Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Clint Eastwood Chrysler 'Halftime in America' Ad


Karl Rove told Fox News:

This is a sign of what happens when you have the government getting in bed with big business like the bailout of the auto companies.  They begin to, the leadership of the auto companies feel they need to do something to repay their political patrons. Remember, we lost $1.8 billion as taxpayers on the government bailout of Chrysler, and we’re going to lose $14 billion in the bailout of Chrysler and General Motors. And you got to bet in the boardrooms and management suites of these two big car companies, they are saying to themselves, “Look, the president bailed us out rather than making us go through the normal bankruptcy, he bailed us out. We’re going to end up not having to pay back this money to the taxpayers."

Liberal Answer

First, let’s be clear about Clint, if that’s possible. He was actually opposed to the bailouts. As for his political ideology, things are a bit ambiguous. He was the nonpartisan mayor of Carmel, Calif., for two years. George H.W. Bush considered asking Eastwood to be his running mate in 1988. While he has supported some Democrats in California, Eastwood said in 2011 that he couldn’t recall ever voting for a Democratic presidential candidate. In 2008, he supported Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

Now let’s get to Rove’s deceptive lateral pass of all the Chrysler bailout blame to the Obama administration. Rove didn’t mention that it was Bush who first agreed to save Chrysler. How convenient. Chrysler nearly collapsed in late 2008 under private equity ownership. Bush agreed to a $4 billion bailout of the company.

Chrysler received $4 billion on Jan. 2, 2009, (18 days before Obama took office) and $8.5 billion on April 30 (when Obama was president). When Chrysler filed for bankruptcy on April 30, 2009, the “new Chrysler” that emerged assumed only some of the $4 billion loaned by the Bush administration. In a new report issued last month, the G.A.O. explained that Treasury — under the Obama administration — “wrote off $1.6 billion” of the “original $4 billion loan extended to the old Chrysler.”

As of May, Chrysler had “returned more than $10.6 billion of that amount to taxpayers through principal repayments, interest and cancelled commitments.” However, Treasury conceded that it “is unlikely to fully recover its remaining outstanding investment of $1.9 billion in Chrysler.”

In July 2011 the government sold its stock in the company, further reducing the loss. As The Times reported: 

The federal government on Thursday shed the last of its stake in Chrysler, giving majority control of the carmaker to Fiat, the Italian company, while leaving taxpayers $1.3 billion short of recovering the full investment they made two years ago to keep Chrysler from going out of business. 

The Treasury Department said in a statement that it had recovered $11.2 billion of the $12.5 billion it lent to Chrysler and that it would write off the bulk of the balance. The unpaid portion is on the balance sheet of the “old Chrysler” — a collection of unwanted assets being liquidated in bankruptcy.
Now, let’s weigh whatever losses there may be against the benefits. As David Kiley, editor-in-chief of AOL autos, put it in May 2011: 

In all, the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) in Ann Arbor, Mich., reckons the government’s bailouts of the U.S. auto industry spared more than 1.14 million jobs in 2009, and prevented ‘additional personal income losses’ of nearly $97 billion in 2009 and 2010. Another 314,400 jobs were saved in 2010. The research organization based its conclusions on the potential impact of auto-industry collapse for jobs at U.S. automakers and suppliers, and ripple effects on the economy at large.
When viewed this way, a $1.3 billion loss, or as Rove puts it a $1.8 billion loss, is negligible and well worth it.
Trying to eschew Bush’s role in order to tarnish Obama’s results is fundamentally dishonest.
Trying to put the bailouts or the loss solely on Obama is simply dishonest.

-New York Times By CHARLES M. BLOW

It's Halftime in America - Official Chrysler 2012 Big Game Commercial (Video)

No comments:

Post a Comment