Local leaders react to GM bankruptcy - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/1/09

Local leaders react to GM bankruptcy

By Ben Lawson  - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Congressman Randy Neugebauer called Monday a bad one for American tax payers.  He was talking about the $30-billion the Obama Administration promised to help General Motors emerge from bankruptcy, a stronger, smaller company.  By Monday evening, a bankruptcy judge told GM they could have immediate access to $15-billion of that money.

NewsChannel 11 wanted to know what that cost means for you me. We checked with the U.S. Census Bureau, and rounded up, there are 306,600,000 people living in the U.S. today. If you divide the $30-billion cost among everyone, each person in the U.S. will pay about $98 to keep GM going. Congressman Neugebauer says that's not the job of government.

"I'm afraid that we've gone down a road here where the government is picking winners and losers, and that's not the role of government," Neugebauer said.  While the Obama Administration says they will not run GM when the government assumes a 60% stake in the company, Neugebauer says the concept worries him. 

"American tax payers being major share holders in a private company, this is unprecedented and it's very scary.  "One, where do we quit?  Where do we draw the line, but more importantly how do we unwind this, and how do we get as much of the American tax payers money back and reduce this huge deficit," Neugebauer said. 

"You know, obviously bankruptcy wasn't the preferred option," past Chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association Annette Sykora said.  She says speed is now the key to get GM back on track.  Sykora says is sad to see the American icon in the tank, but says their financial troubles should not force GM to close local dealerships. "Dealerships are independent businesses, independently owned, and they've invested a lot in the community and facilities. We even buy the signs. There's not a savings for GM in closing a dealership," Sykora said. 

Neugebauer says local dealers play important roles in many South Plains' communities, but he says GM must create a business model that keeps them sustainable. "It has to be sustainable without the American taxpayers having to prop them up. If they can't, I always say then let them fail. When one company fails, it leaves an opportunity for other companies," Neugebauer said. 

President Obama called the government a reluctant shareholder. He says the goal is to get GM back on its feet and get out quickly. Neugebauer says he'll be keeping a cautious eye on the local effects.  

©2009 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Lubbock Congressman reacts to GM bankruptcy
Congressman Randy Neugebauer calls the government's most recent dive into the private sector unprecedented and scary.

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