The GM / China Double-Standard

More good work from David Harsanyi. This is legendary chutzpah.

Harsanyi: Obama’s Bailout Hypocrisy: The Wall Street Journal reports today that General Motors executives have asked the Treasury Department to sell its stake in the giant automaker. The administration has refused.

Oddly enough, today we also learned that the Obama administration is launching a complaint at the World Trade Organization over China’s allegedly unfair subsidizing of its auto industry. The United States will charge the Chinese government with subsidizing auto and auto parts producers from 2009 and 2011 to the tune of $1 billion. (Protectionism, it seems, always becomes a vital component of economic policy when a candidate is campaigning in Ohio.)

Remember, when President Barack Obama pursues nationalization, he’s making a gutsy call and “saving” the American auto industry. Democrats brought up the bailout 150 times during the Democratic National Convention.

But wait, why won’t Obama sell “our” stake?!

“So why won’t the Treasury Department sell the remaining shares? Well … November.

If the Treasury sold its stake, it would have to admit, despite all its big talk of success , that the venture cost taxpayers a bunch of money.

As I write GM’s shares stand at around $24. If the U.S. sold it shares today it would lose another $15 billion on the bailout. GM stock would need to reach $53 a share for the U.S. to break even. The Wall Street Journal reported that the Treasury Department will start thinking about unloading shares when it hits the $30s. Well, G.M.’s 52-week high is $27.68 and its value has been halved in the past two years.”

Well, there you go.