Wednesday, September 29, 2010

GM Uses Taxpayer Money To Lobby Congress & Fund Political Campaign Coffers

In another story of sordid uses of government money, last Friday's Wall Street Journal featured a staff editorial focused on the use of what is now predominantly taxpayer's money to fund Midwestern Democrats' campaigns as well as pay a slew of Washington lobbyists.

The editorial points out some questionable legalities, including GM's being a near-government entity and, thus, barred from lobbying Congress. Then there is the UAW, which is also now a part-owner of GM, and conducts extensive partisan political fundraising and lobbying. Both situations walk precariously close to the line separating government and non-government, and, thus, blur it, since two organizations which are joined in minority ownership of GM with the federal government are using fungible money to influence the latter.

It's a tortured, unholy mess.

A failed company uses taxpayer money to influence its new political masters. We, as taxpayers, are funding the bankrupt firm to influence the government for which we also pay, enriching lobbyists to the tune of some $7MM, and the campaign coffers of selected politicians with about. $90K of contributions

How in the world is this healthy? Or legal?

This is just yet another example of the expensive distortions of real economic forces which occur when government intervenes unwisely in private industry, rather than simply allowing things to take their normal course.

In GM's case, that would have been to file a normal Chapter 11 bankruptcy and be reorganized under court protection, with no involvement from unions or the federal government.

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