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Perry Doesn’t ‘Buy Into The Premise’ That Rescuing America’s Auto Companies Saved Jobs

Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) is set to jump into the presidential race today, bringing with him his beliefs that Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are unconstitutionalPonzi schemes.” While Perry likes to brag about Texas’ economic strength, his story is largely a mirage.

One of Perry’s favorite topics is Texas’ job creation, even though, between 2008 and 2010, jobs actually grew at a faster pace in Massachusetts than in Texas, and “Texas has done worse than the rest of the country since the peak of national unemployment in October 2009.” In an interview with The Daily Beast’s Andrew Romano, Perry actually showed callous disregard for American workers, saying that he doesn’t believe that any jobs were saved by the government’s rescue of the American auto industry:

Q: But the counterargument is that if GM collapsed, there would have been tons of jobs lost — and now it’s profitable again. Without TARP, the banking system would’ve imploded — and now the money’s been paid back.

A: I don’t necessarily buy into the premise that somehow or another those measures saved these jobs. There are companies that get restructured on a regular basis and the workers don’t lose their jobs. They get new management, they put a pay-out plan in place and we go on about our business rather than getting these huge amounts of debt piled on future generations.

According to the Center for Automotive Research, “if the government had not invested in the automotive industry, up to 80,000 automotive jobs would have been lost…Once Chrysler and GM emerged from their ‘orderly’ bankruptcies, the growth of automotive sector employment has been strong, with 52,900 workers added since July 2009. Had GM and Chrysler not successfully emerged, those jobs would have been permanently lost.” The auto companies also support hundreds of thousands of jobs at manufacturers and suppliers. There’s no telling how many of those jobs would have been lost if GM and Chrysler had gone under.

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Of course, Perry doesn’t seem to believe that government jobs (including his own) exist at all, so maybe he thinks that auto workers are a figment of the imagination as well.