automakers bailout

Weighing the Paul Ryan Announcement

Paul Ryan

This weekend Mitt Romney announced that his running mate would be Congressman Paul Ryan from Wisconsin. Ryan gained a lot of notoriety recently with his better-than-Obama’s budget proposal, which aimed to balance the budget in the next 3 or 4 decades.

It’s a sad day for conservatives when the hero to save them from their budget woes needs 30+ years to balance the budget.

Still, Ryan is the latest non-libertarian making waves about balancing the federal budget, so I would like to believe that Romney’s pick of Ryan is more about sending a message that he is (or that he wants to be) serious about fiscal issues rather than a pick to appease the Tea Party folks who don’t really care for Romney.

I am, however, a bit confused over the Tea Party excitement of Ryan. Sure, Romney could have made a worse choice, but Tea Party leaders are acting like the problems with Romney have vanished now that Ryan is on the ticket.

Let’s remember this is the same Paul Ryan who not only supported TARP but went to the floor of the House to beg his colleagues to do the same. This is the same Paul Ryan who supported the auto bailouts. How do those positions qualify anyone as a fiscal conservative?

Taxpayers lose billions on GM bailout

General Motors

President Barack Obama staked his re-election bid partly on the notion that he rescued struggling automakers through expensive bailouts and, thus, saved Detroit. But what was one of America’s great cities has plunged into bankruptcy and taxpayers have been left on the hook for billions of dollars as the federal government seeks to unload its stake in General Motors (GM).

The Treasury Department has quietly revealed this week that taxpayers lost $9.7 billion in the Obama Administration’s bailout of GM, which was more of a bailout for the auto manufacturer’s labor unions that support President Obama than anything else:

Taxpayers still owed $133 billion in TARP money

Back when the Congress was taking up the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, which created the Trouble Assets Relief Program (TARP), as financial markets were taking a tumble, many free marketers warned that taxpayers would lose billions. Many members of Congress tried to play down the losses or said that taxpayers would even profit.

If only that were the case. However, the watchdog that oversees the TARP program says that taxpayers are still owed nearly $133 billion:

A government watchdog says U.S. taxpayers are still owed $132.9 billion that companies haven’t repaid from the financial bailout, and some of that will never be recovered.

The bailout launched at the height of the financial crisis in September 2008 will continue to exist for years, says a report issued Thursday by Christy Romero, the acting special inspector general for the $700 billion bailout. Some bailout programs, such as the effort to help homeowners avoid foreclosure by reducing mortgage payments, will last as late as 2017, costing the government an additional $51 billion or so.

The gyrating stock market has slowed the Treasury Department’s efforts to sell off its stakes in 458 bailed-out companies, the report says. They include insurer American International Group Inc. (AIG), General Motors Co. (GM) and Ally Financial Inc.
It will also be challenging for the government to get out of the 458 companies as the market remains volatile and banks struggle keep afloat in the tough economy, it says.

Congress authorized $700 billion for the bailout of financial companies and automakers, and $413.4 billion was paid out. So far the government has recovered about $318 billion. The bailout is called the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP.

Americans to Congress: Everything you are doing is bad

Well, almost everything, according to a recent survey by Gallup asking Americans adults (not registered or likely voters) what they thought about legislation passed by Congress since President Barack Obama took office last year, such as ObamaCare, the stimulus and auto bailouts. Um, yeah, they’re not real happy.

Here is a look at the party breakdown:

GM still taking from taxpayers

Do you still buy the claim from the Obama Administration and General Motors that the loans to the financially struggling automaker have been paid back? Then check out this video from Nick Gillespie and Reason:

They Still Don’t Get It!

I suppose that credit should be due to Senate Republicans who made the difference in defeating the Auto Bailout. I also believe that President Bush’s brazen act of shifting money to the automakers is shameful operation.

But then Senate Republicans release a letter pleading with President Bush not to usurp the decision of Congress on the automakers bailout.

So far, so good.

But then these Senate Republicans gave their reason for opposing the bailout as the refusal of the United Auto Workers to agree to a cut in wages.

These folks still don’t get it!

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