Obama is Protecting Our National Security
June 3, 2009
The magnitude of GM’s bankruptcy is best understood through several key numbers. The first is that the Bush recession has already cost us 5.7 million jobs—the equivalent of the entire population of Wisconsin. If GM were allowed to fail, however, it could bring the entire auto industry and 3.3 million more jobs with it and create an economic black hole in the heartland.
A leaner, greener GM is also vital to our national security. Few GM critics recall that, after the start of World War II, GM and Ford ceased civilian production and devoted their entire capacity to the war effort. Who would we turn to if GM failed—Walmart?
Republicans often make light of fuel efficiency standards, but the simple fact is that had we continued to increase CAFE standards at the same rate as under President Carter, we would have eliminated our dependency on Persian Gulf oil by 1985—24 years ago.
While Jim believes the government is incapable of only playing a temporary role in the new GM, the fact is government has done so quite successfully before, most notably with Conrail, which earned Uncle Sam $1.65 billion in its 1987 IPO. That’s the rub for Republicans: With each problem Obama solves or contains through government intervention, he is successfully putting to rest the Reagan viewpoint of government as an enemy of the people.
While this may come as a shock to Jim, some of us here in Santa Monica actually drive GM cars (though driving here just means having some role in the forward movement of your car while you both text and talk on the phone). I hope we’ll continue to do so.