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Then & now


NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

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Then & now

GREG GARDNER AND CHRISSIE THOMPSON

That was then. This is now. Comments from the biggest fans and foes of government assistance to General Motors and Chrysler:

House Minority Leader (incoming Speaker) John Boehner, R-Ohio

Then: "Does anyone really believe that politicians and bureaucrats in Washington can successfully steer a multinational corporation to economic vitality?" (June 1, 2009)

Now: "No comment. Thanks for checking," an aide said.

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn.

Then: "The (Obama) administration has decided they know better than our courts and our free-market process how to deal with these companies....This is a major power grab." (March 30, 2009)

Now: "They had to go through dramatic changes and they did. I'm very happy for GM, and I'm happy that it looks like taxpayers are going to get most of -- if not all -- their money back. I'm happy for the people who are getting called back to GM to help meet the increased demand."

President Barack Obama

Then: "GM is an American company with tens of thousands of employees in this country, and responsibility for its future ultimately rests with us....Building a leaner GM will come at a cost. It will take a painful toll on many Americans who have relied on General Motors throughout the generations." (June 1, 2009)

Now: "Today, one of the toughest tales of the recession took another big step towards becoming a success story....An industry that helped to build our middle class is once again on the rise."

U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala.

Then: "The financial straits the Big Three find themselves in is not the product of our current economic downturn, but instead it is the legacy of the uncompetitive structure of its manufacturing and labor force." (November 2008)

Now: "The American taxpayer should never be compelled to finance a corporate bailout, even if it may produce short-term benefits."

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.

Then: "The ultimate outcome of today's announcement -- GM's survival and rebirth -- is by far a better outcome than the alternative of GM's liquidation." (June 1, 2009)

Now: "This has been an investment, not an ownership....We are growing the automobile industry again."

Commentator Rush Limbaugh

Then: "Capitalism may have surrendered in the General Motors boardroom." (April 28, 2009)

Now: "Certain people are not gonna be allowed to get into the IPO, and the IPO share price is false and inflated -- of course it is! It's an insider's game. Sometimes I actually think I'm the only smart guy left."

U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa

Then: "The hype does not match the reality. Taxpayers have not been repaid in full -- far from it....Much of it will never be repaid." (April 2010)

Now: "Taxpayers deserve the unvarnished truth from the government about the GM bailout. They didn't get it earlier this year when GM and the government claimed that taxpayers had been repaid. Public dollars were merely reshuffled. GM shares would have to reach unprecedented heights for taxpayers to be made whole, and this IPO has fallen short of that goal."

link:

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20101119/BUSINESS01/311190004/1210/Then-&-now&template=fullarticle

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