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November 20, 2009

Every GM Vehicle Sold Costs Taxpayers $12,200, Says National Taxpayers Union


The American taxpayer has put up $12,200 for every General Motors vehicle sold through the beginning of 2011, and $7,600 for every Chrysler vehicle sold as well, according to a new report issued by the 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU).


The report, The Auto Bailout - A Taxpayer Quagmire, is authored by NTU Adjunct Scholar Thomas D. Hopkins, Professor of Economics at Rochester Institute of Technology. Hopkins held senior management positions in two White House agencies during the Ford, Carter and Reagan Administrations. In the early 1980's, he served as Deputy Administrator, Office of Information & Regulatory Affairs, in the Office of Management & Budget.

GM Chevrolet Silverado 2010


Photo: 2010 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD LTZ Extended Cab.

"Every time someone in your neighborhood drives home in a shiny new Chevy Silverado, remember that it cost American taxpayers more than $12,000," said Pete Sepp, NTU Vice President for Policy and Communications.


The study found that the average American taxpaying family has invested roughly $800 in the auto bailouts so far. Moreover, the study found, the government support poured into General Motors, Chrysler, and GMAC - the financing subsidiary that supports sales at both - now stands at $78.9 billion. Given that figure, and an estimate of how many vehicles GM and Chrysler will sell through the end of 2010, the study finds that each vehicle one of the bailed-out companies sells costs taxpayers $10,700.

Finally, breaking down the costs by company, the study reports that every Chrysler vehicle sold costs taxpayers $7,600, and every GM vehicle sold costs taxpayers $12,200.

General Motors

The research is based upon a November study released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), entitled "Continued Stewardship Needed as Treasury Develops Strategies for Monitoring and Divesting Financial Interests in Chrysler and GM," a follow-up report on the "Troubled Asset Relief Program," as well as statements and reports released from the U.S. Treasury.

The study also found that during the first ten months of 2009, GM and Chrysler sales fell further than other major auto producers, down 33.4 percent and 38.9 percent, respectively.


Photo: US Treasury Department, Washington, DC, USA.

"While the prospect of repayment of GM and Chrysler loans might be expected, after bankruptcy the vast majority of the bailout funds are no longer legal obligations of the newly-structured GM and Chrysler," the study concludes. "If Americans are to believe public officials' claims that the government will eventually reprivatize the auto industry, the necessity of a thoughtful exit plan is essential. However, at this time no such plan exists, making it likely that the Treasury will not recover its investment."

Source: National Taxpayers Union, 108 North Alfred St., Alexandria, VA 22314, USA.


Our Opinion

"The names 'GM' and 'General Motors' continue to take a beating.

But the value of the name 'Chevrolet' (as well as that of 'Cadillac' and 'Buick') remains unaffected. It is the same it was 20 or 30 years ago.

If GM had projected 'Chevrolet' as its flagship brand (it may do so even today!), it would have boosted the buyers' confidence in all its brands and nameplates and would have restored the investors' confidence in the company."

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 8:16 AM | Link to this Post

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