NLPC Asks General Motors to Pay Back $10 Billion to Taxpayers at National Press Club Event


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U.S. Treasury sells stake as GM boasts of cash hoard

WASHINGTON--Dec. 17, 2013: Peter Flaherty, president of the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), yesterday posed key questions to the General Motors leadership at a National Press Club press conference, including whether the company will repay to taxpayers the $10 billion direct cost of the GM bailout.

News that the U.S. Treasury Department has sold its remaining stake and that Mary Barra will take over as GM's new CEO have put the spotlight on the company and its future. GM executives have pointed to GM's $26.8 billion in cash as evidence of its improved financial position. Analysts have raised the possibility that the company will buy back shares or institute a dividend.

QUESTIONS FOR GM'S LEADERSHIP

The full list of questions can be found at NLPC

Will GM compensate taxpayers for the $10 billion loss they have taken on their involuntary "investment" in the company? If not, why should taxpayers take a loss now on their GM "investment" when the company allegedly has such a strong cash position? Because of a novel application in bankruptcy of the tax-loss carryforward provisions of the tax code, $30-$40 billion in GM profits are shielded from taxation. Should a profitable GM pay taxes? When do you estimate GM will pay taxes? Do you think the $10 billion loss represents the full cost to taxpayers of GM's bailout in light of the bailouts of former GM companies like GMAC/Ally Financial and Delphi, not to mention the separate bailout of automotive suppliers?

NLPC has been a persistent critic of the auto bailout during both the Bush and Obama administrations. NLPC Associate Fellow Mark Modica, a frequent guest on television and radio shows, blogs regularly on the bailout and related issues. NLPC published an October 2013 survey titled "Auto Bailout is Drag on GM Truck Sales," which verified that disapproval of the auto bailout is hurting GM pickup truck sales.

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