Statement on General Motors bankruptcy filing

For Immediate Release Monday, June 1, 2009

Taxpayers, competing companies at risk

WASHINGTON — Libertarian National Committee Chairman William Redpath issued the following statement today:

“Today’s bankruptcy filing by General Motors represents yet another failure of the economic policies and George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and another in a series of bodyblows to economic freedom over the past nine months. Years in the making, neither $20 billion in taxpayers’ money nor an upcoming transfer of another $30 billion from taxpayers to GM could save the company from bankruptcy restructuring.

President Obama has accomplished at least one thing with GM’s bankruptcy: a transfer of tremendous wealth from the GM’s lenders and U.S. taxpayers to the United Auto Workers union that supported his election, and placing one of the world’s largest companies under U.S. Government control.

Under the filing, the U.S. Government will own 60% of GM’s equity, while the Canadian government will own another 12.5%. That presents both a tremendous risk to taxpayers and a dangerous conflict of interest when government crafts policy on fuel efficiency standards and labor law. In fact, Rasmussen Reports finds that 57% of Americans believe the government will now pass laws and regulations giving GM an unfair advantage over other car companies.

Another 67% of voters agree with the Libertarian Party that Barack Obama was wrong to use their money to bail out a failing company. Bankruptcy filings by large international corporations are not uncommon and allow the company to get its financial affairs in order and emerge stronger and more competitive.

Perhaps most troubling of all is the lack of an announced plan for the U.S. Government to hold its equity in General Motors for a limited period of time and then sell its stock to the highest bidder. It appears that U.S. taxpayers are stuck owning most of GM indefinitely into the future. There may also be an effect of suppression of competition in the auto industry with the U.S. Government owning a majority stake in GM.

The Libertarian Party has recommended bankruptcy restructuring from the start and regrets that President Obama chose to use this opportunity to extend government control over even more of the U.S. economy.”

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