Today I found myself replying to Mitt Romney’s editorial in the Detroit News. You see, a few years ago, Mitt wrote an editorial in the NY Times about how Obama shouldn’t bail out the auto companies. Now that that is one of the two non-controversial things Obama has done in his presidency (you know what the other one was), Mitt has decided to stand by his editorial by writing a follow-up in the Detroit News. It’s all part of Mitt’s clever plan to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in my home state, which Mitt’s father was governor of back in prehistoric times. Mitt was heavily favored to win, but now Santorum has surged from behind (pun intended) and taken the lead.
Anyway, since I wrote about the Chyrsler commercial here, I’m reposting my comment too:
A few years ago everyone said Obama was a socialist. Now we find out he was actually a crony capitalist all along. Name calling can be very confusing!
The fact is, Obama’s plan definitely saved GM and Chrysler. Mitt’s plan may also have saved GM and Chrysler like he says — I’m no expert, but I’m willing to grant him that it’s possible both companies would have survived without a bailout.
But Mitt’s plan would have resulted in massive layoffs, cutting relatively high-paying manufacturing jobs at the moment that Michigan could least afford it. And when the companies finished restructuring those jobs wouldn’t have come back. The best Michigan could have hoped for was lower paying non-union jobs that would have maximized corporate profits at the cost of the state’s work force. In a more likely scenario, those jobs would be in Mexico or Asia today and Michigan would be left with nothing.
And Mitt Romney doesn’t even address the issue of jobs in his editorial. He has clearly thought a lot about the rights of corporations, but he doesn’t seem to have given a second thought to people’s jobs, and how Michiganders would put food on the table. Not just jobs at auto companies either — jobs at every company that does business with those auto companies as well. Today GM and Chrysler are back on their feet, the bailout money has been returned to the Treasury, and a lot of Michiganders still have their jobs. It might not be a shining moment for free market capitalism, but it’s the result all of Michigan was praying for.