Sale of the U.S. government’s stake in General Motors Corp. ends a sorry saga. Not only were Americans lied to about the costs, but the bailout underscores why replacing market forces with federal bailouts doesn’t work.
The Obama administration says it will unload 200 million shares — or about 40% of its holdings — back to GM right away. The rest, 300 million shares, are to be sold by March 2014.
[…]Well, GM on Wednesday said it will buy back the 200 million share government stake for $5.5 billion, or $27.50 a share.
The break-even point on the government’s total holdings was $53 a share. But now, with $20.9 billion in taxpayer funds left to pay off from 300 million shares, the break-even point has risen to $69.72 a share.
In other words, at current prices, taxpayers are sitting with a loss of 61%, or nearly $15 billion, on their investment.
So where did the money go, then?
According to a study last summer by the Heritage Foundation, the $80 billion auto bailout gave the UAW and its members nearly $27 billion due to the fact that GM couldn’t shed its outrageously expensive labor contracts, something it could have done in a normal bankruptcy.
As such, Obama didn’t bail out the auto industry; he bailed out the unions. Without the unions’ added costs, taxpayers would have owed nothing.
It’s not hard to see how this happened. The UAW and its affiliates give tens of millions of dollars each election cycle, almost entirely to Democrats.
This union influence explains why Obama’s auto czars, Steve Rattner and Ron Bloom, arranged a government bankruptcy for GM that flew in the face of hundreds of years of bankruptcy law and violated investor rights.
Bondholders took huge losses, while unions got a big chunk of ownership in GM stock that they weren’t legally entitled to.
In a shocking display of favoritism and blatant unfairness, GM’s union workers kept their pensions, while nonunion workers at GM spin-off Delphi lost theirs.
Those unions paid Obama back by working hard to get him re-elected. That’s how socialism works.
The film, made by British television producer Martin Durkin, presents scientists, economists, politicians, writers, and others who dispute the scientific consensus regarding anthropogenic global warming.
The film’s basic premise is that the current scientific opinion on the anthropogenic causes of global warming has numerous scientific flaws, and that vested monetary interests in the scientific establishment and the media discourage the public and the scientific community from acknowledging or even debating this. The film asserts that the publicised scientific consensus is the product of a “global warming activist industry” driven by a desire for research funding. Other culprits, according to the film, are Western environmentalists promoting expensive solar and wind power over cheap fossil fuels in Africa, resulting in African countries being held back from industrialising.
The film won best documentary at the 2007 Io Isabella International Film Week.
A number of academics, environmentalists, think-tank consultants and writers are interviewed in the film in support of its various assertions. They include the Canadian environmentalist Patrick Moore, former member of Greenpeace but for the past 21 years a critic of the organisation; Richard Lindzen, professor of meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Patrick Michaels, Research Professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia; Nigel Calder, editor of New Scientist from 1962 to 1966; John Christy, professor and director of the Earth System Science Center at University of Alabama; Paul Reiter of the Pasteur Institute; former British Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson; and Piers Corbyn, a British weather forecaster.
Distinguished scientists specializing in climate and climate-related fields talk in plain English and present readily understood graphs showing what a crock the current global-warming hysteria is.
[…]There is no question that the globe is warming but it has warmed and cooled before, and is not as warm today as it was some centuries ago, before there were any automobiles and before there was as much burning of fossil fuels as today.
None of the dire things predicted today happened then.
The documentary goes into some of the many factors that have caused the earth to warm and cool for centuries, including changes in activities on the sun, 93 million miles away and wholly beyond the jurisdiction of the Kyoto treaty.
According to these climate scientists, human activities have very little effect on the climate, compared to many other factors, from volcanoes to clouds.
These climate scientists likewise debunk the mathematical models that have been used to hype global-warming hysteria, even though hard evidence stretching back over centuries contradicts these models.
Take a look. I liked this documentary so much that I purchased the DVD of it.
The Interior Department on Friday issued a final plan to close 1.6 million acres of federal land in the West originally slated for oil shale development.
The proposed plan would fence off a majority of the initial blueprint laid out in the final days of the George W. Bush administration. It faces a 30-day protest period and a 60-day process to ensure it is consistent with local and state policies. After that, the department would render a decision for implementation.
The move is sure to rankle Republicans, who say President Obama’s grip on fossil fuel drilling in federal lands is too tight.
Interior’s Bureau of Land Management cited environmental concerns for the proposed changes. Among other things, it excised lands with “wilderness characteristics” and areas that conflicted with sage grouse habitats.
Remember when Obama that Obama’s goal is not to lower energy prices – it’s to raise the price of energy in order to save the planet from global warming:
Shell has fought the administration to begin drilling in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska.
The federal government estimates there are 26.6 billion barrels of recoverable oil and 130 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the Arctic Ocean’s Outer Continental Shelf but repeated safety reviews and designation of much of the region as critical polar bear habitat has slowed development to a crawl.
Only 2.2% of federal offshore land is currently being leased for production.
Then there are the 10 billion barrels locked up in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, which would require drilling in just 2,000 acres out of 19 million.
The Obama administration recently rescinded 77 oil and gas leases in Utah and stalled oil shale research and development in Utah, Colorado and Wyoming, where the federal government owns most of the world’s oil shale reserves.
Out West, we may have a “Persia on the Plains.” A Rand Corp. study says the Green River Formation, which covers parts of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, has the largest known oil shale deposits in the world, holding from 1.5 trillion to 1.8 trillion barrels of crude — most of it locked up by federal edict.
Under President Obama, the American Petroleum Institute notes, leases on federal lands in the West are down 44%, while permits and new well drilling are both down 39% compared to 2007 levels.
After the BP oil spill, President Obama shut down most Gulf of Mexico drilling and there’s been a 57% drop in monthly deepwater permits since 2008, according to the Greater New Orleans Gulf Permit Index.
Who needs jobs? We have to “save the planet” from the global warming monster – and raise the price of electricity! Only “the rich” put gas in the their cars and use electricity, right? So only the rich will be affected when electricity prices skyrocket. That’s Obama’s goal. That’s what his supporters elected him to do in the last election.
A new paper, looking back at the climate of the past two thousand years, published in the journal “Climate of the Past,” will either cause something of a stir, or provide confirmation of what some regard as having already emerged from the peer-reviewed scientific literature. The title of the paper is, “The extra-tropical Northern Hemisphere temperature in the last two millennia: reconstructions of low-frequency variability,” by B Christiansen of the Danish Meteorological Institute and F C Ljungqvist of Stockholm University.
[…]This new analysis shows that the warming we have seen in the late-20th century is not unprecedented, as can be seen in figure 5 (from the paper). Seen in the reconstruction is a well-defined peak of temperature between 950–1050 AD. They also find that the first millennium is warmer than the second.
The graph above is from the paper (Fig. 5). You can get the full PDF of the paper.
The world stopped getting warmer almost 16 years ago, according to new data released last week.
The figures, which have triggered debate among climate scientists, reveal that from the beginning of 1997 until August 2012, there was no discernible rise in aggregate global temperatures.
This means that the ‘plateau’ or ‘pause’ in global warming has now lasted for about the same time as the previous period when temperatures rose, 1980 to 1996. Before that, temperatures had been stable or declining for about 40 years.
The new data, compiled from more than 3,000 measuring points on land and sea, was issued quietly on the internet, without any media fanfare, and, until today, it has not been reported.
This stands in sharp contrast to the release of the previous figures six months ago, which went only to the end of 2010 – a very warm year.
Ending the data then means it is possible to show a slight warming trend since 1997, but 2011 and the first eight months of 2012 were much cooler, and thus this trend is erased.
[…]The regular data collected on global temperature is called Hadcrut 4, as it is jointly issued by the Met Office’s Hadley Centre and Prof Jones’s Climatic Research Unit.
How much has all the hype about global warming cost the British taxpayer?
Your bills are going up, at least in part, because of the array of ‘green’ subsidies being provided to the renewable energy industry, chiefly wind.
They will cost the average household about £100 this year. This is set to rise steadily higher – yet it is being imposed for only one reason: the widespread conviction, which is shared by politicians of all stripes and drilled into children at primary schools, that, without drastic action to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions, global warming is certain soon to accelerate, with truly catastrophic consequences by the end of the century – when temperatures could be up to five degrees higher.
Hence the significance of those first two answers. Global industrialisation over the past 130 years has made relatively little difference.
And with the country committed by Act of Parliament to reducing CO2 by 80 per cent by 2050, a project that will cost hundreds of billions, the news that the world has got no warmer for the past 16 years comes as something of a shock.
Across the pond in the United States, we are not only paying more for electricity because of energy taxes and energy regulations, but we are also losing blue collar jobs, as the Daily Caller explains:
Coal company Alpha Natural Resources announced Tuesday it would be laying off 1,200 workers and closing eight coal mines to face two new challenges: cheap natural gas and “a regulatory environment that’s aggressively aimed at constraining the use of coal.”
The Associated Press reports that the company is cutting production by 16 million tons and 1,200 jobs nationwide, with 400 layoffs occurring immediately by closing coal mines in Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
Four mines will be closed in West Virginia, another three will be closed in Virginia and one in Pennsylvania. All the mines are non-union operations, according to the AP.
Not only that, but the Wall Street Journal just reported that Obama banned oil drilling on 11.5 million acres of federal land:
President Obama is campaigning as a champion of the oil and gas boom he’s had nothing to do with, and even as his regulators try to stifle it. The latest example is the Interior Department’s little-noticed August decision to close off from drilling nearly half of the 23.5 million acre National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska.
The area is called the National Petroleum Reserve because in 1976 Congress designated it as a strategic oil and natural gas stockpile to meet the “energy needs of the nation.” Alaska favors exploration in nearly the entire reserve. The feds had been reviewing four potential development plans, and the state of Alaska had strongly objected to the most restrictive of the four. Sure enough, that was the plan Interior chose.
That kind of thing, along with blocking the Keystone XL pipeline, explains why gas prices are so high, and why we have no energy jobs being created. They are being created in Brazil, China and elsewhere, but not here. Why would anyone create jobs here when corporate taxes and regulations eat up profits? If the USA is worried so much about global warming, then they don’t want jobs and they don’t want lower electricity prices. You can’t have everything at once.
This is all according to plan, as Obama explained:
Higher energy prices and bankrupting coal plants is how Obama planned to deal with “global warming”. That was one of his top priorities as President. Only there was no global warming. That was just an excuse by left-wing academic charlatans to get more grant money for their universities by extracting it from the private sector businesses and workers. The government went along with it because they wanted control of business, and a legitimate looking way of paying off their campaign fundraisers, as with Solyndra. That’s all global warming was. It was a hoax designed to achieve a more socialist economy why rewarding Democrat donors.