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The 99% That’s Not You Gets a $7,000 Cash Bailout Bonus

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

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.”        

Oh, but the good times don’t stop there either.

Thanks to your generous contribution to Public Auto-Making, the United Auto Workers is training 100,000 people for what they call “The 99% Spring.”

“From April 9 to 15, ‘100,000 Americans will train for non-violent direct action,’ promises a new website called The 99% Spring,” reports the Daily Caller. “But while the 43 organizations co-signing a letter on the ragtag-looking site indicate the sort of leaderless resistance characterized by the Occupy Wall Street movement, a series of files The Daily Caller downloaded from the United Auto Workers website indicates that the organized labor powerhouse is behind the effort.”

Maybe you’ll get one of their free, eco-totes to carry your groceries in while using public transportation or a poncho that can double as a tent when you occupy the local city park.

“This spring we rise!” promises the 99% Spring. “We will reshape our country with our own hands and feet, bodies and hearts. We will take non-violent action in the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi to forge a new destiny one block, one neighborhood, one city, one state at a time.”

And also apparently one exclamation point at a time too!

But wait, there’s even more to it than that. These guys are really good stewards of your money. That bailout money goes a long, long way.

According to Bloomberg:

Union workers at the Corvette factory in Kentucky will probably use their profit sharing checks to put a down payment on the $49,600 sports cars they build, said Eldon Renaud, president of United Auto Workers Local 2164 at the Bowling Green, Kentucky factory that builds the cars.

Renaud himself “plans on using his $7,000 profit-sharing check to take his wife to Italy to celebrate her new doctorate and his survival at GM.

“Things are finally starting to look up and we’re just excited that we still have jobs,” said Renaud. “I’m sure my wife will be excited. I owe her a trip to Italy.”

No word yet whether the Renauds will be organizing austerity strikes in Italy on their trip, or just saving the days of rage for the USA.

Maybe they can just Occupy some mimosas by the pool.

When in Rome.  

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