Trump vs. Obama on GM and the private sector
President Trump is getting some negative feedback for interfering with the private sector for his comments on General Motors. President Trump is essentially pressuring GM to keep plants open in the U.S. by pointing out to them that they have been bailed out by U.S. taxpayers and wondering why they are closing plants here while they don't seem to be closing plants in Mexico and China. He is absolutely not telling them what to produce.
I thought the best way to analyze this issue is by comparing and contrasting the way Trump treats the private sector to the way Obama and Democrats have treated the private sector. President Trump focuses continuously on bringing manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. and creating new ones.
President Obama and others said manufacturing jobs were gone for good. President Obama was willing to relegate U.S. trade policy to others through the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. President Trump believes that the U.S should control trade itself and pulled out of TPP.
President Obama bragged that his policies would bankrupt coal companies and destroy jobs while hurting the poor and middle class with much higher utility rates. President Trump is focusing on keeping coal mines open and miners employed while holding down utility rates.
President Obama continually blocked drilling and fossil fuel projects, which certainly blocked job creation and enhanced the power of Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and others. President Trump has opened up drilling projects, which creates jobs; helps keep prices lower; and reduces the power of Russia, Iran Saudi Arabia, and others. We are much more energy independent today under President Trump.
The Obama administration sought to destroy for-profit education companies while failing to hold not-for-profit and government higher education institutions to the same standards. President Obama pushed high taxes and massive regulations. President Trump likes the private sector to have more control of the money and more freedom, not the government.
During Obama's years, there were slush funds at the EPA, the Justice Department, and the CFPB that were used significantly to reward political supporters. The Obama administration pretended that the legal settlements, where these groups essentially blackmailed companies to settle, were used to help victims and consumers, but a large proportion of the money instead was kicked back to liberal interest groups. It is amazing the number of ways that Obama gathered money to spend as he pleased.
An educational "slush fund" used by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has come under the "strictest review" by acting director Mick Mulvaney amid concerns the Obama-era agency has been doling out cash only to Democratic cronies.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is investigating up to $6 billion in legal settlement money that the Obama administration steered toward progressive causes and allies in left-wing advocacy groups.
President Obama and others intentionally violated bankruptcy law when they used billions of taxpayer dollars to protect political supporters (the unions) over more secure bond-holders and other unsecure creditors. This was one of the clearest indications that Obama cared little about settled law.
The Obama Administration, overriding the legal system, ordered the bankruptcy court to wipe out the bondholders and nonunion pension debt – an unconstitutional seizure of property. Union pension benefits were secured with equity in GM and Chrysler.
When the dust settled, union pensions and taxpayers owned both companies. This clearly violated U.S. bankruptcy law, and became the subject of ongoing litigation. It was wrong to use the "crisis" as an excuse to disregard the law and serve a political agenda.
Bureaucrats working with Obama helped determine which dealerships would close.
In 2009, the Auto Task Force under the US Treasury Department and its head, Steve Rattner, Obama's Car Czar, entered into negotiations with Chrysler and GM (auto manufacturers) to "save" the auto industry. Herein, the auto task force, without inside knowledge of the industry, pressured the manufacturers to reduce the number of dealerships and fast tracked the government-managed bankruptcy to do just that. This did not allow for due process in the bankruptcy court.
GM also got a huge income tax break. Maybe the company should remember how generous we were.
General Motors Co. will drive away from its U.S.-government-financed restructuring with a final gift in its trunk: a tax break that could be worth as much as $45 billion.
GM says it is closing factories that produce vehicles that are unprofitable, but it is throwing billions into loss-producing electric and self-driving vehicles.
After years of development and taxpayer gifts, hybrid and electric cars sold in October 2018 totaled 34,094, or a little over 2% of the total, and if you take out Tesla, the total is under 14,000, which is less than 1%. Think of how low it would be without the $7,500 credit – which I call a gift to the rich who like to buy electric toys to pretend they care. Very few poor or middle-class people buy these impractical vehicles.
How many people actually believe that impractical and expensive electric vehicles will ever be popular choices for the poor and middle class unless we are actually forced to buy them? Why do we give taxpayer subsidies to GM and other car makers for cars they make in other countries?
I feel so good that middle-class taxpayers subsidize rich families buying the Tesla Model X and Model S, who make between $267,000 and $503,000.
Model X owners showed a significant bump in household annual income versus Model S owners, ticking in at an average of $503,000 and $267,000 respectively.
We should all be thankful every day that we have a president who wants to increase the power and purse of the private sector versus Obama or Hillary, who, along with other Democrats, continually wanted to increase the power of the government and confiscate an ever greater share of the nation's wealth for them to use as they please.
Photo credit: Marlordo Roberto Duran Ortiz.