If nearly perfect Tigers S Armando Galarraga is deserving of a new 2010 Corvette from General Motors, where do I sign up to demand a Chevy Aveo5 be gifted to Jonathan Niese or R.A. Dickey? Ordinarily, I’d have no say in the matter, but as the New York TImes’ Nick Bunkley reminded me yesterday, I’m amongst the 300 million “poential second-guessers” / taxpayer owners of GM.
“Until G.M. has repaid the taxpayers in full for the money they have borrowed, every action that G.M. takes should advance them in that direction, said Kurt Bardella, a spokesman for Representative Darrell Issa, a Republican of California who is a visible G.M. second-guesser.
Last month, Mr. Issa was among a multitude of critics who took issue with another G.M. marketing effort ” the running of self-congratulatory advertisements about having repaid a government loan. (Taxpayers still own $2.1 billion in preferred stock of G.M. and 61 percent of its common equity.)
œThe leadership thought it (awarding Galarraga the car) was an excellent opportunity, Chevrolet spokesman Klaus-Peter Martin said. œWe looked into the cost-benefit ratio and decided to go for it.
Mr. Bardella, the spokesman for the congressman, said he hoped that was true and noted that many people would be watching.
œIf you were to ask the majority of taxpayers ” outside of the city of Detroit, probably ” if they thought that giving a $50,000 car away for free was a good use of money, I™m sure that most people would say no, he said. œIf it creates the perception of good will and a solvent company and encourages people to buy their cars, then great. Is it something they should do every day? Probably not.