Thursday, February 16, 2012

Romney a hypocrite, poor businessman in opposing auto rescue

I realize there is an election this year and Republicans have to say everything Obama has done or attempted to do has been a complete failure, blah, blah, blah... but come on, the Detroit bailout has been a huge success. And it was started by Dubya, not Obama, which gives Romney perfect cover to ignore it. But no. He can't help himself.

Mitt Romney, the GOP's nominee apparent, has foolishly picked a fight with Obama and the revitalized Detroit auto industry in his erstwhile home state of Michigan simply to stand apart from the Administration and look good in front of the far Right. He wrote in an op-ed in the Detroit News saying, "The president tells us that without his intervention things in Detroit would be worse."

He called the auto industry bailout, "crony capitalism on a grand scale," writing, "I believe that without his intervention things there would be better." This is Romney kicking Detroit after it has lifted itself off the mat; but he also kicked Detroit when it was down in 2008 when he wrote a piece for the New York Times titled "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt."

(For the record, GOP runner-up Rick Santorum also opposes the auto bailout -- but also criticized Romney for hypocritically supporting the Wall Street bailouts.)

To be fair, Romney called for a "managed bankruptcy" of GM and Chrysler, but this was a fantasy. With an auto industry collapse amidst a financial industry collapse, "No one — I repeat, no one — had the slightest interest in funding these companies on any terms," meaning the companies would have been sold off piece by piece, and all their suppliers would have gone belly up. It's shocking that Mr. Bain Capital did not recognize the facts then, and really calls into question Romney's judgment and financial acumen.

Thankfully, Obama did not listen to Romney, the U.S. did provide $85 billion in emergency loans to the auto industry, and as a result, in 4Q 2011, GM posted its largest profit in its 103-year history. Chrysler just posted its first profit since 1997. And most important, 1 million U.S. jobs have been saved. Let's not forget that even Ford, which did not accept bailout funds, lobbied Congress for the bailout of GM, Chrysler, and their suppliers, not to mention lobbied for "cash-for-clunkers," because if Ford's competitors had failed, the entire industry including Ford would have failed.

No comments: