TARP

Oh look, we lost money on Chrysler

When you or I make an investment, we try to make at least a little bit more than we put in.  We don’t always do that – that’s the nature of investing after all – but we try.  When we fail, we tend to take our lumps as they are, but we acknowledge that we lost out.  Of course, if you’re the United States government, all bets are off.

Allegedly, it was an “investment” to bail out Chrysler.  Now, they have supposedly paid back all their loans.  The United States government is out.  Fiat is the major stockholder with over 53% of the stock.  The US government lost a significant sum of money in the process too, but they’re not sweating it:

Overall, $1.3 billion will not be recovered from the bankrupt Old Chrysler, but [ Treasury assistant secretary for financial stability Tim] Massad still called it a “major accomplishment.”

Losing $1.3 billion is a major accomplishment?  No wonder their answer to the national debt is more debt.

In all fairness, it’s possible Massad is saying that it’s a major accomplishment that Chrysler repaid anything on the loan.  That’s not really clear.  Of course, the United States of America apparently doesn’t really understand how loans work.  From the same CNN piece:

As part of the loan agreement, Chrysler was given until 2017 to return the bailout funds. If it had taken the full term, the interest accrued on the loans could have significantly reduced the government’s losses.

Want to spend more? Just raise your debt limit!

The folks over at Reason TV put together this short video back in March. It shows a family (the United States) that has nearly reached their credit limit because they have spent too much by money buying homes and bailing out banks. Instead of fixing the problem, the husband’s solution is to just “get more credit cards.”

Given the stalemate between the White House and Republicans, it’s looking like a real deal to address these problems won’t be reached and we’ll just see a capitulation to increase the debt ceiling and enable Washington to spend more.

UT Senate: Chaffetz leads Hatch

In a defense against criticism against his fiscal record, Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch recently claimed in a interview on Fox News that he is “one of the top conservatives in the history of this country.” The Club for Growth, a group that has not hid their contempt for Hatch, noted that his record has several negatives, including voting for the TARP bailouts, expansion of Medicare and No Child Left Behind.

While Hatch has declared that he will not share the same fate as his former collegue, Bob Bennett, a new survey from Public Policy Polling of a likely primary matchup with Rep. Jason Chaffetz shows that Utah Republicans may do just that.

Utah GOP Senate Primary

  • Sen. Orrin Hatch (i): 43%
  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz: 47%
  • Not sure: 10%

Interestingly, 60% of Utah Republicans approve of the job Hatch has done. However, only 45% of them believe he should the nominee against a generic “someone more conservative,” which received 44%. In case you’re wondering, Chaffetz is viewed favorably by 61% of Utah Republicans. Only 17% view him unfavorably.

Republicans in the state don’t necessarily hold a normal primary, at least not right off. To win without a primary, a candidate has to receive 60% of the vote during the state party’s convention. If no candidate receives 60%, the top two from the convention will go head-to-head statewide.

Anyway, if you’re Orrin Hatch, you certainly don’t like the outcome of this poll; but this will likely be a very messy primary.

Obama’s New Economic Advisor: Magic 8 Ball

On Friday, President Barack Obama gave a speech to address the latest monthly jobs report. If the consequences of his policies were not so disastrous, the speech would have been comedy gold. The history of Obama’s promises on the economy is a case study in cognitive dissonance, with promise after promise, then failure, then excuses and accusations. The only thing consistent when it comes to Obama and the economy is that when his predictions prove elusive, it comes as an “unexpected” shock to him and his diehard supporters in the media.

At issue is the jobs report issued by the Department of Labor for June, which reveals that a cadaverous 18,000 jobs were created for the month, 83 percent less than the 105,000 jobs predicted. The “unexpectedly” low jobs growth contributed to the rise in the unemployment rate, which rose to 9.2%. To put this in perspective, economists say that we need to create 125,000-150,000 jobs per month just to keep up with population growth, and we need to be creating roughly 300,000 jobs per month to begin seeing strong economic growth. The news was made even worse by the revelation that far fewer jobs had been created in May than originally reported, which was also “unexpected”.

Shortly after taking office Obama used the fiscal crisis to ram through the “stimulus” package, which we were told would keep unemployment below 8% if passed, and warned that unemployment would go as high as 9% if it did not pass. We passed it, and in the nearly two and a half years since, unemployment rose from 7.8% in January 2009 when Obama took office, to 10.1% in October 2009 (a full eight months after the bill was signed into law), hovered just below 10% for a while before dipping to 8.8% in April 2011. Unemployment has ticked up every month since, and Obama’s own Treasury Secretary warns that it could be more than five years before we see a drop to Bush-era unemployment levels.

Bachmann goes on the air in Iowa

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann is the second Republican to run ads in Iowa (Tim Pawlenty was the first), a month before the Ames Straw Poll, arguably the most important event for any of the presidential candidates hoping to show themselves to be a real contender for the nomination.

Given that the big topic right now is the budget and national debt, Bachmann makes it clear that she will not support an increase and highlighted her opposition to the stimulus bill and TARP bailout:

Thad McCotter to join a crowded Republican field

There had been speculation on this for several weeks, but honestly, no one really seemed to take it seriously. But it appears that Rep. Thad McCotter (R-MI) will announce his presidential bid over the July 4th weekend:

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich. will launch his presidential campaign on July 2, making him the third sitting member of the House to run for the White House in 2012.

McCotter will make his bid official in his home state of Michigan, according to a knowledgable source in the campaign who declined to be identified.

The five-term congressman has made stops in several of the early primary states and participated in the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans earlier this month. He joined the Iowa Tea Party bus tour this week during a stop in Ottumwa, Iowa.

When I posted Ron Paul’s campaign update a few days ago, I mentioned that he had secured the best booth at the Ames Straw Poll and in the post I linked back to Politco, they noted that McCotter also bought a booth through a lobbyist that refused to indentify what campaign she was working for.

The Trouble with Herman Cain

See Video

The Amazingly Accurate Predictions of Ron Paul

See Video

Gingrich loses more campaign staff

Nearly two weeks after senior staffers and others abandon his campaign, Newt Gingrich has taken another blow; this time losing his fundraising team:

Newt Gingrich’s top two fundraising advisers resigned on Tuesday, and officials said the Republican candidate’s hobbling presidential campaign carried more than $1 million in debt.

The departures of fundraising director Jody Thomas and fundraising consultant Mary Heitman were the latest blow for the former House speaker who watched 16 top advisers abandon his campaign en masse earlier this month, partly because of what people familiar with the campaign spending described as a dire financial situation.

These people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the campaign inner workings, said the former Georgia lawmaker racked up massive travel bills but money had only trickled in since he got into the race earlier this spring.

A spokesman for Gingrich says that the campaign will continue, “We are going to duct-tape together one coalition of Americans after another that believe in his large, bold vision of change.” I’d like to say that you can’t get elected on unicorns and rainbows, but I’m reminded of Barack Obama, who ran his campaign on two words; “hope” and “change.”

Over at the Washington Post, Chris Cillizza reminds us that Gingrich didn’t have the money to participate in the Ames Straw Poll, which is arguably the most important event for a presidential campaign supposedly trying to attract grassroots supporters.

FreedomWorks PAC to target Orrin Hatch

While some conservatives are lining up behind Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), FreedomWorks has made it clear that his days of selling out taxpayers are numbered:

It’s official: Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch is the first Republican incumbent who will be targeted by one of the nation’s most influential Tea Party-aligned organizations.

FreedomWorks PAC plans to launch a “Retire Orrin Hatch” campaign at the Utah Republican Convention this Saturday, the group’s first major move of the 2012 congressional cycle, The Daily Caller has learned.

The group says targeting Hatch is symbolic. It signals the beginning of the next wave of Tea Party activists working to replace Republican incumbents they see as too moderate and out of sync with a movement stressing fiscal conservatism.

“The bottom line is Hatch doesn’t represent the state of Utah,” said Russ Walker, the vice president of political and grassroots campaigns for FreedomWorks PAC. “The state of Utah is far more fiscally conservative than Orrin Hatch is. It’s an opportunity to pick up a seat, it’s an opportunity to find somebody who is better.”

Among grievances FreedomWorks has with Hatch is they say is a legislative history of voting to increase the debt ceiling 16 times, voting in support of Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) legislation and voting against a ban on earmarks.


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