Obama Offers Assurances for GM

President Obama assured taxpayers today that the government’s $30 billion investment in General Motors will streamline the company and transform it into a “new GM.” In addition to dropping its Pontiac, Hummer, Saab, and Saturn brands and closing more than 2,000 dealerships by next year as part of its bankruptcy, GM will build more cars on U.S. soil and taxpayers will own about 60 percent of the company. GM shareholders are more or less behind the government agreement since, according to Obama, they will recover more than if GM had liquidated. The company, Obama said, has too much debt to be given another loan. “We are acting as reluctant shareholders,” he said, adding that the government will only step in to make decisions for the company when absolutely necessary. “What we are not doing—and what I have no interest in doing—is running GM.” Obama also said anyone looking to buy a GM car should keep in mind that the product will be backed by the government.