Obama’s up in Michigan today spinning like crazy to get people to believe that the auto industry bailout’s been a huge success. He’s visiting a Chrysler plant today and will head over to a Ford plant in Chicago next Wednesday.
You’d never know from the story but it’s a fact that Ford Motor Company declined to accept any of the taxpayer money being thrown around the industry, preferring to remain in business by being, you know, a profitable business.
Obama’s sinking support numbers with women sent him running to the friendly ground of ABC’s “The View” where he offered this commentary:
“You now have all those U.S. auto companies showing a profit. They’ve rehired 55,000 workers. We are going to get all the money back that we invested in those car companies,” Obama said in an interview aired Thursday on the ABC daytime talk show “The View.”
He said the government is on track to recover all the taxpayer money his administration poured into GM, Chrysler, auto lenders and suppliers to avert a near-certain industrywide meltdown.
Again, Ford is showing their profit on the basis of their hard work, tough decisions, and superior product. How tough is it, after all, to show profits when you dump massive amounts of debt in a bankruptcy, declare your existing stock to be next to worthless and gin up some new paper to sell, conveniently, to the federal government? Oh, and to have lots of cash infusions to cover those pesky things like expenses. Answer: not too tough at all. But let’s have a quick look at the President’s strong assertion that “[w]e are going to get all the money back that we invested in those car companies.” As soon as that little bit of misdirection went to air we saw the White House immediately scramble to clarify a rather critical item:
However, the White House said that proclamation referred only to the $60 billion spent by the Obama administration, not the additional $25 billion funneled to the industry in 2008 under the Bush administration. The most recent government estimate found that taxpayers will lose $24.3 billion on the auto bailout.
Pardon me, but when someone tells me I’m going to get “all” of my cash back, I assume that means “all.” As in: every penny. In Obamaworld, it only means the part he thinks is important. Of course, the announcement that taxpayers are looking at a significant loss under this program didn’t get near the scope of listeners that Obama’s initial comments got. I suspect that was intentional. They were spending way too much time talking about how great things are now:
In a report on the status of the auto industry, the White House said failing to intervene would have led to the loss of nearly 1.1 million jobs. The auto industry has added 55,000 jobs in the year since the automotive bankruptcies, making it the strongest year of job growth in the industry since 1999.
The administration pointed to several signs of progress: plans by GM and Chrysler to skip the typical summer shutdown of several auto plants to meet demand for hot-selling vehicles and the addition of shifts at GM, Chrysler and Ford Motor Co. plants. The report notes that the three companies are beginning to post profits.
Again, note that they’re using figures on “the auto industry” that will include the hiring numbers of firms like Ford, Toyota, and Honda who didn’t take any bailout funds. To include those numbers is to claim success for something they didn’t have a damned thing to do with, not that this is a major sticking point for this administration. In the lead-up to the bankruptcies, these firms did what most firms do: they shed personnel. With the shot in the arm filled with taxpayer cash, is it at all surprising that they could hire hundreds of those workers back? Want to impress me? Tell me 1) how many of those 55,000 jobs were added by firms who got a bailout and 2) tell me how many of those were simply people being rehired to jobs they’d been let go from. I want to know if the payrolls for those bailout companies are higher than they were 2 years ago, not last year when they were climbing onto the taxpayers’ backs.
And I have the same problem with touting additional shifts brought on at Ford as I do the rest of this spin: Ford didn’t rely on taxpayer funding to stay a going concern.
The Democrats are desperate to show the Obama administration as an effective organization and their programs as working solutions. That doesn’t give them the clearance to lie and cheat about it.