• Jun 11th 2009 at 7:03PM
  • 33
To date, the U.S. government has reportedly given General Motors, Chrysler, their financial institutions and various industry suppliers about $80 billion in taxpayer money, and Congress wants to know when we're going to get that money back. The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee held a hearing with the Auto Task Force for the first time to discuss the state of the government loans, as well as whether or not taxpayers will ever be paid back.

According to task force senior adviser Ron Bloom, there is "a reasonable probability" that some or all of the money will be paid back, but he was by no means "highly confident" that the money would be returned to taxpayers. He does, though, see "reasonable scenarios where taxpayers get their money back."

Bloom was a bit more certain, however, about the prospects of the auto industry receiving still more money from the government. Bloom said that it was the Obama administration's "absolute intent" not to provide future funding to the bailed out automakers, but he followed that with "never say never." That's far from a guarantee, but it would appear that more money doesn't seem to be in the plans.

During his testimony, Bloom also reiterated that the administration was a "reluctant shareholder" in the automakers, and that the government intends to get out the car business as soon as possible. When Alabama senator Richard Shelby (R) pressed for a timeline for the government to exit GM ownership, Bloom admitted that there was "no specific target" set.

[Source: The Associated Press via MSNBC | Image: Chip Somodevilla/Getty]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Every President in recent History has been using teleprompters, now how is that an argument for or against someone?

      Yeah but Bush was an Idiot because he couldn't speak well, even though he didn't use a teleprompter.

      How easy you forget.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The supplier bail-outs benefited more than GM & Chrysler.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Technically isn't welfare a "bail-out". When GM has to fire people to reduce expenses and possibly avoid a "bail-out", those people will still need money, whether GM pays them via taxpayers, or the government pays them via taxpayers.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Haha, this is good stuff.

      And yes, Obama is a socialist if not in words than in action. He has done more deficit spending than any president in the history of this nation, has increased government control of banks to a level not previously seen (including during the great depression), taken direct control of two of the three largest automakers and is now eyeing inroads into healthcare. He, like many on the left and right feels that, in general, American choice no longer matters and that only the government can pick what is "best" for you as if it was within their responsibility and control to do so. It is not.

      To quote P.J. O'Rourke: "America wasn't founded so that we could all be better. America was founded so we could all be anything we damned well pleased."
      • 6 Years Ago
      come-on. we'll see that taxpayer money come back:

      just only to those in Unions. Not to knock them, but these bailouts are to either Unions, pensions, and gov't-affiliated institutions (including universities, state employees, etc...), who members dio pay taxes.

      It's the rest of us (non-union, to professional, to investors, to business folks)nthat will never see our contribution of that 80B come back to us. Hence, one has to ask, who is really represented here? Is there some form of taxation without representation?
        • 6 Years Ago
        cwcentral, yes the auto bail-outs affect unions and pension funds the most, but don't forget that 1 million people nationwide depend on auto manufacturing. Letting GM go under would have a ripple effect putting litterally 1 million people out of a job, and you know the ripple effect that would have.

        The government has invested money into corporations and projects for as long as there was a government: The great railway system was put into place with tax $, and the Clinton administration did it too, successfully. Not only did these pay back, but they payed back more than the initial investment, the government actually made a surplus off of its investment.

        Saving GM is a gamble, it is a deal that will either collapse and put the Obama administration in deep trouble, or Americans will crown him the first King of America.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Oh how cute! The flunkies in the background are gazing adoringly at Mr. Obama. While he gazes adoringly at the teleprompter, mouthing the words someone else wrote for him to repeat.

      You won't see this on NBC news tonight, but I caught this live on C-SPAN and he closed with:

      "Goodnight, America. I'm ... Barack Obama?!?
      • 6 Years Ago
      some1: Yeah, I too saw the irony. It's a two way street, I guess.

      It's incomprehensible that the Obama administration could have invaded GM, kicked out it's leader and assumed control without an exit strategy! I say give us an exact pullout date, damn it! This whole operation has been unconstitutional at best and criminal and worst!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Just let us know when the first bodybags start arriving at Arlington, would ya?
        • 6 Years Ago
        How about a body bag big enough for the principles of freedom and private enterprise...

        At least the Iraqis are MORE free than they were. Can we say the same now?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Lives will not be lost but this process won't end without producing it's share of casualties.
      • 6 Years Ago
      No more auto bailouts?????

      Please read this article, it was written today by a Democrat and a Republican about what auto lobbyists are up to


      This is just the beginning.


      It's amazing how quickly a good idea can go bad in Washington. In January, we joined with Sen. Charles Schumer to introduce a bill that would allow Americans to trade in gas-guzzling cars in exchange for vouchers worth up to $4,500 toward the purchase of vehicles with greatly improved fuel economy. This legislation was modeled after programs in California and Texas that improved fuel efficiency, reduced pollution, and stimulated auto sales.

      Our "Cash for Clunkers" proposal was a win-win for the environment and the economy. Then Detroit auto industry lobbyists got involved. Soon a rival bill emerged in the House, tailored perfectly to the auto industry's specifications.

      The House bill was written so quickly that one of its main components -- a provision that would have excluded any vehicle manufactured overseas -- had to be removed because it violated trade laws. But the worst item on the auto industry's wish list is still at the heart of the bill -- a provision that undermines fuel-efficiency standards.

      On Tuesday, the House approved this legislation, which would subsidize the purchase of a new Hummer H3T (16 mpg) or a new Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 truck (15 mpg), but not a two-year-old Ford Focus (27 mpg) or used Chevy Colorado (20 mpg). A companion bill is pending in the Senate.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Same old GM, sale old Ford, Same old Chrysler, same old D3 at their best.
        • 6 Years Ago
        When introduced in Europe and here they were sold both on stimulating new car sales as well as getting clunkers off the road. So this is news?
      • 6 Years Ago
      No more money.

      Yeah. Like Pay-Go.

      Yeah, like they don't want socialized medicine, but single-payer system is good. (and they think people are idiots and don't realize those are one in the same thing.)

      I wouldn't trust anyone in government to hand me a piece of gum.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What the hell is that woman wearing?
      • 6 Years Ago
      "single-payer system = us taxpayers foot the bill."

      "And all you have to do is look at Canada and Great Britain and see that it doesn't work."

      No, you mean to tell me that government healthcare would charge taxpayers? Oh no! I feel so much more comfortable paying exorbinate premiums to private industry and having undereducated representatives playing doctor and deciding which procedures they will sign off on. This must be the better system since Saxxon knows the TRUTH.

      You mean, all I have to do is listen to BS stories about how bad waits are for service in those countries through your choices of media, rather than just use advanced communication and ask my own sample of people what their experiences with those systems are. All I have to do is listen to the TRUTH, right? Blowhard.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Before we all whine and get pissed at Obama, how about we first listen to him and read his plan in detail? It hasen't even been released and some are already forgetting logic.

      Healthcare in America is horrible unless you have a full wallet, and most people can't even afford a good insurance or doctor's visits because providers can charge you $700 for diagnosing a cold while the same procedure would cost $50 in Europe. If you have a severe health issue, insurers simply cancel their plans and you can die quietly at home. Nice system eh?

      Heck, my local 24h clinic charges $90 just for signing up, before even seeing a doctor!

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