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A Load Of You-Know-What: Obama Sidesteps Reality

- May 10, 2012

Obama’s New Ads Tout His Policies As A Success, But For Millions Of Americans Dealing With His Failures That’s Hard To Believe

“The Tampa Bay Times' Adam C. Smith Reports The Obama Campaign Is On Air In Florida With Two New Ads — One Touting The Auto Bailout And The Other Emphasizing President Obama's Job Creation Record.” (Byron Tau, “Obama On Air With Two New Florida Ads,” Politico, 5/10/12)

OBAMA’S FAILURES ARE NOTHING TO BRAG ABOUT, BUT IN HIS NEW AD “REVERSE” HE TOUTS HIS DISMAL ECONOMIC RECORD

The Washington Post’s Fact Checker Said “Obama Is On Track To Have The Worst Jobs Record Of Any President In The Modern Era.” “Unless the economy turns around in the next 18 months, Obama is on track to have the worst jobs record of any president in the modern era. That would be an accurate statement.” (Glenn Kessler, “Rick Perry’s Claim That Obama Has ‘Killed More Jobs’ Than Any Other President,” The Washington Post’s "The Fact Checker", 8/22/11)

The Unemployment Rate Has Remained Above Eight Percent For A Record 39 Straight Months. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 5/4/12)

  • “Unemployment Has Exceeded 8 Percent Since February 2009, The Longest Such Stretch Since Monthly Records Began In 1948.” (Shobhana Chandra, “Payrolls In U.S. Rose 115,000 In April; Jobless Rate At 8.1%,” Bloomberg, 5/4/12)
  • Congressional Budget Office: Unemployment Has Remained Above Eight Percent For The Longest Stretch Since The Great Depression. “The rate of unemployment in the United States has exceeded 8 percent since February 2009, making the past three years the longest stretch of high unemployment in this country since the Great Depression.” (“Understanding And Responding To Persistently High Unemployment,” Congressional Budget Office, 2/16/12)

Since President Obama Took Office, The Nation Has Lost 572,000 Jobs And The Unemployment Rate Has Increased From 7.8 Percent To 8.1 Percent. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 5/4/12)

  • Including 35,000 Private Sector Jobs, 1,000,000 Construction Jobs, And 605,000 Manufacturing Jobs. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 5/4/12)
  • Women Have Lost 567,000 Of The 572,000 Jobs Lost Since Obama Took Office. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 5/4/12)

Obamanomics Has Failed So Miserably That Unemployed Workers Are Giving Up In Droves

There Are 6 Million “Drop-Outs” Who Have Stopped Looking For Work. “One of the unanswered mysteries about the economy today isn't just where the jobs are, but where the drop-outs are. Those ‘drop-outs’ are the 6 million would-be workers who are not counted in the labor force because they've stopped actively seeking more work, even if they're very much hoping for more work.” (Derek Thompson, “Who Are The 6 Million?” The Atlantic, 12/29/11)

In April, 342,000 Americans Dropped Out Of The Labor Force. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 5/4/12)

  • “The Participation Rate, Which Indicates The Share Of Working-Age People In The Labor Force, Fell To 63.6 Percent, The Lowest Since December 1981, From 63.8 Percent.” (Shobhana Chandra, “Payrolls In U.S. Rose 115,000 In April; Jobless Rate At 8.1%,” Bloomberg, 5/4/12)
  • The Number Of Workers Not In The Labor Force Reached An All-Time High Of 88,419,000. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 5/4/12)
  • The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein: “Unemployment Rate Down To 8.1%, But For The Wrong Reason: People Dropping Out Of Labor Force.” (Ezra Klein, Twitter Feed, 5/4/12)

“This Decline Is Highly Unusual Coming Out Of A Recession.” “This decline is highly unusual coming out of a recession. Normally as hiring picks up, more Americans see more job opportunities and jump back into the labor force. That's what happened after the sharp recession of 1981-82, when the participation rate last hit 63.6%.” (Editorial, “The Vanishing Workers,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/4/12)

  • One Explanation Is The Slow Pace Of Job Growth. “Still, the recent fall is so sharp and surprising that aging baby boomers can't be the entire reason. Another explanation is surely the slow pace of job growth, which means fewer opportunities to entice what economists call the ‘marginal’ worker back into the labor force. Older workers who've lost a longtime job may find themselves unemployable in a rapidly changing economy. They may retire earlier than they might have preferred.” (Editorial, “The Vanishing Workers,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/4/12)

OBAMA REPRISES HIS ROLE AS USED-CAR-SALESMAN-IN-CHIEF
IN HIS CAMPAIGN AD “SUCCEED”

The Washington Post’s Fact Checker: “Virtually Every Claim By The President Regarding The Auto Industry Needs An Asterisk, Just Like The Fine Print In That Too-Good-To-Be-True Car Loan.” (Glenn Kessler, “President Obama’s Phony Accounting On The Auto Industry Bailout,” The Washington Post’s "Fact Checker", 6/7/11)

  • The Washington Post’s Fact Checker Gave President Obama’s Claims On The Chrysler Bailout THREE Pinocchios. (Glenn Kessler, “President Obama’s Phony Accounting On The Auto Industry Bailout,” The Washington Post’s "Fact Checker", 6/7/11)

FactCheck.org: The President Is “Sounding Very Much Like A Used Car Salesman” When He Describes The Success Of The Auto Bailouts. “Notice the president — sounding very much like a used-car salesman — used the phrases ‘during my watch’ and ‘under my watch’ when describing the TARP loans as being ‘completely repaid.’” (Eugene Kelly, “Chrysler Paid In Full?” FactCheck.org, 6/6/11)

Obama Falsely Claimed Taxpayers Would Get Back All The Money Given To The Auto Companies

PROMISE: President Obama Said, “We Are Going To Get Back All The Money That We Invested In Those Car Companies.” (ABC’s, “The View,” 7/28/10)

FAIL: As Of March 2012, The Government Expects To Lose $21.7 Billion On The Auto Bailouts.  (“Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP): Monthly Report To Congress – March 2012,” U.S. Department Of The Treasury, 4/10/12)

  • Much Of The Increase In Losses Is “Due To Sharp Decline Of GM’s Stock Price…”“Last fall, the government dramatically boosted its forecast of losses on the rescues of General Motors Co., Chrysler Group LLC and their finance units from $14 billion to $23.6 billion. Much of the increase in losses is due to the sharp decline of GM's stock price over the last six months.” (David Shepardson, “Treasury Ups Auto Bailout Loss Estimate,” The Detroit News, 1/30/12)
  • The Total Cost Of The Auto Bailouts Now Totals $79.6 Billion. “The Treasury now pegs the cost of the bailout of GM, Chrysler Group LLC and the auto finance companies at $79.6 billion. It no longer includes $5 billion it set aside to guarantee payments to auto suppliers in 2009.” (David Shepardson, “U.S. Boosts Estimate Of Auto Bailout Losses To $23.6B,” The Detroit News, 11/14/11)

FactCheck.org: Obama’s Campaign Falsely Claims The Auto Companies Repaid Their Loans But Half Of It Remains Unpaid. “In the film, Hanks notes the financial comeback of the industry and says, ‘With business booming, they repaid their loans.’ But the U.S. has not recovered all of its loans and investments. About half of the $80 billion in federal aid from the Bush and Obama administrations remains unpaid.”  (Lori Robertson, Robert Farley and Eugene Kiely, “Obama ‘Road’ Film Takes Some Detours,” FactCheck.org, 3/21/12)

Obama’s Management Of The Auto Bailouts Resulted In Tens of Thousands of Jobs Lost

“The Government-Orchestrated Bankruptcies Of General Motors And Chrysler Led To Tens Of Thousands Of Direct Factory, Supplier And Other Related Job Cuts.” “While government influence at decade's end helped Detroit recover financially, the government-orchestrated bankruptcies of General Motors and Chrysler led to tens of thousands of direct factory, supplier and other related job cuts. The primary benefit of the U.S. industry restructuring for employment has been the balance of jobs saved rather than jobs created.” (John Crawley, “Analysis: Obama Seeks Lift From Detroit Auto Jobs,” Reuters, 1/12/12)

Obama’s Auto Task Force Pressed GM And Chrysler To Close “Scores Of Dealerships,” Without Considering the Consequences. “President Obama’s auto task force pressed General Motors and Chrysler to close scores of dealerships without adequately considering the jobs that would be lost or having a firm idea of the cost savings that would be achieved, an audit of the process has concluded.” (Nick Bunkley, “TARP Audit Questions Rush To Close Auto Dealers,” The New York Times, 7/18/10)

  • “Chrysler Terminated 789 Dealerships Last Summer And General Motors Announced Plans To Wind Down 1,454 Dealerships By October Of 2010.” (Catherine Clifford, “Watchdog: Auto Dealers Shut Down Too Fast,” CNN Money, 7/19/10)

Treasury “Contributed To The Accelerated Shuttering Of Thousands Of Small Businesses” And Added “Tens Of Thousands Of Workers To The Already Lengthy Unemployment Rolls.” “‘Treasury made a series of decisions that may have substantially contributed to the accelerated shuttering of thousands of small businesses ... potentially adding tens of thousands of workers to the already lengthy unemployment rolls,’ said the report, released by the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP), Neil Barofsky.” (Catherine Clifford, “Watchdog: Auto Dealers Shut Down Too Fast,” CNN Money, 7/19/10)

  • GM And Chrysler Dealerships Were Encouraged To Close At A Quicker Pace. “GM and Chrysler were both required to submit restructuring plans to the Treasury's Auto Team in February of 2009, but the plans were rejected because Treasury deemed that the car makers weren't moving to close dealerships at a rate fast enough to keep their businesses viable. So the auto manufacturers accelerated the process, with the help of bankruptcy laws that let them cancel dealer contracts.” (Catherine Clifford, “Watchdog: Auto Dealers Shut Down Too Fast,” CNN Money, 7/19/10)

TARP Inspector General: Tens Of Thousands Of Jobs Were Lost Due To Hasty Factory Closings. “The report by Neil M. Barofsky, the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program of the Treasury Department, said both carmakers needed to shut down some underperforming dealerships. But it questioned whether the cuts should have been made so quickly, particularly during a recession. The report, released on Sunday, estimated that tens of thousands of jobs were lost as a result.” (Nick Bunkley, “TARP Audit Questions Rush To Close Auto Dealers,” The New York Times, 7/18/10)

  • Dealership Closings Were Not “Necessary For The Sake Of The Companies’ Economic Survival Or Prudent For The Sake Of The Nation’s Economic Recovery.” “It is not at all clear that the greatly accelerated pace of the dealership closings during one of the most severe economic downturns in our nation’s history was either necessary for the sake of the companies’ economic survival or prudent for the sake of the nation’s economic recovery,’ the report said.” (Nick Bunkley, “TARP Audit Questions Rush To Close Auto Dealers,” The New York Times, 7/18/10)

National Auto Dealers Association: “We Do Not See How These Cuts Make Economic Sense -- Not For The Companies, Not For The Dealers, Not For Local Communities And Certainly Not For The Struggling U.S. Economy.” “The National Auto Dealers Association (NADA) has maintained all along that any incremental benefit for the manufacturers was not worth the economic blow to local communities from shuttered dealerships. ‘The SIGTARP report confirms what was said in NADA's testimony presented to Congress in several hearings and to the Auto Task Force in multiple meetings: 'We do not see how these cuts make economic sense -- not for the companies, not for the dealers, not for local communities and certainly not for the struggling U.S. economy,'’ said Ed Tonkin, chairman of NADA in a statement issued Monday.” (Catherine Clifford, “Watchdog: Auto Dealers Shut Down Too Fast,” CNN Money, 7/19/10)

Obama Gave Large Stakes Of GM And Chrysler To Union Allies

After The 2009 Auto Bailout, The United Auto Workers Union “Was Given An Ownership Stake In Chrysler And Became One Of G.M.’S Largest Shareholders.” “In the industry restructuring that followed the auto rescue of 2009, the U.A.W., long a major contributor to Democrats, was given an ownership stake in Chrysler and became one of G.M.’s largest shareholders. Pensions of some union members and retirees were left intact, while salaried, nonunion employees took big hits.” (Jeremy Peters, “Auto Workers Tap Network For Obama,” The New York Times, 2/24/12)

  • The UAW Now Owns 41.5 Percent Of Chrysler And 10.3 Percent Of GM. “The Center for Automotive Research reports that the union trust fund now owns 10.3 percent of GM’s shares, while the U.S. Treasury owns 32 percent, and public shareholders own 35.2 percent. Italian automaker Fiat owns 53.5 percent of Chrysler, while the union trust owns 41.5 percent.” (Josh Hicks, “President Obama And Crony Capitalism: Examining Mitt Romney’s Claims,” The Washington Post, 2/20/12)

The Washington Post’s Fact Checker: “It’s Fairly Clear That The President Gave Precedence To The Union” In The Auto Bailouts. “In terms of the ‘sweetheart deal’ for the UAW, it’s fairly clear that the president gave precedence to the union and its blue collar members, who fared better than they would have been under Chapter 11. Meanwhile, scores of employees from the white-collar ranks are angry about cuts they had to accept. We won’t judge whether Obama’s stance was appropriate, but we can say that he came down on the side of the Democrat-friendly UAW.” (Josh Hicks, “President Obama And Crony Capitalism: Examining Mitt Romney’s Claims,” The Washington Post, 2/20/12)

  • Obama Forced Bondholders To Take A Backseat To The UAW. “That was the real issue for the White House because of its potential damage to union labor. So it proceeded to orchestrate an out-of-court prepackaged bankruptcy. Bond holders would have taken a severe haircut no matter what, but Mr. Obama's force majeure subordinated their rights to the UAW's.” (Editorial, “Halftime In Detroit,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/25/12)

Former Auto Czar Steve Rattner: “We Didn't Ask Any Active Worker To Cut His Or Her Pay, We Didn't Ask Them To Sacrifice Any Of Their Pension And We Maybe Could Have Asked Them To Do A Little Bit More.” “That was the real issue for the White House because of its potential damage to union labor. So it proceeded to orchestrate an out-of-court prepackaged bankruptcy. Bond holders would have taken a severe haircut no matter what, but Mr. Obama's force majeure subordinated their rights to the UAW's. Even Steve Rattner, who led the auto task force and is its most ardent defender, conceded to the Detroit News in December that ‘We didn't ask any active worker to cut his or her pay, we didn't ask them to sacrifice any of their pension and we maybe could have asked them to do a little bit more.’” (Editorial, “Halftime In Detroit,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/25/12)

The Congressional Oversight Panel In Charge Of Overseeing The Bailouts 
Questioned Whether They Should Be Called Successful

Congressional Oversight Panel: Treasury’s “Differing And Conflicting Goals” Call Into Question Whether The “Interventions In The Auto Industry Should Be Called Successful.”  “These differing and potentially conflicting goals make it difficult to determine whether the TARP’s interventions in the auto industry should be judged to be successful. Instead, the articulation of multiple goals, without specification of their priority, allows Treasury to claim success if the program achieves any one of these goals.” (“The Final Report Of The Congressional Oversight Panel,” Congressional Oversight Panel, 3/16/11)

  • COP: “Whether The Programs Aimed At Helping The Automotive Industry Can Be Called ‘Successful’ Will Be Difficult To Determine …” (“The Final Report Of The Congressional Oversight Panel,” Congressional Oversight Panel, 3/16/11)
  • COP:  Wrote In Its Final Report: “It Is Difficult To Say Whether Government Intervention Was The Best Option.” “It is clear that GM and Chrysler were in dire straits in late 2008. Although it is difficult to say whether government intervention was the best option, the TARP funds the companies received provided them with at least some short-term stability.” (“The Final Report Of The Congressional Oversight Panel,” Congressional Oversight Panel, 3/16/11)

Congressional Oversight Panel: “To The Extent That Success Is Defined As A Return Of Taxpayer Money, It Remains Somewhat Unlikely That All TARP Funds Invested Will Be Returned.” (“The Final Report Of The Congressional Oversight Panel,” Congressional Oversight Panel, 3/16/11)

  • COP: “Even If TARP Funds Are Fully Repaid, The Government’s Intervention In This Industry May Have Lasting Effects.” (“The Final Report Of The Congressional Oversight Panel,” Congressional Oversight Panel, 3/16/11)
  • COP: It Is “Unclear Whether The TARP Will Ultimately Reverse” The Domestic Auto Industry's Downward Trend. “The domestic automotive industry was trending downward before the financial crisis hit and it is unclear whether the TARP will ultimately reverse that trend in the long term.” (“The Final Report Of The Congressional Oversight Panel,” Congressional Oversight Panel, 3/16/11)

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