Jackie Gingrich Cushman

In the 1960’s, General Motors held more than 60 percent of the United States market share in cars.  This past week, the American taxpayers, (via the U.S. Treasury), became the majority owner (60 percent) of the Vehicle Acquisition Company, soon to be renamed the General Motors Company.  “By the end of the year, the government will have poured $50 billion of taxpayer money into the automaker,” according to the New York Times article (July 10) that bore the headline: “With Sale of Good Assets, G.M. Out of Bankruptcy.” The plan calls for GM maintaining a market share of 15 percent to 17 percent.

This is just the latest in a string of activities that, little by little, is immunizing the American public to accept government intervention, despite our historic tradition rejecting it.  It’s the culmination of the idea that this is the way it has to be because the company is too big to fail. The overall assumption is that the government will make sure that the taxpayers will be taken care of.

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America’s history is one of personal responsibility, entrepreneurship and innovation, risk-taking and hard work. 

Government – “more, bigger, better” might be the new slogan.

The current budget, which President Obama has touted as halving the deficit over time, does so only because it first triples it.  The current budget plan has the debt increasing from a total of $10 trillion last year to more than $16 trillion in 2012.

This spending of our money continues.  According to a U.S. Government Accountability Office report regarding TARP money, “As of June 30, 2009, … Treasury has approximately $328 billion remaining under the almost $700 billion limit.”  The result is that the Congress is now arguing how to best allocate that remaining money.

The Associated Press recently reported that “American International Group Inc. is consulting with the federal government about its plans to pay millions of dollars in retention incentives and bonuses.”  The credit facility for the company – another company labeled too big to fail -- has increased from $85 billion last September to $182.5 billion today.  “Too big to fail” has turned into “too big to manage without government approval.”

Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.