The Auto Bailout Bath

The Administration and its flunkies are always trying to convince voters that General Motors has somehow repaid taxpayers for its massive bailout.  GM just did it again, announcing that it managed to “repay the taxpayers in full, with interest, ahead of schedule.”

Sounds great!  How did GM do this?  Well, as Senator Charles Grassley explains in an op-ed for Fox News, it “repaid the TARP loans with money it withdrew from another TARP fund at the Treasury Department.”

Wonderful.  Once again, the government runs up its Visa to pay its MasterCard bill, and asks us to applaud its financial genius.

This has become the central organizing principle of irresponsible government: shuffling IOUs around to make itself look far less broke than it actually is.  The federal government borrows money from itself to finance its deficit spending.  It claims Social Security is “funded” because it seriously intends to return all the money Congress raided from the Social Security accounts someday.  It borrows money from China… to give EPA grants to China.  Uncle Sam is a pauper who declares himself rich on loan applications because he named himself as the sole beneficiary of his own million-dollar will.

How much are we in the hole on those GM bailouts?  Grassley figures that “overall taxpayer TARP losses will exceed $100 billion, and the auto companies will account for over 30 percent of that amount, more than $30 billion.”

There is nothing more absurd than allowing a President who added trillions of dollars to the national debt claim that any of his investments have been a “success.”  The red ink is always on the spreadsheet he’s hiding behind his back.