Skip to comments.Did GM Get Sweetheart Deal on Homeland Security Vehicles?
Posted on 11/02/2015 9:58:45 AM PST by jazusamo
A report by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Homeland Security has found that the Departmentâs Federal Protective Service (FPS) division wasted about $2.5 million of taxpayer money in 2014 on an extravagant fleet vehicle program. It is not surprising that images show that the vehicles in question appear to be manufactured by crony company , General Motors.
A House of Representatives Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency, headed by Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), requested the audit on the FPSâ fleet operation. The report unveils a fleet of 1,169 vehicles which were leased at an operating cost of $10.7 million. Thatâs over $9,000 a year per vehicle or over $750 a month. Would any taxpaying individual agree to a personal lease deal for that amount? Probably not, but the Obama Administration has no problem spending the taxpayersâ money to lease vehicles which apparently come primarily from GM.
If there was any question as to the lack of efficiency in running the fleet, an even more egregious abuse surfaced with the discovery that the department leased 101 more vehicles than it has officers! The report also questioned the need for costly, high-end SUVs for officers. Coincidentally, those vehicles carry the highest profit margins for auto manufacturers.
Many have criticized the crony relationship between the Obama Administration and GM since the 2009 taxpayer-funded bailout of the company. The process saw claims of politically-favored groups like the UAW given priority over those of less politically-popular groups like GM bondholders. The president later went on to campaign upon the âsuccessâ of the bailout with the UAW coming out in force to help with the reelection bid.
Internet stories previously surfaced questioning the need for so many government Border Patrol vehicles seen sitting unused in areas ranging fromRochester, NY to El Paso, TX to Naco, AZ. Every image I see of the vehicles reveals GM badging. The $2.5 million in waste for the FPS program is a drop in the bucket, but is likely only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the amount of taxpayer money being wasted to help support the presidentâs favorite auto company.
The OIG report on the FPS waste does not go far enough. The question should be asked, why is a government agency leasing vehicles it doesnât need and who is benefitting? The investigation should be expanded to include other agencies that are doing business with GM. Just how much taxpayer money is going to GM (or to any other crony company for that matter) unnecessarily?
The crony relationship between the Obama Administration goes beyond the monetary realm. The recent slap on the wrist for GM from the Justice Department proves that. GM covered up an ignition switch defect that directly led to the deaths of at least 124 people. No one has been charged and the measly fine of $900 million levied by the Justice Department is an insult to the families that lost loved ones. Meanwhile, Volkswagen is demonized for fudging emissions reporting and may face fines expected to be in the billions of dollars.
Only a politicized regulatory bureaucracy would place the value of carbon emissions above human lives. That is the case when a company being charged with emissions abuse has failed to vote in the UAW during efforts to unionize VW plants while GM, which helped the president get reelected, gets off easy for causing the deaths of 124 people.
It is important to discover if the roots of the FPS waste also extend to crony company, GM. House oversight committees should widen their investigations to discover just who is getting the taxpayer money that is unnecessarily going to cronies. I have contacted Rep. Perry's office (contact at 202-225-5836) requesting that his group do so.
Mark Modica is an NLPC Associate Fellow.
Uh, it is Government Motors - partly owned by the federal government.
I’ll bet the cap cost of each vehicle leased was at full retail sticker price.GM now only builds manufacturing plants OUTSIDE the USA. I would not pee on them if they were on fire.
I know we saw an uptick in GM vehicles in Iraq after Obie bailed them out.
same story ... different recipient
Crony capitalism at its worst. But we predicted that this would happen.
What about the safety issues?
No doubt about it and it’s not just the dollars. Like he says about the ignition switch fiasco, GM basically walked away from what should have been criminal prosecutions.
Alternate opinion, Tahoes are frequently used by law enforcement. If border patrol I would suspect they want a body on frame platform which leaves a GM product (Tahoe, suburban or the GMC equivalent) or Expedition.
Now if they are buying the high end models and not the base models that is definatley a problem.
” GM basically walked away from what should have been criminal prosecutions.”
They paid huge finess, but it was the shareholders(ie firemen cops, etc) who actually paid the fines. Same ol same ol.
Government Motors must have preference with Government buyers.
Yep, the fine was $900M but as he stated in the article 124 deaths were atributed to them by not taking care of the problem about ten years ago, that’s criminal in my view.
I remember stories about the USPS and advertisements claiming that they were better than UPS and FedEx. Tax dollars were used to go after private businesses. Ironically, UPS and FedEx, through their taxes, paid for the same adverts that were attacking them.
And then, there is the bailout itself. Which was really a bailout of the unions at the expense of the stockholders and company. IMO, the reason, they had to file for bankruptcy was because they build crap. Their quality sucks! Yet, after the multi-billion dollar bail out I didn't see any effort to improve quality and customer satisfaction. BTW, they paid the so called “loan” with TARP money. Yes, they received a bunch of TARP money.
You’re correct on all counts.
“And then, there is the bailout itself. Which was really a bailout of the unions at the expense of the stockholders and company. IMO, the reason, they had to file for bankruptcy was because they build crap. Their quality sucks! Yet, after the multi-billion dollar bail out I didn’t see any effort to improve quality and customer satisfaction. BTW, they paid the so called âloanâ with TARP money. Yes, they received a bunch of TARP money. “
You are nobody’s fool.
Obama burned the bond holders, and fed the union thugs.
And yes, GM NEVER repaid all of those billions. They lied, and the MSM swore to their lies!
Absolutely right! This whole fiasco makes my blood boil.
We are living in very tough times.
If the government still owns GM, then GM should be providing the vehicles to their owners at cost.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.