Bullseye. Must watch video. Keith Olbermann and Steve Rattner nail the Republicans for trashing the auto industry recovery. From the transcript - and this isn't verbatim, there's more in there, so listen to the whole thing:
Had it been allowed to happen, it would have crippled the Midwest. A million jobs lost, domestic and foreign car manufacturing plants forced to close. In our third story, despite the grim near miss, the Republican Party continues to campaign against the bailout of the auto industry, even though new sales industry proving its success. Delaware Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell, the latest Republican to rail against the government measures taken to save American automakers and a million American jobs.
O'Donnell: "Our leaders in Washington have lost their way and no longer follow the constitutional principles, otherwise we wouldn't have Obama-care and these massive bailouts and be taking over GM."
Like asking a kindergartner to explain Einstein. The taking over of General Motors has worked. The company has been turning a profit. This afternoon, GM announced plans to manufacture a new compact car, thus planning to restore more than 1,500 jobs at a Michigan plant. Once the plant is up and running, it is expected to employ workers on two shifts. The first round of bailout funds dispensed under the liberal union sympathizer George Bush as a way to help the unions. Even though Congressman Barney Frank noted the single-most effective thing that the federal government has done to preserve and set the basis for manufacturing in America was to intervene with General Motors and Chrysler. Ford never received government funds but arguably was saved by the government's action. It has been boasting healthy profits.
GM will spend $145 million to retool the Orion plant and keep 1,500 hourly and salaried jobs here in Michigan. Thanks to state efforts, we beat out Wisconsin and Tennessee for these jobs. And, it's amazing that this is even happening at all here in America - every other small car out there is currently being made in either Mexico or overseas. Thanks to the sacrifice of UAW workers, two small GM models, the Buick Verano and an unnamed Chevy that will replace the Aveo, are going to be made right here in Michigan at a profit. That is no small feat in the very competitive, low-profit small car market - and it should be applauded.
The recovery of the American auto industry is a huge success story - and for whatever reason, the Democrats aren't using this to beat the Republicans over the head for what would have been certain disaster, especially here in Michigan. It's beyond frustrating - it's terribly confusing. Rattner explains that the problem is all the "noise" surrounding this issue and points out President Obama is trying, and that is true, but where is everybody else? Dammit man - you guys won this one. Use it. Republicans would have let the American auto industry fail, and millions of jobs across the country would have been lost. If that's not a campaign issue in an election season where "jobs" is the number one concern amongst the voters, I don't know what is.
Anyway, big thanks to the UAW workers, GM, and state and federal officials for making this happen. This announcement from GM shows that we can be competitive with foreign manufacturing costs, and hopefully over time, we can lure even more jobs back to the US - and especially back to Michigan.