Did we notice that truth died?Published 9:57am Friday, November 2, 2012
It was during a horrific storm named Sandy that the truth died, though its death was only coincidental to the storm. Perhaps the date will be more easily remembered because of the storm that day, perhaps not.
The death came about following an illness that had been festering throughout the year, one even casual observers could see was reaching beyond all previous limits and boundaries.
The Truth died in a stunningly simple way, a commercial ran under the sad rubric “I approve this ad…”, and with that approval a cynical candidate for the highest office in the Land brazenly lied to the American voters to win an election.
The story begins much earlier, during the financial crisis when General Motors and Chrysler faced complete collapse as a result of poor business practices, a recession so deep buyers simply disappeared, and a banking system unable to fund car loans as it sought its own survival.
Faced with closure the two auto giants sought commercial loans to hold together their finances until the recession was over. But there were no lenders willing to fund the two troubled companies.
Both GM and Chrysler, with the support of Ford, went to the US Government and then President George Bush, seeking what has become known as a federal bailout, to finance their survival until better times.
Bush, a Republican, agreed to the bailouts, aware that historically the U.S. government had done similar bailouts of industries crucial to the nation many times in the past with mixed success.
But the Bush presidency was ending and final approval of the bailout plan was left to the incoming President, Barack Obama. The new president was told that there were no other possible sources for funding the two auto companies, and without federal monies both would be liquidated.
Obama, aware that the potential loss of over 1 million direct and indirect jobs would potentially deepen the recession and possibly invite a depression, authorized the funding.
Both companies are today experiencing profits and growth, the bailout was a success in saving a crucial American industry. About a third of GM stock remains in the hands of U.S. taxpayers.
Mitt Romney opposed the bailout; insisting only private funding should have been used, though none was available. Romney wrote an editorial “Let Detroit go bankrupt” in November of 2008. Romney further said that if the companies were given federal aid “You can kiss the industry goodbye.”
This year, running for president and facing losing Midwest states like Ohio where the auto industry employee’s one out of eight workers, Romney has lied about his earlier positions, though they are perfectly clear. There was no “kiss” Mitt and the industry is thriving.
But now Romney shifts from re-inventing his position against saving GM and Chrysler, to claiming in Defiance Ohio this week “I saw a story today that one of the great manufacturers in this state Jeep — now owned by the Italians — is thinking of moving all production to China.”
He did not hear that at all. His campaign said the reference was to a Bloomberg News story that made no such statement.
The Romney statement could have been a misstatement that he later corrected, but he did not correct it at all, instead he made the statement a bold lie by following it with radio and TV ads 100 percent misleading and dishonest.
Romney’s intention is to convince low information voters that President Obama is sending auto jobs to China and taking jobs from Americans. Exactly the opposite is true. GM and Chrysler have added more than 8,000 workers during their recovery, good American jobs.
Can ambition be so blind as to say “I approve this ad” when any informed citizen knows that claims within the ad to be entirely false?
Governor Romney has cynically lied to the voters in his effort to win at any cost.
Wouldn’t he lie to you tomorrow?
Jim Crawford is a retired educator and political enthusiast living here in the Tri-State.