Automaker is in trouble, and that raises questions for the government that bailed it out.
A good place not to be, if you’re government
Star Tribune reporting on the congressional hearings regarding the GM debacle included the following:
• During the hearings, questions were asked about whether the company disclosed the ignition switch defect to the Obama administration before the 2009 bankruptcy bailout that left U.S. taxpayers owning 60 percent of GM’s stock.
• The government sold off the last of its GM stock in 2013, before the various recalls were announced.
The U.S. taxpayers’ bailout of General Motors was primarily designed to underwrite UAW union jobs and pension benefits. “Captain Obvious” has a couple of questions:
• Before paying for 60 percent of GM’s stock on behalf of U.S. taxpayers, did the Obama administration conduct a proper due diligence?
• Is there any curiosity about the Obama administration’s clairvoyant 2013 selloff of GM stock?
• Might all of this represent the potential consequences of government and business as “bedmates”?
Pardon my cynicism, but …
Gene Delaune, New Brighton
A vast conspiracy with surprising perpetrators
OK, let me see if I have this right: The U.S. Supreme Court has compromised free and fair elections by unleashing the über-rich to spill even more of their ill-gotten lucre to buy candidates; the Koch brothers are flooding the media with filthy corporate money to brainwash a gullible public, and (as one recent letter writer noted) politicians will soon be appearing with corporate logos on their lapels.
I was about to panic, but then I referenced the website of the Center for Responsive Politics. It turns out that of the top 20 political donors in the United States, Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 13, 15 and 20 are groups that give almost exclusively to Democrats. Those evil corporations so sparsely represented at the top of the list? They pretty much split their donations between both parties, with a mild Republican bias. Koch Industries? No. 46.
Hmmm. I’m a critic of so-called corporate welfare in the tax code and trade protection, but contrary to media hype, I’d bet that the (assumed) corrupting influence of corporate donors is the least of our worries. It’s not corporations that are trying to turn this country into a left- or right-wing fantasyland.
Jon Brusven, Minnetonka
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