The UAW Bailout
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Over at the Heritage Foundation, James Sherk and Todd Zywicki analyze the auto bailout that President Obama claims saved more jobs than actually exist in American auto plants. Not surprisingly, they find that government intervention to favor unions at the expense of stockholders also cost U.S. taxpayers billions.
The U.S. government will lose about $23 billion on the 2008-2009 bailout of General Motors and Chrysler. President Obama emphatically defends his decision to subsidize the automakers, arguing it was necessary to prevent massive job losses. But, even accepting this premise, the government could have executed the bailout with no net cost to taxpayers. It could have—had the Administration required the United Auto Workers (UAW) to accept standard bankruptcy concessions instead of granting the union preferential treatment. The extra UAW subsidies cost $26.5 billion—more than the entire foreign aid budget in 2011. The Administration did not need to lose money to keep GM and Chrysler operating. The Detroit auto bailout was, in fact, a UAW bailout.
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