Why America Needs to Forgive General Motors' Bailout

Long, long ago, in a world nearly forgotten, Detroit and its three automakers were once the pride of America -- an exhibition of our raw industrial power. The companies believed they could do no wrong and were sure to dominate the industry as far into the future as their imagination could dream up. If only executives today could go back and warn their predecessors what their mind-set would cost them and our nation -- if only they could enlighten them.

Before the recession, Ford  (NYSE: F  )  teetered on the verge of collapse and bankruptcy -- losing nearly $2,000 on every vehicle sold. It would have joined its crosstown rivals in bankruptcy if not for the vision of CEO Alan Mulally. By this point, Ford had long since forgotten that it was once an American icon that revolutionized the way our nation manufactured products.

As General Motors (NYSE: GM  )  finishes writing the end of its worst chapter in history, it's time to look back and see how much the bailout really cost us and see if we can begin to put the past behind us as investors, consumers, and above all -- Americans.

Ford assembly line in 1931. Source: ford.wieck.com.

The bigger they are, the harder they fall
In the once-thriving Motor City, surging behind its automakers, the population reached 1.85 million in 1950, making it our nation's fifth largest. Following the gradual decline of its automakers, the city dwindled to just over 700,000 in 2011, according to the U.S. Census. 

The moment that Detroit's population peaked marks the time when Japanese rivals Toyota and Honda entered the market with a radical idea -- high-quality, fuel-efficient vehicles. Detroit scoffed at the idea and was certain the American consumer wouldn't buy in. They were wrong. Dead wrong.

By the time they acknowledged years of strategic mistakes, it was too late for GM and Chrysler, which had to be saved through a government bailout, funded by us taxpayers. Here's how much it cost, and how much we lost.

By the numbers
When the government swooped in to save GM from a painful death, it tossed the company a $49.5 billion lifeline. As part of the agreement, GM was to restructure, return to profitability, and repay the funds by buying back shares purchased and held by the United States.

This ugly chapter in GM's history has dragged its brand image through the mud, and the shares held by the Treasury have in part kept a lid on its stock price. That will cause a massive loss when GM finishes buying its shares back from the government. Right now the U.S. taxpayer and the Treasury stand to lose roughly $11.4 billion on the transaction -- a staggering amount. To put that in perspective, let's compare what that number really equates to. 

Envisioning $11.4 billion

  • That much money in one dollar bills equals more than 12,500 tons. 
  • That much money is more than the GDP of Mongolia, more than 75% of Jamaica, and more than half of Afghanistan.
  • That much money could pay all the Powerball winners in 2012 combined -- 10 times. 
  • That much money could buy every single share of Chipotle Mexican Grill -- tempting, right? 
  • That much money can pay 228,000 salaried jobs earning $50,000 each.

You get the idea: $11.4 billion is a good chunk of change. Consider that last statistic again. That's a large number of jobs this much money could fund, but consider that the money we lost in the bailout saved 1.4 million jobs through plant and supplier jobs. That's more than 15 times the number of GM jobs in the United States.

I'm not defending GM. It deserved to lie in the bed it made. However, the bailout did more than toss a lifeline to a drowning company -- It helped the nation as a whole during a dire time. 

Investors, consumers, and Americans
As investors, we had plenty of reasons to avoid Ford and GM as investments. Both companies had every red flag that makes investors hesitate -- terrible management, poor-quality products, and zero sustainable profits or growth. Today, though, Ford and GM represent valid investments and are undervalued because most people don't realize that those three factors have completely reversed. People today are buying domestic vehicles because of value and quality, not because of the large cash incentives we saw in the past. Both companies are expanding into emerging markets for growth and are drastically improving their financial health.

As consumers, some will never get over the domestic vehicles they owned in the past, which turned out so disastrously. Detroit automakers lost some consumers permanently -- that's a fact. If you're a consumer willing to give Ford and GM a second chance, the vehicles now are significantly improved in all aspects -- especially Ford's. Consider that since 2010, Toyota and Honda are far ahead in vehicle recalls -- Toyota with triple that of GM's. On a different note, Ford's Fusion is catching up to Toyota's Camry in U.S. sales, which has long dominated the segment. The F-Series is again America's best-selling vehicle, and the Escape is one of the hottest SUVs on the market.

As Americans, we're watching as Detroit tries to rebuild itself as a city and an automotive powerhouse. Detroit's Big Three couldn't help themselves four years ago yet have now righted the ship -- through different routes -- and are now reinvesting in themselves and their city. It took me a while, but I finally agreed to put everything in the past and turned my Toyota Celica for an iconic American muscle Mustang -- a decision I don't regret.

Bottom line
Some of us will never give Detroit auto's a second chance, and that's understandable. I'm glad to be a longtime Ford shareholder and recently decided to give GM a part of my hard-earned money. I don't get emotionally attached to stocks, because you simply can't in this profession. That said, I'm proud to be part of a Detroit comeback. Let's hope it continues, and maybe one day we can put this ugly chapter in our rearview mirrors as investors, consumers, and, above all -- Americans.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to correct a mathematical error.

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  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 9:58 AM, bobthegoodone wrote:

    Having worked over 25 years in the auto industry why should we forgive mismanagement ?

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 10:07 AM, tedsgirly wrote:

    Are you kidding? They took my hard earned money! Yes, their money came from us, taxpayers. Ford did not take the "bailout" and they are doing well. We cannot afford to bail out every company that comes along. It's survival of the fittest! This idea is called "free enterprise" Hmmmm...... new idea?

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 10:10 AM, vanishingpoint1 wrote:

    Are these people actually nuts?! The biggest Crony Politics scam in history! Barack Hussein Obama GIVES General Motors and Chrysler to the UAW! They destroy the retirements of thousands of shareholders in the process! And now we're supposed to forgive the 50+ Billion Dollar debt they owe US?! Why? If they can't manage FIRE THEM! If they can't make a profit and pay their bills like you and I, LET THEM GO BANKRUPT! WHO CARES?! Besides the Big Filthy STINKING RIch Unions and their WAYYYYYY OVERPAID WORKERS....WHO CARES?! I don't, why should you?! We want our money back! We NEED our money back! Pay up GM! Pay up UAW! Big Unions and BIG GOVERNMENT SUCK!

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 10:11 AM, Stevegarry22 wrote:

    The US government should have never bailed out GM and Chrysler. They should have filed bankruptcy and then they could have gotten rid of the unions, which is why American cars cost so much. A business can't pay people $40.00 an hour for a $12.00 an hour job.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 10:13 AM, Deltadon77 wrote:

    Would this same consideration be given to Walmart? Nothing doing, GM is a large business that should be held to proven fisical operation principles. Why should the American people bail out overpaid CEOs and Unions with money that could be spent on Fords. Personally, I believe they have good products, who wouldn't like a vett or Caddy? Its their business model that gives lavash coverage to people who no longer work for them. It is unsustainable for the American taxpayer. Can you spell bankrupt and reorganization?

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 10:15 AM, Jessie64 wrote:

    Business should live or die at the hands of the consumer determining if they are a viable part of the market place. Not by government (taxpayer) bailouts.

    Did you mention that part of the recovery of GM was due to forced government contracts (government agencies being told they could purchase new vehicles ONLY from GM)?

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 10:20 AM, LafluerL wrote:

    Management takes multi-million dollar bonuses, and sell U.S. jobs overseas to their communist buddies in china and brag to them that 7 out of every 10 jobs with GM are overseas! They better pay back what they owe or they will be held accountable with everyone else who sold or sells out the U.S. Republic! When the Republic fails, all rules are gone, where do they think they can hide, Like the NAZI they will be hunted down and will be held accountable!

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 10:23 AM, MoltarRocks wrote:

    Mr. Miller, with all due respect, we don't have to forgive the GM bailout. Our taxpayer money was used to prop up an enterprise with a horrific union contract. Even prior to the economy slowing down, GM lost money on every car because of that contract. Do you really think the UAW cared at all about that fact? You had guys getting $80k a year to check for leaks on vehicles coming off the line. Some got $30k a year to not work. Really?

    The bondholders got pennies on the dollar for their risk and the UAW, with no risk, got an equity stake in the company, on my dime. Add to that the multitude of dealers who were told they could no longer sell GM vehicles. I am a personal acquaintance of the Chevy dealer where I live. They had to spend $200,000 on lawyers just to retain the right to sell the vehicles. GM should have, quite honestly, been sold off in parts and maybe, just maybe, the crazy wages and benefits the UAW got would have been more realistic afterwards.

    I will never buy nor rent a GM product, ever.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 10:23 AM, aWintersTale wrote:

    The bailout to a good degree, goes hand-in-hand with one's experience and allegiance to GM. To those loyal to the brand, a bailout that perpetuates the existence of the name-plate is a welcomed interdiction. To these, however, there is neither harm nor foul - hence no need for forgiveness. On the flip side are those who feel that they have been jilted by GM by a product that has seen (repeated) down time in the repair shop. In this case, the bailout would only serve to exacerbate a negative formulation of the brand, with forgiveness difficult in forthcoming.

    Nevertheless, forgiveness is good. A quick example would be that which can be found in marriage, with it's ability as the single best quality as a restorer and maintainer of relationships. No need for a marriage counselor, yet. Just search and find it within the heart to forgive.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 10:24 AM, retrocycle wrote:

    What the writer failed to mention is the "controlled bankruptcy" that totally undermined the rule of law by giving precedence to the unions over the bondholders and leaving the shareholders with nothing. The federal government cannot truly be a part of any solution when they are such a big part of the problem…

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 10:26 AM, gcblues1 wrote:

    no should be given a bailout on any loan for any reason. it is a sickness. should have let the banks and GM go through bankruptcy. now we have all the idiots that have degrees in modern dance and feminists studies wanting bailouts too. no bailouts ever again for anyone for any reason.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 10:28 AM, amitheonlysane1 wrote:

    Anyone else notice that he said that the stocks are staying low because of this and that he also just bought stock? This whole article is screaming "Hey! I bought stock, let's forgive this so MY stock will go up. So what if the rest of you get screwed."

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 10:31 AM, dv102 wrote:

    Why does everyone piss and moan on the gm and Chrysler bailouts, It saved a lot of jobs and also forced better management within the companies. The banks bailout on the other hand is a different story because their greedy tactics caused the collapse of the economy. And it seems no one is chastising them.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 10:32 AM, cwnuechter wrote:

    The bailout is forgiveable but the three decades of GM product I bought in the 70s,80s, and 90s was junk and will never be forgotten or forgiven.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 10:33 AM, REISIJP wrote:

    Ask yourself, if GM (and/or Chrysler) disappeared tomorrow, would you give up driving? Not likely. So why should we US taxpayers subsidize a poorly run company? That money would be much better spent by leaving it in the pockets of we taxpayers to spend on cars made by efficiently run auto companies who provide good jobs here in the USA, like Toyota and Honda.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 10:33 AM, VegasSmitty wrote:

    They should have let them go under. Pay the money back, now!

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 10:36 AM, ddbfool wrote:

    I can forgive the bailout, but not the Chevy Vega. I decided I will never buy another Chevy in 1976 after owning a one. fool me once shame on you....

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 10:36 AM, sagehopper wrote:

    And who are we "forgiving'? The very people that drove them into the ground in the first place. The UAW. They own about half of GM and Chrysler now.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 10:41 AM, Luke2059 wrote:

    Not sure everyone understands what GM did and is still doing and the reason I know this I live and work in Michigan.

    Here's is my list of thinks tha created a departing of GM & the USA.

    1) Profit Margins way to low, had to force suppliers into giving kickbacks 1988 - 2000

    2) Forced Bill Clnton into signing NAFTA

    3) Paid to move suppliers into new plants outside the US

    4) Imported Engineering from India to replace US engineers

    5)Used US bailout money for build highways in

    China

    6) GM is moving into China as fast as they can

    7 US will only be used for assembly of vehicles, 3/4 of the Jobs are at the supplier level for building a car, these jobs are gone and GM will not replace them with this CURRENT GOVERNMENT,

    It is more then apparent that GM looks at the US as if we are holding them back

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 10:43 AM, JePonce wrote:

    I do not blame GM. Corporate welfare is no different than Social welfare.

    Government rapes the taxpayer and re-distributes our hard-earned money.

    Government is the culprit.

    When you elect Socialists you usually get socialism.

    Unfortunately, people cannot take their anger out on the all powerful government except in the voting booth, but they can take it out on GM.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 10:44 AM, philthymcnasty wrote:

    By bailing the company out, we only delayed the inevitable. GM has not put the time, money, and effort into research like the foreign auto makers have, and it is already beginning to show. Honda and other japanese auto companies have built several research facilities around America, and are using these facilities to recruit engineers straight out of college. Its already showing, the value of their cars lasts longer then most of the competition. Its a trend that can only be beaten by GM if they decide to put the money into research, and it will have to be a LOT of money for them to catch up.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 10:48 AM, ridgevilleguy wrote:

    GM paid their UAW workers thousands in bonus money, they should be repaying the taxpayers first.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 10:49 AM, mottledtool wrote:

    I'm amazed that we hear NOTHING about all of the pensioners that were robbed of their retirements when GM wiped out it's 'legacy costs' ( a comfortable euphemism for commitments to retirement benefits). Add to that the investors who were robbed of their stock investments and this bogus 'bankruptcy' becomes clear as the grand larceny scheme that it is. GM can never turn a legitimate profit until they repay all of the money that they have stolen.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 10:53 AM, epeon wrote:

    GM is owned by the US government and the UAW. Neither one of them have care for the fate of the investor. When times get tough, they will sacrifice the investor.

    Secondly, the UAW work rules still exist. This will always be an albatross around GM's neck. Sorry, if it has the union label, I don't buy it.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 10:55 AM, Old67Vet wrote:

    Forgive GM? They have gone out of their way to "pay" the Unions....FIRST. It was and IS the Unions that have driven GM to send 7500 jobs to CHINA........Reason? To be able to compete with NON-UNION car makers............Price any GM, compare it to any other make and see what the dollar will buy. The Chevy Volt, tax payers are LOSING money on them and so is GM.........

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 10:55 AM, kschlag wrote:

    I'd like to single out three groups in all this:

    1. Workers/Unions: Yes they get a good wage and good benefits, but they do as they are told and are the ones on the line adding value to the finished product. And the same UAW builds cars for Ford so if the unions are to blame then why did Ford survive?

    2. Management: This is where the problem was and Washington was right in routing out failed management as part of the bailout. The CEO of GM who reined over $82B in lost value still managed to make millions before pulling the rip cord on this ejection seat and walking away with another $10M "golden parachute"

    3. Shareholders/bondholders: You owned the company, your votes or lack thereof helped enable GM's failed management, yes the bondholders don't necessarily vote on management but they get to make decisions on thier investments and just like I would apply for a loan and have to prove to my investors that I was worthy, you failed to do a proper standard of care and you lost. You have no right to blame the rank and file workers or the union that represents them for you complacency regarding your investing decision.

    In the end, GM is better for it, thier products are better for it, and the country is better for it.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 11:01 AM, TMFTwoCoins wrote:

    @kschlag

    All fair points.

    To all, I'm pretty impressed with the comments! All are fair and valid points and not just angry bashing to the different viewpoint I put up.

    GM definitely deserved to go brankrupt, due to terrible, terrible management decisions. I do think we're better off as a nation with GM turning around and under different management. I guess I'm an optimist.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 11:05 AM, mrcando wrote:

    As a retired IBEW union member, I understand why unions had to come into existence and how they now have fallen out of favor with the public--Greed, on the part of business AND the unions. Americans are a greedy lot and it will be their undoing unless they can all find a common ground where everyone can work for fair wages. And that's going to mean fair wages for union AND management. The days of CEOs walking away with multimillion dollar retirement packages from a company going into bankruptcy have to end.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 11:07 AM, vbj108 wrote:

    GM now belongs to the union workers.

    Giving to them by Obama.

    That makes it a government car.

    No Thanks

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 11:12 AM, usaagain1 wrote:

    1.Should we have bailed them out? No 2.Did it retain jobs here besides union workers? Yes 10s of thousands 3.Do Unions hold on to the middle class? yes temporarily 4.Can you afford to live on 12.00 an hour? No 5.Did GM value their employees over investors? Yes absolutely 6.Do the profits spent on foreign made products remain here? No loss of US green backs in every transaction 7.Would I rather have Socialism over a stock market controlled Dictatorship. Yes

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 11:14 AM, millewk wrote:

    Really Mr. Miller, REALLY? Who benefited from the bailout? GM did that's for sure....The UAW, who probably is as culpable as the Company in the financial failure, received a 25% stake in the company. Let's now look at what happened to those who capitalized the business. You know Mr. Miller, those Bond holders like my 85 year old mother-in-law, who got thrown under the bus. The bailout of GM was successful but at what cost. I always bought GM cars and trucks, and I also had the privliage of bargaining and enforcing UAW contracts for a Fortune 500 company. I know who the UAW is and how they operate. I now have two Ford product in my garage and I will never ever own a GM product again. That's the least I can do for my late mother-in-law!

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 11:15 AM, herman48 wrote:

    I forgave them... But I bought a brand-new Ford F-150!!!!

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 11:15 AM, ptaylor1000 wrote:

    People keep saying Ford didn't take bailout money. Go back and check the records. Ford took more TARP money than anyone. That is money that does not have to be repaid. I am a 30 year GM employee. Not managment, but a hard working American. Thank you American tax payers for covering managment's ignorant choices. We say it every day. But they just would not listen to us peons. Our PSP and retirement was stolen from us by these managers. Things we worked long and hard for. Until you have worked in an assemble plant you can't imagine what it does to you and your body over the years. Once again thank you America. Give our products a 2nd look and 2nd chance. You may be very suprised.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 11:15 AM, vikingkeith wrote:

    I gave up on GM after owning two different vehicles in a row manufactured by them that had the thermostat fail every spring. When you can't make a simple heat sensor open a path for coolant to circulate and work reliably for more than a year your organization has failed at a basic level.

    I can understand the government needing to keep a large organization open to continue to provide average to poor quality vehicles at low prices. Also to employ people so they don't go on unemployment.

    I don't have to like it.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 11:15 AM, jimmymae wrote:

    Why America Needs to Forgive General Motors' Bailout?

    So that Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc can make more profit.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 11:16 AM, Hjin wrote:

    I can forgive the company. But I can't forgive UAW. Therefore as long as GM/Chrysler/Ford continue to hire UAW labor, I will keep my money away from these companies as both an investor and a consumer.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 11:16 AM, consumer909 wrote:

    Daniel,

    I would to add that

    (1) GM and Ford hire hundreds thousands of US college graduates, including engineers and scientists, for research and development. On the other hand, all foreign car companies, such as Toyota, hire no American engineers and scientists, except a handful to prepare documents (in English) to meet the Federal requirements.

    (2) Did not Toyota get more than $1.0 billion from Japanese government to start Prius project? DId not Mitsubishi get $2.0 billion to bid on Boeing 787 wing envelopment and construction? Government bailout process in Asian countries is continuous -- happens everyday in the name of creating jobs to their local people.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 11:20 AM, Lou1347 wrote:

    Bull ! If taking our money was not bad enough, while the people were against the bailout; Obama went much further and forced both GM and Chrysler to close dealerships that were owned by those who opposed him politically. This is more than dirty pool, but it is the tactic of a third world dictator to take away the financial support of his opposition.

    Obama does not win by fair play, or a better platform, but by lying, cheating, and buying votes with our money. He taxes the working people more to give it to the non working to buy their votes.

    I will buy my next GM car when hell freezes over.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 11:20 AM, noserico wrote:

    I read all the negative comments, many which I agree with.

    But If you feel the government should have not gotten into the bailout business to begin with, it began with the big investment firms, not GM.

    We can bailout Wall St, but not Detroit?

    Last point, as consumers, NOT as taxpayers, we have indeed been rewarded with very good GM and Ford products over the past five years.

    How have the banks returned the favor to consumers and small business?

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 11:20 AM, cityperson wrote:

    Why should the people forgive GM for taking out tax money to line the big wheels pockets and kiss the unions butts.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 11:21 AM, consumer909 wrote:

    @Hjin,

    European labor unions are 20 times worse than US. Besides guaranteed fat pension, they take vacation 2 times a year. Actually US labor unions are shrinking, and their benefits are being cut. Same for Japanese unions.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 11:24 AM, moparmuscle wrote:

    Chrysler paid it ALL back and i like HP so all you sallys can have your toyota's and honda's. Care to line up against my american made pro charged hemi for the titles so i can send your foreign junk to the junkyard.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 11:24 AM, hamboneham wrote:

    No forgiveness. GM CEO taking company to China, along with OUR bailout money.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 11:27 AM, consumer909 wrote:

    @ noserico,

    Excellent point. While banks are being bailed out "EVERYDAY" and Fed is supplying them with money with ~0% interest so they can charge consumers 5-20%, why not we bailout "ONETIME" so save and create NEW jobs and produce something useful, and sell abroad as well?

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 11:27 AM, gbull2tonite wrote:

    So, like, the government owns 11.4 Billion of a company worth $32.10 per share?

    Is this 355,140,187 shares?

    Previous shareholders got screwed, the privilege of the Capitalist System, which rewards Loss to those who invested,

    Who voted for the wrong people to run the company.

    Who vote for the wrong people today?

    And, QE3 is proceeding? Look at 15,000 number.

    Recession? in 2014-2015? I dunno. . . . . . . .

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 11:28 AM, rand49er wrote:

    Not one Swedish, German, British, Japanese, or Korean auto maker can say their government hasn't helped them out to one degree of another with direct infusions of funds, with tax incentives, with protective. tariffs, or some other kind of financial assistance. Go ahead ... name one. You can't.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 11:33 AM, CARLOSU56 wrote:

    ON MONDAY I,M GOIN TO GO TO THE BANK AND IM GOIN TO ASK TO FORGIVE MY 1000 DOLLARS DEBT, LET SEE WHAT THEY SAID..

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 11:34 AM, RockinTaz wrote:

    We will and never should forget a company for it's failing. They cost us billions and we had to bail them out. Mopar(Twice). They are actually headed down the same path especially Chevrolet by it's extravagant use of commercials. I choose a vehicle by it's usefulness and how the company plays itself. Ford has made some bad decisions but made many more good ones. When an investor won't help you because you are making bad decisions then YOU are in trouble. That is what happened to Mopar and GMC. I will ALWAYS choose the company that held out. I have TOTAL confidence and Respect for Ford.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 11:35 AM, gth265a wrote:

    Alot of people know that bail out of airlines, automakers, and Banks are all a racket in disguise.

    ciphoning tax payers money to the "right channels"

    They scare the tax payer that if we don't bail out this or that happen, so people don't complain. But one day the bubble will burst and people will realise the truth.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 11:37 AM, pwkrp wrote:

    Technically speaking, GM already has "paid back" the bailout -- some of it in cash, the rest with GM stock. The problem is this: If the government sold its stock at current prices, it wouldn't quite recoup what it lent to GM during the economic crisis.

    That's what commentators mean when they say that GM hasn't yet "paid back" taxpayers. In fact, the company has done exactly what it promised. But the stock price hasn't cooperated -- and that reflects badly on GM, particularly in comparison with rival Ford, which chose to borrow money privately instead of taking a government bailout.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 11:37 AM, wings12 wrote:

    Luke - Some comments to your list. I work for a company that is a supplier for GM and nearly all of the rest of the automakers that assemble cars in the USA.

    "1) Profit Margins way to low, had to force suppliers into giving kickbacks 1988 - 2000"

    All of the automakers force the suppliers to give the "kickbacks" or improved prices every year a product is in production. The suppliers work that into their initial price.

    "2) Forced Bill Clnton into signing NAFTA"

    GM never forced Bill Clinton to sign off on NAFTA. NAFTA was drafted by George HW Bush and ceremonially sign off by him and Canada and Mexico's leaders. Nearly all big businesses wanted NAFTA....

    "3) Paid to move suppliers into new plants outside the US"

    We have 6 plants in the USA that supply GM with parts.

    4) Currently working with GM engineers on a new program. Both are Americans and one got his doctorate from U of M.

    5 & 6) GM built plants in China just as all the other car manufacturers have since China is the worlds largest auto market. GM holds the largest share of the Chinese market at 15%. Is it wrong for them to invest there just as Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Kia, Hyundai, and VW have???

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 11:40 AM, RockinTaz wrote:

    Hey and to moparmuscle. I will put my 1999 Ford F250 SD Lariat DIESEL 7.3 up against your FAKE hemi any day of the week.

    You can choke on my black diesel smoke. I love killin these fake hemis.

    They were real in the 70's but not now.

    Can't stand Mopar or GMC anymore after they took MY money and ran.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 11:43 AM, Total06110 wrote:

    What Mr Miller and other government-interventionist types ignore is that a structured bankrupcy would have saved GM and investors and subcontractors. The Regime only saved the UAW. The taxpayer is on the hook for $ billions while GM's new manufacturing is being off-shored.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 11:50 AM, reallychilly wrote:

    Hondas are about 50 times better than anything that GM produces. I will never buy a bailout-mobile as long as there are Hondas on the market for me to purchase.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 11:53 AM, justcountry wrote:

    This article fail to mention the fact that even though Chrysler borrowed that money to re-tool their factories, that they paid it all back in 2012, They not only paid the principal but the interest which was in excess of 19%. Out here in the country, you will rarely see a Chevrolet or a GMC pickup and if you do, it's kid driving. All the farmers and ranchers drive either a Dodge or a Ford and they are all diesels. Dodges seem to dominate. GM did themselves in with their new electric car that is so expensive that they aren't affordable and most of them are leased to the government. For many years now GM has been building a sub-standard product.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 11:56 AM, texcruzzer wrote:

    WRONG! Japaneese imports did come to America with "high quality fuel effiecient" cars. They came here with small (therefore good gas mileage), slow, CHEAP cars. They were not high quality for another twenty years, they were CHEAP. They were dangerously slow and flimsey. Tin can, beer can cars. I was in the car industry for 45 years, including some time working for Nissan,back when their cars were named Datsun. Crappy bodies, barely working AC, incredibly bad wiring (of all things you would think they could do right), door and window mechanisms sucked. It's a long list. Meanwhile they marked up parts 300%. Americans were morons to buy such crap, and are NOT patriots to still buy Jap cars today.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 11:57 AM, marykuziel wrote:

    I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever buy GM...ever

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 12:02 PM, BrightonMMan01 wrote:

    Does the Moral Hazzard enter into this? Picking winners and losers. You bet ya! At the end of the Day the taxpayer and little guy was screwed again. The Big shots at the banks,The insurance companies, Car Companies reaped a windfall at the expense of the American Taxpayer. In the meantime countless car dealers, building supplies, small retailers went belly up so Guys like Jamie Diamond and Mazillo could live luxuriously while the little guy loses his job, His house and on and on. Instead of Bankers jumping out windows we've got regular folk commiting suicide while banks take their homes. Its all crap!

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 12:05 PM, User009 wrote:

    Was the portion where you did the math about 11.4 billion one dollar bills supposed to be a joke?

    12.5 tons equals 4,100 escalades!!!

    I shall use a magical comma in my rocket science.

    11.4 billion bills = 12,555 tons

    1 Escalade = 2.74(cw) or 3.6(gw) tons

    11.4 billion bills = 4582 or 3536 Escalades

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 12:08 PM, inreality01 wrote:

    The government should NEVER bailout any private business just as they should not be building stadiums for private businesses like the NFL, NBA and MLB. This is NOT the role of government and we should not ALLOW it.

    We have too much government and we have allowed it to interfere in our economy to the extreme. It regulates too much and taxes too much.

    We don't truly have a free market anymore. We have politicians that now pick which businesses succeed and which ones fail. It's pathetic and we should be ashamed of ourselves for allowing this to happen.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 12:14 PM, tweeter31469 wrote:

    dv102, What are you on about? The banks have been chastised every day by the people as a whole since 2007... Much more so than Chrysler and GM.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 12:16 PM, drew3rd wrote:

    It would take 20 minutes to fix everything wrong with your post. I will give you credit for pointing out that GOOD leadership (Mullaley) turned Ford around and that Ford is terribly undervalued. GM and Chrysler are a different animal. They didn't have the guts to confront labor for 40 years. Those legacy costs are eating them alive and they lost $9 billion this year alone, taking away stimulus. Where do you get $11.4 billion? Every credible accountant says it was more like a $25 biilion initial loss with losses as far as the eye can see. GM is a crap company for the opposing reason you so poignantly state in your second paragraph. BAD leadership. As long as they are churning out garbage no one wants, at the behest of their govt handler, they will continue to be a jobs program for the 21sy century, not an automaker.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 12:37 PM, inspnis wrote:

    And they took the money to China and opened three production facilities which are now called China-GM Motor Company-

    Screw GM -

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 12:38 PM, AmericanFirst wrote:

    Daniel,

    GM Bailout is much more than the $50B in bailout funding. You didn't mention the $45B in deferred tax benefits Obamruptcy extended to GM, which will prevent GM from paying corporate income taxes for years! GM basically received $50B in bailout funding / $45B in income tax benefits for only "out of pocket" costs of $5.5B (GM's recent purchase of GM stock from the gov.). Obamarutcy is and was an insult to capitalism, where the gov. financially advantages one company over another (GM vs Ford). As a result of Obamaruptcy's gov. recaptialization of GM, GM has an equity/debit ratio 6 times better than Ford's, more cash, less debt which supports more product / plant investment. marketing incentives, for product investment, marketing incentives etc. Ford has two competitors in one, GM and the governrment. Where's the public outarage? Why does the financial community get orgasmic with any positive info. regarding GM and punishes Ford for it's great performance. Did you notice how Ford's stock price dropped after their stellar 1st Qtr. earnings, and how GM's skyrocketed after announcing profits that were half of Fords and much worse than prior year? Is it because they were bailed out too?

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 12:44 PM, AmericanFirst wrote:

    ptaylor1000,

    I challenge you to prove Ford took more bailout funding than GM. The gov. does not have one cent of equity in FORD.

    I'm sorry your comments are due to complete ignorance ...PROVE ME WRONG!!!!

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 12:53 PM, TMFTwoCoins wrote:

    @ Americanfirst

    To your first point, I might take a deeper dive focusing on your first paragraph, but this wasn't the article for that.

    To your second point "As a result of Obamaruptcy's gov. recaptialization of GM, GM has an equity/debit ratio 6 times better than Ford's... etc"

    That isn't why Ford has more debt than GM and resulting equity/debt ratio. It's because about 85 billion of Ford's debt is actually from its Financial division. Read here - http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2013/04/05/fords-huge-...

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 12:53 PM, traildog41 wrote:

    This article does not provide all of the details and facts associated with the auto bailout. First I question the number of jobs it saved. Mosted would have been saved by a regular bankrupcy. Second the goverment invested +/- 50 billion in GMC alone and only +/- 22 billion has been paied back. The treasury has 500 million shares it is holding, which amounts +/- 15 billion. The government has invested +/- 12 billion in GMAC which is now Ally Bank. The goverment lost +/- 3 billion on Chyrler. This is a totlal lost ,possible, +/- 42 billion and not a lot of chance of getting over 15 billion back.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 1:00 PM, rebtk1 wrote:

    Who is this Dennis Miller that we should maybe forgive Obama, Unions, and GM. They built crap and it did not sell. Their Union workers were making over $30 / hour back in the 70's. Honestly, how many Commerce laws were broken or "bent" for OBatcrap to do what he did. I lost a smart amount of stock value for those illegal actions.

    Forgive, Nope. Not in this world nor the next.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 1:10 PM, AmericanFirst wrote:

    TMFTWOCOINS,

    I'M quite aware that most of Ford's debt lies with FMC, but that does not discount that Obamaruptcy relieved GM of approx $30B of debt, which contributes to their very favorable equity/debt ratio and the associated relief of interest expense.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 1:12 PM, Mark29999 wrote:

    I would never purchase a GM product. The bailout should have never happend. All it has done is reinforce irresponible risk in business. Is the government going to grant me a bailout if I lose my savings on a bad investment? Exactly, that's why the bailout should've never occured. It set a very bad precedent.

    I'd rather take the shoe leather taxi that buy GM. Also don't give me that crap about saving jobs, if those employees lose their jobs then they should take that up with the CEO of GM the was raking in $14,900,000 in 2008 & current CEO who's pulling in $7,700,000.

    Who gets paid like that when your company is a disaster. It's crazy! Mark my words it'll happen again because now these guys know they have a permanent life jacket in Uncle Sam. Uncle Sam said they were to Big big to fail. Really? If your too big, haven't you become a monoply and should be broken up.

    All of this is just one big ponzi scheme and eventually the house of cards are going to fall.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 1:29 PM, globeflyer wrote:

    This article overlooks one of the basic principles of life and business. Both have a life-cycle. GM was not allowed to either "adapt or die", which did nothing but cast a darker pall over their already weak reputation. Americans, as a whole, did not, and do not, approve of the GM bailout. The only true beneficiaries were unions and politicians.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 1:39 PM, letsgo325 wrote:

    I remember when HD was bailed out by Regan, he knew the Japanese were waiting in the wings to swoop in and take that brand over same thing with GM.

    I do agree on one thing the Unions are just as greedy as can be $40 an hour jobs to do $10 work especially with a majority of the auto factories being run by computers.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 1:48 PM, GeeBee103 wrote:

    It is not the bailout that is the problem. It is the fact that the bankruptcy process was short circuited by the bailout. Without a desperate creditor's committee and company, GM's bankruptcy process failed to achieve a new business model. All it did was scrub the balance sheet and whack the non union employees. That is a set up for future failure. Just ask TWA.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 1:52 PM, enofile wrote:

    I just do not get it his math.

    The gov't loaned GM about $50B. This saved 1.5M jobs, GREAT !! the bailout was good and what we needed!!.

    Then he says if GM paid back the loan now - by buying back the stock, the gov't would lose $11B. And he demonstrates how much $11B is by saying it could pay 220,000 salaries. Frankly I think it could create even more than that if invested in programs to build infrastructure or invest in things. I do not think we should be afraid of stimulus programs and gov't assistance for industries that help us all (like energy independence).

    So let GM buy back the stock now, let the gov't lose $11B. Its unfortunate but maybe was worth it.

    But why suggest that since the gov't is underwater on its investment in GM, that we should forgive the entire $50B? Ludicrous. Just so he and other investors can have a GM free of this debt. BS. America invested in GM. It was good for us all. They were going to go bankrupt and stockholders would have had nothing anyway. The bailout saved 1.5M jobs. Great.

    We can wait until the GM stock is higher and the govt wont lose money. But that wasnt the deal it seems. At least according to this article the deal was a stock buy back not that we get the $50B back. Fine. GM is profitable NOW. Buy back the stock NOW. the govt takes a $11B loss and GM is rid of this debt. Maybe $11B was worth saving the 1.5M jobs. But obviously GM doesnt have the cash or inclination to outlay this cash for buyback now. And the writer just wants us to forgive the enitire $50B so GM stock can soar. FORGET YOU.

    Isnt it funny how folks are in favor of handouts and welfare when its corporate welfare, but programs that would help every day folks and suggestion of forgiveness on upside down mortgages or more govt stimulus to help with jobs is all met with "no". Just give me my $50B so my GM stock can go up. This article is one of the worst ideas I have heard. It makes no sense. Let GM find a loan from a bank and buy back the stock and the govt can take a loss on $11B. but no bank would loan that money to GM or GM can afford the cost of that. So the govt can keep GM propped up until it can afford to repay/buy back. Fine. GM and its investors just need a long term view. As it earns profit, some portion needs to go each yr to buying back some of the stock until its all repaid, maybe at a loss for the govt but forgiving all $50 is just insane.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 2:07 PM, coastalcordage wrote:

    Regardless of the outcome the political schemes that placed underhanded import and export tariffs unfairly against American manufacturing and which more than benefitted foreign imports was as much to blame as anything. American manufacturing sold it's soul to the political machine way before the bailout. The same bailout proposed by bungling politicians who more than played just a simple hand in this catastrophy in the first place.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 2:14 PM, smokey1111 wrote:

    Forgive G.M. NO WAY they went bankrupt to get rid of there stockholders!!!!!!!

    They took the bailout invested the money for the interest, and made more money!!

    Now they hire workers an pay them less then the older workers they have. Making more trouble between the workers by hiring less people then they need an making everyone work harder.

    We should forgive them the debt NO WAY

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 2:49 PM, explorerruss wrote:

    Forgive that much debt? Why? GM execs stiffed the American public for years. Bush and Pres O should never have bailed out either GM or Chrysler. They still don't put out a product comparable to Toyota or Honda. Rather than bail them out, bust them up. They destroyed Oldsmobile, Plymouth, DeSoto and.....I can't remember all the brands and I can't begin to mention all the other great car companies THEY put out of business. Pay up or pizza will send out for you.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 2:53 PM, kane1457 wrote:

    I wont forgive or forget GM for taking my American tax dollars for a bailout only to use it then screw me over by sending my American job, making the package bearings for said GM trucks over seas to Korea and causing my American plant, employing the same Americans that paid for their bailout, to unemploy us.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 2:56 PM, harmonj3 wrote:

    This is the worst suggestion I've ever heard, and you should be ashamed of yourself for writing it. They never should have been bailed out in the first place. Besides, who cares about a recovery for Detroit automakers? Numbers prove that the Japanese companies produce and manufacture a larger percentage of their cars here in the states than the 'American' companies do. We can't support the wasteful practices of mismanaged companies, or we won't survive another 20 years.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 2:56 PM, achilles62 wrote:

    Americans have cause to be at odds with many of the costly and egregious decisions made by our government and our corporate officials. What is worse, this bad thinking is seeping into areas besides the auto industry. I was a young family man who went to GM to purchase my first car. Lets just say that I could not express my true feelings about this purchase and remain on this site. I have purchased Toyota cars since that time and I have less problems from the six cars that I purchased for me and my family than the one GM I purchased.

    Yet, I have been impressed with the strides that GM and Ford seemed to have accomplished in recent years. Their cars seem to be eliciting less complaints and more compliments these days. Somehow corporate America had forgotten how to make a profit by volume sales versus high prices for each unit sold. The automakers and businesses in general, fail to realize that quality is also extremely important to the average consumer. Consumers who works hard for his or her money and expect to get what they paid for.. Quality is the number one thing most people look for and expect when making a purchase.

    Yes it will take a lot of convincing before I would give up my trouble free driving experiences with Toyota. The funny thing is most American when given a choice of equal quality would buy American even if it cost a little more money, at least I would.

    Insofar as those who criticize unions try reading about the life the of a factory worker before unions came into existence. Everyone has a right to have a decent living if he or she is willing to work hard.

    Our government invested in America. I would have preferred to have seen better terms but the bailout helped save American jobs. This should remember when our country doled out infinite amounts of money for wars that have nothing to do with the best interests of our country.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 3:01 PM, stormerF wrote:

    So now it is OK for the Tax Payers to lose more money? why should the tax payers lose a penny on a private company? If need be the Tax Payers needs to take GM and destroy their idea of production of an electric car that they are losing tax dollars on trying to get people to buy. Cut the Unions out and hire all those illegals Obama wants to issue green cards to. An 6th grade educated illegal only needs $9.75 an hour to screw nuts and bolts on cars while the computers do the hard work.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 3:06 PM, usc1801 wrote:

    I will never forgive the politically motivated bailout of GM. Their management and mostly left-wing unions ran the company into the ground. They deserved to go bankrupt like any other company. Only because of the UAW and the money they gave OBama were they bailed out. Worse, those that invested money or bought GM bonds were totally screwed. I will NEVER forgive GM for this. And further, I will NEVER buy a vehicle made by the UAW. While I admire Ford for not taking taxpayer money, their vehicles are still made by union thugs. The UAW is free to give millions to the socialists but I'm also free no to buy anything made by them!

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 3:22 PM, Hamburg8 wrote:

    Americans need not forgive GM, they took that 700 Million from the taxpayer, and they opened 11 factories in China and have over 2000 dealerships in that country. Here, in the USA the Union owns 1/3 of the company assets, same as does the Federal government, sounds to me like WWII in Germany- Hitler did the same thing with their car companies. No one I know will buy any GM vehicle ever again, and it used to be my choice for all my transportation.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 3:25 PM, swhitefeather wrote:

    I am not surprised. Here I am living in this country and I cannot even afford to go grocery shopping like normal people, I do not have enough money to pay my basic bills. I have been surviving in these conditions for some time and I have a college degree, have applied for numerous jobs and not even given a chance. You say that it is okay to bail out a super rich company with billions of dollars while many people are denied basic necessities just to survive? I think why am I so depressed beyond anything I can even identify?

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 4:16 PM, luckyagain wrote:

    Lots of comments and a ton of emotion. Letting anger decide your investment might make you feel better but it also makes poor use of your money.

    Should anyone invest in GM or Ford? Well Henry Ford went bankrupt twice before starting the current Ford Motor Company. So if the criteria is that any company that went bankrupt should be boycotted as an investment, then Ford would be on that list.

    As for GM, it did go bankrupt, if you doubt it just ask the stock holders. There is a lot of anger about the so called bail out of GM, but it was decided that allowing the whole US auto industry disappear was not an option. Let us be honest, if GM and Chrysler had gone into liquidation instead of a reorganization, then the whole US auto industry would have disappeared. There would be no cars being manufactured in the US. The reason is pretty simple. The US auto industry consists of a few auto companies that do the final assembly of the cars. Most of the US auto industry is made up of thousands of companies that make sub-assemblies of cars, they are 2nd and 3rd tier manufactures of car parts. Without GM and Chrysler to buy the parts from these thousands of companies, they would have also gone bankrupt. The foreign auto companies also use the same sub-assemblies for building their cars. The foreign auto companies would have shutdown production in the US because they could not build cars without the thousands of parts from the 2nd and 3rd tier manufacturing companies.

    That is just the economics of auto manufacturing in the US. That is why GM and Chrysler were allowed to go bankrupt and reorganize to stay in production.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 4:31 PM, profitsB4patient wrote:

    What we are facing now; Bankrupting our country the ppl our children our future: America,Americans,do not forget GM and the bailouts and the politicians and executives and the bureaucrats that profited off the ppl and our childrens backs

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 5:02 PM, Ronmc2 wrote:

    Where do you get $11.4 Billion still owed? Must be Liberal Math. Do you work for Obama?

    They "borrowed" $50B(after blowing off all the bond & shareholders), and gave us 500 Million shares of Magic Beans @ $80. It is currently @ $30($15B).

    Cash for Clunkers was a GREAT idea(for the Dealers) until you add all the Independent Shops that suffered or went out of business because of it.(including all those ancillary businesses that you are so quick to point out).

    So maybe we should Bail-out ALL poorly run businesses? Think of all the jobs THAT would "Save or Create"?

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 5:16 PM, foolsall wrote:

    Bailouts of the Privates, is Anti-Capitalistic. The Big, Brash, too big to Fail, Companies need for their Stockholders to take it in the Shorts; and, maybe, next time, Management will be more responsible. TARP is another good example. That Decision was the most Un-Democratic, and Anti-Capitalistic action ever taken by Tyrants in the White House, Treasury; and, certainly in the Fed.

    The Era of Free Market Capitalism has been over for a long, long time. Maybe, as far back as Richard Nixon. We have an Economy today Managed and Controlled by the Powerful Financial Interests of this Country; and, they are doing a darn good job of enriching themselves in the process. Witness then; the continued growing strength of a Financial Oligarchy.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 5:20 PM, virgohamilton wrote:

    They won't forgive me of my $6000.00 student loan so why should we forgive them of the 50 Million bailout?

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 5:38 PM, foolsall wrote:

    The only difference today between State Controlled Capitalism in China; and, a Managed, Crony, Capitalistic System like we have today in the U.S., is: During a period of 15 years; China has raised 400 million people out of Poverty, and into their defined level of Middle Class; while, the U.S. (for all it's boastful propaganda), has sent 50 million people to the poor house. Average income levels are now back to what they were 15 years ago. Further, China has $3.2 trillion in the Bank; while the U.S., has allowed the Rich, Special Interests to raid the U.S. Treasury. Today, the U.S., is a dead nation Economically - - it is Broke!

    The Fed is forced to print worthless Greenbacks in order to buy back the Nation's Debt, as it comes due.

    In sum, which of the two Systems: China and the United States has served it's peoples the best, during the past 15 years? It ain't rocket science, friends!

    . . . And this should warm the cockles of your heart: the interest we pay yearly to the Chinese for the Debt they buy of ours; pays for 85%, of their Military Budget. Shocker - - I know - - but True!

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 5:49 PM, foolsall wrote:

    Vigro, you make a good point. But, the answer is, many (most?), most Student Loans were/are financed by Greedy Anti-Capitalists, charging usury interest rates. Capitalism as conceived by Adam Smith, was fair and equitable.

    Just look at what Banks are paying on savings accounts; what home mortgage rates, and auto loan rates, are today. You, along with millions more, are being screwed by the Rich, Moneyed interests in this Country.

    Honestly, Bro . . . they don't give a, "rat's a . .," about you and the other students they are hosing. It's the bottom line, Bro . . . shareholder value . . . and, big, rich Bonuses at levels that are hard for the average person to even comprehend.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 5:57 PM, westguy2 wrote:

    Obama says we should forgive them since they are good Dumocrats, sorry I meant Democrats .

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 6:13 PM, JayhawkJoe23 wrote:

    No, we will not forgive the bailout to GM. They used hard earned tax dollars to bailout a bad deal with the unions. No way pay it back and pay it back NOW! This is crap, why would we ever forgive a $40 billion loan? Others paid back bigger loans with interst. Why can't GM? Why because the management at the top still craters to unions.

    America wake up! Get your money back NOW!

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 6:22 PM, Vicki551 wrote:

    I, for one, will NEVER buy a vehicle made by "Government Motors", EVER. I will only buy a GM or Jeep/Chrysler vehicle made before 2009. I believe it was despicable and UNLAWFUL to bypass or circumvent the legitimate bankruptcy laws on the books at the time and dismiss the legal claims of the preferred shareholders to bail out the unions and subordinate shareholders and creditors in direct violation of the law. I do not now, nor ever did, have stock of any kind in any company and do not know, or have ever known, anyone personally who was hurt by this travesty of justice but I believe in the rule of law. Many preferred shareholders in their 80s and 90s were completely wiped out in this unlawful scheme between the govt and GM and Chrysler. The employees who worked for these companies their entire adult lives thought they were setting up a secure future for their surviving spouses in their golden years that was completely protected from loss of at least the principal by law. It may have been foolish of them to put their entire portfolio into only one security but they had unwavering faith in the company and the law to back it up. Most of these newly impoverished 'preferred' shareholders were women whose husbands had given their entire working lives to these auto companies and thought they had provided for their families after they were gone. They were discarded like so much garbage for political expediency at a point in their lives when there would be NO possibility of recouping or replacing their only source of income. Had the companies gone through the regular bankruptcy channels afforded to them legally, they would have been purchased and/or re-organized under new ownership/management just as thousands of other companies that fall on hard times do every year in this country. This was done specifically for political gain and intimidation and to h3ll with laws or the lives of the people whose investments were literally stolen from them by the government and their union lackeys. It was an abomination and only one of the MANY laws of this land that have been blatantly and flagrantly violated since this administration took over the government.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 7:04 PM, quasimodo007 wrote:

    the Problem is their arrogance and their TRUE MOTTO is Now is GREED and Corruption and the GREAT American RIP OFF on the Poor Americans .

    they still want their Perks backs and their Huge bonuses and pay and Now bigger TAX Free Perks.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 8:59 PM, True411 wrote:

    Obama BOUGHT GM at a HUGE loss to the taxpayers. If Obama had arranged a loan instead of buying GM, the taxpayers would have been paid back. So WHY didn't Obama guarantee GM loans like the US did for Chrysler in 1979 (look up the "Chrysler Corporation Loan Guarantee Act of 1979") instead of BUYING GM and losing billions of taxpayer dollars?

    To save the United Auto Workers Union, that's why. If GM had gone through a civil bankruptcy, the union contracts would have been voided.

    And why would Obama want to save the UAW? Isn’t it obvious? The union is one of the top contributors to the Democratic Party. Duh.

    Why do you think Obama put Steven “The Rat” Rattner, the Wall Street crook, in charge of his Auto Task Force? After all, Rattner was under investigation for his illegal dealings with the New York State Pension fund, a crime for which he was later banned from Wall Street. There must have been some reason for Obama to name this known crook as his Auto Czar. Was it Rattner's experience running an auto company? NOPE. Rattner didn't have any auto experience, none at all. ZIP, zero. Rattner didn't even own a car. Why then?

    It was because Rattner's wife, Maureen White, was the chair of the Finance Committee of the Democratic National Party, that's why.

    Obama wanted to make sure that his Auto Czar would BUY GM, save the UAW, and make sure that all those union dollars keep flowing into the Democratic Finance Committee. GM could have been saved without costing American Taxpayers anything, but instead the taxpayers are out $25 billion. Obama’s decision was a case of corruption, pure and simple.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 9:11 PM, sunrise166 wrote:

    General motors is forgetting who bailed them out! They are not keeping track on how the dealership that sells the cars handle customers! They do not care! They are letting owners not follow up on complaints and make it right! After what happened I will notbuy another general motors car! They have let hubler chevy indianapolis indiana treat a disabled woemen and her mother like trash! They just wanted to make money! My mom and I took are 2007 chevy aveo to see how much we can trade it in! They sold are car while we were sitting in a booth! Thesalemen was let to sell the car without seeing we wanted a deal! The new car finance person and general manger take us to the used car ! They did not give us what are car was worth sold us a lemon, the car leaked bad brakes and tires! I called general motors they told me to write to the owner howard hubler! I did! He had another salemen called and said I like to mt with them We drove 45 minutes to get there and he went on a fishing trip! The salemen said this car that he wants you to have brand new at no cost! Well the ew car fiance manger and the manger said no! They charged us $21,000 for a sonic plus the payments for the chevy car that was bad! They did not buy it back completely! MY MOM AND i ARE ON A FIXED INCOME!wE ARE NOW TIGHT WITH THE MONEY BECAUSE OF THE PAYMENTS! GENERAL MOTORS REFUSED TO HELP!sO BECAREFUL WHO YOU DO BUSINESS WITH!

  • Report this Comment On May 05, 2013, at 12:44 AM, docfcc wrote:

    I don't think it is a matter of forgiveness, but more a question of determining the value and wisdom of any of the bailouts, Wall Street included. While the complete collapse of our banking and industrial base would have been quite painful with far reaching consequences, we will never know what may have replaced the very institutions and management strategies that brought us to the financial collapse in the first place. As I look around, it seems that the bailouts kept all the same power brokers in exactly the same position with all the same influence and propensity for greed and corruption. If the bailouts were meant to preserve the status quo so that we could go through this again down the road, then I would have to say mission accomplished. Nothing has changed except the illusion of security. The same major players are still in control secure in the knowledge that regardless of their recklessness, Uncle Sam has their back. I choose not to invest in GM not because I resent the bailout, but because I don't think that the company has fundamentally changed, their product faces stiff competition, and I don't see value in it long term. The bailout isn't the problem, it is just the band aid to cover up the problem-temporarily.

  • Report this Comment On May 05, 2013, at 1:21 AM, JimWherry1 wrote:

    Oh, no you don't! I am one of the 2/3's of ALL Americans - Left, Right and Center - who opposed the bailout of banks and car companies. I've been SNEERED AT, CONDESCENDED TO, and told I was a FOOL for not going along with this taxpayer-funded bailout of PEOPLE MAKING MORE MONEY THAN ME.

    NOW you tell me that it did NOT work and that I have to FORGIVE the money taxpayers paid into this debacle?!? NO WAY IN HELL!

  • Report this Comment On May 05, 2013, at 2:24 AM, mbearu2002 wrote:

    Some people never have a clue. First, many of the people yelling here about give me back my money, probably haven't paid crap for taxes.

    This article refers to GM like it's a living person. It states that GM thought it could do no wrong. GM was run by a few people who came and went. CEO's changed, they did what they thought was right. They made mistakes and misjudged what product's people wanted. The company GM isn't alive and doesn't make decisions. People made those decisions. GM as a company, gave a lot to this country in the form of jobs and a great standard of living. They did this at a time when most of the competition didn't exist. People are ungrateful and act holier than thou.

    Back then, GM was saddled with the pathetic unions who were like an anchor around the companies neck. Much of the union's gangster like behavior had a negative impact on the company. My dad worked and retired from GM. I remember him telling me on one of his pay checks that with his over time, he made over $30 an hour, and this was in the 70's. I loved my dad and was glad that he was making good money. But my dad had only a high school education and I remember wondering how GM could make a decent priced car when they were paying those ridiculous wages.

    My dad would tell me about the drunks that came to work and slept their hang overs off in the corner of the shop. I asked him why GM didn't fire these guys. He said that the union made it nearly impossible to fire them.

    GM was a product of American culture and the times. All of these jerks that are so quick to dump on GM because they needed some help. That help is contributing to our economy and has multiplied itself exponentially. What is a few billion dollars anyway compared to the way the U.S. government wastes money.

    For example, do your homework. The U.S. agricultural department has been criminally getting ready to pass out free money to "farmers" who supposedly were wrongly denied loans because of race. Yet, there was never any proof that anything other than credit ratings were used to determine loan eligibility. But the good old Agricultural Department, under Obama, is presently allowing people of numerous ethnic backgrounds to sign up for this free money with no proof that they were ever farmers. Almost 90,000 have signed up to a tune of about 4.1 billion dollars. Most are fraudulent applications to steal more taxpayer money.

    At least GM's help is accomplishing something good by keeping an American company in business and supplying badly needed manufacturing jobs.

  • Report this Comment On May 05, 2013, at 4:18 AM, Barquemaster wrote:

    It is just as well that Chrysler Motors isn't covered much. It is NO LONGER a U.S. company and is now an Italian company. Yes, they build cars in the U.S. just like they used to but just like Toyota, Volkswagen, and many other foriegned cars built on U.S. soil, Chrysler Motors is now a division of an Italian company, Fiat Industrial S.p.A. As of July 2012, Fiat has aquired a 61.8% ownership of Chrysler Motors with intention of buying more.

    We NO LONGER HAVE A big 3!

  • Report this Comment On May 05, 2013, at 7:48 AM, smooooothone wrote:

    First of all the government should never have allowed ANY foreign cars to be imported into the US. By doing that it would have been able to keep more jobs here and all the models from all the companies would still be produced. For the most part of all them. If you own a foreign branded auto you are to my nothing but a second class citizen who support foreign interests. Every dollar you spend on a piece of foreign junk most of it goes back to the home country...........so again............that is my opinion.........

  • Report this Comment On May 05, 2013, at 7:53 AM, stevema1 wrote:

    First Ford did not take a dime, gm (government motors SCREWED the investors or should I say o vomit screwed them, he screwed the share holders and the bond holders, they were the ones FUNDING that loser of a company that unions destroyed.

    Once that was done o vomit had to pay back the unions so he gave them controlling interest in government motors, and it did not stop there.

    o vomit then made sure most of the dealerships that were owned by people on the right were closed down, and then lets not forget Delphi If you were non union you got bent over and screwed without any lube. SO why should anyone want to invest in a company that SCREWS the money people??

    As far as I am concerned they have not made a profit UNTIL they have paid us back. The unions owe the money they should be forced to pay it back and if they fail again then so be it but this time let private people pick up the pieces and fix it.

  • Report this Comment On May 05, 2013, at 8:53 AM, Yonnavee wrote:

    Why was Ford even mentioned in this article? They didn't participate in the bailout! I'm safe--I only buy Ford's, but I really agree with an earlier comment. I got a college degree in order to get a decent job and provide for my family. Why can't that $40,000 be forgiven too? At least that would be an investment in an American citizen who is contributing to the economy through buying groceries, Fords, and paying my taxes. I wonder if GM/Chrysler even pay taxes?

  • Report this Comment On May 05, 2013, at 9:37 AM, Arthurellli wrote:

    I only buy American-made cars. Since the Ford Fusion is made in Mexico, and the Chevy Malibu has too many parts made overseas in China, if I have to get rid of my 1991 Pontiac due to inability to get a new A/C compressor (planned obsolesence,) I will be forced to buy a Toyota Camry, which has more American-made parts in it than the Malibu, and is actually assembled in the U.S.

    Chrysler is going to end up like American Motors did after Renault bought it in order to sell crap French cars through the AMC dealership network. Chrysler was doing well and was in the black before Daimler pulled its takeover stunt and mismanaged the company into the toilet.

  • Report this Comment On May 05, 2013, at 9:57 AM, ColdHardTruth wrote:

    Forgive it so corporate greed and the union can continue bad business practices and do it all over again?

    No thanks, let it sink or swim.

    Everything has an expiration date

  • Report this Comment On May 05, 2013, at 10:16 AM, denblack wrote:

    Oh Daniel--Oh Daniel

    There is SOOOO Much that you do NOT KNOW about this THEFT of Taxpayer $$$'s.

    As a 36 year GM ( when it was American ) Veteran, and Chief Engineer, I would be MOST HAPPY to "Brief You" on ALL that you do not know about this Taxpayer SCAM.

    My advice. SELL YOUR GM today !

    Retract your MOTLEY FOOLISH recommendation.

    PLEASE, PLEASE DO NOT do your readers a DIS-SERVICE like this !

    Just E-mail me if you would like to get a GM Education.

    denblack@cox.net

  • Report this Comment On May 05, 2013, at 10:34 AM, jims1950 wrote:

    it will be a very cold day in hell before gm ever sees my money again

  • Report this Comment On May 05, 2013, at 11:22 AM, sheldj0 wrote:

    I am a little confused as to why Ford is being compared to GM, since it was Ford that decided not to go with the government bailout, and as far as I can tell has been doing fine. I for one believe in buying American, it's just being choosy as to what products I buy. I would NEVER buy a GM or Chrysler product because of the government bailout. The fact that investors prior to the bailout were told tough luck by the government and the unions came out smelling like a rose with a majority of the stock in the company makes me completely sour on the idea of buying anything made from Government motors. Why on Earth would I pay the high dollars for those cars knowing that I'm still paying taxes for the bailout of those cars. My cars are all Fords, I feel comfortable that I'm not paying some union thug's salary out of my tax dollars and that Ford rebuilt their company on their own. Mismanagement yes it was part of the blame but the cost to pay for union jobs hasn't really helped either.

  • Report this Comment On May 05, 2013, at 11:27 AM, Purdin347 wrote:

    mismanagement, greedy unions and union workers, poor craftsmanship, getting away with ripping off the taxpayers for 11 billion dollars. another liberal writer calling for forgiveness. lol

    I own a chevy and i won't buy another ever, why spend money on a money pit. it isn't about forgiveness, it is about good stewardship of your money. and ford has nothing to do with this it is gm and chrysler

  • Report this Comment On May 05, 2013, at 11:56 AM, saltykitty wrote:

    Sir, people like you are the reason this country is in a free-fall. You may certainly pay the 11.4 billion owed to me if you wish, but if you think for one minute I will ever forgive this debt you are sadly mistaken. These two companies should have been allowed to completely fall flat on their collective butts...I for one will never ever again purchase a GM or Chrysler product, and I am ever so tired of bleeding heart liberal POS such as yourself telling me that I must have sympathy for a company structure that couldn't sustain itself. Get a clue dude, the American public are tired of bailing out every loser ass person and company in the world. Will be a Ford or import vehicle for this family.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2013, at 9:15 AM, jtmjr wrote:

    GM forced the only local dealership in our small town to close. The owners did not want to close, but bigger pockets in the bigger cities wanted the small local dealerships to close. We still can't buy a GM car locally. This loss still hurt the sales tax revenues in out area.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2013, at 11:21 AM, sid6 wrote:

    GM and Chrysler, A.I.G. Insurance, Bank of America, Citibank, and the list goes on, No to Banks, No to Wall street, No Government bailouts, Our Government continues to over step it's bounds, When a business goes under, it doesn't just up and disappear, It gets sold off in piece's, parts or as a whole at discount prices, Smarter investor's are able to profit from this, job's are created by this, as people would be needed to dismantle or restructure these companies, One person's loss is another's gain, It would have created just as many job's going under as it supposedly saved, Wealth does not vanish, it simply changes hand's

  • Report this Comment On August 24, 2013, at 2:10 PM, MotleyFoolStinks wrote:

    This was a union payout that we will never get back. I want my money back!

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