An organization is offering its two cents on this week's news about the GM bailout loss, namely that there didn't have to be a bailout.
According to an inspector general's report, the government expects to lose $9.7 billion on its bailout of General Motors.
Pete Sepp, executive vice president of the National Taxpayers Union, says there were other options. "If Congress had just allowed other options," he says, "such as a structured bankruptcy or a merger that would have preserved some jobs and allowed the industry to get back on its feet and innovate, we might not be in this position at all."
Sepp adds that one of the biggest quandaries is that if the federal government is ever able to recoup its investment, it would have to wait for GM's stock to nearly quadruple.
"We can't really do that, but on the other hand, if we sell now, taxpayers have to incur a loss," he points out.
As for the government's claims that the federal government saved jobs and prevented a deeper recession, Sepp says government could have provided some temporary, targeted assistance to workers who might have suffered under restructuring.
"It's important also to count the costs of this bailout in terms of job losses elsewhere in the economy," says Sepp. "The fact that we had high deficit spending and tax levels could not come down to the amount that they should also had economic costs."
The government spent $49.5 billion to save GM five years ago.
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