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Romney’s continued attack on the auto industry

I’ve been been working on and off for the last two hours on trying to get a decent post together on Mitt Romney and his attack on the auto industry bailout. I have either writer’s block or brain freeze or some combination of both. Let’s see what Steve had to say on this subject

Mitt Romney has earned a well-deserved reputation for taking both sides of several dozen issues. As a rule, however, the Republican presidential hopeful tries to take these positions one at a time.

Romney’s position on President Obama’s rescue of the American automotive industry is a little more complicated. On the one hand, Romney wants to take credit for the policy, since he suggested managed bankruptcy. On the other hand, Romney wants to condemn the same policy, at the same time, since Obama used public funds to keep the industry’s head above water during the restructuring process.

The Detroit Free Press’ Tom Walsh, who talked to Romney about this the other day, noted the former governor “must be exhausted from trying to twist the facts into a narrative that sounds (a) like he’s happy for Detroit auto workers who still have jobs and are sharing in profits; (b) yet also virulently anti-Obama and anti-labor-union.”

It’s this same twisting that leaves Romney saying strange things.

Romney insisted … he would have steered the companies into managed bankruptcy — but with loan and warranty guarantees, not tens of billions of dollars in bailout cash.

And who would have made the big loans that Romney would have federally guaranteed? The private credit markets were frozen in the financial panic of late 2008 and early 2009, leading many experts to conclude that no private lender would have stepped up to finance bankruptcies as huge and risky as those of GM and Chrysler.

When I pressed Romney on this point, he insisted that if the U.S. Treasury issued bonds or guarantees, plenty of private lenders would have surfaced.

No serious person believes this, not even those who used to agree with him on the issue. Does Romney even remember the crash and near collapse of the global financial system? It’s why a Chrysler executive responded last year to Romney’s position by suggesting he’s “smoking illegal material.”

On CBS News last night, General Motors Chairman and CEO Daniel Akerson wasn’t quite that colorful, but when asked about Romney’s argument, Akerson responded, “I think you could have written off this company, this industry, and this country” with such an approach.

Mike Jackson, chairman and CEO of AutoNation, added that Romney’s argument is “reckless, detached from reality, and dishonest.”

By |2012-02-18T18:01:47-04:00February 18th, 2012|Economy, Party Politics|Comments Off on Romney’s continued attack on the auto industry

More to talk about this Tuesday evening

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu laid out criteria for peace in an address before Congress. The one point that he made that I think deserves underscoring is that the leadership of Israel has acknowledged that there needs to be a Palestinian state, but the leadership of the Palestinian Authority has never said there should be and must be an Israeli state.
  • Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is going to stand trial for killing or ordering the killing of unarmed protesters. As a rule, if you’re an ousted dictator, you need to get out of the country.
  • Do you remember when gas prices went through the roof in 2008? Everybody was standing around trying to figure out what was going on. Well, I think everybody settled on commodities traders. It appears the US government is suing some of these commodities traders. Basically, the government is saying that these commodities traders bid up the price and then sold short to make money both on the upside and the downside of oil prices. In the meantime, you and I just simply paid more at the pump… for no good reason. I wonder if this is exactly what is happening now??
  • For all those Republicans and conservatives who thought it was a bad idea to prop up the American automotive industry, now we can give them a big fat raspberry as Chrysler begins to pay back the American government and therefore you and me, the American people. This is what believing in America is all about.
  • There’s a big election in New York. The New York-26. This is a very Republican district. The polls have just closed. This is supposed to be a referendum on Medicare. As a rule, I think these general pronouncements, calling elections referendums on x or y are usually wrong. All politics is local; at least that’s the way the saying goes. How did the candidates run their campaign? That determines who wins and who loses the majority of the time. The Republican candidate Jane Corwin publicly stated that she embraced the Paul Ryan plan to end Medicare. When you publicly embrace an unpopular position, expect to get some blowback from your constituents… like you will not get elected. Kathy Hochul is the Democrat. I hope that she has put together a smart campaign. I hope that she has worked hard. She has a unique opportunity to win this race. Election results can be found here.
By |2011-05-24T22:33:00-04:00May 24th, 2011|Economy, Foreign Affairs, Israel, Party Politics|Comments Off on More to talk about this Tuesday evening

GM laying off people and closing plants

I’ve been highly critical of our automotive industry for a long time. Over the last two or three years, all we’ve heard from General Motors, Ford Motor Company and Chrysler is whining about health care premiums. “We simply cannot be competitive paying these pensions and premiums.” It would have been nice had any of those companies embraced the American people and their workers…if those companies had tried seriously to invest in a truly new line of automobile. It would’ve been interesting if in 2000 or 2001, General Motors poured everything into hybrid technology. I wonder where we would be today. Unfortunately, they didn’t. The big three made minivans and SUVs.

So after taking $24 billion from us, General Motors will be closing one of their oldest plants. It is just terribly sad.

From AP:

GM’s efforts to hoard cash and outlast a prolonged economic slump claimed the jobs of more than 2,700 workers Monday as the automaker announced the demise of factories in Michigan and Wisconsin.

GM said it would shut down a metal stamping factory in the Grand Rapids suburb of Wyoming by the end of next year, and they are also speeding up the closure of their sport utility vehicle plant in Janesville, Wisconsin, with most of that facility shutting down Dec. 23. (more…)

By |2008-10-14T03:22:35-04:00October 14th, 2008|Economy|Comments Off on GM laying off people and closing plants
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