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DOUG SMITH: General Motors dodges debt and responsibility

5 Feb

Just another company propped up at the taxpayer’s expense…

doug smith

Author and historian, Doug Smith, is a regular contributor to Free State Patriot.

General Motors is an incredibly generous company. The 48,000 UAW members who work for them are very lucky, indeed, and ought to be congratulated for their good fortune.

U.S. taxpayers lost more than $11.2 billion as a result of the federal bailout of General Motors, including an $826-million write-off in March of 2014. Government loans to bail out GM (have you written that check to the IRS yet?) totaled over $ 49 billion dollars.

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Meanwhile, GM reported a profit for the 2014 of $2.8 billion. Of course, it would have been twice that, except that GM had to spend $2.8 billion as they recalled over 13 million cars: more than the total number they sold since bankruptcy ( and that bailout on which you so generously lost $ 11 billion ) in 2009. They also had to set aside over $400 million (so far) for payments to settle claims for the (so far) 38 deaths and 51 injuries caused by the ignition switch.

GM admitted that its employees knew of for at least a decade before the recall. GM was forced during a lawsuit over one of those deaths in 2010 to admit both the defect and their employees’ knowledge of it. GM eventually was fined the maximum $35 million by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for failing to report the fault within five business days, as the law requires. They are spending nearly $3 billion to fix the problem pay off the victims.

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I’m sure the families of 18-year-old Natasha Weigel, and the dozens of others killed by GM and its employees’ negligence and deliberate deception will find their payments quite generous, as will those with crippling, catastrophic injures, all because of GM, and its employees.

Indeed, I for one, am struck, nearly, (but not quite) speechless by the generosity of GM (with our money). GM s earning report, released today, includes the note that some 48,000 hourly employees (that is spelled UAW) will receive $9,000 in profit sharing bonuses.

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This is based on the profits before taking out half of it to pay for recalls, mind you, so they do not suffer any loss from the negligence and incompetence that sent out cars which proved to be instruments of death for 38 people. Furthermore, it is an increase over the $7,500 bonus paid last year, just a month before the Treasury wrote off that $ 826 million.

A little quick math helps to put it in perspective.

$7500 X 48,000 = $ 360,000,000

$9,000 X 48,000 = $ 432,000,000

$792 million in bonuses in 2 years for doing such a bang up job (Ooo, sorry about the pun) of making cars. Very generous, GM. The UAW is certainly did not have to take any $826 million bath on their money, like the rest of us did. Well done.

Of course, the UAW reflects that same spirit of generosity as its benefactors, GM, and us. In 2012, the United Auto Workers spent $11.8 million to help elect Democrats and President Barack Obama.

Or perhaps it was not so generous after all. Their return on that investment was 7,000%.

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