasury and Canadian governments, with the US government investing a total of $57.6 billion under the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
While no GM shares are currently available to the public, the company plans an initial public stock offering (IPO) in 2010.
GM plans to focus its business on its four core US brands — Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick, and GMC. In Europe, following a period of negotiation to sell a majority stake in its Opel and Vauxhall brands, GM decided to retain full ownership of these operations.