Free Markets, Free People
Giving the left the benefit of the doubt, maybe they didn’t know about this. Because I’m sure, just as they blasted Wall Street for paying bonuses after receiving bailout money and TARP funds, they’d be keen to be consistent and do the same to GM.
Less than two years after entering bankruptcy, General Motors will extend millions of dollars in bonuses to most of its 48,000 hourly workers as a reward for the company’s rapid turnaround after it was rescued by the government.
The payments, disclosed Monday in company documents, are similar to bonuses announced last week for white-collar employees. The bonuses to 76,000 American workers will probably total more than $400 million — an amount that suggests executives have increasing confidence in the automaker’s comeback.
But the comeback was and is still financed by taxpayers money and borrowing. What in the world is GM doing paying out bonuses when it still owes at least $40 billion in loans? That $400 million would be a nice chunk toward that payback, wouldn’t it?
But the bonuses drew criticism from an opponent of the auto industry bailout in Washington who said GM should repay its entire $49.5 billion loan before offering bonuses.
"Since the taxpayers helped these companies out of bankruptcy, the taxpayers should be repaid before bonuses go out," said Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa. "It sends a message that those in charge take shareholders, in this case the taxpayers, for a sucker."
Yeah, kind of hard to argue otherwise, isn’t it? And no, for you that believed all the hype, GM hasn’t paid back its loans despite the commercials it made claiming it had. It isn’t even close to paying them off.
That said, I’m sure, once the story gets out that the left will be just as consistent in slamming GM for paying bonuses without repaying its loans as it was with taking Wall Street (properly I might add) for precisely the same reason. (HT: Maggie’s Notebook).
Oh, and by the way:
Ford Motor Co. announced plans last month to pay its 40,600 U.S. factory workers $5,000 each, the first such checks since 1999. The Dearborn, Mich., company, which avoided bankruptcy and did not get a government bailout, made $6.6 billion last year.
Ford also plans to pay performance bonuses to white-collar workers in lieu of raises, but it would not reveal the amounts.
Good for them and congratulations.