Here’s a video just released by those wonderful folks at the Democratic National Committee. It claims that the bad Republicans were wrong about the auto bailout because the companies are still in business and have paid back the money they confiscated from taxpayers.
This partisan video may be effective, but it’s wrong in very important ways. I’ve already explained in a previous blog post why the General Motors bailout was not a success.
The Chrysler bailout also is a failure. Here’s what Conn Carroll wrote for today’s Washington Examiner.
American taxpayers have already spent more than $13 billion bailing out Chrysler. The Obama administration already forgave more than $4 billion of that debt when the company filed for bankruptcy in 2009. Taxpayers are never getting that money back. But how is Chrysler now paying off the rest of the $7.6 billion they owe the Treasury Department? The Obama administration’s bailout agreement with Fiat gave the Italian car company a “Incremental Call Option” that allows it to buy up to 16% of Chrysler stock at a reduced price. But in order to exercise the option, Fiat had to first pay back at least $3.5 billion of its loan to the Treasury Department. But Fiat was having trouble getting private banks to lend it the money. Enter Obama Energy Secretary Steven Chu who has signaled that he will approve a fuel-efficient vehicle loan to Chrysler for … wait for it … $3.5 billion. …to recap, the Obama Energy Department is loaning a foreign car company $3.5 billion so that it can pay the Treasury Department $7.6 billion even though American taxpayers spent $13 billion to save an American car company that is currently only worth $5 billion.