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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 5/9/10

G.M.s Repayment of "TARP" Money Not What it Appears

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Here's a story that may have gotten missed particularly with the BP Gulf of Mexico oil disaster and the Times Square would be bomber grabbing most of the headlines.

But thanks to Gretchen Morgenson's reporting in the New York Times and close eye scrutiny by Senator Charles Grassley, Republican of Iowa (yes a Republican doing the right thing) the story of "General Motors, which on April 21 paid the balance of its $6.7 billion loan under the Troubled Asset Relief Program"[1] (better known as "TARP"), was according to Grassley "really a government-enabled TARP money shuffle."[2]

Despite G.M.'s extolling itself in a national T.V. ad that said, "G.M. is able to repay the taxpayers in full, with interest ahead of schedule,"[3] and the U.S. Treasury issuing the following press release, "We are encouraged that G.M. has repaid its debt well ahead of schedule and confident that the company is on a strong path to viability,"[4] (this from Tim Geitner, the Treasury Secretary), in reality (as Grassley discovered when he queried Treasury), they "confirmed that the money G.M. used to repay its bailout loan had come from a tax payer-financed escrow account held for the automaker at the Treasury."[5]

Yes that's right boys and girls of America, the "truth" of the matter is G.M. took other taxpayer money in the form of its escrow account and used it to repay the taxpayer (TARP) bailout money it received.

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So which of the obfuscators are you more irritated with, G.M. or the Treasury (or both equally)? And why the sleight of hand money maneuvers?

It wasn't as if the public was clamoring for its money to be paid back anytime soon. In fact, if you asked most people they probably figured the bailout money the government gave G.M. would never be repaid to the taxpayers; "forgetaboutit" as a mobster would say.

Would it be safe to presume that this is an example of why many people believe the big corporations and the government is one and the same, thieves and racketeers playing the public for a sucker?

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Is that too harsh a judgment? Not to this observer. When public relations "propaganda" replaces truth telling from government officials (who after all took an oath), then why believe anything they say is the factual truth. The big corporations are known to be habitual liars. It is expected of them. But when the people's government representatives (whether elected or appointed) join the corporate chorus of cheats and liars, then nothing should be taken at face value. Better yet, a healthy skepticism should be the approach one should take when any of the "culprits" makes an announcement (ad!?) or issues a press release.

So folks "it" keeps on coming. The "it" of course is the collusion of government and business in less than open and honest transparency. Is honest government and legitimate business practice a naïve notion? It is if we the people don't actively demand and expect it. Suffice it to say, our passivity in the face of the type of G.M. / government collusion in disseminating hogwash is the enabling factor for them to keep on doing it.


[1] "Repaying Taxpayers With Their Own Cash", by Gretchen Morgenson, "The New York Times", May 2, 2010.

[2] See footnote #1

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[3] See footnote #1

[4] See footnote #1

[5] See footnote #1


 

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Dave Lefcourt Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Retired. The author of "DECEIT AND EXCESS IN AMERICA, HOW THE MONEYED INTERESTS HAVE STOLEN AMERICA AND HOW WE CAN GET IT BACK", Authorhouse, 2009
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