Auto Bailout Prevented $28.6 Billion Loss for U.S., Research Group Says

The U.S. government avoided a $28.6 billion loss and saved more than 1.14 million jobs by bailing out the automotive industry, a research group said today.

The loss would have been caused by increased public welfare payments and lost tax receipts from workers had the government not provided $82 billion of assistance to the industry, said Kristin Dziczek, director of the labor industry group at the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The study was released as General Motors Co., which received $49.5 billion in U.S. aid, prepares an initial public offering to help pay back the Treasury Department. The government also provided $13 billion of assistance to Chrysler Group LLC and $17 billion to automotive lender GMAC Inc., which later became Ally Financial Inc.

“This economy would be a big pile of dust at the moment” had the government chosen not to save the banks and auto companies, said Steven Rattner, the former head of the U.S. Automotive Task Force.

The government may lose $5 billion to $7 billion on its rescue of t he auto industry, Rattner said today in a Bloomberg Radio interview with Tom Keene and Ken Prewitt.

“Anything in that range is gravy, because we would have had to spend or lost so much more,” Dziczek said today in a telephone interview.

To contact the reporter on this story: Craig Trudell in New York at ctrudell1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jamie Butters at jbutters@bloomberg.net.

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