American Elephants

Salaried Employees at Delphi Speak Out by The Elephant's Child

The Sad Tale of Obama and General Motors by The Elephant's Child

Vice President Joe Biden famously claimed for Obama that “Osama is dead and GM is alive,” to wild cheers of enthusiasm.  Well, of course, bin Laden is dead because of a very dangerous raid by a brave SEAL team. In the “you built that” category, I give the SEAL team the credit rather than to the president who only had to say “yes” or “no,” and in spite of the media uniformly calling it “a gutsy call,” dithered for nearly a year because he couldn’t make up his mind or convince Valerie Jarrett, without whose approval he doesn’t do anything. So yes he is dead, but — you didn’t build that, Mr. President.

Barack Obama has consistently claimed that the recession was all Bush’s fault, but he doesn’t hesitate to take credit for Bush accomplishments. TARP, the Troubled Asset Relief Program, was enacted by Congress on October 3, 2008. President Bush cut a check for $17.4 billion on December 12, 2008. Mr. Bush put money into GM and Chrysler to keep them afloat for Mr. Obama’s benefit, since Mr. Obama would have to clean up the mess if they had to be liquidated.

Normal bankruptcy proceedings would have reined in Union wages and Union pensions, which were a major reason why the companies were failing. Our bankruptcy laws attempt to hold off creditors until the company can reorganize and have a chance to succeed. Bankruptcy can save faltering companies. President Obama believed that he was “saving” the car companies from bankruptcy, which he believed to be a bad thing. And he certainly didn’t want union wages cut back or pensions reformed.

Mr. Obama likes Unions and dislikes Business.  So he thought it was a good idea to illegally give a major chunk of GM to the Unions. And he illegally fired/ dumped large numbers of private businesses who were auto dealers — just put them out of business, along with their estimated 100,000 employees. He again showed his preferences with Delphi,the enormous auto parts organization, where Union wages and pensions were saved, and non-union workers, about 20,000, saw their pensions cut by as much as 70%. And of course the GM and bondholders who had first call on company assets in the case of bankruptcy by law, were illegally dumped.

Mr. Obama insisted that GM start producing the Volt, though they said the electric car was not yet ready for prime time. It costs $41,000 to make a Volt, and the sell it for $41,000. As of last November, the total taxpayer subsidy amounted to $250,000 per Volt sold. The production line is shut down again, because nobody’s buying, even with subprime loans, but GM has put $10.4 million into a retirement village to run entirely on Volts.

The administration has issued new fuel-economy mandates of 54.5 miles per gallon for 2025, which many have called the Electric Vehicle Mandate. Even the Obama Auto Task Force, as it was wrapping up the GM bailout, acknowledged the obvious to the New York Times:

At some point …the drive for profitability is likely to collide with Mr. Obama’s fuel-efficiency and low-emission goals.

So General Motors may “be alive again” but barely, and on life-support. Several sources are expecting bankruptcy again, in the not-too-distant future. Brought along much faster by the new fuel-economy rules.  Funny thing. We only started having fuel-economy mandates when we experimented with gasoline price controls in the 1970s, and like all things governmental and regulatory it never goes away, even if it makes no sense at all.

Statistics Are Hard; They Are Counting On Your Lack of Attention. by The Elephant's Child

Under President Obama’s watch we have NOT created 4.5 million jobs. That’s what you might call Obama “Magic Math.” More people are entering the workforce all the time, new graduates, new immigrants, new work permits granted, military vets reentering the job market. Those add roughly 130,000 – 150,000 people a month to the size of the labor force, a number you have to subtract from any new hires.

14.7 Percent: The Real Unemployment Rate, including those that are working part-time due to economic reasons. (Bureau of Labor Statistics 9/7/12)

15,000 Manufacturing Jobs were lost in August. (Bureau of Labor Statistics 9/7/12)

582,000 Manufacturing Jobs Lost since Obama took office.(Bureau of Labor Statistics ((/7/12)

43 Consecutive Months the Unemployment Rate (U-3) has remained above 8%.

39.2 Weeks: The Average Length of Unemployment. 5,033,000 workers have been unemployed for 27 weeks or longer. (Bureau of Labor Statistics 9/7/12)

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