Obama Was Wrong on GM Bailout

 

The GM bailout was a topic in last night’s debate. What was not said was that Obama allowed very generous terms for his UAW supporters. He did not help GM trim costs, and he reversed the strict conditions imposed by Bush.
Taxpayers are expected to lose a minimum of $23 billion on the bailout of General Motors and Chrysler. According to the Heritage Foundation, “The administration violated basic principles of bankruptcy law and transferred money to the UAW at taxpayer expense. The government could have executed the bailout with no net cost to taxpayers” if it had followed standard Chapter 11 bankruptcy rules.
Instead, the Obama administration granted of preferential creditor status to the UAW which cost an extra $26.5 billion. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says “the deal eschewed the typical wage corrections associated with reorganizational bankruptcy and there were no union pay cuts at GM. ”
Had the car companies just gone bankrupt without government interference, they would have had the protection of the courts, and union contracts would have been renegotiated or just torn up. Barack Obama rescued the UAW, not GM and Chrysler. Romney’s December 2008 op-ed article in opposition to the bailout is being criticized. He advocated a structured bankruptcy with no special treatment for the UAW.
A formal bailout failed in the Senate in 2008 because conservatives did not believe the conditions were stringent. Bush deserves credit for setting tough targets for the two companies — a two-thirds cut in debt, a 50% reduction in payments to health care funds for UAW retirees, and proof of net positive value by March 31, 2009. The money Bush lent was repaid in April 2010.
Obama increased the loans to $80 billion and the government still owns GM stock in connection with the company’s June 2009 out-of-court prepackaged bankruptcy. Once again, it was orchestrated by the Obama administration to protect the UAW. Bond holder rights were subordinated to UAW rights.
The bond holders were essentially wiped out. The United Auto Workers, as an unsecured creditor, received a 17.5% ownership interest in General Motors and 55% of Chrysler, while the companies’ bondholders got hosed.
Finally, the government caused part of GM’s problem. For three decades fuel-economy rules ensured that Detroit couldn’t specialize in its most profitable models—pickups, minivans, SUVs—and had to continue making smaller sedans at high-cost UAW-organized factories that it sold at a loss.

The Battle For America’s Future is Now Taking Place in Wisconsin: A Tale of Three States

 

“The Rat” according to liberal activists is Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI). Faced with a $3.3 billion deficit, he wants public employees to make a contribution to their own pensions, a practice which is common in the private sector.

The most important battle in America is now taking place in Wisconsin. If you want to see the real difference between Republicans and Democrats then come to the Midwest. This is where the fiscal front lines are clearly drawn. A decade of big spending programs has crippled Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan. The only industry growing in these states is government.

The major reason the fiscal situation is so out of control in the Midwest is because of pension payments for public sector union employees. Practically all of their tax money is needed to address the pension fund crisis which has been apparent for a long time.

Lawmakers in the past ignored the problem and continued to borrow money to pay for current pension obligations. Unlike the federal government, a state can not create new money to pay its bills.

In Wisconsin a new GOP Governor and legislature are trying to say no. They do not want to repeat the mistakes of Illinois and Michigan. They tried to pass a reform plan in the State Senate yesterday which would finally address the explosion in pensions and other spending related to public employees.

The vote did not happen because Democratic lawmakers crossed the border and hid in Illinois. They were able to deny the GOP a quorum, and their plan is to have labor and liberals win the battle in the court of public opinion.

They only need one more vote to win in the State Senate. Governor Scott Walker’s (R-WI) campaign last year was focused on opposition to additional public employee spending, and the huge burdens it has created.

The Governor does not want Wisconsin to share the fate of its neighbors who ignored the mounting debt and focused on various liberal crusades.

Michigan was the only state to lose population and it also lost one million jobs. Illinois is losing two seats in the House of Representatives, and half a million people have abandoned Chicago. Both Illinois and Michigan enacted the largest income tax increases in state history, but Walker’s no new tax vow is adamant. The message from the Midwest reflects a clear choice for our nation.

ILLINOIS:  Democrats control the legislature and the Governor’s Mansion. The state has surpassed California and is now the worst credit risk in America. Its public debt is in excess of $130 billion. They have not balanced a budget in a decade and the state debt is close to junk grade. For the past decade they have been spending $3 for every $2 they take in. In response to the fiscal crisis they caused, liberals offered their usual solutions:

  • Democrats increased state income taxes by 67 percent and business taxes by 46 percent. All Democrats voted yes, and all Republicans in both the House and Senate last month voted no.
  • Illinois now has the highest effective corporate tax rate in the industrialized world.
  • Prior to the vote Illinois ranked 48th in job creation.
  • They also approved $4 billion in new borrowing, and they are now trying to borrow another $11 billion. The legislature did not cut the budget, they just hiked taxes. Republicans said the enormous increases would drive businesses out of the state. Sen. Kyle McCarter (R) said the best investment now “is in moving vans. . . They are bankrupting the state with this increase.”
  • A liberal Democrat was elected Governor in November and Illinois is the heartland of Blue America. They sent Barack Obama to the U.S. Senate with 70% of the vote in 2004 and returned the Democratic Whip, Dick Durbin, with a thundering 68% in 2008. Obama won another statewide landslide that year.

MICHIGAN:  Until last month, Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) was in office for the past eight years. She now has the highest negative rating in state history and is moving to Berkeley, California to teach at a law school. With good reason, Granholm says she is through with politics forever.

  • When she took office unemployment was 4.8% under her GOP predecessor, and when she left six weeks ago it was 13.1%.
  • Michigan now has 20% more government employees than manufacturing jobs.
  • Michigan enacted a 22% tax increase on gross business receipts. Republicans were solidly in opposition, and now all of their predictions have come true. The tax increases didn’t come close to raising the revenue Democrats promised. In fact, this year Michigan will have 33% less revenue.
  • Many Michigan businesses closed down or left the state.
  • Among all states, Michigan now ranks last in economic growth, first in unemployment, and third for high business taxes. It ranks 49th in retaining young adults.

WISCONSIN: The state is facing a $3.3 billion deficit in the next two years, but labor has declared a full-scale war over the reform proposals. The main GOP target is reining  in bloated public employee union pay and benefits.

Teachers have closed schools for the past two days by leaving their jobs to attend protest rallies. It is uncertain if schools will be closed on Friday.

It is an illegal strike, and teachers are putting their benefits ahead of education. Many teachers with tenure make over $100,000, and they have exceedingly generous benefits. They also work only 9-months a year.

Democrats will not allow a vote on Governor Walker’s proposal. He says it is essential because the state has a huge deficit and has lost over 150,000 jobs in the past two years. The Governor believes economic growth will not return unless the fiscal crisis is addressed.

Democrats had 35,000 protesters at the state capitol yesterday, and they remained in the capitol building last night. What is the plan the liberals find so outrageous?

  • Almost every public employee would have to contribute 5.8 percent toward their pension. They currently make no contribution to their own pension.
  • The state workers would also have pay 12.6 percent of their health insurance premiums. This would be an increase from the current 6 percent.
  • This would still have them paying $100 less a month than their private sector counterparts.
  • Future raises would be limited to the inflation rate unless a bigger increase was approved in a referendum. The non-law enforcement unions would lose their rights to bargain over anything but wages.
  • Public sector workers are already protected against unfairness by civil service laws, and Governor Walker has supported expanding these guarantees.
  • The alternative being promoted by State Senate Democrats would involve increases in sales and income taxes, as well as new business taxes. They believe Illinois has the right solution.
  • The changes apply to most state and local employees but they do not cover police, firefighters and state troopers, who would continue to bargain for their benefits.

MESSAGE FROM THE MIDWEST: Democrats in the three states have always been a mouthpiece for the AFL-CIO, and they were consistently hostile to business. The result was less business, less revenue and less employment.

What liberal Democrats do not realize is that jobs are created by small businesses and lowering costs to employers. In all three states Democrats increased spending which required higher taxes, and they asked businesses to carry out their social agenda with laws, rules and regulations.

The latter hides the spending from political fall-out. The pattern is continuing in Illinois, but Wisconsin is now saying no and Michigan is about to join them. I do not know America’s fiscal future but an important part of the solution is now being decided in Wisconsin.

Americans must now stand with Wisconsin and stand with Walker. Their battle is our cause. ‎”On, Wisconsin!” is the state motto and was the cry of Arthur MacArthur in the Battle of Missionary Ridge in the Civil War:

“On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!, Champion of the right, Forward, our motto, God will give thee might.”

Andrea LaFontaine's New Job by Gregory Hilton


Andrea LaFontaine, left, quit her job on Saturday as a waitress at the Country Kitchen Restaurant. She started there at 13, and kept the job while working her way through college and graduate school. She will have her MA in August.
Andrea, 23, starts her new job at noon today when she is sworn in as the youngest member of the Michigan House of Representatives. She rode the GOP wave and defeated the Democratic incumbent. She was motivated to run because so many young people have left Michigan in search of jobs. Continue reading

Reapportionment: Mapping The New Congressional Districts

New York has lost two seats and it is likely there will be some combination of the districts of Democratic Reps. Joseph Crowley, Carolyn Maloney and Gary Ackerman. The last time New York had 27 House seats was in the early 1820s, when the chamber had 181 seats. The two upstate districts with the heaviest population losses are in the western part of the state and are represented by Democratic Reps. Brian Higgins and Louise Slaughter. With a Democratic Governor and state Assembly and a GOP Senate, expect each party to lose a district.


Yesterday’s release of the Census Bureau data allows the 2012 Congressional reapportionment process to begin. Drawing the new maps will be the subject of considerable speculation for the next six months. The GOP will gain at least six seats, and they are practically assured of pickups in Texas, Georgia, South Carolina and Utah. Also, several vulnerable Republicans will see favorable territory added to their districts.
The liberal Huffingtom Post does not agree with this assessment. Their current headline article is “Reapportionment Not Necessarily Good News for Republicans” by Robert Creamer. He is the same author who wrote their analysis explaining why Democrats would keep control of the House. Continue reading

Inside the RNC: The Race for Chairman Begins

Former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman (R-MO) was narrowly defeated in the 2008 GOP gubernatorial primary. She deferred to Sen-elect Roy Blunt this year, but is now exploring a 2012 campaign.


The Next RNC Chairman
Members of the Republican National Committee face a difficult decision in January when Chairman Michael Steele’s term expires. Former Michigan GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis was defeated by Steele last time, but is now the first candidate to challenge his renomination. He is expected to have the support of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and his letter to RNC members was posted today: Continue reading

Gov. Granholm (D-MI): It is “unAmerican” to criticize GM: Senate candidate Angle (R-NV): Extreme Opposition to Gay Rights

 

Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D-MI), center, is leaving office after eight years because of term limits.

MICHIGAN
Yesterday outgoing Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D-MI) said it was “un-American” to criticize a GM car. Her target was conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, who is critical of the price and government subsidy of the Chevrolet Volt. Limbaugh calls it the car “nobody wants.” Granholm responded: “It’s just un-American.
“I can’t believe that somebody would say this about this American product. He hasn’t even driven it. He hasn’t sat in it. You know, why wouldn’t you be supportive of American manufacturers building American vehicles with American workers, who now have jobs as a result of this.
“Why wouldn’t you be supportive of that? It is mind-blowing to me.”
Granholm and fellow Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA), were once contestants on the daytime television game show The Dating Game. She jokingly told the annual Gridiron Dinner that “Sarah Palin has set back the cause of Hot Governors.”
NEVADA
Many Americans, including President Obama, are against gay marriage. Former Vice President Dick Cheney is a gay marriage supporter, and former President George W. Bush favors gay civil unions. Senate candidate Sharron Angle (R-NV) is strongly against both options, and she goes much further than that.
Angle is refusing to accept PAC contributions from any company which extends benefits to the same sex partners of its own employees. The computer company Intel provides benefits to the gay partners of its employees, and Angle says she would not accept a donation from Intel or a similar company. She is the first candidate for statewide office to adopt that position. She has not said if she would refuse money from gay individuals.
Angle, 61, is a former Assemblywoman and is opposing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D). He has a 48% unfavorable rating, and she has a 41% unfavorable rating.
According to Congressional Quarterly, Republicans:

are growing increasingly frustrated with Sharron Angle and her lackluster campaign … fearing she is jeopardizing what they had long viewed as a sure pickup and costing them a chance to reclaim the majority. Sen. John Cornyn (TX), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, acknowledges the challenge his party faces in Nevada. The Senator says “While running for election is not rocket science, it does require knowledgeable people, it does require some discipline, and that’s always a struggle for every first-time candidate.”

Among Angle’s controversial views are:

    • She wants the United States to give up its veto power on the Security Council and to leave the United Nations.
    • In the past she has wanted to stop the fluoridation of water.
    • She is against marriages where both parents are working.
    • She has spoken favorably of banning the sale of alcohol.
    • Even in the case of rape or incest, she believes abortion can never be allowed.
    • She says people who receive unemployment benefits are “spoiled.”
  • She called the BP victims’ compensation fund a “slush fund.”

Senator Reid is leading Angle in the last five polls, but her supporters are more highly motivated. According to a Reuters/Ipsos survey of Nevada voters released Tuesday, 81 percent of Republicans say they are certain to vote which is 17 points higher than the 64 percent of Democrats who say they will vote.

 

Michigan is an Economic Disaster and The Bureaucracy Must Go Away

by Rick Snyder
Editorial Note: Rick Snyder, an Ann Arbor businessman, hopes to be his state’s answer to Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ). Snyder won Michigan’s Republican gubernatorial primary last night. He is now the front runner and is expected to move into the Governor’s Mansion next January. He calls himself “The Job Creator” on his web site, and as CEO of the computer company Gateway, he raised $200 million in venture capital funds. Continue reading

The Big 10: After Years in Exile the GOP Heads Toward a Landslide

 

The Big 10 Conference states are heading toward a GOP landslide.

The political outlook in the industrial Midwest could change significantly before November, but as of today, the Republican Party is on the verge of a major comeback. The present survey research data is better than 1994 when the GOP reclaimed both the House and Senate. The polling numbers have not been this good for Republicans in the battleground Big 10 states since 1966.
In 2008, Barack Obama carried the entire Big 10. These states represent 117 of the 270 electoral votes necessary to elect a President. Now the outlook has been reversed dramatically. According to a memo released today by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling:

If the election was today Democrats would likely lose something they currently hold in every state where they have something to lose- Pennsylvania Governor and perhaps Senate, Michigan Governor, Ohio Governor, Indiana Senate, Iowa Governor, Wisconsin Governor and perhaps Senate, and Illinois Senate and/or Governor. Only Minnesota doesn’t join the party because Democrats have nothing to lose there.

Polling in every Big 10 state indicates a landslide is in formation.

    • OHIO GOVERNOR: Former Rep. John Kasich (R) leads Gov. Ted Strickland (D) by a 42-37 margin. Just 33% of voters approve of Strickland, with 47% disapproving. His own party is not enthusiastic about the Governor and he has poor numbers with independents at 28/54.
    • OHIO SENATE: In a Public Policy Polling survey out today, former Rep. Rob Portman (R) is leading Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher (D) by a 41% to 36% margin. Only 40% approve of President Obama while 53% disapprove.
    • PENNSYLVANIA SENATE: A new Franklin & Marshall College Poll shows former Rep. Pat Toomey (R) with a 33% to 29% lead over Sen. Arlen Specter (D).
    • PENNSYLVANIA GOVERNOR: Attorney General Tom Corbett (R) has an 18 point lead over his closest Democratic opponent. The frontrunning Democrat is Allegheny County executive Dan Onorato who trails by a 46% to 28% margin.
    • WISCONSIN SENATE: A survey of 700 voters, conducted March 20-21 by Public Policy Polling, shows Sen. Russ Feingold (D) narrowly ahead of former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R) by a 47-44 percent margin. In November, Feingold held a 47 percent to 41 percent edge. Thompson was Governor from 1987 to 2001.
    • WISCONSIN GOVERNOR: A poll conducted last weekend of 700 likely voters by Public Policy Polling showed Mark Neumann (R) with 43% and Tom Barrett (D) with 38%. Republican Scott Walker topped Barrett 42%-39%. Neumann is a former congressman, Walker is the Milwaukee County executive and Barrett is the Milwaukee mayor and a former congressman. Neumann came close to defeating Sen. Feingold in 1998, and among Independents he is leading this year by 43%-26%. Gov. Jim Doyle (D) has a 29%-58% approval/disapproval rating.
    • INDIANA SENATE: This seat should have been an easy Democratic retention until Sen. Evan Bayh (D) bolted just days before the filing deadline. A new Rasmussen Reports survey released Tuesday shows Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D) trailing all of the top three Republican candidates. According to the survey, former Sen. Dan Coats (R) leads Ellsworth 49% to 34%. One of the major issues hurting Ellsworth is his decision to support the health care reform package.
    • ILLINOIS GOVERNOR: A Rasmussen poll released 10 days ago found Sen. Bill Brady (R) leading Gov. Pat Quinn (D) 47 percent to 37 percent, with 6 percent preferring another candidate and 9 percent undecided.
    • ILLINOIS SENATE: This is Barack Obama’s old seat. Perhaps the only person that could win the seat for the GOP, Rep. Mark Kirk, is now the Republican nominee. This should have been a safe seat for the Democrats but now it is in tossup status. The Democatic nominee, State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, already has high negatives.
    • IOWA GOVERNOR: Terry Branstad (R), who was Iowa’s governor from 1983 to 1999, continues to hold a double-digit lead over Gov. Chet Culver (D) in the campaign to win back his old job, according to a Rasmussen Reports poll conducted March 17. Branstad runs ahead of Culver by 52 percent to 36 percent, with 6 percent preferring another choice and 6 percent undecided. Branstad also had a 16 point lead in mid February.
    • MICHIGAN GOVERNOR: Term-limited incumbent Jennifer Granholm (D) is retiring. The bad news for Democrats is that all three candidates in the GOP primary have commanding leads of at least 15% in the general election.
    • MINNESOTA GOVERNOR: The Rasmussen poll of March 12th shows GOP State Reps. Marty Seifert and Tom Emmer both holding their own against the better-known Democratic front-runners: former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher. The race is essentially even and the poll found a huge number of voters haven’t decided on a favorite.
    • THE 2012 PRESIDENTIAL OUTLOOK:
    • To win the presidency in 2012 the GOP will need to receive at least 30 of the 117 electoral votes in the Big 10. In 2000, George W. Bush was narrowly able to achieve that goal by winning Indiana (12) and Ohio (21). At that time there were GOP Governors in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania and California, but Bush lost all of those states.
  • The pattern was repeated in 2004 and Bush was then able to add Iowa (7) to his total. Once again, McCain won none of the Big 10 states in 2008. The 2012 GOP presidential nominee will probably look to the Big 10 for a running mate, and top contenders might be Ohio’s Rob Portman or Pennsylvania’s Tom Corbett.