...last week’s GM IPO did fetch $33 a share, somewhat north of what was expected. But was it a success, really? And is the revived GM positioned to regain lost market share by pioneering a booming new industry for green cars?

The answer to both questions is no.

Start with the IPO. American taxpayers ponied up $50 billion to bail out GM, in exchange for which we got a 61% share in the company. In the IPO, we cut our government holdings to 33%, netting an estimated $13.6 billion or so.

Good deal? Check the math. The U.S. lost an estimated $9.4 billion on the deal. In fact, for taxpayers to be made whole, GM shares will have to trade at about $53 a share. Not what we would call “success,” at least for taxpayers.

Moreover, GM operates under a virtual guarantee that it will be bailed out should it again go bust. So why wouldn’t its IPO be a “success”? Many would buy stock in a company if they knew it had a government guarantee for its mistakes, as GM’s IPO shows.

Of course to Democrats saving union jobs–and union votes–is priceless, especially when they’re spending other people’s money.