President Obama was in Michigan last week trying to put the best face possible on the auto industry bailout and GDP data released that same day. As is almost always the case with the President and his spin machine, the facts are quite different from the narrative.
Are we supposed to be surprised that $85 billion of taxpayer dollars has provided a modest, short-term shot in the arm? The true test, of course, will be over the long haul. We've seen this movie many times before. This time, the auto industry is in the starring role. In the past, it's been the railroads, airlines, and many others. The plot is always the same: money and more money gets poured in, and most/all of it eventually ends up down the drain. It's no shocker that Ford, the auto maker who didn't allow the government to insinuate itself, is considerably outperforming GM and Chrysler.
Regarding GDP growth and overall economic performance, Obama is once again making the "it coulda been worse' argument. How comforting. What he fails to mention is that the one year of exceptionally tepid growth he's touting is nearly two years overdue, and dramatically weaker than the norm. Historically, the stronger the decline, the more robust the recovery. Not this time, though. Why? Obama's and the Democrat's crippling policies. Instead of accelerating growth, we are once again trending down. Last quarter's 2.4% rise is lower than the previous quarter and far below what is necessary to put a dent in the catastrophically high unemployment rate. Had Obama done nothing and simply gotten out of the way, the normal business cycle would likely have resulted in a growth rate double to triple what we're currently experiencing.
The economy had a 104 degree fever. Now it's around 102 or 103. Unfortunately, that's still really sick. Let's elect the people who can properly diagnose the problem and prescribe the right medicine.