John Ransom

Over the weekend General Motors fought back against critics who have been all over the company after published reports say that the government-subsidized car company is spending as much as $90,000 to produce the “breakthrough” electric car, the Chevy Volt. The Volt retails for only $40,000.

Although the company refused to release figures regarding Volt production costs, UPI quotes the company as saying that critics have "allocated product development costs across the number of Volts sold instead of allocating across the lifetime of the program, which is how business operates."

The UPI whines that the Volt has become a “political football.”

Well, yeah, duh.

That’s what happens when a company gets cash, credit and other consideration from U.S. taxpayers to stay in business, most of which will never be repaid to U.S. taxpayers.

Suddenly things become very political for a private company when the government gives them more money than any other private concern in the history of our country and that money essentially becomes a gift.    

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That’s what happens when you stiff bond holders in bankruptcy to make the political decision to bailout the United Auto Workers’ pension plan with that gift and even still the pension plan remains underfunded by $25 billion.

Political? Yeah, you bet.

You want to get out of politics? Give us back our money, GM.

You have $33.6 billion of cash in the bank right now.   

Yes, we’ll take it. Give it back and we'll call it square.   

Or here’s an idea for General Motors: If you’re concerned about the truth regarding the Volt, then perhaps you might become a little more discriminating yourself.

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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