The Wall Street Journal today reports that General Motors has "begun to once again contribute to political campaigns, lifting a self-imposed ban on political spending put in place during the auto maker's U.S.-financed bankruptcy restructuring last year." That means, the automaker that Americans purchased in 2009, because it was too big to fail, is now giving money to American politicians.
Corporations, and individuals for that matter, give political donations to show support for politicians and their policies. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. But this is an extraordinary case: The U.S. government owns more than half of the company that's giving to political causes, hoping to influence, or at least support, political causes that it believes are favorable to GM's cause. But that's happening on the U.S. taxpayer's dime.
And guess which political party is the greatest beneficiary of GM's political donations? That's right, the majority party (for now). As the Wall Street Journal reports:
The beneficiaries include Midwestern lawmakers, mostly Democrats, who have traditionally supported the industry's legislative agenda on Capitol Hill, including Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.), Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) and Rep. John Dingell (D., Mich.).
The list also includes Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor, the House Republican Whip, who would likely assume a top leadership post if Republicans win control of the House in November.
For more on the government take over of General Motors, watch this video from 60 Minutes: