Barack Obama has told some whoppers in his pursuit of a second term. But the biggest lie of all is that he saved the auto industry, particularly here in Ohio. Senator Rob Portman has penned an op-ed exposing the Obama campaign’s dishonesty.
He begins by pointing to a very important fact—President Obama took General Motors and Chrysler into bankruptcy. With its massive debt and unsustainable obligations, bankruptcy was inevitable. And both President Obama and Mitt Romney supported a federal role in the process. But here’s the key distinction. As the Senator writes,
The difference between the Romney and Obama approaches was not whether these American auto giants would survive or fold. The difference was that President Obama engineered a more “political” bankruptcy that had the federal government playing a bigger role, while Gov. Romney proposed a process that he believed would have put these manufacturers in a more competitive position for the long haul.
Romney wanted to see the companies “shed excess costs, clear out old debts and regain their competitive edge, so they could keep building cars and making payroll.” President Obama’s plan did more to reward political friends and allies—particularly in the auto unions—than it did to actually solve the long-term problems of the industry.
It’s hard to say what the long-term effects of that decision will be on the auto industry, but here in Ohio, we don’t have to wait to feel the pain. We are already suffering because of the President’s decision. Senator Portman writes,
The bankruptcy the companies went through was not without pain: The government decided that three GM plants in Ohio — Mansfield, Columbus and the Parma Powertrain plant — would be shut down. More than 100 local car dealerships in Ohio and thousands across the nation were ordered closed at the government’s direction. And over 20,000 retirees who worked for the auto-parts maker Delphi — including thousands of families in Dayton and Youngstown — were cut out of the government deal and saw their hard-earned pensions shrink by up to 70 percent.
Remember that the next time President Obama tells Ohio he “saved” the auto industry.