A Tale of Two Industries
Last week’s Michigan primary seemed to be more about the past than the future. If you listened to the White House, the only topic that mattered seemed to be the auto bailouts. President Obama even gave a self-congratulatory speech to the United Auto Workers union – not in Michigan, but in Washington, D.C. Because, you know, it’s not like unions lobby or anything.
The President hailed the auto bailouts as what saved the auto industry from certain ruin. If the bailouts worked, GM and Chrysler wouldn’t have had to go through bankruptcy. First President Bush gave them bailout money, then President Obama upped the dosage. Neither bailout worked, but President Obama then decided to let the federal government dictate the terms of the bankruptcy in order to reward his union allies who created the problem in the first place with pension and benefit demands that were unsustainable.
It’s not surprising that the President has decided to ignore the fact that GM and Chrysler went bankrupt even with the bailouts. What is surprising is that he’s holding up the bailouts of the auto industry as a success for his administration.
It’s good that GM is now making record profits. Guess what? After the bank bailouts, the banks made record profits, but liberals went crazy about how terrible that was. Double standard? Don’t hold your breath for Occupy Renaissance Center.
Why? Because the financial industry is a much easier bogeyman than the auto industry. Also, the financial industry isn’t unionized like the auto industry. President Obama has decided that it’s more beneficial to his campaign to support the auto workers than to defend anyone who works in the financial industry – even bank tellers.
Both industries received a bailout, but for some reason the bailout for the auto industry was okay, even though the unions that caused the problems were given a controlling interest in the company, while investors got the shaft. Telling the truth is still important, even if inconvenient.