Appearing on ABC’s politically-polarized “The View” on Thursday, President Barack Obama said that taxpayers will recover the money invested by the federal government to bail out the U.S. auto industry.
During the interview, which was taped on Wednesday in New York, Obama said the $85 billion bailout allowed automakers to restructure and become more competitive. “You now have all those auto companies showing a profit,” he said. He also said that 55,000 auto workers have been rehired and stated bluntly, “We are going to get all the money back that we invested.”
President Obama will continue to tout his economic recovery efforts when he visits GM and Chrysler plants in Michigan tomorrow and the White House issued a 5-page report on the current state of the U.S. auto industry earlier today.
Despite the dramatic improvements in the domestic auto industry, he admitted there is still work to be done. “We’ve still got a long way to go before we’re all the way back,” he said.
Not content to return to the old status-quo, Obama said, “The best thing is we’re now creating an entirely new clean energy, clean car technology around advanced batteries and whatnot that will make us a world leader.”
The White House’s report on the health of the U.S. auto industry cited a recent Bureau of Labor and Statistics report. “In the year before GM and Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy,” the report states,” the auto industry shed 334,000 jobs. In the year since, auto industry employment has increased by 55,000 jobs. This is the fastest year-over-year growth in auto employment since 1999.”
The report also acknowledges the role of the Treasury Department’s Automotive Supplier Support Program in stabilizing the industry.
The federal government’s most current estimate is auto bailout will end up costing U.S. taxpayers $24.3 billion but Treasury Secretary Geithner recently stated that he thinks that estimate will be reduced over time.
In December of 2008, the Bush administration loaned General Motors Company and Chrysler Group LLC $17.4 billion to keep them afloat until a restructuring plan could be cobbled together by the incoming administration. It also pumped $6 billion into General Motors’ GMAC automobile and mortgage division. Since then, the Obama administration has invested an additional $60 billion.
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