GM True Lies Redux: A Time to Boycott?

In yesterday’s post about GM’s touting of their TARP payback (with interest!), I asked the following question:

“Unless GM is engaging in financial shell games of a kind that would put Bernie Madoff to shame, how is it possible for a company which posted a $4.3-billion loss for the half year after “emerging” from bankruptcy last summer,  lost $30.9 billion in 2008, and has laid off nearly 65,000 workers over the past year expect to a) build good cars that consumers want to buy, b) keep up payments to unions and union healthcare trust funds, and c) pay back their debt to American taxpayers?”

Clearly, I’m in good company, as American Thinker‘s Joseph Ashby arrived at the same “shell game bordering on fraud” conclusion (UPDATE: HotAir calls “shell game” too):

“So how did a recently bankrupt company which is still hemorrhaging money pay back a multi-billion dollar loan five years early? Could it be that the mountain of bailout cash was much more than turned out to be necessary?

“It’s hard to conclude that the repayment is anything other than a political and marketing ploy where the federal government receives “repayment” with the very same loan money handed out starting in 2008…

“Over-lending on a loan to achieve quick initial repayment (and thus inflate the loan’s perceived value), in the private economy, is called fraud. Where did GM come up with the money? It’s a question that merits asking.”

Ashby then links to FoxNews, which splashes cold water all over GM’s initial triumphant “pay-back” announcement in an article outlining Sen. Chuck Grassley’s (R-IA) letter yesterday to tax-cheat Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner:

“It appears to be nothing more than an elaborate TARP money shuffle…”

“The bottom line seems to be that the TARP loans were ‘repaid’ with other TARP funds in a Treasury escrow account. The TARP loans were not repaid from money GM is earning selling cars, as GM and the administration have claimed in their speeches, press releases and television commercials.” [emphasis mine]

TARP watchdog Neil Barofsky supports Sen. Grassley’s conclusion:

“I think the one thing that a lot of people overlook with this is where they got the money to pay back the loan. And it isn’t from earnings. … It’s actually from another pool of TARP money that they’ve already received,” [Barofsky] said Wednesday. “I don’t think we should exaggerate it too much. Remember that the source of this money is just other TARP money.” 

Barofsky told the Senate Finance Committee the same thing Tuesday, and said the main way for the federal government to earn money out of GM would be through “a liquidation of its ownership interest.” 

Grassley criticized this scenario in his letter. 

The taxpayers are still on the hook, and whether TARP funds are ultimately recovered depends entirely on the government’s ability to sell GM stock in the future. Treasury has merely exchanged a legal right to repayment for an uncertain hope of sharing in the future growth of GM. A debt-for-equity swap is not a repayment.”  [emphasis mine]

I’m torn, here. GM is, at best, deliberately misleading the public; at worst, the company is outright lying to us. I want to suggest a boycott of GM cars (for those who would actually consider buying a GM car in the first place), but if nobody buys their cars, they’ll never pay back the TARP money.

…Hell, they’ll never pay it back anyway. Go ahead and boycott ’em!


8 Responses to GM True Lies Redux: A Time to Boycott?

  1. Tom Beebe says:

    I’ve asked five St Louis GM dealers to tell Gm that Whitacre must go for lying. Time for honesty in the auto biz, and it has to start at the top. No surprise that Whitacre would lie so blatently for Obama; after all it was the government that got him his job and billions of taxpayers dollars. Why don’t you join me in asking for his resignation?

  2. Gerry Ashley says:

    At face value, that makes sense. My ownly question, Tom, is this: Who are you “telling” when you “Tell” GM to get rid of Whitacre? You’re essentially telling the Obama-backed union. And just whom do you think they will choose to replace Whitacre? You can bet it will be just another stooge-puppet for the union and Obama.

    With Whitacre, we know we have a a primetime commercial demonstrating just what a lying, deceptive tool he truly is.

    Put in a replacement and we have to start all over again. Maybe simply boycotting GM is the answer. It’s no longer the GM of old. They’ve canned Pontiac and Oldsmobile (and I’d be nervous if I owned a Buick dealership…

    Now that the Union has control and ownership of the company, GM no longer stands for General Motors, nor does it really stand for Government Motors. It stands for Greedy Mobsters.

    But like any greedy individuals, they will pluck away the value GM once had until there’s nothing left, and sit there scratching their overstuffed heads wondering how GM managed to fail in the end. And they won’t have a clue that the answer is facing them right in the nearest mirror.

  3. Tom Beebe says:

    You have to choose your opponents. Pick one who is not so large (as are Government Motors and the UAW) that they can ignore your Grand Rants. I picked the dealers, singly or as members of NADA, their trade group. Picket signs saying GM lies might have an impact. My phone calls have elicited two virulent phone responses. try it. A few hundred will get the dealers steaming.

  4. […] lawmakers are showing concern with GM’s blatant attempt to mislead the public. Along with Charles Grassley (R-IA), Sens. Tom Carper and Richard Shelby have also voiced their discomfort with GM’s […]

  5. […] more lawmakers are showing concern with GM’s blatant attempt to mislead the public. Along with Charles Grassley (R-IA), Sens. Tom Carper and Richard Shelby have also voiced their discomfort with GM’s […]

  6. Dan says:

    Why doesn’t Whitacre just keep walking his obnoxious, less-than-frank self out a doorway and into the middle of a street? This is the most insincere ad on television and has enticed me to NEVER buy a GM vehicle. I suppose he’s banking on the fact that if people see this ad enough times, they’ll eventually believe his tripe. Anyone who thinks TARP funds given to GM is akin to money the company has earned because of its success is gullable beyond belief and will probably buy a Cobalt. Whitacre could walk aggressively in the direction of the camera, run toward it, or even do cart wheels-a lie is still a lie.

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