Never far from controversy, former Vice-President Dick Cheney has stirred the pot again, this time, declaring that he was against government handouts to automakers Chrysler and General Motors.
In his new memoir ‘In My Time,’ Cheney states “Although I understood the reasoning, I would have preferred that the government not get involved and was disappointed — but not surprised — when the Obama administration significantly increased the government intervention in the automobile industry shortly after taking office.”
That said, Cheney was in favor of saving the nation’s banks, even though many economists believe it was their recklessness that caused financial turmoil in the first place. In reference to America’s financial institutions he remarked that “providing sufficient support to avoid the collapse of our banking system was something only the federal government could do. But, all things considered, companies in the private sector should be judged in the marketplace. Having the government intervene was not, in my opinion, a good idea.”
Nevertheless despite the views of his V-P and some members of Congress, then President George W. Bush approved a partial rescue package for Chrysler and GM, with some $17.4 billion set aside for both automakers, plus an additional $7.5 billion for their financial arms, GMAC and Chrysler Financial Services.
In reference to the bailout, Bush stated that, “the immediate bankruptcy of the Big Three could cost more than a million jobs, decrease tax revenues by $150 billion and set back America’s GDP by hundreds of billions of dollars,” though he did say,”it was frustrating to have the automakers’ rescue be my last major economic decision.”
As it stands today; Chrysler has paid back its portion of the loan provided under the Obama Adminstration, not the Bush loan, which has been written off. General Motors has paid off all the loan money it received, but unless it’s second Public Offering of shares sees a sizeable jump in the stock price, it is unlikely GM will be able to recoup all of the money invested in it by the US Treasury.
Getting back to Cheney, the auto bailout isn’t the only thing in his memoir likely to raise hairs, he also makes comments declaring that the invasion of Iraq hasn’t hurt America’s reputation overseas. Cheney’s memoir has been on sale at bookstores since last Thursday.
[Source: The Detroit Bureau]