Mike Kueber's Blog

September 8, 2012

Bin Laden is dead and GM is alive

Filed under: Economics,Issues,People,Politics — Mike Kueber @ 3:12 pm
Tags: , , , ,

The slogan, “Bin Laden is dead; GM is alive,” seemed to resonate with mainstream Democrats at their national convention, and many pundits suggest that it will be the key to President Obama securing re-election because it will be particularly powerful in the GM-influenced swing states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.  But is Obama any more responsible for saving GM than he is for killing Bin Laden?

Like other casual observers, I have accepted the conventional wisdom that President Obama defied the Republican Party to save GM – and, more importantly, its UAW pensions.  However, as I was reading John Stossel’s new book No, They Can’t I noticed he blamed both Bush-43 and Obama for this unwarranted intervention by government into the affairs of private business.  Stossel’s statement caused me to vaguely recall that Bush-43 had taken some controversial action in favor of GM.  For some reason, however, that action had faded into oblivion even as the GM revival has returned to the front page.

What was Bush-43’s role in the bail-out of GM?  According to a blog in The New Yorker magazine titled, “An Inconvenient Truth: It Was George W. Bush Who Bailed Out The Automakers,” lame-duck Bush-43 defied the Republican Party and saved GM from bankruptcy in December of 2008 by unilaterally diverting $17.4 billion from the TARP to GM and Chrysler.    

Isn’t it ironic that President Obama, who loves to blame all of his problems on Bush-43, never gives him any credit for playing an invaluable role in enabling the two principal accomplishments of the Obama administration – killing Bin Laden and saving GM?

p.s., Mitt Romney’s position is that GM should have gone through the bankruptcy process because that would have freed it from its unmanageable obligations to its unions.  President Obama’s bailout protected the unions more than it protected GM.

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