(Photoshop credit: Reader Joe N.)
My column today previews tonight’s DNC celebration of the massive redistribution of wealth from American taxpayers to…foreign auto plants and overseas auto workers. Tonight’s speakers will wrap the auto bailout in red, white, and blue. The antidote to their narrative-warping is for the GOP to amplify the voices of the victims of Obama/Big Labor cronyism and command-and-control market meddling: the Delphi workers, the bondholders, the dealers, the ripped-off taxpayers, and the rule of law. Seize the day, seize the narrative.
Related: Obama Didn’t Stand By Nonunion Delphi Workers
Obama’s (Un)American Auto Bailout
by Michelle Malkin
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Cue “Fanfare for the Common Man” and rev up the Government Motors engines. Wednesday is Great American Auto Bailout Day at the Democratic National Convention. Party propagandists have prepared a prime-time-ready film touting the “rescue’s” benefits for American workers. UAW President Bob King will sing the savior-in-chief’s praises.
But like all of the economic success stories manufactured by the White House, the $85 billion government handout is a big fat farce.
“I said I believe in American workers, I believe in this American industry, and now the American auto industry has come roaring back,” Obama bragged on the campaign trail. Here’s the inconvenient story they won’t tell you:
GM is once again flirting with bankruptcy despite massive government purchases propping up its sales figures. GM stock is rock-bottom. Losses continue to be revised in the wrong direction. According to The Detroit News, “The Treasury Department says in a new report the government expects to lose more than $25 billion on the $85 billion auto bailout. That’s 15 percent higher than its previous forecast.”
The claims that GM paid back its taxpayer-funded loans “in full” — a story peddled in campaign ads narrated by Hollywood actor Tom Hanks — were debunked by the Treasury Department’s TARP watchdog this summer. GM still owes nearly $30 billion of the $50 billion it received, and its lending arm still owes nearly $15 billion of the more than $17 billion it received. Bailout watchdog Mark Modica of the National Legal and Policy Center adds: “In addition to U.S. taxpayers anteing up, Canada put in over $10 billion, and GM was relieved of about $28 billion of bondholder obligations as UAW claims were protected. That’s an improvement of almost $90 billion to the balance sheet, and the company still lags the competition.”
While the Obama administration wraps the auto bailout in red, white and blue, it’s foreign workers and overseas plants that are reaping redistributive rewards.
GM has increased its manufacturing capacity in China by an estimated 55 percent after the bailout, according to industry watchers. GM’s Dan Akerson crowed at the Beijing auto show earlier this year: “One of our aims is to help grow a new generation of automotive engineers, designers and leaders right here in China.” The U.S. auto giant’s ventures with the Communist regime include Shanghai OnStar Telematics Co., Ltd.; GM China Advanced Technical Center; FAW-GM Light Duty Commercial Vehicle Co., Ltd., in Harbin, Heilongjiang; FAW-GM’s Changchun plant in Changchun, Jilin; FAW-GM Hongta Yunnan Automobile Manufacturing Co., Ltd., in Qujing, Yunnan; and Shanghai Chengxin Used Car Operation and Management Co., Ltd.