Comments about ‘Rodney K. Smith: Auto bailout highlights differences between Mitt Romney, President Obama’

Return to article »

Published: Friday, Nov. 2 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

Comments
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
Stenar
Salt Lake City, UT

GM and Chrysler already paid back the bailout.

Stenar
Salt Lake City, UT

GM and Chrysler already paid back the government for the bailout.

Nate
Pleasant Grove, UT

@Stenar "GM and Chrysler already paid back the bailout."

Technically true, but misleading. The payments were made in a mixture of both cash and GM stock. The Treasury still holds about 500 million shares. The price of that stock has fallen much lower than it was when the bailout was arranged.

So, if the Treasury were to sell its stock at the current price, the taxpayers would lose about $25 billion on the deal. That's more than a quarter the cost of the original bailout.

GM and Chrysler did what they agreed to do, but the taxpayers are still out $25 billion.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

@ Stenar. GM has paid back some of the bailout but not all of it and they never will. Next question: How did Fiat of Italy, end up owning Chrysler for not one dollar in payment? Such is the "success" of the bailout!

SLars
Provo, UT

GM gave stock to the taxpayers. It's not worth the amount lent.

Chrysler is no longer an American company. The taxpayers subsidized their sale to the Italians.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

I want to know who had the private capital available to take either GM or Chrysler out of bankruptcy in 2009? Who?

That is the biggest problem with Romney's claims. While the US was pumping money into the Banks to keep them solvent, who had the resources needed? It wasn't the markets. Trillions had been lost in the market collapse in 2008 and 2009. There was no white knight waiting over the hill with funds - unless you were open to having GM and Chrysler being Chinese owned.

Had the financial markets been healthy, Romney's plan might have worked. But they weren't. In 2009 our financial markets were on the brink of insolvency.

cjb
Bountiful, UT

President Obama is demonized for looking after the interests of the auto workers, but thats what Democrats do and thats why many common people vote for them.

The pension funds of the auto companies were not fully funded, except for the executives and CEO's. There ought to be a law, that if executive pensions are being fully funded so also should worker pension funds. Both funds ought to be one fund. No special priviliges.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

@ Uthabluedevil. Romney sited an example of United Airlines that declared bankruptcy and reorganized and restructured without on penny of taxpayer's money. Look at them now! Romney was absolutely right!

patriot
Cedar Hills, UT

Obama ended up doing a managed bankruptcy for GM which is what Romney also proposed. That isn't being reported for obvious reasons. Romney's plan would have saved millions however compared to Obama. People were mistakenly told by Obama and his media that bankruptcy means out of business which is absolutely FALSE! Lots of companies go through bankruptcy only to return leaner and stronger. Obama was all about getting the UAW support and nothing more. Obama never does anything without political gains and that is the BIGGEST difference between he and Mitt. One is a leader and the other is a Chicago politician.

Wonder
Provo, UT

Some of you sure don't remember 2008/2009 very well, do you? There was NO private money to bail the auto industry out. That was the whole point of the government involvement. It's like you people have amnesia about recent history. (You probably also think everything was just humming along perfectly until January 2009, right?)

Eric Samuelsen
Provo, UT

This column is factually inaccurate in at least one sense. If you read Steven Rattner's book Overhaul, you'll discover that the Obama administration's first preference WAS a managed bankruptcy. Rattner and his colleagues would have loved a private investor. None came forward. The bailout was their very last option, the last possible avenue explored. Governor Romney's criticisms are either uninformed, or mendacious.

Henderson
Orem, UT

Yep.

One bet against America. While the other did not.

It's that simple.

Maintaining a rock solid domestic car industry isn't a Demo vs Repub thing but an American thing. It's a security issue. Who builds our cars, trucks, tanks, etc? Do you really want to leave those things to be built by foreign investors and companies?

I didn't think so.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

@moutianman..... the two cases are not even close to bing the same, GM versus United.

If you want to use the United plan, then you need to mix in Eastern Airlines, Piedmont, TWA, PAN AM and the others that didn't survive bankruptcy and were either liquidated or assumed. Add to that, Untied did get federal dollars several times over during the 2000s. Additionally, the United reorg was also much different because it was largely a reorganization of leased asset commitments and the merger with a peer. There is next to nothing similar between the business models or debt structures to that compare to the GM or Chrysler cases.

Add to that this was not United's first dance at the bankruptcy rodeo dance.... they have been frequent visitors.

So if Romney really was using United as an example.... this is real disappointing. Which lends me to think if he did make this statement, he was talking to a crowd who had no clue. Romney is way too smart to make an analogy like that and think that people who understand this stuff would buy that line.

Add the United comments to the 47er comments.... .

SLars
Provo, UT

United transferred its traditional pensions to a government agency. Obama bailed out the Union pensions.

United is still an American company. And they took out bankruptcy once, from 2002-2006.

Steven Rattner the "car czar" for Obama and analyst for MSNBC? Since he's the bailout man, think he might be biased? There was money around, but GM and Chrysler were not worth it.

Obama was smart in making GM's president quit, but he did it because of pressure from both sides of the fence.

ronnie
sandy, utah

Let me ask all of you including the author are you looking at the facts objectively. Consider this. Romney's idea would have required that through bankruptcy creditors would have gotten maybe 20 cents or less on the dollar owed, assets would have been sold off (probably to multiple buyers), and layoffs would have occurred immediately. It is a stretch beyond reason to think that a company could survive all that and get loans to further it operations. Romney has been dishonest in many of his campaign statements. This is an example of one of them.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I agree,

“The electorate must choose between a community organizer, who believes in organized labor and government intervention in the interest of fairness,

and a businessman, who believes that individuals and businesses are the better sources of economic prosperity and jobs”,

Beyond the animosity of the writers words to lump working people into the dreaded and feared “organized labor” and the false notion that Romney has any respect for the individual,

I agree, President Obama is for people Romney is for business.

Conservatives, Republicans and Romney businessmen would have people be as cattle. Nurtured and protected as necessary by their owner masters only to the satisfaction of business goals.

The choice is ours, for the moment, do we want to be human beings or do we want to be cattle.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

@ UtahBlueDevil. I tried diligently to understand your logic (not withstanding your personal insults about my intelligence) that United Airlines bankruptcy is not comparable to what should have happened with GM. Are you saying we should have bailedout out American Motors or any of the other of dozens of car makers that went bankrupt? Have you considered the fact that the UAW got most of the bailout to shore up their pension funds with taxpayer money who then turned around and sent millions back to Obama for his re-election funds? Money laundering is illegal (unless of course its Obama doing it) and in the corporate world, the perpetrators of this would spend the rest of their lives in prison!

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

Mountainman - I made no reference to your intelligence, I challenged your understanding of the events. The comparison to AMC is yet another different problem in a different time example.

AMC failed because it was not selling cars. That was not United's problem whose load factors were just fine. Eastern Airlines was completely about unions, greed by the unions, and the failure it caused. GM had a sales issue as well, but also had capital markets that had no liquidity. Companies, even solvent ones, had lines of credit reduced. Apples and oranges.

Lets discuss pensions. Had GM gone through bankruptcy, you do realize that the unsecured pensions funds would have cost tax payers about 35 Billion - according to the GAO in 2009. Additionally, in order to get that bailout of the pension, 40 percent of employees took lower pay in the new deal.

And now, claims of money laundering. If helping a business, and then that business donates to your campaign equates to money laundering, well, we are going need a lot more prisons. Lets start with Haliburton and the previous administration with the no bid contracts they were awarded for Iraq, and the missing millions.

wrz
Ogden, UT

@ECR:

"wrz - Romney's Bain Capital was not 'in the business of saving companies;' they were in the business of making money for their investors."

Of course Bain made money... by saving companies from going out of business... and saving jobs. It's called capitalism. The economic system that America was built on. Obama wants socialism where the government saves companies by using taxpayer money and turning them into GSE's (govt sponsored enterprises).... if they survive.

wrz
Ogden, UT

@cjb:

"President Obama is demonized for looking after the interests of the auto workers, but that's what Democrats do and that's why many common people vote for them."

You got that right. Obama went after the union vote... and will get it.

The only problem is, it's unions who's killing our economy. It's unions causing jobs to be sent overseas. Unions demand, and get, high (even obscene) wages and benefits that foreign workers don't get. They undercut us. That's how they compete, beat us, and take our jobs... textiles, computers, toys, shoes, furniture, appliances, you name it.

Go to Wal-Mart or any big box store, look at anything for sale in the store (except food). Where's it made? China, Japan, Indonesia, etc. Even our service industry has gone foreign. Call your newspaper or telephone company for help. Who do you get? The voice on the other end will sound foreign... because it is, likely the Philippines, Barbados, Japan, etc.

The only way Mitt (or any president) will solve our economic problem and get people working again is to get jobs back from overseas. Which is a near impossible task.

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments