Obama says auto bailout paying off
WASHINGTON — President Obama said the government will recover all the taxpayer money his administration provided to bail out the auto industry last year.
In an interview aired yesterday on the ABC talk show “The View,’’ Obama said the auto industry “tells a good story’’ of his administration’s efforts to rescue the economy. He planned to highlight that story with stops at three auto plants over the next several days.
“You now have all those US auto companies showing a profit. They’ve rehired 55,000 workers. We are going to get all the money back that we invested in those car companies,’’ Obama said.
The Obama and Bush administrations poured $85 billion into General Motors, Chrysler, and auto lenders and suppliers to avoid an industrywide meltdown in 2008 and 2009. The companies have shown signs of improvement and Obama plans to discuss progress after the government-led bankruptcies of GM and Chrysler.
The White House said Obama’s proclamation on recouping funds referred only to the $60 billion his administration spent rescuing the auto industry, not the $25 billion spent under the Bush administration. The most recent government estimate found that taxpayers will lose $24.3 billion on the auto bailout.
Obama will visit a GM plant that is slated to assemble the Chevrolet Volt electric car. The plant is one of nine GM will keep open during the typical two-week summer shutdown to boost production of popular models.
Obama will tour a Chrysler plant, which recently added a second shift of production, adding about 1,100 jobs.
In a report on the status of the auto industry, the White House said failing to intervene would have led to the loss of nearly 1.1 million jobs. The industry has added 55,000 jobs in the year since the bankruptcies, making it the strongest year of job growth in the industry since 1999.
White House officials estimate that Detroit automakers could add 11,000 new jobs before the end of 2010.