In Elaborate TARP Funds Shuffle
GM Ads Claim Bailout "Paid Off"
A top Senate Republican is angry with the Obama administration for not refuting General Motor’s recent claim to having paid off its bailout five years ahead of schedule. Vice President Joe Biden immediately chimed in that GM’s effort was “a great accomplishment” as soon as the ads began running. And so far no one from the adminstration has admitted that GM is putting a hoax over on the taxpayeers. Once proud General Motors now finds itself in boiling hot water over a blatantly false advertisment featuring GM Chairman and CEO Ed Whiteacre claiming the troubled car company has “repaid” its bailout from the taxpayers “in full.” The Federal Trade Commission quickly moved to investigate the claim all the while Republicans on Capital Hill were going bonkers over the clearly murky statements. The Obama administration has not responded to charges that GM was falsifying advertising in order to gain unwaranted trust from consumers while government watchdogs say that the automaker may have “technically paid off the bailout money by dipping into a separate pot of bailout funds the equivalent of a slush fund which also came from the U.S. Taxpayers. “Truth in advertising” laws prohibit commercials which are “likely to mislead consumers.”
Supposedly “too big to fail,” GM’s TV spot irritated viewers with common sense. The former auto-giant since the bailout has shown very little profit, how was this possible? "We have repaid our government loans in full — with interest — five years ahead of the original schedule," said Whitacre in the ad, while asking Americans to give the bankrupt company “another look.” Top senate Republican Chuck Grassley of Iowa said GM was misleading taxpayers by using a special escrow account to repay the loan. His charge was backed up by TARP inspector general Neil Barofsky who told Fox News as well as the senate finance committee that Grassley was correct, GM used bailout money to pay back the federal government. Grassley described the whole thing as “nothing more than an elaborate TARP money shuffling.”
Not only is all the TARP money NOT paid off by GM, but the company is not Whitacre’s company anyway. 61% is owned by the U.S. Government and 12% is owned by the Canadian Government and GM is definitely NOT yet solvent, still racked by debt and so far unable to turn a profit (and hasn’t done so since 2004) GM received a $52 infusion of money from the federal government in 2009. Grassley, meanwhile has written a letter with his findings to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and asked for more information about why the company was allowed to use bailout money to repay bailout money and how much of the remaining escrow funds GM would be allowed to keep. Since GM received the equivalent of over $14,000 per automobile in bailout funds, how it can keep from turning a profit is beyond Rajjpuut’s simple power to add or detract. Rest assured, however, no actual profit was made and no actual GM money was used in “paying off the bailout.” In fact, Rajjpuut, is betting that Chrysler, who received a bailout simultaneously with GM is no where nearer to solvency than it was a year ago and GM's solvency is still very much up in the air. Stupidity like Whitacre's little charlatan ad stunt is surely not going to be earning any consumer confidence for GM in the near future and Rajjpuut expects him to be handed his hat within a month.
Ya’ll live long, strong and ornery,