Tags: cheney | gm | bailout | autos

Cheney: I Was Opposed to GM, Chrysler Bailouts

By Michelle Smith   |   Wednesday, 31 Aug 2011 11:54 AM

Former Vice President Dick Cheney doesn't believe government should interfere in the car business. If Cheney had it his way, in 2008 when General Motors was on the brink of collapse, the company wouldn't have received a government bailout.

Cheney is currently promoting "In My Time," his newly released personal and political memoir. USA Today reports that in the book, the former vice president reveals that he was opposed to President George W. Bush's decision to bail out GM and Chrysler.

At the time, Bush kept GM and Chrysler afloat with a bailout of $17.4 billion, with GM receiving the lion's share of $13.4 billion.

Dick Cheney
(Getty Images photo)
“The president decided that he did not want to pull the plug on General Motors as we were headed out the door,” USA Today quotes Cheney as writing.

Back then, Bush provided several reasons why he decided to help struggling automakers when he did. One of them was to protect American families from the massive jobs losses that would have occurred if the automakers went under.

The move also aimed to protect the American economy since Bush had been advised that failing to do so would result in a multi-billion dollar setback for the nation's GDP.

But 2008 wasn't the first time Cheney took such as position. According to The Detroit News, Cheney notes he had voted against the 1979 $1.5 billion loan guarantee for Chrysler Corp. while he was a House member.

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It is barely shocking then that USA Today says that Cheney also wrote that he was “disappointed — but not surprised — when the Obama administration significantly increased the government intervention in the automobile industry shortly after taking office.”

Throughout his career, Cheney claims he was “philosophically opposed to bailing out specific companies or industries,” The Detroit News reports.

Though the former vice president did support the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, which aimed to help struggling banks, the Detroit News says that Cheney believes that “all things considered, companies in the private sector should be judged in the marketplace.”

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