Obama auto bailout served president's union friends

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  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    July 22, 2012 5:46 p.m.

    Chrysler, GM and Ford sales are all up. GM is back to being the worlds largets automaker. I wouldn't be caught dead in a Toyota or Honda. I don't care what they claim they are not ameican car companies. We are capable of building quality cars in the United States. If GM and Chrylser had collapsed they would have taken our entire economy down. Think of every dealership as a small business, the backbone of our economy. It was Bush Jr. that was responsible for TARP and the auto bailouts, not Obama.

  • HaHaHaHa Othello, WA
    July 20, 2012 12:48 p.m.

    RE: Joe Blow Interesting proposal that you make, but I would be one on the other side, who would reject your idea. Unlike most of your leftists comrades, I actually think YOU have an honest heart, with good intentions. That being said, there is in your proposal, a strong hint of limiting free speech. There is also a little bit of a bait and switch scenario, because of other factors that you don't mention. The president (and congress) can still spend money, just to buy votes. It doesn't have to be for campaign donations. And in the other area of free speech, we have the issue of the press. As much as you might want to deny it, we have at least six networks who are a big part of the Obama pep squad. They try to deny it of disquise it, but they are a big part of his campaign, and they don't cost him a penny. On the other side, you have one network, who might accurately be accused of bias, but more appropriately provides balance. How are you going to fix this situation?

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    July 19, 2012 5:18 a.m.

    So if Romney wins will the deseret news publish my letter with the title, "Romney serves himself and rich friends with more tax cuts?"

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    July 18, 2012 8:51 p.m.

    I thought buying American and supporting American jobs was a good thing. Must be a Romney supporter.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    July 18, 2012 4:09 p.m.

    With all due respect, Frank's letters are more about entertainment value than substance. And my chev pickup has about 288,000 union built miles on it. I think the US auto industry is worth saving.

  • Mick Stupp Happy Valley, UT
    July 18, 2012 3:55 p.m.

    This is totally irrelevant, but . . .

    I've owned a Ford. High maintenance.
    I've owned a Chevy. Hunk of junk.
    I've owned a Honda. Very well built.
    I've owned a Subaru. It was okay, but I won't ever buy one again.
    I've owned another Ford. Good vehicle. We got lots of mileage out of it.
    I currently own a Geo (GM product with a Toyota engine) that my kids have driven to high school and college. It's falling apart, but it still passes inspection every year.
    I own a Hyundai that my kids have also driven. It's okay, but we had to replace the engine.
    I own a Dodge minivan. It is okay but is obviously not a high-quality product.
    I own a Nissan truck. I've driven it 115,000 miles, and it has never had a tune-up. Runs like new. It'll be getting a tune-up this month and a new timing belt (preventive maintenance). Best vehicle I've ever owned.
    My mechanic, who is a very good engine mechanic and works on every make and model, loves GM products.
    For what it's worth.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    July 18, 2012 3:14 p.m.

    This letter is factually inaccurate in its every detail.
    The United Auto Workers did not receive stock. The company that administers their pension funds is now a minority shareholder--they were always a stakeholder in the deal.
    The union didn't like the deal. The hardest part of the deal was getting them to sign off on it.
    The main factor in the Obama administration's deliberations was the fear of collateral damage; parts suppliers, dealers. They had to weigh moral hazard (bailing out a mis-managed company) against waves of unemployment. Fortunately, the President made the right call, incurring some political damage in the process.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    July 18, 2012 2:19 p.m.

    "This "bailout" was nothing but another band-aid to rescue a union. "

    That is a possiblility. Is the logic here that unions donate heavily democratic and the president was returning favors?

    I have a solution to that. How about we band together, grass roots like, both R , D and I and find common ground on this one thing.

    Money in politics corrupts. Union money corrupts. Corporate money corrupts. Lobby money corrupts. And large individual donations corrupt.

    Can anyone disagree with that?

    So, how about we ALL push for federal funding of elections. And we all work to stop Union and Corporate and Lobby donations to congressmen. And we all work to undo what the Citizens united ruling did.

    Look, I am not trying to give one party an advantage. Without the money (bribery) either party would do significantly better than they do today.

    Anyone NOT with me here?

    My premise is that ALL money corrupts our politics. Not just the money given to the other side.

    What say you Mr Richards?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 18, 2012 12:50 p.m.


    Thanks for the clarification. I never intend to "play with the numbers", but this morning I was fixing computer problems for two remote customers when I was scanning the data. That's not an excuse, just a reason.

    (I left out Chrysler because I didn't have time to find a ten-year sales average for comparison. It looks like Chrysler had a rough year in 2011 and a good year in 2012, which MIGHT account for its listing.)

    Let's look at this from another point of view. If two-million buggy-whip makers were facing layoffs and the government "rescued" them by buying two large buggy-whip companies, would we cheer the government for "saving" those jobs, or would we wonder if those in charge had lost their minds? How many buggy-whips does a country need?

    If a company can't sell its cars, is it because the perceived value was less than the asking price? Other car makers were not having serious problems.

    This "bailout" was nothing but another band-aid to rescue a union. Union people are important, but are they to be favored over policemen and teachers who lost their pensions?

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    July 18, 2012 12:30 p.m.

    "According to the LA times, the foreign car manufacturers that you list are building new plants in the sourthern US."

    From the same LA Times article you cite:
    "Wages vary by company and geographic region, making exact comparisons difficult. Average labor costs, wages and benefits, for the unionized Detroit automakers and nonunion Toyota's U.S. plants are about the same at $55 an hour, according to the Center for Automotive Research. But the rest pay less; nonunion Honda pays about $50 an hour. Nissan, Hyundai and Kia are at about $45."

    In 2006, at Toyota’s Georgetown, Ky., plant, workers averaged more in base pay and bonuses than UAW members at Ford, General Motors and Daimler Chrysler, according to the Detroit Free Press. The difference was due to profit-sharing bonuses.

    A final note on all this: Labor costs only account for about 10 percent of the cost of producing a vehicle.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    July 18, 2012 12:00 p.m.

    To "LDS Liberal" I hate to tell you this, but most Toyota vehicles in the US are manufactured in the US by NON-UNION workers. This has given Toyota a price advantage of about $2000 per vehicle because the non-union workers cost about half the amount that union workers do.

    According to the LA times, the foreign car manufacturers that you list are building new plants in the sourthern US. See "Who wants a union? Not Southern autoworkers, it seems" in the LA Times.

    This was again reiterated by Reuters article "UAW sees its future: organize Southern US plants" where we find that Toyota, Nissan, Kia, Mercedes, VW, and BMW run non-union plants here in the US.

    I am proud of my non-union built Toyota.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    July 18, 2012 10:37 a.m.


    Ok, i think I located your data.
    It appears you mixed up the figures.
    For Ford and GM you quoted figures for the year 2011-2012.
    For Toyota, Honda etc. you quoted figures for June 2011 compared to June 2012.

    Comparing apples-to-apples using WSJ:

    GM 4.3%
    Ford 6.6%
    Chrysler 30.3%
    Toyota 28.7%
    Honda 15.4%
    Nissan 14.4%
    Hyundai 10.5%


    The fact remains:
    Obama threw a lifeline to the U.S. automakers when the economy was shedding over half-a-million jobs each month and credit was nowhere to be found. It was the right thing to do at the time.
    Romney is free to disagree, although he has been all over the map on his record.

    It is false that Obama gave the car companies to the unions.
    "Just as the government did not give GM to the union, it did not give Chrysler to Fiat."
    (CBS factcheck)

  • ute alumni Tengoku, UT
    July 18, 2012 10:16 a.m.

    lost in dc
    ernie can't handle the truth. he loves the community organizer. the sad thing is he must be part of the 49% THAT DON'T PAY FEDERAL TAXES

  • CottageCheese SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    July 18, 2012 10:00 a.m.

    @LDS Liberal

    Foreign automakers manufacturing in the U.S. are operating under the Free-Market Capitalistic system. American auto-makers aren't.

    To compete in the U.S. they had to make cars that were more reliable, more efficient, more dependable than what the FREE MARKET was offering. So they did - and they succeeded. At the same time - American auto makers were sitting on their thumbs - thinking they had the place on lock.

    Yup - there is a free market system at work here, and we see that American Auto makers got BEAT.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    July 18, 2012 9:55 a.m.

    I hate to break it to Mr. Teerlink, but Japan and S. Korea are more unionized and are far more subsidized by their governments than our own.

    If you're trying to make a case of the superiority of "free market" car companies, I definitely would avoid including E. Asia.

    In fact, it pretty much sinks your argument Mr. Teerlink.

    Calling Japanese and Korean car companies free of unions, government involvement, etc is like calling Afghanistan free of violence, corruption, and injustice.

    Or like calling Mitt Romney a steady leader who never flip flops.

  • CottageCheese SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    July 18, 2012 9:55 a.m.


    The UAW became a part owner of GM as a result of the bailout. They are now owned and operated by the government, the union, and the stockholder.

    The bailout guaranteed the perpetuation of union power and control of this company.

  • CottageCheese SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    July 18, 2012 9:53 a.m.


    Who bought tens of thousands of GM cars in the month of June. THE GOVERNMENT. Biggest sales month? eh...

    Chrysler isn't even American owned any more. It was bought by a Euro car company AFTER the bailout. Any of their success cannot be attributed to the bailout. It is laughable that even after a bailout they still needed to be bailed out - this time instead of the government buying them out, the people across the pond did.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 18, 2012 9:46 a.m.


    Google "car sales in america". The Wall Street Journal has the figures.

    Using Obama Motors figures as proof that G.M. is doing well is just like listening to Obama tout Obamacare. The figures mean nothing when they are not compared to other car makers. Americans are not switching TO G.M. If anything, they are switching FROM G.M.

    An honest President would not have told us that G.M. had repaid its TARP loan when the fact is that G.M. paid PART of the total TARP loan using other TARP funds!

    Too many people blindly take Obama's words as fact. The unfortunate truth is that Obama lies. Credible news reports are showing just how much Obama lies. The Wall Street Journal clearly shows that G.M. is NOT doing much at all when compared to the car makers that make the cars that Americans are buying.

  • Hemlock Salt Lake City, UT
    July 18, 2012 9:40 a.m.

    ...who pay their union dues that go to support Obama. It's called money laundering.

  • John20000 Cedar Hills, UT
    July 18, 2012 9:20 a.m.

    Serving your friends is not bad. I serve my friends all the time. However, a public officer (especially the President) needs to serve the public. It comes with the territory. There haven't been many recent Presidents that have been able to serve the public in this way very well. I would like to give Gov. Romney a chance. It is very clear Pres. Obama won't be able to do it.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    July 18, 2012 9:17 a.m.

    Claim by Romney: The President gave the auto companies to the UAW.

    Fact: What tips Romney’s claim even further from reality is the fact that the union itself does not own any GM or Chrysler stock. The trust that manages health benefits for retirees is the stockholder, and it is independent from the UAW. It is not a majority shareholder in either company, nor does it have a vote on the board.

    All the experts we talked to agreed that Romney’s statement is just flat wrong. Our ruling: False.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    July 18, 2012 9:06 a.m.

    Ernest T. Bass.

    Please be honest - you may have a difficult time with that if you listen only to the Obamamania media.

    The money spent on wall street was not free; it was in the form of preferred stock purchases which required a 5% dividend to the treasury for the first 5 years and 9% thereafter. Most banks retired their CPP money (the bank capital purchase portion of TARP) and also had to retire warrants, which the treasury profited thereby.

    Of the money spent to buy bank stock, treasury has made AT LEAST $13 billion. Of the TARP money spent on Gm and Chrysler, pre-bankruptcy, none will be recovered. The April 2012 SIGTARP report to congress says treasury lost over $9.3 billion of TARP investments in the automakers - signed off by bush, but BO voted for and supported.

    Table 2.3 of the SIGTARP report shows estimates by the CBO and OMB that treasury will GAIN from $7 Billion to $17 Billion on the CPP.

    Please stop with the untruths that wall street got free money. my source is not your hated Fox news, but the Special Inspector General for TARP - appointed by your beloved BO.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    July 18, 2012 9:05 a.m.

    Wayne Rout
    El Paso, TX
    At one time I would only by USA cars, now I will never by a union made car because I know a part of the price I pay goes directly to the DNC and to support causes I oppose.


    As opposed to buying what?
    Union made cars by SOCIALIST or COMMUNIST countires?
    Japan, German, Italy, British, Korean,

    I know I know,
    Because you feel it's better that ALL your money goes to Socialists and Communists rather than a few pennies finding it's way back America and the UAW - everything you oppose.

    This is the pathetic illogic I see from ultra-Cons.
    Cutting off the nose to spite the face.

    Directly supporting Socialists and Communists,
    While accusing some blue-collar Americans of becoming or even hnting a trace of any form of Socialism.


  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    July 18, 2012 8:47 a.m.

    Today we own a Toyota Avalon with over 130,000 miles on it and it runs like a fine watch. It replaced our Cadillac.

    J. Rulon Teerlink

    Salt Lake City


    If what you say is true - then,
    You are without a doubt confirming that vehicles --
    made by Japanese and German UNION workers,
    in SOCIALIST countries,
    at TWICE our dollar rates,

    are inf act better than the Capitalist, Free Market, Anti-union vehicles made in America?

    Beware --
    Remember when all those cheap Japanese items hit and flooded our markets?
    The Communist Chinese will be next.
    They are following the sucess of Japan to an economic tee....

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    July 18, 2012 8:46 a.m.

    1 conservative.."Even union members (and other beneficiaries of the Obama largesse)know that we need someone who can actually create jobs WITHOUT the use of public funds."..There were no private funds in '09..there were no private funds in '09..ther were no private funds in '09..there were no private funds in '09..and by the way..there were no private funds in '09. Show me where that is wrong then we can have a discussion about whether the government should have saved 1 million jobs, not until.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    July 18, 2012 8:43 a.m.


    I don't recall a single poll saying that Walker was going to lose in Wisconsin. Most gave him a slight lead through the recall campaign and it wasn't until the day of the election that it was supposedly tied.

    I know it may be hard to tell in Utah and that the media loves its' the-race-is-neck-and-neck story, but look at the state-by-state polls and the electoral math you'll see that Romney has a real uphill climb to winning. Take Ohio, Virginia, and Florida: all Obama has to do is win just one of those states and he wins a second term. Romney has to take all three.

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    July 18, 2012 8:43 a.m.

    Certainly the main motivation of Obama was to protect Union wages and jobs. Keep in mind that Obama stole the investments of GM bond holders who would have been first in a bankruptcy settlement in favor of protecting the political donations of the UAW. At one time I would only by USA cars, now I will never by a union made car because I know a part of the price I pay goes directly to the DNC and to support causes I oppose. Obama lies...GM has not paid back all they "borrowed" and do not consider their obligation to the bond holders in their statements of profitability. They produce the Volt only for Obama and loose money on every one. The media fails to cover the true story of the Volt fires and pretend that the sales are terrific. Much of the sales of Volts are government and large corporations like GE. They do make great boat anchors.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    July 18, 2012 8:27 a.m.

    Where did you get your figures?

    General Motors, the nation’s largest automaker, said that its sales increased 15.5 percent in June, to 248,750 vehicles, which the company said was its best monthly performance in nearly four years.

    Chrysler reported a 20.3 percent increase over the previous year, its best June sales since 2007.
    (NY Times 7/3/2012)

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    July 18, 2012 8:22 a.m.

    Google "G.M. bailout" and you'll see that giving a large percent of the company was the LEAST of the fraud committed against America.

    G.M. got about $50 billion in TARP money.

    G.M. got another $30 billion from the government who now has "stock" in G.M. Who gave the government authority to "invest" that $30 billion in G.M.?

    G.M. got a tax CREDIT of $45 BILLION, which was illegal. Section 382 of the tax code doesn't allow that credit, but that didn't stop Obama. He had the Treasury Department head, Timothy F. Geithner (who was caught by the IRS for evading taxes), issue a series of "Notices" declaring that section 382 did not apply regarding G.M.

    Last year, when G.M. had its largest profit in history, $7.6 BILLION, it received a check from the IRS for $110 MILLION, as part of that illegal tax credit!

    Dig deep and see the fraud committed in just that ONE AREA. Everything Obama touches smacks of "Chicago Politics".

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    July 18, 2012 8:08 a.m.

    Americans are the reason the bailout was necessary. If folks had been willing to purchase GM cars PRIOR to the bailout, you'd not have seen it happen. Cash-for-clunkers should have been limited to US automakers. Insead litterally hundreds of millions of dollars went to Japan because people had to drive a Toyota, Honda, Subaru, etc. I've purchased a few cars in my time, but never a foreign one, with a single exception. The big issues IS NOT who builds the vehicle, but which companies get the huge PROFIT from each vehicle and in which country is the company making those rip-off gains located. Get a clue, consumers!!!!

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    July 18, 2012 8:01 a.m.

    Nothing compared to 9/11, Afganistan, Iraq and no bid contracts helping Bush and Cheney's friends. Obama is a mere amature at helping his "buddies".

  • 1conservative WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    July 18, 2012 7:58 a.m.

    "pragmatist.." Are you referring to the same "polls" that showed Scott Walker LOSING in Wisconsin? Most of the "polls" are useless in that they are generated by the Obama pep club (the mainstream press).

    Even union members (and other beneficiaries of the Obama largesse)know that we need someone who can actually create jobs WITHOUT the use of public funds. As much as union leaders would like to accompany their members into the voting booths - they can't!

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    July 18, 2012 7:50 a.m.

    By that logic, Bush's free money to the banks and Wall St did nothing but give money to his buddies.

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    July 18, 2012 7:47 a.m.

    Every president has done this. My bet: If Romney is elected he will do it to. Flexing the muscle of the office (POTUS) for your own gain is as American as apple pie.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    July 18, 2012 7:41 a.m.

    I have purchased two new American cars since the bailout, both Fords, both built by union workers in American factories - one in Warren, Michigan, and the other in St. Paul, Minnesota. Thanks, Ford, for pulling yourself up by the bootstraps and making yourself profitable.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    July 18, 2012 7:38 a.m.

    "My economic advisers believe that such a collapse would deal an unacceptably painful blow to hardworking Americans far beyond the auto industry. It would worsen a weak job market and exacerbate the financial crisis," he said. "It could send our suffering economy into a deeper and longer recession."

    - George W. Bush, December 18, 2009

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    July 18, 2012 7:37 a.m.

    So saving 1 million jobs in the middle of a recession is a) a political manuever, and b)a bad thing, because maybe 20% of those jobs were "union"..ooooooooh, jobs?

    1conservative..Romney really can't win the election without winning Ohio, the state that benefited most from the auto bailout, so do you really think Ohio is going to vote for Romney who opposed the government action? Check the polls, not going to happen.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 18, 2012 7:33 a.m.

    Obama Motors is not competing well most "big name" car companies. They're loosing big time.

    G.M. domestic car sales is up 4.3% from last year.

    Ford, is up 6.6%

    Toyota domestic car sales is up 44.9%

    Honda is up 25%

    Nissan is up 12%

    Korea's car makers are competing very well against Obama Motors.

    Hyundai is up 13.2%

    Kia is up 36%

    Mercedes-Benz is up 16.8%

    Volkswagon is up 40%

    Audi is up 16%

    BMW is up 11%

    Ether Obama doesn't know know to sell cars, or Americans are refusing to buy cars from a company that was seized from its bond holders and given to the unions.

  • 1conservative WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    July 18, 2012 7:04 a.m.

    The auto bailouts are just one of many reasons why we will be voting in a NEW president in November.

    November can't come soon enough.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 18, 2012 1:42 a.m.

    Mr. Teerlink apparently is not aware of Japanese industrial governance. The Japanese were the first modern welfare state and their industries, including automobiles, are controlled by interlocking directorates indlucing government officials. So Mr Teerlink's depiction of Obama union cronieism vs free enterprise Japanese hides a whole lot of facts. Over the short term Obama did the right thing in competing with the Japanese.