If Ben Smith and Byron Tau aren’t mistaken, President Obama is going to make bragging about the auto industry bailouts a key element of his 2012 reelection campaign messing. In other words, Obama is going to make an embrace of industrial policy and government management of key industries a central feature of his campaign platform.
The article quotes Sen. Richard Shelby as saying all that needs to be said on this issue: “A federal bailout is never a success. Using taxpayer money to reward failure in private markets is a failure by definition…”
Yet if Obama and co. are determined to defend the indefensible and become proponents of industrial policy, it should be explained that the auto bailouts, so far, have been disastrous in practical terms.
It wouldn’t be unreasonable for the administration to try to present its management of the auto bailouts in a favorable light, while acknowledging that the government’s intervention into private business was tragic. And it also has to be noted that if there were ever a case for industrial policy, the U.S. automakers might be it, with massive demand for cars about to come online in China and elsewhere.
But it looks as though the Obama campaign will voice whole-hearted support for the bailouts and attempt to deceive voters into thinking that they benefited everyone.
Perhaps the worst part is that the auto bailouts began with George W. Bush, giving Obama an excuse for anything that went visibly wrong, and a tailor-made response to the accusations that the federal government took over the management of private corporations.
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That’s right, the Grinch (Joe Biden) is coming for your pocketbooks this Christmas season with record inflation. Just to recap, here is a list of items that have gone up during his reign.
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