Even by the standards of Washington, spending about $31 billion worth of taxpayer dollars to get yourself re-elected is a pretty audacious act. Yet that is exactly what President Obama did with the GM bailout.
"Osama bin Laden is dead and GM is alive" was his campaign’s mantra. And lest anyone think that using TARP funds to keep the auto company alive was an act of charity, Obama said as recently as October: "We got back every dime."
Now that the election is over, he doesn’t need to keep up that pretense any more. This week, the Treasury Department announced it would sell half of the government’s stake in GM back to the company. The rest of the shares will be sold off over the next year or so.