A story that isn’t getting a lot of coverage by the media is the success of the bailout of the GM and Chrysler. I remember vividly, how the Republicans took to the airwaves screaming about how the government can’t do anything right and actually rooting for the auto industry to fail. As it was happening, I couldn’t believe that these people would actually root for and argue for letting them die off. Being in Michigan where so many jobs are either working for GM, Ford or Chrysler or one of the many suppliers who build components for them, I was incensed at the disregard for these working Americans and their families. What kind of cold-hearted motherfucker roots for hundreds of thousands of jobs to disappear, some estimates were over a million, when you count the ripple effect on suppliers? Let’s just take a look at what the Republican prognosticators were saying back in 2009, when this was going down. Here is Sen. Richard Shelby and his prediction…
This is just one example of how bad Republicans are at predicting what will happen with the economy. Another major one that I’ve posted about before is that the stimulus worked very well, it prevented us from slipping into a deep recession. It’s amazing how soon people forget what dire straights our economy was in and how President Obama and his policies were wildly successful at pulling us out of it. And of course, the media campaign to say up is down and down is up on the stimulus success worked pretty well for the GOP. They are master propagandists, that’s for sure.
E.J. Dionne Jr. had a piece reminding us of the auto bailout and what some folks were saying back when it was happening. From E.J. Dionne Jr….
Far too little attention has been paid to the success of the government’s rescue of the Detroit-based auto companies, and almost no attention has been paid to how completely and utterly wrong bailout opponents were when they insisted it was doomed to failure.
“Having the federal government involved in every aspect of the private sector is very dangerous,” Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) told Fox News in December 2008. “In the long term it could cause us to become a quasi-socialist country.” I don’t see any evidence that we have become a “quasi-socialist country,” just big profits.
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) called the bailout “the leading edge of the Obama administration’s war on capitalism,” while other members of Congress derided the president’s auto industry task force. “Of course we know that nobody on the task force has any experience in the auto business, and we heard at the hearing many of them don’t even own cars,” declared Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) after a hearing on the bailout in May 2009. “And they’re dictating the auto industry for our future? What’s wrong with this picture?”
What’s wrong with this picture is that Republicans are clueless when it comes to the economy. They still believe in “trickle down” economics as if it was written in the Bible and carved in stone tablets. They still think that giving massive tax cuts to corporations and the rich will somehow create jobs and lift the economy, even in the face of reality which shows us how well that worked out for George W. Bush and the American people. The numbers don’t lie, but Republicans continue to.
How successful was the bailout, here is a piece from The New Republic telling us about The Economist and their change of heart on the bailout…(emphasis mine)
Back in the spring of 2009, when Obama was debating what to do with the car companies, the Economist magazine came out hard against a rescue. It’s about what you’d expect from a publication that extols the virtues of the free market so consistently and without qualification. And it’s why their subsequent change of heart, published a few weeks ago, is worth taking so seriously:
Many people thought this bail-out (and a smaller one involving Chrysler, an even sicker firm) unwise. Governments have historically been lousy stewards of industry. Lovers of free markets (including The Economist) feared that Mr Obama might use GM as a political tool: perhaps favouring the unions who donate to Democrats or forcing the firm to build smaller, greener cars than consumers want to buy. The label “Government Motors” quickly stuck, evoking images of clunky committee-built cars that burned banknotes instead of petrol–all run by what Sarah Palin might call the socialist-in-chief.
Yet the doomsayers were wrong. … Mr Obama has been tough from the start. GM had to promise to slim down dramatically–cutting jobs, shuttering factories and shedding brands–to win its lifeline. The firm was forced to declare bankruptcy. Shareholders were wiped out. Top managers were swept aside. Unions did win some special favours: when Chrysler was divided among its creditors, for example, a union health fund did far better than secured bondholders whose claims should have been senior. Congress has put pressure on GM to build new models in America rather than Asia, and to keep open dealerships in certain electoral districts. But by and large Mr Obama has not used his stakes in GM and Chrysler for political ends. On the contrary, his goal has been to restore both firms to health and then get out as quickly as possible. GM is now profitable again and Chrysler, managed by Fiat, is making progress. Taxpayers might even turn a profit when GM is sold.
So this should be a lesson to all Americans not to listen to a freakin word that Republicans say when it comes to the economy. They haven’t been right about much in many years. They keep trying to take us back in time to try their stupid approach again and again. The only thing they have accomplished is to widen the gap between the rich and the poor. But they sure have kept their brainwashed masses singing their tune, with their hands over their ears as they say “nah nah nah, I can’t hear you.”