I remember very clearly how Republicans were screaming about President Obama’s plan to help save the auto industry over a year ago. Many of them had no sympathy for these workers and basically said, let them lose their jobs. As someone who lives in Michigan and knows how many suppliers serve the auto industry, it was maddening to listen to these people who were willing to just let the American auto industry die. As our president said at the time, the ripple effect would have meant millions of jobs lost across the country. Just like with the stimulus, the number of jobs that were saved are dismissed. Once again, all those real people who are able to pay their mortgages, feed their family and pay their taxes are just ignored. I see the effect of the stimulus and the auto bailout every day. From the Wall Street Journal…
The collapse of the companies would have been a “brutal, inevitable shot” to the nation’s already struggling economy, Mr. Obama said in a speech at a Chrysler truck factory in Detroit. “Today, the industry is growing stronger, it’s creating new jobs.”
“If we had done nothing, not only were your jobs gone, but supplier jobs were gone and dealership jobs were gone, and the communities that depend on them would have been wiped out,” Mr. Obama said at the Chrysler plant.
Now only Republicans would be cool with an entire industry going under, people really don’t matter to those folks. It’s all about the bottom line. As long as they have their cushy jobs and can collect money from the “bottom liners”, they are cool with it. I often wonder how these people rationalize their lack of concern for their fellow-man.
Chrysler worker Harold Gilbert said he knows many Americans oppose the bailout that saved his job at the Chrysler Detroit factory. “We are proving the point that we are worth saving,” said Mr. Gilbert, who waited seven hours to see Mr. Obama speak.
The other thing that really pisses of Republicans about this bailout is the fact that most of the workers are unionized. I guess because most unions support Democrats, that makes them the enemy of the right so they cease being people and become “union members”, which is always said with disdain by these folks. Those hard-working middle class folks that drive our country’s manufacturing base are belittled by the uncaring, money-grubbing right-wing.
I’d like to thank President Obama for helping to save Michigan, thank you, thank you, thank you.
I’m all for hard-hitting journalism, tough questions and holding people’s feet to the fire but my opinion about this exchange between Luke Russert (son of the late Tim Russert) is kind of mixed. For one thing, there used to be a time when a reporter had to work his or her way up through the ranks, paying dues, getting coffee, chasing down background for stories etc. It’s quite different today, especially if you are the son of an icon in the news business. I think Charlie Rangel’s response to young Luke was a throwback to the old days which I miss in some ways. And I guess being in my late 40’s and having been taught to respect my elders, I had some issues with the way Luke posed the questions and then argued with him. But like I said, I have mixed feelings about this exchange.
Guest Blogger – Staci
It’s back to school time here in the Midwest. Millions of children nationwide will begin their first day without many of the necessities needed to be successful. I happen to live in the same neighborhood that I attended grade school through high school. For the past few years, I’ve dropped off a box of school supplies to the grammar school for the kids that are in need. It is my intention to give a kid a chance and to even out the playing field whether or not somebody in their home couldn’t or wouldn’t provide the tools for them sans the shame that accompanies being the only kid without. It’s amazing to me the lack of basic supplies in an environment intended for learning. Here on the south side of Chicago, most kids don’t even get textbooks to take home. Can you imagine that kid that needs just a bit more instruction than can be gathered in the 30 minutes dedicated to a specific subject?
It saddens me knowing the bleak futures that most of these kids face. The most distressing part is that so many have no idea that there is any world outside of this neighborhood, no aspirations, no dreams beyond the end of the day. I’ve seen this neighborhood change numerous times over this past 45 years, but I think this is the worse as many of the young adults have given up, too.
Unemployment is at around 30% in the square mile surrounding my block, and it doesn’t get any better as you move throughout the city. What will happen to these kids? What will happen to all of us if they have no future?
If there is a school in your area that serves underprivileged kids, please pass along a box of school supplies their way. It could mean the difference in a kid trying to hang on one more day and just giving up for a lifetime.
Extreme Liberal’s Note:
I second this idea from Staci, my step-daughter teaches in Greenville, Michigan where the main employer of the city, Electrolux, moved to Mexico a few years ago. She buys supplies out of her own pocket….she’s an art teacher, so as you can imagine it’s not just pens and paper. Great idea Staci.