Last week, the Obama administration announced that Fiat has agreed to buy the final government share in Chrysler, officially completing that company’s trip through federally managed bankruptcy. The U.S. losses from the auto industry rescue, according to the latest projections, will be much lower than estimates showed over the last few years.
In the first quarter of this year, all three of the Big Three auto companies were profitable. As President Obama said, were it not for the government rescue, “by the time the dominos stopped falling, more than a million jobs, in countless communities, in a proud industry that helped build America’s middle class for generations, wouldn’t have been around any more.”
But Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) would rather have seen those jobs disappear, as his spokesman said yesterday that the auto industry’s revival is “nothing to celebrate”:
“The administration’s auto bailout is nothing to celebrate,” said Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican. “The model the White House should be touting is Ford, which, instead of relying on a taxpayer-funded bailout, saw trouble coming and made the tough decisions necessary to preserve jobs and weather the storm.”
This is hardly the first time that Boehner has been utterly unsympathetic to the prospect of widespread job losses. Back in February, for instance, Boehner said “so be it” when asked about the loss of federal jobs that would occur if the House Republicans’ desired spending cuts were implemented.
Boehner is also highlighting Ford’s refusal of money as if Ford did not benefit from the auto rescue. But as the Wall Street Journal noted, Ford will “benefit from many of the concessions that General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC exact from the suppliers, unions, dealers and debt holders shared by all three companies.”
As The Economist said regarding the auto rescue, “the doomsayers were wrong.” And since Republicans were totally opposed to the rescue, they are now scrambling to find some way to spin it as a failure.