Obama saved the American auto industry

January 24, 2012

General Motors automobile mural

Image by Toban Black via Flickr

note:  This started as a reply to the last comment from spreadeagle72 but it became so long and full of import that I had to post it.   Thanks for the conversation Spread, you spawned a post!  

Here is his last comment so you can get the gist:

‘I hate to see anyone lose their job. I’ve lost a few jobs in my life but didn’t need the government to “bail” me out. If the feds would have stayed out of the automobile industry in the first place and allowed the free market to fend for itself there would have been more than 3 or 4 manufacturers in the country and we would not be in this mess to begin with.
It doesn’t have anything to do with democrats or republicans…..
Bad business is just that….whether you do it with the burden of union pentions, labor costs, or the Hill with all it’s taxes and regulations it’s always bad business practices that end jobs.

All you have to do is look across the pond to figure out that bailouts no matter how small are never the answer. It always bites you one way or the other.’

The Blunt Response:

Today, Chrysler and GM are among the most successful auto companies for the year 2011.  In 2008, Chrysler and GM would have closed down their shops and sold anything of value to the still standing victors and tens of thousands of automotive jobs would now be gone.  We would have been down to one, that’s right, ONE American car company with other FOREIGN owned manufacturers doing some part of their business in the states (especially the states where employers do not have to provide health care or negotiate collectively with employees for better pay).  The banks and right wing conservatives were ready to let them fail but Obama and a Democratic Senate and House saved the American automotive industry with a federal program.

Also, it was not a ‘bailout’.  The banking industry with it’s comparatively small but very well paid staff qualified for massive massive give aways so they could continue the foreclosures and multimillion end of year bonuses.  GM and Chrysler could only qualify for loans.  That’s right, the federal money given to GM and Chrysler were structured as loans and much has already been paid off, plus interest to the US treasury.   Here, we have proof that the government saved jobs and still conservatives scoff and try to spin a success into a failure.  It perplexes me when the facts are in front of people and they do not see them.  Spreadeagle must be seeing ideological smudges on the eyeglasses of reality and thinking the world is cloudy.

Also, it’s perplexing to hear conservatives complain about government ‘bailouts’ yet they don’t complain when we subsidize the oil industry to the tune of billions of our tax dollars per year.  We don’t just give them tax breaks, but we also give oil giants billions in ‘credits’ per year.   Why don’t you ever hear about that on False News or Rushinta Limbo?   You certainly don’t hear them talk about actual bailouts that occurred under former GOP presidents.

You also hear a lot of carping about a free market taking care of things.  A ‘free’ market implies a competitive market with a variety of suppliers competing for customers, not a hand full of players agreeing in private how to set pricing, crowding small businesses out or buying them off.  Conservatives seem to think creating  jobs and a free market means loosening clean air and clean water regulations so the oil business can get down and dirty again.  Why is the US exporting oil overseas if we need it here so much?  We can drill baby drill, but that is not going to lower gas prices like truly free markets protected from a multinational industrial monopolistic trust.

Conservatives speak with a forked tongue when they say they ‘hate to see folks lose their jobs, but don’t let the government do anything to protect them’.  It’s time for people like that to look more clearly at how far backward we have gone in this decade.  It didn’t start with Obama, it started right around the year 2000.

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One Response to “Obama saved the American auto industry”


  1. Reblogged this on The Spread Eagle Patriot and commented:
    Kinda new at the blog thing. Let’s see how this reblog works.


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