Obama Taking Taxpayers on the Government Motors Ride

Barack Obama announces his fund family's latest investment.
Barack Obama announces his fund family's latest investment. (By Marvin Joseph -- The Washington Post)
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By Dana Milbank
Tuesday, June 2, 2009


To: U.S. Taxpayer Aggressive Growth Fund shareholders (Class A)

From: Investor Relations, Obama Family of Funds

Re: New Investment in Government Motors

We are eager to tell you about the Obama Family of Funds' latest investment: a plan to take a majority stake in the country's largest automaker. As an American taxpayer, you need take no action and automatically will become a shareholder in the former General Motors Corp. or, as it can now accurately be called, Government Motors. We believe this investment nicely broadens the portfolio of your fund, which had been overweighted in financial services and underweighted in the automotive sector.

For those who may have missed it, your fund manager, Barack Obama, announced the latest investment yesterday from Government Motors' new world headquarters on Pennsylvania Avenue and 16th Street NW in downtown Washington. "Our government will be making a significant additional investment of about $30 billion in GM, an investment that will entitle American taxpayers to ownership of about 60 percent of the new GM," he reported.

While this is a high-risk investment, Obama and his deputy fund managers believe the steps they have taken to protect your capital and maximize your return will allow the U.S. Taxpayer Aggressive Growth Fund to continue to lead other taxpayer funds in the distressed-asset sector, including the Chávez Funds of Venezuela, the Chinese Large Cap Fund and the Putin Investment Advisers funds.

In his announcement, fund manager Obama first reviewed his successful investment in Chrysler. After a month in bankruptcy proceedings, he said, "a new, stronger Chrysler is poised to complete its alliance with Fiat." Other investment professionals, he explained, did not realize how high a return the Chrysler investment could produce. "Many experts said that quick surgical bankruptcy was impossible. They were wrong," Obama said. "Others predicted that Chrysler's decision to enter bankruptcy would lead to an immediate collapse in consumer confidence that would send car sales over a cliff. They were wrong as well. In fact, Chrysler sold more cars in May than it did in April."

The fund manager then explained how he and other investment professionals advised GM on its new business plan. "Working with my Auto Task Force, GM and its stakeholders have produced a viable, achievable plan that will give this iconic American company a chance to rise again," he said. "It's a plan tailored to the realities of today's auto market, a plan that positions GM to move toward profitability even if it takes longer than expected for our economy to fully recover."

In short, Obama said, "what we have, then, is a credible plan that is full of promise." At the Obama Family of Funds, we believe that our passionate pursuit of investment perfection will return GM to profitability and will once again prove to our clients that the Obama Funds are engineered like no other taxpayer investment fund in the world.

As a busy portfolio manager, Obama explained that he will delegate considerable autonomy to his handpicked executive team. "What I have no interest in doing is running GM," he said. Of course, the Obama Funds would not object if Government Motors, after phasing out the Pontiac, Saturn, Saab and Hummer brands, later chose to launch new products called the Obama, the Geithner, the Bernanke or the Biden. But such matters are secondary to our primary investment goal of near-term asset appreciation. "In short, our goal is to get GM back on its feet, take a hands-off approach and get out quickly," Obama said.

The change of ownership will probably make GM a different kind of car company, so your fund manager took steps to reassure Government Motors' prospective customers. "GM will emerge from its bankruptcy quickly and as a stronger and more competitive company," he forecast, "and I want to remind everyone that if you are considering buying a GM car during this period of restructuring, your warranties will be safe and government-backed."

He also served notice that, in order to maximize shareholder returns, his management team will be expecting further labor concessions. Obama told Government Motors employees that they should accept "a sacrifice you may not have chose to make, but a sacrifice you were nevertheless called to make so that your children and all of our children can grow up in an America that still makes things."

Fund manager Obama said his new business plan will be "the beginning of a new GM, a new GM that can produce the high-quality, safe and fuel-efficient cars of tomorrow," and he predicted that his new investment vehicle will "out-compete automakers around the world."

"And when that happens," he said, "we can truly say that what is good for General Motors and all who work there is good for the United States of America." We hope that you, as a Class A shareholder in the U.S. Taxpayer Aggressive Growth Fund, share our belief that our stake in Government Motors will turn out to be the ultimate investing experience.

© 2009 The Washington Post Company