GM president to taxpayers: Thanks, suckers!
The outgoing president of General Motors has said that the company will not consider compensating taxpayers for the $10 billion losses incurred in rescuing his company. Todd Spangler of the Detroit Free Press (via USA Today):
The General Motors bailout may have cost the government $10 billion, but GM CEO Dan Akerson rejects any suggestion that the company should compensate for the losses.
He says Treasury officials took the same risk assumed by anyone who purchases stock.
"I would not accept the premise that this was a bad deal," Akerson said during a question-and-answer session at the National Press Club in Washington. He also said the government's $49.5-billion aid to GM helped save billions of dollars in tax revenue and government social services.
Akerson spoke in the wake of Treasury announcement last week that it sold its last shares in GM and Akerson's decision to retire in January. The automaker's board of directors named Mary Barra, the company's first CEO, to succeed Akerson.
In strictly legal terms, he is correct. The bailout deal was structured so as to screw taxpayers and bondholders, and protect the unions, who got to keep nearly all of the benefits they extorted out of GM, which incidentally were a major reason the company couldn't keep up with the competition. The fact the these same unions were major benefactors of the Democratic Party and the Obama campaign has nothing to do with their favored status. And incidentally, the law was violated in terms of the treatment of the bodholders, a case that is still making its way through the courts.