Human Events Blog

The General Motors Management Lie

Back in June of 2009, when General Motors went bankrupt – even though billions of tax dollars had been spent to avoid bankruptcy – President Obama declared, “What we are not doing – what I have no interest in doing – is running GM.  When a difficult decision has to be made on matters like where to open a new plant, or what type of new car to make, the new GM – not the United States government – will make that decision.”

It was very important for Obama to make clear that he is not running the sort of government that directly controls private industries.  (Bonus trivia question: what is the proper name for that system of government?)

Senior Treasury Department advisor Ron Bloom reinforced this point in testimony to Congress, stating: “From the beginning of this process, the President gave the Auto Task Force two clear directions regarding its approach to the auto restructurings.  The first was to behave in a commercial manner by ensuring that all stakeholders were treated fairly and received neither more nor less than they would have simply because the government was involved.  The second was to refrain from intervening in the day-to-day management of these companies.”  (Emphasis mine.)

The House Oversight Committee has lately been grilling Treasury officials to determine how well their great campaign to refrain from intervening in the day-to-day management of semi-nationalized auto companies is coming along.  They should call Matthew Boyle of the Daily Caller to testify, because he’s been leafing through some Treasury emails, and he might just have the answer.

According to Boyle, these emails “show high-ranking Treasury Department officials, including Matthew Feldman of Treasury’s Auto Task Force, corresponding with senior GM officials on how to make certain decisions regarding who was going to win and who was going to lose.”

Among the losers are non-unionized salaried employees of General Motors spinoff company Delphi, whose pensions were cut “to expedite GM’s emergence from bankruptcy,” as Boyle puts it.  The Obama Administration worked hard to make sure its union friends were spared any such inconveniences, as the Detroit Free Press notes that a billion dollars was set aside “to ‘top up’ the pensions of most union retirees, including those from the United Auto Workers union, so they wouldn’t lose benefits.”

Look, people, how often does the Obama Administration have to make it clear that the only way to gain protection from them is to join a union?  They’re even trying to speed up the unionization process for you.  Stop complaining and get with the program.

The Treasury emails reviewed by the Daily Caller show the government becoming involved in union negotiations, and even micro-managing GM press releases.  Along with other evidence gathered by the House Oversight subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight, and Government Spending, it’s pretty clear that Treasury officials lied to Congress about the degree of Administration control over the auto companies, and President Obama lied to the American people.  It will be up to the American people to deal with Obama in 2012.  What happens to the flunkies who lied to Congress?


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