“Bin Laden is Dead and General Motors is Alive.” It’s catchy, and it’s a great campaign slogan. “If you’re looking for a bumper sticker to sum up how President Obama has handled what we inherited, it’s pretty simple: Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive,” Vice President Biden said in his attack on Mitt Romney.
Yes, Bin Laden is dead, and President Obama should get credit for following through with using the military to kill him. He should own whatever takes place on his watch. This means he needs to stop blaming George Bush on the economy and take responsibility for our present economic plight. If he wants credit for Osama, he also needs to take credit for high unemployment and low GDP numbers and falling housing prices.
But the General Motors claim is another matter altogether. GM is alive because President Obama gave the company $50 billion that wasn’t his to give or theirs to take and stiffed the stock holders and taxpayers. I could save almost any company using someone else’s money, unless it was Solyndra that flushed $500 million of our money down the crapper. But back to GM and Chrysler:
Taxpayers fell $1.3 billion short on the Chrysler bailout and are still waiting for $25.5 billion back on the GM deal. In total, the companies received about $60 billion between them.
When the above writer uses the word “taxpayers,” he really does not mean you or me. We’ll never see a nickel of any money GM pays back, even if it pays it all back.
It’s not like you and I wrote a check to these companies in a known risk investment because we had confidence that the company would pull through and we would get a real return on our money. It wasn’t President Obama’s money to give. I can be magnanimous with other people’s money, but I don’t have the right or the power to steal it so I can give it away and get credit for it. In constitutional terms, neither does President Obama and those who voted for the bailout.
In addition to the billions of dollars in bailout money, more than 700 dealerships were shut down. GM said they were “underperforming” and were not competitive. How often have we heard how Mitt Romney is an uncaring capitalist because he saved companies by laying off workers? It’s OK for our government to save a company by layoffs, but it’s predatory capitalism if Romney does it.
Without the bailout, GM could have restructured, still closed the unprofitable dealerships, and renegotiated all their union contracts. In the end, every GM car would have been less expensive since union workers get paid above and beyond what non-union autoworkers get paid. This would have put price pressure on all the hour car manufacturers. Everybody would have won in the end. It’s no wonder that “foreign automakers — including Honda, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen — are placing their U.S. factories in [right to work states] because of generous state and local incentives and a workforce famously resistant to unions,” the Los Angeles Times reports, “Plants in the South are churning out more of the nation’s supply of new vehicles. They now account for about half of all vehicle manufacturing in the U.S., yet none of the factories operated by the foreign automakers in the region has union workers.”
But it was our money that kept the unions in power – a huge Democrat voting block and something for President to brag about to garner votes for this year’s election since union membership is shrinking across America.