President Obama spoke at Gellberg Signs today in Washington, D.C. where he not only kept pushing forward his jobs creation agenda, but he also made sure that everyone, including the Right, knew that the Big Three automakers are profitable, alive and well, “All three U.S. automakers are now posting a profit for the first time since 2004.”
Here is the Obama video:
Obama when discussing the not always straight path to economic recovery pointed out just how wrong the conservative opposition to auto bailout was, “Just this morning, there was a report about the growing trend of manufacturing plants returning to the United States from overseas, instead of the other way around. Same time, each of the Big Three automakers -– Ford, GM, and Chrysler -– two of which were on the verge of bankruptcy a little over a year ago, a liquidation bankruptcy that would have destroyed those companies –- all three U.S. automakers are now posting a profit for the first time since 2004. And since they emerged from bankruptcy, the auto industry as a whole has added 76,000 jobs. So there’s some good trends out there.”
Later he mentioned the small group of Republicans who are blocking help for small businesses, “And yet, a minority in the Senate is standing in the way of giving our small businesspeople an up or down vote on this bill. And that’s a shame. These kinds of delays mean contracts are being put off, debts are adding up, workers are going without a job –- and we can’t afford it. We need to do what’s right, not what’s political, and we need to do it right now.”
The President then called for an end to political games, “We need to decide whether we’re willing to do what’s necessary to keep this economy moving in the right direction. Whether we’re willing to rise above the election-time games and come together, all of us — Democrats and Republicans and independents — all of us coming together not just to pass a jobs bill that is going to help small businesses like this one hire and grow, but also to secure a clean energy future, and accelerate our recovery, and rebuild our economy around three simple words — Made in America. That is what I’m committed to doing, and that’s what I hope members of both parties will join me in doing in the days ahead and beyond.”
Here is a sample of some top Republicans had to say about the auto bailout via USA Today in November 2008. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) said, “Just giving them $25 billion doesn’t change anything, It just puts off for six months or so the day of reckoning.” Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) called the auto industry a “dinosaur,” and characterized the bailout as, “a road to nowhere.”
2012 Republican presidential candidate and the so called business expert in the Republican Party, Mitt Romney urged in a New York Times op-ed that auto industry should be allowed to go bankrupt, “The American auto industry is vital to our national interest as an employer and as a hub for manufacturing. A managed bankruptcy may be the only path to the fundamental restructuring the industry needs. It would permit the companies to shed excess labor, pension and real estate costs. The federal government should provide guarantees for post-bankruptcy financing and assure car buyers that their warranties are not at risk.”
Wrong, wrong, and wrong, they were all wrong. The auto industry is not dead. It is the exact opposite. It is alive and growing. The Obama plan did something that bankruptcy would have never done. It forced the automakers to change the way they do business. Instead of being a “path to nowhere,” the Obama plan laid out a path to success, but still to this day, conservatives continue to make the completely false claim that the government has nationalized the auto industry.
It is about time that Obama starts touting his achievements, and the auto bailout is a perfect case study for why the Republicans should not be returned to power. They are still governed by ideology, and their judgment might be even worse than it was during the Bush years. A 2008 study by the Center for Automotive Research found that if the Republican plan of letting the auto industry collapse would have been followed, the American economy would have been crushed. The economy would have lost $156 billion and 2.95 million jobs would have been lost in the first year alone.
Whether Republicans want to believe it or not, Obama saved the auto industry. This president has accomplished so much that even his own supporters don’t give him the credit that he deserves. The White House seems to have finally realized that they can’t expect people to know about the good things they have done. It is great to see the president out there reminding the American people of just how effective and good for this country he has been.