November 16, 2013

Reminder: How Much Did General Motors Gain From Its Bankruptcy and Bailout?

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 4:11 pm

The answer: $128.155 billion (Dec. 31, 2009 10-K, Page 122):

GMbailoutCost128bil

How much of that consisted of government bailouts? Well, here’s the detail of that $128.155 billion (same document, page 146):

GMbailoutCostBreakdown

(Abbreviations: UST = U.S. Treasury; EDC = Canadian government; MLC = Old GM [Motors Liquidation Corporation]; VEBA = UAW Health Care Plan Trust)

The government’s hand is technically in almost all of it. Items 2 through 6 total a bit more than $70 billion, and are almost entirely if not entirely tied to government funding or government rule-bending.

Add to that the fact that GM, unlike any other company going through a bankruptcy, was able to carry previous losses forward into the new GM for tax purposes. This meant that its first $16 billion in post-bankruptcy income came free of federal taxes. That benefit was worth at least $5.5 billion.

As of the end of 2011, GM had about 74,500 U.S. employees. If the total cost of the bailout was “only” the $9.7 billion the government claims plus the $5.5 billion in uncollected income taxes, the $15.2 in total taxpayer financial sacrifice amounts to $204,000 per job “saved.”

This was worth it? I don’t think so.

 

Not Establishment Press News: Obamacare Causes Bowie State, Md.’s Oldest Black College, to Drop Student Health Insurance

The student health care plan offered by Bowie State University, Maryland’s oldest historically black college, is an example of one of those “substandard” plans President Obama, the Affordable Care Act’s architects, and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius have been determined to extinguish.

Well, they’ve gotten their way. Rather than continue a plan whose costs would have gone from $54 to $900 per semester, an increase of over 1500 percent, the university has dropped the plan. Many students are angry, and have criticized the President directly, as seen in a video at CampusReform.org. News coverage of this calamity has been sparse, to say the least. Excerpts from a report at Washington TV station WUSA follow the jump (bolds are mine):

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‘Road Trip!’ As Obamacare Crumbles and Dems Defect From It, AP’s Babington Goes West to Write of ‘GOP Infighting’

In Animal House, when the members of Delta Tau Chi fraternity faced imminent expulsion for poor grades, they decided to take a “Road Trip!” to, as Wikipedia’s plot summary indicates, “take their minds off their troubles.”

The presidential keister-kissers at the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, are in a similar quandary. Over the past seven weeks, they’ve seen their favorite president’s “signature achievement” devolve simultaneously into an national joke (HealthCare.gov) and a national disgrace (millions of health insurance policy cancellations deliberately devised through regulations). This has led to their favorite party’s national humiliation. We now know that its members’ guarantee that “you can keep your plan-doctor-provider” — made by President Obama, 27 Democratic Party Senators, and surely dozens of leftist congresspersons and other party apparatchiks — was a deliberate deception. The party itself has been torn asunder, as patron saint Bill Clinton called on Obama to “honor his commitment.” With all of this going on, the AP’s Washington-based Charles Babington somehow decided that now would be the best time for a “Road Trip!” out west to show how awful the divisions are — in the Republican Party.

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Positivity: Pope thanks boy for entrusting him to guardian angel

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 8:12 am

From Buenos Aires:

Nov 13, 2013 / 02:43 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A 16 year-old Argentine boy who suffers from chronic encephalopathy – a brain disorder – was moved by a letter from Pope Francis responding to a note that he had sent the pontiff a few days earlier.

The boy, Nicolas Marasco, is unable to speak, but was able to send a letter to Pope Francis, with the help of his parents, saying that he asks his guardian angel every night to watch over the Holy Father and assist him in his pontificate.

“Dear Francis, my name is Nicolas and I am 16. Since I am unable to write you (because I still cannot speak or walk), I asked my parents to do it for me, because they know me best,” his letter said.

“I want to tell you that when I was seven years old, Father Pablo gave me First Communion at my school,” he continued, “and this year, in November, I will receive confirmation – something which gives me great joy.”

“Every night ever since you asked me, I pray to my guardian angel – whose name is Eusebio and who is very patient – to watch over you and help you. You can be sure that he is good at it because he watches over me and is with me every day.”

“I would very much like to go see you and receive your blessing and a kiss, just that,” the boy continued. “I send you many greetings and I continue praying to Eusebio to watch over you and give you strength. Love, Nico.”

The Argentinean daily Clarin reported that Pope Francis was deeply moved by the letter from Nicolas.

He shared the story of the young boy during his visit to Assisi on Oct. 4, saying, “In this letter, in the heart of this boy, is beauty, love, the poetry of God. God who reveals himself to the simple hearted, the little ones, the humble ones, those who we often consider to be the last.”

A few days later, Marasco received the Pope’s answer, which was also published in Clarin.

“Dear Nicolas, thank you so much for your letter. Thank you so much for praying for me. Your prayers are helping me to do my work, which is to bring Jesus to the people,” the Holy Father wrote. “For this reason, dear Nicolas, you are important to me.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (111613)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

This open thread will stay at or near the top today. Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow. Other topics are also fair game.