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Opinion

Government takes General Motors loss to protect UAW cronies

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Transportation,Michael Barone,GM,UAW,Cronyism

Remember how the Obama re-election campaign kept crowing that "General Motors is alive and Osama bin Laden is dead"? Well, Osama is still dead, and the government is now selling the last of its GM stock -- at a loss to taxpayers of $10 billion. Who has gained? Bloomberg's James Sherk has the answer: GM's UAW-represented employees.

Sherk points out that the government agreed to — actually, it engineered — terms quite different from those of ordinary bankruptcies. UAW members, unlike employees of bankrupt airlines, took essentially no haircut, and there was even $1 billion for UAW employees of Delphi, to whom GM had no legal obligation. (Delphi was spun off from GM several years before)

But, hey, the UAW kicked in heavily to the Obama campaign and to Democratic campaigns generally, and so they got paid off, in an episode of what I called "gangster government." Or in the style of Chicago politics. The later Mayor Daley was supposed to have said, when asked why one of his sons got the insurance contract at Chicago O'Hare International Airport, "If a man can't help his family, how can it be America?"

So our Chicago-based president helped his funders, at a cost to the government of $10 billion.

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Michael Barone

Senior Political Analyst
The Washington Examiner