Members of the Obama bailout task force defend aid to Delphi pensions image

Former members of the Obama bailout task force said U.S. taxpayers and auto workers would have had more problems if the auto bailout hadn’t improved pensions of some Delphi Automotive union retirees while cutting those of salaried workers.

$1 billion of U.S. Treasury money was spent in 2009 on top-off pensions for hourly employees at auto parts supplier Delphi (spun off by GM in 2009), while salaried Delphi retirees had their pensions cut as part of U.S. assistance to GM and Chrysler.

“I remain convinced today that it was the best course of action available at that time. I recognize that the restructuring process imposed painful but necessary actions on many of Delphi stakeholders,” Matthew Feldman, a bankruptcy attorney who was on the task force, was quoted as saying at a U.S. House subcommittee hearing by The Detroit News.

Feldman along with colleagues Ron Bloom and Harry Wilson were called before a House Oversight and Government Reform hearing Tuesday after they declined to be interviewed by the inspector general of the Treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief Program for an audit of the Delphi pension decision.

Tuesday’s hearing was the third on Delphi’s pension and GM’s involvement in it.