You probably remember when GM made the big announcement that it had paid off its loans from the bailout? You most likely also remember that subsequent investigation found that GM was simply using borrowed money from a government extended line of credit to “pay back” part of what was loaned under the bailout? In other words it took taxpayer money extended under the LOC and gave it to the government as a payment of “debt”. Overall, though, it’s debt remained the same.
This week Chrysler went through the same sort of shenanigans as Conn Carroll reports:
American taxpayers have already spent more than $13 billion bailing out Chrysler. The Obama administration already forgave more than $4 billion of that debt when the company filed for bankruptcy in 2009. Taxpayers are never getting that money back. But how is Chrysler now paying off the rest of the $7.6 billion they owe the Treasury Department?
The Obama administration’s bailout agreement with Fiat gave the Italian car company a “Incremental Call Option” that allows it to buy up to 16% of Chrysler stock at a reduced price. But in order to exercise the option, Fiat had to first pay back at least $3.5 billion of its loan to the Treasury Department. But Fiat was having trouble getting private banks to lend it the money. Enter Obama Energy Secretary Steven Chu who has signaled that he will approve a fuel-efficient vehicle loan to Chrysler for … wait for it … $3.5 billion.
This is simply more smoke and mirrors from the “Smoke and Mirrors” administration, now engaged in pre-election image burnishing. In fact, the payback (someone call Debbie Wasserman Shultz) involves allowing a foreign auto company to take more control of Chrysler and then tossing a loan for 3.5 billion from government on top of the Fiat purchase of Chrysler stock at a reduced price.
They want you to believe this signals a stronger and profitable Chrysler. In fact, it is a pathetic attempt to fool the public.
But it is even worse than that:
So, to recap, the Obama Energy Department is loaning a foreign car company $3.5 billion so that it can pay the Treasury Department $7.6 billion even though American taxpayers spent $13 billion to save an American car company that is currently only worth $5 billion.
Oh, and Obama plans to make this “success” a centerpiece of his 2012 campaign.
Again, don’t forget the $4 billion in loans the Obama administration has “forgiven” that taxpayers will never get back – all in an effort to make this truly horrendous deal for taxpayers seem better than it is so he can claim credit for “saving the US auto industry” during the coming political re-election campaign.
Author: Bruce McQuain