This [GM bailout] is somewhere in between Baghdad and fixing the flood in Louisiana. Obama has decided to take this over. He now owns it.~ GROVER NORQUISTI was all over the place on the Obama administration's decision to bail out General Motors because the executives who had thunk up the years of butt-ugly, rust-prone and unreliable crapmobiles that had pushed the once mightiest automaker to the brink of insolvency did not deserve a cent of my money. Or yours. But I eventually decided that the workers who made those cars didn't deserve to be thrown out into the cold, anti-union Republican rhetoric notwithstanding, nor could the Rust Belt stand another belly blow.
And so 16 months after Obama took over ownership of the General's shaky future, GM is the new Wall Street darling with an initial public offering expected to raise at least $16 billion.
But while tens of thousands of assembly line workers will be celebrating, the IPO is a bittersweet turn of events. This is because while you and I have recouped about $7 billion of the $49 billion bailout from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, will get back billions more in the coming months and make billions in interest on those billions, the entirety of the original bailout will never be repaid.
Although GM sales are way up, its product line is dramatically improved after it took the ax to several of its redundant model lines and it is the leading automaker in China, the world's biggest emerging market, the automaker has still has not completely turned the corner. But I too will be celebrating as Tea Partiers, Grover Norquist and their no-bailout ilk chow down on a big plate of crow.