This morning on ABC’s This Week, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel told Jake Tapper:
In the case of General Motors, the prior administration wrote a check without asking for any conditions of change. We said: Without a check from the American people, get yourself right. You’ve got to make fundamental change. They’ve made changes and now, as you know, General Motors is going to have an IPO. And most importantly, they’re going to keep open factories that they were planning on closing. So we’re righting an industry that was not doing itself, or the American people or its workers, the right thing. So it was a way of getting them to do the changes that they had postponed.
Mr. Emanuel’s claim that the Bush Administration “wrote a check without asking for any conditions of change” is provably incorrect. The Bush-era loans were conditioned on restructuring to become financially viable, with a precise definition of viability, specific restructuring goals, and quantitative targets.
Almost exactly a year ago I responded to a similar claim made by Council of Economic Advisers Member Austan Goolsbee. Here is an excerpt from that post:
blockquote>In the last few days of December