Is Auto Task Force End Near? And is that a Good Thing?
Question: Do you think it’s time to shut down the auto task force? The Obama Administration, which set up the force in the early days to oversee Chrysler and General Motors through bankruptcy, says that it is and they intend to hand over oversight to another office at the Department of the Treasury. But not everyone in the administration agrees. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has already voiced some concerns to the plan. The Treasury Department won concessions that say that the companies would keep a significant amount of its production in the United States. For example: Chrysler must manufacture 40 percent of its U.S. sales volume in the U.S. or its U.S. production volume must be at least 90 percent of the 2008 production level. And General Motors agreeded to make a “reasonable effort” to produce in the U.S. at least 90 percent of the level of production GM estimates in its business plan. Well, only four of the original 12 members of the auto task force remain and it is expected that some will be leaving in the not-to-distant future, none of whom will be replaced. GAO says that it is concerned about this because Treasury officials who will make decisions don’t have sufficient knowledge to handle the job. Worse, the GAO also said that taxpayers probably will not be re-imbursed in full for the $81 billion loaned to GM and Chrysler. Our take? Well, what do you think? Is it time to ditch the auto task force? Or keep it? Remember the U.S. government and, thus, taxpayers, are the "owners" to General Motors and Chrysler. Press release via Detroit News
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