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Comments about ‘In our opinion: No more 'Government Motors'’

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Published: Wednesday, Dec. 11 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

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JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

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.

liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

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

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

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

Nate
Pleasant Grove, UT

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

Dragline
Oream, UT

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.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@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.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

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.

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

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.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

@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.

Nate
Pleasant Grove, UT

@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.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@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.

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

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.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

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.

airnaut
Everett, 00

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.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

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.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

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.

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

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!

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

airnaut,

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.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

UtahBlueDevil,

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."

mcdugall
Murray, UT

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.

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