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Amid the general hubbub of the press conferences and concept vehicle reveals yesterday, U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi wandered her way through the Detroit Auto Show. Traveling with a lot of Michigan politicians – including Rep. John Dingell (D) and Rep. Fred Upton (R) – Pelosi visited automaker booths and checked in to see what the taxpayer money has been up to recently. The "investment" that the taxpayers made in the auto industry last year, she said at an event at the end of the day, was "about protecting American jobs and the environment." Protecting some of that investment in greener vehicle technologies with a serious gas tax – something that Dingell has supported in the past – was not in the cards right now, she said, because there just isn't enough support for it in Congress. Instead, Pelosi said that upcoming climate change legislation would address some of the same issues that a gas tax would get at.

On top of the bailout funds, government money was apparently well-received by the auto industry, Pelosi said, because the bipartisan, bicameral delegation heard "over and over and over" that the Recovery Act money had boosted research and progress. She said the delegation would return to Washington, D.C. with a message of optimism and that "we've been impressed."


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  • 15 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Are all of you people nuts? Everyone is in an uproar about the bailout of the auto industry. First of all I'm not saying that these idiots who were running these auto companies were not dowright stupid in how they ran their businesses. Just for the record I think some of them should have been taken out behind the barn and well.... you know. But the reality of the bailout is this. For years and years the auto industry has created an enormous cash flow (tax revenue) for the government. It's real simple people, 16 million new cars sold at an average price of $25,000 per unit and an average 5% sales tax comes out to?............ Well anyone? 20 billion a year for the gov. This does not include the hundreds of thousands of auto jobs all paying fed-state-ss taxes all going to the GOV. Then add in the taxes paid on corporate earnings, taxes on earned income from dividends paid etc... and you have in about two years what has been offerd back as a LOAN to these guys. They are paying it back. It's not just vanishing. What we as Americans must do is remember that this money is being paid back and as far as I can see has not been mentioned in the Fed Budget. Where oh where will these monies go when paid back? Lets wait and see this dog and pony show. Also, as owners of more than half of GM, where is the income from the dividends going to be applied?
      I have not seen anyone asking about this so lets keep our eyes on the prize when they actually do pay back the money and where it goes.
      But really, the money loaned to them is just a fraction of what they have offered to the government over the years in tax revenue.
      So shut the hell up about what was done. Lets watch how it's handled on repayment.
      • 5 Years Ago
      What a disingenuous hack. A pox upon them.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Every once in a while a chuckle head says something with a Kernel of Truth. Using the pattern of Senator Corker, the tools of free enterprise were used to restructure the auto industry. Instead of the 30 years of bankruptcy and reorganization that was needed to make the US steel industry the profitable envy of the world, the auto industry was forced into and not given just a a bailou,t but a cleansing bankruptcy and achieved almost the same in 30 days of pain.

      I still expect that the Ford shoe will need to drop at some point, but it won't be in the midst of a credit freeze up as in the Great Recession. A Great Recession brought on by the avarice, greed and stupidity of Franklin Raines, Jim Johnson, Jamie Gorelik, Barney Frank, and Chris Dodd, un-prosecuted Democrats all.
      , .

      So two out of the three companies are now much healthier and able to compete.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Actually, Ford IS healthier, now that the Fusion Hybrid is setting sales records, and their other small cars are also selling well. Without a bankruptcy, they have good credit and can more easily borrow money, and at a better rate, than either GM or Chrysler.

        As much as the right would like to, we can't put all the blame on Democrats. After all, the Republicans controlled the House, Senate, and Whitehouse for the first 6 years of the Bush Jr. administration, and they ran congress for several years before that. The "Borrow and Spend" Bush Jr. conservatives managed to double the national debt, adding 5 trillion. When a war became necessary, instead of asking for sacrifice and raising taxes to pay for it, Bush Jr. took the economically suicidal approach of cutting taxes. The resulting debt load is a major factor in the current recession.

        Then to add insult to economic injury, the Republicans reduced or eliminated many of the financial regulations that were stabilizing the economy, which resulted in the scandalous financial misdeeds that in turn triggered the Wall Street meltdown.
      invisiblepigeon3
      • 5 Years Ago
      Pelosi is so full of s*** that she farts instead of burping.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If I was an automaker I wouldn't want the gov't endorsing my vehicle seeing as how unpopular, untrusted, and incompetent they all are. But some of those guys have to because they suckled the almighty teet of the gov't.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Of course nearly everything Miz Pelozi saw was planned before any of the bailout monies as it takes a long time to come up with the ideas, then development and then the actual build.
      • 5 Years Ago
      John Dingell stopped CAFE standards from being raised many times because it was not good for his constituents.

      Since 2007 he wants a tax hike on gas? Boy has he done a 180. He finally pulled his head out. Took long enough, poor old guy. Forget the poor part as he most likely is not.

      Maybe Mr Dingell isn't so bad after all.
      • 5 Years Ago
      What's up with ABG being swarmed with trolls? Would you rather have had Chrysler and GM go under and then have Detroit really be the unemployed capital of the world?

      Would you really rather have that much pain inflicted on so many people?

      Are you that heartless?

      These are real people's lives that we're talking about. This isn't a game. People are having it really rough and the US Gov is helping save jobs and helping people survive. If they hadn't stepped in... 10% unemployment would have looked great right now.

      Sure GM and Chrysler made horrible mistakes and the heads of the corporations should be punished - but not the people of Detroit.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Do you really think that ford is at a disadvantage? I know a ton of people who won't buy anything but ford now because of the simple fact that they didn't accept government bailout funds.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The issue is where do you stop? What about the airline industry? How about trains? GM and Chrysler failed over many, many years of mis-managment. Now because of government action Ford, which played by the rules, is at a competitive disadvantage because they did not get to "dump" their debt on the tax payer. How is that fair? If GM and Chrysler had been liquidated Chevy, Cadillac and Buick would still running with new owners as would Jeep and possibly Dodge. Yes there would have been job losses, but what happens when 2 years from now GM and Chrysler are still losing money? How much more do we pump into them to "protect" our investment?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Are you that heartless?

        Of course they are. The only thing that matters is right wing dogma and stirring up hate for the other side. Reality or truth is irrelevant.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sad that people are so ignorant of economics that they choose the short term illusion of gain over long term prosperity and economic security.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The issue is where do you stop? What about the airline industry? How about trains? GM and Chrysler failed over many, many years of mis-managment. Now because of government action Ford, which played by the rules, is at a competitive disadvantage because they did not get to "dump" their debt on the tax payer. How is that fair? If GM and Chrysler had been liquidated Chevy, Cadillac and Buick would still running with new owners as would Jeep and possibly Dodge. Yes there would have been job losses, but what happens when 2 years from now GM and Chrysler are still losing money? How much more do we pump into them to "protect" our investment? Eventually we will have to pay down this debt, unless you think we can keep spending money and everything will just workout.
      harlanx6
      • 5 Years Ago
      The partisanship is getting worse making a productive dialogue difficult at best. Ford alone among our home team is building cars the people want without huge governmental subsidies. They have done it by advanced engineering and quality control. Throwback brings up an interesting point because the future success of GM and Fiat is certainly not assured, especially since the government is now involved in their management. How many times do you resuscitate before you let the terminally ill die? Any time Pelosi's picture is on an article it polarizes response. Sometimes we lose sight of the fact that it is about producing viable vehicles profitably, not protecting workers. Automation is here to stay, and because of it, vehicles will be produced cheaper, and less employees will be required.
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