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Christy Romero, a special inspector general examining the corporate bailouts that came in the wake of 2008's financial crisis, has some advice for the U.S. government: "Treasury should develop a concrete exit plan for GM and Ally." She is referring, of course, to the 30-percent stake that the government still holds in General Motors and the 74-percent stake it holds in Ally Financial, formerly known as GMAC when the Treasury pumped $17 billion into it.

The United States government still has a vested interest in the success of General Motors. In fact, the U.S. government is sitting on 500 million shares, which are currently worth about $14.3 billion dollars based on current prices. There is a problem, though, as the U.S. Treasury Department was hoping to get a larger pile of green for its GM investment.

While we wait for the Cash-for-Clunkers bill to come out on the other side of Congress, there's already incentives available from the government that you can take advantage of when purchasing a new car. The main one is deducting the fees and taxes paid on a new car in next year's tax returns. Previously this tax deduction was available only in states that used a sales tax, but the U.S. Treasury announced this week that it would be extended to states without a sales tax like Alaska, Delaware, Haw

Facing a looming June 1 deadline to reach agreements with the bondholders and union, General Motors may have failed to come to terms with the former, but it has reportedly arrived at a tentative concessions agreement with latter. The deal puts the United Auto Workers' trust fund in charge of future health care costs in exchange for a 17.5% stake in the reorganized General Motors. The U.S. Treasury is still expected to take the controlling stake in the reorganized company.

According to The Detroit Free Press, the U.S. Treasury has dumped another $7.5 billion into GMAC's coffers just two weeks after the bank was told by federal regulators that it needed billions in order to survive. In another government-backed boost, GMAC is now allowed to issue FDIC-insured debt. Both actions are reportedly designed to help restore faith in the damaged U.S. credit markets.

The U.S. Congress will be seeing a bill this week that, if adopted, would allow automakers the ability to obtain $20 billion in federally backed loan guarantees. The bill is open to any auto manufacturer including foreign-based Toyota and Honda, but it's clearly targeted at the domestics. As the credit ratings of the Big 3 continue to drop, this bill could potentially save them hundreds of millions of dollars while fomenting the development of clean-air technologies. U.S. Representative Mike Rog

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