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Auto Maker Loans Were Obama’s Idea

In his remarks today about the General Motors bankruptcy, Mr. Obama gave the clear impression that the federal government, specifically the Bush administration, had long ago begun the pernicious practice of loaning the automaker money.

And that he, Mr. Obama has always been reluctant to go this route:

Good morning, everybody. Just over two months ago, I spoke with you in this same spot about the challenges facing our auto industry, and I laid out what needed to be done to save two of America’s most storied automakers — General Motors and Chrysler. These companies were facing a crisis decades in the making, and having relied on loans from the previous administration, were asking for more.

From the beginning, I made it clear that I would not put any more tax dollars on the line if it meant perpetuating the bad business decisions that had led these companies to seek help in the first place. I refused to let these companies become permanent wards of the state, kept afloat on an endless supply of taxpayer money. In other words, I refused to kick the can down the road

Well, a look at the November 11, 2008 edition of the Washington Post tells a very different story:

Obama Asks Bush to Back Rescue of Automakers

By Lori Montgomery and Michael D. Shear
Tuesday, November 11, 2008; A01

President-elect Barack Obama yesterday urged President Bush to support immediate aid for struggling automakers and back a new stimulus package, even as congressional Democrats began drafting legislation to give the Detroit automakers quick access to $25 billion by adding them to the Treasury Department’s $700 billion economic rescue program.

Bush, speaking privately to Obama during their first Oval Office meeting, repeated his administration’s stand that he might support quick action on those bills if Democratic leaders drop their opposition to a Colombia trade agreement that Bush supports, according to people familiar with the discussions

Congress could consider the auto measure as soon as next week, when lawmakers are scheduled to return to Washington. Yesterday, in an urgent bipartisan appeal, all 15 House members and both senators from Michigan sent a letter asking the Bush administration to include the auto industry in the Treasury program on its own initiative or to work with Congress to modify the program.

"There’s an urgent crisis. It’s a national issue. If the administration won’t act, we’ll have to. But they should act," said Rep. Sander M. Levin (D-Mich.)…

So far, administration officials have resisted calls to include the Detroit automakers in the Treasury’s bailout program, which was conceived to stabilize banks and other financial institutions reeling from the global credit crisis. Opening the program to the auto industry would expand the government’s role in private enterprise far beyond the banking sector, and analysts warn that it could prompt a long line of companies from other industries to show up in Washington with their hands out.

Administration officials have pointed instead to $25 billion in low-interest loans recently approved by Congress as a source of quick help for the car companies. Yesterday, White House press secretary Dana Perino told reporters that the White House would be open to legislation that removes bureaucratic roadblocks slowing the release of that money.

"Congress is going to come back into town next week," Perino said. "If it wants to do anything in addition for the automakers, we’ll certainly listen to ideas they have on how to accelerate the loans to viable companies."

Democrats said the loan program is intended to provide long-term assistance to the car companies to retool their factories to produce more fuel-efficient vehicles. They said it was not designed to provide urgent relief from a crisis in consumer confidence that has pushed auto sales to their lowest level in two decades.

"GM has estimated maybe they’d get a billion or two at most next year" from the previously approved loan program, Levin said. "It wouldn’t provide for the infusion of capital that’s absolutely necessary for them to bridge to the future."

Democrats want the Bush administration to approve an additional $25 billion in loans from the Treasury program, bringing total federal assistance to the car companies to $50 billion. In a letter sent yesterday to Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr., Levin and other Michigan lawmakers urged Paulson "in the strongest possible terms to use your authority under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (EESA) or other statutes to immediately address a significant and systemic threat to the U.S. economy and provide emergency assistance to the domestic automobile industry."

Given that one of every 10 U.S. jobs depends in some way on the auto industry, the letter says, helping Detroit is "well within the broad mandate of the Treasury Department to promote stable economic growth. Given the urgency of the situation, we ask that you work with us in the coming days to provide immediate loan support to the domestic auto industry, including, if necessary," by amending the emergency stabilization act.

The letter followed a similar entreaty to Paulson over the weekend by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.)

Michigan lawmakers from both parties said failure to act would be devastating, not only to the car companies but also to the nation.

"Our nation’s leaders must not turn a deaf ear toward helping the nation’s automakers," Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), co-chairman of the Congressional Auto Caucus, said in a written statement. "We can either stand by and do nothing, watching tens of thousands of jobs in Michigan and Middle America evaporate, or we can meet our challenges head on." …

Members of Congress, including Reps. Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer, right, met with auto executives last week in Washington.

Once again Mr. Obama tries to re-write recent history.

The bailout of GM and Chrysler was the brainchild of the Democrat Congress and Mr. Obama himself.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, June 1st, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

24 Responses to “Auto Maker Loans Were Obama’s Idea”

  1. Rusty Shackleford says:

    As Charlie Brown said, as long ago as 1964 to Lucy, who tried to get him to kick that football, “I don’t mind your dishonesty half as much as I mind your opinion of me. You must think I’m stupid.”

  2. Right of the People says:

    So typical, as soon as the things go sour and the fecal material is going to hit the air-moving device, the Messiah goes into full spin mode. This is the most transparent administration ever! (sarcasm). Ford and the foreign automakers with plants here in the US had better duck and cover because he’ll be coming for them soon.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      What’s truly transparent are his lies and scumbaggery. Unfortunately, either the republican party has had their testicles crawl up into their throats permanently, or they’re waiting for something “really obvious” that they can point the finger at. (that’s sarcasm, btw)

    • U NO HOO says:


      scambuggery is more like it.

      BOHICA Baby, woopppeee

  3. proreason says:

    “From the beginning, I made it clear that I would not put any more tax dollars on the line ”

    Well, it all depends on what the definition of “beginning” is.

    And as for putting any more tax dollars on the line, if you think you can force Americans to buy Government Motors products, pehaps you could convince your self there will be no more “tax dollars on the line”

    But for those of us who live in the real world……

  4. Liberals Demise says:

    This guy is beyond belief!
    Maybe if he stayed at the house on Pennsylvania Ave. more often he’d be able to do his homework and job the rubes voted him to do!!
    I’m tired of him selling lies to the fawning sheeples and drooling MSM. Makes me wanna hurl big chunks!!

  5. Rusty Shackleford says:


  6. Steve says:

    Mr. Limbaugh is discussing this article as we type.

    • catie says:

      Yes, and I had completely forgot about this. Boy that messiah, he sure is something.

  7. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    catie, you’re right. He sure is something and sometimes even I with my cynical sarcastic wit am at a loss of words over his actions.

  8. TwilightZoned says:

    “…Mr. Obama has always been reluctant to go this route:”

    I swear this guy is a pathological liar.

  9. canary says:

    He knew they’d fail. Got their votes, paid them back using other’s money.

  10. jobeth says:

    My husband and I were talking today about this car thing.

    GM and Chrysler were going to fail anyway….for whatever reason, (albeit without all our tax dollars) but since watching the banks and the car industry grab all that loot only to then find all the stings (chains really) that were attached, we haven’t found too many more “too big to fail” companies running to the pig trough lately.

    Could be wrong but it looks like most of the big companies are learning by Obalmy’s power grab. Does anyone else know of a line forming for more “gimme” companies? If so I’l like to know who they are (won’t buy from them).

    Another little detail I heard today was the difference between the Ch 11 and Ch 7. Ch 11 allowed Obalmy to keep the union in the mix. Ch 7 would have killed the connection! That by my reasoning would have been the best thing going.
    Those unions are the ones who killed the golden goose. The unions are too big to allow any company to be able to make a ….dare I say it?….shhhhh….profit.

  11. proreason says:

    Advice from proreason:

    1. Replace your vehicles with Hondas or Toyotas as quickly as possible. They can last up to 30 years if well-maintined, and all classes get good mileage.

    2. Stick to the maintenance schedule.

    3. Learn how to drive efficiently. Many web-sites describe how. Most people can improve gas mileage by 5 to 10% with better habits, and the habits are easy to learn.

    4. Over time, reduce your driving by combining trips and finding closer service establishments. Plan trips to work to handle simple errands as well. Begin to think about the cost of the trip when you consider the cost of what you are driving to do. You might be able to reduce driving mileage a surprising amount.

    Because the costs of driving are going to increase faster than any other component of your spending.

    In 10 years, it could cost 3 times as much (or more) as it costs today to drive.

    And the cause of it all is your trusty government.

  12. U NO HOO says:

    Ford would be safe if GM & Chrysler were gone.

    I’m just saying…

  13. 11ten1775 says:

    There’s one word this guy has rightly applied to himself. Audacity.

    Does George W. finally regret trying to reach across the isle to this slithering pit of snakes?

  14. canary says:

    Obama just gave GM another 30 billion dollars on top of Canada’s 20 billions. Obama always makes headlines, to cover up for doing the opposite.
    If the federal government felt it was their duty to bail-out GM then they should

    have given vouchers to Americans to buy the cars. People could sell their vouchers to other people, and then buying cars could have kept them going, plus put at least some money back in America’s pockets. I really don’t understand all this mess.
    Anyone know if car prices will down, or up over this. It’s so confusing to me.

    • Car prices may fluctuate for a while but ultimately MUST follow inflation. Which will not help the car companies at all. The trouble these car companies have seen is not over until government stops mandates rolls back CAFE, and/or Emission standards. Further, because the money makers were ALWAYS the big cars for the domestics, carbon caps are simply a knife in the back by way of increasing fuel costs. We are indeed screwed, and this guy is “The One we have been waiting for” to bend us over.

    • proreason says:

      “Car prices may fluctuate for a while but ultimately MUST follow inflation”

      Not under Socialism. The Central Planners set prices.


    • lol.. Picture this back and forth in the boardroom:

      Obama: “we need a car, ..a car that is for all to enjoy.. a ‘Peoples’ Car..”
      Gov Motors CEO: “You mean a small car sir?”
      Obama: “I mean a car that even those who receive their pay in bonuses can afford”
      Gov Motors CEO: “That might be a small car sir”
      Obama: “Of course it is a small car, one that gets 100 miles per gallon..”
      Gov Motors CEO: “Umm I’m not sure..”
      Obama: “One that has the cleanest tailpipe emissions with next to no CO2 output”
      Gov Motors CEO: “Well.. umm its not really..umm”
      Obama: “One that we can sell for under $1000”
      Gov Motors CEO: “But the shareholders expect a prof…”
      Obama: “C’mon now I want to hear a ‘Yes we can’ from you”
      Gov Motors CEO: “Well.. I suppose there is that rickshaw design those new grads from Berkely have been working on”

    • jobeth says:


      “Gov Motors CEO: “Well.. I suppose there is that rickshaw design those new grads from Berkely have been working on”

      You know, you are on to something there…those rickshaw drivers have “the cleanest tailpipe emissions with next to no CO2 output”. Yep and only a smidgen of methane… LOL

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