John Ransom

Hey, good news everybody.

Remember that $23 billion that the US government –a.k.a. you- is never going to see back from General Motors?

Well, General Motors has done so well this year- in fact, they have enjoyed record-breaking $9 billion profits- that next week they’ll be giving out $7,000 in bonus checks to 47,500 UAW workers who already make about $116,000 dollars per year in total wages and benefits (with about $58,000 of that in just wages and the rest in benefits).

It’s good to be the 99%: You get a fat $7k bonus, plus $100k+ a year. Too bad GM is so broke that they can’t afford to pay the US government back the $23 billion they still owe us. Maybe the next time they make record-breaking profits? I guess some get to be more 99% than others.  

“The rebound in carmaker profits is putting money into the pockets of U.S. workers after years of belt-tightening,” writes Bloomberg. “GM yesterday reported a record $9.19 billion in net income for 2011, which will mean profit-sharing bonuses of as much as $7,000 for 47,500 eligible UAW members. That’s an all-time high for GM, and up from an average of $4,300 for the company’s U.S. union workers last year. The payouts, scheduled for March 2, come on top of similar bonuses at Ford Motor Co. (F) and Chrysler Group LLC.”

Only unions would complain that the UAW’s 99%'s average wage of $60,000 per year (*2 for benefits) is “belt tightening.”   The average wage including benefits for the rest of us 99%ers comes out to just 54 percent of what the bailed out, union auto workers make.  

Let that be a lesson to you: Every industry can have record profits too if they just get an $80 billion, largely forgivable, tax-free “loan” from the Obama administration. Resistance is futile. 

If regular suckers like you and me tried to skip out on the tax liability of a $23 billion gift, we’d have to get the best advice lawyers can give. But GM and Warren Buffett get notes from the school nurse. “Please excuse Warren and General from attending to taxes. They are too well to attend.”        

John Ransom

John Ransom’s writings on politics and finance have appeared in the Los Angeles Business Journal, the Colorado Statesman, Pajamas Media and Registered Rep Magazine amongst others. Until 9/11, Ransom worked primarily in finance as an investment executive for NYSE member firm Raymond James and Associates, JW Charles and as a new business development executive at Mutual Service Corporation. He lives in San Diego. You can follow him on twitter @bamransom.

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