There’s 13 billion we’ll never see again:

The White House has given Detroit an early Christmas present. Friday, President Bush announced the Federal government will provide immediate financial assistance to General Motors and Chrysler, which warned that, without aid, they might go out of business by the end of the month.

“In the midst of a financial crisis and a recession, allowing the U.S. auto industry to collapse is not a responsible course of action,” Bush said.

The money comes out of the TARP funds. How the hell did a couple of auto manufacturers qualify?

There do seem to be some strings attached, but GM and Chrysler will not be forced to undertake the kind of structural reforms a bankruptcy court would force them to do. So Bush just gave big mugs of Gatorade to a couple of drowning men.