One of the big Democratic talking points on the Sunday shows yesterday was the argument that the auto bailout, began under President Bush and expanded under President Obama, “saved one million jobs.”
The figure comes from the Center for Automotive Research. (The CAR is funded by . . . the federal government, state and local governments, and corporate contributions, and is affiliated with . . . General Motors and Chrysler. An equally applicable headline would be, “nonprofit group study surprisingly supportive of hand that feeds it.”)
However, that report also states, “At the rough price tag of $80 billion in government assistance, each job CAR said was saved during the last two years cost taxpayers nearly $57,000.” In other words, if you handed everyone with a job endangered by a traditional bankruptcy of GM and Chrysler a check for $50,000, you would save taxpayers almost $10 billion.
Keep in mind, if the U.S. government sold its GM stock today, it would lose $16.3 billion.
But at least GM sales are up, right? Well, here’s the fine print: “Government purchases of GM vehicles rose a whopping 79 percent in June.”
Yes, taxpayer dollars are being used to buy products from a taxpayer-bailed-out company, to prove to taxpayers that the original bailout was a wise decision.