In the op-ed piece, Whitacre is careful to express just how important the U.S. Government's bailout – an initiative known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP – was when $50 billion was added to the company coffers in 2009. But he goes on to say that government involvement has long since run its useful course, and its presence is now serving to hold back the automaker, rather than serve to secure the U.S. public's investment.
Writes Whitacre, pointedly, about the continued involvement of TARP regulators at GM, "The company already answers to a lot of constituencies: stockholders, unions, Wall Street and global competitors. Adding TARP to the mix for another few years, or even another few quarters, is not fair to GM or to the one million people it employs, directly and indirectly."
Whichever side of this debate you happen to fall on, it's well worth taking the time to read Whitacre's words in full, over at the WSJ's site.