In our opinion: No more 'Government Motors'


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  • Pendergast Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 16, 2013 7:23 p.m.

    to one vote

    What about shopping @ Walmart!?

  • Mister J Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 16, 2013 7:22 p.m.

    Airnaut (re 12/11 Reply to Mike R)...

    1 word comes to mind. BAZINGA!

  • casual observer Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 12, 2013 6:59 p.m.

    I'll never buy this or that…. It's called consumerism and there's nothing wrong with it. People in Cuba, North Korea and Venezuela seldom have that choice.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 12, 2013 7:11 a.m.

    Boycotting everything made in communist China must be mandatory. Throw out all Christmas lights.

  • louie Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 12, 2013 7:03 a.m.

    Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan government watchdog that wants to cut all energy subsidies, estimates that oil companies will receive $78 billion in industry-specific and broader business subsidies from 2012 to 2017. If we can give big Oil, which is extremely profitable, that much of a tax subsidy, is it not reasonable to think, where so much was at stake with these auto companies, they would deserve some level of assistance. Tell me why I am wrong.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Dec. 12, 2013 6:08 a.m.

    @Tyler D "When a company goes under shareholders should be wiped out."

    Correct. The other thing that should happen is that creditors in the same class share the pain equally. This is not what happened.

    Shareholders got wiped out...check.
    Bondholders took a deep haircut...check.
    UAW came out nearly whole, with a controlling interest in the company...what gives?

    "Further, given the choice between making [the bondholders] whole and us taxpayers taking on the failed pensions of GM's retirees..."

    This is a false choice. The government didn't have to take over GM in the first place. No takeover, no taxpayer obligation for the pensions, orderly bankruptcy. But, by doing the takeover, the Obama administration put itself in a position to get preferential treatment for its union cronies.

    You gave a great speech up there on using one's brain. Great speech.

    @UtahBlueDevil "It was a hold your nose and take your medicine time in our economy."

    Yes, for everyone except Obama's union pals. They got a special deal.

  • Jack Aurora, CO
    Dec. 11, 2013 9:21 p.m.

    I am surprised that nobody else saw what I saw in the opinion piece: the type of Bankruptcy advocated. Romney advocated for the Chapter 13 reorganization, not the Chapter 7 liquidation. That little detail seems to elude more than a few. GM and Chrysler should have gone straight to Chapter 13, without the government bailout which now has cost the taxpayers 10 Billion dollars. As it stands, it took two years and some sweetheart deals before it finally went that route, and again the little matter of the 10 Billion dollars we taxpayers are left on the hook without. Their business model couldn't stand, it should have gone to Chapter 13 right away, to reorganize and come out leaner. Smaller yes, but more capable of staying in business. No one I know wanted them to liquidate, like the "sky is falling" crowd over on the left side accused the right side of the aisle of wanting. It was mishandled from the start.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Dec. 11, 2013 8:38 p.m.

    Mike.... what you posted was an example of two forms of debtors... secured versus unsecured. But that does not relate to equity owners versus creditors. There are varying forms of each, preferred stock holders which have rights superior to standard owners of equity, and likewise a ranking creditor debt.

    I don't know the details of the Chrysler debt, since I didn't have a stake in that company. I in particular don't know the specifics about the contract signed between Chrysler and the UAW. I am sure the UAW lawyers made sure they were first in line.

    Often, employee compensation comes ahead of many forms of debt... and if this under funding was classified as back pay owed... that could explain why it got ranked ahead of the newer loans... which were entered into after the UAW contract. Hope that makes some sense.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 7:47 p.m.

    RE: Res Novae "Way to cast doubt on two data-driven arguments with...nothing. What an empty piece. " Indeed. The D-News should use its considerable intellect to take a position.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 7:24 p.m.

    There have been several posters who claim that union pension funds took precedence over bondholders. Warren Buffet disagrees. In "Assessing the Chrysler Bankruptcy" by Mark J. Roe, Harvard Law School and David A. Skeel Jr., New York University School of Law; University of Pennsylvania Law School; European Corporate Governance Institute, the authors wrote:

    "Warren Buffett worried in the midst of the reorganization that there would be “a whole lot of consequences” if the government’s Chrysler plan emerged as planned, which it did. If priorities are tossed aside, as he implied they were, “that’s going to disrupt lending practices in the future. If we want to encourage lending in this country,” Buffett added, “we don’t want to say to somebody who lends and gets a secured position that that
    secured position doesn’t mean anything.”

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 5:18 p.m.

    I agree; no more government aid for business operations of any sort.

    No freebies, subsidies, exemptions, or special deals for Churches, Charities, business operations, or any other group that provides personal income to its owner/managers.

    Government should be for the people and by the people.

  • Semi-Strong Louisville, KY
    Dec. 11, 2013 4:14 p.m.

    Mike Richards,

    Irrespective of whether you think we should have bailed out GM, in a bankruptcy most shareholders would have gotten bupkis. Zero. Nada. The big goose egg.

    Please clarify your point.

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    Dec. 11, 2013 4:13 p.m.

    "Those are interesting numbers, but no one knows for sure. And so the questions linger."

    Way to cast doubt on two data-driven arguments with...nothing. What an empty piece. It has nothing substantive to argue about whether the bailouts were necessary, offers no counter evidence save "no one knows for sure," and then concludes with the suggestion that the government needs to continue to monitor the company to prevent further corporate malfeasance, implying that government paternalism is necessary. I am confused.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    Dec. 11, 2013 4:12 p.m.

    Nice dodge --
    Now, answer the question, please.

    Do you own or drive a vehicle made in a "Socialist" country?

    BTW --
    How can you possible show an ounce of integrity or lecture me and my "oath" of defending America, while you go around buying products from Communist Red China?

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Dec. 11, 2013 4:10 p.m.

    Mike - You have no clue about how the law works. Again, as owners - shareholders by law are the last in line. There is not negotiating. The pension funds that were underfunded by GM were a liability. By law, they must be in line before equity owners.

    Obama broke no law… the law was executed as written. What you are asking to have been done would be criminal. I was a GM share holder. I lost my equity. I have also been on the side where debt owed by others to me have been cancelled by the courts because of scenarios like this. Talk to a real lawyer… not your political buddies. That LAW is really clear on this.

    If what you ask were actually put in action, it would turn the entire bankruptcy process on its head. Shareholders/owners are always last in line… always.

  • mcdugall Murray, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 3:53 p.m.

    The Government continues to bail out large companies each and every day through corporate welfare programs. Republican's are in fact socialists when it comes to using taxpayer monies to subsidize business expenses and pad already heavy profit margins for some of America's largest corporations. They just wont promote their socialist policies to directly help the poor and needy. So, anyone who claims Republican's are true market capitalists are in fact delusion.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Dec. 11, 2013 3:39 p.m.


    Thanks, you made me read what the experts say about who should be paid first. I'm afraid that the experts do not agree with you. Here's a quote National Affairs, written by Todd Zywicki about Chrysler (but it shows the ranking of debtors):

    "Chrysler had been unable to acquire routine financing and so had been forced to turn to so-called secured debt in order to fund its operations. Secured debt takes first priority in payment; it is also typically preserved during bankruptcy under what is referred to as the "absolute priority" rule — since the lender of secured debt offers a loan to a troubled borrower only because he is guaranteed first repayment when the loan is up. In the Chrysler case, however, creditors who held the company's secured bonds were steamrolled into accepting 29 cents on the dollar for their loans. Meanwhile, the underfunded pension plans of the United Auto Workers — unsecured creditors, but possessed of better political connections — received more than 40 cents on the dollar."

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Dec. 11, 2013 3:25 p.m.


    Unless you are a citizen of Japan, Germany, or of any other country that you mentioned, your point is nullified. We are citizens of the United States of America. You have stated that you have taken an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States. You have stated that you work for the Department of Defense. As a citizen, you and I are obligated to uphold the Constitution as written and amended, not as wished. The 5th Amendment states, in part: ";nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." Obama broke his oath when he took private property (stockholder's equity) and gave that equity to unions and to foreign governments without paying those stockholders "just compensation".

    Every citizen in America has the right to demand that all federal officials uphold the Constitution. No American can ever ask a federal official to ignore the Constitution as he carries out his duties as a temporary worker who serves us.

    Obama ignored the Constitution. What he did was far more than a "misdemeanor". He seized hundreds of millions of dollars and redistributed that money without giving just compensation.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Dec. 11, 2013 2:43 p.m.

    Mike Richards
    South Jordan, Utah

    Many of us will never buy another GM or Chrysler product.

    11:40 a.m. Dec. 11, 2013


    Two can play at this game Mike,

    I'm never EVER going to buy another Hostess product again in my life.
    or shop at WalMart or eat at McDonalds.

    so there, hrrumpf!

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Dec. 11, 2013 1:41 p.m.

    I too think Bush should've let GM fail. They created their own mess by building lousy products. Now they seem to have learned their lesson, but things might have been even better had a smart group of investors taken over those assets.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Dec. 11, 2013 12:44 p.m.

    hose who held shares in GM and Chrysler were put at the bottom of the "heap" instead of at the top, where they belonged."

    Mike, for one who professes to know the law so well, I am surprised to see you write this… that is not how it works…… ever… under any circumstances. Shareholders are "owners"… and owners are always paid or made whole after creditors.

    The Unions were creditors by virtue of the fact that GM owed the pension funds of the unions large amounts of money. GM had been underfunding these escrow accounts. It really is not discretionary like you make it sound.

    So this begs the question, are you saying the government should have broken the law, gone around existing bankruptcy laws, to put owners ahead of creditors in these proceedings? I guess you will be driving only Fords from here on out… because what you are asking for is… frankly … illegal.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    Dec. 11, 2013 12:19 p.m.

    Mike Richards
    South Jordan, Utah

    Many of us will never buy another GM or Chrysler product.


    So then,
    We can all safely assume you don't drive an evil sin-filled "socialist" made German, Japanese, British, Italian or Korean product either -- Fords and only Fords?

    I'm fine by that, if it's true...
    but your comments do tend to waffle and lack a rock solid-core of integrity.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Dec. 11, 2013 11:40 a.m.

    What the article does not address is how many policemen, teachers and other public sector workers lost their retirement funds (which consisted of GM and Chrysler stock) when Obama paid off the Unions and gave a large share of those companies to Canada. Those who held shares in GM and Chrysler were put at the bottom of the "heap" instead of at the top, where they belonged. Those who owned the company had first claim on any money coming in. GM's and Chrysler's unions funds had no more right to that money than Detroit's unions have the right to be paid at the expense of Detroit's creditors.

    Many of us will never buy another GM or Chrysler product. Ford's products work just fine for me and for my family. We will never purchase another product from GM or Chrysler until every share holder has been paid the full fair price for his stock and until the Unions hand back all funds that they received at the expense of the owners.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Dec. 11, 2013 11:29 a.m.

    Just like in the Book of Mormon,
    when God wanted to emphasis a point:
    "And it came to pass..."

    The older I get, and more history I witness be written...
    The more obvious and completely WRONG Republicans have become.


    Roland Kayser, blue ribbon winnner for Greatest line --
    "President Obama: Worst Socialist Ever. First he let the banks pay off their loans and now this."

    beautiful, just beautiful.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Dec. 11, 2013 10:55 a.m.

    @Nate – “The bondholders were paid cents on the dollar, the shareholders were all but wiped out…”

    When a company goes under shareholders should be wiped out. I know of no self-respecting free market capitalist who would find this disturbing.

    As for bondholders, their investments were not risk free either. Further, given the choice between making them whole and us taxpayers taking on the failed pensions of GM’s retirees, paying the bondholders pennies on the dollar seems the better choice.

    That said, had GM gone under in normal economic times I would have been against a bailout. Stock & bond prices would have been trading at prices that would reflect this possibility probably long before any bankruptcy occurred – again, little reason to feel sorry for investors here.

    However, given the unprecedented circumstances in 2008, I’m not sure the bailout was not a net positive (although Ford & Toyota may have justifiable cause to be unhappy about it).

    But I would prefer to decide the merits based on facts and careful analysis rather than plugging in a right-wing algorithm and seeing this as a cynical ploy to buy votes.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 10:11 a.m.

    @Tyler D "Since the bailout was started under Bush and finalized under Obama, who was buying which votes?"

    Since the bankruptcy proceedings which I suggested you examine more closely occurred in April and June of 2009...who do you think was buying votes? The bondholders were paid cents on the dollar, the shareholders were all but wiped out, and and the UAW came out with 12% ownership. Union votes don't come cheap.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Dec. 11, 2013 10:03 a.m.

    @Nate.... Obama already had those votes, with our without the buyout.

    The idea of having a foreign company come in and buy up the American manufacturing infrastructure just was not a palatable option - even if anyone did have the money to pull off such a deal. But that was the second part of the problem, capital liquidity was non-existent. The normal players who would have funded a buyout were also taking money from the government to get their books in order. There was no one that had the capital to spend.

    Add to that, if GM had gone upside down, all those pensions and retirement funds would have fallen on tax payers to bail out. So it was an ugly deal in an ugly situation... that served a valuable purpose. It was a hold your nose and take your medicine time in our economy.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 9:53 a.m.

    If the GM and Chrysler bailouts were necessary (highly likely) and if the ongoing bank bailouts are necessary (even more likely), then some brand of socialism is inevitable for the United States. Get used to it. But since we can't discuss these things we will make this critical decision under great duress and stress and extreme conflict.

    In the D-News' mind does "no Government Motors" mean no socialism (again highly likely)? But you will not get your way. You could do much to ease the transition.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 9:16 a.m.

    President Obama: Worst Socialist Ever. First he let the banks pay off their loans and now this. Any good socialist would have used the looming threat of another Great Depression to nationalize both the banking and the auto industries.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Dec. 11, 2013 9:03 a.m.

    @Nate – “Buying votes can get pretty expensive.”

    Since the bailout was started under Bush and finalized under Obama, who was buying which votes?

    We should also note that this short (slightly biased) article does what good opinion pieces are supposed to do – states some facts, raise a few questions and prompt readers to think (use your own brain) rather than just give them an algorithm which tells them what to think.

    See Fox/AM radio patrons – this is what it looks like… I know, strange huh?

    PS – good comment JoeBlow. Facts like these should cause most reasonable people to question their own assumption, but that would require an ability towards self-reflection and even self-criticism that is sorely lacking on the Right.

  • Dragline Oream, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 8:41 a.m.

    Nothing like Monday morning quarterbacking. This editorial opinion reminds me of all those who say that FDR should not have intervened in the Great Depression and actually made it worse with programs like the CCC and TVA. All of those who weren't starving at the time have plenty of good ideas in retrospect based on ideology.

    Just one quick point: There were no companies that had the money in 2008 to buy GM and loan to Chrysler--only the US govt was in that position. The editorial board needs to get their foundational arguments at least a little closer to the truth before building towards a conclusion.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 8:21 a.m.

    If you look closely at the bankruptcy proceedings, this was more a UAW bailout than a GM bailout. Buying votes can get pretty expensive.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 8:03 a.m.

    President Bush's loan actually saving our economy. This was only a bad idea to Romney. Cost him Ohio and several states.

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    Dec. 11, 2013 6:32 a.m.

    Wow, you really thing it was a bad idea to save millions of jobs and the entire infrastructure of the American auto industry?

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Dec. 11, 2013 4:04 a.m.

    One thing that we DO know. If Obama in fact, did have the socialist agenda that so many claimed, he would have expanded, rather than relinquish, government ownership of GM.

    I expect that all the right wing talk show hosts will come out and admit they were wrong.

    Or not.