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September 10, 2012

Rebutting The Myth of "Saving 1.5 Million Jobs" & GM

Very good piece at NRO. Read the whole thing.

Also, as it stands, useless.

Some think I "panicked" over the weekend and am now getting my bearings back. I don't think that's true -- I feel the same way as I did over the weekend. Worried, not panicked.

I stand by what I wrote earlier: Clinton gave a rebuttal to Romney/Ryan that, while dishonest, will be taken as true by the public unless exposed to its own withering counter-rebuttal.

That's how people operate. If you ask a guy if he stole money from the cash register, and he won't address the point directly, you begin strongly suspecting he did.

Statements not rebutted by someone with a strong personal interest in rebutting them are taken to be true. If the person with the strong personal interest in rebutting the statement could rebut it, he would rebut it, and if he's not rebutting it, it's because he can't.

Everyone thinks like this.

And I think Clinton's speech was powerful, and if Romney/Ryan does not specifically refute it, it will be taken as true by many -- possibly most -- voters.

I certainly think it can be rebutted. The NRO piece, for example, notes things like this:

The Democrats cling to the ridiculous claim that the bailout of GM and its now-Italian competitor, Chrysler, saved 1.5 million U.S. jobs. This preposterous figure is based on the assumption that if GM and Chrysler had gone into normal bankruptcy proceedings, the entire enterprise of automobile manufacturing in the United States would have collapsed — not only at GM and Chrysler but at Ford and foreign transplants such as Toyota and Honda. Not only that, the Democrats’ argument goes, but practically every parts maker, supplier, warehousing agency, and services firm dedicated to the car industry would have collapsed, too. In fact, it is unlikely that even GM or Chrysler would have stopped production during bankruptcy: The assembly lines would have continued rolling, interest and debt payments would have been cut, and — here’s the problem — union contracts would have been renegotiated. Far from having saved 1.5 million jobs, it is not clear that the GM bailout saved any — only that it preserved the UAW’s unsustainable arrangement.

Bill Clinton bizarrely tried to claim that the bailout has been responsible for the addition of 250,000 jobs to the automobile industry since the nadir of the financial crisis. Auto manufacturers and dealerships have indeed added about 236,000 jobs since then, but almost none are at GM, which has added only about 4,500 workers, a number not even close to offsetting the 63,000 workers that its dealerships had to let go when the terms of the bailout unilaterally shut them down.

But here's why I say that's useless, as it stands: Because, who sees this? 1, Strong supporters for the conservative ideology (and Romney voters) and 2, a smattering of strong supporters for the liberal ideology (and Obama voters), who read NRO just to keep up on the other guys' attack lines.

If a tree falls in a forest and no one hears it, it has not fallen, for all political purposes.

I'd love to see the various claims of Obama and Clinton run in a Romney add with the words "LIE" or "MISLEADING" popping up, with the actual facts rebutting them.

Especially Clinton's claims about stealing $716 billion from Medicare somehow "shoring it up," or about his implication that Obama's Clinton-like Miracle Economy is just a few months away, just a few months away before we "feel it."

But this GM business is a good place to start.

I'm not panicking, because the Romney campaign has been generally pretty smart about knowing where the problems are, and crafting a way around them/through them.

But I am re-stating my worry about the Clinton Speech, in case they're currently smoking crack and thinking, "Meh, that won't have an impact. Let's just pretend it didn't happen."

By the way, GM -- and thus the taxpayers -- lose $49,000 on every Volt sold, so I guess we should be grateful for such low sales.


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posted by Ace at 02:00 PM

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