A group of leading conservatives issued the following statement against Obama’s approach to General Motors:
OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S UNPRECEDENTED BAILOUT OF GENERAL MOTORS
PUTS AMERICAN TAXPAYERS ON HOOK FOR $50 BILLION -SO FAR
With no vote of Congress, not a single public hearing and private meetings conducted largely by Obama Administration officials who were never subject to Senate confirmation, the federal government now owns 60% of one of the world’s largest multi-national corporations – and American taxpayers will be left holding the bill for years. The move not only provides huge potential risks and problems for the government, including the likely infusion of more capital in the future, but it also opens the door to micro-management of General Motors by federal officials and Members of Congress.
TAXPAYERS HAD NO SAY AND
CONGRESS HAD NO VOTE ON ISSUE
In December of last year, Congress chose not to act on legislation authorizing a federal bailout of the auto industry. Nevertheless, the Bush administration and now the Obama administration -without any legislative authority to do so – has provided General Motors and Chrysler with billions of dollars from the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), authorized by Congress for buying assets from financial institutions (not automobile companies). The Constitution and the rule of law seem to have taken a back seat to political calculations. Although the President claims he has “no interest in running GM,” news reports indicate that administration officials are involved in deciding the types of cars GM is to build and where their headquarters are to be located.
UNITED AUTO WORKERS OFFICIALS
FAVORED OVER TAXPAYERS AND BOND HOLDERS
The UAW, which provided millions of dollars in campaign funds and support for the Obama campaign in 2008, received preferential treatment over other creditors – in the end, a deal comprised of a whopping $10 billion in cash and a 17.5% stake in General Motors. Professor Todd Zywicki of George Mason University Law School offers an observation on this point: “Mr. Obama may have helped save the jobs of thousands of union workers whose dues, in part, engineered his election. But what about the untold number of job losses in the future caused by trampling the sanctity of contracts today?”
To get an inkling of just how favorably the UAW was treated in this process, consider that Obama administration officials at the Treasury Department have claimed a victory for new contract terms requiring UAW workers to put in 40 hours a week before getting overtime pay. (That’s the supposed good news.) The bad news is that UAW workers will still be allowed six unexcused absences before being fired. One final note that says it all: UAW President Ron Gettelfinger was an Obama delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
OVERSIGHT AND ACCOUNTABILITY MUST BE ESTABLISHED TO PREVENT WASTE FRAUD AND ABUSE OF TAXPAYERS FUNDS AND OBAMA NEEDS TO SET DATE CERTAIN FOR GM RETURN TO PRIVATE CONTROL
We call on Congress to instruct the Government Accountability Office immediately to prepare to take the steps necessary in order to protect the taxpayers’ 60% interest in General Motors. We also ask that the Treasury Department Inspector General establish a special task force to oversee and track the 50 billion dollars of taxpayer money provided to GM and President Obama to set a date certain for returning the company to private control.Duane Parde, President, National Taxpayers Union
The statement was signed by:
James C. Miller III, former Reagan Budget Director
Grover Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform
Wendy Wright, President, Concerned Women for America
William Wilson, President, Americans for Limited Government
Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council
David Keene, Chairman, American Conservative Union
Kenneth Blackwell, former Treasurer, State of Ohio
Richard Viguerie, Chairman, ConservativeHQ.com
David McIntosh, former U.S. Representative, Indiana
Herman Cain, President, THE New Voice, Inc.
Fred Smith, President, Competitive Enterprise Institute
Tim Phillips, President, Americans for Prosperity
Alfred Regnery, Publisher, American Spectator
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