In 1979 when Chrysler Corp. faced bankruptcy, a maverick, 55-year-old Lee Iacocca, only one year into his tenure as the company’s CEO, convinced the US  Government to bail out the company and provide $1.5 billion in federally backed loans.

Overtime he succeeded in reviving Chrysler, starting with the compact to mid-sized K-car line in 1981. Two years later, he followed that successful launch with an even more dramatic breakthrough, the first minivans, the Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager, which drew hordes of families to showrooms and set the standard for family friendly transportation.

Thanks in part to the success of the vehicles he introduced and cost-saving measures he implemented, Iacocca was able to turn the company around during the 1980s, paying back the government loans seven years early using Chrysler revenues to do so. Not Taxpayer’s money.

Flash forward to 2010. Enter Ed Whitacre as CEO of General Motors and his payback scam bettered only by Bernard Lawrence “Bernie” Madoff former stockbroker, investment adviser, non-executive chairman of the NASDAQ stock market, and the self-admitted operator of what has been described as the largest Ponzi scheme in history.

You’d think that General Motors Co., having been rescued by U.S. taxpayers, would be more up-front with them. In an ad that has been blanketing the airwaves since last week, General Motors Chairman and chief executive Ed Whitacre boasts that, “We have repaid our government loan, in full, with interest, five years ahead of the original schedule.”

Heightening this scam, Whitacre said in a press release that GM was able to repay the loans “because more customers are buying vehicles like the Chevrolet Malibu and Buick LaCrosse.” Implying GM revenues were used to repay government loans.

Neither the ad nor the press release mentioned that GM repaid its government loan with yet other government money, or that U.S. taxpayers could lose money on the roughly $50 billion they still have invested in General Motors.

In a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner last week, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said the repayment “appears to be nothing more than an elaborate TARP money shuffle.”

For sure, it certainly smells like yet another  Ponzi scheme concocted by the US Government.

And so the legacy of William Jefferson Clinton, the prophet of Washington liars, gains yet another disciple by name Ed Whitacre. UGH!