The other day, somebody speaking favorably of moving the PawSox to Providence with a taxpayer “investment” cited the bailout of GM as an example of how taxpayers can actually get their money back from such activities. As it happens, I was just clearing out some old bookmarks and came across this, from Conn Carroll on Townhall:
In his 2014 end of the year press conference, President Obama claimed that, “effectively today, our rescue of the auto industry is officially over. We’ve now repaid taxpayers every dime and more of what my administration committed.” (emphasis added)
And it is true: if you look at only the new money the Obama administration spent bailing out General Motors, Chrysler, and Ally Financial, taxpayers did get back “every dime” of that cash.
But that completely ignores the $17.4 billion President Bush promised General Motors and Chrysler in December 2008.
If you take the entire Troubled Asset Relief Program bailout into account, taxpayers spent a total of $79.7 billion on the auto bailout, received only $63.1 billion back, for a total loss of $16.6 billion.
It’d be nice if we all could start learning our lessons on this stuff.