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Blog: Capitol Corner: GM Bailout Expected to End Up Costing American Taxpayers at Least $10 Billion


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For those of you aren't familiar, in 2011 the Treasury sold its remaining shares of Chrysler to Fiat -- at a loss of $1.34 billion. However, they claimed the sale was "further evidence of the success of the Administration's actions to assist the US auto industry." I'm not sure about you, but I'm willing to bet even billionaire Bill Gates wouldn't call a $1.34 billion loss a "success."

And now the White House is at it again. The Department of Treasury announced earlier this month that it will sell another 30 million shares of the 241.7 million GM shares it still owns. The shares were purchased four and a half years ago as a part of the controversial auto bailout that included the federal government loaning $49.5 billion to GM. The Treasury Department has said it plans to sell its remaining shares of GM by early next year.

Like before, the president is claiming this recent sale is great news for the American people. What they fail to mention is that taxpayers are still $18.8 billion in the hole on the GM bailout alone. And if they were to sell their remaining 211 shares at the current price, which is around $34 a share, taxpayers would lose about $10 billion. In order to actually recoup all of the taxpayer money it "loaned" to GM, the government would have to sell its remaining shares for more than $80 a share.

The federal government should never have gotten in the bailout business and this recent announcement is just further proof of that. The American taxpayers should not be on the hook for bailing out failing companies nor should the government pick favorites when it determines which companies it will save and which ones it won't. Does anyone out there really think it's just a coincidence that the government bailed out an industry that the United Auto Workers (UAW) is completely reliant upon when they are huge donors to the president and his Democratic colleagues?

That doesn't come anywhere close to passing the smell test.

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