Chrysler LLC Takes Runs Expensive Ads in Several Newspapers Thanking American Taxpayers for Bailout

General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC just don’t get it. Chrysler took out a series of full-page newspaper ads last week to thank American taxpayers for “investing” in the company through the government’s $17.4 billion auto industry bailout plan. Isn’t this excessive spending one of the reasons the company got in financial trouble in the first place? They shouldn’t be spending this money on pricey ads anywhere. It is absolutely unconscionable.

The ads ran last week in several major daily newspapers, including USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Since USA Today and The Wall Street Journal are two of the highest-circulation newspapers in the country, full-page ad rates are steep. According to Fox News, a full-page ad in The Wall Street Journal runs between $206,000 and $264,000, and a full-page ad in USA Today runs between $112,000 and $217,000.

The money that Chrysler has spent on this frivolous advertising should be given back to the government. Chrysler’s ad, which is also posted on the company’s Web site, pledges to produce cars and trucks that are attractive to consumers and improve their fuel economy. “On behalf of the 1 million people who depend on Chrysler for their livelihoods, thank you for investing in Chrysler, and America,” says the statement, signed by CEO Bob Nardelli. Isn’t Bob Nardelli the same person who mismanaged Home Depot until he was unceremoniously kicked out a few years ago? Yes, like a thief taunting his victim, Chrysler has done the unthinkable. This comes on the heels of the revelation that the United Auto Workers owns the $33 million Black Lakes Golf Club, complete with a $6 million designer golf course. To add insult to injury, GMAC, the financial arm of General Motors and Cerberus, was just handed billions in bailout funds from the TARP program. This is the reason why they should have been forced into bankruptcy and not bailed out by the Treasury.